| a broodingly melodramatic fierce panda one sheet
The Act: TOM HICKOX
The Release: 'THE ANGEL OF THE NORTH'
The Format: FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD SINGLE
The Impact Date: NOVEMBER 25TH 2013
The Label: fierce panda records
The Truth: Tom Hickox is a serious young man for serious times. He lives in downtown Camden, plays upright piano, sings with a snowfalling voice sufficiently deep, crisp and even to draw wise comparisons with Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave and, ever-attentive to the smallest of sartorial details, he wears three piece suits by day and by gig. With typical light-heartedness Tom’s debut album, due out in February next year, will be called 'War, Peace And Diplomacy'.
Mr Hickox is not simply some eccentric throwback to a more sober era however: 'The Angel Of The North', as tends to be the modern digitalised way, is a free download release designed to fan the flames in the lead up to the album release. Those flames will be fanned slowly, for this is sombre, serious music with fearsomely sad strings. The compelling video for ‘The Angel Of The North’ was filmed in the haggard southeastern seascape of Dungeness. Much like the song the video vibe is elegant, enigmatic and beautifully unsettling.
Considering that Tom's father was the late Richard Hickox CBE, one of Britain's most renowned classical conductors with over 280 recordings to his credit, it surely becomes obvious where this love for swelling strings and grandiose widescreen soundtracks comes from. Except with typical Hickoxian perversity Tom actually rejected classical music (“I knew as a kid I didn’t want to compete with my dad.”). Rather, he embarked upon on his own journey via Beckett, Pinter and rock'n'roll. Along the way there was an English degree at Manchester University to be studied for, drums in a school rock band to be battered and a solo DIY album to be released which, it was gleefully claimed, sounded like Four Tet collaborating with Scott Walker.
The most significant turning point may well have been listening to ‘Cole’s Corner’, Richard Hawley’s 2005 Mercury Award-worrying opus. “It was the first time I had really heard anyone contemporary in Britain making music that wasn’t far off what I had in mind, with his baritone voice and nuanced production, and really romantic sense of place.” So recalls Tom who, thanks to a series of fortunate events, was deeply flattered to eventually find himself in Sheffield, actually recording with the Hawley band, being produced by Colin Elliot and just generally living the slow-movingly dignified dream. ‘War, Peace And Diplomacy’ is the end result of those mightily respectful endeavours, and the start of a whole new adventure.
Tom will be playing a special intimate ‘The Angel Of The North’ launch show somewhere near the Angel in North London, ie here:
NOVEMBER 18TH LONDON St Pancras Old Church