Richard Dawson (raucous experimental UK folk racket w/ intense picaresque realness vox)

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I...I...I'm...

'Nothing Important', both the song and the album.

This is some of the best music I've heard in ages, I think. Four songs and with them - with TWO of them - he's become one of my favourite British artists. A certain chap agrees:

Marcello Carlin @marcellocarlin · Oct 16
By the way, “Nothing Important” by @richarddawson12 is the most striking and stunning piece of music I've heard this year. Album out Nov 3.

https://soundcloud.com/weirdworldrecordco/richard-dawson-nothing-important/s-OiEAn

^the title-track - there's another one called The Vile Stuff that's pretty much just as good - there's an 11-minute video version on Youtube and the full 16-minute version elsewhere.

Apparently an incredible live perfomer as well:

No, but seriously: my friend played me 'Poor Old Horse' when I went home for christmas last year, but he did the thing he always does and made the preamble so amazing that nothing can ever live up to it. So I spent the year thinking Dawson was good but not as amazing as he was made out to be... until I saw him live. When I was super pissed off with my tent probably having been blown away by horrible winds and worried about everything... and Dawson really *was* as good as the preamble. Pulling up this intense voice, hitting himself to make it come out, screaming and yelping... he is genuinely so so good.

― emil.y, Monday, November 17, 2014 1:03 AM (19 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Fully expect ILM to get behind this guy

imago, Monday, 17 November 2014 20:33 (four years ago) link

ah you started this while I was in rolling time travel, also everyone likes a guy who posts his posts to multiple threads

Richard Dawson is p much one of my favourite working musical entities in the world and has been for the last 18-24 months maybe. he is also a v nice person ime. really glad he is getting more and more opportunities to do his thing in front of more people.

if you happen to see a review of his new album as published by a weekly UK music paper of note, please don't bother reading it as it's been edited to make its writer sound lukewarm on the album, and intimidated by its scary weirdness. FUCK EDITORS

― proper maoist (DJ Mencap), Monday, November 17, 2014 8:36 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

proper maoist (DJ Mencap), Monday, 17 November 2014 20:39 (four years ago) link

Really hope this takes off completely. Not sure how. If tedious worthy dreck like Young Fathers is winning the Mercury, what chance does Dawson have, eh?

Anyway, this isn't about him taking off, this is about how his music is fucking astonishing & his personality one of the most performatively engaging I've heard on record

imago, Monday, 17 November 2014 20:48 (four years ago) link

Not seen him live, but the record is extraordinary. In all sorts of ways: people who like it will really, really, really like it; those who don't will simply be unable to make any sense of it, and I'm not yet sure which camp I fall into. It sounds like a stream of consciousness, both musically and lyrically. In many ways its a truer and more difficult form of alternative/outsider music than any noise or deliberately anti-melody record, because there are tunes and melodies here, they just seem all wrong - the notes, the chords, the progressions all seem wrong. Like a folk Beefheart.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Monday, 17 November 2014 20:56 (four years ago) link

I've definitely mentioned him on here a few times as well. Seen him probably about half a dozen times in the last 3 or 4 years, I think the first time was just as The Magic Bridge came out and he's never been less than brilliant. From the visceral impact of Poor Old Horse the first time I saw him, to the pouring out of his heart in Wooden Bag, to co-opting folk standards like The Brisk Lad, to the sinister tragedy espoused in Ghost Of A Tree - which could also live on the creepy british tv thread in tone - I've always been rapt.

I wrote about Nothing Important on FB but can't find my post. I'll repeat what I said there though - The Vile Stuff is the distillation of his career to date and if he never does anything again that song will be enough.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Monday, 17 November 2014 21:29 (four years ago) link

let's post it here, in fact

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQVlNt6DAxY

imago, Monday, 17 November 2014 21:32 (four years ago) link

2:40 into "Nothing Important" and this is very easily going into the "I don't get it" file

the farakhan of gg (DJP), Monday, 17 November 2014 21:38 (four years ago) link

"The Vile Stuff" is completely obsessing me right now. Probably my favourite track of the year. (Evidently based in truth, as his teacher left a comment on his FB:

"Ha ha. I remember that trip to featherstone castle one of the highlights of my teaching career"

Also heard very good things about him as a live performer, from a trusted source. Hell, even his collages are good: http://www.richarddawson.net/collages.html

mike t-diva, Monday, 17 November 2014 23:51 (four years ago) link

I'm interested

i did it all for the 'nuki (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 01:20 (four years ago) link

i've liked some of this guy;s stuff but i'm getting an icky jam-band feeling from that last youtube

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 02:51 (four years ago) link

how many minutes did you listen for

after 2 or 3 minutes the vocals come in and it's completely gripping, imo

imago, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 03:00 (four years ago) link

i listened to the whole thing!

