Friday, 7 October 2022

Wham! Bam! I'm A HANN Fan!

In response to yesterday's Nico selection, C of the excellent Sun Dried Sparrows blog posted a link to My Mum Was Nico's Driver by Manchester band HANN, released in March this year. It was the first time I'd heard of the song or the band and I lost the next hour or so immersing myself in their music.
This is why I love the blogging community. As much as I love to share my passion for music, old and new, those lovely music blogs to your right (if you're viewing the web version) and the many people who comment here have also pointed me in the direction of artists or songs that might otherwise have passed me by.
HANN is formed around singer/songwriter Hannah Fitzpatrick and started releasing music in October 2019. Thanks to a global pandemic, it was April this year before the band got to play their first gig at The Golden Lion in Todmorden (which also got a very special mention this week over at Bagging Area, but I digress).
My Mum Was Nico's Driver is a true story and a great song. I've posted a 'live in the room' video which is dubbed with the single version. The full lyrics are available on YouTube and Bandcamp and include this fabulous vignette

Mum had to get narky with Mark E. Smith
when he just would not stop
fawning and falling all over [Nico] like a manky
tanked up scrawny monkey in a tank top
I'll bet Charles Shaar Murray wished he'd used that description when reviewing The Fall for NME back in 1979.
So far, HANN has released thirteen songs, all available on Bandcamp for around a tenner in total. All worth a listen and a purchase, especially as it's Bandcamp Friday today. 
Another favourite - and even more apt, given the current shitstorm facing us in the UK - is Skint In Winter, with a fantastically on-the-nose video where Hannah puts on layer after layer after layer of clothing for the entirety of the song. Brilliant. 

HANN has a strong musical predigree. As well as her mum's Nico connection, dad Neil was frontperson with late 70s new wave band The Smirks and founder of Distant Cousins in the late 80s. Keyboards on My Mum Was Nico's Driver are by Steve Hopkins, who also played with Distant Cousins but is perhaps better known as a core member - with Martin Hannett - of The Invisible Girls, who recorded and performed with Nico. HANN's latest single, Will She? Won't She? was mixed by Keir Stewart, whose own rich musical CV includes The Durutti Column and one-off 1999 project Inch, with an eponymous single featuring a certain Mark E. Smith. What a wonderful circle.
The other HANN fact that immediately drew my attention and piqued my curiosity is that Hannah's co-writer is none other than Manchester legend Edward Barton. Amongst Barton's many other achievements is It's A Fine Day by Jane, later covered by Opus III, in turn sampled to great effect by Orbital on their classic track Halcyon.
Earlier this year, the entire run of classic Channel 4 music show The Tube was posted on YouTube and I singled out Edward Barton's unforgettable appearance from 1987 for a post. As well as expanding my vocabulary, it provided a brilliant performance of I've Got No Chicken But I've Got Five Wooden Chairs. 
"The Man" soon put paid to our enjoyment of The Tube on YT and took it down faster than a failing Tory PM. I think the performance clip has been posted back up on YT somewhere, sadly minus Jools Holland's entertainingly awkward introduction with Edward beforehand. However, I've found a video from 2009 which, if anything, is even more compelling.
Barton and dad Neil have clearly had a positive influence on Hannah's songwriting, allowing her talent and narrative voice to shine through. Might be a while before we get a full HANN album or, here's hoping, a wider UK tour but I'm now signed up and looking forward to what comes next.
Thanks, C!



  1. Edward Barton and Jane, Good God. You'll be listening to this next:

    1. PS Great fun this post. Many thanks to you and C

    2. Have you been looking at my draft posts, Ernie?

  2. Ah thank you Khayem, it's very gratifying to read this, always very glad to (unwittingly) send someone down an enjoyable rabbit hole! 'My Mum Was Nico's Driver' immediately sprang to mind on reading yesterda's post but, as you have illustrated perfectly here, there is much more beyond that one track too.

    1. That's been one very happy Bandcamp Friday and weekend's listening, C, thanks again!

  3. Post of the day. And thank you (both) for introducing me to HANN.

    1. Given the sheer volume of great artists and music you've introduced me to, Adam, nice to give a little back, with a considerable helping hand from C.