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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All Hail Wozzie!

I’m sat in the Railway Inn catching up on the internet (this just in: it’s still there). Today is an exciting day: to celebrate the fact that it’s only one week until the release of England Keep My Bones, you can now stream the whole album from I hope you like it…


Wozzie and me

But I’m really here to tell you about Wozzie. Wozzie contacted me a while ago to let me know he’s embarking on a project to raise money for charity, in memory of his two Grans. There are two charities – the British Heart Foundation and the Macmillan Cancer Trust – that he’s helping out. He’s decided to do a bunch of crazy stuff to get some cash together – he’s going sky-diving, he’s walking the South Down Trail (104 miles of it), he shaved his head, he’s conquering his fear of needles to get a tattoo… And thusfar he’s been to 12 of the shows on this tour. He can’t make the last show tonight in Winchester, but he could make it to the show at the Barfly next Monday. I’ve decided that, if we can collectively get both his giving pages up to £250 each, I’ll put him on the guestlist for the show. So come on people! Let’s get Wozzie to one more gig, and let’s raise some money for a great cause. Go here or here. If we hit the targets early, I’ll think of some more crazy stuff and we can keep going, the sky is the limit.

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Introducing Greg Nolan

The UK tour rolls relentlessly on like some hectic folk juggernaut (metaphor fail), bringing me this morning to sunny Bristol. Shows have been ace, crowds have been lovely, playing new and old songs alike has been a joy. We’re now less than 2 weeks away from the album release, and I’ll be announcing fresh US and Canadian tour dates next week, and then some UK and European ones the week after that. Bliss.

Joining us on a short leg of the tour is an old friend of mine, Mr Greg Nolan. Greg is a (official club) photographer who I’ve known for a long time – he was a Nambucca stalwart and took the front cover shot for “Love Ire & Song”. Greg’s on the bus for some hardcore tour documentation, in which you can get seriously involved.

First of all, Greg will be posting some cool, intimate / behind-the-scenes shots of life on tour on his photo blog. He’s also been throwing little video clips up on his Tumblr site as well. They’re both worth checking for the next few days (he’s with us till Friday, then again in Winchester and at the Barfly show in London).

The other thing he’s doing is putting crowd shots from the gigs up on my facebook page – you can go check it out and tag yourself if you spot yourself in a pic. Hurrah! We’ll be adding loads more in the coming days. You can also follow Greg on Twitter right here.

In other news, some videos for you to check out – firstly, me speaking some more Polish. And then there was me on US TV – the Carson Daley show no less – which you can watch here. Incidentally, as well as “England Keep My Bones” not being my debut record, I did also have a great TV spot filmed in Tuscon AZ last year which is also worth a look. Enjoy.

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I Love Poland

With the amount of jetting around the place that I do, it’s inevitable that every now and again there’ll be a fuck-up. That doesn’t stop them being mortifying when they do happen, but they are, to a degree, inevitable once in a while. When they do happen, my team and I work around the clock to set the situation straight and try and make everything work out as best as possible for everyone.

So. It was recently brought to my attention that the people at Rock Am Ring and Rock Am Park festivals had changed the days on which I was due to play. This information slipped through the cracks. But it meant that we had a double-booking with the show we had booked in Poznan, Poland. This was agonizing news for me – my manager and agent, naturally, said that the festivals had to come first. But it pained me to think that we would have to cancel the Polish show, and that people might think that I don’t care about Poland, when in fact I had been looking forward to that show much more.

After much shuftying around, we’ve now worked it out that the Poznan show at Meskalina will happen, but it has been moved to June 3rd. I know this may not be ideal for some people who have already made plans, but it seems better to me than outright canceling the gig. All existing tickets are still valid etc. etc. And we’ll be at Rock am Park on the 4th, and Rock am Ring on the 5th. Hopefully everyone’s happy.

I’m also confirmed to play at Mannifest on the Isle Of Man on August 7th. It’ll be my first visit to the island and I’m stoked, so see you there.

