Track: Brooks Williams, Findlay Napier, Boo Hewerdine and Kris Drever – ‘Farewell To Gold’: cult singers in quartet for a dream made reality

IT’S PRETTY much a cult, folky singer-songwriting dream; despite the lockdown and the all of it, that Cambridge Americana adept Brooks Williams, former The Bible! man Boo Hewerdine, Scotland’s Findlay Napier and Lau singer and potent artist in his own right, Kris Drever, should combine forces in song.

… And so it came to pass, a fine singing out, each at the mic in turn, four guitars meshing; something to thank the fibre-optics for. You can watch the lockdown video below.

And it turns out it actually was a dream, as Brooks explains: “In the heat of Covid Summer 2020 I had a fevered dream.

“I was singing ‘Farewell To The Gold’ on a big stage with three friends. To my right and left were Findlay Napier, Boo Hewerdine and Kris Drever and we were belting out this song like nobody’s business.

“Inspired by this dream, I phoned them all up the following day and, to my delight, they unanimously agreed to record the song with me. Unfortunately, the situation we find ourselves in at the moment prevented us from getting together in person to make that recording. So we’ve had to record across the miles between Cambridge and Glasgow.

“I recorded my parts first and, if I recall correctly, it next went to Fin, then Kris, and then, finally, Boo. Each step along the way we refined our parts and in the end it was as you hear it now. We all played guitar and sang.

“As it turns out, we all know Paul Metser’s iconic song from the same recording, Penguin Eggs, by Nic Jones. A seminal album if ever there was one.

“’Farewell To The Gold’ speaks of New Zealand’s gold rush from the point of view of one who has tried, but ultimately been unsuccessful, in finding one’s fortune. Making “hardly enough to get by,” it’s goodbye to the dream.

“I thank Fin, Boo and Kris for giving my dream the wings to fly. I appreciate the generosity of their time and ideas. If we ever get back to gigging, I hope there is a stage somewhere we four can belt this out in person.”

I’ll raise a glass to that; and to the deep and sincere collective talent they bring.

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