Paul Henshaw

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FIVE COMPASS LIGHTHOUSE - What's it all about?!

Posted by on November 1, 2019 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (1)
FIVE COMPASS LIGHTHOUSE Hey everyone, New album is out as of 1st November 2019!!... I did this a few years back for "YOU JUST LOST THE GAME" I wrote a little bit of uninteresting information about each song on the album so thought I'd do it again, maybe you'd like to hear it. WHERE I WAS This isn't a song, merely a poem set to sounds that kicks the album off. There's train noises, foreign radio stations I got off this amazing app called "radio garden" (I love listening to that) and the noise right at the start is a Tibetan singing bowl my daughter bought me for Xmas years ago and that I've been promising to use on every album to date! The spoken word bit was difficult for me, I wondered if I was a bit "up my own arse" but I often get asked about what certain songs are about and I realized the whole album is a contradiction so wrote 2 poems, each with a line from each of the songs on the album in order. What I found was that you could write one very negative piece and one very positive piece, this is what bookcases the album. HEADS, HEARTS AND VOICES This song was written in a big group of songs I wrote half way through the writing process, GLASGOW, 21 TRAINS, BIBLE CHORDS and about 6 songs that didn't make it were written in about 3 weeks, VOICES was one of that group. It's working title was "fiddle song" based on us just having a fiddle player in the band and I wrote it totally as a song to open the set with. The lyrical content is just about me being a bit of a dick at times and being sorry for that. It's been a set opener at various stages over the last few months and will be across the tour. THROWING LINES One of the last songs I wrote for the album I stole the title off the TV programme Deadliest Catch (I'm a massive fan of this show - you can probably guess that) The bit that resonated with me is how the crab fishermen throw lines and head off into the unknown which we could probably all do with doing every so often, I know I could. That in mind the subject of the song is someone I am very proud of for how they battle with all kinds of shit, keep smiling and stay supportive to the people in their life. WAVES Pretty much the first song I wrote for this album. I wrote it when I lived in North Wales and it's about a house, my old house and the only home my parents ever lived in together. My whole childhood was there, it was the anchor of my life, and where I felt at home. 2 and a bit years ago I sold it and moved to the seaside, that's where the album title came from, the FIVE was the number of the old house, The COMPASS was finding my way to the new home and the LIGHTHOUSE is because I could see a lighthouse from my back garden. Moving was traumatic for me, at the time we had a band member leave and I spent 3 weeks emptying the loft of my Mum and Dad's life. The day I left I walked around and kissed every wall and touched every ceiling, it was shit. The song is more about being surrounded by a group of people who all thought I should be happy and bouncing about the move, which I was, I just needed a bit of time to grieve and have a break. LAST DAY BEFORE BEDLAM This is basically the story of the day I left the dream of living by the sea behind me, the most aggressive and noisy song of the lot. It's an introspective look at what I thought about myself that day. I drove the hundred miles from the house by the sea to where I'd moved to 6 times that day, 600 miles driving, moving boxes with my best mate Paul Bell and eating lots of Greggs caramel donuts. I wasn't sure if the main opening guitar part was a bit clich├ęd, what the band did to it input wise made me realize I didn't care, it's just a brilliant song to play, I enjoy it, they enjoy it and at the end of the day this whole thing should be FUN, when it's not I'll stop. I'M STILL EMPTY I know I write a lot of songs about me and stuff I've done, stupid stuff like lobbing a beer can at a policeman's head, or drunken nights in town, but this one's different for me. I was playing around with chords and wanted to have this repetitive electric line over the top so recorded the acoustic onto my phone and then messed with a picked line above it. I wrote 4 in the end and had to remember how to TAB so as not to forget them. I thought about moving around the 4 different parts or maybe just a couple of them but decided to stick with the one over and over. It was a bitch to record as when we record we all play together and this time in different rooms, knowing where the hell we were in the song was almost impossible without singing, I mean, we're not the Breeders are we? Still, we got there in the end. THE ROAD TO KRUMLOV I was on tour last year and went to the CZ Republic for more than a one off gig for the first time. I wrote the idea behind this song sat in a car park, freezing cold, waiting for hours to go and load in at that nights gig. After the show I found out that my sofa for the night hadn't materialized so was left with finding somewhere else or sleeping in the car. Angie (my partner) did some rapid hotel finding and found one close by which I spent 3 hours locating. I had a sat nav but hadn't factored in that sat navs can locate your position pretty accurately but it doesn't handle where you are height wise very well. Those 3 hours were spent looking for a hotel which I discovered after