Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghostshave announced a UK tour for June 2019 in support of the new album ‘This Is The Sound’.
‘This Is The Sound’ is released on 31st May 2019 on Wicked Cool, Pre Order the album Here the label run by Little Steven / Steven van Zandt, a long-time supporter and co-writer of current single ‘Mamacita’ –
A debut album that took fifty-one years to make? No, it’s not Axl Rose and his follow up to the last Guns n Roses album. Coming out of New Jersey in the mid 60’s and having a hit with the album opener ‘Open Up Your Door’ it’s really taken over half a decade to finally release this album which has to be some long game they were playing and the McWherter brothers would be all over this for their Guinness book.
I guess the question most of us are thinking is is it dated? Well considering in many places its considered cool and hip to be “Retro” but fifty-one years is mental!
Judging by the songs I find it a bit mad to be fair because the opener is quality and then one after another the songs hit you and whilst they use organs and handclaps aplenty and the melodies are often quite “Hip” they also sound quite fresh to be fair.’Action Woman’ is great and full of vibrancy ‘Hurt By Love’ does have a keyboard break that would make Ray Manzarek blush.
to be fair they are rockin’ out on the likes of ‘Dig We Must’ the Chesterfield Kings and Fuzztones have done extremely well plying their trade from the same pool as this. ‘Once Upon A Smile’ sounds fantastic and the playing is exceptional and gives me goosebumps. for the final two tracks, we have original versions of ‘Nasty’ which to be fair does sound dated and the album closer is ‘You Can Make It’ complete with church bells chiming out is pure 60’s gold dust. with great sleeve notes from Lenny Kaye this album is a triumph and its easy to see how Steve Van Zandt is such a superfan its a brilliant story but would be pure Hollywood if it wasn’t for some great music which has prevailed through all these years so all I can do is tell you that if you like a bit of Garage rock n roll then you simply have to check this out it’ll make you smile and warm the cockles of your heart. Just hear the Lions roar its a beautiful thing.
When a term gets hijacked and used for bad things or at least if I were to say retro many would already have turned off but if I were to say T Rex, 60’s pop and walking on the darker side of the road inspired Noo Yawk Rock and Rollers from the shady recesses of the lower east side who tap into some of musics historic veins and draw inspiration then it means the same thing right? To me it does but not to others it would seem but when I drop a track from the new Beechwood record I hear ghosts from some of my favorites drifting through the laid back chilled out airwaves. T Rex, for example, is all over ‘Bigot In My Bedroom’ and as good as Marc was he wasn’t Noo Yawk cool though was he as he strutted around Barnes and Roehampton.
‘Over On Everyone’ has a fantastic melody that could have been written by a pop-savvy Boys rather than their boys in the bar style and had hung out in the lofts with Andy and co. Beechwood ooze style and a laid-back class on this record (their second in less than a year) Clearly these cats can rock out and I wouldn’t mind betting Keith and Mick features heavily in their collection but so would The Beach Boys and the Everleys as some of the melodies are forged in the past. Take ‘Nero’ and its biting guitar riff that shows a doff of the cap to Ron Asheton and his Stooges for sure and me not being a fan of the instrumental I love this and its groove.
There is a darkness that hits upon the likes of the Jesus And Mary Chain on ‘I Found You Out’ from the roaring chords to the hushed tones on the lead vocals to the clean picked guitar lick its certainly got style and substance and then as it crashes to its conclusion its followed up with the 60’s pop of ‘Up And Down’ and before we’re done here the beautiful ‘I Don’t Blame You Anymore’ is a killer tucked away nicely at the death and it kinda falls into the country-tinged drink up its time to go home of ‘Our Love Was Worth The Heartbreak’ that sounds like the Dolls jammin with Keith n mick and shooting the breeze with Bukowski whilst he’s observing these barflies.
Another day another great band falls out of the club and onto my ever-expanding list of bands to keep an eye on, on the basis of them making great records that look good and sound better. Get yourselves some Beechwood I’m serious you be glad you did. Remember kids you snooze you looze!
BEECHWOOD upcoming European tour dates :
November 13 @ Merleyn — Nijmegen, NL
November 14 @ Paard — Den Haag, NL
November 15 @ Patronaat — Haarlem, NL
November 16 @ Q Factory — Amsterdam, NL
November 17 @ Espace B — Paris, FR
November 18 @ Kesaco — Puymirol, FR
November 19 @ Stereolux — Nantes, FR
November 21 @ Blah Blah — Torino, IT
November 22 @ Arci Taun — Findenza, IT
November 23 @ Cox 18 — Milano, IT
November 24 @ Super Bock Under fest — Lausanne, CH
November 27 @ Les Pavillons Sauvages — Toulouse, FR
November 28 @ Amperage — Grenoble, FR
November 29 @ Le 106 — Rouen, FR
November 30 @ La Bulle Cafe — Lille, FR
December 1 @ La Grange à Musique — Creil, FR
December 2 @ Le Galion — Lorient, FR