The Kaje talks Summer Sundae Weekender to Danny & The Champions of the World

Former Grand Drive singer/guitarist Danny George Wilson has adopted the name of the ever popular Roald Dahl book “Danny, The Champion of the World” as he makes his move from Americana into folk. An homage to Bruce Springsteen, Gene Clark and Neil Young, Danny & The Champions of the World have seen their success soaring on the live circuit and will be spending the summer going from festival to festival. The Kaje took a moment to talk Summer Sundae Weekender with the septet…

Summer Sundae Weekender kicks off in August. What’s your favourite thing about summer festivals?

Great bands, meeting great folks, cider, camping and the great privilege of getting to play amongst all of that – if you’d have told me when I was a kid starting out playing guitar that we’d be playing at festivals like Summer Sundae I’d have bitten your hand off!

What can we expect from your show?

We always want to be one of the bands that people go home talking about – the songs are important to us but live we’re not precious about it – we want to be entertaining and uplifting, let the crowd know that we’re all in this together. I grew up going to Springsteen shows with my Dad and it’s always stuck with me how amazing it was – it always felt like there wasn’t a better party going on anywhere.

Summer Sundae is renowned for showcasing emerging talent. Which new band are you most looking forward to catching?

I’ve already seen a lot of the bands that I could say (Fionn Regan, Stornoway, The Fannies etc), so I think the bands that I haven’t seen that I’m looking forward to are The Low Anthem, Megafaun, Erland and the Carnival and cowpunk legends, Jason and the Scorchers (never got to see them the first time round!) I’m expecting though that someone who I don’t know yet will come out of nowhere and blow me away.

The festival has also been graced by legends like Patti Smith, Billy Bragg and Chrissie Hynde. What’s your fondest festival memory?

I think that my fondest memory of a festival that we played would be when Garth Hudson (from our heroes ‘The Band’) came on stage to play with us at ‘Truck festival’ on his birthday and the crowd sang a huge rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to him – very special. Another very fond memory is me, my wife and our two young daughters all watching ’The Unthanks’ together at ‘Wood festival’ earlier this summer – we all fell in love with them and now we listen to them in the kitchen.

The festival turns ten this year – how did you celebrate your tenth?

It was always disco at my folks house and I would’ve been trying to slow dance with the girl who is now my wife! The disco was always just a thinly veiled excuse to attempt said slow dance – I think she knew too!


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