Fortuna POP! presents
Withered Hand + Darren Hayman & The Long Parliament + The Understudies
Tuesday 14th October, Doors 7:30pm
Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9NL
(Nearest tube/train: King’s Cross St Pancras)
Tel: 020 7833 2022
Advance: £12.50 from We Got Tickets / £14 Door
Active in the world of visual art and dabbling in music for many years, Dan Willson aka Withered Hand came late to singing and songwriting at age 30, in a period of reflection between the death of a close friend and the birth of his first child. The resultant material, much of which went on to become the album Good News, was praised for its depth and startling honesty and saw him embraced by Fife-based musical powerhouse the Fence Collective and his songs picked up by MTV and cult series Skins.
Withered Hand's critically acclaimed second album New Gods was released in March of this year and was nominated for "Best Difficult Second Album" at last week's AIM Awards and made No. 1 in the Official Chart Independent Album Breakers chart, but more than that it was a triumph of songwriting talent and superb musicianship that touched the heart of everyone that heard it.
Five years on from his arrival on the scene with the brilliant but lo-fi “Good News” Dan Willson went for broke, enlisting legendary Scottish producer Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub), and a veritable who's who of Scottish music including King Creosote, Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines, and members of Belle & Sebastian and Frightened Rabbit. The result: eleven meditations on love, fidelity and transience that saw Willson’s songwriting hit dizzying heights: by turns confessional and melancholy, raucous and life-affirming; a beautifully executed collection of songs from one of Scotland’s most gifted songwriters.
For this show Dan will be joined by Pam Berry (of Black Tambourine) and his regular band, Malcolm Benzie of Edinburgh band Eagleowl (guitar & mandolin), Fraser Hughes (bass) and Alun Thomas (drums).
“Endlessly lovable stuff… zings with Teenage Fanclub-ish exuberance.” (NME)
DARREN HAYMAN & THE LONG PARLIAMENT
Formerly the singer-songwriter of the phenomenally successful and much-loved Hefner, Darren Hayman is now eight or nine albums into an increasingly idiosyncratic career path. Darren is also writing the best tunes of his career; increasingly complex and mature songs. Following his instrumental album devoted to London's lidos and the third release in his Essex Trilogy, The Violence, a double album of strangely beautiful, haunting songs about the Essex Witch Trials of the 17th Century, Darren’s next project sees him set William Morris’ Chants For Socialists to music. Having recently played a year long monthly residency at jazz venue The Vortex, this is the first chance in a while to see Hayman back on a big stage with his full backing band, The Long Parliament.
“London's laureate of sexual dysfunction, discomfort, and dog-eared under-achievement... the match of Ray Davies, or any of the quintessentially English masters.” (The Guardian)
The Understudies reputation as an enthralling electric live band continues to grow with every shake of singer Brian's quiff. Fragile and robust in equal measures in the grand tradition of British guitar bands like The Smiths they stand out as unique in London’s indiepop music scene. Their debut album 'Let Desire Guide Your Hand' was released earlier this year on Berlin-based Firestation Records
“They make the kind of dreamy indiepop that Felt peddled in their prime, tinged with a caustic wit last seen dribbling from Luke Haines' mouth." Last.fm