We are delighted to welcome back to Supersonic, Richard Dawson. The skewed troubadour, at once charming and abrasive. His music is a collision of opposites, his hoarsely cracking voice suddenly rising to a magical soar that’s been compared to Tim Buckley, John Martyn and Richard Youngs. His shambolically virtuosic guitar playing ranges from sublime intricacy to spidery swatches of noise-colour, swathed in amp static and veering from stumble to enveloping reverie in a way that can recall Sir Richard Bishop or Captain Beefheart. Add this to his snaring way with words and Dawson’s got you pinned.
A much-loved musical spectacle in his native Newcastle for many years now, Dawson sings and plays with a rare intensity and a very singular style.
His set at Supersonic 2017 will be a little different though – he has a new album out this year, one with a definite ‘band’ feel about it. So Richard will be playing with a band. The band includes long-time collaborators Angharad Davies and Rhodri Davies and also two members of Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – also appearing at Supersonic!
New album Peasant, out June 2nd, is ‘a multi-panelled altarpiece depicting dark ages life in the north east’ and is now available for pre-order HERE on vinyl, cd and limited edition deluxe package.
“Peasant is a brilliant and captivating record, one that creates its own wholly imagined world with both music and words. Dawson writes melodies, just as he did before on Nothing Important, The Glass Trunk and The Magic Bridge. They aren’t melodies that he thrusts in your face, along with handfuls of sugar; they leap out of the murk of instrumentation, like some musical equivalent of watching a moor on a cloudy day, as lakes of golden sunlight appear and vanish on the hillside as the clouds open up and close over. But nor is this confrontational music, designed to ward off the unworthy. It’s music that rewards attention, to its detailing, to its textures, but it’s also beautiful and stirring and moving. It’s just, well, not pop music.”
In a recent INTERVIEW WITH THE QUIETUS Dawson describes the approach to the new album as wanting to create a ‘creaking wooden animal so you could hear all the sinews and all the stretching of the instruments.’ It is an album of intrepid exploration both sonically and historically. Dawson’s avid research into the time period laden the lyrical content with integrity whilst maintaining poetic and relevant remarks on contemporary society.
And here is our first glimpse…
Peasant takes inspiration from a painter of panoramas. “I was thinking of it like a tapestry or a painting that might go around a whole room, thinking about Pieter Breughel the Elder, particularly, who would cover the different stratas of a community from people out in the sticks who had nothing, to people more in a city or town with more possessions and more power. Rather than approach it as individual songs first, it was to see how the whole painting would fit together.”
We at Supersonic cannot wait to marvel at this vivid, enrapturing work of art Dawson and co. will paint before our very eyes this June!