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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Lists

I've been featured on Stage Fright Publicity's 'Best of 2011' list, in the singles category. Twice. Beat that, everybody else. Oh wait, Factory Floor are also featured twice. Never mind, then.

Read the list (which includes John Maus, S.C.U.M and my friends from TOY) in full, click here.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Hate

A late Christmas present in the form of a new demo video; this is a song called "Hate".



Apologies for the lack of posts recently, I wish I'd been busy over the Christmas period but I've actually just been incredibly lazy. Much more to come over the next few weeks, I'll keep you updated. More footage, more demos, more live appearances. All good things.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

New single from Zoetrope

Noisy girl trio Zoetrope are giving away their first release for free. It's called "Demons" and it's cool, it reminds me of Effi Briest when they were actually releasing good records. Listen below.




The girls play tomorrow at a "secret" location in Stoke Newington (it's on Belfast Road) and will be selling, uh, Zoetrope knickers as well as records and confectionery from 2PM. Don't miss out.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Christopher Hitchens
April 13th, 1949 – December 16th, 2011

Those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning of this year or before will know that, earlier on this year, I started to take a keen interest in the writings of certain thinkers, philosophers and polemicists. Christopher Hitchens, who today died of oesophageal cancer, was one such man.

He was the anti-theist attack dog of the 'Four Horseman of New Atheism', a group that also consisted of eminent scientists Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. Hitchens pulled no punches with the 2007 polemic God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. His most controversial and sought-after book demonstrated that religion and faith-based beliefs are in no way a force for good and posited that we should instead turn to reason and science to better understand the world in which we live. Other notable works (amongst a wide range of books on various subjects) include The Portable Atheist, a book of quotations from free-thinkers; The Missionary Position, an excoriating attack on Mother Teresa and Letters to a Young Contrarian.  
Hitchens was also a prolific debater. In a high profile public event in 2009, he and Stephen Fry debated with politician Anne Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan on the motion, "Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world?" Later remarking that he and Fry "left [their opponents] for dead", Hitchens went in, all guns blazing, to defend reason and scientific enquiry in the face of mass ignorance and the church's totalitarian oppression.




At a time when my reason and intellect were in a bitter struggle with my faith (since dispensed with), Hitchens' writing offered me hope; he was not peddling easy answers to unanswerable questions, but his words helped me to understand the nature of evidence and the value of scepticism, for which I will always be in his debt. In October of this year, to a crowd of unbelievers, Hitchens said:

"We have the same job we have always had: to say that there are no final solutions; there is no absolute truth; there is no supreme leader; there is no totalitarian solution that says if you would just give up your freedom of inquiry, if you would just give up, if you would simply abandon your critical faculties, the world of idiotic bliss can be yours."

Christopher Hitchens was, and will remain, an inspiration to those of us who read and immensely enjoyed his works. He will be remembered and missed for years to come.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Around the Blogs

More about me and the new single at Music Pickings this week. I read that it's a European blog by two anonymous Germans: one from Hamburg, one from Berlin.

Read, leave comments, repost.

If you run a blog of your own, send me an email and tell me about it, especially if it's about music. I always want to see who's writing what, about who. 

Monday, 12 December 2011

Ultra Brit

I've been written about in Spanish, which is a first, on a blog called Ultra Brit, an Argentinian-based blog concerning British artists only.

The full article is here, below is a rough translation courtesy of the slightly iffy Google Translate:

"Ultra Brit introduces you to a young talent that is the big bet of Genesis Recordings.

Joseph Coward is a young 19 year old Londoner who already has two singles in the music industry. With a clear voice and a dark but personal, is the first artist released on the new label by Tim Burgess, lead singer of The Charlatans.

The first single, "Jesus Christ / Worry Wart" produced by Burgess, consists of Joseph's voice, his guitar and drums. According to the presentation page makes him the label, "His singing captures the elements of Arthur Russell, with lyrical eloquence of Morrissey. His lyrics are full of biblical images that try to explore the self in a hostile world. The routine, boredom, difficult relationships and the confusion of youth are common themes in their composition. "

The second single is comprised of the songs "If You Want To Get Going, Get Talking (To Me) / The End Of The World Is Coming" and left, like the first, in a limited edition vinyl 7 "and digital format for download from the web itself or O Genesis. In the words of Joseph, expressed in his blog, "
I'm excited to have another record out. The idea of people buying my music is kind of a kick."