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:13 (four years ago) link

I think this would probably appeal to folks who dig the Incredible String Band. I'm more on the Holy Modal Rounders' team, myself.

rushomancy, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:32 (four years ago) link

I can see tracks like Judas Iscariot and all the instrumental pieces on The Glass Trunk appealing to Derek Bailey fans. John Fahey fans might get a lot out of this too.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:37 (four years ago) link

Judas Iscariot is like a more deliberate Bill Orcutt

john wahey (NickB), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:49 (four years ago) link

Yeah, I can see that.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:58 (four years ago) link

Dammmm, just listened to Nothing Important on Spotify: "Judas Iscariot" an instrumental,justifies the Fahey and Derek Bailey comparisons right away, unselfconsciously; title track's vocals vulnerable, idealistic, tenacious, suggesting Robert Wyatt and Roy Harper; "The Vile Stuff" is a mighty tag-magnet for all of the above and RIYL ISB, the groove of solo Wino, Dredd Foole, and maybe Jandek (though I'm not a J-man fan). This track is or surely should be the one to get him on campus etc. radio. "Doubting Thomas" instrumental perfectly folds into its four minutes plus. The words haven't all registered yet, but I like the ones that have. Thanks ILM!

dow, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:17 (four years ago) link

Seems that this all comes from his own youngblood experiences (incl. listening to his records and himself), more than wearing influences on his sleeve. Though still working on his own unmistakable sound, own voice, as writers say.

dow, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:21 (four years ago) link

It sounds like a stream of consciousness, both musically and lyrically. In many ways its a truer and more difficult form of alternative/outsider music than any noise or deliberately anti-melody record, because there are tunes and melodies here, they just seem all wrong - the notes, the chords, the progressions all seem wrong. Like a folk Beefheart.

Description sounds like Kevin Coyne, in KC's more out there moments. But he doesn't sound like Kevin Coyne, more like Roy Harper gone weird.

Euripides' Trousers (Tom D.), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:37 (four years ago) link

Yeah, Coyne and Beefheart are in the same associative family tree, but actual sound closer to young Harper.

dow, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:50 (four years ago) link

Seriously one of the year's best records

Whiney G. Weingarten, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:52 (four years ago) link

i liked the first track on glass trunk with the letter so much but have cooled on him since then

ogmor, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 19:39 (four years ago) link

Oh yeah this is pretty cool. Like the guitar playing a lot.

grandavis, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:21 (four years ago) link

listening judas iscariot right now

good, but as a couple others pointed out VERY bill orcutt almost to the point of distraction for me sometimes

i did it all for the 'nuki (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:39 (four years ago) link

I'm liking "Nothing Important" quite a bit.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:42 (four years ago) link

huh ok now the next song is L@@K RARE OOP PRIVATE PRESS UK PROGRESSIVE WITCH FOLK VG++ ONLY 200 COPIES WERE PRESSED

this song is awesome

i did it all for the 'nuki (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:43 (four years ago) link

also the first song was good, i shouldn't be backhanded, it was more "put together" than orcutt usually is and it's not like recalling bill orcutt is an easy task either way

i did it all for the 'nuki (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:44 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Richard Dawson 'The Vile Stuff' (Karen Gwyer Remix)

Listen to Karen Gwyer's hypnotic version of the song https://soundcloud.com/weirdworldrecordco/richard-dawson-the-vile-stuff-karen-gwyer-remix

"Nothing Important is driven by an ongoing conflict between entropic impulsiveness and an almost classical sense of beauty and order...Dawson's most ambitious and affecting composition to date." 7.8 - Pitchfork

"The 33-year-old Newcastle avant-troubadour has made one of the most unique singer-songwriter records in recent memory with the abrasive, vivid Nothing Important.” - Rolling Stone

The sinister lament that is ‘The Vile Stuff’ shows Dawson as a master of the minutiae of British storytelling as he charts the downfall of a group of students on a school trip, “downing Asda’s own-brand stubbies in the lad’s bogs” before succumbing to all sorts of transgression and calamity – fracturing skulls and cheekbones, stabbing screwdrivers through their hands and hopping into bed with their teachers. It’s a song as surreal as it is strangely relatable in its pitch-black humour and effortless conjuring of grizzly adolescent fantasy.

