So what’s it like, doing live tracking in the age of Covid? Here’s some footage from Church Road Studios a couple of days ago…
Masks, hand sanitizer and tape on the floor – also, I’m not allowed to touch an amp or mic stand myself, which makes it feel like we’re filming at the BBC in about 1970 (quite fun, actually).
These are preliminary recordings for an album due out sometime next year… not yet clear exactly when… The first track featured is called Schooling, the second’s Derision (which is meant to be about 4min of freeform… we got nearly half an hour, so I look forward to the edit).
It’s a strange new situation all right – but not impossible, thankfully.
Here’s the recent streamed gig courtesy The Rec Rooms, for anyone who doesn’t like Facebook. It’s only the second time I’ve performed this way, and can’t deny it feels odd playing a set at home to dead silence (a bit like radio, but on yr own and with less reliable tech)… Still, reckon it went pretty well – see what you think.
All these lo-fi home gigs are going to make a weird little time-capsule once the immediate crisis passes… A historical record of people with hair that needs cut, staring at cameras in their bedrooms.
For anyone who fancies a deeper dive, here‘s the #SaveOurVenues gig I did for The Brunswick (fb only unfortunately)… Having crossed a line, I’ll probably do more of this kind of thing in future – but still prefer actual in-reality gigs.
So here, because I’m feeling maudlin, are a few that never came to pass:
…Hope to reschedule with some of these bands, some day!
“Matt played his guitar with menace tonight”
And a few pix (thanks to Mik Hanscomb. The out-of-focus shots of the other bands are mine – I’m a musician, not a photojournalist… clearly):
…Onward to the next one.
noises (Church Road Studio)
burnt orange (Church Road Studio)
lights! (Audiobeach Studio)
…more on these developments soon
pic(s) by Dexter Bentley
Here’s the live session & interview we did for Dexter Bentley’s HelloGoodbye Show on Resonance FM – it’s very close to the start of the show, and is four uninterrupted songs (including a brand new number) followed by some chat:
(That was our afternoon. Later on, we went to Biddle Bros in E5 for a very loud gig. An ideal day.)
7 Aug ’19, The Prince Albert (Brighton) – CCZH Photography
Thought it was about time for some action shots of the band, to go with the recent overhaul of the site… This new collective focus is reflected in the next EP, which was recorded pretty much live in the studio earlier this year; it’s not just a one-man operation anymore. Anyway, there’s more to follow, audio & visual.
The video of Perilous Seat can be seen exclusively via Pure Grain Audio, here. It’s a DIY epic of indifferent miming, lurid colours and general dislocation – every penny’s up there on the screen. Hope you enjoy… If not, you can claim back the 3min 47sec of yr life from me at a gig, with this handy token:
So the gig went well…
…and three days later, we went into the studio to record as a band – which also went very well (more on that later)…
…but meanwhile, there’s a new single coming out next month:
Due 8 March, accompanied by a video (one of my no-budget, lo-fi specials) – link to follow.
Here’s a stranger to daylight, staring back at a camera and talking to Mass Movement about his 10 favourite LPs. I now understand why vloggers do that thing of having loads of apparently pointless fast cuts even if it’s just them talking (to edit out all the times they blew their lines or dried up. Try giving a semi-improvised speech for a quarter hour without deviation, hesitation, repetition or several annoying facial tics… even the most glibly confident would struggle. Still, interesting to try – although I don’t think I could make a “career” out of it). These aren’t the definitive 10 – more the ones that seemed significant that day – but I hope this small addition to the huge reef of pop cult lists is entertaining, anyway. And it’s nice to be asked.
…Reproduced here because it’s bootleg as fuck – a paper zine with minimal web presence, and if you don’t live in Brighton you’re unlikely to see a copy. Both ends of the magnet!
[EDIT: as of July ’19, PiB now has a website – check here]
Back soon with gig news…
As part of my musical sideline as a (novice) member of the Safehouse collective, here’s some video footage – and photos – from the 25th April gig supporting Shatner’s Bassoon & Bolide, once again courtesy Agata Urbaniak:
…photos on Flickr here
It’s good to branch out…
These were taken at Sunday’s Bar 42 gig, and include shots of Dran Krwawy, La Pequena Em, Kuroneko… I really like this photographer’s work, which captures the heightened, adrenalised feel of live performance better than most others I can think of – without resorting to any of the obvious moves – so it’s a thrill to be included. Feast yr eyes, glut yr etc.
And for good measure, here’s a video of an unreleased song called Evil Relief :
Quite a full year: a new live band plus lots of gigs, an EP release and tour. Here’s to another like it, but more so – it’s been great, and thanks everyone who’s listened. (Should point out, I do own more than one shirt… look closely and you’ll see they’re not all the same garment – just very, very similar. Maybe next year I’ll experiment with another colour or two. Maybe.)
photos by Paul Newman
Photos of the band onstage at the Guitars Who Cares all-dayer, put on by Poupee Visage at Green Door Store (as you just might be able to tell from the glowing backdrop). They’re grainy because they’re stills from a video camera – sadly the footage was unusable because we were too loud for the mic. It was a good gig.
Some photos of Thursday’s full-band gig. Mik and Steve sounded great – dead showbiz.
Some photos by Heather Johnson of last night’s Green Door Store gig supporting I, Ludicrous (except no. 4, by Phil of Spinning Chilli).
Went very well, especially for a first gig as a duo. A high note to finish 2016 on.
(Think I, Ludicrous have forgiven me for bailing out on their set due to transport issues the first time I supported them a while ago… They were inconsolable for years, of course.)
Here’s a live performance of an unreleased song for Agony Magazine – there were 3 tracks recorded that day, so maybe more to follow at some point. It was super-efficient and lots of fun, which hopefully comes across on video.
I’ll probably be playing this number at my late-December gig:
fireworks, car alarms, gales and rain
A few pics taken by Andrew Nicholls & others at Angle Magazine HQ in Eastbourne last week – where I went to perform a live music video as part of their Balcony Sessions series. Went pretty well… climate and other distractions aside.
Look out for the session on their website.
(Except it never appeared: the magazine went under before they got around to it. Ah well, was fun)
can you tell which one’s me?
Had a blast backing Crysi di Milo at Trans Pride last weekend (then in a sex-dungeon at Fag Machine on Wed 29th). We absolutely killed, so might go into a studio soon and make some horrendous noise, see what happens. Both events were lovely and it was a privileged buzz to play a – very minor, but fun – part.
grey is not a rock n roll colour
Many thanks to those who came, those who played, and those who supported in other ways: it was a blast. Hopefully I’ll do it all again in September, but different. x
Seasonal fear! Here’s a new song from me at 6min26 called Dead Men Sing Us To Our Rest – very apt for the dark, hushed mortuary time of year it was shot and broadcast…
This is episode 4 of StageUp Unplugged, which went out on local TV & Virgin 159 just before Xmas, now archived to their Youtube channel. Do check it out – there’s other good stuff on there, plus it’s an interesting and worthwhile outfit: a Social Enterprise involved in mental health.
More news (and hopefully, gigs) soon.