Posts tagged “media exposure

Happy Blank Page: 2013

2012 was bipolar – but I’d do it all again

Well, that was a… colourful year.  And who could ask for more?  Rather that than the alternative, which is a dreary thought.  Death!

So what happened?  (I’m still asking myself that, so this summary is as much for my benefit as anything else.)

1) Released 2nd album.  Got more, and better, reviews than #1 – which was kind of the idea.

2) Did a brief and eventful tour after release – pretty much broke even: another first.  Played a fair few other gigs, mostly solo, some with…

3) A band, which orbited around the songs for roughly 8-9 months and then exploded.  With hindsight, it was never going to last, but during that time we played…

4) Live on BBC Introducing: The South (and the single got a little air-time too).  This was exciting.

5) Did some more on the writing front, including an anthology on Kindle.  My shady publication history can be partially untangled here, for anyone who’s into the minutiae.

…Besides these bare bullet-points, I’ve just kept on doing it, “it” being more songs.  Met some potential collaborators in the last couple of months, had a few tantalising overtures;  again, I’m not going into detail yet for fear of The Jinx; in this game, so many promising set-ups tend to evaporate without warning.

But it’s promising just the same.  And it’s been a blast – on a gross venal level, the trickle of royalties makes filling in an income tax Self Assessment form such a thrill.

Joking aside, I’m still fuelling off the highs and regret none of the lows – hope you (whoever you are) likewise.  Happy New Year.


Unpeeled album review + TOUR NEWS

The 13th August update of Unpeeled has very positive things to say about Glow in the Dark – “once in a blue one, you come across something of genuine interest”, for a start – and I’ve taken the liberty of quoting the entire review somewhere on here.  Go to the site, though, it’s all good writing (and they clearly have excellent taste).

Tomorrow sees the first date of MINOTAUR – South Seas Live in Sheffield.  Facebook pg for that specific gig here.

Wish me luck – or a gloriously messy death. x


GLOW IN THE DARK out today – reviewed by Whiteboard Project

GLOW IN THE DARK – album #2 – is now available from Bandcamp, Amazon, Spotify & iTunes.  And the rest.  My advice is get it from Bandcamp, where it comes with extras.

It’s been reviewed by Whiteboard Project, here.  (Scroll down, it’s the second or third item.)  It “will infuriate some and delight others […] Highly recommended”.   Amen to that.

On top of this, I’m part of a brief tour from 15th – 19th August.


Brighton Souce & Ringmaster Reviews: Glow in the Dark x2

Two more reviews for Glow in the Dark, first from Stu Huggett in Brighton Source magazine:

…And second from Ringmaster Reviews, here.  An ambivalent one, this – “at times not easy to get a handle on”, but “to ignore it would be a mistake”… and “a sinister caress with less than healthy intentions which leaves one rattled but needing to feel its shadows again”(!).  Still, it’s in-depth, which is aces with me.  And uncertainty isn’t a bad thing… I’ve evoked some colourful images in the writer’s head: my work is done.


a(nother) blast from the past: Misfit City lives again

inlay for a long-dead cassette, designed by the estimable Marko Nardini

As mentioned before, in a previous life I had a band called Empty Vessels.  It started off as a duo with – hard as it seems to believe now – a heavy but mildewed drum n bass influence.  What can I say… we were young, we were foolish, and guitar-based music seemed even deader than it does at present.

Anyway, it was a short-lived but intense period which we moved away from – inevitably, with hindsight – to become a very guitar-chord-based, oafish art rock trio; and even to make a tiny commercial dent.  But at the time I speak of, we met a… polarized response.  Some people loved us, some absolutely hated us; I just got off on the ructions, being a kid at the time.  Very rarely, we’d get an insightful review from someone who might not’ve gone for the music, but appreciated what we were trying to do.

Such a review appeared on a literate and thoughtful site called Misfit City, which has been inactive for quite a while but recently started up again.  Here’s the re-issued and updated article on EVs circa 2000… 

It’s true what they say: be it ever so obscure, you never can escape your own past.  But in this case, there’s nothing to run away from, and maybe something to be proud of.  See if you agree.


