Into Live Music Review: Hamish Hawk
Date: 31 December 2023
Hogmanay at the Halls with Hamish Hawk just drips of alliteration and rightly so. Whether that was a happy accident by Stirling Events or deliberate, I don’t know but it seemed the ideal way to see out 2023, Hawk’s eye for literary lyrics is evident in much of his output to date (and not forgetting numbers either). Check out Into Scottish Creative’s interview with Hamish from January 2023 here).
Funnily enough, our first gig review of 2023 was Rockaway Beach where Hawk played (see our review here) and our last of the year book-ends what has been a busy year for music and live shows.
The gig on Hogmanay was really well put together by Stirling Events. Expertly hosted by music journalist and presenter Nicola Meighan who kept the crowd entertained in-between acts with a dance-tastic playlist covering everything from Whitney Houston to David Bowie. The show was on from 12 noon to 4pm so there was a good mix of families with young kids experiencing their first live show (the face painters helped) to your more general gig goers.
Support act The Laurettes have come a long way from there first gig in a pub in Gourock a few years back to now appearing regularly on the festival circuit as well as on TV. The 2-piece mix of contemporary folk with a slice of Scottish indie went down well, particularly on latest single Witches and Homebird. Assured live, they are definitely a band to seek out in 2024.
In short, it’s been quite the momentous year for Hamish Hawk, starting with the aforementioned Rockaway Beach festival, the release of the Angel Numbers album, supporting The Proclaimers at Leith Links and their own headline tours, this show capped it off perfectly.
The set pulled heavily on material from the new album but it was the fans favourite Calls To Tiree that set the scene, the band immediately off and running, this was no warm up. Between the songs, Hawk was relaxed, banter flowing and mentioning he’d had a retched day, advising he won’t have Cullen Skink before a gig again! Of course, there was a smile on his face as he said it so I don’t suppose it was so bad….
Back to those lyrics though, Think Of Us Kissing has Hawk lamenting “the future is a factory, and I foresee it hating me“…. to “California’s sociopaths are turning our gears” on Rest & Veneers. I could go on but where’s the fun in that? Go listen to Hawk and delve deep into the lyrics, at times they read like short novellas, a snatch of a story, rich, abundant tales in 3 or so minutes. You might have a different take from me, that’s where the fun is.
Of course, Hawk couldn’t do this without a solid band behind him, Drums, bass, guitar and keyboards accompany the idiosyncratic performer. Andrew Pearson on guitar with his shaggy, indie bowl cut looks born to be on stage while the drumming of Stefan Maurice is a joy to behold.
A double whammy to finish features the quintessential The Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champion, 1973 before a truly rocking Caterpillar which is achingly acerbic, chaotic, furious, glorious and equally erudite.
Hamish Hawk has one other date to currently look forward to, a sold out show at Glasgow Barrowland on February 10th. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket, you are in for an absolute treat, if not, try and get one.
Keep up to date with Hamish Hawk via his website here.