This was the album where Richard Dawson was commissioned to write a musical response to a local Newcastle museum's archives. He set about creating six acapella pieces of varying length plus shorter musical interludes. Partly an endurance test, partly a fascinating new and original take on folk music, he comes up with the sort of sound which would see him beaten to a pulp if he tried to play it to revellers at the city's Biggmarket on a Saturday night. Nicely re-issued by Weird World.
Vinyl Double LP £25.49
Ltd 180g vinyl LP + 10" in silk-screened sleeve on Alt. Vinyl. Edition of 250 copies.
Vinyl Double LP £16.99 REWIGLP95
Reissue 2LP on Weird World.
- Includes download code
CD £9.99 REWIGCD95
Reissue CD on Weird World.
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Richard Dawson has changed in the many years since I heard a kind of singer-songwriter type album by him. He was probably about 12 at the time but has now grown to become a noted folk musician based out of his (and my) native North East. This is a double album (the packaging is, of course, utterly tremendous) based upon a project Dawson took part in when he was asked to go into bizarre underground museum in Newcastle and pick up artifacts to write about, despite this being the kind of arty farty behaviour that will get you hoyed into the Tyne if you bring it up in conversation in the Biggmarket on a Saturday night.
The music seems to be a mixture of acapella howling and guitar improv. Despite sometimes possessing a voice only a mother could love, Dawson makes up with an impassioned delivery and a deep seated knowledge and love of the material he is singing about. The guitar pieces are more Thurston Moore than Bert Jansch being distorted, discordant affairs. It’s a difficult, bewildering listen yet wholly unusual, taking in both traditional and modernist forms of folk to emerge with something akin to brutalist folk music. Naked and honest, something if witnessed live could potentially tear you to threads. Comes with lengthy, fascinating sleevenotes.
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