Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences began in 2006 as a collaboration between antifolk songwriter Hawkins & former Death in Vegas guitarist turned producer & drummer Ian Button in order to develop Hawkins’ then mostly-acoustic songs into the compelling, twisted outsider pop that existed in Hawkins’ imagination. Over the next few years they evolved into a six-piece & gained a fearsome live reputation as one of the most original & uncompromising live acts in London supporting the likes of Blood Red Shoes & Wreckless Eric & gaining slots at the Latitude & Swn festivals. Debut single “The Bigger Bone” was the UK Student Radio Association’s track of the week & was followed by a glut of critically acclaimed singles & their 2008 album “We Are Not Other People”, which was crammed with wickedly twisted pop songs contrasted Hawkins’ distinctive snarl & bleakly humorous lyrics with insanely catchy singalong tunes. The band have been championed by the likes of Radio 1’s Huw Stephens who rejoiced in their “energy, individualism & off-kilter rock n’ roll” & have drawn comparisons with outsider punk champion Ian Dury, the melodrama of Nick Cave & the uncompromising post-punk of The Fall, PiL & The Pogues but have a take that is uniquely their own.
Paul Hawkins was born in Bristol and started writing his unique brand of dark, twisted comic outsider art narrative songs in his teens but didn’t perform live until he had moved to London and needed a way to go out and meet people. For two years he played solo until producer Ian Button, (best known as the guitarist in Death in Vegas) came across Paul’s music and ended up producing Paul’s ultra-limited self-released debut album The Misdiagnosis of Paul Hawkins. Shortly after this Hawkins and Button formed Thee Awkward Silences, which comprise of Button on drums, Alex Templeton-Ward (lead singer of recent Jezus Factory signings The Beat Maras) on bass, Tom Mayne (frontman of cult antifolk band David Cronenberg’s Wife) on keyboards, Kate Arnold on violin, and Lawrence “Lunch” Pritchard (of the much missed Brazen Hussies) on guitar.
Jezus Factory first stumbled across the band live one fateful night in January 2007 and were dumbfounded enough to offer to sign them on the spot. They were first featured on ‘Welcome Back to The Jezus Factory’ compilation and released a split single “The Evil Thoughts” with L’il Lost Lou in June. “The Bigger Bone” is released on 26th November on download and highly limited edition CD. The LP We Are Not Other People will follow in early 2008.