This debut album, ‘The Eleventh Hour’, is presciently named as 29 March approaches. Sooner rather than later, things are going to change in the UK and in what manner we can’t discern, but here comes a trio of musicians ready to embrace developments and face them squarely.
The 11 tracks arrive as refreshment in a new year still finding its feet. There’s no faking on this long player. It’s a record devoid of baubles, bangles and beads. It hasn’t been assembled following an acquisition team’s diligent study of a market report, nor is it aimed at a demographic that might or might not yet prove to be a seam of cash. It is, instead, the creation of a dedicated trio of musicians who – almost incredibly at this modern juncture – remain steadfast lovers of music, lovers so enchanted that all they can do is make what they feel and know to be right in their hearts.
Hague & White are the Sheffield musicians Chris Hague (guitars, pianos and backing vocals) and Joel White (lead vocals, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer and Rhodes) who between them have worked with artists including Pulp, Moloko and Finley Quaye. The band’s polyrhythms are provided by internationally acclaimed drummer and percussionist Steve White (The Style Council, Paul Weller, The Who, The Family Silver).
“The album has three styles to it,” says Chris. “There’s an epic soundtrack feel, as well as instant soul and then there’s more psychedelia-tinged aspects”; along with a healthy dose of social and political comment to lend steel to the proceedings.
DJs in the know are giving the LP an airing as they too seek sounds that won’t dull the ears. Recorded at Sheffield’s Tesla Studios, produced by Chris and David Glover (with co-production from Joel) and mastered at Abbey Road, the album takes in soul, jazz and funk to psych and garage for style and mood colourings.
With future recordings in mind, Hague & White find themselves in the enviable position of having freedom to roam through as many musical styles as they see fit. Hemmed in they are not, so roll on the next album because this trio has started as they mean to go on.
‘The Eleventh Hour’ by Hague & White is released on 11 January on Monks Road Records