This review was originally published on The Doughnut.
It’s not just that Dave Fidler is from Manchester, just a stone’s throw away from the land of my birth, that I like him. Nor is it that he crafts good tunes and is equally at home bluesing it up or mellowing out with an acoustic ballad – true though that is.
No, it’s that as a fellow guitarist I can really appreciate his skill. There’s no finger-busting licks and scales at a million notes per second so it’s easy to miss if you don’t play. It’s the clarity and precise playing which impresses me with his new EP – you hear every single note.
The influence of Bob Dylan is easy to spot in the opening title track “Easy Gone Easy Come”. The harmonica kinda gives it away really. Nevertheless, Fidler doesn’t so much copy the master as carries on in the tradition. The result is pleasingly fresh.
But there’s more to this Mancurian than simply Dylan pastiche. “These Days (Live)” reveals a strong influence of Paul Simon, again with Fidler’s singing moving the song away from being more like a cover than an original. “A Song for Nico (Live)” could easily be a set piece for a street busker and sounds not unlike Ed Sheeran unplugged. And although the tracks of the EP are similar in many ways, there’s still surprises in each of them. I get the feeling this guy is only warming up his creativity.
For you fellow guitarists out there however, I couldn’t finish this review without adding a link to Fidler’s previous single “Taking Over”. It will be my summer project to retune my acoustic, dust off my slide and learn this intriguing song from beginning to end. I may have lost my northern accent over the years but I’m pretty certain I’m still going to sound silky smooth and cool as they come.