French Keyboards Make No Sense

It’s true. I have to use shift to get a fucking full stop, and the “w” and the “a” are the wrong way around (it took me about 5 minutes to type that sentence). So I’ll be brief. The EP is finally out! People seem to be enjoying it for the most part, which is gratifying. Thanks for bearing with me people… After all, it’s pretty much exactly a year since the last MD album was released, and I’ve headed off down a pretty strange route, but I think it’s the right one for me. So thanks. Au revoir.

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The Way The World Works

Well, finally back home after the end of the tour on Friday and a weekend of fun which has left me with a monster cold and stiff arm muscles from playing tennis (no seriously). Time to chill out in bed for a few days. A big thanks to Gabby Young and the collective – Spam, Al, Rob, David – for a cool tour, and thanks to everyone who made it down to a show. I’ve got a few radio sessions later this week (more on that soon) and then I’m off to Europe next weekend. But there’s also…

Campfire Punkrock, as most people reading this site will probably know, is due for release on May 15th, i.e. a week today. This is ace news. However, I may require some of your assistance. The problem is that the way record stores run their ordering is somewhat prejudicial against smaller artists. Basically it’s a chicken-and-egg thing – the stores won’t preorder any copies of smaller artists’ releases in for the release date unless they think that they will sell. So usually they don’t bother, the CD doesn’t sell (because it’s not in the fucking shops!) and everyone goes home empty-handed. The way that you good people can help out is to drop into your local record store and ask them to order the release in (it’s on Xtra Mile, which is distributed by Vital, which means everyone should be able to get it) for the 15th. That’s the best way of circumventing this little problem. As ever, your help will be much appreciated.

And in other news I finally got my hands on the Mcluskyism B-sides comp, and it’s fucking excellent. “Hippies, hippies everywhere and never a drop to drink”.

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Three little things

Three little things I wanted to mention today in the haze of an appalling hangover…

1. My sister got married yesterday. I doubt any of you really care, but I do, and I wanted to share the love a bit and say “congrats” one more time. So, congratulations guys. Also, I am dying hungover. Seriously doubting my ability to carry on right now. Wearing sunglasses as I type this, and as some of you will know, I hate people who wear sunglasses. It’s that bad.

2. I finally played a show in cardiff – woohoo! And it was a stormer as well. I’d like to extend my thanks to Cosmo, who sorted the show (and is now looking after my hat…). I’d also like to point you lot in his direction – his website – as he was thoroughly excellent himself.

3. I played a show a while back in Hertford, and shared the stage with a guy going under the name of Everything I Do Is Perfect. He rocked the house, and he’s finally got himself a myspace with some songs on it. Awesome lyrics – check it out.

That’s all for now. I’m going to lie down and die quietly somewhere.

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Happy Easter

I currently find myself in Oxford, chez Dive Dive. It’s Easter Day (cue many jokes about me looking like jesus…). Every year for the past four years I’ve forgotten to figure out when Easter weekend is in advance, and so have found myself on tour somewhere, much to the disdain of my family. It’s something that reminds me that I’ve been doing this touring thing for quite a while now. It also means I haven’t had an Easter Egg for years now. Thankfully, I’ve been invited to a family meal with Tarrant’s folks, which is great news. Nut roasts all round.

The tour is going well, long and tiring, and there’s more dates popping up here and there (many more French and Belgian dates on the site now, and confirming lots more UK and European dates at the moment). The EP is all ready to rock, and there is something you lot can do at this stage to help out. Take the time to go to your local record shop and ask them to pre-order in the EP. It’s called ‘Campfire Punkrock’, it’s on Xtra Mile Recordings (distributed by Vital) and it’s out May 15th. One of the problems for releases at this level is the whole chicken-and-egg thing about shops stocking the release – people won’t buy it unless it’s there, but shops won’t put it there unless they think people will buy it. So if you have the time to pop into as many stores in your area as you can and mention it to them, that helps an awful lot. Thanks people, much appreciated as ever.

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The calm before the ROCK

Today is my last day of tour preparation. Thusfar I have folded T-shirst, burned CDs, booked Travelodges, talked to promoters, printed mailing lists, packed pants and socks, and even oiled my beard-trimmer (no really). Ready to go, and it’s going to be ace. In some ways it feels like the old days (with MD) but this time it’s just me – something that both makes me a little sad and confident.

As with every tour, my on-line-ness will be a little subdued for the next month or so. But safe to say I’ll be seeing you all at a show (right?). There’s now a Cardiff date on April 27th (at last). I’ve also just confirmed some Irish dates in June – check the gigs section. I finished recording my side of the forthcoming split with Jonah Matrangah and it sounds ace – we’ll be doing some shows together in the summer to promote it, and then, all being well, I’ll be heading stateside for a while too. Busy busy busy.

And finally, a link to a guy I shared a stage with recently and am still in total awe of – check this out.

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“There’s Always One Who Reads The Daily Mail…”

I’ve been enjoying my last few days of freedom, before the start of the uber-tour, by, erm, well, by ending up getting roped into playing more shows – I did two in London over the weekend. I was booked for the one on Sunday at 6.30am that morning. Goddammit. But it was for a worthy cause (my friend Sarah’s birthday) and she told me that my Leonard Cohen cover “nearly made me wet myself” (something I’ll be putting on my CV from now on). So it wasn’t all bad then.

