ARTIST FOCUS #018 - CROOKED HANDS
Crooked Hands is the brainchild of Chester Le Street’s Christopher Brown. With influences as diverse as Bon Iver and Metallica, their sound is indisputably folk and blues based: with its banjos and bottleneck guitar-work, but with the polyglot sensibility of outfits like Grizzly Bear.
Following live shows in late 2011 and air time on 6 Music for their single ‘Under’, Crooked Hands have been biding their time. This month they released two new tracks as half of an EP: ‘Waldridge Fells’ and ‘Elliot.’
Christopher Brown’s voice has garnered much praise from reviewers. He has an unaffected but affecting falsetto, like Matt Stalker of Matt Stalker and The Fables when he gets all up in your grill. He is also excellent when it comes to harmonies. When listening to Crooked Hands, you don’t get a sense of a 3rd put here and a unison plonked there to bolster a melody line. They do harmonies for their own sake, and know how to make them beautiful with unexpected wanderings, blurs and spectral, dissonant chimes.
They are recording a full EP due for release in August. This Saturday, Brown will be playing an acoustic set at the The Head of Steam supporting The Railway Club and Just Handshakes, if you want to hear some of the band’s new material stripped down.
Crooked Hands play The Cumberland Arms at 7.45pm
Words by Jonnie McAloon