Lexapalooza 2013

Old timers on here will know about Lexapalooza, my involvement in it, and what it means to me. For those who missed that part of the story, here’s a brief recap. Lexapalooza is a (nearly) annual music festival that was initially set up in 2006 by my friend Lexi to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. It’s a small, friendly, intimate show, with the focus on having a good time and raising cash for a great cause.

Heart-breakingly, Lexi lost her battle with cancer in 2007 (I wrote a song about it), but the festival lives on, now acting as a memorial for her as well as everything else.

This year’s Lexapalooza takes place in London this weekend, on Saturday March 31st, at the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park. More info about the show, the line-up and so on, can be found here.

There are a ton of great bands playing, many old friends of mine (not least Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun), and it’ll be a blast no doubt. It comes with the highest recommendation from me that I can give. Alas I won’t be there (Australia beckons) but if you can make it, you won’t regret it.

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Pre-order ‘Tape Deck Heart’

Greetings everyone, hope you’re all well, hello from Vietnam (I know!). Just over a month left until ‘Tape Deck Heart’ is released, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am!

You can preorder the new record from iTunes here and get first single ‘Recovery’ sent to you straight away.

Or if physical copies are more your thing, there are some cool little bundles in my online store here.

And finally, I couldn’t really resist, could I? We will be doing a limited run of cassettes of ‘Tape Deck Heart’. You best dust off your walkman! Get the cassette from here.

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Record Store Day Release

For those of you who don’t know, Record Store Day is a fantastic event celebrating both record shops and music, and this year it falls on April 20th.

Each year, loads of artists release special vinyls and CDs made exclusively for Record Store Day, and they’re only available in independent record shops.

So to honour the day, I’ll be releasing an exclusive, limited run 7″ of ‘Recovery’ on burgundy vinyl (1000 pressed), complete with the song ‘We Shall Not Overcome’ as a B-side (a song recorded for the album sessions that features on the deluxe edition).

In the meantime, you can find out more about Record Store Day from!

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Submit Your Tape Deck Art

OK people, as some of you may have noticed, the cover art for ‘Tape Deck Heart’ is killer. You may or may not also know that the art was done by the amazing Heather Law, a tattooer friend of mine from Florida. Far from being some big shot illustrator type, she’s someone who once came to a show and gave me some small drawings based on song titles, and I loved them so much I asked her to do the art for the new album.

With that in mind, I thought it might be cool to see what other people have up their artistic sleeves. If you’re feeling creative, have a look through the song titles for the record below and let your mind wander – there are no rules.

If you come up with something cool, stick it on Twitter with the hashtag #tapedeckart (get it?). I’ll be checking them over. The best ones win handwritten, signed lyric sheets for the song. Also, don’t worry, we won’t use anyone’s art for anything more without permission.

Here’s the song titles:

Losing Days
The Way I Tend To Be
Plain Sailing Weather
Good & Gone
Tell Tale Signs
Four Simple Words
Polaroid Picture
The Fisher King Blues
Oh Brother
Broken Piano

Deadline for this is Friday 31st May.

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Hello New Website!

Good morning everyone. As I’m sure you’ve spotted by now, it’s that perennial turning of the seasons today – website overhaul!

Once the unadulterated panic of change has subsided, have a look around. Hopefully everything is where it should be and looks nice and all that kind of thing. I want this site to act, among other things, as an archive of sorts, for past gigs, songs, releases and so on.

We are very much still working on filling out the content right now, so bear with us on that side of things. Hopefully in the next few months it’ll really grow into something good.

If you have comments, suggestions or whatever, please do head to the forum to discuss them. Right, as you were!

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Tape Deck Heart Guitar Picks

One for the guitar players out there. We made some pretty cool (I think) ‘Tape Deck Heart’ picks for the online store.

The picks come in a set of 6 and feature 3 designs; Tape Deck Heart, FT Hard Core and the original logo. You’ll also get a ‘Tape Deck Heart’ tin case with all them packaged in a nice little black presentation box.

They’ve been printed in England and made from celluloid – size 30 x 26mm medium gauge 0.71mm.

These picks have been specially made and only a limited batch are available, so if you fancy getting your hands on them click here.

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South By South Madness

Crazy days of late. Since I last posted a blog, I’ve arrived in the USA for some shows and a mind-bendingly hectic promo schedule; the video for “Recovery” has come out, and it’s also hit radio stations around the world, which is nice. I’m now in Austin, Texas, one of my favourite places in the world, for a packed-out SXSW. Given the mental nature of my schedule out here, I thought it would be helpful to try and post a list of all the stuff I’m doing. So here goes nothing.

