Detours occur when we get distracted. For a split second our aim slips out of sight and, almost in an instant, we feel a loss of orientation and suddenly we’re taking another, unknown route to the same destination. Woefully we are convinced on arriving there that we have somehow lost valuable time and energy. Seldom do we acknowledge that detours contribute just as much, if not more, to our being.
In the unlikely event that you haven’t visited a clothing emporium, read a magazine or listened to a radio in the last two years it still probably won’t have escaped you that the ‘60s are back, back and inescapable. Amy Winehouse may have made the first step back in time, or at least the most significant one, but a seemingly endless parade of ‘soul’ singers has since emerged from every corner of the country, interlocking in a stranglehold over the charts. The recipe is simple: take watery snares (well, an overall wet-sounding aquaristic drum set), a paperboard bass and some rich orchestration, add some everyday lyrics (nothing too poetic) and an extraordinary voice and that’s about it. Mentors Bernard Butler, David McAlmont and Steve Booker have coached their protégée well, for Duffy (first name Aimée) is certainly proficient with dramatic and astonishingly well-observed vintage soul, for a 23-year old singer from northwest Wales at least.