Tim Burgess's support this new talent, producer and editor, seems to be total. Last Friday, presented together in an event at Central Station Wrexham."


The blog is run by Giselle Hidalgo, say hello to her on Twitter.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Comic Book Me

I have recently been rendered in cartoon form - at least, my name has (I remain hidden in my private helicopter) - by Aiden Smith of Proof Spirit, an online gallery and host to comic strip Tim Peaks, a fictionalised version of the life of my friend Tim Burgess and his "metaphorical, metaphysical" café. Perhaps we should lobby Mr Smith for a comic exclusively about yours truly...


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Flats Are Back

A bunch of screaming lunatics, better known to their audience as the punk group Flats, are preparing to unleash their debut album. The LP, entitled Better Living is due for release in April 2012, just pipped to the post by the lead single, "Foxtrot/Tango". It will blow your brains off.

 FOXTROT / TANGO by flatsofcourse 

Monday, 28 November 2011

How Do I Love Thee, Wrexham?

I'm very much looking forward to joining Hatcham Social, Tim Burgess and The Revolutionary Spirit next week (Friday 9th) at Wrexham's Central Station. Tickets are still available, come and join us in celebrating the end of a good first year for ROPE. Wrexham.com have a little tribute to the club on their website now, click here.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Friday, 25 November 2011

Second Attempt

The forthcoming single, "If You Want To Get Going, Get Talking (To Me)" is now available to pre-order from the O Genesis website. The 7" is also available from Rough Trade and the excellent Piccadilly Records.

The photograph on the cover was taken by my friend Keira Cullinane, visit her photography page for all your photography needs.

I'm appearing at the ROPE event on the 9th December with Hatcham Social and The Revolutionary Spirit, I should think some copies of the single will be for sale then.

The 7" disc is limited to a run of 250 copies, I'm told.

I'm excited to have another record out. The idea of people buying my music is kind of a kick. 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Hooves


I met Chris Richardson, also known as Happy Hooves, about 3 years ago when he was playing the drums with the group Miss Cosmos (frequently featured on this blog) in my home town.

 Brain and will by happy hooves/collider

I lived with him for 6 months in London and was granted access to his vast array of instruments and inspired pop songs. He combines electronic and synthesised sounds with a soulful introspection which is often breathtaking and always engaging.

 Step out by happy hooves/collider

Please bombard him with messages so he'll get it together to release a record. If you don't, it means I'll have to get off the sofa and do it myself.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

St Martins Video

Below is a video of me playing on an overlarge stage to a room full of inattentive berks.

Footage © Tim Burgess, the dear.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Artrocker Feature

A couple of weeks ago I posted about an interview I gave to Artrocker magazine along with Jack Underwood, Blood Music, Replicas, Tim Burgess and Nik Void. It hasn't come out too badly, I don't think.


I'm pleased to have been featured and Lee did a good job with the article though I fear I have been misquoted a couple of times, which makes me glad that I have this blog in which to set the only slightly wonky record straight. (No, really, you're welcome.) 


Tim probably felt obliged to say flattering things about me because he was sitting about three feet away from me – within kicking distance, in other words. Anyway, just a few things: The paragraph concerning Nik and Factory Floor is all paraphrased; I never use the word stuff, or refer to my working relationship with Tim as a "bonus". So that's that cleared up. 

Buy the magazine, the article in its entirety is a good read.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The wheel of life is a powerful beat

Apologies for the lack of blog posts this week. I've no excuse but do I need one? I don't think I do and in either case, what do you care? You're not even reading my stupid blog which I'm writing at five in the morning (which explains the stupidity of the thing), are you? I thought not.

Anyway.

Zoetrope are a new group who live in and around Dalston in London's east end. They like The Slits, Black Sabbath and PJ Harvey to name but a few. I've only had the pleasure of catching them live once but their abrasive, beat-driven squall and bizarre themes (a song entitled "Batman", about a wannabe superhero with Down's Syndrome, for example) make for uneasy but ultimately enjoyable listening.



They seem to be playing in London at least eight times a week at the moment, so you've no excuse not to catch them very soon. Tell your friends.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Radio, Stereo

Today my music was featured twice on BBC 6 Music: a new personal best.

