Title: Lee Griffiths - Northern Songs
Author: Caroline Sullivan
Source: The Guardian
Publish date: Friday July 7, 2000
Definitely not to be confused with Sporty Spice’s Northern Star, this debut gives you an idea of what Billy Bragg would have sounded like if he’d grown up in 80s Manchester. Songs such as The One About the Smackhead (Griffiths in a nutshell: a protest song about the "system" thwarting attempts to get one’s life in order) have even won him the endorsement of the Socialist Workers’ Party. Griffiths sings his semi-acoustic songs in an incongruously angelic voice that’s more reminiscent of Tracy Chapman than Bragg, but the themes - dole culture, classism - are reassuringly British. Tuneless tunes make it dull going, though.