by James Conway
At a mere 20 years of age, singer songwriter Dan Bettridge has already received acclaim from X-Factor presenter Dermot O’ Leary who described him as “a credit to the youth of today.” Well with that kind of ringing endorsement from such a respected authority on music, Bettridge’s sophomore EP Darker Days must be an essential listening experience right? Err not quite. O’ Leary certainly has a point however as the music captured on this four track EP is so bland, inoffensive and utterly bereft of balls that it would be perfect to play to the residents of a retirement home just before their afternoon nap, in case the strong cocktail of drugs they usually ingest wasn’t sufficiently stupefying.
If you love faux-pastoral folk that even Mumford & Sons would reject in horror for being too watered down, recycled Cat Stevens melodies that only people who wear ancient brown cardigans could ever appreciate, and clichéd piano plodding that you hear on Hollyoaks when someone’s dad is a bit mean to them, then you will fall head over heels in love with Dan Bettridge and his toothless dirges. Best enjoyed with a weak lemon squash at 4pm in a side tent at the Green Man festival when you’re trying, and failing miserably to chat up a willowy blonde Sixth Former with Received Pronunciation. In other words, Futile and pointless.