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Issue 59 - Late night tunes and soulful drams

Whisky Magazine Issue 59
October 2006


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Late night tunes and soulful drams

What makes great whisky music? Our new music brain Rocky McCabe ponders the issue and recommends a Mercury prize nominee

I used to spend many a happy hour debating with my predecessor, the late Lew Guthrie III, about the link between whisky and music.

We were poles apart. He reckoned music was only relevant when it was specifically about whisky. For me, though, there are whisky moments that pass better with music, even when the music's unrelated to whisky. And there are pieces of music that were clearly created by a whisky lover or someone who understood the drink.

I'm as sorry as anyone that Lew's gone but nobody can say he wasn't warned: seeking out dangerous snow sports in untrusted corners of the world with our climate under change would always end in tears – or worse.

Anyway, Richard Hawley is from Sheffield in England and he sings about love, chasing love and losing love. Not a drink in sight. But find me a better record to put on late at night in semi darkness when the house has fallen silent to enjoy a special malt to, and I'll show you a sophisticated vodka.

Hawley is an oddball of a character, and typical of the city that produced him. He was once the guitarist in Treebound Story, the city's finest unsigned band at a time when a young Pulp was seeking stardom and the likes of Red Tape Studios, Fon Records and The Leadmill made it the most happening city not just in Britain but the world.

Hawley indirectly refers to this era with the name of this, his third solo album, and on its cover. Cole's Corner refers to the city's famous department store and the place where couples would ...

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