a very fraught phone call to the hotel desk was 100 feet beneath the bridge that I was standing on! The great bit about this, I was supposed to have travelled to Cesky Budovice and slept on a sofa and instead I woke up in a nice room, had a bath and then spent the day in a world heritage site, a truly beautiful city that I'd have missed if arrangements had held up. GLASGOW I'm a late comer to Frightened Rabbit but I like them a lot. I'd only ever bypassed Glasgow and spent one night there when I worked for a company who had a plant there, I ate a 12 pc KFC bucket and watched a Eurovision highlights rerun, I was sure Glasgow had more to offer if I'm honest but had never made it back. This year Angie suggested we go for a weekend, it's her hometown, to see the sights, ride the trains, see some Lochs etc so we did. I was blown away by how at home I felt there, from the hardness of it all and freezing, biting cold wind, but then the warmth of the people and the countryside with such incredible views. I'm a bit of an engineering geek so there was lots to see. Back to the Frightened Rabbit bit, I wanted to be honest with this album, so for this song I recorded a little bit of Glasgow "Happening" from Scott Hutchinson's memorial bench, I didn't know where it was going to fit but if you have a song called Glasgow, you'd better bloody have Glasgow city sounds in the background and not some random British libraries audio clip eh? 21 TRAINS Not a lot to say about this except there are 21 trains in there if you want to listen out for them. WREN Before I moved to Wales I was part parent to 2 cats called Dave. Black Dave was scared of leaves and light breezes, White Dave wanted to take over the world. White Dave would catch birds, Mice, Cattle, Giraffes and virtually anything that had a pulse, this one day he caught a Wren so I threw a bucket of water at him to chase him off then sat on the lawn trying to revive this poor little bird I failed. The wren died. PROMISED LULLABY I promised to write this, and I did. I love this song, easily the frailest thing I've ever written, everything that everyone plays on this fits perfectly and Gareth's keys and noises take it way beyond what I thought it ever could be It's about wanting to be there to catch someone when they slip. far REACHING Rage I don't do politics, I'm not sure I believe anyone in a position of power these days although I definitely lean one way over the other. However, there is a vile human being in the political arena today. In any other position in life he would be in prison or had been taken out and shot. What makes my shit itch is the fact he's still fucking here! I hate him. The song title is written in a way which his name (first 3 letters and last 3 letters) is in lower case, he doesn't deserve caps. I wanted a bouncy song so wrote this by standing at the end of my kitchen table and jumping up and down to a tempo I hoped people in a crowd would bounce to, let's see if that works. BIBLE CHORDS One of the main body of songs that came out when I first moved house from the seaside but the one which took the longest to complete, I could never get the verse to fit, some might say it still doesn't. Gareth came up with the idea of getting some backing vocals done via people recording them on phones and sending them in, the "Whoahs" are made up of a load of people singing from all over the World. I was still unsure about the song till Dylan sent me a video of his drum parts and then i pretty much knew we'd got this one. NOTHING O'CLOCK Yep, that's Frank Dog barking at the start, obviously! I'm not going to record an album and not have my buddy on it am I? This is as close to a musical picture I've ever written, it's about Mudeford Sandspit and a stay in a beach hut there. Angie came up with the idea that all dogs look happy, really happy, that in some way they all look like they're smiling. I started there sat on the seating bit at the back of the hut and pretty much wrote what I saw. From Abigail getting bored with the scooter, Henry not having any time for his sisters tantrum, the joggers struggling with their blue tooth while they run on the beach (surely waves work well as a soundtrack to a run????) it all happened in about 10 minutes It's a fabulous place to escape to. I think listening to this album and looking at the song subjects it's got a very strong location thread running through all the songs, maybe not so much where I was physically although that comes across, but more where I was in my head at the time. I know I wrote about being in the CZ Republic, houses I spent my childhood in, a beach hut by the sea and a well known Scottish city but it's all relative to where I was in my head at the time of writing, some of those times were good and others weren't as good. It's very easy to get sucked into writing and recording an album, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of what I'm actually trying to say, it pretty much takes over your life and I found myself getting quite insular during this one, shutting myself off and pushing people away I normally wouldn't. I certainly have more grey hair! I can say this though, sat listening to the finished mastered album, writing what you're hopefully still reading, it was personally worth every single sleepless night, angry moment, the times where I pulled my hair out in desperation, it's a very healing thing to sit and listen to "it" finished. Anyway, that's it, 14 useless facts about the album. I hope you enjoy it; I do. Love ph x


