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Instore Overdrive Frenzy

Hello you. To celebrate the fact that Love Ire & Song is being re-released on 26th January (Monday) I’m embarking on an instore spree around the country. Thusly:

  • Monday 26th January @ Rise Records, Cheltenham, 5pm, FREE
  • Tuesday 27th January @ Fopp Records, Covent Garden, London, 6pm, FREE
  • Wednesday 28th January @ Banquet Records, Kingston, 6pm, FREE
  • Thursday 29th January @ Banquet Records, Kingston, 6pm, FREE

All solo, all with the new album onsale, all free. Probably a good idea to get down early as well.

Gigs at the weekend were spectacular. Thanks everyone. I’ve been working on the October tour (dates and supports) today. I think it’s going to be really exciting. Well, I’m excited.

Obama is president. The election of a non-white man to the most powerful post in the world is certainly momentous, exciting, awesome and worthwhile. But that’s happened now. Now we need to see what he’s going to do. Internationally, I’m very hopeful about his foreign policy. Domestically, um, well, watch the US economy cannibalize itself, if he carries out what he says he’s going to. Harsh times.

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Kingston Madness

Hello! Right, the Banquet Records instore on 28th January is now massively over-subscribed. Which is nice. As a result, they’ve asked me to basically do another one, exactly the same set-up, the following day. So, to be clear, 29th January I’ll be at Banquet at 6pm for another free instore.

In similar news, many of the Gaslight shows are now sold out, so it seems I’m in the enviable position of being able to say, buy tickets in advance for shows or you most likely won’t get in. I’m also pleased to say that we’re putting the final touches to a tour schedule for the autumn (after the new album is out) and tickets will be onsale soon. Hooray!

Speaking of new albums.. for anyone who is interested, I’m going to be working on the new record with my band (Ben, Nigel, Matt and Tarrant). The songs are pretty much written, but we’re going to rehearse them and record them live this time, rather than layering things up as before. I want to get a more raw, live sound from the recordings. It looks like we’ll be recording it with the great Alex Newport as well, which I’m really excited about. The aim is to have the album finished by June, a single in the summer and a release in September. I for one cannot wait.

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I Am A Human Crossword

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh5R-xcMR2k]

So, I did a quick little tour video for St Christopher Is Coming Home using footage from the October tour. Came out quite nicely I think. Enjoy. Speaking of videos, I’m pleased to announce that the Reasons Not To Be An Idiot video came in at Number 5 in the MTV myspace chart – thanks for your support, and feel free to keep voting.

Next up: the single, Reasons, is out today. This morning I did a Live Lounge Session on Radio One for Sarah Cox – and much fun it was too. You can listen again here. The session includes a cracking cover, if I do say so myself, though don’t believe the hype about me and Alanis Morisette… The single is also available for cheap through the good people at 7Digital – check it out and get downloading.

Speaking of all things release-related, yes, the special edition of Love Ire & Song (+ First Three Years) is out on 26th January. It’ll be in all good stores and all that, but you can pre-order a super-cheap version of it from Play.com here. Just saying.

Gigs… Yesterday’s (not very secret) secret show in Brighton, at the Mid-Winter Picnic, was not only a load of fun, but also raised a wadge of cash for the people at Amnesty International. Great bands, great day, long may it continue. In other news, Liverpool is sold out, Oxford has about 3 tickets left at time of writing, and Cambridge is doing well too. Hooray! Also: after the Gaslight Anthem tour, I’ll be in the studio working on album 3, and then it’s festival season. The next big tour will be October, and tickets will be on sale ASAP. Watch this space.

Finally, my career has totally peaked. It’s been brought to my attention that the cryptic crossword in The Independent on October 27th had answers themed around me. That’s right, I was a crossword theme. Words cannot express my joy. It’s all downhill from here…

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Farewell The Astoria

So, the long-awaited tragedy is finally happening. People have been talking about this for years, but it’s finally here. The Astoria is set to close. I find this pretty depressing – I went to my first big gig there (Foo Fighters 1995), thousands of others in the meantime, and have played there a whole bunch of times too. It’ll be sad to see it go, and all for a fucking railway track.

The silver lining to this cloud is that some people have organized a last show there, and yours truly is playing a (solo) set. The details:

14th January 6pm-late – FAREWELL THE ASTORIA

Line-up includes: Me, The Automatic, GetCapeWearCapeFly, The King Blues, VV Brown, with more TBC. Doors at 6pm, ‘a38 in advance or ‘a310 on the door, all proceeds go to Jail Guitar Doors / Love Music Hate Racism. Tickets can be bought here.

Also, if you live in Brighton and can count to ten, you might want to consider this, and then ask yourself what you, and indeed I, might be doing this Sunday 11th?

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New Year Dawning

Hello and welcome to 2009. I hope everyone had a good Christmas and new year. I spent the former in Colorado and the latter in Winchester, and much fun was had by all. Thanks also for the birthday wishes, much appreciated (especially given that most of my friends forget in the festive haze, sob sob). Thanks also for the people who sent me present via Amazon.

So, it’s the first working Monday of the new year, and everything has predictably gone a bit insane. This is partly a function of the fact that the momentum was really picking up at the end of the year (Asda playlist, anyone??), and also the fact that I was firing off emails with suggestions to my people as and when ideas came to me all over Christmas, so the poor fuckers have mountains of stuff to wade through, HA! Anyway. Let’s talk about things in small doses, eh?

