Franco and the Dreadnoughtannounced himself on the scene with his powerhouse voice and agile fingers. This young lad has the goods and the capability of packing arenas full of people waving their lighters in the air and singing along with every fibre of their being. He and his trusty guitar, theDreadnought, are bound to move the masses into musical bliss. It is awe inspiring to hear an acoustic song such as “Bulletproof” convey the sweet, melt your heart sentiment ofDamien Ricewhile creating the same emotive impact as the arena rock ofOasis(who, thankfully he's managed to avoid sounding like). His singing and playing exude confidence and while making no attempt at covering up his English inflections, his delivery is all the more real and raw.
Now obviously I didn't write that 'cause it's all long music journo type words, but I'm an equal opportunities Jack Russell so I thought I'd better give his P.R. person a go.....with reference to his delivery and inflections he's got hints ofMatt Corby,and just a shade ofThe Streetsbut without the rap.....and the boy can play a mean guitar.....even better he's writing some lyrically impressive tunes, none more so then the single 'Last Man Standing' which is very much a 'coming of age' as he's found his musical niche as a solo artist.
The single 'Last Man Standing' was released late last year and it's an outstanding track. There's a great selection of remixes too, including one by J Majik and Wikaman although Ralph's personal favourite is the Ear Abuse Dubstep mix.....crank it up!
Francohas released a 6 track EP of demos which is currently being played on radio stations worldwide. Having recently recorded 4 singles with theAnimal Farmlabel and produced a music video, his debut single 'Last Man Standing' was released at the start of July last year and he celebrated a deal withRespect Music. Big news recently was his collaboration with Mercury Music Prize nominee Kathryn Williams resulting in two outstanding acoustic tracks. The first was 'Not Enough' - a haunting almost plaintive song, and Franco's almost tortured vocal brings it to life.
Franco told me the story behind it..... "she's from Newcastle and I from Manchester, so we decided to write it in the middle - York. It was at a venue called House Concert's York (the best venue in England!) where we both had done gigs previously - effectively just someone's house (Tony and Nicky Fothergill's). They went out for the afternoon and left us writing in their kitchen."
"It's just a great, simple, stripped back folk song."
The second track, just released is 'Where I'm Calling From' and it's another gentle, reflective track that suits his 'real and raw' vocal style. Let's hope they get together again soon and bring us some more tracks like this! There is more news regarding a new release from Franco, but my lips are sealed...for now!
Franco played a showcase set atThe Urbis, Manchester and guest reviewer the mysteriousMr Peepswas lucky enough to be there and had this to say.....
Thanks to Janine Simone Photography for this photo
of Franco live at The Urbis.....
"To be honest, I hadn't heard of Franco and the Dreadnought until last week. I was invited to the 'Unconventional' event at the Urbis where Franco played a quality 3 song set.
This consisted of:
"Truth" (The song Desmond Tutu asked Franco to write for Nelson Mandela's birthday!)
"Where did all my friends go?"
Every song had a very personal touch, and the emotion put into the lyrics and delivery really carried across, holding the attention of the all too small crowd that were scattered around the room. The last song Franco played, "Where did all my friends go?" (a tale about growing old and falling out of touch with your best friends) must have rang true with a lot of people as his observations and experiences were detailed perfectly.