Posted by on January 14, 2018 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (82)
Hey all, In November we recorded a full gig for a band version of the set we played through most of 2017 It will be released in May 2018, called COMPLETUM EST, we've done a bit of editing and mixing will follow soon Looking forward to getting it out there in time for our 2018 festival season Will post more updates through the facebook and Twitter pages soon See you on the flip flop xx PH

August update

Posted by on August 22, 2016 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (1)
I've realized something today! I'm SHIT at blogging! As many teachers said to me in reports from school.....MUST TRY HARDER I've just finished another 5 gigs in 4 days this weekend, playing Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton, Stoke, a lovely little festival in Wales and then Newport last night. That takes us up to #117 gigs this year so far I think, something like that anyway Currently we're getting ready for 3 gigs at WATCHET FESTIVAL in Somerset this weekend, tent, cooker, all that malarkey. Seriously can't ait for all the slots but the mainstage slot on Saturday will be somewhere near to where I've seen the band playing all these months. It's great to share a stage with the likes of THE LEVELLERS and UB40 to name just 2, and yeah, we're on early but I don't give a shit! Watchet is after all WATCHET!! I've been writing a fair bit lately, the aim was to do a totally solo album but I'm struggling to write anything that doesn't have a full band sound SO the plan is now to record the album as a band album, and then do a solo EP beforehand. I haven't worked on a release date yet but I'm aiming somewhere early 2017 for the album, and I've got the title but I'm not telling anyone yet I'd also like to say something, I've had quite a few people say about me being ill, this is due to some fairly serious weightloss and thank you for the concern but I AM NOT ILL! The weightloss was planned as I suffered from T2 Diabetes, which now appears to have gone. As a really cool bloke called Ben once said, HAPPY DAYS The Alternative Shrewsbury Folk Festival ran nice and smoothly, although a stressful as fuck day for me it was a success and we'll be running it again next year Right I'm off to eat some salad See you down the front ph

Thank you!

Posted by on February 29, 2016 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Happy Monday all!

Well to say that I'm sat here after 2 awesome gigs yesterday, totally gobsmacked at what I'm seeing on the lap top is a bit of an understatement

Yesterday was great fun first of all, the first gig at a private party was played in a dining room to 40 or 50 pissed up party goers at 4pm! What a blast that was, literally raising the roof in sing a longs.

We then packed up, loaded up and got to the next gig 20 miles away in 40 minutes and played a full 2.5 hours to a pub full of more pissed up party revellers!

I love days like yesterday 

So, the lap top thing. I can't believe that YOU! JUST LOST THE GAME, the album is at #6 in the Amazon Folk chart, the lead song "I declare shenanigans" was #1 in hot new releases and the album has even made it into the overall "ALL ALBUMS" hot new release chart at #83!

I recorded this in my bedroom with no recording experience, just proves to me IT IS ABOUT THE SONGS!

Thank you so much xxx



10 Things about You! Just Lost The Game you didn't know

Posted by on February 21, 2016 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

As the new album is out now I thought I'd share some unknown facts about it

Maybe you'll find them interesting, maybe not, they are however true

The albums available on iTunes, Amazon and on CD at gigs and via the website store

Ok, here goes........

