Johnny Borrell: Borrell 1 – review

(Stiff/Virgin EMI)

What's an indie deity to do when the indie he pioneered has disappeared? Retreat to the south of France with a four-track recorder and suitcases stuffed with saxophones, apparently. Former Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell has tossed jangle-rock aside and now leads Zazou, a group of buskers whose task it is to parp instruments in the breaths between Borrell's words. Stylistically, Borrell 1 ranges from rudimentary drive-through rock'n'roll to swaggering Springsteen, if Springsteen was from Rugby and only performed at bi-annual street parties in Crouch End. Its scrappy toots, honky-tonk piano and – in the case of Cannot Overthrow – total self-involvement are so uninhibited you have no choice but to applaud. But if this is the first of many, then let's brace ourselves: Borrell 1 sounds like the inner workings of a brain as it descends into total madness.


Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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