Lightspeed Champion - Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You
By day mild-mannered Dev Hynes wouldn’t say boo to a goose. But at night he dons the spandex and steps forth as Lightspeed Champion, ready to win over the forces of evil with a quirky ballad or two. That said, if recent interviews are to be believed there isn’t much time in the day for Dev’s mild-mannered antics as his alter-ego has apparently recorded fifty albums worth of material - of which Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You (his second album proper) is but one.
So what has he pulled from his creaking tune shelf to release? Is it an opera centred around “Fitz” the squirrel who lost his nut (whilst checking out a especially pretty stoat) told from the perspective of the nut? Or maybe a black-metal re-telling of Buck Rogers? Fortunately (or not - depending on your perspective) he hasn’t strayed too far from his previous material. On the surface most of these songs could have slotted quite easily into Falling Off the Lavender Bridge.
But this isn’t just another collection of Lightspeed Champion creations hastily thrown together. It’s an album rich in drama and rooted in the roar of the greasepaint. He’s even been kind enough to include interludes to assist with the pacing – but he hasn’t stretched to bringing along an ice cream seller. The house lights go down and ‘Dead Head Blues’ swishes the curtain open, its gentle sentiments accompany a spotlit Dev treading the boards. As the album pushes forward past the first intermission it moves up a gear from amateur dramatics to musical theatre. ‘The Big Guns Of Highsmith’, with its powerful male voice-assisted chorus, flows perfectly into ’Romart’ which practically transforms the listener’s environment into The Old Vic.
Each of these songs could easily stand alone, but when combined into a performance as lavish as this they prop each other up and create an exquisite listening experience. Buy your own ice-cream and bring the theatre home with you.