  • 9th March – SXSW Gaming Bonus Party, 7-10pm, West Canopy @ Palmer Center, free, all ages
  • 11th March – White Rabbit, San Antonio, Texas (tickets)
  • 12th March – House Of Rock, Corpus Christie, Texas (tickets)
  • 13th March – Soup By Southwest, Caritas of Austin Community Kitchen benefit, 11.45am (morning!), free
  • 14th March – Slip Productions Austin & Hood Booking DC Day Party – 3pm, free
  • 15th March – Keggs & Eggs, 7am, Denver CO (madness, I know)
  • 15th March – Xtra Mile Showcase, Black Heart, 1am –  SXSWwristbands
  • 16th March – Revival Tour Panel, 2pm, Convention Center (talk) – SXSW wristbands
  • 16th March – AP Showcase, Red 7, 5.20pm – SXSW wristbands
  • 16th March – Revival Show, Cedar Street Courtyard, 12.50am – SXSW wristbands
  • 17th March – die in a heap.

So yeah, hopefully see some people at these shows!

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Long Live The Monarch

This is a slightly esoteric post about my friends in London, so if you’re not in London and/or don’t care about my social life, you can probably skip the rest of this blog happily. For the rest of you, hi! Let’s talk about bars.

Once upon a time there was a bar in North London called Nambucca, where I learned most of what I know about acoustic music and made most of my closest friends. Dave Danger and Jay (Beans On Toast) ran the place, and those years (before the fire which ended the party) seem like perfect, halcyon days to me now. After the crew moved on from there, they ran the Flowerpot in Kentish town for a while, before moving on to The Wheelbarrow. The years there were great – I played there a bunch, as did Mongol Horde, and I actually lived there for a while. But that chapter too has closed, and a new one is opening.

Dave and Jay have now taken over a new place, and it’s a new dawn. The Monarch in Camden town (Chalk Farm road) is their new spot, and the official launch party is this Friday, March 1st. Alas, I’ll be heading for the USA, but if you’re around, check it out, it’ll be a great party, there’s a killer special guest, and apparently they now have my beer on tap as well. As and when I am off the road, I’d imagine I’ll be propping up the bar. See you there.

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Europe and Ireland Shows

Oh happy day! More European and Irish shows have been announced today. The full list:

  • 27th April – Groezrock, Belgium (tickets)
  • 29th April – Kulturkirche, Koln, Germany (tickets)
  • 1st May – Ebullition, Bulle, Switzerland (tickets)
  • 2nd May – Schuur, Luzern, Switzerland (tickets)
  • 3rd May – Seaside Festival, Austria (tickets)
  • 4th May – Strom, Munchen, Germany (tickets)
  • 6th May – Bi Nuu, Berlin, Germany (tickets)
  • 7th May – Knust, Hamburg, Germany (tickets)
  • 8th May – Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands (tickets)
  • 9th May – Dauwpop Festival, Netherlands (tickets)
  • 11th May – Academy, Dublin, Ireland (tickets)
  • 12th May – Limelight, Belfast, Northern Ireland (tickets)

All shows will feature The Sleeping Souls. Tickets on sale now. See you there!

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One Thing Ends, Another Thing Starts

I’ve never been to Madrid before. In fact, before this here tour, we’d only ever played Spain once (a festival, last summer). This is, clearly, a ridiculous situation, so I’m glad that we’re making some headway in rectifying that. The show in Barcelona last night was stone cold awesome, and I have high hopes for Madrid.

The last day of any given tour is always a day of mixed emotions. On the one hand I’m pretty tired, and looking forward to heading back to the UK to see family and friends (and do an absolute ton of promo for the new record – more on that shortly). On the other, every tour is like a travelling family, that inevitably shatters at the end as people go their separate ways. This isn’t my first tour with the Dropkick Murphys and it’s also not my last (hello Australia) but still, they’re basically my favourite band and crew to be on the road with and I’ll miss them all after tonight’s blowout.

Beyond this tour, life is starting to get interesting. Tape Deck Heart is nearly finished (mastering and sequencing are left to do) and the machine is starting to grind into gear once more. I have a lot of talking to do, a lot of planning. The runs of shows in the UK and the USA both mostly sold out pretty fast – don’t panic on either score, people, there are more shows coming later in the year, as well as shows in other parts of the world, and festivals, and everything. There’s a logic to the ordering of announcements, so please, hang tight. You know what I’m like – I tour the entire time!

But beyond all that admin side of things, I’m also just happy that the record is nearly done, and is everything I wanted it to be. I can’t wait for you all to hear it. The first fruits are coming soon.

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