Empty Vessels on Container Drivers Radio: old song, new programme

the past: cobwebs or stardust?  discuss

The guys at Container Drivers Radio have another podcast up, featuring a song by my old band Empty Vessels.

  • A Certain Ratio – Do The Du
  • Joy Division – Warsaw
  • Hawkwind – Death Trap
  • Adrian Sherwood – Boogaloo
  • The Lovely Eggs – Watermelons
  • Monkeys In Love – I’m Alan
  • Can – And More
  • Sky Architects – Cave In
  • Gespenst – The Bloodline
  • The Fall – R.O.D.
  • Althea and Donna – Uptown Top Ranking
  • Power Switchblade – Keep it Light
  • Jake Bugg – Taste It
  • Empty Vessels – Monkey
  • Stanley – Obstacles
  • There Will Be Fireworks – Harmonium Song
  • New Order – Vanishing Point
  • X – Johnny Hit and Run Pauline
  • Kingsley and Perrey – Unidentified Flying Object
  • Bauhaus – Spy in the Cab
  • Human Don’t be Angry – Asklippio
  • Porcelain Raft – Put Me To Sleep
  • Mugstar – Serra
  • Ennio Morricone – L Estasi Dell Oro
  • Signalsundertests – Kapelle

Thanks, as always, are in order.  The song was recorded live at Rooz Studios, nr Old St in London, as part of an EP/album thing (it’s complicated).  I’m told it was available in shops, back when that sort of thing mattered.  Anyway, it’s a blast from the recent-ish past; my principles are unswerved, my delusions intact.  If nothing else, it’s a nice fit with Hawkwind and The Fall.


BBC session – retrospect

The BBC Introducing: South live session we played is up on their site for the next 5 days, here.

We’ll get a recording of our songs, which were spread out across the broadcast, so I’ll probably upload it here &/or to Soundcloud at some point…  Till then, check out the programme.  It includes an interview, which I think went okay – the top of my head was spinning off somewhere in the upper atmosphere at the time.  Managed not to swear or otherwise disgrace myself – can recall that much.

In all, sounded nice and crunchy; in fact we were ear-splittingly loud.  No idea how the sound engineer made sense of this tidal sheet of fuzz, but what went on-air was magicked into something very tight and coherent, more so as we progressed.  The fact we were lean, ready and up for it must’ve helped too.

Abiding memory?  How swift and efficient the whole operation was – totally hassle-free, nice people to deal with – and, uh, playing with a big cardboard cut-out of Beloved National Treasure (and in my book, twat) David Jason as Del Boy, right in my eyeline.  That and the chundering monotony of football, everywhere, inescapable.

No, seriously though: it was a pleasure.  Had thought I was shackled to the acoustic guitar forevermore… Happily, I was wrong.


BBC Introducing: South radio session Sunday 24th June (info)

Okay, the live session on BBC Introducing: South is going out this Sunday, from 7 – 9 pm.  We’re playing 4 songs and doing an interview.  EDIT: 1st song goes out at 7:05.

Link to their webpage here.   Info:

BBC Introducing: The South, 7-9pm Sunday evenings

BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey & BBC Radio Solent

Listen in Brighton on 95.3 FM

Listen in Sussex & Surrey 104-104.8 FM

Listen in Solent & Hampshire on 96.1 FM

Listen in Dorset on 103.8 FM L

Listen on-line

 www.bbc.co.uk/sussex

www.bbc.co.uk/surrey 

 www.bbc.co.uk/hampshire 

 www.bbc.co.uk/dorset

Text during the show on 81333 your normal rates apply, but you must start your text with the word ‘radio’

Email unsigned@bbc.co.uk

…I can promise the unpredictable, the colourful, the atom-smashing.  Give us a listen, do!


more press & BBC session news

Here’s another write-up for Hard Science from is this music?  Good again: I’m a punk poet prepared to push the boat out, it sez.  Damn right.

