Here’s the follow-up to Ugly Scene (released earlier this year).
Where that one was… well, ugly… this is the mirror opposite. It’s mellow, but be warned: the tracks get freakier as it progresses. Again, the clue’s in the title. Enjoy x
There’s another EP coming out later this year – Fri 19 Oct – which is the opposite half of the picture to the abrasive, noise-heavy protest songs on Ugly Scene. The clue’s in the title: Disquiet – a mellow slab of grandeur and weirdness. Till then, got gigs coming up next month and more in Sept-Nov (a mixture of solo and electric band nights, details to follow). These are the nearest few dates:
Not Too Far
The Wrong Side
Out today: the loudest and most obnoxious set of recordings I’ve done in quite a while – it felt like that kind of time again. The follow-up, hopefully due later this year, is already finished and takes a different angle… it’s called Disquiet. But for now, hope you enjoy these dispatches from the feedback frontier x
“spins and spins to weave a heavy and complex sonic web” – indiebandguru.com
There’s a new EP due on 11 May in all its ugly glory… I got tired of introspective stuff and dialled up the noise/sarcasm/repetition. It’s also, for the most part, very… direct. Here’s advance word from xsnoize.com.
I’ve already recorded the follow-up, and that’s different again. Meanwhile, think of this one as an outburst of protest – although the final track may be one of the prettiest things I’ve ever done. A conundrum, for sure (but not too much of one… it’s getting playlisted a lot, which is very welcome).
Gigs are lining up – solo, as a guitar/drums duo, full electric band – and dates so far include:
Another improv gig, as described previously, in the Wildcard Quartet:
Mon 21 May, Short Steps presents @ Fortune of War (Brighton) – w/ Ja Sputnik, Noisferatu & Pete Wiseman
Mon 28 May, Mr Wolf’s (Bristol)
Fri 22 June, Real Music Club @ The Brunswick (Brighton) – w/ Andy Roberts & The Boy In The Cupboard
More tbc for June onwards. Ugliness, ugliness everywhere (and I love it)… x
EDIT: you can hear a track from the EP on Indie Arena Radio’s Mixcloud here
My new EP comes out today (25th Oct), and I’m doing a gig on Sun 29th for Brighton Noise to mark the launch. It’s beyond cool to be asked to play by them – plus ChrySalliss Presents – on a bill with Cali Santo and local legends The Long Goodbye.
Following that, there are more gigs across the UK: check back for updates.
…& here’s the lo-fi, no-£ video that goes with it:
Take a look at this – the other artists are very check-outable, too, loads of stuff to read / listen to – give your mindbrain & earbulbs a treat.
(Just as well I take note of these things, as the review seems to have vanished. I’d think it was my imagination otherwise – MF In The Future)
Speaking of gigs, there’s a launch event in 2 days here in Brighton – Phantom Hound #1 in Kemptown. The venue (At The Coach House) is unusual and the lineup’s great. Also, it’s free.
Here’s the single’s artwork in all its splendid ugliness:
Hope you enjoy watching this as much as I did making it. The record’s released in 1 month & 2 days.
This is the lyrics video to forthcoming single In The Evil Empire, due to be released on The Animal Farm in 2014.
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.
…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.
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 on the Press page. Go to the site, though, it’s all good writing (and they clearly have excellent taste, eh? Eh?!?).
Wish me luck – or a gloriously messy death. x
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.
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.
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). Exciting stuff.
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 inky tenebrous corner-of-the eye spectres, hazing toward actuality, an’ shit… Also, just been offered a BBC radio session quite soon, so more news on that swiftly.
Hard Science got a play on Radio Reverb 97.2FM on 29th May – thanks to Melita Dennett. (I… <cough> might’ve mentioned it before…)
The programme was archived as a podcast and can be heard on Mixcloud here. It features loads of other interesting music, so do give it a listen.
My latest single – taken from upcoming album Glow in the Dark – is now available. It can be found on Bandcamp – plus Amazon, Spotify, iTunes etc (frankly the Bandcamp version’s better, as always, because it comes with extras).
It’s been trickling out through various cracks in the internet already, which makes a nonsense of an “official release date” (and so much else)… Unless you’re Metallica, or someone equally lawyered-up… But anyway. Here it is. It’s officially official.
Tattoo it on yr forehead, brand it on yr thigh; do whatever it is you have to, to get a sense of Event in this affectless, wipe-clean, shiny world of ours. Most of all, give it a listen. Oh, and there’s a video too.
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.)
praise Jeezuz and pass the ammo
The video to my next single, Hard Science (released on Light Crude 28 May) can be viewed above. It was a lot of fun, albeit very fragmented, to make – not the least difficult was finding a vicar’s collar that fit comfortably and didn’t slip out to the side like a hideously broken collarbone. Anyway, now I know how those evangelicals feel: drunk and throbbing with THE POWER OF THE LORD. (God help us all.)
2008 debut EP re-released
Episodes is on sale again from tomorrow, via Bandcamp and – shortly afterwards – iTunes, Amazon & all that bunch.
Not only does it include Kafka Song and the hidden spoken-word track from the original CD, but also 3 extra tunes (one of them exclusive to Bandcamp). It’s been unavailable for a long time due to problems with the original distributors which I won’t go into here – suffice to say a repeat appearance is long overdue. Check it out.
…and also for the re-issue of “Episodes”
Monday 20th Feb sees the digital re-release of my 2008 EP Episodes, with bonus tracks. Here’s a short story to celebrate: one for all you Valentine’s Day romantics out there. (Ha!)
SOPA won’t wash – hur hur hur
By and large, as a musician I expect to get ripped off occasionally; it’s an age-old 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 and spread like a rash. 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?!? Somebody even went to the trouble of photographing the packaging. It’s a decent pic, too; so ironically enough, I’m going to steal it.
While checking this out, I found bands begging to be pirated (the arse-kissing clowns) – either from wanting the extra exposure that these sites supposedly offer, or perhaps to be seen as inside the great big wonderful inclusive internet tent, instead of having a surly wank out in the rain. And to an extent, there’s something in the righteous notions the… bootleggers? Musketeers? Cyber-scamps?… bandy about, of Opening Up Music’s Furthest Horizons Without Hindrance or Limit For Everybody, of sticking it to The Man, etc etc etc (when they bother to make excuses – usually making a 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 say Okay, now you’re just 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 they could hobble the internet in the name of copyright protection – a concept that, as the proposals stand, can 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 witch-hunt 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, regurg’d gossip and contention, whatever. Arguably it also devalues musical product – artistically, not just commercially – by reducing it to a bunch of files. Burn the internet!
Yeah (that’s quite enough devil’s advocacy thanks), then what? What’s left, other than scorched earth and Adele? A slippery slope indeed.