blog

Peterborough

Sincerest apologies to anyone who went down to see me play at the Met Lounge in Peterborough last night. Apparently the gig was pulled a week ago, but the first I heard of this was at 3pm yesterday, just as I was getting on the train (ticket in hand). It was a shit situation for you n me both, friends. I’m looking into booking another show in Peterborough to make up for it. In other news I just confirmed a show in Glasgow in january at 13th Note, see you Scots there…

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Forum

There’s now a forum on this website, as I’m sure you may have noticed by now. Not much more to say on this, except to reiterate that the friendly nature of the old MD forum (now sadly a little frayed) was a source of satisfaction for me. To put it another way, be nice or I’ll ban your face off, innit.

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Leave my jeans alone!

Two more shows under my belt, London and Plymouth, thanks to everyone who came down, and a big “oi, fuck off!” to the people saying my jeans were not to their taste…! Anyways. Plymouth was generally entertaining, taught “the kids” how to rock on Friday and sat on an Industry Panel feeling like an imposter on Saturday. Not something that happens every day.

Got lots more shows coming up, as I’m sure you will have spotted in the “live” section of the site. I’m covering more of the UK now, which is nice. I’m looking into shows in Scotland and Wales at the moment too, for everyone who’s emailed me about it, and doing my best to get up there either before xmas or in the new years. See you there.

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CD ordering

I’ve been sending out demo’s for SAE’s for a little while now, since this site started in fact. However, I’m sd to report that this outburst of generosity has to come to an end now. This is because it still does cost me to send out a CD even if I have an SAE, and given that my current income stream (when I’m not playing a gig) is a big old zero, and that I’m hugely in debt, I decided that it wouldn’t be taking the piss to ask people for ‘a33 for a 6-track CD. Call me a capitalist profiteering pig if you must, but a man’s gotta eat. Obviously people who’ve already emailed me about it and / or sent an SAE off will still get their copy, but the rules have changed as of now. Also, I’m a bit of a paypal beginner, so if there are any problems with ordering the CD please let me know so I can fix em.

Unconfirmed reports from a few people that Zane Lowe played “The Real Damage” on his show the other day… I didn’t know he even had a copy (downloaded maybe?) but I can’t be arsed to scroll through his tracklistings to find out, so if anyone knows any more about this, please let me know. It’d be ace if it was true.

In other news I reckon I’m about 75% back to strength after 10 days in the company of FWW (see post below). I’m also working on a few new choons at this end, one of which is (in my humble opinion) pretty much the best thing I’ve put together in my time as a musician. So get me. I’m also playing around with a verse that was kindly donated to me by Jamie Reuben – it’s a lovely little tune, which I’m definitely going to use. The only problem is that it came with the lyrics “Please God, whatever you do, don’t send me to Russia.” The thing is, I quite want to go to Russia, I’ve never been, and Latvia was cool as chips when we went there… hmm… who knows? “Prussia” maybe?

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Ouch

Just got back home from the Reuben tour, and am starting the long, slow and painful process of recovery. In fairness it’s largely Fighting With Wire’s fault, but wherever you point the finger, a hangover is a hangover. Ugh. I didn’t end up playing the tour for various technical reasons, but I did have my 3 minutes of fame doing Karl’s part from ‘Alpha Signal 3’, so it was all good.

The Bradford Film Festival was also a fun day – we made a video for one of my tunes in the space of 5 hours, which was pretty hard going. The end result is rough and ready but pretty cool. I’m going to put it up on the site somewhere as soon as all the technical hooha has been sorted out. Watch this space.

I’ve been booking lots more shows, including quite a few with Get Cape Wear Cape Fly. If you haven’t already checked him out I’d recommend have a peek at his website (www.getcapewearcapefly.co.uk) and checking some of his tuneage. Also got some shows with Agile Thought and Meetjohndoe, so I should be covering a lot more of the UK in coming months than I have before. See you there.

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One small step

Well, played my first two post-MD shows on Thursday and Friday. Obviously not the first solo shows I’ve done, but it felt like something of a step into the unknown to be up there 100% alone. I really enjoed both sets (apart from the broken string in London) and I’m hankering for more now.Shifted loads of demo CDs as well, which was nice. Tomorrow I’m off on the Reuben tour, which I’m really looking forward to, not only because they’re ace and lovely and all the rest of it, but also because they have Fighting With Wire as support, who in turn have Graham (MD’s sound guy) in their touring party. I smell trouble ahead…

Also, for those interested in the Bradford show at the Love Apple Cafe on this Friday, it’s a really early show – whole thing wrapped up by 8pm apparently, so it might be wise to look at 6ish for an arrival time. it’s also free to get in.