1) The "You! Just Lost The Game" album title came from a conversation about "The Game" with my good friend Tim Compton. Apparently if you google "The Game" the rules are there but basically everyone is playing it, no one knows they are, if you think about the game you've lost the game and the game only ends if the Prime minister announces in parliament that the game is officially over, and then a new game starts. I called the album You! Just Lost The Game so Tim loses it everytime his fiance Rhi puts it on in the car.

2) Braddaz had never recorded anything EVER before this album and his bodhran playing on "Bandages and Glue" was the first time he'd ever sat infront of a mic and it was his first run thru for the scratch track. When we came to record it for the album I couldn't fault it so it was never rerecorded, basically Braddaz's very first drum hit ever recorded made it onto the album.

3) While we're on about Braddaz, in "Gone" we couldn't remember the rim shots he had rehearsed so we ended up playing the beat on a chair in the studio

4) "Silence is Not Acceptance" is a true story, from a long time ago. I did throw a beercan at a policeman and it bounced off his head, I threw it because he was being obnoxious about making sure I put it in the bin. I threw it at him and it hit him and the police cars chased me up Claremont Hill and I jumped into the quarry by St Chads and buggered my ankle up. I'm not proud but makes for a fun story.

5) "Gone" was the first song I started writing and almost the last to be finished as I couldn't work out the melody I wanted. It took 16 months to write.

6) "Another Protest Song" grew from one line thats in the 2nd verse. "Now I'm too busy reading mails from a solicitor in Uganda" was about the spam emails you get saying you're the only surviving relative and theres a $10,000,000 inheritance waiting for you if you send your ban account details.

7) "Dancing in Laybys" was written in 10 minutes and recorded in 10 more. The tune popped into my head while watching a film and I ran upstairs, wrote and recorded it in 20 minutes. On the flip side to that, I spent more time on "My Last Rant" than any other song on the album as it was going to be the song that accompanied the video, which now accompanies "Silence is not acceptance" Because there is no band input to the video and its a story of a Z lister superhero "The Urban Ninja" Oliver at Intrigue Videos just swapped the songs over. 

8) All of Nikki's backing vocals were recorded while she was full of flu, wearing a onsie and she sat down after every line to get her breath back. She got through an entire pack of toilet rolls blowing her nose

9) After Paul C had been in and recorded his bass lines I accidentally deleted 3 of them, at least I lost them somewhere and was at the point of owning up when they magically reappeared? This is still something that baffles me.

10) The album was recorded in my studio and my studio is in the home my parents lived in before they passed away. The studio is in their old bedroom so there is every chance I was made in the same room I recorded this in.  

So there you go, the story behind the album in 10 useless facts, if Chris Tarrant ever asks you about it you'll know, my gift to you

Hope you are enjoying the album


You! Just Lost The Game

Posted by on February 13, 2016 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Well it's been a long rime coming but finally we're 6 days from the release of the new album

You! Just Lost The Game is my heart and soul put into 13 songs, sounding exactly how I want it to, its not totally pretty and shiney but then again I grew up in grunge and punk and non of that ever was either.

I'm really proud, I've wanted to do something like this for years and although I know its a big risk, considering the way the world expects to hear music these days but I've spent more time on songwriting, both lyrically an musically and less time on making it sound "shiney"

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, I truly hope you can see what i was trying to do

Nothing much left to do now excpet let you hear it......

Oh yeah! If anyone wants to come to the release party next Friday at Percys in Whitchurch, all are welcome. I can promise some serious shenanigans in a fabulous venue

See you down the front


Full Force Folk Friends from Holland

Posted by on January 27, 2016 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I sit here, chilling in my front room, while Judge Rinder is ranting at some girl who is interupting him, puffing on a E-Cig with a coffee and life is relaxed

This weekend was not so chilled

Me and the Simpletons (less Nikki) headed off to Europe for some shenanigans with our friends Bunch of Bastards

3 gigs, 3 days, 1300 miles, easy enough right? Well, even with a broken car (Which is still in Holland by the way) having such good friends like Andries and his fellow bastards kept me sane at least 

The gigs were fabulous, and we cemented bonds with Andries, Cor, Peter, Huib (not prononced Hweeeeeb) John and Dex very early on in Germany on the first date.

