One Day Maybe We Will Dance Again: A Listen to Acoustic Hymns Volume 1 From Richard Ashcroft
Updated: Oct 25
As profound as the deep blue sea and a phenomenal lyricist and composer, Richard Ashcroft breathes new life into his back catalogue with Acoustic Hymns Volume 1., out October 29th, 2021. We may not have known that time is ripe for hearing his decade-defining classics plucked from our past with contrasting arrangements but, we rediscover his genius and revisit memories at cosy Autumn dusk.
Saturday mornings as a kid usually got off the ground with a crispy bacon sandwich, novelty mug cup of tea and The Chart Show on ITV, for some without MTV, the only way to get a music video fix. As little fun facts digitally appeared about the artist, now and then, a video would strike gold. One such was Lucky Man. It's something about the light streaming into the floor to ceiling glass windows of the Thames Wharf apartment that matched the song to perfection. Even more strings and denser drums materialize as a sunset surf floats on the mind.
Lucky Man's brother, hand in hand, right from conception, is Sonnet. Both splendid. The famous guitar strings that we all air plucked have vanished, but there are some new solo gleams. It still takes off and revs in all the right places with the addition of a choir that has a gospely appeal, also found in the cousin of the siblicious pair - the mementoes 90s anthem, Bitter Sweet Symphony opening up shop.
The pace mellows, the track is a fair bit cheerier than its parent, altering the whole shade, leading to new notes of uplift to end. It was a must that the strings featured, but piano introduced. In a gracious move by The Stones handing back the rights to Richard in 2019, he acknowledges the act by a few Sympathy For the Devil style 'woo woo's to conclude. Yet this time, it is Oasis' Masterplan where BSS could hold its own, also said for weepie The Drugs Don't Work, given the same treatment.
It takes a lot to earn the respect of our Liam. Ashcroft has always owned this, with Gallagher in awe of his writing credentials and zen influence. A mutual admiration brings the dear buddies together for C'Mon People (We're Making it Now), with Richard, aided only a piano, first airing the track to his pal 23 years back in Majorca. Massively suiting Liam's tones with Ashcroft's underscoring, the indie sincerity song invites a love back; they are now ready: "Take my hand now, understand me, you can come here too."
Produced by Chris Potter, lyrics and words are accentuated or slightly adjusted and found in Song For The Lovers; removed from the original by the Honkey Tonk keys and a flamenco dusting. Staying close to their primary source, Velvet Morning and Weeping Willow aren't up for experimentation, but, as with all of the reworkings, they possess clarity and freshness.
The chance to reunite with these tunes makes you remember the body of beauty that the two-time Ivor Novello winner is capable of, and with three London dates to hear this live sold out, plus a monumental Liverpool Arena show on the very day of the release, appetite is there. We're all older and wiser to take a wistful look at life, as Space and Time harks back to the 70s rock period, a softer motion, and the This Thing Called Life leaves behind the hip hop project origins for The United Nations Of Sound and comes home.
Some songs reach the ultimate representation of their creators sound and ethos. Ashcroft's sensitivity and voice are laid bare in mastered tour de forces Break The Night With Colour: 'I don't wanna know your secrets, they lie heavy on my head,' and One Day: 'You've gotta tie yourself to the mast my friend And the storm will end.' Drift back to no curfews on a field of dreams, gazing up to the sky to spot shapes in the clouds with your Sony Walkman tucked in your Adidas jacket pocket. We needed this, and we had no idea. Let the remembrance and tears flow.
Article by Beverley Knight