From its beginnings in 2007, Record Store Day has grown into an international celebration of music culture, with the great and good of indie, rock, pop, electronica and more involved in the annual event. This year, legendary UK songwriter Tom Hingley is using this platform to raise awareness for two worthy causes via a new single. Tom Hingley shot to fame as lead singer of revered Manchester band Inspiral Carpets, before turning his attention to a solo career that began with 2000’s ‘Keep Britain Tidy’, followed by two more critically acclaimed releases ‘Thames Valley Delta Blues’ (2009) and ‘Paper’ (2013). His work with The Lovers has also spawned two LPs, an EP and a single.
Back under the acclaimed Tom Hingley Band guise, Tom has plugged in an electric guitar for the first time in years, and is ready to unveil a brand new 7” in the shape of ‘Beggars Hand’ (Charity 7” ‘Beggars Hand’ (Charity 7”, and its B-side, ‘Toy’. Ste Pearce (Dirty Saint), and drummer Malcolm Law make up the trio who embrace punk, rock ‘n’ roll and soul, veering from Bowie’s Tin Machine era to The Jimi Hendrix Experience. ‘Beggar’s Hand’ will be unveiled on Record Store Day 2016, Saturday 16th April, with proceeds from records sold in Liverpool and Manchester donated to two charities; Liverpool’s Hope Fest, and Manchester based Lifeshare. Both initiatives deal with the increasing number of people who are classed as homeless, providing much-needed support, signposting, food and emergency items for rough sleepers. The North West of England has seen an exponential rise in service users over the last five years, a startling trenf explored in the accompanying video, directed by Paul Mortlock. “We’re really proud to be part of record store day. I had a career with the Inspiral Carpets selling vinyl and CDs. With the advent of downloading and streaming it’s nice to be a butterfly once again, and fly the vinyl format for one day, transforming from a grub into the beautiful Red Admiral of a physical artefact,” said Hingley.
“Hope Fest is honoured to be working alongside the Tom Hingley Band to raise funds and awareness for the homeless. We run an annual music festival where the ticket fees are either food or clothing, which goes directly to the homeless, with funds allocated to help towards running training programmes for people who have experienced homelessness,” said Hope Fest’s Anna Grace Henney.
“The training programmes offer work experience at the festival and the transferable skills attendees gain can help toward finding employment and shelter, as well as breaking the cycle of homelessness. We also have a street team in operation in Liverpool, providing hot drinks, soup and warm clothing as well as advice to those in need.”
“Lifeshare works to meet the needs of homeless and vulnerable people in Manchester and Salford offering support, advice and practical help including food parcels, weekend breakfasts, clothes and toiletries as well as an open-house Christmas project. Tom has already supported the charity by playing at our Christmas Project last year. We are over the moon that he is releasing a single for Record Store Day and donating profits to us which will enable Lifeshare to continue working towards preventing the cycle of homelessness, promoting health and reducing harm,” said Lifeshare team leader Judith Vickers.
So to ‘Beggars Hand’ it’s guitar led and spikey, talking indie-alternative fair, another strong RSD release. ‘Beggars Hand’ is the stronger of the two, although the heavy rock of b-side of ‘Tpy’ might please just as many. If you like your music with guitars, this ‘Tom Hingley Band single is a worthy release. 7.6/10