Cate Le Bon

Cate Le Bon

H. Hawkline

Mon, November 7, 2011

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Rock Shop

Brooklyn, NY


This event is 21 and over

Cate Le Bon
Cate Le Bon
A new force in song craft, Cate Le Bon currently resides in Cardiff’s infamous French
quarter and befitting a songwriter who only writes in the dark, her music is a heady
and highly personal Gallic stew of equal parts Nico, Malkmus and the chronicler’s own
emotional observations on the impossibility of existence.

Disheartened by the constant stream of dead animals she found herself burying in her
parents farm in Penboyr, West Wales, and inspired by her fathers impeccable record
collection (The Velvets, Neil Young, Pavement et all) Cate packed her things and
begrudgingly set sail for the neon lights and ample rehearsal space available in her
country’s capital.

Following a string of club night shows in the city, Cate caught the attention of SFA front
man Gruff Rhys who over a cigar and a glass of brandy offered her some support slots
with his band. Cate continued to gig extensively in the UK releasing singles and a Welsh
language E.P (‘Edrych Yn Llygaid Ceffyl Benthyg’) on the Indie Record label Peski.

Knowing that there’s never too much of a good thing, Rhys roped Cate into his hip hop
exchange program Neon Neon. What began as a guest vocal appearance on their debut
single ‘I Lust You’, resulted in a year of touring the world as part of their band.

During a month’s break from the road, with her confidence and
enthusiasm redoubled, Cate retired to Y Gerlan in the mountains of North Wales for a
prophetic 10 day recording session which resulted in the release of her debut full length
album ‘Me Oh My’ to rapturous critical acclaim. On the back the album’s US release in
April 2010, Cate completed a two month tour stretching from SXSW in Texas to Café
Hotel in Los Angeles, sending postcards from Boston, Buffalo, San Francisco and New
York along the way.

Like a dutiful daughter Cate returned for the British festival season, seeing out the
summer at Glastonbury, The Great Escape and Field Day to name a few, and snatching
free time between performances to write new material in her North Walian bolthole.

At the dawn of 2011, Cate re-entered the studio to start work on a new record of her
own. Drawing on her experiences of the last year, Cate has created collection of pop
nuggets that sound like they’ve fallen off the back of a broken carousel, imbued with
the playfulness of Faust and Syd Barrett and the tropical melodies of Os Mutantes.
Existential word play abounds and fuzz fused guitar lines tear through like an angry bee
in a CAN on ‘CYRK’, which is due
for release early 2012.

Currently on a sold out US tour with demented guitarist and eccentric pop chanteuse, St
Vincent, Cate will mark the end of her tour with a special gig in NYC’s Rock shop on the
7th of November. ‘Puts me to work’ the first single from her sophomore record is available
to download now.
H. Hawkline
H. Hawkline
H Hawkline is the brainchild of Huw Evans, formerly more familiar here in Wales as a music TV and radio presenter, a musician who came to our attention with soft folklike acoustic plucking, and a big tour with Gruff Rhys last Christmas.

His début outing, A Cup of Salt on Shape Records, is sold out now, but H Hawkline is back, with band, with a fuller sound, with a psychedelic array of songs.

H Hawkline

Live, H Hawkline have become a very different beast from when Huw first set off on his own and its like the Martin Carthy figure has morphed into 'when Bob whent electric' era Bob Dylan: all scrawling feedback, raucous noise, and childish swagger in the dynamics between him and band members (including the ever present and prolific Sweet Baboo).

I kind of miss the delicate H Hawkline sets of old but the vigour of the new outfit has certainly gained them a few fans this year at events like the Green Man festival and so forth. The album too is gathering a few nods and shakes, with Kliph Scurlock of Flaming Lips even tweeting this week about having the album on repeat.

The Strange Uses of Ox Gall is certainly not what it seems, for the fanciful title and almost mediaeval leanings of the new folk elements in his music, there's also everything else thrown in too: childlike ditties, samples, melodies, charming harmonies and a brain chock full of musical ideas. For what it's worth, here's my track by track review.

The album opens with a sinister sound of a creaky swing, and the nostalgic title Cofio (Remember) and falls into the simple, short, charming and childlike Ballast singing about noses, eyes and ears.

Funny Bones, with additional vocals by Cate Le Bon, is a slow-burner, again the childlike themes come into play, and the sweet innocence of the words, of playing jigsaws, is just magical - the plinky plonky keys adding to this meandering atmosphere.

Mind How You Go is another lullaby with harmonica weaving its way through the song, and the soft lilting Welsh accent sounding staccato, pronounced and slightly strange. Mediaeval in the same way Circulus was!

Big Red is a sampling wonder - I have no idea what's happening, again the childlike rhymes are present - confusing but mercifully short.

In Surf Pound it is indeed the pounding guitar perfectly blended with waves of Huw's voice which sounds rich and beautifully leads the track by its nose!

Giât, another skit, sounds like Huw is entertaining some youngsters.

My Dreams has a free and easy hippy feel, as I listen I'm imagining the raucous singalong at a gig, or campfire at a fesitval near you. It could be one of those expanding set closers that goes in many weird and wonderful directions. Devendra Banhart would love to add this track to his canon!

Sea Of Sand's thick reverb drenched vocals dance around the song, with a subtle guitar playing far off in the distance. Holiday vibe!

Two Ghosts At Sea is a quirky and perky instrumentation backing a melody drenched in sorrow - the contrast is lovely, and it's pure jauntiness.

You Say You Love Me. If I was a record company, this would be the first single. The song has a natural rhythm and structure, and a fuller sound than some of the more experimental tracks - it's lovely. My favourite
Venue Information:
The Rock Shop
249 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11215