Damian Wilson, the prog star who promises stage diving, Arena tours and a legacy of new songs, releases his new album Limehouse to Lechlade next month.
Damian Wilson – Limehouse to Lechlade (Blacklake Records)
Release Date: 12 November 2021
Interview: Sara Harding
When I heard that the dude with the golden pipes, Damian Wilson, was releasing a new album, I fought to review this latest set of songs from a truly unique composer and singer. With a legacy like his, my expectations were high.
Wilson’s latest release Limehouse to Lechlade, is his first full-length solo album since 2016s Built For Fighting. It contains 13 original songs and is hailed as Damian’s most eclectic work yet.
“This album features tracks that I’ve written over the last 20 years,” Damian says, “and I wanted to give them a theme. I’ve been very nomadic throughout my life, living on boats and sailing from London out to Lechlade. This is a journey just like these songs.”
The tracks on the album range from folk-rock to power pop, with the occasional Floydian guitar solo and prog vibes. It was mastered by Tony Lindgren (Billie Eilish, Opeth, Katatonia) and features a wide range of musicians, 17 in total, including Alex Reeves (Elbow), Lee Pomeroy (ELO), Michael Buckley (Glen Hansard) and Chris Hill (Jamie Cullum).
The album kicks off with the highly anthemic Once We’re Gone. I could listen to Wilson singing anything—well, maybe not Ed Sheeran. His vocals have always been off the scale, and this song is a great introduction to what is to come.
Let Me Down Slowly is a lyric fuelled song with a country vibe. A belter of a track, as the chorus belts in, it’s like the gospel, according to Damian.
Fire And Ashes is a complete change of pace, a Latino orchestral song that takes me back to living in Mexico. Think Cuban prog rock. All I need is a large cigar and a mojito—fun, uplifting and different for Damian.
Hard To Keep Faith is another anthemic song and one I know will be a crowd-pleaser at his forthcoming gigs. “I’ve been waiting so long to reconnect with the audience,” Damian told me. “I’m a performer that loves to interact, and this has been a tough eighteen months. I cannot wait to get on the road and perform this latest collection of songs.”
The album concludes with It Ends Here. I bloody love this song, so please let this be your new single, Damian! Each song is so different but has that Damian Wilson DNA running through it. A very clever, exciting and eclectic album.
The tour kicks off in November, and Damian will be back on the road with Adam Wakeman – his great friend and music peer.
Rockers, if you have not been to a Wilson and Wakeman gig, get yourself a ticket. The duo will perform an incredible range of music, but the top shelf banter is hilarious, for example, tales from touring with Ozzy Osbourne to sinking his boat.
And Wilson, who is known to jump into the audience at gigs, says there might even be some stage diving.
I still listen to Damian’s version of Iron Maiden’s Where Eagles Dare at home when I’m back from a gig and have a bloody good singalong. So what’s next for Wilson? Obviously, there is this tour, but then he will be front stage with Arena, featuring the mighty John Mitchell, Clive Nolan and all.
It’s always a pleasure to chat with Damian, and as the interview finishes, we stay on the phone for another 20 minutes, just gassing about life.
Wilson, just like his new album, is personable, fun and has so many layers.
Limehouse to Lechlade can be pre-ordered from damianwilson.bandcamp.com/album/limehouse-to-lechlade
02 Dec Breda NL – Mezz
04 Dec Tilburg NL – Paradox Sold out
05 Dec Düsseldorf DE – The Pitcher
06 Dec Venlo NL – Grenswerk
07 Dec Arnhem NL – Luxor Live
08 Dec Zaandam NL – De Flux
09 Dec Enschde NL – Metropool
10 Dec Drachten NL – Iduna
11 Dec Vlaardingen NL – Kroepoekfabriek