In her remix, Gwyer takes the song's ominous instrumental loop and tones it up into a muscular, sinister alien-club track reminiscent of her releases for No Pain In Pop.

Read a recent interview with Richard Dawson via BOMB Magazine (conversation w Cian Nugent):http://bombmagazine.org/article/2000044/richard-dawson/

dow, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 23:46 (four years ago) link

That's from dominorecordco.com, so's this

http://i2.cmail1.com/ei/d/36/889/699/csimport/RichardDawson-CROPPEDFORPR.151153.jpeg

dow, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 23:49 (four years ago) link

oh my fucking god this remix

imago, Friday, 5 December 2014 00:36 (four years ago) link

just found myself listening to this dude earlier today cuz he is supporting the ex next week. definitely pro him

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 5 December 2014 00:37 (four years ago) link

listened to him for the first time yesterday, siked to have a new person to listen to whose work I think is amazing

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 5 December 2014 20:07 (four years ago) link

to me, this has some similarities to akron/family back in the day when they were really on top of what I believed to be an extremely compelling sound

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 5 December 2014 20:09 (four years ago) link

listening to the back half of nothing important and oh man this guy

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 5 December 2014 21:50 (four years ago) link

maybe I need to go to both days of the the ex thing

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 5 December 2014 21:50 (four years ago) link

aah, i used to kind of know this guy from when he worked at alt vinyl in newcastle years ago, pleased to see him making a name for himself (or is it just on ilm . i saw him play loads of times about 5 or 6 years ago and he was always great but never got round to hearing any of his albums somehow (will rectify this). i remember being being quite taken aback when i first heard him singing, him being such a mild mannered, softly spoken chap.

Benny B, Friday, 5 December 2014 23:31 (four years ago) link

i`ll admit my memories of that time in the north east are getting pretty hazy, but i remember wondering at the time htf maximo park and the futureheads blew up when field music and richard dawson were sooo much better

Benny B, Friday, 5 December 2014 23:37 (four years ago) link

gosh how did a band whose calling card was a novelty 80s cover make a deeper impression on the public than this guy with his sixteen minute song about school kids getting drunk on 4x and stabbing themselves with screwdrivers

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Saturday, 6 December 2014 09:16 (four years ago) link

ha! well it was back when i actually gave a fuck about such things.

Benny B, Saturday, 6 December 2014 10:31 (four years ago) link

five or six years ago RD's music was much more quote-unquote accessible straight-bat folk-rock kinda stuff; afaik no-one took much notice until he started to get ~weird~

proper maoist (DJ Mencap), Saturday, 6 December 2014 11:21 (four years ago) link

So what a couple of bits I've heard reminds me of (so far) is some Harsh 70s..-era Dead C 'heavy' strumming. After five mins I can't be arsed.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 6 December 2014 16:26 (four years ago) link

I dreamt about Richard Dawson last night.

In the dream the mainstream had decided to try and co-opt him and so he had been invited on TV wanker-fest Sunday Brunch with Tim Lovejoy and The Other One. It was a special summer edition which was outside and the invited "too old for Hoxton but we're going to pretend anyway" middle class twunt target market were having a picnic. To try and make him more palatable they had given him a completely inappropriate backing band and they started a version of The Brisk Lad that sounded a bit like Take That. Richard tried to destabilise things by picking up a saxophone (which he clearly couldn't play) and tunelessly honking over them after the first verse. The producers responded by turning up the backing to try and restore order. Richard then walked off the stage in amongst the picnickers and started ad-lining verses, but when he said he would split the stolen sheep "from maw to cunt" it got a bit much for the producers and it went to a black screen.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Sunday, 7 December 2014 11:32 (four years ago) link

:D

someone not on phone pls repost to striking imagery thread asap

imago, Sunday, 7 December 2014 12:30 (four years ago) link

That should have been "ad-libbing" near the end, but autocorrect obvs.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Sunday, 7 December 2014 12:37 (four years ago) link

AAAAAAHHHH

imago, Saturday, 13 December 2014 02:44 (four years ago) link

Just interviewed him. Lovely man.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Monday, 15 December 2014 13:14 (four years ago) link

Spoke to him after the gig and can corroborate this

imago, Monday, 15 December 2014 13:34 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

this is great! how did i not hear it till now?

this is just a saginaw (dog latin), Wednesday, 7 January 2015 10:41 (four years ago) link

This should be right up my alley but I've never managed to get past the first couple tracks.

