I’ve Got A Brand New Geeeeetar

Continuing in this summer’s theme of “Wait a minute, this was supposed to be kind of downtime, why the fuck is everything going insane?”, things have been, um, going insane. Recent highlights have included fun and frolics with The King Blues, shooting live performances in Tottenham (more on that later), near-heart-attacks about routing itineraries, and GETTING MY NEW GUITAR. I’m going to do a full post on this with pictures when I get them, but suffice to say this for now: Patrick Eggle has built me a new guitar, and it’s the best fucking instrument I’ve ever played ever. Full stop. Check him out for more info.

Two more little things: first up, tickets for the London show of the tour are finally on sale here. And for anyone interested on what Ben from Million Dead is up to, look at this. And weep.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8br07jB8C6s]

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I Fucking Rule

Phew, what an insane 24 hours that was… Yesterday (Thursday), the lovely Mr Jamie Stuart (of Dive Dive) got married. He flatteringly invited us to play and we obliged, including few uncletastic covers in our set (Frank Turner & The Wedding Band, anyone?). Then, as tradition dictates, we got lashed. This morning, having heard the awful news that Truck was cancelled, I made my way to Aldershot and appeared in a video shoot for Reuben’s new single, “Deadly Ninja Assassin”, on which I sung for their album. Then I played a solo show at Westival, before heading to Oxford and playing two Trcuk replacement shows at Brookes and the Port Mahon. So that’s 4 shows, 1 wedding and 1 video shoot in 24 hours. Beat that.

In more serious news, yup, Truck got pulled, which was a real fucking shame. My moping on the subject was put firmly in its place by seeing the state of some of the Truck crew, who were not happy bunnies. There’s a reschedule for September which unfortunately I can’t make, but here’s to those guys for keeping their heads, and here’s to many more years of Truck madness.

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September Tour Dates

As some people may have already seen, I’ve been given permission to announce the tour dates for the UK Softcore Tour 2K7. This is going to fucking rule. The line up is me, Jonah Matranga, Jacob Golden and Joshua English. We’re all playing solo, we all used to be in HxC bands, hence the name of the tour. The dates are now up in the gigs section, and I’ll be posting ticket links as and when I get them.

On the tour we’re going to be selling a CD of acoustic hardcore punk covers, two songs by each person on the tour. I’m doing Bad Brains and Black Flag. It won’t be available anywhere else, so come get em while they’re hot.

Played at 2000 Trees festival last night and it was fucking great. Long may they continue to do what they do. And it was a top way to start my festival season properly. To the next ones!

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News From The Bunker

I stand at the beginning of the longest stretch of time off without a show I’ve had since about 2003, which is kinda weird. It’s not all gravy though – I’m starting serious work on writing / demoing album #2. I’ve rigged up my studio gear in the spare bedroom (see above) and I’m clocking in at 10am each day and working through (with a lunch break) until I start losing my mind, usually at about 5pm. It’s a weird way to work, but then I’ve always felt that there’s a myth of “inspiration” that surrounds writing music. Of course there are moments when things hit you, but to turn these flashes into songs takes hard graft, nothing more or less. The last time I was demoing songs like this was at the end of 2005 / start of 2006, when I was just getting started down this route. Many of you will have these demos from the CDs I was selling back then. It’s kind of strange to return to that set up. But things are going well.

6 songs are now fully written and in the process of being recorded, and I’ve got about another 10 that are in various stages of completeness. I want to then get on and write another whole batch before hitting the studio in the autumn. For those that care, song titles thusfar include “St Christopher Is Coming Home”, “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous”, “The Swimming Song” and “Imperfect Tense”. Can’t wait to get some of this stuff out into the public domain…

Finally, just to keep you all posted, I’m going to be doing a short UK headline solo tour in September, with my good American buddies Jonah Matranga, Josh English and Ian Love. The dates will be posted up as soon as they’re confirmed. It’s going to be super.

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“Things will be much better, in the summer…”

It’s been a little while since I posted on here, so I figured it was time for an update from FTHQ (a.k.a. my bedroom). The summer is chaping up very nicely gig/festival-wise, most of my dates are now confirmed and up on the gigs page. It’s a pretty good spread (apart from Scotland, sorry) and I should be able to catch some decent sun if this weather holds.