"Jesus Christ" was played in the morning, followed by "If You Want To Get Going, Get Talking (To Me)" in the afternoon. These should be available to listen to on iPlayer very shortly.

The feature written by Chris 'PJ' Martin (or Crispy Jaymartin, as I like to call him) is now being hosted by top UK music webzine Stereoboard. The full transcript of the discussion we had last week will soon be posted there too, I'm told; I'll put a link up here when I receive it. Keep an eye out.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Article

Chris Martin interviewed me the other day for his excellent online publication, Underclassed Idle Ideas, click on the link to read the article.

More me-related stuff coming up courtesy of Mr Martin. Top banana.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Single Vid

"If You Want To Get Going, Get Talking (To Me)" is now available to listen to/look at via YouTube.



The picture was taken at The Charlatans' Big Mushroom studio, in July. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Cura Machines at Golden Hum (Video)

I'm back from the studio, very tired but today went well. I got into a groove and despite being sick of the sound of my own voice (finally), Mr Lea and I managed to get a lot of good work done. Here is a video of me being weird whilst Daniel actually does his job.


Cura Machines, Studio Clip from Joseph Coward on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Cura Cura Cura

I'm off for four days to record with Daniel Lea's latest brain child Cura Machines, we're currently working on an EP to be released some time next year.

More exciting news on this to follow, pay attention please.

Tequila

New acquaintance Chris Martin co-presents a programme on Tequila Radio called 90 Minutes Of New Music. Along with Bryony Adams, he makes for a good host and plays my records from time to time; he is in my good books as a result.

Tune in from 4:30 on Monday afternoons.

The last part of the most recent programme featured my latest available track ("Somewhere Underwater"), click here to listen.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Single

This morning my forthcoming single, "If You Want To Get Going, Get Talking (To Me)", was publicly played for the first time on Jo Good's BBC 6Music morning programme. Now that it's out there, so to speak, I've decided to add the track to my MySpace page so you can listen to it at your leisure.

I believe the 7" will be coming out mid-late November, I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

FF USA

England's Official Best Group, Factory Floor gave an interview to Prefix Magazine concerning their American debut. Read here.

(Perhaps I should feel embarrassed about effectively having become an unofficial biographer of theirs, given the amount that I blog about them, but they're such an exciting prospect that I'm not.)


Friday, 21 October 2011

Artrocking

Today I took part in a group interview for a piece on O Genesis, to be featured in Artrocker. I enjoyed spending the afternoon with Nik Void, Tim Burgess, Replicas, Blood Music, Jack Underwood and Sophie Williams.

Gavin Watson then took some photographs of us all, at which point I simply couldn't contain myself any longer.



The article will be out by the end of the November, I'm told.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

QoH, Poppy etc

Last night was my appearance at the Queen Of Hoxton. I ran into Mat Horne who lends his name to the event, he was very nice.

Thanks to Stuart Whiffen for asking me to play.

Poppy Tibbetts played before me, I liked her music; you should listen to it. I hope to play on the same bill as her again soon.

For those who haven't heard, my new single "If You Want To Get Going, Get Talking (To Me)" is scheduled for release at the end of the month. It should be available for pre-order on the O Genesis website soon enough, I'll post a link when it's available.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Falling Back In Love

It's been years but where better to start over than with this song?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Free Download, Courtesy of O Genesis


To mark the release of my upcoming single "If You Want To Get Going, Get Talking (To Me)", O Genesis have generously decided to give away a new track of mine, called "Somewhere Underwater" which was recorded during my latest session with Tim Burgess and Jim Spencer, held at Eve Studios in Stockport.

Follow this link to get hold of the new track

The song was written in late 2009 with my best friend and then-bandmate Samuel Jacob; he had put together what I thought was a sad and strange chord sequence, I found it to be incredibly evocative and I wrote the lyrics in one sitting after a flash of weird inspiration. Maybe they could have done with a going over after I first wrote them down but I kept the original cut because I believed it to be me at my most honest, as a writer and as a singer.

I very much hope you enjoy my latest effort.

Jack Underwood

The next record to be released by O Genesis will be poet Jack Underwood's reading of "Wilderbeast". Listen to the B-side, called "Toad".