Dinsdale, Wednesday, 7 January 2015 11:44 (four years ago) link

there are only 4 tracks

London's Left-Wing Utopian Non-League Ultras Are Reclaiming Football (imago), Wednesday, 7 January 2015 13:50 (four years ago) link

Bass reminds me of The Cure in parts. Unexpected, this. I like

Duke, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 19:59 (eleven months ago) link

If you're going to make lazy comparisons to other Welsh pop acts, make them to people who are actually excited to hear this album

‘I live on a mountain, the only tall sculpture on this planet. The view is appalling..’ YES @HOgledd https://t.co/yLCzA3rJi4

— G W E N N O (@gwennosaunders) September 11, 2018

imago, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 20:57 (eleven months ago) link

actually, speaking of Welsh postpunk, the song it reminded me of most was this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KquxHMQD1Z0

imago, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:28 (eleven months ago) link

GWENNO KIND OF QUOTED WHAT I QUOTED FIRST I AM MORE IN LOVE THAN I ALREADY WAS <333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:45 (eleven months ago) link

Gwenno reads ILm, I am sure of it now. And that is alright.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:45 (eleven months ago) link

Finally got around to Nothing Important. I think I like his sinister minimalist moods more than his whimsy, but then again 'Hob' was the highlight of Peasant for me.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 06:59 (eleven months ago) link

two months pass...

hen ogledd album good-not-mindblowing, worth a listen though

imago, Friday, 16 November 2018 14:52 (nine months ago) link

five months pass...

am now decided that weaver is the best track on peasant, so much range but moves through all these different moments with eerie smoothness, carried along by that slightly nervous, unsettled energy

ogmor, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:37 (three months ago) link

I'm partial to 'Hob', for predictably temperamental reasons. I also happen to prefer the relative nihilism of Nothing Important, also for predictably temperamental reasons.

pomenitul, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:44 (three months ago) link

I too prefer the best album of the decade to the third or fourth best album of the decade

Weaver was always one of the best tracks, as was Hob, as were all the others. I can barely talk about it

imago, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:03 (three months ago) link

springtime is dawson time

ogmor, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:07 (three months ago) link

i still have vivid memories of my first listen to Ogre, walking through a Surrey village en route to a lesson, on an extremely idyllic spring afternoon

imago, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:08 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

New track "Jogging", from forthcoming album 2020 (due October):
https://youtu.be/UGiQ_-Ktpvc

mike t-diva, Thursday, 1 August 2019 14:17 (two weeks ago) link

!!

he's gone...rock!

imago, Thursday, 1 August 2019 14:26 (two weeks ago) link

Droll lyrics, as usual, but I'm underwhelmed by the song proper. Nothing Important was the peak imho.

pomenitul, Thursday, 1 August 2019 14:28 (two weeks ago) link

It was the peak of albums by anybody this decade, so

I mean I still like this and am intrigued by the album

imago, Thursday, 1 August 2019 14:33 (two weeks ago) link

did he get muse to do the arrangement? not really feeling this

ufo, Thursday, 1 August 2019 14:34 (two weeks ago) link

muse?!

yeah this is great

imago, Thursday, 1 August 2019 15:08 (two weeks ago) link

I must say, I prefer him when he's stripped down and dirty. Peasant felt too dense and painterly for me to be able to get into.

frame casual (dog latin), Thursday, 1 August 2019 15:24 (two weeks ago) link

This is okay though.

frame casual (dog latin), Thursday, 1 August 2019 15:43 (two weeks ago) link

actually this is really good with the video

frame casual (dog latin), Thursday, 1 August 2019 15:51 (two weeks ago) link

about the third listen before I was fully this song's humble servant

imago, Thursday, 1 August 2019 15:57 (two weeks ago) link

have to admit the bathos of the last verse/chorus got me a bit choked up. I like this song. always helps to have the words to read along with I feel

frame casual (dog latin), Thursday, 1 August 2019 16:10 (two weeks ago) link

love it

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Thursday, 1 August 2019 16:13 (two weeks ago) link

You are all mad. Peasant was his peak. This next album might better it.

Duke, Thursday, 1 August 2019 16:35 (two weeks ago) link

It will be something, that's for sure.