The BBC Introducing: South session takes place next Sunday, 24th June – more details as soon as I have them (probably tomorrow).


GLOW IN THE DARK album: first press coverage/BBC gig

Here’s a nice write-up for the upcoming album at indiebandsblog.com

And here’s one at withguitars.com

Appreciated, as ever.  Live, the gigs are gradually pencilling in, circling like corner-of-the eye spectres…  Also, just been offered a BBC radio session, so more news on that soon.


God Is In The TV reviews Hard Science, 10th May

Good ink…

Here’s a review of forthcoming single Hard Science on God Is In The TV’s site.

It’s a good one: “If these two avant-pop tracks are anything to go by then the album should be, at the least, intriguing.”

Read the article, listen to the tracks when they’re released at the end of this very month, and see if you agree.  (In fact, Hard Science can be heard on the Bandcamp player at the top of this page.  If you like, you can watch the video, too.)


[sic] Magazine reviews This Mucky Age

A positive write-up for This Mucky Age from individualist journo Indie Dad.  It’s on the [sic] Magazine site here.

(Seem to recall he quite liked Episodes when it was first released in 2008, too – did I mention it’s just been re-issued by any chance…?)

A review’s always appreciated – even more when it’s favourable.  So far, I’ve been very lucky.


Torrents! (Of bullshit)

those who complain on messageboards that a not-for-sale CD clearly marked PROMO ONLY which they had no business buying is in fact a CD-r… I salute you

By and large, as a musician I expect to get ripped off occasionally; it’s an occupational hazard.  This is why I’m not too bothered about torrent sites or other internet-based free music distributors beyond my control.  While I might find the principle behind them bogus and annoying, it’s just about possible to accept in return for the (theoretical) publicity it can generate.  And let’s face it, other options are limited.

Just before This Mucky Age was released, a ton of pirate downloads appeared on the net; one of the promo copies was ripped by a journalist.  The only objection I could think of was that it messed up search results for this site; otherwise it was vaguely flattering, in a creepy sort of way… but begs the question, Why?!?  Some sad bastard even went to the trouble of photographing the packaging.  It’s a decent pic, too; so ironically enough, I’m going to steal it (see above).

While checking this out, I found bands begging to be pirated – either from wanting the extra exposure that these sites supposedly offer, or to be seen as inside the great big inclusive internet tent, maybe, instead of out in the rain.  And to an extent, there’s something in the righteous notions the… pirates?…  bandy about, of Opening Up Music’s Furthest Horizons Without Hindrance or Limit For Everybody, of sticking it to The Man, etc etc (when they bother to make excuses, it’s usually some kind of incoherent bid for the moral high ground).

Still, it would’ve been nice to be asked.  At one point there were 80-odd leaked versions out there; not many in the scheme of things, but enough to be taking the piss.  It can be remedied with a little effort, though: get a DMCA takedown notice issued, and the dark grapes of villainy wither on the vine.  Eventually.

This is why the US House of Representatives’ proposed Stop Online Piracy Act & Protect Intellectual Property Act  are disproportionate and inappropriate.  The main argument against is that these pieces of legislation are so vague and potentially all-inclusive that, as the proposals stand, they could be extended to mean censorship (by blocking) of pretty much anything.  All this in the hands of a closed group of private interests.  But so what?

…After all, it sometimes feels like the www could do with a good purge; times when it seems to consist almost entirely of 2nd-hand crud – endlessly-circulated photos of dogs in fancy dress, people who can’t spell screeding out massive reviews of long-forgotten 80’s horror films, regurged gossip and contention, whatever.

Yeah (that’s quite enough devil’s advocacy), then what?  What’s left, other than scorched earth and Adele?  The brute fact is, I have no idea where any of this is going, and care less; it was just an excuse to put that picture up at the top.  Which makes me just as bad – will the circle of evil ne’er be broken…?


