Hawkless Haywood’s Valentine’s play

Dan Haywood
Dan Haywood

Might Valentine’s Night be the perfect time for a heart-to-heart with a singer-songwriter rapidly carving out a reputation as one of the North’s very best?

Dan Haywood plus special guests, plays at The Continental in Preston next Friday on the crest of a wave of popular acclaim.

His critically acclaimed debut triple album ‘Dan Haywood’s New Hawks’ earned rave reviews.

Uncut magazine hailed: “A wild-eyed mix of cosmic country and chamber-folk.

“This makes for a thrilling noise.”

Haywood’s latest long-player, Dapple, was released last November on Southern Bird Records, and found him in the great outdoors (the Forest of Bowland, to be precise).

It comprised a sweet and lyrical song cycle that repainted the English folk pastoral in bright and beautiful tones.

Over the course of 10 small but perfectly formed tracks, his charmingly imperfect, accented vocals and delicate, organic guitar work take centre stage.

Thus equipped, Haywood manages to conjure up a timeless spell, with bucolic tales of maidens, apple trees, fish in the river, embittered farmers, rooks and magpies.

Recorded outdoors on 40-year-old technology, the resulting LP was described by The Independent as “engaging and oddly uplifting – while also being as dour in texture as a North Sea shoreline”.

The alfresco recording of the album presented unique difficulties for the Lancashire-based singer and keen ornithologist.

He said: “Given that Dapple could be set in the 18th century, I was keen for there to be no motor vehicle noise.

“The locations had to be out of the way, and some of the sessions started as early as 4am to beat the sound of the Abbeystead gamekeepers’ Land Rovers and Bowland farmers’ tractors.”

In recent years Haywood has aembarked on a number of well-recieved tours with fellow sonic nomads like Josephine Foster, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Michael Hurley and The Tallest Man On Earth.

Dan Haywood takes to The Continental’s stage on Friday February 14 with two supports acts, which are to be confirmed.

Doors open at 8pm and tickets cost £4. They are available online from Seetickets, WeGotTickets & Skiddle or from The Continental Bar .

Call The Continental on 01772 499 425 or Preston Visitor Information on 01772 253 731.