 Toad by O Genesis Recordings



Jack was published by Faber & Faber in 2009, in their volume "New Poets 4"; he currently lectures at Goldsmith's University, London; he co-edits the anthology series "Stop Sharpening Your Knives". I was at the studio when Jack came to record his poems and I sat on the stairs by the live room to listen to his reading. His kind-of-undulating style reminded me of Ginsberg, as did some of the sexual content of "Wilderbeast".

I love the idea that O Genesis will be releasing a spoken word record, since there is a great tradition of poets releasing recordings of their works and I think it's probably best to hear a poem straight from the author's mouth. My favourite poets Larkin and Ginsberg did it, Tennyson did it - practically bellowing his verse into the microphone - and now Jack Underwood's doing it.

When the record comes out, get a copy because it'll be something worth keeping for a long time.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

O Genesis Presents II: This Time It's Personal


On the 27th October, the above is taking place. It's free, and you should come, if only for Blood Music because they are exciting. Me too, obviously.

Monday, 19 September 2011

OGen interview/Photographers I like

Tim and Nik gave an interview to the inestimable broadcaster Shell Zenner recently, they talked about me and the label, have a listen here.

Also, some people have been snapping me recently. They are Keira Cullinane (with whom I've worked for a couple of years now) and Toby Mellin, who came to shoot at the O Genesis Presents night in Manchester at the beginning of the month. They're both very good, looky looky at these:

© Toby Mellin 2011

© Keira Anee 2011

Friday, 9 September 2011

Blog to blog

Another young, grass roots blogger weighs in with some thoughts of her own. Read Abigail Gillibrand's Tellin' Stories and follow her blog activity.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

S.C.U.M's new album is here

I need to give this a few more listens, but right now I think it's great. Comparisons with The Horrors' work will be unavoidable but having seen S.C.U.M develop and grow over the past few years, I'm very excited about the direction they're taking. And with a bit of context, it's easy to see that they're well on the way to carving out their own, exclusive niche in a broad consciousness. Leave The Horrors out of it.

I have a feeling the widget below might not work, it's being weird. If it doesn't work click here, where The Guardian is hosting the album in its entirety.

S.C.U.M - Again Into Eyes by Mute UK

This is a test

This is a test

Kettle Tape

It's raining and I'm bored, so I'm mucking about.

("Deny The Body" acoustic)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Rainy Tuesday Music

This song never fails to lift my heart.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Review


I've just read a review of the OGen night by Luke Griffin, who writes for Basementbrain.

Here's what Luke had to say about me:

"In his blink-and-you'll-miss-it set (really, he played four songs), Joseph Coward brings with him possibly the highlight of the night with his cover of The Smashing Pumpkins- 'To Forget'. The fact he has stripped away all other elements of the song, right down to just guitar and vocals gives us a bare bones rendition that offers up the most gripping moment of the night by a long way, as well as a contender for the best version of the song. New single 'Jesus Christ' shows that young Coward has an old soul, drawing on his slightly unnerving ability to turn a room of half drunk disco junkies into silent gawkers. It's all quite haunting, making for both a soulful and soul destroying experience, in a good way."


Also included are reviews of Replicas and Electricity In Our Homes. It's a good read, as is the rest of the blog.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Last night

I got home from Manchester at about eight this morning after a ridiculously long drive back to London in the van with Electricity In Our Homes.

The O Genesis Presents night was fun, Replicas and EIOH were brilliant as usual.

Here I am, playing.

























Here's a review of the night by John Robb of Louder Than War

Here is a picture of the O Genesis lot, clockwise from far left, top row: me (gurning for some reason), Charlie Boyer, Tim Burgess, Nick Fraser, Jim Spencer, Abbie Worthington, Bonnie Carr, Ashiya Eastwood, Helena Gee. 






































Hope to see you again soon, Manchester (stay classy). Thanks for coming. If you've any footage of my set, please forward it to me and I'll post it here.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Your New Favourite Band

Factory Floor talk about being on stage and in the studio, and how the two disciplines merge creatively. Cool!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Replicas

My label-mates Replicas have a new record. It features three tracks called "The City", "Hearts Beat" and "You Disappear".

