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New Blog Dawn.. Part 2!

Just a quick update on my web-related tinkerings. After some very helpful comments and emails, I’ve decided to try diving into the whole WP set up a little deeper. All the old pages of the site have now been constituted as pages listed across the top – in fact I took the time to rationalize the hierarchical structure of them. The FAQ, Lyrics and Past Gigs are all now a little more prominent, which is no bad thing.

I’m now confirmed and announced to play Larmer Tree Festival in Dorset on July 15th. Hope to see you there, it’s not far off a home-town festival for me, so I’m excited. Full band show.

Finally, a friend of mine’s 12-yr-old son is putting us all to shame, fund raising for Cystic Fibrosis, a disease from which his cousin suffers. Check it out, maybe lend a hand, right here.

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New Blog Dawn

Morning all. A day off in Sydney today, blissful weather, the perfect day to be inside my hotel room dicking around with CSS code and URL redirects, eh? Ha. The last few days have all been stellar, many new friends made and much whiskey drunk (thank you Ben Nichols). We also played a quick game of 2-Ups, basically a confrontational version of head-or-tails that involves betting and shouting, which is illegal here apart from on Anzac Day. Madness. I think I’m just about on top of what time it is as well. Anyways. I’m making some internet changes round here, and thought I’d explain.

This is the vaguely technical paragraph. Feel free to skip it if you, sensibly, don’t give a toss. I used to publish this site using blogger.com’s FTP tool to publish to my own server. They announced a little while back that they’re not going to run that service any more after May 1st, so I’ve been checking through my options. In the end I went for migrating to a wordpress installation on my server. On the whole I’m very happy with it, although the migration process wasn’t 100% smooth (seriously, open source crusaders, help forums are no substitute for some old-school documentation). But we’re here now. Due to not being arsed to code a CSS theme from scratch, I’ve cannibalized a preset, but that necessarily means that things look a little different.

Back to the real world. So yeah, things look a touch different, but I kinda like it. All the old information can be found to your right, along with some other helpful links. I’m also very pleased that I now finally have a decent and easy to use RSS feed, located top right. Otherwise everything should be working, but if anyone has an issue, spots a broken link or has a suggestion, please do let me know.

In non-geek news, I’m happily confirmed for Osheaga Festival in Montreal, Canada on 1st August. See you there.

Finally, a treat, for me and you both. Ben Dawson, drummer from Million Dead / Kneejerk and old, old friend of mine, got in touch recently to say that he’d unearthed a bunch of footage of some of our old bands. Immediately after leaving school, I moved to London, and a whole group of us formed a melee of bands, none of which lasted very long but all of which were awesome (no really). Out of that melting pot came Million Dead and Palehorse, but prior to that were bands such as Sun Starved Day, Abjure, Kneejerk, Concealed Weapons Of Mass Destruction, and The Record Buying Public. This last featured me on drums, Tom Fowler (later in MD) on guitar, and John Atkins (Palehorse) on bass, playing some kind of instrumental jazz post rock type thing. I guarantee you that I’m more excited about this than anyone else, but this is, for me, a pretty fascinating blast from the past. You can check out videos of us playing The Swan in Tottenham, North London, in 2001 here, here and here. Check out my shit hair and kick-arse Metallica shirt while you’re there. There was a demo floating around of some of these songs, and these videos have prompted me to resume the search for them. Should I find them, I’ll post them here. Oldschool.

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Down Under

Greetings from Sydney, Australia. I still can’t quite believe I’m in this country – this is the furthest away from home I’ve ever been. I met up with the Revival crew (Chuck and his wife Jill, John Gaunt, Todd Beene, Ben Nichols, and Tim Barry) at LAX on Monday night, and we flew through the night to Brisbane, arriving on Wednesday morning, which was weird. Initial impressions are that the cliche is true – it’s kind of like a cross between Texas and Europe here. Austin and Nice, to be precise. Everyone is super friendly, the weather is blissful even at its worst (the rain on day 1 was strangely soothing). We’ve been to animal sanctuaries to feed kangaroos and hold koalas, been on boat trips in Sydney harbour, proper tourist stuff. The only drawback is the compound jetlag, combined with mad early morning flights to secure Chinese visas, means I have no idea if I’m coming or going most of the time. Small price to pay, I think.

Some show news. Firstly, we’ve added shows to this tour, in Sydney (tomorrow night, the 24th, at Hermann’s Bar) and Melbourne (May 2nd at The Arthouse). If you’re already coming to a show, I promise we’ll play different songs. If you missed a ticket, here’s your chance!