Firstly, Live. Coming up, we have the following:

  • 11th January – Secret show somewhere in the South. More details soon.
  • 15th January – Eurosonic Festival in Noorderslag, Holland (band show)
  • 17th JanuaryLIVERPOOL BARFLY. This show sold out over the Christmas period, which is great. We’ve decided to move up a room at the Barfly, so, all existing tickets still fine, obviously, but we have 100 more available a of today, and that will be it, so I’d suggest getting them asap. Band show, with Chris and Emily.
  • 18th January – Oxford Zodiac. Band show, with Chris and Emily. Tickets here.
  • 19th January – Cambridge Junction. Band show, with Chris and Emily. Tickets here.
  • 28th January – FREE instore at Banquet Records, Kingston, 6pm.
  • 2nd February – 4th March – main support for The Gaslight Anthem across the UK and Europe.

There’s more stuff after that – Eastern Europe with Anti-flag, SXSW, Ireland and so on, but more on that a bit later.

Next up, let’s talk about radio and TV. Stuff for you to check out, and ways you can help:

  • 12th January – Radio One Live Lounge. I’ll be on this playing a few songs for y’all, including the requisite pop-tastic cover. More details on the time etc. coming soon.
  • On that note, we’ve had a lot of support from both Radio One and XFM recently, which has been amazing. If you have the time to send an email or a text to them expressing your delight at hearing me on the radio, please please do. It makes a huge difference. Thanks
  • As for MTV, their Myspace Chart is still up for voting, so if you can take 5 minutes out of your work day to head here, that’d be great. Spread the word.

Finally, on 26th January, we’re releasing a Deluxe Edition Love Ire & Song on the world. To be exact, this comprises the original album, and the First Three Years, in one package. This means that if you already bought both you don’t need to go shopping again, and if you just want the First Three Years you can still get it here. If you are missing both, get ye to a shop!

PS Reading back through this, it’s crazy to see how much things have moved on for me. I don’t want to repeat what I wrote at the end of last year (below), but.. fuck. Wow.

PPS Does anyone know any good artists who do lino cuts or woodprints? If so, please let me know. Thanks.

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2008 in Review

I was looking back just now through old blog posts, reading what I was saying in Decembers past, and it’s gone and got me all pensive. The year is done for me now, no more shows till January. Tomorrow I get on a plane for Colorado for Christmas. So, I guess now is the appropriate time to consider the last 12 months.

What a year. Many, many things have changed, and mostly for the better. Looking back through the list of gigs this year (nearly 200), I can get a better overview, but it still seems like a lifetime ago that I was playing at the XFM awards, or living in Los Angeles for the month, or returning to Latvia with Ben, or releasing the second album… The April tour was when things really started to feel exciting, then the Holloways tour, countless festivals (my first Glasto and Cambridge Folk), a short French tour. By time you get to the Revival tour in the USA, the October tour here, Europe with Chris and The Levellers, not to mention radio and so on, things have changed almost beyond recognition from where they were in December 2007. I’m feeling kinda worn out right now, to tell the truth, but it’s all in the service of something worthwhile. I’m really lucky to be doing what I’m doing right now, and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped me on my way.

And so to next year. Who knows what I’ll be writing in December 2009. Maybe this is the top of the mountain. Maybe things are going to get crazier still. It’ll be interesting to see. The next album is really coming together in my head. And the road beckons as ever. See you all at a show sometime soon. Thanks.

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Heartbreaking

Nambucca burned last night. The basement and the pub have been destroyed. Some of the stuff in the homes above might be salvageable. Many people have been made homeless. An awesome space has ceased to exist.

My gigs list says I played there 9 times, but that’s a pathetic under-representation of what it means (meant) to me. The very day Million Dead decided to break up I went there for a drink, and Dave gave me advice on what to do. I met Adam (Tailors) on the roof and he taught me about Gram Parsons. I’ve spent countless nights there, sleeping or not, living the good life. I’m heartbroken.

Most importantly, though thankfully no one was hurt, a lot of people have lost their homes and their stuff. My thoughts go to them.

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MTV2 Voting

A quick one today: the new video (below) is now up for voting on the MTV2 Myspace Chart. If you fancied, you know, getting on over there and voting the fuck out of it, that’d be, you know, cool.

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New Video!

Hello you. A couple o’tings. Firstly, we have a new video for ‘Reasons Not To Be An Idiot‘. It was conceived and directed by Jamie Lenman, lately of Reuben. It goes like this:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xfdGXA62ZM]

Secondly, my old comrades over at roomthirteen.com have a retrospective thing of all the interviews they’ve done with me in the last three years, to, y’know, co-incide with the release of The First Three Years. Actually a very interesting read, I thought. Enjoy.

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Ah Oxford

Hello from backstage at the Engine Shed, Lincoln. It seems my lifelong oath to never see Lincoln by daylight is holding firm, we only just got here and I’m on shortly. It’s a rarity to come to a town I’ve never been to before these days in the UK, so it’s a shame that we won’t get to see any of it. Ah well.

January 18th will see me and my band at the Oxford Zodiac for a headline show. Huzzah. I’ve been waiting to announce this for some time. See you all there.

Touring with the Levellers is a rewarding experience, particularly for the 14-year-old in me. But damn, the new album is top notch as well. Consider me akin to a pig in shit.

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