You can preorder the 7" from O Genesis now, I think you probably should.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Plug: I am appearing (Live! Live! Live)

This is me, Joseph, plugging an event at which I will be appearing. Also appearing are my friends in Replicas and Electricity In Our Homes.

The Castle Hotel, in Manchester! 3rd September!

Click on this link for more details.



















Friday, 19 August 2011

Found Found Found (Miss Cosmos)

Below is a picture of me yobbing about in a pub with some fellow Essex yobs (click to see the full shot - blogger.com is useless), who comprise the group Miss Cosmos. I've talked about them before, and I'm doing it again because I met up with them recently and was reminded of how good they are. And now they have a new member who plays synth, which is nice.


NME

I featured briefly in Wednesday's edition of the New Musical Express, alongside my friends from the brilliant pop group Electricity In Our Homes. Have a look!


A mainstream press debut for little old me. Not too bad for a first try, I reckon.

Friday, 12 August 2011

September

I've two new shows booked for next month, both of which should be great fun.

The first is an O Genesis showcase in Manchester which will be at The Castle Hotel on Oldham St on 3rd September. Click here for the Facebook event.

The second is for the Replicas single launch, held in London at the Garage on 19th September. Click here to buy tickets in advance.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Duelling blogs

My first fan page has arrived. Strange, no? It's written by a girl with whom I've been corresponding since she saw me play with the Charlatans in St Helens, her name is Saffron O'Hara and you can read her blog by clicking here. Also follow her on Twitter, she's very friendly.

I am just coming out of recovery from Field Day, which was excellent but is now a bit blurry in my memory.



Currently I'm working on a new live set-up, which is yielding some interesting results; I'll post some new videos of sound/tape experiments soon.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Mike Joyce introduces "Jesus Christ"

When I first started listening to The Smiths, I didn't think I'd ever hear Mike Joyce on the radio, introducing a song that I wrote in a dingy one room studio above a transvestites club. But it happened, and here's the proof and now nobody can take it away from me, so there.

 Mike Joyce 6Music by Joseph Coward 

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Work

I haven't blogged nearly enough - or at all, actually - over the past week or so, but hopefully making a new record and travelling up to St Helens are good enough excuses for my e-absence.

The recording at EVE Studios went about as well as it possibly could have, everybody is very pleased with the takes Tim, Jim and I got down. Mixing is next.



The people at The Citadel in St Helens found me suitably bemusing.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

"Jesus Christ" video

Below is a video filmed by Nik Void for my new single, "Jesus Christ". It was shot in a dark studio, in a warehouse in Seven Sisters. In it, I am holding a big strip light.  Please leave your comments, I'd like to know what you make of it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

John Maus

I know he's everywhere at the moment and people who aren't particularly interested in him will be quite bored of hearing about him, but I do think the attention John Maus is currently getting is merited, I think he's an important artist.

I first heard of him when a friend played me 2006's Songs on a long cross-country car journey, I remember being particularly struck by the extraordinary vocal production Maus had employed throughout the record.

I lifted the video below from the Pitchfork.tv site; clips of a live performance and a very interesting interview.

Monday, 11 July 2011

(Small) Fanfare

My debut single, the AA 7" "Jesus Christ/Worry Wart" is available from today. You can order your copy from Rough Trade, Piccadilly Records or directly from the source at the O Genesis shop.

I almost didn't want to post about the record today because of the frequency with which I've already talked about it, but I suppose I'm in some way obliged to and it is, as they say, my party. But it occurs to me now that, while I've talked a lot about the release of the record and where it's available from, I haven't really talked too much about the songs themselves.

I suppose there might be some level of curiosity with regards to the content of the A side, "Jesus Christ" because of the obvious religious connotations but don't worry, I'm not a religious fanatic. I used to be. But I'm not any more.

The song explores a little bit of my Bible-thumping past but the Christ theme is mostly a metaphor for something... entirely different. You figure it out.

(Oh and thank you to everybody who came to the 1234 after party and ignored me on Saturday, I very much enjoyed being shouted over by a couple of hundred drunk people.)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Monday, 4 July 2011

Last call for the 1234

Only four days until the 1234 Festival, featuring Lydia Lunch, Black Lips, Raveonettes and Electricity In Our Homes. I will be playing the after party at the Old Blue Last.

