Paul Henshaw is a RIOT FOLK singer songwriter living on the North Wales coast who pretty much spends his life thumping lumps out of his guitar and singing about life, hangovers and anything else he’s passionate about.
Paul and his band (THE SCIENTIFIC SIMPLETONS) have shared festival stages with the likes of THE LEVELLERS, THE FEELING, UB40, FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS HUEY MORGAN, FEROCIOUS DOG, THE ORB, NICK PARKER and NEWTON FAULKNER and solo has played festivals and venues in the USA, China, Taiwan, Germany, Poland, France and CZ Republic.
Written by Paul and released with the band, May 2017’s album FISHING FOR OWLS reached NUMBER 1 in The Amazon Album download charts and the singles “STONES” and “FAY’S SONG” Reached #1 and #3 respectively.
Paul is currently finalizing a run of shows in Europe, The USA and Canada for the 2nd half of 2018.
I’ve got to know Paul over the last couple of months through the power of social media. And although I’ve never met him, I envy his desire and hunger to play at all costs wherever it may be. Across the whole of North Wales in one day on an open top Double Decker bus, to his upcoming shows abroad in amazing places such as Holland and Germany, to open mike nights in locals. There’s got to be something special here, so I’ve saved my best bottle of gin and pack of dry roasted for this one.
The album kicks in superbly with a nice heavy riff as ‘Middle Finger Thank You’ introduces itself. It’s got a dark feel to it, the kind of music I loved listening to in bed when younger with the lights out. I’m enjoying the lazy chorus chords. They work really well. Great opening track.
As ‘Wild Turkey’ kicks in, my initial reaction was to warp back in time to Aerosmith’s pump album, to the hidden track at the very end of the album after ‘What It Takes’. This has the trademark Irish folk feel to it with some great lyrics and is a truly uplifting song.
‘Stones’ comes a little too early in the album for me, as I was just getting into the swing of this superb uplifting stuff and then I’m brought back down with this moody, ambling number. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great track, just at the wrong time for me. ‘You Really Just Want To Be Me’ is littered with some amazing harmonizing in a superb chorus. A typical Irish based song that breaks out into whatever it feels like doing and it works brilliantly. I can imagine this track being an absolute floor filler at a summer festival. Love it.
‘Hometown King’ is another tune that rocks and ambles along. It’s uplifting, satisfying, and makes you want to hit the repeat button. ‘Fay’s Song’ has suddenly made me realize that Paul is very clever in the way he’s telling us a story in each song. Some people will realize, some wont. I just have. ‘Quiet Bit / Loud it’ comes as a bit of a surprise with its Nirvana style opening riff. This song takes the album into a totally different direction in such a way that it almost sounds like a different band playing it. But as this album goes on, I’m learning that this diversity is Paul’s trump card, his ace of the pack.
There’s some great bass at the start of ‘Float Me’, followed by some angry lyrics, which keep you sucked in to listen to what Paul has to say. ‘Kid on A Bridge’ comes at the perfect time in the album. A slower number and I’m sure I’m hearing shades of The Corrs here?? Nowt wrong with that. The calm before the storm. And so, it’s proved. ‘I’ll Never Be A Pirate’ is an absolute masterpiece of pure Irish foot stomping brilliance. A fulfilling tune with its own story and a mouth opening smile at the end brought on by Paul’s superb lyrics. The way this song ends just epitomizes the whole album. It’s been an absolute pleasure. When listening to unsigned artists, you can hear the quality, the potential that’s there. This is it. End of. Paul has explained to me that this album was recorded under his terms and on a budget. If these tracks were recorded with a massive budget and projected into the public eye, we would be looking at a star. I do have one slight issue though:
Paul, if you need a bass player in the future, let me know, Love Sty xx
Reviewed by Sty
1 – Middle Finger Thank You
2 – Wild Turkey
3 – Stones
4 – You Really Just Want To Be Me
5 – Hometown King
6 – Fay’s Song
7 – Quiet Bit / Loud Bit
8 – Float Me
9 – Kid On A Bridge
10 – I’ll Never Be A Pirate