Furious Scribbling

I’m back in Winchester, after a great few days on the West Coast of the USA, and one in Dekalb IL. Good times were had by all. Right now I’m working on two different piles of new material: firstly, there’s the EP, which we’re recording next week in London. It will feature “I Still Believe” and 4 other new songs, and will be out on CD and vinyl at the end of November – watch this space for more information. Secondly, I’ve been thundering through new songs and demos for the new album, which I’ll be recording in January, for a release next spring. I’m feeling very positive about new songs right now, so it’s fun to be at the grindstone, tracking out new arrangements, swapping words around and so on.

A few pieces of business. First of all, merch for the UK. As many people noticed, when we inaugurated the new merch store last week (see below), there was a teething problem with delivery prices to the UK. This is because the warehouse is based in Germany. After much humming and haaing, here’s how it’s going to work. For the time being, UK customers can enter the promotional code “FTHC” to get a £5 discount on the (overpriced) shipping. This will stay in effect until we have properly sorted the situation. Apologies to anyone who got annoyed at all of this, we’re working to try and rectify things as fast as we can.

Next up, a new show and a new country as well, huzzah! On October 3rd I’ll be playing a solo show in Poznan, in Poland, at Meskalina. Tickets are on the door. Spread the word, and I’ll see you there for my first ever Polish show.

Speaking of shows, in the UK ticket sales for December are motoring along healthily. The shows in Sheffield and Aberdeen are nearly sold out now, and the London show isn’t too far behind either, so if you’re planning on coming down and don’t yet have a ticket, I’d do something about that sooner rather than later. Further afield, the Social Distortion shows in Asheville NC and Cleveland OH are also sold out. Incidentally, if you’re coming to one of those shows to see yours truly, you’d do well to get down to the show early as we’re first on.

Next up, something a little more serious. I’ve been in touch recently with a group called The Belarus Free Theatre Company. Belarus remains an oppressive communist dictatorship, under the aegis of President Alexander Lukashenko. All media is state owned, opposition parties are harrassed and intimidated (if they exist at all), and strict artistic censorship pervades all levels of society. This group are trying to do something about that, very much in the mould of Havel in Czechoslovakia in the late 1980s. They take real risks with what they do – they’re banned in their home country, and have recently had friends dying in suspicious circumstances.

There are a few reasons I mention this. Firstly, they’re working on coming to the UK to stage a production next year sometime, and I’d like to help spread the word. Secondly, more generally, they deserve international recognition and support; they are fighting the last vestiges of the plague that enslaved Europe for half a century, and are braver people than you and I. Freedom is something we often take for granted in this country; let’s try and help spread the love. (Incidentally, everyone should read this for inspiring and heart-breaking tales of liberation).

Finally, I’m selling some shit on eBay. Check it out.

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