In serious news, it’s all about releases this week. I’ve contributed a track to the forthcoming Public Service Broadcast compilation that’s coming out through the good people at Small Town America Records. It’s a limited run, so if you’re interested, go check it out. It should be hitting the outside world for April 17th. Then there’s the Campfire Punkrock EP, the final mixes of which I got yesterday (they sound ace). It’s now definitely scheduled for release on May 15th. And finally, I’m definitely going to be releasing a split of some description with my friend Jonah Matranga in June sometime. It’ll feature me covering some classic American songs, and him doing the same for some English ones.

And then of course there’s a million gigs in the offing too, details of which can be found in the usual places. I can’t wait to get out on the road with Gabby Young and pals, it’s a pretty intense schedule – coming home every week or so, as I have been of late, is unsatisfying. Time for a proper chunk of tour.

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The Times They Are A-Changing

One of these days I’m going to pick a week in my diary and write “HOLIDAY” across it in massive letters, and then in that week i’m going to hide in the mountains somewhere without a phone, a computer, or any other people. The problem is that I keep trying to do this, and then I keep getting offered some great shows that I can’t turn down. The final few dates of the Gabby Young tour are to be confirmed shortly. Then I’ve got things coming up in France, Belgium, Ireland, and Eastern Europe (including Russia), festivals to confirm, mixing of EPs to do, gigs with David Rovics and (hopefully) Jonah Matranga, pant pant… Anyways, it’s nothing to complain about really, it’s just that on days like today I kind of wish I took a bit more time off.

In other news, had a great session on Mike Davies’ Lock-Up the other night, went very well, and I seem to have made a lot of new friends in the process. If you missed it you catch it again here (although be warned: it does feature Evan on backing vox). And to clarify: I was joking about throwing cutlery, clearly.

Also, a quick word about releases. Campfire Punkrock, a 5-track EP, will be coming out through Xtra Mile in May (exact date tbc). This means that pretty soon now, I’m going to stop selling the demo. For people ordering it online, the cut-off day will be 31st March. After that the buttons disappear. I will also be taking a few copies with me on the Gabby Young Tour, but after that no more – proper CDs in the shops from then on only, I’m afraid. So if you or your friends want one, I’d get on with it!

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Getting Behind

I know I know, it’s been a while since I updated the site, posted a blog, or did anything. Not that anyone cares much, but it still keeps me awake at night. I’m curently in Oxford with the lovely Dive Dive recording an EP, and it’s going very well – five songs, just finishing the guitars now, got some violin, piano, organ, and even an instrument which we can’t identify (so we called it an Uzbekistan, obviously). It’s sounding great and it’s going to blow your socks off. Nice. I also ended up playing a last minute gig last night in a bar called Babylove, which was a little surreal but good fun.

A few things… the EP release date shifts like the sands because I want to make it earlier if I can. The Gabby Young tour is extending itself, I have a few more dates to post on the site when I get a minute’s rest. Also, the Brighton show for March 6th has moved from the Polar Bar to The Globe. In the final stages of booking some shows in France and Belgium too, and sorting out a return visit to Eastern Europe for the summer. Busy as hell, in other words. But it’s all good!

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Save the Forum

Another heavy weekend. Recovering now. Ended up playing the most random show ever in North London on Sunday evening, it was fun. Jay (Beans On Toast) and I got halfway through writing a duet entitled “Blowing Up Seagulls with Alkaseltzer” but had to give up after a protracted debate about whether or not seagulls were rats with wings. Winchester tonight, a hometown show! Looking forward to it.

The Forum in the title of this post is in Tunbridge Wells. Some kid is suing the venue and they’re having trouble keeping their heads above water. It’s a fucking great place, played some cool shows there, and I actually have another coming up on March 25th. There’s more info on the story here, go check it out. There should be some kind of benefit festival in the summer too.

I spent Valentine’s Day in Ipswich – there’s a song title if ever there was one.

UPDATE: contrary to ben thinking he’s a genius (see comments), someone IS actually trying to sue the forum, the article’s a little out of date. They broke their leg at a Raging Speedhorn show last year.

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Lazy Mondays

Wells, currently enjoying an unexpected day off back in Winchester, and I can say this: it’s fucking great. My folks are away, so I’m walking round the house in my pants, eating out of the saucepan, that kind of shit. Awesome. I feel like I’ve earned it, the last stretch of shows was all good, but intense as hell, and I’m pretty drained. But like I say, some great shows, thanks for those who came down and rocked out.

A few things for you today… Some more info on the show on February 26th at Bush Hall in London. The full line-up is:
Television Personalities
Chris T-T
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly
Frank Turner
The Dusty Soundsystem (with Piney Gir)
Dave House
The show is a benefit for Love Music Hate Racism, which makes it even better than it already was. So come down and rock out: Tickets ‘a36 Advance / ‘a3 7 Door, and all proceeds go to LMHR.

I’ve got a couple of full, coherent tours coming together with various people at the moment, so keep checking back here for more information. I’ve got studio time booked and should have a proper release out by the end of the summer. Thanks for being patient on that front.

And finally, just a quick word about a gig I went to the other day. I managed to catch Earth and Sunn 0))) at the Islington Academy a few days ago, and it totally fucking blew my mind. Earth are one of the original drone bands and feature the legendary Dylan Carson (who I met in the lobby! Go fanboy). They were supergood, but when it comes to Sunn 0))), words actually fail me. The heaviest, most intense musical experience of all my born days. Has to be seen to be believed. If you have a chance to catch any more dates on this tour, or see them again, go. They were wearing monk’s cowls, for chrissakes!

PS: Happy Valentine’s Day for tomorrow, but only to my fellow lonely, bitter, twisted, loveless misanthropes, haha…

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