Hannah Rickard & The Relatives – it’s an old-fashioned rock’n’roll story… A singer on a bender, a tour bus missed, a band broken up.
But Hannah Rickard & the Relatives did things the other way round. In September 2012, sizzling singer Hannah Rickard was hanging out backstage at the Southbank Centre. She was playing for a packed house alongside the acclaimed Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell. Suddenly her cousin Lou burst in, grabbed her hand and whisked her off. “Those songs you sent me?” he said, referring to a tape Hannah had posted, “We’re recording them”. This was true musical spontaneity: a quick ring round at 8pm, an impromptu gathering of the best musicians in London rock’n’roll, then jumping in the van to kidnap the singer from her own gig.
Hannah arrived at Strummers, Lou’s recording studio in Holloway, to see Daisy – one part of Kitty Daisy and Lewis, the phenomenally successful trio signed to Sunday Best – and the rest of the new band; behind the kit was Urban Voodoo Machine‘s Gary Mills. On double bass was Psychobilly legend Nice Guy Eddie. And there was Lou himself, late of the People Like You-signed band The Grit. Behind the dials? Andy Brook, a Triple nominee in 2013 by the Music Producers Guild for the industry’s equivalent of a Brit award.
Hannah took it all in stride. She may not have known the musicians – Hannah made her reputation as a singer and fiddle player in the north-east, while Lou spent the last 11 years in London when he wasn’t touring across Europe. But a few handshakes, some lyrics scribbled on a flyer, and all of a sudden things were clicking like a Geiger counter at Chernobyl. One hour later, Hannah and the Relatives had laid down stomping versions of “Hey Memphis” and “Knock Knock.” This was sultry blues grooving with a honky-tonk swagger, a cool drink of water under a blistering rock’n’roll sun.
Sometimes, everything just comes together. A celebratory piss-up at Big Red down the Holloway Road ensued. The next morning, a hungover Hannah made it to the tour bus (barely), Kathryn Tickell made her feel guilty (but also gave her props for a raging night out), and the rest of the guys made plans for the next session. A couple of reunions with Hannah later led to a range of successful tracks, a mix of reworked obscure R’n’B hits and originals, led by lead single “LA Lover”. It’s the record you’re holding in your hands. Play it the old-fashioned way: LOUD!
- L.A. Lover
- Pay Attention To Me
- You Changed
- Dark Side Of Me
- Honey (Ain’t Nobody Seen My)