What surprised me was the way the venues treated us, they all literally fell over themselves to make us welcome, including meals, drinks and in the case of the German gig in Nordhorn, somewhere to sleep! Its a pity that doesn't always get mirrored across in the UK

After Nordhorn we drove to Delft (This is where the breakdown happened) so while Braddaz and Paul headed off with the Bastards to set up, Andries the Accordian player and me waiting for a pick up and hire car.

A crazy drive to Delft and i am dropped outside the venue and 5 mins later we're heading into song #1

After being looked after by Singer Cor we got up, had a great breakfast and headed to the Merz in Dordtrecht for the last gig on this little run. A great venue, lovely people and the end of tour meal of satay chicken was IMMENSE!

It was hard saying goodbye, in the space of just over 48 hours we became huge friends, considering only Andries and I had spoken via facebook and one short 15 min conversation last year but for everyone else was a first meet up, but the road is a long one and I'm stoked to say that Bunch of Bastards will be with us in May for a reunion and 3 gigs here

I could go on about just how much these crazy guys put themselves out for us and made us welcome, lets just say they did and they proved theres more to family than just blood. You guys are FUCKING AWESOME!

So, back to it here, theres gig news, theres album news, theres video news, wqatch out for these at the weekend




1000 miles more!

Posted by on September 28, 2015 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Well that was a weekend or two of highs and lows, luckily mostly highs, in fact there was only one low so happy days all round

Last weekend we filmed a show at one of my favourite venues to play. Percy’s Coffee and Curios in Whitchurch, Shropshire is the most quirky and brilliant place to play and ever since we played there for the first time back in Feb this year I’ve been mulling over filming something there. It’s just an incredible little place, stained glass windows on the stage, all kinds of fairground detritus and a sound desk built into a church pulpit!

The DVD, as yet untitled will be available at gigs and via the merch page on the website and is set for Christmas release, just so we can corner the Xmas DVD market! Sometimes even I believe my own crap :-)

The show itself was a whole ton of fun and I’m happy to say we gave some of the new songs a run out live. I’m feeling good about how they’re coming together in advance of recording.

The “unintentional” after show party ended at my house at about 5:30am, I drank too much red wine but there was another gig Saturday otherwise I think it may have just carried on till daylight.

This last weekend was spent way down south. Friday night saw me and the band (Less Nikki unfortunately) playing the last night of September Fest at The Copperhouse in Hayle, Cornwall. I got down there early and met up with Braddaz who'd been camping most of the week so after a romantic walk on the beach (I’m joking) we headed to soundcheck. Christ was the place hot? At the end of the gig I had white spots flashing in front of me but a couple of gallons of water and a kebab and I was all good again.

Braddaz and me headed back to the campsite and after a couple of beers looking out to sea I hunkered down in the back of my car for one of the most uncomfortable night’s sleep I ever had.

A cup of tea (In a beaker – remember those?) and 2 Viennese whirls that I found in the car and at 10am Saturday morning and I’m on the road heading to my buddy Ted’s house / or hospital dependant on whether he’s been discharged following a new knee op.

I only met Ted a few weeks back when I played Occombe festival in Paignton with the band but we instantly realized we’re on the same page regards to music. I was going to surprise Ted and show up to pay him a visit and maybe jam a song or two but fate played a shitty twist and any chance disappeared with a Diesel Particulate Filter issue on the car! I was gutted. It took 3 hours for the incredibly helpful AA man called Steve to get me rolling again but he did, however all chances of a surprise Ted visit had gone.

Ted supports a lot of musicians via his page Cult of SuperTed amongst other things he does including TedFest, click the link below or cut and paste if the link hasn't worked and give the page a like and show some love eh? Ted just has a great passion for helping lots of people like me who charge round the country, playing songs, and it’s just really fucking nice to get this kind of support from real music scene fans.

