If you know Richard Dawson, you’ll know he’s a distinctly original voice. Last year he released Peasant, the follow-up to 2014’s acclaimed Nothing Important. It’s a song cycle based on the lives of inhabitants of Bryneich – a kingdom in Yr Hen Ogledd, or the Old North – in the early middle ages. How many musicians could say that their latest album was a concept album set in medieval north Britain?
The result is an album that’s out there on its own – complex but weirdly accessible, obscure but relevant to today; Peasant is quite an achievement. Both live and on record Dawson is a barrage of musical expression and personality. His stage presence is at once warmly inviting and humbly inspiring as he tells tales of underpants, ghosts of family members and cats, and, sometimes, all of the above.