Last week I got to photograph Lost Dawn, in fact I shot them twice on the same day! First was for a the cover of the West Briton’s ‘What’s On’ section and the second was their album launch show at Mono in Falmouth. Lee Trewhela’s interview with Lost Dawn can be below.
The best way to describe Lost Dawn is to quote Lee Trewhela… ‘Lost Dawn meld raw blues, killer rock riffs, the energy of punk and the idiosyncrasies of freak-folk with a grasp of glam dynamics. And are one of the best live acts you will see. Anywhere, not just in Cornwall’. Check them out!
Lost Dawn Album Launch at Mono
Lee Trewhela’s interview with Lost Dawn.
I’ve seen them come and I’ve seen them go, but there has rarely been a Cornish band that’s excited me as much as Lost Dawn.
The thrilling trio – who meld raw blues, killer rock riffs, the energy of punk and the idiosyncrasies of freak-folk with a grasp of glam dynamics – are one of the best live acts you will see. Anywhere, not just in Cornwall.
Their incendiary live show is captured in a beautifully ramshackle, studio-fied way on Lost Dawn’s debut album, which is launched on Wednesday night at Falmouth’s new MONO venue.
Charismatic frontman Stanley Duke – who has star stamped all the way through him like some snake-hipped stick of rock – said: “In a way we’ve moved on from this album already as we started work on it two years ago and we already have the second album written.
“Having said that, we’re incredibly proud of it and will be playing it in its entirety at MONO, complete with backing singers, sax, extra guitar and more.”
Lost Dawn formed six years ago as a two-man blues explosion with Stanley on guitar, strutting and singing, and multi-instrumentalist Ben Woods on drums (who also records as the equally loveable Golden Dregs).
Ben said: “That two-musician thing was fresh back then. There was only the White Stripes really as the Black Keys weren’t that well-known.
“However, adding a bass (Joel McConkey, also in The Isabelles) has helped expand the sound and moves it on from the blues formation.
“Even Drenge have added a bass. They’ve copied us,” he added, cheekily, beard twinkling.
While other celebrated Cornish bands of the moment have a great, visceral sound, what sets Lost Dawn apart is the song.
They have loads of the sexy little things and they’re instantly memorable. It’s all about the song.
So the self-titled album features the irresistible Bolan bop of Song For Robert, the low-slung swagger of Breaking Bad, and the Plant and Page update of Wasting My Time. Bleddy Zeppelin, perhaps?
The 60s garage stomp of Talk About It starts a great run, through previous single Count On Me (Wolfmother boogie with brains) and the dirty smooch of Darkest Night, with Stanley out Banharting Devendra (definitely a Lost Dawn hero).
That’s only the first half … “side two” kicks off with single-that-should-be The Fall (Monkees meets Mudhoney pop groove).
The epic Manchild is the record’s centrepiece which brings all their myriad strands into a modern rock classic. You could even imagine Prince covering it.
And so it goes, ending on the lysergic fug of Kennedy featuring Canadian underground heroine Tess Parks on backing vocals.
Released on the rather marvellous Easy Action label (which has also released fellow “Falmouth Sound” bands Black Tambourines and Red Cords), it is the perfect summer soundtrack.
I really pray it happens for Lost Dawn. Many great Cornish bands have almost made it (My Elvis Blackout and I Say Marvin, for example) but one feels the passion, desire to play the long game and their sheer talent means Lost Dawn have more than a fighting chance.
It will certainly be aided by support they’ve received from the NME, Clash and Artrocker as well as a plethora of music blogs.
Ben said: “Much as we appreciate what the NME has written about us, we don’t want to be seen as an ‘NME band’. Once they call you the ‘saviours of rock’n’roll’, it’s the kiss of death.”
Stanley, looking incongruous in rock star garb, sat opposite me in a 1940s-style tea shop in Truro (and I love him for that), added: “We do seem to be on the radar. We’ve heard that people are talking about us around the country.
“In a way I never wanted this first album to be massive. I just wanted it to be the groundwork for what’s to come.”
Lost Dawn are more than happy to continue their rise from their Cornish base.
“As someone once said, ‘If you can’t move somewhere there’s a scene, create your own’,” declared Stanley.
Lost Dawn have proved to be the centre of that much-mooted Falmouth Scene.
“Falmouth itself is growing with the music, because of the university and now the new MONO venue. It’s a good place to be.”
The pair joked that the next album will be recorded in New York with albums three and four in Laurel Canyon and Berlin. It’s not necessarily a laughing matter.