Riding high on the crest of a soul-wave that has witnessed Duffy race to Number One in the charts with the Lulu-stomping ‘Mercy’, the ash-blonde spark plug grabs a Fifties microphone for leverage and pipes up to her own reigning creation on the iPod stereo. Met with laughter, Duffy gives as good as she gets. “What?” she twinkles. “I don’t know the words to any other songs.” Shaking and shimmying on the spot to ‘Mercy’’s hand-clapping chorus and the verse takes care of itself. This 23-year-old from the small town of Nefyn, Wales, is up for a good time. And boy, is she getting it…

Meanwhile, life has definitely taken a strange turn for Jamie Lidell. He’s still signed to experimental label Warp but now makes music that sounds like the Greatest Hits record Sam Cooke might eventually have ended up with had he not been shot, crazy and naked, in 1964. Jamie’s new album, ‘Jim’, is a riotous journey from the heartfelt pop-soul of the Sixties through leftfield early-Seventies funk and onto the Parliament/Funkadelic era, with a snatch of rock guitar and cheesy Bacharach horn thrown in for good measure. The whole uplifting experience hinges on a voice that really has no business emerging from a bespectacled white boy from Cambridgeshire. It’s a freak of nature.

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