It can take some time to get used to a musician or singer and that's exactly the way that I felt with Richard Swift. The first time I heard his music, let's face it, I wasn't impressed - it was on my way back from work and I was quite happy to finally reach home and throw my iPod away from my ears.
Not the kind of person to give up easily, I decided to try the experience again the following day - but this time first thing in the morning. As I was making my way through a foggy London, I started playing him over and over again and really started enjoying the melodies. I became quite fond of his songs, especially Lovely Night, Sad Song Street - Richard's favourite live piece - and Losing Sleep and Beautifulheart. Swift released two albums; The Novelist and Walking Without Effort before being signed by Polydor. The label then reissued them in 1995 as a double album: The Novelist / Walking Without Effort.
Latest Polydor release is Dressed Up For The Let Down featuring the single Kissus For The Missus.
His music is certainly different from anything you've heard before. A friend of mine describes him as "Richard Hawley, early 80's - Tom Waits without the gruffness". I'd say he mixes 60's acoustic and indie pop to create rich melodies.
So, finally won over, I decided to get tickets for his gig at The Water Rats, Kings Cross - 'a small, personal venue'. You soon realise that this is a euphamism for 'gets hot really quickly', but once the able Swift takes to the stage your discomfort quickly evaporates.
Featuring tracks from the The Novelist / Walking Without Effort and the new album Dressed Up For The Let Down including Kissus For The Missus and The Atlantic Ocean, Richard's set is an adept crowd-pleaser. His talents at the piano and on the guitar combine with fine vocal ability to convince you that he's one hell of an entertainer.