Black Sun, Cork presents:Richard Dawson -Plugd 8thMarch

Friday March 8th
Plugd Records
Doors 8pm


Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson has been a much-loved musical spectacle in his native Newcastle for many years now, a skewed troubadour who sings and plays guitar with a rare intensity and a very singular style. Beguiled northern audiences have long awaited the arrival of recordings that capture Dawson’s genius, and it has finally arrived with his album The Magic Bridge, a 10-song collection out now on cd and vinyl by Box Records.

Dawson’s music is a collision of opposites, his hoarsely cracking voice suddenly rising to a magical soar that’s been compared to Tim Buckley, John Martyn and Richard Youngs, while his battered acoustic guitar veers from stumble to sublime in a way that can recall Sir Richard Bishop or Captain Beefheart. Add this to his snaring way with words and Dawson’s got you pinned – stories like the one relayed in Black Dog In the Sky typify his by turns heartbreaking and hilarious self-deprecation and skill in painting a story with both words and guitar.

The listener is drawn in carefully but irresistibly from the instrumental opener Juniper Berries Float Down The Stream, which creeps in falteringly but grows and envelops before you realise it’s happened and your gripped. By track 2 and the arrival of his skyward voice (not to mention its beautifully tender conclusion) and Dawson has you under his spell.

In the words of The Wire, “What makes The Magic Bridge such a remarkable album is that every comparison one might make, however illustrious the precursor, feels both entirely justified by Dawson’s music, yet entirely inadequate as an explanation of it. This elusive freshness is why the album demands to be properly heard, compelling the listener to keep coming back to it.



Raising Holy Sparks

Fronted by David Colohan, drawing on the devotional musics of church & countryside, Raising Holy Sparks play Appalachian Kosmische hymns to the lunar/rural arcane. David (also of United Bible Studies, The Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree, Cubs etc.) formed Agitated Radio Pilot in 1993 as his musical solo project. A great amount of material has been recorded and released over the years, genres varying from lo-fi, ambient and alternative rock to the melancholic singer-songwriter and psychedelic folk of today. Looking in new directions, David has embarked on a new project under the name Raising Holy Sparks.



Screening of Saul Levine's Notes of an Early Fall (1976, 34 mins)
Notes of an Early Fall is a classic of personal filmmaking by Saul Levine, a man hailed as ‘the king of Super-8’. Film diary and film poem in one, it collages images taken from daily life and surroundings into a throbbing yet subtle meditation on claustrophobia and a sense of entrapment. The distinctive rhythms of camera movement and editing cause this raw, tactile work to breathe and react with a vividly individualistic force. Every frame attests to the handmade nature of the work, the material fragility and luminous vitality of Super-8 in the grasp of a poet.

Saul Levine is not only a maker but also a respected advocate of avant-garde film and video. Based in Boston, he is currently a professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he has taught for over 30 years and programmed the longstanding MassArt Film Society. He is noted for his dedication to social change and personal self-expression.

“There's something naggingly incomplete about the cinema of Saul Levine. No slight intended. Really, such a quality is intrinsic to the appeal of his films, those fluttering transmissions of stream-of-consciousness nostalgia. This is rough draft cinema, work perpetually in progress… His films scream and stretch at the seams. Splices announce themselves loudly and proudly, rudely even. The mark of the maker is evident… [The films] seem to begin and end in the middle, as though we were leaping into them mid-stream, mid-sentence, mid-thought. If there is a structural integrity, an organizing principle, it is an inherently emotional one... They churn like the endless flood of human memory.” (A. A. Dowd, In Review Online)

Our deepest thanks to Saul Levine for giving Black Sun, Cork permission to screen his work.
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