Speaking of festivals, we’re looking for a few volunteers to help out over the summer with a bit of flyering. It’s important for me to stress that I’m conceptually opposed to “Street Teaming” (ugh), being, as it is, a cross between organized blagging and child labour. But basically, if you’re going to be at one of my festival sets anyway (in particular Reading, Leeds, Wireless, Truck, but any will do) and you ave 10 minutes of time to spare, we’ve got some flyers to be handed out. If you’re interested in helping, please email dani (at) presscounsel.com and she’ll fill you in with details. We can’t offer much in the way of payment, but I will be eternally grateful, and I’ll get you a beer too.

Aside from the gigging front, my mind has started wandering over towards album #2. It’s not going to be released (or even recorded) for quite a while yet, but I’m taking some time off this summer to write new material and to start thinking about production and so on. So look out for new songs in the set. I’m pretty excited about new material myself.

The DVD is shaping up better than I could have hoped, people have been amazingly enthusiastic about it all – thanks for that. The first submissions for videos are coming in and they’re great. To answer a regular question, the deadline is the end of July. Also, bear in mind that these are for DVD (not YouTube) so better quality is… um… better.

See you at a Festival somewhere.

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The Sights, The Sounds, The Smells

I’m currently in Oxford rrokes University on the Biffy Clyro tour, and all is well. We’re one date in, and I must say this is an ace tour to be a part of. Everyone on the tour is friendly, we’re all pretty well-travelled road warriors, and we all ROCK (haha). Seriously, this tour is SO 2004. Good times.

A couple of things for you. First of all, if anyone uses or understands Bebo (I don’t) then they can find a brand spanking new fan page here. Go befriend it, or whatever it is you pesky kids are up to these days.

Also, we’re putting together a DVD for me at the moment. It’s going to feature a number of little films, a bunch of live footage, and all the vids I’ve done thusfar, plus maybe a few new ones. This is where you come in. If you have the time and the inclination, have a stab at making a video for any song of mine. Ideally it’d be nice to get one for every song. Have a sense of humour, go lo-fi, try not to use copyrighted images, and have fun with it. We’ll be including the best ones on the DVD. Get to your Windows Movie Maker / iMovie / whatever and get to work! More on this plan later…

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Lexapalooza

So the tour is finished and I’m back in Winchester for a 24 hour pit-stop before hitting the road again, for a few solo shows (including Brighton’s Great Escape) and then of course the Biffy tour. Massive, massive thanks to Blah Blah Blah, Captain Black, Jay Jay Pistolet and Beans on Toast for upping my game, thanks to Ben, Nigel, Tarrant and Mark for making the tour happen, and to everyone who came down and rocked out. Much appreciated.

On a slightly more serious note, June 16th this year sees the 2nd annual Lexapalooza Festival. It’s a breast cancer charity day organized by / for my friend Lexy, and it needs your help. Basically, if you’re a band who can play, a punter who can go, a volunteer who can help out, or if you simply can pass word about this on to everyone you know, it’d be much appreciated. The good stuff is here: http://www.myspace.com/lexapaloozafestival

Thanks.

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Mon the Biffy

In a lovely closing to a frankly cracking week, I can let you all know now that I am opening the English part of the Biffy Clyro tour later this month. Yourcodenameis:Milo are on the bill as well, making it the best tour ever (officially). I’ll be playing solo, for those who want to know. See you all there.

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Reading and Leeds

Yes mate, it’s finally in, I’m confirmed for the Carling Stage for Reading (Friday 24th) and Leeds (Saturday 25th) Festivals this year. More info on exact stage times and all that kind of thing as soon as possible. I’m very pleased about this, it’s going to wrap up the summer nicely.

In other news, there are a whole host of other festivals I’m doing but one worth checking out is the Two Thosand Trees festival near Cheltenham. Go have a look. There are others being confirmed all the time, check the gigs page.

Also, for those who are interested, Nigel Powell, my loverly drummer, has a solo project called The Sad Song Co, which has been ruling my stereo of late. Go check it out, the man has two kick arse albums to his name and both are well worth picking up.

See you in the summer.

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You’re a Yob – FACT!

The tour rolls on, developing new levels of weirdness day by day… Jeremy Kyle seems to have taken us all over to the extent that everyone was overjoyed this morning (Monday) that he was back on again after the weekend – seriously, we get up at 9.30 especially. Odd. The shows have been fun, much kudos to Blah Blah Blah, Beans On Toast and Jay Pistolet for good music and good times.

The EP is out a week today. If you have time to get to your local record shop and make sure it’s been pre-ordered, that’d be great. The situation is so chicken-and-egg – record shops don’t think they’ll shift many so they don’t get many so they don’t shift many… annoying. You can also preorder from places like Amazon and that. Thanks.

Moustaches are taking over, by the way… Fear the tache. And not just on me…

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