Summer’s Out

It’s like clockwork, as dependable as the seasons, or at least more dependable than the English summer weather – Reading and Leeds weekend was a blast. The highlights of the set from Reading are viewable here (UK only, I’m afraid, sorry, blame the BBC). To top it off, later on the Saturday I was asked to guest on a song by some of my heroes – I got up during NOFX‘s secret set on the Lock Up Stage to play guitar on “The Decline”. I could pretty much die happy right now.

I’m actually off on holiday for a couple of days now, but I have a few bits and pieces to mention before I go off radar. First of all, we’re starting to confirm and announce filler headline shows on the Social Distortion tour in the USA in the autumn (fall?). For now I’m happy to mention the following:

  • 25th October @ Brillobox, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 31st October @ The Fest, Gainesville FL (more details TBC)
  • 7th November @ The Camel, Richmond, VA

There will probably be a few more confirmed soon. Watch this space.

Also, talking of US shows, my next jaunt over to that side of the world (next week) sees me in California. The Los Angeles show at the Troubadour is going to be great, tickets are selling fast, and I’m pleased to say that both Andrew Jackson Jihad and Cheap Girls will be on the bill as well.

Right, I’m off to work on my tan. See you soon.

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All Shiny And New

Hopefully even the least observant among you will have noticed that the blog layout has changed from the tedious, post-hack, paint-drying yawnfest it was before. Now it is a splendiferous cornucopia of awesomeness, as I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m pretty sure that everything is working and in the right place, but if you do happen to happen across any glitches, please do let me know.

The design was done by Ryan Raplee of New York, and a fine job he did too, as well as being a lovely chap. I’d heartily recommend his services in the world of WordPress theme designs.

In other internet-related news, the old RSS feed is still extant, but I’ve also got it running through FeedBurner now, which you can subscribe to using the RSS button above. Update accordingly.

Finally, on this whole riff, the “merchandize” button currently links to the US store. Come September 1st we are launching a new webstore and merch service for Europe, which will basically be the same as the US version, so all the awesome designs will be available everywhere all the time. Which is nice.

We had a great weekend in Europe, particularly enjoying enthusiastic Germans and friendly Swiss people. Tomorrow we hit sold out warm-up shows in Derby and Kendall, before the annual victory parade that is Reading and Leeds. Then it’s a short run in the States, followed by studio time to record the new EP (due for release in November). See you soon!

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Hacking Little Fucks

Right, further to my post below, as far as I can tell the redirect hacks were to be found in the template I was using. Though I’m not sure. As it goes I have a great guy currently working on a brand new website / wordpress template for me. So for the moment, the site is going to look even more budget. That fucking sucks, but think of it like I have the painters in or whatever to do up the place – the end result will look better. For the moment, please be patient, and I’m leaving this up here so that the essential information (blog, gigs and so on) are still in the public domain. Thanks for your understanding.

PS hackers are fucking *cunts* and no mistake. It’s not like I don’t have enough shit to do already. Grr.

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Back Across The Atlantic Again

I write from Ottawa, having just played the Folk Festival here. It was a great time, I got to share the stage with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at one point, which was beyond insane, met a lot of cool new people and made some new friends. Whilst drinking with the festival organizer last night he pledged to get me back next year, with Loudon Wainwright as well, thereby making my day. Later today I’m getting on a plane and flying home for a day or two, before heading to Germany for more festival action. No rest for the wicked.

Last week I was in Colorado. My buddy Jon Snodgrass and I went through with our pledge to write and record an album in 2 days. We made this plan last fall when we met on the Revival Tour in the USA and wrote a song together in an evening. The session went surprisingly well, and we’re both pretty excited about getting the songs out there as soon as we can, in keeping with the general spirit of the project. As soon as I know how it’ll be being unleashed on the world, I will let you know.

Talking of the USA, I’m pleased to say I’ve added a Seattle show to my schedule. I’ll be playing El Corazon Lounge on September 10th. Tickets can be found here.

A quick request for help. I seem to have some kind of hack going on with my WordPress installation, which is affecting IE browsers. I’ve been doing my best to clear it up but to be honest with you PHP coding is beyond my meagre internet skills. If anyone has any tips on how to get rid of this, it’d be much appreciated.

Finally, for today, I recorded a version of the song “Build Me Up Buttercup” for the charity Centre Point, which works with helping homeless young people in London. You can find out more right here.

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A Pack Of Lynxes

I’m in New York, drinking coffee, eating bagels and reading blogs. I feel like a real American today, haha. Some bits and bobs for you all today. First of all, as I should have mentioned earlier, this week the Try This At Home 7″ is out! You can get yours from Xtra Mile Recordings (UK) or Epitaph (rest of the world). The vinyl is a split, with competition winners the Retrospective Soundtrack Players and Isaac Graham, with artwork by Annie Olander. Check it out!

Next up, I recently did a cool interview for The Owl Magazine. You lucky people can read it here. Also, at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival I did a secret second show in the Wheat Thins Lounge (yup). There’s a video of it right here for your enjoyment.

Finally, I just found out about Me Without You. Why did no one tell me before? They rule! Also, Koo Koo Kanga Roo are rocking my world right now. Seriously. Enjoy.

