Back in October, I set off for The Palmeira in Hove to see Danny & The Champions of the World. I’d heard they were a great band but – wow! they turned out to be fantastic. They have it all. They have a wonderful collection of songs written by their engaging frontman, Danny Wilson; they have fun, but their mastery of their material shows that they have dedication and experience, too; and like any good country soul band, they have a steel guitar as well as a saxophone. And they have a new album, Stay True, that’s hardly ever out of my CD player.
The other thing they have is a large collection of check shirts.
But we’re working on that.
Not long after that gig in Hove, Danny got in touch and asked to talk shirts. Once we got together we bonded over our shared love of The Everly Brothers and an equal enthusiasm for this Liberty print, designed by the late Storm Thorgerson.
We put together an idea for a black shirt featuring Storm’s birds on the yokes and I scurried off to find the exact shade of orange to make piping. I added a feature rhinestone snap to the front and pretty soon I had come up with this:
Danny also fell for a ruffled shirt with pearl buttons in Liberty’s ‘Joy and Sorrow’ that was hanging in my workroom when he visited. He put it on and it suited him utterly.
Last week I had the privilege of seeing both shirts onstage when Danny & the Champs sold out The Jazz Cafe in London. Danny wore the ‘Storm’ shirt and saxophonist ‘Free Jazz’ Geoff Widdowson wore the ruffled shirt. What a thrill to see two Dandy & Rose shirts onstage at the same time!
Almost all the men in the audience were wearing check shirts, by the way. Let’s see if we can change that, too!