Au Revoir Social D

We have successfully negotiated the living hell that is driving a van in Paris and arrived at Le Trianon, which is a lovely venue. Tonight is to be our last night with Social Distortion in Europe, on top of the American dates that we did together last year. This, then, seems as good a time as every to say that it’s been an absolute blast, the guys in Social D and their crew have been as friendly as any band I’ve ever toured with, and we’re eternally grateful for the opportunity to play to their crowds and make new friends.

With this in mind, here’s a link to something awesome I did while we were in Berlin. I had the opportunity to interview Mike Ness for a German TV show, and the results are here (part 1, part 2). It doesn’t really come across in the footage but I was pretty nervous, but as ever, Mike was a gentleman. Enjoy.

Speaking of interacting with my peers, I finally found a clip of my time with the Weakerthans, which you can see here.

Finally, today is the start (in the UK) of National Transplant Week, which is a drive to increase the number of people registering for organ donation. It’s something that I think is a great cause and well worth supporting, so go check it out.

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Coping With The Hagen

We had a day off yesterday. The initial plan was to leave Hamburg after the final night with Social D there and drive to Lubeck, a small German city en route to our next tour stop, Copenhagen. However, on the last day in Hamburg I found out that the Weakerthans were playing in town the following night, so I hastily hatched a plot to hang around. In the event I spent the afternoon making friends with the guys in the band, and they even asked me to come play “Pamphleteer” onstage with them, which I duly did (and will post footage of if anyone has any?).

The guys were great and I had a fun night. In all honesty I was kind of holding it together; they are one of my all-time favourite bands and it was an enormous honour and privilege for me to be able to meet and play with them. It’s also spurred me to re-listen to their entire back catalogue (again). I’d advise you to check them out if you’re unfamiliar with their work. Quite an evening.

Now we’re in Copenhagen, which is great, but it’s our second last night with Social D, which is less great, and I have a tour cold coming on, which is fucking annoying. But I have some good tour-related news to impart as well, so I’ll soldier on.

The show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on September 21st has now sold out. This is excellent news, and as it’s the first show to go, we’ve added another show at the Bowery on November 3rd (tickets here). We’ve also managed to add a show in Gainesville FL at the Double Down on September 28th (tickets here). Those are the last additions for the tour, and a number of the other shows are selling fast as well, so get your tickets while you can.

On a similar note, the UK tour is continuing to sell in a fashion I can only describe as bonkers (the Manchester show is nearly sold out now, and all the others are at least half gone). We were hoping they’d go by the time of the tour itself, not four months up front! You guys are crazy, haha. We have some more plans in the pipeline for the UK as a result.

Finally, two little bits of press news. Firstly, I’ll be playing a song live on BBC2’s The Review Show on July 8th at 11.45pm, so tune in for that one. And this month’s Spin Magazine have been saying nice things about me, so check that out.

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UK Tour Supports

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From The Shores Of The Bodensee

Spending more time driving around the slightly more distant parts of central Europe is a joy. It always puts me in a reflective mood. I’m reading (yet another) history book about the 1930’s right now, and wandering along the edge of the Bodensee in Lindau, Germany, looking out at the mountains on the far shore in Austria (or maybe Switzerland?) gets my mind racing thinking about history, politics and geography. I am so very rock’n’roll.

The shows in Austria were great, as was hanging out with my friend Mark McCabe – a songwriter everyone should investigate, if you haven’t already. Lindau tonight, thence to Amsterdam to meet up with the Social Distortion boys. I’m also pleased to announce that I’ve been confirmed for the Friday 19th August at this year’s Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.

Talking of shows, the tours later this year in North America and the UK are selling at a rate that I can best describe as “alarming”. We’re going to be posting some Sold Out notices pretty soon, so if you want to come to a show now might be the time to get some tickets. We are also on the verge of announcing a lot more headline shows for mainland Europe and Ireland for the second half of the year, so hold out for those too.

Now a couple of goodies. First up, I did a session for Wolfgang’s Vault in San Francisco recently, which you can see right here. And finally, here’s the videos of the songs I did for Mike Davies’ BBC Radio 1 session at Download recently. Enjoy.

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UK Tour Tickets

The road rolls ever onwards, keeping me, as Townes Van Zandt noted, “free and clean” (well, not often all that clean, but I have just had a bath). Anyways. The UK tour dates for the end of the year are basically out in the open now, here they are again. The tickets go on pre-sale tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 9.30am sharp!

  • 23rd November – Newport Centre, Wales (tickets)
  • 24th November – Birmingham O2 Academy (tickets)
  • 25th November – Glasgow Barrowlands (tickets)
  • 26th November – Manchester O2 Apollo (tickets)
  • 27th November – London Hammersmith HMV Apollo (tickets)

These are all full band shows, and we have one hell of a support bill lined up – we’re still dotting i’s and crossing t’s on that one, so more info will be coming later. Also, I know it’s not every single town in the whole of the UK, sorry if this doesn’t come as close as some people would like, but I think I’ve toured the UK more than pretty much anyone else lately and will continue to do so, so don’t despair! Also, we have a bunch of headline dates for Ireland (both north and south) and for mainland Europe coming soon too.

