I See Hawks In L.A. | The Brasenose Arms, Cropredy | 30 June 2013
There is a classic moment in the Blues Brothers movie where upon being asked what kind of music they usually have playing, the barmaid brightly answers “Oh we got both kinds, we’ve got Country and Western“.
And so it was with I See Hawks In L.A. who are in the UK playing an “acoustic trio tour”. Last night they turned up at the lovely setting of the Brasenose Arms in Cropredy (home of the Fairport Convention festival), sporting three outlandish Stetsons and played a two part set outdoors that was as sublime a collection of classic Country and Western as you could hope for.
A cock-up or two from the venue’s website (8pm start advertised was actually 7pm) meant Barry-Sean and I missed the beginning of the set, but that was the only negative of the evening. An easy-going style (at odds with the rabid rednecks of the Blues Brother movie) meant they explored their back catalogue of six albums with a charming spontaneity – spotting an Alsatian prompted a rendition of “A Dog Can Break Your Heart Too” from their self-titled debut album of more than ten years hence, whilst our request for the outstanding We Could All Be In Laughlin Tonight from latest release Mystery Drug was good naturedly assimilated into the set too. Elsewhere we had the acid tinged country of Raised By Hippies and the classic Laurel Canyon style rock of Grapevine, the cajun swing of Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulet and the cosmic Americana of Motorcycle Mama.
Later on frontman Rob Waller regaled us with tales of his mother chasing Elvis in Tennessee to steal a kiss from him, before launching into the gospel country of standard (and Presley favourite) Where Could I Go But To The Lord?, and bassist Paul Marshall delivered the classic, honky-tonk heartbreak of Drinker’s Hall Of Fame, which sounded as though it came straight from the pen of George Jones or Kris Kristofferson.
The band finished with the uptempo singsongs of the recent Rock’n’Roll Cymbal From The Seventies and Good And Foolish Times from 2008’s Hallowed Ground.
As the sun set behind them and the smell of the barbecue wafted over from under the marquee you could be forgiven for imagining that you were in some Texas drinking den rather than a genteel, quintessentially English village.
The band joined us for a couple of drinks where, just a few yards down the road, Rob Waller’s historical namesake (and he assured us part of his family tree) Sir William Waller was put to flight by the royalists of King Charles at the battle of Cropredy Bridge 369 years ago almost to the day.
I See Hawks In L.A. are touring for another week – get the dates here. We say Go See Hawks In U.K. – they’ve got Country and Western, and you’ll love every moment of it.
Download I See Hawks In L.A. – Bohemian Highway mp3 (from New Kind Of Lonely)
Download I See Hawks In L.A. – Dear Flash mp3 (from New Kind Of Lonely)Follow @madmackerel