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Opinion

RETROPERSPECTIVE – DAVEY CRADDOCK

Davey Craddock

Continuing our Retroperspective series – where an artist looks back on one of their older works – Davey Craddock gives us an insight into his 20012 EP release, Going Home. With a new album, One Punch, out now, there’s some now in the zen – Ed.

While in the thick of promoting my second album One Punch, Around The Sound have given me the Marty McFly-ian task of looking back on an old release and reflecting on what the hell I thought I was doing.

There’s one event that sums up everything about my second EP, Going Home. In 2013, on the strength of this release, myself and the band were invited play West Coast Blues N Roots Festival. We played the opening slot at 11:30am but by that stage Nels Cline of Wilco, someone I hugely admire, had already erected his NASA Mission Control-esque guitar rig on a riser backstage. I remember walking around it and admiring its enormity. This kind of gear required a staff. More of a ‘work station’, it looked he could command the Mars Rover from it while also playing the blistering leads from Sky Bly Sky.

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Tongue on floor, I was snapped out of it by a staff member who asked if I’d like a ‘buggy ride’ back to the car to pick up my equipment. I nodded yes, knowing full well this may be the first and only time this service is offered (N.B. to date, I have still only been offered five such buggy rides).  When the golf buggy arrived at my car I opened the boot to pull out a green recyclable Coles bag. In it: two guitar leads, a tuner, a capo and a water bottle.

Once back at the tent, I handed my highly sophisticated rig to our ‘roadie’, The Floors bass player, Ryan Dux, who was selected, very astutely, due to his professional background as an electrician and also because he seemed to exclusively dress in black. I also suspect he had a strong desire to see Iggy Pop and Robert Plant for free.

Going Home was crude. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, still don’t really, but it’s full of knuckle-headed enthusiasm. It’s a folk album, but listening back now I can hear so many of the more ambitious sounds I’m still trying to make poking through the almost skiffle-y production.

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The outlier is Ruby Street which was a prototypical song for me. I’m learning to sing softly and close on a mic – something that’s hard to do when 90 per cent of your early gigs are played to people who don’t give a shit in pubs. I’m experimenting with ambient warbles that give the song a sense of depth. There’s been a Ruby Street equivalent on both of my albums since – 2001 on One Punch is definitely its older, wiser cousin.

Keep On Waiting is me trying to meld the Rolling Stones with Justin Townes Earle while luxuriating in Oh Brother Where Art Thou harmonies with Todd Pickett. It’s still a really fun song to occasionally play live. Come Around is probably my first and only attempt at a Countrypolitan vibe and is no-doubt inspired by obsessive Pete Molinari and Dolly Parton listening.

Anti-Folk (Bob Dylan’s dead) is a very, very strange song.

Davey Craddock launches One Punch with special guests Augie March at Mojo’s on May 18-19. All details www.daveycraddock.com.

 

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