BRIAN HOUSTON - SUGAR QUEEN
(BRIAN HOUSTON SONGS)
REVIEWER: ANDREW WILLIAMSON
Brian Houston is one of those people that's been kicking around Belfast micropohones for so long he feels like part of the fixtures and fittings. A talented songwriter and tunesmith, one wondered if he would ever receive the wider recognition he deserves. He has always been a better live act than recording artist and perhaps that has let him down, but 'Sugar Queen' seeks to redress that balance.
Recorded in Liverpool and produced by Nigel Stonier, Sugar Queen is Brian's best produced record to date. Robbie Mcintosh (Norah Jones, Paul McCartney) provides top drawer lead guitar and Thea Gilmore beautiful harmony vocals.
The record gets off to a great start with the upbeat, catchy 'End of the Beginning'. It immediately grabs your attention before the standout second track, 'Childish Things'. Namechecking the Belfast ship-builders Harland and Wolfe, it's a tongue-in cheek autobiographical song about dreaming of being a rock star and battling with the cynics. Easily the rockiest number, the production is spot on with a wonderful hook that will have you reaching for repeat button.
The rest of the album plays more down the Van Morrison route. Brian has always been proud of his heritage, and sings in his East Belfast accent about his native streets on the excellent 'These Days'. With a glowing endorsement from Bob Harris of BBC radio and 'The Old Grey Whistle Test', Sugar Queen provides Houston with his best chance yet of making a mark on the world stage.
FOR FANS OF: VAN MORRISON, BOB DYLAN,
DOWNLOAD: Childish Things, End of the Beginning
Download End of the Beginning Here for free!