Secondly, European Festivals – I’m pleased to announce that me and the band will be appearing at Highfield Festival (August 20th) and Area 4 Festival (August 21st) in Germany, and the free Musikfestwoche Winterthur in Switzerland on August 22nd. A fun weekend on the continent, then.

Finally, I have big news coming soon about a competition and a new 7″ vinyl. Also, my good friend Simon made an album recently, and one of the tracks is a weird electro mix of a song of mine, “Hold Your Tongue”. You can download it for free from here. Enjoy.

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To The East

News is coming thick and fast these days, it seems. I’m now in Vancouver. The show in San Francisco was a blast, though we were all indescribably jetlagged by the end of it all. I think I’m just about tuned into the timezone here now, which is fine for the next few days, but then heading to Australia resets the clock all over again. Dagnammit.

I’m pleased to say that I will indeed be appearing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. I’m playing on the Queen’s Head stage on the Friday, and on the Leftfield with Billy Bragg on the Saturday (June 25th and 26th). Playing Glasto is always an event for the scrapbook, so I’m happy about that. To have been asked to make some music with Billy, a songwriter I absolutely love, is considerably more than icing on the cake – I’m really honoured and excited. It’s going to be quite a summer.

Prior to that, I’m also now able to announce those Chinese tour dates I’ve been prattling on about in full. I’ve never been to the PRC, it’s fresh territory and definitely a tour stop outside of my comfort zone. I’ll be keeping a diary. Here are the dates:

  • Chinese Tour May 2010! – All solo shows

    • 7th May @ Rockschool, Hong Kong, China
    • 8th May @ 1 Du Tang, Shenzen, China
    • 9th May @ Hooley’s, Guangzhou, China
    • 12th May @ Vox, Wuhan, China
    • 13th May @ Old Time Jazz Bar, Wuxi, China
    • 14th May @ Yuyintang, Shanghai, China
    • 15th May @ D-22, Beijing, China

    Time to practice my mandarin…

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    Big Sur

    I’m back in the USA again. This is good news, although I feel like a fucking alien at the moment, which is not helped by having spent last night drinking whisky with my friend Vanessa and reminiscing about the Revival tour. We’re on the coast mid-state; this is one of my favourite parts of the world, and I can see why Kerouac and pals settled here. The band are with me, which is also good news, and today we drive to San Francisco for a show, which is icing on the cake.

    On Saturday we’ll be back down in Southern California (after a brief stop in Vancouver for me tomorrow..!) for Coachella Festival. And I’ve finally got my stage and time. So (drum roll please), we’re playing The Gobi Stage at 12 noon on Saturday. If you’re coming along, or know people who are, please spread the word, it’s an early slot and we want to get a crowd together.

    Further on the subject of this great continent, I can happily confirm that this August I’ll be playing at the great Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago. It’ll be a full band show, and we’re looking at a run of shows beforehand from the East Coast on over. More details to follow shortly.

    Turning back (happily) to the parochial old United Kingdom… My old friend Gareth, from Peterborough, is putting out a benefit compilation CD to raise money to help disadvantaged local kids get involved in music. I contributed a track (a live version of “Sons Of Liberty”) and the comp features a ton of awesome bands – Good Clean Fun, Red Lights Flash, Tim Vantol, Crazy Arm, and many more. I know Gareth from the days when he used to run Positive Outlook, a UKHC staple label back in the late 1990’s. So, all in all, pretty old school. You can pre-order the CD and find out more by following this link.

    Moving westwards across the midlands, I can confirm that I am playing a (solo) show at Club Kerrang at the Birmingham Academy on May 27th. Tickets are available from seetickets.com. See you there?

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    The Internationale

    Back in Groningen again. This is a great town – beautiful European streets, made better by some especially clement weather, chilled out Dutch atmosphere, a cool venue that I’ve visited before… Tour is sweet. Germany was, as ever, a total blast. Brussels, Eindhoven and Utrecht were all too kind. This run is coming to a close pretty soon, but the road rolls ever onwards (towards the sunshine of the West Coast of the USA, so no complaints!). Incidentally, the San Francisco and Vancouver shows are selling tickets like crazy, so if you want to come along I’d advise getting them sooner rather than later.

    Speaking of the USA, I am very pleased to confirm that I will be appearing (solo) at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, TN, on Thursday June 10th 2010. I’m new to US festivals, so this is exciting for me.

    Finally, to round off an update replete with internationalism, I’m very excited to announce that I will be playing a show at Rock School in Hong Kong on May 7th. After that I have a string of shows in Mainland China. This is really virgin territory for me, and I’m simultaneously expectant, intrigued and a little nervous. I’ll be keeping a full tour diary for the trip.