Click here for full details of the party, featuring my label mates Replicas as well as Brown Brogues; DJ sets from Hatcham Social and Tim Burgess.

I'll be onstage at about 10.30PM, don't be late. Entry is free.

New, from The Horrors

As before, The Horrors have decided to stream their forthcoming record online using a specially designed widget, which I've embedded below.

I think it's a great listen; the band have done a perfect job of cementing themselves in the collective consciousness of the national music scene by releasing consistently good yet understated records, and often keeping an enigmatic and dignified silence. Nice blokes, too.

Give this a few runs, it's a grower. Here's Skying.


Friday, 1 July 2011

Carter//Tutti// Void

Below is a video, shot in May of this year, of Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti performing as Carter Tutti, their long-time side project that, for about three decades, paralleled with Throbbing Gristle's career.

A great video because as well as featuring Chris and Cosey and their menacing industrial sound, my friend and manager Nik Void of the brilliant Factory Floor makes a guest appearance on guitar.

(Credit to YouTube user robonimal)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Saturday, 25 June 2011

O Genesis Recordings

The O Genesis website is online, click here to see the upcoming releases; you can now pre-order my single as well as the new single from the brilliant Electricity In Our Homes.

As you'll see, it's a double A-side (AA) called "Jesus Christ/Worry Wart". The record's available on limited edition 7" and as a download, so pre-order it now.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

1234 after party


Information for the 1234 Festival after party is now online.

DJ sets from Hatcham Social, Tim Burgess and ROPE residents; live sets from Brown Brogues, The Revolutionary Spirit and Replicas. And me!

For more details go to the Facebook event. Stage times to follow.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Horrors & Toy

I went to York Hall in Bethnal Green last week to see the Horrors. They were brilliant, though whoever was in charge of sound tech should be strung up. The support group Toy were great, listen to them. There.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Download The Ghost at the Feast

My self-released EP, The Ghost At The Feast (JCR oo2) is now available to download, complete with artwork (pictured) from here. Enjoy.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

I Remember Nothing


I've been invited to play at an event called 'I Remember Nothing' (named for the Joy Division song) at The Drop in Stoke Newington, North-East London. It's a nice venue in a nice area.

The event is being run by two young ladies who comprise a band called Replicas - they're on the bill too. They'll soon be recording with Tim and Jim at Big Mushroom to release a single with O Genesis, which is quite exciting. New label mates!

Replicas' music is on their MySpace but if you find the newest version of the player incredibly tedious (who doesn't?), their tracks are also available to stream on SoundCloud. I like their music, it reminds me of the Knife and a bit of Eno. Have a listen to them, and listen out for announcements of the single release.

See you on the 23rd.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Ghost at the Feast

After a seemingly endless period of languishing creatively, I finally pulled myself together and spent today setting up a small recording booth, looping and overdubbing cello and guitar takes, with cassettes, in a garage. In a house. In my home town, Brentwood.

I suppose I've been extra keen to record independently recently, at least since I realised that the the vast majority of the songs that have been stacking up over the past 12 months will probably never be heard, unless I release them by myself, free of charge.

And that's what I plan to do. The Ghost At The Feast is only a small collection, but it's the first instalment of what I hope will be a long list of home recorded lo-fi EPs and possibly LPs.

I'll be using the JCR imprint that released Animal Sweethearts last year, but after some consideration I will probably only release these online as opposed to putting out a tape or CD. However, I won't just be uploading them onto SoundCloud, track by track, for people to pick from. Each new JCR release will be announced on this blog and you'll be able to download them in full from a filesharing site for a limited time only. After the time limit is reached on the filesharing site, you'll be able to email me and I'll be happy to send you the full record, still free of charge.

This seems like a good idea to me. Maybe I'll get to record some of the JCR songs with O Genesis, who knows? I like the idea of having lots of recorded versions of one song out in the world, I have so many different versions of all my songs on tape that it'd be nice if that were reflected in my releases.

The full EP will be available from next week; keep checking back for updates. Let me know what you think of the preview, available for streaming, below.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

1968

This is by far my favourite song by S.C.U.M, called "Summon The Sound"; I've been waiting to hear a studio version of this for three years, and I'm pleased to discover that they've finally got around to recording it.

(God, it's June already. Time's passing us all by. I expect I'll be dead soon.)