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Experimentation

I’ve been making conceptual leaps and bounds in the last few days, both on record and in the live arena. Let me explain. As far as live goes, I am venturing into the scary new world of STANDING UP. I’ve never really tried STANDING UP with an acoustic before. In fact, the idea seemed so outlandish to me that years ago I removed the back strap button from my acoustic, chortling to myself and my recklessness, thinking “I won’t be needing THAT little thing!” How wrong I was. When one graduates to being the only person on stage, I feel kind of obliged to stand. It seems rude to sit, somehow… I don’t know. I feel I should provide more mass for people to look at or something. Ho hum. The practical upshot of this is that I have been wandering around my room strumming to myself, feeling not unlike a minstrel. I have to keep reminding myself that at gigs I will have to at least vaguely be in the same place for the microphone, innit. Unless of course, I go for a HEADSET MICROPHONE. No, Turner, no, resist.

I also have a rather fetching black strap with skulls and crossbones on it, courtesy of my parents when I was about 14 and thought that was the height of fashion. “No mum, I want the SKULLS one, PLEASE….”

I’ve also been venturing into the forbidden realm of the guitar solo. This really is a new thing for me, but there I was, demoing a new song, and, well, it couldn’t just go from the last chorus into the outro, it needed something more, but not another bridge, and certainly not another verse, so… (clouds blacken, thunder rumbles) I went for it. Conceptually, that is… I’m still trying to (a) write one that sounds good and (b) play it in a not-completely-cack-handed kind of way. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of my Van Halen stylings…

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friday night cinema shenanigans

Well I finally bit the bullet and got some real info on my show on Friday night at the Curzon Soho. The underneath comes straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Hope to see some of you down there.

CURZON SOHO, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1
http://www.curzoncinemas.com/
Box office: 020 7734 2255

FRI 7 OCT

7PM ’96 free entry

Curzon Bar live event: SPEND AN EVENING WITH SADDLE CREEK

A bar screening of the Saddle Creek Records story told through interviews, home movies, rare live performances and never-before-seen archival footage with Bright Eyes, The Faint, Cursive and many others; the story of the record label as told by the people who made it happen. In 1993, a group of childhood friends in Omaha, Nebraska released 100 copies of a cassette tape by a 13 year-old singer-songwriter / little brother, Conor Oberst. Two years later, the name Saddle Creek Records was etched in vinyl and what began as a collective local music scene would soon gain attention as a center of independent music in America. Tonight’92s event will not only include the screening but will also welcome guest DJs from the Saddle Creek family. Also we’92ll see a solo live performance from ex-Million Dead frontman Frank Turner, at 10.30pm before the late show screening below.

11PM – Tickets ‘a38.50 / ‘a35.50 concessions

Dave Markey late night double-bill

1991 THE YEAR PUNK BROKE ’96 ON TOUR WITH SONIC YOUTH & NIRVANA

Director: Dave Markey. US 1993.

In Dave’92s words ’93Take a trip with Sonic Youth and Nirvana as they stumble through their 1991 European club festival tour! Let filmmaker Dave Markey put you on stage, off stage and backstage! Witness the boredom! The cynicism! And rock harder than you may have ever rocked before! Featuring Dinosaur Jr., Babes In Toyland, Gumball, The Ramones and more. A surging wave of punk rock fanatics!’94

+

THE SLOG MOVIE ’96 L.A HARDCORE ARCHIVES 81 ’96 82

Director: Dave Markey. US 1982.

See the LA hardcore scene explode, and in retrospect connect the dots from 1981 to 1991, The Year Punk Broke. David Markey’s 1981 homespun documentation is like a fanzine on film featuring Circle Jerks, Henry Rollins, Circle One, Symbol 6, Wasted Youth, Redd Cross, TSOL, The Chiefs, Sin34, Fear and more.

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news update

An addition on the gigging front – I’ve been booked in to play at the Music Industry Seminar at Plymouth University on Saturday October 29th. The event is free (more info at www.dartingtonplus.org.uk) and will feature me not only playing a set, but also sitting on a panel discussing music industry stuff. Which personally I find unstoppably hilarious. I’m also going to be on the Reuben tour doing the T-shirts and maybe playing a set or two here and there… see their website (www.wordsfromreuben.com) for more info.

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Changeover

Transitional… Yesterday my band Million Dead came to an end, for those that didn’t know. We did our last ever gig in Southampton. It wasn’t the best show, to be honest, as the redecorating of the venue (Southampton Joiners) didn’t include any consideration of ventilation, so we had to cut a few numbers as I was about to faint. Nevertheless an emotional evening, and a good party was had by all afterwards. Now recovering. All of a sudden, the cliche about today being the first day of the rest of your life is actually true. Cripes.

I’ve been really pleasantly surprised (overwhelmed?) by the number of people asking about demo cds. I’m doing a big mailout on Monday morning, for anyone waiting. I have been sending them out for free, but funds are such that I’m asking for SAE’s now, but as ever, email me. And bear in mind also that these are the first four songs I finished. I’ve finished another three and have loads more on their way, and, though I say so myself, quality is improving, so keep your ears peeled. I’ve got lots of exciting scary meetings up ahead to figure out exactly how I’m going to visit my noise on the world more comprehensively in the future. Oh, and I’m also labouring under an obsession with that Kelly Clarkson song “Since U Been Gone”. I had no idea who she was, the spelling is reprehensible, and her record sales probably fund child slavery in South America, but it just ROCKS. Fight me.

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