OK, set your alarm clocks for the morning, and get ready to get you some tickets!

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The Skin Of My Teeth

Some odds and sods to round off the end of a totally crazy week. As well as gigging in Berlin, and now driving 14 hours to Interlaken for a festival, and the small matter of having the album released (now in Australia and New Zealand too!). Sleep has not been a top priority, but things have been pretty awesome nonetheless.

As many people will know, the album entered the UK album charts at number 6. As is the way with these things, it has slipped down over the next few days and is currently at number 10. At the same time, we’ve been having a technical glitch over at iTunes (really guys, this week of all fucking weeks?) which has stopped some people getting their copy there. We’re working as hard as we can to fix this today. In general, as with my previous post on the subject, it’d be amazing to finish up in the top 10, so if you’re planning on getting it in general and haven’t yet, today or tomorrow would be a good time!

Also, just for the record, apologies to some people who had delayed delivery through third-party retailer’s preorders (Amazon etc.) – I understand that it’s frustrating, but Xtra Mile and I did everything at our end to get things together in good time, and I can’t really take responsibility for their fuck-ups (or for Royal Mail for that matter). Hope you understand.

Some show news. The gig in Vienna next week is now sold out, which is exciting. We’re confirmed to appear at this year’s Lowlands Festival in Holland on August 21st. And this coming Monday June 13th I’ll be signing instore at Truck Records in Cowley, Oxford, at 6pm.

Finally, my good buddy Greg Nolan was recently on the road with me in the UK taking some photos. His awesome backstage catalogue can be viewed right here – check it out. Also, for those of you with an iPad, I recently contributed to a documentary about T S Eliot’s The Wasteland (made by Faber & Faber), which has just been released. I don’t have a link right now, alas, but a quick search might find it.

Right, time to go play a set and then have a hardcore overload watching Sick Of It All, Converge, Comeback Kid and Boysetsfire!

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The World Keep The Rest Of Me

With all the kerfuffle about the UK release, and charts, and all that kind of thing, I wouldn’t want people in other territories to think I was forgetting about them. As of today, England Keep My Bones is out in the USA and Canada! Check it on iTunes, or head to to order physical copies – CD and vinyl!

The record is already out in Europe, and will be out properly in Australia come Friday. Enjoy, and spread the word!


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If Only For A Little While

Yesterday was a pretty hectic day. I was up early to get on a plane at Koln airport and fly into London, to celebrate the UK release day of England Keep My Bones. Lots of rushing around ensued, including interviews, photoshoots, signing sessions and a great gig at the Barfly to round it all off. Everyone seemed pretty excited about the new album, and there were good vibes all round.

In general, I’m kind of ambivalent about the whole business of record sales and chart positions and so on. Having grown up as an indie purist of sorts, the whole thing seems a little crass to me at times, and it’s certainly never been a motivating factor in actually making music for me. But at the same time, sneaking into the big boys’ locker room has a certain underdog appeal to it which pushes my buttons.

I’ll stop being oblique. I got a call this morning to tell me that England Keep My Bones, as of its first day sales, is currently at number 6 in the UK album charts.

That’s fucking insane, to me. I’m up there with Adele and the Glee soundtrack, haha, in the top 10 for the first time in my life. It’s something that I never really imagined was a possibility for me, so it’s very surreal. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy yesterday or preordered the record, it means a lot.

Here’s the thing about the music industry though – new releases generally do well in the first couple of days of the week. But as time goes on, the bulldozer major label pop sellers (Lady Gaga etc.) generally pull up the charts as the smaller, independent releases slip down. So it’s unlikely that my chart position, at the end of the week, will still be #6.

However, there is a slim chance we could still stay in the top #10. As I said before, part of me doesn’t give a shit either way, and a larger part of me is just peachy with being where I am right now anyways. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: if you were planning on getting the album anyways, please do try to find the time to get it this week, and get your friends to do the same. And then who knows – maybe a punk rock record on a small independent label can stand up to the mainstream juggernauts, if only for a little while.

Thanks again, everyone.

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Only A Few Days To Go…

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The Home Of The Brave

As many people have already noticed, yesterday I was finally given the green light to post the dates for the upcoming Fall US and Canada Tour. It’s a relief, more than anything, to get them out into the public domain. I’m very excited, even proud, to be heading over there for a full tour with the Sleeping Souls – yes, they’re all full band shows. Tickets will go onsale at the weekend (I’ll be posting up links). The dates are here.

Also exciting is the fact that we have the amazing Andrew Jackson Jihad and the incredible Into It Over It as tour supports for all the shows. If you don’t know them already, go check out their stuff. I’m proud to have both acts out on the road with me.

Finally, I know there are some places we’re skipping on this run. We genuinely did our best with the booking to cover as much ground as possible in the time we had allocated for the tour. Nevertheless, there are some gaps, and I’m sorry for the people we’re passing by; but never fear, it’s not like this is my last US tour! Also, we made as many of the shows as possible be All Ages, again we didn’t quite get all of them, but hopefully as many people as possible can get to the shows. I’m very excited.

Only a few days now until the new album is out. Yikes!

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