Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

The much under-rated Alan Hawkshaw


Aidan

Recommended Posts



  • Replies 21
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Not to forget this favourite, which I play with my organ trio:

 

 

 

Very nostalgic for people of a certain age who watched Dave Allen in the 1970s. Hawkshaw himself is getting on a bit here, but a great sound, playing with a bunch of old studio musicians. In fact, is he still alive? Must check.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing him at the Hammond on YouTube only a couple of years back- which was somewhat surprising to me, as I only knew him as the sound of British TV themes of the '70s and '80s. I know this probably means nothing to you US guys but he composed some of the best-known TV themes of his time (some of which, like the theme for Channel 4 News, are still in current use).

 

For me, he will always have a place in my heart as the composer of the eerie themes of "Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World"- helped scare the crap out of me as asmall kid with string machines, synths, delay lines and a lot of imagination.

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

So he's a funky mofo by day and a weird proggy/trippy type by night. My kind of guy.

 

I am delighted to see that he has a website- don't remember seeing this up before, maybe it's new:

 

Clonk

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooh yeah, Alan Hawkshaw, now you're talking!

 

'Senior Thump' is one of my all-time favourite Hawkshaw/Mohawks cuts!

I haven't played it recently, but here's a live effort from a gig last year (excuse the bum notes):

 

[video:youtube]

 

Aidan, cleomenesII, what kind of setup are you using to get that crunchy, growling, but percussive sound? Do you know if Hawkshaw was actually playing a Hammond on those tracks, or was it possibly a Philicorda? Please feel free to post any audio/video clips of your bands playing too!

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a great piece, and nice playing James!

 

I don't use a Hammond or even a modern clone - I have a Viscount DB3 which I run through a Korg G4 and Barbetta 23c 15". It's not an authentic Hammond sound, but it's close enough for me (as a cheapskate) and it's a great sound for what I do - have a look in the Shameless Plugs. I suspect Alan Hawkshaw is using a Hammond and leslie for most of his organ stuff, although quite a few british organists in the 60s used a few weird alternatives from time to time. Check out Alan Haven, for example.

 

Incidentally, my brother Trevor Bastow collaborated with Alan H on a number of library records. He was a session musician and composer.

 

 

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rohan, thanks for fixing my link :)

 

James, great playing on Senior Thump (one of my faves too) but that must be in the running for darkest promotional video ever! Given the lack of light and the stripey tops, maybe you should rename your band The Burglars.

 

I find the easiest route to that "Hawkshaw Crunch" is to wind up the tube amp on my XK3, turn up the click a bit and add a bit on the top end of the EQ.

 

Phil, interesting info about your brother and yes, Alan is thankfully very much still with us and was kind enough to offer me a little bit of advice about a potential project via his Facebook page.

 

I've really been getting into 60s/70s library music a lot lately; along with Alan's stuff, music by the likes of Keith Mansfield, Syd Dale and Alan Moorhouse fantastic stuff.

 

Here's another great Hawkshaw number familiar to anyone who's watched the BBC's Bargain Hunt antiques programme!

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEZIjpMRDoA

 

 

Yamaha P515 | Yamaha CP4 | Yamaha MODX 8 | Casio PX S1000 | Nord Electro 5D | Moog Sub 37 | Korg Monologue | Native Instruments Maschine MK3 | Novation Circuit Tracks | Plug-ins Agogo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

cleomenesII, thanks for positive feedback! ;)

 

Interesting to read about your rig. The Korg G4 is quite a 'vintage' piece (mid-90s?) - how does it compare to the Viscount's built-in Leslie, or perhaps something more recently like a Nord or Vent? That Barbetta look pretty meaty! I'll have to check the 'Shameless Plugs' area for some of your clips.

 

The reason I mention the Philicorda is because some of the tracks on the album 'Organ Sounds in Super Stereo - Alan Hawkshaw Plays the Philicoda' have a tone reminiscent of 'Beat Me Till I'm Blue' and 'Senior Thump' - for example:

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGvUF1QLYUA

 

Thank you for the Trevor Bastow link too - that's a very cool connection with Hawkshaw and the library music scene of the 60s/70s.

