|Tom Hickox Rocks Into Battle!
|27th April 2014
|Share: Artist Profile
| ** TOM HICKOX ROCKS OUT OF THE WARZONE ON MAY 26…
…AND ARMS HIMSELF FOR NEW SPRINGTIME UK TOUR **
a manfully eloquent fierce panda one sheet
The Act: TOM HICKOX
The Release: 'OUT OF THE WARZONE’ / ‘THE BALLAD OF THOMAS HURNDALL‘
The Format: DIGITAL SINGLE
The Release Date: MAY 26TH 2014
The Label: fierce panda records
The Truth: Tom Hickox remains a serious young man for serious times. He lives in downtown Camden, plays upright piano, sings with a 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 on stages big and small.
Released on May 26th, ‘Out Of The Warzone’ is the second single to be taken from Tom Hickox’s debut album, ‘War, Peace And Diplomacy’, and our hirsute besuited hero will be announcing the single with the above tour, including a special headline show at Camden Roundhouse Studio on June 2nd. ‘War, Peace And Diplomacy’ itself appeared on March 10th. One day later ‘War Peace And Diplomacy’ was streamed in its entirety by The Telegraph, whose reviewer Neil McCormick anointed the album with five stars and bluntly opined: “Tom Hickox is the most powerful and original lyrical songwriter this country has produced in years.”
He also noted how the “Sombre, elegant melodies host nuanced, gravely dramatic character studies that have a Pinteresque precision.” In fact Mr Hickox is frequently described as a man out of time, a throwback to a more thunderously dignified era. Yet while the music may indeed often reflect old-fashioned virtues with its fearsomely sad strings the subject matter on ‘War, Peace And Diplomacy’ – as you can possibly tell from the heavyweight leatherbound title – brings our songwriter crash landing into the modern world.
Specifics are vague: Tom is a man who’d much rather the listeners untangle his lyrical balls of wool themselves. What we can surmise is this: 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.”), and 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.