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BLUES MATTERS MAGAZINE JULY 2011 - HARD GRAFT December 03, 2012

BLUES MATTERS MAGAZINE JULY 2011 - HARD GRAFT
 

HUW LLOYD LANGTON’s L.L.G.

Hard Graft

Hard Graft CD009

Huw was and still is a founder member of the ever diversifying band Hawkwind; for over forty years now he has travelled in mind and miles with and without them. Over the years, during the various periods in which the Hawkwind “Mothership” has been in dry dock, Huw has taught guitar in schools, been part of various bands including Widowmaker and The Pretty Things; also, over the years he has worked on projects with Vivian Stanshall, Michael Moorcock and Rob Calvert. Since, contracting Legionnaires disease in two thousand and one Huw has been plagued by ill health but, by the end of two thousand and seven Huw had regained full health and began work on “Hard Graft,” the album was finished in two thousand and eight but, two weeks after completion the keyboard /synthesiser player Tim Rice Williams unexpectedly died of cancer and the album had stayed on the shelf until recently.

The album consists of nine numbers that range from the melodic feather light introduction of “Hard Graft,” to intense pieces such as the eight minute whirling and spinning “A Dream,” and a heartfelt plea to a dying parent in the slowburning blues of “Hey Mama,” quite emotive pieces.

Combining with an almost ghostly, gasping vocal; not dissimilar to Peter Gabriel, Huw creates inventively driven, rhythmic guitar work that is swirling and racing while, the bass from Richard Gillespie is urging and impelling you and the music on; the solid spine of insistent, pummelling, percussion and drum work is splendidly provided by VolkerVon Hoff. All the while weaving and threading through the music, giving depth, texture and an otherworldly spaciousness to the music is the scintillating keyboard/synthesiser work of Tim Rice Williams. The overall atmosphere of the album appears be soaked in melancholia and the way we try to cope with loss and despair. The morbidly wailing guitar on “P.D.T.- Photo Dynamic Therapy,” (a non invasive type of cancer surgery) performed in aid of the Killing Cancer Charity; is another example.

There are three bonus numbers that are all crisply fresh and sparkling steel guitar solo instrumentals from Huw that are extremely pleasant and uplifting. they are miles apart from the sombre subject matter on the rest of the album.

This is a very fine and hugely enjoyable album despite its somewhat sombre subject matter. Recommended!

Brian Harman

Alan K
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