Reviews

Ian WallaceIan Wallace
Album: Doowangle
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 13
Website: https://soundcloud.com/ianwallace1

I first heard Ian Wallace at the local theatre when he was supporting Chris Wood. I was far more impressed with Ian than Chris Wood and said so in my FATEA review of the gig.

Ian describes himself as an unsigned Professional Singer/ Song writer from New Zealand. He continues on his Soundcloud page;" I have worked with Chris Wood-folk singer of the year 2012, and Sean Taylor-British folk singer. I have been working as a full time musician in the UK for 14 years. All songs composed, mixed by Ian Wallace. All instruments played "live" by me too. I am available for session work and live work." What he has left out is that he is a very accomplished singer, musician and songwriter. He is probably too modest to say that so I will say it for him.

I should start by saying that this album is very difficult to buy unless you happen to live near Knaresborough. Ian has no backers and as a result just sells the album at his local gigs. If you like what you hear on Soundcloud though you could email him on: kiwi.ianw@yahoo.co.nz I am sure he would be happy to sell you a copy direct. Alternatively if you are a producer, agent or anyone else connected with the music industry please get in touch with Ian. He is too talented to not be heard and appreciated by the music loving public.

So what about the music? Firstly it is nearly all self-penned. A mix of folk, blues, funk, instrumentals and film music, nearly all recorded quite simply and stripped down to the bone with very little backing. Clever words without being pretentious with beautiful guitar work to accompany the lyrics. The album starts with a bluesy foot tapper called "Don't fly away." "Miss Orange" is a very clever song telling the story of a misdirected text and a cross purpose conversation accompanied by a broken heart. "Home for one day" is a lovely song about lost youth. My favourite song on the album and on Soundcloud is "Swim over me" which I just loved the first time I heard it. "Shipwrecked" is another stand out track which washes over the listener. There is not one song on the album that I do not like. It is certainly not over produced and Ian is one of those singers who do not need an interpreter. His diction is excellent and very easy to listen to. "Going home" on Soundcloud is a great example of this. Also included on Soundcloud are some great little instrumentals including the title track of the CD, "Doowangle" which rather oddly does not appear on the CD.

The title of the album "Doowangle" itself has an interesting little story. Ian recorded all the songs on a Tanglewood guitar so thought he would use an anagram as the title. Unfortunately he left the T out and so Doowangle was born. Ian has a lovely self-deprecatory sense of humour which also comes out in some of his lyrics.

It is almost impossible to pigeon hole Ian. He plays a bit of everything and all of it very well. Listen to "Carol" and you might think it is Hank Marvin. "Stop the clock" has a lovely late night seductive feel to it.

Finally, Ian has not paid me to write this although my enthusiasm for his music might make readers think otherwise. I just feel that real talent needs to be nurtured and recognised and I really hope that someone out there picks up on this immensely talented artist.

Rory Stanbridge