I first heard about S.C.U.M in '07/'08, I think they had about an inch of column space in the NME next to Electricity In Our Homes and I rushed to write about them on the music blog that I wrote at the time called Construction House (you can read the little bit I originally wrote here, it's quite amusing). I also used to print a fanzine of the same name that I distributed at shows, and the record shop on Berwick St in London used to give them out for me as well. If memory serves me correctly, I actually conducted quite an interesting interview with Tom, the lead singer of S.C.U.M, in issue #4. I don't have any copies of this left, but I assure you it was very good.

Anyway, they're on tour with the Kills now and I'm incredibly jealous of both their success and good looks. But do go to a show if you can make it, both groups are worthwhile.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Ringing the (well, a few) changes

Apologies for the long absence from this blog. I've been working through some problems, both medical and personal, which have proved to be not only a bit of a drag but also things that keep me from keeping you updated. So, again, sorry.

And sincere thanks to the people who have asked after me and kept me from losing it completely these past couple of days.

I've recently moved out of London and am staying with friends - maybe for good, I'm not sure right now. After a bad week, I've retreated to the music room with my cello and I'm writing voraciously so by the time I next get onstage, I'll have enough new material to be able to play a set of new songs by myself, which will be liberating and refreshing, I feel.

There are currently two live dates booked, keep checking the MySpace page for more updates.

As far as my debut single is concerned, I am told that it's going to be released on the 20th of June, I'll post any info as and when I get it.

Anyway, that's about it for now.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Caving in

I'm afraid I've gone and done it.

Yes, against my better judgement and resistance I've joined that bloody online community that's apparently obsessed with somebody called Justin Beiber and (the far more attention-worthy) Stephen Fry.

The site seems OK at first glance, it's a good way of keeping up with last minute show updates, cancellations and interesting band rumours. It's apparently also a good way of dispelling myths and erroneous newspaper articles, though I haven't had any run-in's with the paparazzi yet (give me time, I'll get there soon).

If you click on this link you'll be redirected to my Twitter (even the name is embarrassing) profile, where you can "follow" me and keep up to date with my movements. I won't be posting every other five minutes like some bands and artists insist on doing, because I'm respectful of the fact that you, like most other sane people, don't actually care what I'm doing, where I am or where I've recently been. This blog will still be the place to see what I'm up to, get the latest information and to hear any interesting music I've been listening to recently. Speaking of which:


Bill Callahan is a genius.

Anyway: I'm now officially one of them (gooble gobble) and I look forward to seeing you on Twitter. Even though I'm just using it as an excuse to keep tabs on Billy Corgan - I'll track him down sooner or later.



Saturday, 14 May 2011

David Byrne interviews himself

New movements

My friend Daniel Lea and I are going into the studio next week to have a muck about with some ideas to make some new noises.

We hope to make a record!

We hope to get on stage and perform the songs we'll have recorded that comprise our record!

Good, I think. Listen out for that; I'll post any demos as and when they're completed.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Clearing stuff up about stuff. Debut single!

I realise I've been a bit vague about what I'm up to with regards to all this mucking around with the north and the Charlatans and everything, so let me be clear.

I'm releasing a single on Tim Burgess and Nik Colk's label, O Genesis. The single will be a double A side, "Jesus Christ/Worry Wart", available on 7" and as a download.

You can pre-order your copy from HMV now by clicking here. The single is on general release from the 20th June. Fun!

Here's the cover art.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Thursday, 28 April 2011

FOM FOM FOM

Happy Thursday, blog readers. Just to let you know, my good name is now visible on the front page of the Friends Of Mine Festival website, I'm going to be playing on the Lake Stage at the fest I think, on Sunday 22nd. I'm listed above EIOH which I reckon is odd because they're really good and more popular than me, but I'm also listed above Wild Palms which I think is funny because they're also more popular than me, but a really shit and boring group. So, being interesting and nice pays over being popular and all cool with lots of friends. Yah boo sucks to Wild Palms.

I'm really looking forward to playing the festival, I really hope you can make it as it's going to be a great one. I actually think I prefer playing up in the north now, those northerners are always awfully friendly towards me. If, like me, you are from the south, do come up for the festival anyway: it'd be great to see you there.

