The Brickwork Lizards

Brickwork Lizards began to take shape when Egyptian vocalist and oud-player Tarik Beshir met Oxford rap scene stalwart Tom O’Hawk at a party. Discovering a mutual love of the 1930s harmony group The Ink Spots, they dreamed up an entirely new sound that would combine pre-war jazz with Arabic and Middle Eastern music, paying tribute along the way to countless other styles. Over the ten years since, Brickwork Lizards have refined their line-up, adding guitar, drums and trumpet, alongside violin, cello and double bass, while building up a dedicated fan base with hundreds of gigs and festival appearances across the UK. The band’s eight members draw on a wide range of musical experiences, from critically-acclaimed Arabic classical ensembles (Oxford Maqam) to chart-topping pop groups (Saint Etienne). Haneen is Brickwork Lizards’ second long-player. In Arabic, ‘haneen’ describes a feeling of nostalgic yearning, and bygone times and places haunt every song on this remarkable record. The band’s radical re-imaginings of traditional material - from courtly dances of the Ottoman sultans to ancient English hanging songs - evoke centuries of history, and showcase a band adept at crossing borders.