David J – Not Long For This World


Last week I finally got around to listening to Nation Of Saints: 50 Years Of Northampton Music, the cd that came with the first issue of Alan Moore’s Dodgem Logic magazine.  The final song is a lovely acoustic reminiscence called 2000 Lights Years From Gold Street by David J.  I have long been a fan of the man’s work (Bauhaus, Love & Rockets, many solo releases, his collaboration with Moore and Alex Green – The Sinister Ducks) and I thought, what’s he been up to lately?  And sure enough his sixth solo album, Not Long For This World, has just been released. I bought it straight away.

My immediate impression is ‘this is the most “Goth/ic” thing he’s ever done’ – deep funereal blues, menacing storm clouds, forlorn laments. Death hangs over and dances, grinning, through every song, “Not Long For This World” being more than just a mere album title.  But, finding labels unnecessary at the best of times, this trivial initial reaction quickly fades as the songs sit with me more. By the end of my second listen the mood of the album had opened wide and I was eagerly awaiting my third, which I indulged in without delay.  The first two numbers – Because You’re Gone and Gloomy Sunday – evoke lonely mornings at the piano with the curtains closed on the grey outside, blue smoke permeating the room. The tempo picks up for the deliciously macabre Dead & Lovely and St. James Infirmary, like a deluge of drink pushing mourning into mischievous merriment at a wake. Up next is a trio of elegies for artists dearly departed – Hank Williams, Spalding Gray, and Jeff Buckley.  At 9:02, Eulogy For Jeff Buckley imagines the singer’s final hours whilst exposing the bruise left by his passing, a touching tribute to a talent tragically gone.  Being a Pop guy, my favourites on the record are of course the major key ones (Spalding Gray Can’t Swim ranking among these), which are excellent.  Dagger In The Well is classic acoustic David J and The Last Cigarette is a jaunty piano shuffle that is one of the best songs of the year. Titles like Dress Sexy At My Funeral and the aforementioned Dead & Lovely show that Not Long For This World is far from humourless. The album closes – with Farewell My Friend and Not Long For This World – in the same room, at the same piano, as the beginning of the record, though now later in the evening, curtains still closed, candles softly swaying, vigil-like.

One of the albums of the year, it’s been on repeat since I bought it.  It is worth also taking a look at the twelve collage pieces created for each song here.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.