So, back on the road I was, and swiftly heading the 100 miles or so to The Cove Bar in Hope Cove, Devon to play my 100th gig of 2015! This was a real personal milestone for me but also kind of weird that so many people are involved in my musical life, those who have helped and given support and stuff and I’m playing the target gig number for the whole of 2015, on my own, with none of the family, friends, and bandmates there to celebrate with me! It also had a nice strange symmetry to it though, why should the 100th gig be a big celebration? Lots of people do it, why shouldn’t it be somewhere I only know one person (and that’s Toby the venue owner)?

The gig was an absolute blast, safe to say we got Hope Cove singing along, and it appears a good time was had by all, a great way to mark hitting three figures this year. I am reliably informed by the awesome Toby, that I will be back!

So a long drive home got me back at 5am Sunday morning and after a sleep and a day’s chilling watching the MotoGP #10forVR46, and I’m feeling almost human again

Time to restring and head into the studio to start laying some more scratch tracks down over the next couple of days before we’re off to Ludlow for a Blacksmith Hill gig on Thursday, the same in Sandbach on Friday before I play 4 solo sets at Blackberry Fair in Whitchurch before heading out to play another Blacksmith Hill gig on Saturday




Just checking Text colour again

Posted by on September 3, 2015 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

So I thought I'd see if the text was white now and not that horrible poo colour

If this is white I'm going to man hug Mark Hambley alot when I see him!

A Review from KicFM

Posted by on August 9, 2015 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Thought I'd share this review from Beth Hemmings of KicROCKS at KicFm


You know how people say ''To truly understand someone you must put yourself in their boots and walk around in them''? Let’s do just that for a couple of minutes, shall we? I'd like you to export yourself from your daily life, and import yourself into the rugged old boots of Salopian singer/songwriter Paul Henshaw. Together with his band of Scientific Simpletons, Henshaw's sheer passion and individualism shines through when they come together to make an electrifying and unique folk-punk sound that can only be described as atmospheric, tender and raw.

Last year saw great things for Paul Henshaw and The Scientific Simpletons, what with the release of his fantastic 3rd album 'I Refuse To Sink' which received glowing reviews across the media. It demonstrated real bold talent and songs with such meaning and lyrical excellence that it makes you want to throw yourself at their feet as you would any colossal superstar. In this album we see Paul and the band deliver such elegance through a style that can sometimes be referred to as ambiguous. Having said that, it sometimes proves difficult to find an album that, with every song, renders a different bubbling emotion within the pit of your stomach. But this is an album that can do just that. Each song is as energy filled and passionate as the next with Paul (through the lyrics) clearly reminiscing on some of his previous more anger filled songs with an almost ridiculing attitude that certainly fills any room he performs in with an entertaining ambiance.


The upbeat hit ''Irish Singer Song Writer'' appears as the second single on the album and it really sticks out, taking the listener on a poignant journey into the mind of a slightly more youthful Paul through some rip-roaring folky riffs in a rather unique way. The lyrics ''Ever since I was a boy, I played guitar and dreamt of breaking hearts'' demonstrates how rooted Paul's commitment and determination for recognition is and I think is what makes him really stand out from the crowd (apart from the obvious - he bloody knows his way around a guitar).


2014 and Paul's commitment gave him the opportunity to explore the Far East on a solo soul-searching quest through China, Taiwan and Thailand. It gave him massive album success and a smashing festival season. With the success aromatically filing through to this year, Paul has already seen prosperity within the Amazon charts with a No 2 single and ''Alone In The Crowd, My Mate And Me'', written by murdered Shrewsbury busker Ben Bebbington, reached Amazon's No 1 folk best seller. Paul has also shared stages with some of the acclaimed artists of his genre such as Newton Faulkner, the hilarious John Otway, The Orb and many more.


So, I hope at this point you're still wearing Paul Henshaw’s rugged old boots? You are? Good. Let me ask you this then; if you have had this amount of promising auspiciousness as a brash and exceptionally talented up and comer, would you be satisfied? If the answer is a resounding no then you have certainly filled those boots well, as neither is Paul. The sky is the limit for this Shropshire gent and with the level of prosperity we're seeing throughout all aspects of his musical occupation so far, I predict a career destined for individual folk-punk immortality, and rapid musical oblivion. To infinity and beyond...