All for now!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Gavin Watson & Kendal

Today I went from my crap home in Clapton to sunny Shoreditch to do a photo shoot with one Gavin Watson. A load of people turned up to look at me doing it, which was daunting (I did know most of them, but even so).

Gavin is known for his Punks and Skins work as well as... other stuff. Look at his blog here.

Here is a picture of Nick Fraser, who was there.


And here's a picture of Tim, who was there as well.


And here's me. Gavin's a good photographer!


In other news, I'll be playing in Kendal for the Kendal Calling house party on the 29th July. More details to follow soon.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Flats for the flatless

Next Friday (29th April), London's best punk band Flats will be playing at The Victoria in Mile End in support of the homeless charity Shelter. Other bands on the bill include Miss Cosmos and Cold In Berlin; I'll be coming down to spin a few records as well.

£4 on the door, all proceeds to the charity, it's going to be fun.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

M.E.N.

My good friend and label boss Tim Burgess has been kind enough to mention me in the Manchester Evening News, which I'm very pleased about. At the risk of sounding very pretentious, It's also the first time I've been correctly identified as a writer, and the first time Arthur has been mentioned in the same context as me, which is good.

Have a butcher's.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Sunday, 10 April 2011

God Don't Like It @ The Old Queen's Head

Just another reminder about the show on Tuesday 12th at the Old Queen's Head on Essex Road; the poster is again posted below, and I'm told that I'll be onstage at approximately 9.20.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Only when the loved person is out of reach/Does the love become complete.

Chapter 1

CONVERSATIONS IN ARCADY

'His guardians would fain have had it supposed that the castle did not contain any such guest.'
- The Little Duke

The sun came into the room like pale green underwater light. That was because the tree outside was just budding. The light washed its primrose yellow cover, over the big arm-chair and the couch, and the bookcase which was full of advanced reading. There were some early daffodils in a vase which had been bought in Sweden, and the only sounds were a fountain dripping somewhere in the cool out-of-doors and the gentle voice of the earnest young man with the rimless glasses.
"The great thing, you see, is not to worry. You've never had your share of the war for the time being, Mr Digby, and you can lie back with an easy conscience."
The young man was always strong on the subject of conscience. His own, he had explained weeks ago, was quite clear. Even if his views had not inclined to pacifism, his bad eyes would have prevented him from being of any active value – the poor things peered weakly and trustfully through the huge convex lenses like bottle-glass; they pleaded all the time for serious conversation.
"Don't think I'm not enjoying myself here. I am. You know it's a great rest. Only sometimes I try to think – who am I?"
"Well, we know that, Mr Digby. Your identity card..."
"Yes, I know my name's Richard Digby, but who is Richard Digby? What sort of life do you think I led? Do you think I shall ever have the means to repay you all... for this?"
"Now that needn't worry you, Mr Digby. The doctor is repaid all he wants simply by the interest of your case. You're a very valuable specimen under his microscope."
"But he makes life on the slide so very luxurious, doesn't he?"

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Factory Floor warehouse show

My favourite band Factory Floor played very early this morning, in a warehouse in EC1. It was brilliant and I hope you were there, even if I didn't see you. Truly a band from who we should all learn: stirring - albeit noisy - stuff.



Wednesday, 23 March 2011

April

I've some new shows added for April; one with God Don't Like It and another with No Time For Heroes. Have a look at the particulars on the MySpace, and do attend.

Here's another sunny song; Spring has sprung!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Brighton photography

I had my picture taken in Brighton by Gem Bowles, whose photographs are very flattering. Look up her photography page on Facebook to see more of her work.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Brighton

The esteemed Hatcham Social/honourary Charlatans drummer Finnigan Kidd and I took the train to Brighton on Thursday and he, Arran, Sarah, Dee, Billy, Tim, Mark and I had a lovely time. The Charlatans were fantastic as usual - onstage and off - and I was blown away by Blue On Blue. If you've ever had nagging doubts about how a band could realistically recreate their records onstage, you'll know what it's like to have all doubt removed by a staggering performance. I think it's official - I believe in Blue On Blue.

I'm glad Arran and I got some time to look around the town as well. I took some tourist type photographs, which are always fun. It's a shame not be playing with the Charlatans again until early this Summer but the three shows were such fun and I feel very lucky.

Here's to the next one.