Nightshift reviews Hands Up

Oxford music magazine Nightshift has a review of Hands Up in its December 2011 issue: link to pdf here.

It’s filed under “demos”, but you can’t have everything: in a previous life, I grew up in Oxford and played in various crap 80s-charity-shop-leather-jacket-schoolboy-weirdo bands, so this is quite gratifying.  Nice write-up, too.  Ah, those dear dead days – I couldn’t carry on like that anymore, it’d kill me… and I’ve got an album to finish.  Happy Xmas!


album reviewed

Nothing like positive coverage to make an egomaniac’s day worthwhile

There’s a good write-up for the album in this month’s BN1 Magazine.  It’s not online yet, but can be found in print around Brighton.  I’m a pirate and a rascal, apparently – also a devil may care rebel.  Naturally, this is very gratifying.  Favourable comments on the music, too.

A few more reviews (that I’m aware of) should appear soon, but this’ll do nicely for now.

[EDIT – the review can now be read on the More Press page.  All copyright BN1 Magazine, all effrontery mine.]


more radio play for the single

hey BBC – I take it all back about the licence fee…

Hands Up got played on BBC Introducing: South again this weekend (I found out this morning).

As before, it can be heard on iPlayer for a week, till 7pm next Sunday.  It’s the first track on the programme (again!) at about 1min 10secs in, here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p001d7kh

A good start to the week – album out today, gig in London on Wednesday.


interview on Radio Reverb, Thur 21 Aug

In Brighton, Thur 21 Aug, 5-6pm

I’m being interviewed by Jeff Hemmings on the In Brighton programme this Thursday, on Brighton’s Radio Reverb.

It can be found on 97.2 FM, or listened to online.  It goes out from 5 – 6pm, and is repeated at 11pm.

x


God bless the BBC

…and all who sail in her

Thanks to everyone who sent in comments to the BBC Introducing programme this evening.  Very much appreciated.

It can be heard on iPlayer for the next week, here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00hrd41

…And Hands Up starts off the programme.

(In fact, I was disentangling myself from some internet admin guff and very nearly missed my own song.  Was in that mix of frantic busy-ness and frustrated inertia that only technology can create – watching lots of coloured bars creeping toward fulfilment, only to be thwarted by tiny circles and error messages…  I shudder thinking about it.)

Anyway, all’s well that ends well.  The whole programme was great – if you didn’t get a chance to hear it on broadcast, give it a listen on iPlayer.


Radio play for Hands Up

BBC Introducing: The South – Sunday 10th, 7-9pm

Hands Up‘s getting played on BBC Introducing: The South by Melita Dennett this coming Sunday.  Fantastic news – here’s the info:

BBC Introducing: The South, 7-9pm Sunday evenings
BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey & BBC Radio Solent

Listen in Brighton on 95.3 FM
Listen in Sussex & Surrey 104-104.8 FM
Listen in Solent & Hampshire on 96.1 FM
Listen in Dorset on 103.8 FM

Listen on-line
 www.bbc.co.uk/sussex
www.bbc.co.uk/surrey
 www.bbc.co.uk/hampshire
 www.bbc.co.uk/dorset

You can email the programme with comments at unsigned@bbc.co.uk or text 81333 (you have to start the text with the word ‘radio’).

Good times.


the single: reviewed

Hello.  My name’s Matt, and I’m weeping milky tears of joy…

Here’s the first coverage of my first single, Wet Dream Disaster, in Brighton Source magazine:

http://www.brightonsource.co.uk/reviews/55-reviews/1640-critic-february

(It’s a little way down the page – I’ll archive it in full in the PRESS section presently.)

They’ve picked up on the spunk motif, which is misleading – it’s not really about bodily fluids, but why let that get in the way of a catchy title?  My younger self, striving away in the musical hinterlands so pious, serious and right-on, would be elaborately and self-righteously horrified.  But I’ve kept faith with my creative hopes in one important respect: no compromise.  None.

Good review, too.