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August 7, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Dudley Benson – Steam Railways of Britain EP

There is, to be blunt, a very limited appeal to this. To not want to hurl this EP out the window requires that you, a) have a very high tolerance of the kind of pretentious self-gratifying lyrics that would drive any normal person to a Sunday shooting-spree and b) that you have devoted much of the last few years idolizing one Roddy Woomble, singer and lyricist for the ever-underrated Idlewild. I have both these qualities in abundance. This is a funny little PC-recorded sketch of half formed ideas and snippets that owes much to the bedroom confessional style of The Postal Service and Nick Drake in its execution, and it was a happy few days in my bedroom with this on repeat. Dudley has a beautiful, winsome voice when he avoids the occasional temptation to show off; stunning as his classically trained outer reaches are, they grated with the muted grace of his music. For all that, whenever the lyrics became too akin to nails on the blackboard, he managed to save the situation with ghostly harmonies or wonderfully restrained piano, and there’s enough Wuthering Heights-via-Banks Peninsula darkened landscapes here for me to watch anxiously for his full-length debut, due later this year. Probably only one for the kids who take their tea with a hefty pinch of Belle and Sebastian, Smiths and handmade badges, this is a half-finished, half-bad hint at what might be, and as someone who believes in the same brand of semi-charmed Antipodean romanticism as Dudley Benson, I’m kind of smitten.


About the Author ()

BORN WITH a cigarette in one hand and The Trial in other, Bea meant to go on as she started. Music wasn’t her first love, but her first love ended in a fight over rightful ownership of a Velvet Underground LP and the kitchen knife, so she chose the kinder option and stuck with it. In her spare time she enjoys casting aspersions, skulking, and making sweeping statements. She never checks her facts: figures it’s a way to live a little, to have arguments with people, then meet them. She’s currently writing a collection of short stories inspired by Schopenhauer’s manifesto of suffering and the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. When it gets published, she’s pretty sure that boy will want to hold her hand.

Comments (4)

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  1. Jamie Thomas says:

    Good Lord. This kind of review makes me thank god I live in Auckland.

  2. Hey Dudley just wanna let ya know NICE WORK BRO

    KEEP it up


  3. Penney says:

    Just heard you for the first time on Concert FM. You are amazing mate. Wish I could make it to your concert in Auckland. Long may NZ produce quirky talented people like yourself.
    Hamilton NZ!

  4. frank says:

    I’ve heard his stuff on the radio and I have to ask myself why would any like his music?I am a fan of the Smiths,Belle and Sebastian but to me this just sounds like a male verson of Haley Westenra I might add bad lyrics as well!!! I just don’t understand why people like it?I don’t know what is that people like?she cried a tear and I cried 64 and a half and to be frank a I cry 1000 every time I hear that song!!!

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