Liverpool’s Shipbuilders are a group whose music is hard to describe without sounding like we’ve lost our minds and have resorted to throwing impossible depictions around.
Do they make sea shanties for drunken sailors? Or is it mariachi infused indie? Perhaps they write songs for busy fight scenes in cowboy movies?
Whatever the roots and motivations are for their music, one thing is crystal clear; it is insanely catchy and is the perfect soundtrack for dancefloor abandon. It is, we are convinced, clinically impossible to sit still while a Shipbuilders song is playing.
As if proof were needed of this, Shipbuilders are all set to release a new single on November 27, the epically irresistible Hanging Me At Dawn.
Those of you familiar with the live spectacle of a Shipbuilders gig will doubtless recognise this live highlight. The rest of you should remedy both of these situations just as soon as is humanly possible.
Produced by Danny Woodward (Ladytron, BC Camplight), Hanging Me At Dawn is a foot tapper in the vein of Red Rum Club and The Pogues at their drunken best.
The song starts off in a restrained enough manner, with some tremolo guitar work building up the spaghetti western atmosphere. As the marching drums kick in for the verse, the song is lifted and becomes both urgent and atmospheric, a difficult trick to pull off.
The pace is then kept up for the rest of the song, launching us to the singalong chorus that seems tailor made for an audience to shout back at the band.
Singer Matty Loughlin-Day says of the single “Hanging Me at Dawn is a frenetic, adrenaline-laced track that is the heart of our live sets. It’s been about for a long time but until now, we’ve never dared lasso it and lead it into the studio. Thankfully we were patient enough to wait until she was ready and once we roped her in and branded her, she grew fiercer and more ferocious than ever before.
When I wrote the track, I tried to describe the sound I wanted to Sully, our drummer – “Johnny Cash in the desert” was the best I could do. Eye rolls aside, he set straight to work with his galloping beat and before long the rest of the band built up this haunting, wild-eyed chaos that envelops it, leaving me space to wander around in it and scream about setting cattle free, burning down the barn and cursing the judgement of the feudal classes.”
This sums up Hanging Me At Dawn perfectly, it is a song that needs to be held on to as it bucks and turns.
With the welcome news recently that one of the new vaccines that have emerged meaning gigs and festivals may be back on the agenda in the next few months, Hanging Me At Dawn is the perfect song to whet our appetite for the mayhem and camaraderie of live music.
Play it now, play it loud and pray for the day Shipbuilders can again take to the stage to tear it up with songs like this.
Nobody does it better.