There's a limited-edition David Squires comic with the LP! Might have to get that...

imago, Thursday, 1 August 2019 19:23 (two weeks ago) link

I like the way it's somehow both specific and universal, and I also like the contrast between the surging rock chorus arrangement and the almost humdrumness of the words being sung over them. Plus, I'm just coming to the end of reading Jonathan Coe's Middle England, and - the direct lyrical parallel aside - the themes of both dovetail well. It articulates something which feels more contemporary and less past-referencing than other stuff I've heard of his, and Rock suits him better here than on the Hen Ogledd project, which didn't really do it for me.

mike t-diva, Thursday, 1 August 2019 20:49 (two weeks ago) link

agreed and nicely put

imago, Thursday, 1 August 2019 21:14 (two weeks ago) link

WOW

tangenttangent, Thursday, 1 August 2019 22:08 (two weeks ago) link

i think the song itself is fine but the rock arrangement is just so plodding and doesn't really work with his voice

ufo, Thursday, 1 August 2019 22:51 (two weeks ago) link

okay this on at least the best song I've heard oooh.. in the last day of not week. Nice one Dawso

frame casual (dog latin), Friday, 2 August 2019 00:30 (two weeks ago) link

is. I'm drunk

frame casual (dog latin), Friday, 2 August 2019 00:30 (two weeks ago) link

if. fml

frame casual (dog latin), Friday, 2 August 2019 00:30 (two weeks ago) link

dl otm :)

Great song, and re: mike t-diva, it's the specific that makes it universal. Loving this.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 2 August 2019 07:42 (two weeks ago) link

I tried to listen to Peasant again and couldn't get into it. Maybe I need to read some of the lyrics, but it feels more like the work of a full and different band: a lot more traditional and folky? I'm starting to think Jogging is my favourite thing by him that I've heard

frame casual (dog latin), Friday, 2 August 2019 09:08 (two weeks ago) link

anyone else getting Super Furry Animals vibes off this too?

frame casual (dog latin), Friday, 2 August 2019 09:09 (two weeks ago) link

yeah the vocoders made me think of them, that's all though

imago, Friday, 2 August 2019 09:32 (two weeks ago) link

I always got a SFA vibe off him, so I can imagine this does.

Yep, good sentence that, sticking to it.

Mark G, Friday, 2 August 2019 09:34 (two weeks ago) link

Even the clean vox have a tinge of Gruff Rhys straining to them.

pomenitul, Friday, 2 August 2019 09:34 (two weeks ago) link

Then again, it's a NE accent, which (when some people try to imitate it) can end up sounding Welsh-ish.

Mark G, Friday, 2 August 2019 09:38 (two weeks ago) link

I don't think this song is up there with the best of Peasant. (After only a few listens). I tend to agree with ufo above that the heavyish arrangement is a little plodding. But I'm really looking forward to the album. He's one of my favourite people.

Duke, Friday, 2 August 2019 15:48 (two weeks ago) link

I've come to realise that 'anyway, will you sponsor me for my stupid run? its gonna do fuck all' is the ultimate message from this song.

the yellow hoodie
the England flag
the kids in their karate outfits

the whole. fucking. thing.

frame casual (dog latin), Sunday, 4 August 2019 04:06 (one week ago) link

I like this and it makes sense as a lead off single but I'm eager to hear more skronky folk jams like Weaver and Shapeshifter off the last album.

hot dog go to bathroom (cajunsunday), Sunday, 4 August 2019 08:11 (one week ago) link

I like this and it makes sense as a lead off single but I'm eager to hear more skronky folk jams like Weaver and Shapeshifter off the last album.

― hot dog go to bathroom (cajunsunday), Sunday, 4 August 2019 10:11 

Exactly my thoughts.

Duke, Sunday, 4 August 2019 12:28 (one week ago) link

'there's no such thing as a quick fix'

frame casual (dog latin), Sunday, 4 August 2019 12:35 (one week ago) link

I'd never heard of this guy until I saw the Jogging video earlier. Loved it. Watched it three times. Teared up.

del griffith, Monday, 5 August 2019 03:06 (one week ago) link

:)

you are in for a treat

imago, Monday, 5 August 2019 08:07 (one week ago) link

Agreed!!

Duke, Monday, 5 August 2019 19:35 (one week ago) link

I didn't think I liked the arrangement much but the lyrics have stuck with me since it was posted. Coming back for a second listen it's all sounding pretty great now.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 04:53 (one week ago) link

I know I'm like Top Fan of this song, but I think the music really suits it. The opening heavy metal salvo is kind of a mocking tribute to Eye of the Tiger which gives away to that slightly clompy palm-muted rhythm. Makes me think of every time I've thought about jogging outside: that initial burst of inspiration quickly turning into mild disappointment at my own physical inabilities. And yeah, the robot voice bit provides some nice, light, maniacal relief.

frame casual (dog latin), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 08:32 (one week ago) link


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