I love soul music. I’m of Irish decent, and since I can remember I’ve watched ‘The Commitments’ – a film about a group of lay-about Dubliners who get together and form a soul band – and it’s amazing. Now I’ve heard people say “Where were you the first time you heard The Beatles?” and I have not got a clue where I was the first time I heard The Beatles (nor do I care, they are so overrated it’s a joke. Don’t get me started) but I can tell you exactly where I was the first time I heard Otis Redding.

So, picture me sat in front of the TV watching The Commitments, probably in my nappy. Since then I have craved that sound. In 2014 I tend to find myself listening to Neo-Soul a lot of the time; the likes of Maxwell, Anthony Hamilton and Alicia Keys have been quenching my thirst for long drawn out phrases, sus9 chords and electric pianos.

Now I don’t know if you’ve spotted the pattern occurring here, but most of these artists are a) black and b) American. That’s another thing I find so endearing about The Commitments – they literally couldn’t be more different. So white they’re practically transparent and not a hint of that cool american glamour.

So imagine my delight when a skinny white ginger British kid from Manchester brings out the soul album of the freaking year! I am of course talking about Daley.

Maybe you don’t know who he is. Nor did I until I got a phone call while in Dublin from my music journo friend Will (illwill.co.uk) who sounded like he had just had a car crash. “Mate, get online and listen to this album right now”. I purchased it through my phone and took a walk from my hotel down into Dublin City Centre listening to it. 49 minutes later the album finished, my jaw was open and I didn’t have a clue where I was. You know when a song just takes you and you go into auto pilot? Yeah well that happened for the entire album. (I actually tweeted saying I listened to the album and got lost, Daley then retweeted it. Want my autograph?)

I realised I had heard him before, when he covered Maxwell’s ‘Pretty Wings’ and did a wonderful job. These days I can’t play the song on the guitar without slipping into Daley’s alternative melody.

Anyway I am on the motorway at the moment having just returned from Daley’s last performance of the year in London. Me and Will headed down there to do some shooting with him and do a feature for illwill.co.uk. He was a lovely guy and being able to sit through the soundcheck where it felt like he was playing exclusively to me was amazing. Unfortunately for all those who bought tickets (not for me though) the show got cancelled because there was a power cut at the venue. So we walked over the road with all those involved in the show and had a few drinks in a bar.

I spent most of the evening sat with his parents, which was so cool. When you love somebody’s craft like that, you automatically idolise them and give them this almost godly status. I’ve met and worked with some huge stars in the past and treated them as I would anybody else, but perhaps because I love his music so much, it was weird. So to sit there with his mom (who is a PROPER English mom) and talk about how bloody awful the parking is in London, the weather and hear her talk about her little boy was crazy.

Her and Pops were telling me all about the music they introduced him to growing up and it’s very evident why he sings the way he does. I of course implored them to go and watch The Commitments fifteen times.

I’m not exactly sure what the purpose of this post is. Just wanted to get even more people listening to Daley and also share my strange experience of seeing him how his mom sees him.

‘..sing me another love song, but this time with a little dedication..”

– NM