The residents of Lower Broughton may see one of their roads put on the musical map in the same vein of Abbey Road and Stanley Road, as Broughton based singer songwriter Mark Daynes tells me the title for his new collection of songs is going to be 'Marlborough Road'.
After spending a couple of years in Irlam, Grimsby born Daynes has recently relocated to the east of the City and already the area has made a big impression... "Yeah, it's a lot different from living in Irlam" he tells me "There's some proper characters round here but they seem a lot more open to strangers."
I first crossed paths with Mark in 2009 when I was living temporarily in the same block of flats on Irlam's Liverpool Road. I knew he was a musician but to be honest didn't take much notice and had little interest what his stuff was like. It was only last year whilst trawling the net that I checked his myspace page and actually took time to listen and absorb his music and was blown away at the quality of his song writing.
Beneath the murky demo quality production lie songs strong on melody and lyrics with true substance. It's hard to pigeonhole his musical style. Understandably he grimaces at the Ed Sheeran bedroom folk comparisons. Daynes, who honed his musical craft with Grimsby indie jangle foursome, Curl, in the mid nineties, relies heavily on simple strummed chords on most of his songs. But it's his ability to add subtle touches, his ear for melody and the autobiographical lyrics that will leave the listener moved and somewhat uplifted.
The usual themes of lost love, life mistakes, desolation and regret are all in there. Whether it's the anti-bullying lament of the brilliant Fire Cuts Through Water or the dreamy optimism of Beautiful Secrecy of Air, there is enough material here for a really strong album. There is always a market for this kind of stuff as Badly Drawn Boy proved with his lo-fi slacker masterpiece Hour of the Wilderbeast released in 2000.
I always found Daynes as something of a lost soul from when I knew him in Irlam. He liked his quaff and was known to disappear on his own little adventures, namely going on benders in the woolly back towns dotted around the North West. Parking himself in dive boozers chewing the fat with the local ne'er do wells. Not one to embrace the company of the shallow beautiful people who populate the city centre bars, you are more likely to see him listening to stories from craggy faced retired miners in a St.Helens spit and sawdust joint.
Articulate and literate when sober, I was hoping he stayed off the grog when I met him. No such luck. He travelled to Swinton via Eccles and obviously couldn't resist the lure of The Church Street watering holes. He informed me he warmed his bloodstream with a couple of single malts on his way. I interviewed him at my flat and can't deny he is interesting company. I probe for his influences and find no obvious music heroes in his cupboard but a mish mash of eclectic reference points as diverse as the booze folk heartache of John Martin, the obscure Roky Erikson to the ridiculous Tony Orlando's Tie a Yellow Ribbon.
Mark Daynes is an advocate of the Kerouac 'on the road' philosophy. The 'have guitar will travel' attitude has seen him spending time in Sheffield, Portsmouth, living rough in London and dossing on Newquay's Fistral Beach. Doing geographicals to escape broken relationships and trying to 'find himself' (yeah been there mate). The guy has lived. So what brought him to Salford?
"Well basically it wasn't Salford it was Manchester, it was through Graham our Bass player in [previous band] Curl that I got into bands like Stone Roses and Happy Mondays and it wasn't until I got here that I realised who the real people were" he explains "I think I was a bit blind sighted really. I was in a bad place when I left Grimsby and took a last chance (laughs) rockin roll."
I ask what are his plans for 2012?
"Well I've got an albums worth of new songs written which is going to be 'Marlborough Road' and it's a case of meeting a producer and getting in a studio, polishing them up then who knows?"
I ask about the inspiration behind the songs and he tells me "Well the song The Return of Snoopy Lou happened when I just put down some chords on my laptop. I think music doesn't have to have any resonance. Sometimes it has to believe in itself. I believe it could actually just flow without it actually being linked."
While I was asking the questions the man from East Lincolnshire was making light work of an eight pack of Carlsberg so the answers were becoming more incoherent as he went off on tangents. We refocused as I played some of his tracks and I couldn't help thinking that underneath the surface is a truly wounded person and it comes through in his songs.
If he can get out there playing live - he has played the Night and Day in Manchester and even played last year's super Salford Saturday alongside Albert Thompson at The Cornerstone - and if he gets some management, who knows what can happen because the songs are superb.
This time next year you may see him shuffling up Marlborough Road on the way back from Baskerville House or he could be writing the soundtrack for Hugh Grant's next film. Funny old world. Just ask Damon Gough.
Listen to Mark Daynes on www.myspace.com/markdaynes
Mark Daynes is playing at Lass O' Gowrie, Charles St., Manchester on Thursday 23rd February