Newcastle folk singer and dark-humoured bard Richard Dawson and Finnish experimental rock veterans Circle have joined together for a joyous new collaboration.
The result is ‘Henki’, an album of metal music unlike any you’ve heard before. Released via Weird World records, their material deals with special plants throughout history, making it the greatest flora-themed hypno-folk-metal record you’ll hear this year. Dawson’s singular voice and shambolic guitar-driven arrangements weave in and out of Circle’s Krautrock beats, heavy riffs, arty noise & dark psychedelia. Highly acclaimed, the album recently earned its spot at no.1 of the Official Folk Album Charts alongside 5* from MOJO. Congrats lads!
Here at Supersonic we’ve had the pleasure of knowing these friends apart (both having performed on a number of our line-ups) but together, live on the Supersonic stage, we know we’re in for an extra special treat.
“a tour de force of botanical rock” – The Guardian
Formed in 1991, Circle is the most visible and prolific name in the Finnish avant-rock underground. Having survived innumerable lineup changes, the band and its founder, bassist/vocalist/guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo, have constantly reinvented themselves. They rarely stick to the same genre from one album to the next, but their chilling hypnotic mantras have served as the lone unifying theme throughout three decades of spandex-clad experiments.
Circle first performed at Supersonic all the way back in 2006, we even have a video to prove it!
From the seed of a twitter conversation, the collaboration was planted. Circle invited Richard to join them for a festival show that later sprouted demos shared remotely, in-person recording sessions on the Finnish coast, with the album finally completed remotely as Europe entered lockdown in spring 2020. Wild, protean hard rock songs rooted in psychedelic folk and delivered with gusto – this suite of stories will take us on a journey of ancient history and deep time.
When asked about coming together with these Finnish rock legends, Richard Dawson described “It was like being a teenager and suddenly being asked to go onstage with Iron Maiden, that’s how important this band [Circle] are to me.”
A singular voice, part savant-genius, part court jester, Richard Dawson’s music echoes with the voices of the past, present and future. Following memorable performances on our 2012, 2015 (where we invited him to guest curate part of our programme) & 2017 line-ups and awould-have-been headline slot at our 2020 festival, it’s safe to say we’re eternally cemented as fans of his dexterous work.
“When I appeared at Supersonic 2012 it was the largest event I had performed at and was very significant in raising awareness of my work and in my artistic development. I am grateful to Capsule for their support of me and my music and the benefits this has brought.” – Richard Dawson
Whether solo with guitar, alongside cosmic pop quartet Hen Ogledd or in wonky lockdown duo Bulbils, Dawson tells stories that pin a crowd like no other. Louder Than War penned this glowing review of Richard’s performance at Supersonic Festival 2015… “With a set so stunning that it reduces a packed room to silence Richard Dawson is like nothing else out there. One man and his occasional guitar, a disrupted, distorted amp, and an intense range of impassioned vocals he taps deep into the heart of British folk music.”
Richard Dawson & Circle perform live at Supersonic Festival 8-10 July 2022. Weekend Tickets are now on sale here.