Frank Fairfield + Dan Haywood's New Hawks
TUESDAY 7th June 2011
Door Times : 8pm
Tickets : £6 advance / £8 on the door
"A young Californian who sings and plays as someone who’s crawled out of the Virginia mountains carrying familiar songs that in his hands sound forgotten: broken lines, a dissonant drone, the fiddle or the banjo all percussion, every rising moment louder than the one before it.” - Greil Marcus
“one of America's best conduits of antiquity” - Pitchfork
After a a debut tour last September that left anyone who encountered him spellbound, Frank Fairfield returns this summer with a new album on Tompkins Square. Introduced to the UK as a touring partner to Charlie Parr, and playing anywhere from large festival stages to intimate gatherings across Europe, this is a man who lives and breathes it, rarely separated from his guitar and fiddle, and in possession of a seemingly limitless repertoire of songs. When he's not playing, he's digging for rare 78s in thrift stores and junk shops.
Frank sings soaring hillbilly stompers, arcane rambling songs and murder ballads, delivered in a reedy tenor backed by his dextrous and ragged fiddle, guitar and banjo arrangements. Still in his early twenties but steeped in the pre-War Americana of Mississippi John Hurt and Dock Boggs, he cut his teeth as a street performer in LA and has the raw intensity, passion and technique to make your hairs stand on end.
Fleet Foxes handpicked him to open for them on their 2008 US tour and he has found fans elsewhere in Ry Cooder, CW Stoneking and Grammy winning producer Chris King (Charley Patton, People Take Warning box set). His eponymous debut album came out last year on Tompkins Square and picked up rave reviews across the board, and was followed by 'Unheard Ofs & Forgotten Abouts', a compilation of rare and unheralded gramaphone recordings from around the world, on his own Pawn imprint.
DAN HAYWOOD'S NEW HAWKS
Dan Haywood’s New Hawks are a collection of songs, and also a band, whose epic scope marries transatlantic cosmic roots music with a deeply poetic English folk soul.
A rambling, rolling band soon to be seen on tour with A Hawk and A Hacksaw, whose crazed stage presence, with band members swapping instruments and psychic powers amongst themselves and with the audience, has ensured them cult status. Now they hit the road to hawk their album, the first and last to be released under this name.
The British Isles finally have their own Lambchop - but only for a fleeting while, as a self-imposed time limit means this band are set to end just as they begin. Here’s where New Hawks the band comes in: a collective of kindred spirits from across Northern England carefully assembled over time by Haywood, who bring flesh to the album’s smart and ever-shifting arrangements with guitars, fiddles, cello, drums, hand percussion and more. Haywood himself is a compelling frontal figure, orating his adventures with a certain awkward relish and a weird glint in his eye, both the court jester and the king. Live nestings have occurred in village halls, churches and schools around Lancaster, as well as with the likes of The Unthanks, A Hawk & A Hacksaw, Alasdair Roberts and Directing Hand.
Conceived in painstaking fashion over five years by Lancaster-based singer/songwriter/ornithologist Haywood as a way of documenting his bird-and-people-watching travels around rural Scotland, the New Hawks as songs are captured on a sprawling, hugely ambitious 32-track album that is this project’s first and only release. A vast modern-day Joycean folk/rock cartography with Haywood as your charismatic navigator poet, and as many ruggedly beautiful crannies to explore (both musical and lyrical) as the highland wilderness it is inspired by.
Cafe OTO | 18-22 Ashwin St | Dalston | London | E8 3DL