A piece I wrote some years ago …
In 1987 my girlfriend (not yet wife) and I moved out of Dublin city and into a rented bungalow in a small village 17 miles to the north. The main attraction was the large garage where we could do the screenprinting and signwriting that sustained us at the time. The economy of the area depended on fishing and market gardening … a big change from city life.
Soon we met a friendly young couple from Birmingham who lived round the corner, and started to drink and play chess with them. It wasn’t long before the male half of the couple said ‘Have you ever heard of Ted Hawkins?’ We hadn’t.
He loaned us a cassette of Watch Your Step, and we listened to it all the time while working in the garage … I associate it with the smell of paint and of the roll-up cigarettes that my wife smoked at the time (as did our new friends). The songs were varied, often quirky and strangely catchy; Hawkins’ guitar-playing was rudimentary but his voice was superb … harsh yet vulnerable, and full of raw emotion. Continue reading