Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mr. Hudson & The Library

Mr. Hudson & The Library

Descoberta recente estes Mr Hudson & The Library, urge divulgar esta rapaziada viciada em sapatilhas Dunlop vintage. Fresco, fresco qual noite de sábado passado. A festa? Stop. Be-ru-tal como diz o Manel. Muita gente. Harlem Shuffle. Scooters e amigos um pouco de todo o lado marcaram presença. Cool for Cats. Stop. As fotos estão a chegar. Stop. Ressaca..daquelas. stop. Mas (Lis)boa mexe! A festa foi mais ou menos assim. Clicka no video...Stop. Dor de cabeça.
Nota mental: Lembrar o Ferreira para a próxima levar almofadas de penas em vez de pó talco. Stop. Play.

About Mr. Hudson & The Library

So in walks Mr Hudson and Dave the dog. The black and tan two-tone Norfolk terrier: "They're normally reds," Mr Hudson points out helpfully. "But Dave is a bit a different" he smiles. A bit different. A quick glance at Dave's handler and it's clear to one and all that Mr Hudson is indeed a bit different.
Splendidly different. And he wouldn't want it any other way. "I don't set out to be different. It's just that I don't want to limit myself to any one style. Any one sound", he states. "Look, I have grown up in a diverse Britain, I have so many influences musically, be it DJ Semtex, MC Sway or Morrissey. What I like to think I have in common with these people is that, like them, I am true to myself." Fitting in and becoming part of the homogenous hordes is not part of the plan. It never has been. Never will be. And it becomes him. "A tale of two cites, apart from being a classic book and a book I love, is a fitting album title because it sums up my life so far." Mr Hudson settles in and orders drinks. "I grew up in Birmingham and I live in London. I have a huge affection for both cities. They've had a big effect on me. I felt I had to acknowledge that with this album." However, Mr Hudson is at pains to say that the world (and other cities) is his oyster. A recent first time trip to New York has left him rejuvenated. "I always want to see what else is out there. There's so much to life, so many places, stuff to see and music to listen to. I want to try and take in as much of it as possible." Tea arrives as Mr Hudson is ready to roll. He is riveting company and when he is in full cry, he is endearingly honest and ever so charming. The trademark panama is removed, revealing neatly cut blond hair. It stands out against his pale skin. The eyes flicker between grey and blue. They are dancing. They are alive. They are full of hope. "I really hope people like this album." The eyes are joined by a smile. "We had fun making this. We really worked at it. Some moments, some songs, just happened and we put them down in a day. Others took a while. But they all turned out the way we wanted. And I'm proud of it."
And so he should be. Mr Hudson and his band The Library have an album that will be revered by all those who listen. He shares the same DNA as the new breed of British artists who have recently been storming the charts. The Streets, Plan B, Sway and even Lily Allen. Young Britons documenting their lives, their generation, in inspired song. "I wanted an album with 12 quality songs. Not one of these 18 or 20 track albums. Every track here means something." Indeed, they are honest songs with soul and substance. All 12 of them are winners. The opening track, 'The Street Where You Live', is a cover of a number from the musical My Fair Lady. "It's the track I always perform when I have had a drink and there's a piano or guitar to hand." A good, personal way to kick things off. The personal moments continue with tracks like 'Brave The Cold' and 'Too Late, Too Late': semi-autobiographical tales that Mr Hudson has set to song. "You know those moments where we find ourselves, bouncing from pub to pub in search of a good time. When you have too many brandies and found yourself in a party looking at a girl from a far. When all you want do is say to her 'excuse, can I walk you home' and you do nothing. That's what I hope I capture in these songs. Moments we can all relate too."

In Mr Hudson’s hands these moments are set to a back drop of an occasional 808 beat, some reggae inspired bass, more than a dash of Caribbean pan, some soulful vibes on piano and guitar and, least we forget, Mr Hudson's vocals – pure and true – carrying the songs home. The band, The Library, was formed just over a year ago when Mr Hudson decided to take his songs on the road. Old time friend and bass player Maps Huxley was the first to come on board with stacks of old-soul records, reciting Biggie and Tupac lyrics (and a similar love of books). They were joined by Torville Jones, a classically trained pianist (recruited on his way to a Stravinsky concert at the Royal Albert Hall) and the indefatigable Wilkie Wilkinson on electric drums.

The most inspired addition came in the form of Joy Joseph, bringing steel-pan and backing vocals to the party. "Joy really does a great job on all the tracks, but in particular on 'One Specific Thing' she adds a presence that really makes the track stand out..." But we mustn't forget 'Picture Of You' which is a band favourite, we love playing it live and it's popular with those who hear it." It's a reflective, gentle, optimistic view in which we find Mr Hudson on the album finale, 'Upon The Heath'. Another personal touch. Here Mr Hudson shares with the listener his favourite view of London. "Up on Hampstead Heath the view from there, and Parliament Hill, of London is breathtaking. So many lives. So many things happening. You have two options. Do you just fade into the background and become a part of the masses or show some get up and go and get involved. Do something with your life," he gently urges. The smile is brighter than ever. And so it should be.

To hell with you if you have a problem with a middle class boy, who studied English Lit at Oxford and who has a fine line in hat wear. It's your problem, not his, if you can't square it with yourself that he also loves hip hop, reggae and soul and devours the arts whenever he gets a spare moment.
Reading the classics, walking on the heath, playing music and being with those he holds dear is what matters. Mr Hudson is in unashamed and unapologetic. It is simply who he is.
For the record, he has also made one of the albums of the year.

Ainda não podemos confirmar se é um dos álbuns do ano... Mas tem ali alguns momentos muito bons. Stop. Mais um Gin Tónico por favor! Quem quiser ouvir os temas aqui E depois impressionem os vossos amigos e digam onde é que ouviram falar do Mr. Hudson pela primeira vez.