single review ~ 'little belfry' ~ the mad dalton

The Mad Dalton is a curious character indeed. The Scottish native eventually ended up in Belfast via Canada and England, but this troubadour's story is in fact much more interesting than that.

Real name,  Peter GW Sumadh, he takes his pseudonym from a nickname given to his maternal Grandmother's family and indeed, family life seems to be at the core of this songwriters being. From studying Sitar with a Trinidadian icon, to befriending the man who smoked The Beatles their first joint, it's been a long, strange journey for Sumadh; and it's this experience which really shimmers on 'Little Belfry', the title track from his latest EP.

Adopting a sort of Badly Drawn Boy approach, 'Little Belfry' feels like a travelling song, one born out of experience and tireless craft. A gentle, swooning verse builds to an almost drunken lullaby, as if 'Little Belfry' was already a timeless Pogues tune. In fact, if you were to swap The Mad Dalton's Dylan-esque delivery for Shane MacGowan's snarl, this could easily have come straight out of the Dublin legends locker.

The beautiful acoustic interplay merges effortlessly with the brass section, resulting in a song made for Winter nights, an open fire and more than a few bottles of wine.

Taylor Johnson

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