 

Incidentally, my father owned this album back in the day - I mentioned it to him not so long ago..."I think I might still have that on vinyl up in the loft!", he replied. ;)

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aidan, thanks for the compliment too. Yeah, it's quite a dark video, unfortunately...but I guess it matches the somewhat moody nature of the tune. ;)

 

Ah, the XK3 has a built-in valve pre-amp, correct? That was one of the reasons for picking-up some inexpensive ART pre-amps - keep the Nord organ's sound reasonably clean, but overdrive it using the pre. As I say, I have't played that Hawkshaw tune recently, so may have to suggest another tune to my bandmates ('Beat Me Till I'm Blue' would be the logical addition), just to have the opportunity to give it a try. ;)

 

It's very cool that Hawkshaw is on facebook - I might have to get myself on there, just to say hello to Alan (and maybe try to settle that Philicorda query too)!

 

I totally agree with you about the 60s/70s KPM output. Some absolutely fantastic tunes out there - it's a goldmine for rare-groove geeks and two-bit musicians such as myself. ;) I believe Serge Gainsbourg recorded with some British musicians in the late 60s/early 70s), so would also recommend checking out his work from that era - 'Histoire de Melody Nelson' is a classic.

 

As for Bargain Hunt, it's been years since I watched it (probably the last time I was in the UK), but I'm glad to read that Alan's great recordings are still getting played.

 

Here's one more from the same stable - no organ, but cracking flute (and nice video):

 

[video:youtube]

 

Cheers,

James

x

 

 

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Viscount DB3 is a strange instrument - the waterfall keyboard is wonderful, and the basic Hammond tone is very good IMO, but all the extras are rubbish. The distortion is fuzzy and terrible, like a 1960s transistor fuzz box, the vibrato is cheesy, and the leslie is unuseable. However, the G4, old though it is, has a beautiful warm overdrive which makes the organ sound great. The G4 Leslie (I use slow nearly all the time) is very nice (the fast is not so convincing). I have never tried a Ventilator, but from what people say I am sure it is much better - if I tried one I would have to buy it, so I am keeping well away until they become cheaper!

 

Regarding the library music scene, my other brother Geoff also did a lot of that, and Youtube suggests that there is a thriving cult scene for 70s library funk etc. Some of them are even being sampled by rappers.....

 

http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/182923/Meyhem%20Lauren-Kelly%20Kapowski_Geoff%20Bastow-Communique/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

also you should check out Barbara Moore's library music

 

Apparently this tune was played on US forces radio during the Vietnam conflict.

 

[video:youtube]

 

This next one is just flat out amazing... great jazz chops and vocal harmonies..

 

[video:youtube]

 

She also released an LP for CBS in the mid 60s. Wicked piano, flute and vocal lines here.

 

[video:youtube]

 

Great interview here.

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just discovered him about two years ago -- I have a few tracks that I got someplace that I'd play while walking my son in his stroller. One day he's gonna hear that stuff and have this odd feeling like he's heard it before... Alan Hawkshaw rocks, I've yet to hear anything he's done that was less than stellar.

My music http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Pk12

 

My Soundware (Kurzweil PC3)http://pksoundware.blogspot.com/

 

My Kurzweil PC3 Tutorials http://www.youtube.com/user/poserp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Thanks for posting that, James, excellent!

Yamaha P515 | Yamaha CP4 | Yamaha MODX 8 | Casio PX S1000 | Nord Electro 5D | Moog Sub 37 | Korg Monologue | Native Instruments Maschine MK3 | Novation Circuit Tracks | Plug-ins Agogo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This put a smile on my face! I have just walked in the door after a weekend away gigging to find this interview posted up.

 

Going to relax and watch it shortly, cheers James!

 

(ps I was born very close to Leeds- my tenuous Hawkshaw connection! :cool: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...