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Pre-Order Frenzy

Graham, my tour manager, lives in the countryside, in the wilds of County Durham, on the side of a beautiful English valley. I’ve been stopping off here on days off on tours for about seven years now, and it never ceases to take my breath away, looking over the landscape and breathing fresh air. The view today is slightly marred by a massive tour bus, which Robert, our driver, has miraculously managed to park round the back of the house. But the effect remains the same. The last proper day off I had was in San Francisco, and as much as I love that city, I’ll take where I am right now over there any day.

We’re a mere three weeks away from the album release now. Things are starting to reach fever pitch (and we haven’t, as far as I know, had any leaks yet, which is a relief). My record labels (Xtra Mile and Epitaph) are keenly encouraging everyone to pre-order the record. There is a degree of industry machination behind this. The logic goes, that if as many people as possible put themselves down to get a copy on the day of release, then it makes a bigger impact on that day, not least by getting us a higher chart position. That then raises the profile, makes people sit up and take notice, and generally moves Operation: WorldTakeover one step closer to completion.

I’m ever so slightly ambivalent about this. Part of me thinks that people should just get the record when they want to (as no doubt they will). But at the same time, it does make sense for me and my career. And occasionally I get titbits of information which get me all excited about the pre-order drive. Apparently, for the moment, I’m about equal in pre-sales with the Arctic Monkeys, who are releasing a record on the same day. With all due love and respect for those guys, I think I can still fairly say I’m the underdog by comparison, and the idea that we might pip a band with more money, profile and industry backing, tickles me somewhat.

So the upshot of all this is for me to say that if you’re planning on getting a copy of England Keep My Bones on June 6th when it comes out anyway, please do take the time to get a pre-order in now. For starters, the good folks at iTunes have a link up now, at which you can actually preview the album tracks too – so go have a listen. For UK people wanting to pre-order physical copies, the links are to the right of this post, and there are details on which ones have what here. Americans, Europeans and the rest can get involved with pre-orders by heading for the Epitaph store.

Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, a couple of other bits and pieces. I’m happily confirmed for a full band set at Festa Di Radio Onda D’Urto in Brescia, Italy, on August 15th. We’ll also be in Vienna, Austria, on June 19th, at B72. Tickets are already selling fast, so go get yours now!

Enough of this internetting, I’m off to have a proper day off roaming the hills of the north-east. US and more UK and European tour dates coming shortly, so see everyone soon.

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Breakfast In Dundee

It really hasn’t been that long since I did a blog post, in the grand scheme of things, but a lot of ground has been covered in the meantime. April was the craziest month. The shows in Canada and America were great, new friends made, new tattoos acquired. As I have mentioned in a few places, there is a massive, proper, full-band, headline tour of the USA and Canada coming in the fall. The dates are coming soon (I’m pestering everyone to let me release them now, haha). Watch this space. Now I’m in Dundee, a town I haven’t visited for a long time, and it’s good to be back.

News for today! Finally, I’m pleased to say that the video for “Peggy Sang The Blues” is with us! Right now you can check it out at (for the UK), (for our European friends) and (for my yankee compadres). It’ll be up on my youtube channel soon as well, I hope you like it.

Also for my dear American friends, there are now pre-order links live for the new album through Interpunk and Smartpunk – both of which will come with a signed album poster. Check it out.

Looking back to the old continent again, it always pleases me to break new ground – Latvia and Poland are some of my favourite parts of Europe to play – so it’s with a smile on my face that I can announce that I’m coming to Croatia for the first time. 9th August sees me and the band appearing at the Terraneo Festival in Sibenik. Details can be found here.

Finally, I got an email out of the blue the other day from a guy called Abdulla. Because Abdulla is a fantastic human being, he took it upon himself to write out the music for the piano part to Jet Lag. This is something a lot of people have asked me for over the years, but because I’m shit at the piano and can’t write music, it wasn’t something I could provide. Now I can. Thanks, Abdulla! Enjoy, everyone else.

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