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    3 Shots Of Awesomeness

    Hello all, I’m in Hamburg, the weather is terrible but I’m in a good mood. I’ll be brief, and keep this down to three bullet-points of greatness!

    1. I can confirm I’ll be playing the NME / Radio 1 Stage at this year’s Reading & Leeds Festivals!

    2. I can confirm I’ll be playing at this year’s Hurricane & Southside Festivals, in Germany!

    3. In It For The Tank, my side project with roadie Barbs, have finally got their shit together for a new song. Here, at last, it is!
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCGwixPy-OQ]

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    Neutral Ground

    I write from a dressing room in Zurich, Switzerland, which means, logically speaking, that the UK tour is done (or at least if it isn’t, I need to get to the airport, and fast… uh, what?). It was the biggest run of headline shows I’ve ever done, and it was an amazing experience. We took our own light-show with us, which Nigel had been working on for ages, and it was spectacular. The shows were awesome, in particular the Roundhouse, a night I won’t forget. So, a big thanks to everyone – the band, the crew (especially Jamie, Sad, Shaun and Johnny for working their arses off), Chuck Ragan and Crazy Arm, and of course, all of you lot. We’re putting the finishing touches to another UK run in December, and should be getting the whole thing announced as soon as possible.

    Now we’re in Europe, which I’m looking forward to, if the tour here last December is anything to go by. More crazy nights in Germany? Count me in. After that we hit the West Coast of the USA for shows in San Francisco, Vancouver, and Coachella Festival, before I fly out to Australia for the Revival Tour. Thence I head to New Zealand for the first time, and onwards to Hong Kong and China for some really far-out shows. Finally, a short run in Ireland, and then it’s festival season. Can you tell I’m a workaholic?

    Speaking of festivals, I’m very, very pleased to say I can publicly confirm that I’ll be playing at Latitude Festival on July 17th. I played the first year there, back in 2006, but this time I’m returning for a slot on the main stage, with my full band. See you there.

    That show will, of course, be the day after my headline slot at 2000 Trees Festival. Many people know that it’s a show I have a lot of good history with, so naturally I’m looking forward to it. I’m also very pleased with the line-up this year (the guys at the fest let me have some input into it, which was nice). We’ve got Crazy Arm, Jim Lockey, The Dawn Chorus, Chris T-T, The Tailors and many more – so basically I’m going to be wandering around with a huge grin on my face all day. See you there!

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    Home Sweet Home

    Well, I’m back in the UK, Manchester to be precise. The end of the Flogging Molly tour was fucking great, and I’d like to take this opportunity to send another big hug and a kiss to everyone in Molly and their crew, and The Architects. Friends for life, good times were had by all.

    The morning after the Chicago show I went to the airport and flew overnight to Manchester, whence I got a train up to Newcastle. I arrived in the toon feeling like a bit of a weirdo, what with the time difference and the crap white-wine-and-valium sleeping on the plane. We have full production for this tour (lights and PA) so I arrived to a maelstrom of activity, new crew members, lights and speakers everywhere. It was all a bit hectic, and the first night was a lot of fun but by the end I was completely and utterly knackered. I slept long and hard on the bus, and the Edinburgh show was just plain awesome, from where I was standing. We’re trying out a slightly different setlist for this tour, and we have our light-show that Nigel designed, so it’s a different experience for me. It’s also great having Chuck, Digger and Johnny along, and the Crazy Arm boys.

    Tonight’s show is going to be the biggest headliner of my career to date, and I’m really excited about it. It’s almost a shame that this tour is so short, it’s a real pleasure to be back on home turf again. As I spend more and more of my life on the move, I have less and less of a real home. To balance that, I’m starting to feel like England as a whole is my home, and when I’m here I feel relaxed. So, hey everyone, see you at a show sometime in the next week or so.

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    Isabel Video / T In The Park

    I have, you’ll be ecstatic to hear, just about recovered from my lurgy. Still a little creaky on the voice, but I can feel that I’m pretty much over the worst of it. Apologies again to the Motor City, I will be back when I can.

    Today I am pleased to announce that, on Sunday 11th July, I will be playing at T In The Park festival in Scotland. This is one I haven’t done yet, and that I had to pull last year because of the whole Offspring debacle, so it’s great to have it in the diary again. See you there!

    Also, we finally have the video for “Isabel” finished and ready to go. The single is released in the UK on April 12th.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBWb1LxTDHU]

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