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To Germany Once More

Last week’s international insanity is gradually wearing off and I’m settled into being on the East Coast (ish) of the USA. Awesome shows in Montreal, Syracuse and particularly Hartford have warmed my cockels, so to speak. I’m now in a hotel somewhere in New York state, about to head into the city to pick up the boys in the band and go to Brooklyn for a show tonight at the Bowl. All the omens are pointing towards crazy times, I’m excited.

Moving the microscope back across the Atlantic, I’m very pleased to say that we found a gap in the schedule for some more German shows before the end of this year. I’ll be rocking the following:

  • 25th September @ Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg
  • 26th September @ MuK, Giessen
  • 28th September @ Ex-Haus, Trier
  • 29th September @ Jubez, Karlsruhe
  • 30th September @ Stattbahnhof, Schweinfurt
  • 1st October @ Unikum, Erfurt
  • 2nd October @ Roter Salon, Berlin

These are all going to be solo shows, something I haven’t done in Germany since my first visit there with Gaslight. All tickets are onsale now, links in the upcoming gigs section of the site. See you there!

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Time Zones Are My Bitch

The last few days have been, even by my prodigious standards, totally fucking insane. After the joys of the Calgary Folk Festival, I headed to Colorado to see family. On Wednesday evening, I got on a plane in Denver bound for London, where I arrived at midday (local time) Thursday, already pretty frazzled. After a quick freshen up at the hotel, I headed into town for the 2010 Kerrang Awards, which I’d been firmly advised to attend.

In the event I was flattered and flabbergasted to find out I’d won the “No Half Measures” (formerly “Spirit Of Independence”) award. This is the first time I’ve ever won an award for anything, so that in itself is cool as hell. And recognition from Kerrang like this is also amazing; like everyone else in the UK into heavy music, I’ve grown up reading it. It really is pretty surreal for me, this kind of thing, and I’m not entirely sure what to say about it, save that it’s very flattering, and my mantlepiece is looking fucking hawt right now.

After the awards, I got drunk. Obviously. Then some time-zone-confused sleep (not enough) gave way to another trip to the airport, this time heading for Minneapolis, feeling like utter death, which was only compounded by Virgin Atlantic screwing up my flight. In the end it was fine, but I do believe I might have considered crying at the check in desk this morning. Now I’m in Minneapolis, at my hotel, treating myself to a beer, and feeling tired in a truly existential kind of way, but happy. I never really thought this road would lead me as far as this, but I’m glad it has.

OK, to bed, to battle, but before I go, here’s a video about (the incredible amazing fantabulous) 2000 Trees Festival:

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Canadian Troubadour

I’ve arrived in Calgary (after a bitch of a flight) to discover that everything they told me is true; the Canadian folk festivals really do look after you like no one else. I got met at the airport and taken to a seriously posh hotel, complete with pool. A bell boy even took my bags up to my room (after I established he wasn’t stealing them). To top it all, my attempts to ask someone directions to a guitar shop to buy some strings has led to someone going to get them for me. Madness. For those attending the festival, my main stage set is tomorrow (Friday) at 6pm.

Two new shows to tell you about, at different ends of the earth. Firstly, on August 26th the band and I will be playing another Leeds festival warm up show at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. Tickets can be found here. It’s been a long while since I played a proper show in the north west, so it’s nice to be heading back.

Secondly, September 8th will see me play a solo headline show at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles (tickets and information here). It’s an iconic venue, and it’s a long overdue show announcement for southern California, so I hope everyone’s as stoked as I am. Yay!

Finally, for everyone asking, the iTunes EP is going to be available outside the UK soon, not entirely sure when and there is a short delay, but it will be available, never fear.

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iTunes EP

Well that was quite a weekend. A number of boxes were ticked. On Friday I played my first ever festival headline slot at 2000 Trees. It’s no secret that it’s one of my favourite festivals, and the show was thoroughly ace. Saturday saw me playing the main stage at Latitude, another big first. We also got to unveil the new backdrop, which is so incredibly huge I’m pretty sure you can see it from space, haha. Then on Monday we were back at the Roundhouse to play the iTunes Festival with The Futureheads. As is customary for these things, they recorded the set and are releasing a 5 track EP of highlights any day now. You can preorder it right here. Enjoy.

I’m packing the last of my things at home in preparation for my trip to Calgary Folk Festival this weekend. I’m really looking forward to hitting North America again. See you all soon.

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Odds & Sods

I write from the confines of a service station in Oxford, eating cold bacon sandwiches and paying through the teeth for intermittent wifi. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Bath on Wednesday and Larmer Tree last night were great, and we’re about to jet off for 2000 Trees Festival, a.k.a. my favourite stop of the festival calendar. So, no complaining. I have a whole bunch of little bits and bobs to share, so I’ve collated them all into this post, which is going to be a bit rambling. Sorry..

I have two new confirmed US Festival appearances, and I’m pleased as punch about them both. October 10th will see me and the band at Austin City Limits in Texas, while October 31st will see me playing a solo set in Gainesville, Florida as part of The Fest. Both should be a total blast.

Secondly, charity stuff. Some friends of mine are involved in Follow That Firetruck – an awesome international road trip that is also raising money for some excellent cancer charities. Go have a look and send them a couple of quid. In return, I give you this – my friend Chris’ band Hold Your Horse Is are giving away their new single free of charge on their website. Get involved!

Finally, here‘s an interview I did in Finland recently. And many thanks to Jenny for the Red Snapper CD that arrived unexpectedly the other day, hugely appreciated. Hadn’t listened to that album in years and had myself a private little rave in my bedroom. Great.

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