Alright, here’s the craic: Richard Dawson isn’t just in a league of his own when it comes to trend-flattening experimental folk: he is easily one of the greatest living musical artists. He first confirmed that fact with the release of Nothing Important back in 2014, and to the contrary, it felt very important; seismic even. On that album and follow-ups Peasant and 2020, the Newcastle artist took the imprint of everything from Kenyan folk traditions and Captain Beefheart, to Sun Ra and Sufi devotional music to fathom a careening, unfuckwithable folk genius all his own. See also: last year’s sprawling opus The Ruby Cord.
During that time, Dawson had few more ardent supporters than Belfast promoters Moving on Music. On several occasions now – most recently at the Empire Music Hall just before lockdown in early 2020 – they’ve hosted some truly unforgettable shows from the main man across the city. It’s a tradition that blessedly resumes this week with Dawson’s return to the Empire on Thursday, 25th May. A long-time fan? Great. Tickets are here. Complete newcomer? Check out the life-altering good ‘The Hermit’ below and glance back 15-odd words. There isn’t even the slightest slither of a chance that you’ll regret popping along.