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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Alcoholica

Getting up and getting my shit together in Bangor University ater the second of four houseshows in a row. Houseshows are a lot of fun (if everything goes to plan!) and it’s a nice upside of the kind of music I’m playing right now that I can do these kind of shows easily. The downside is that generally speaking you end up getting totally, utterly hammered every night and making an embarrassment of yourself with frightening regularity. My days are typified by dealing with hangovers on trains. Haha, there’s a song title for you. Anyways, having fun, and I’ve got a whole batch more shows that I’m confirming right now, will post details as soon as I have them…

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Latvia Diary

It’s finally finished. Go check it here. In the meantime, I had fun in Scotland, and I’m off on tour again on Tuesday for ever, or so it seems. And don’t forget the split with Reuben, which is out tomorrow. I am a fully-fledged recording artist again, isn’t that nice…

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Mid January Blues

Hey everyone, I’m back from Latvia (as many will have gathered). Had an ace ace ace time, and I’m in the middle of putting together a fucking huge diary with 3 pages of text and photos from the trip. Would have finished it by now but I don’t have one disc of photos at the moment (yes we took that many), Jamie’s sending them to me tomorrow morning. Keep your eyes peeled for that any time soon.

In other news, I’ve had a few days at home, and I actually really don’t like this whole sitting around not doing much malarkey, not least because I’m utterly skint. Can’t wait until tomorrow when I’m heading down to Plymouth for the night, then Kingston, then up to Scotland. Pretty constant shows for a while then (still trying to plug a gap feb 3rd-6th if anyone has anything), it’s going to be ace. See you all on the road somewhere no doubt, as part of my “endless tour of everywhere” (according to rocksound… I wish!). Fresh.

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Lift Off

I’m getting ready to go to Latvia – tracking down old gloves, hats and scarves and the like, making CDs to take with me, making a will, that kind of thing. I’ll be crashing at Jamie’s tonight and then together we’re off tomorrow to the great Baltic unknown. I thought I’d post this picture from my birthday (aww…) as a record of how we were when we departed. We’re going to be keeping a full photo diary of the effects of a land where 70p a pint is considered a laughable rip-off. I’m playing shows with soul singers and “actress with clarinet yes”. We’re going to two, or possibly three, baltic states, and the weather forecast is “cold as fuck”. It was nice knowing you all…

Oh, and PS there are some demo orders from the last couple of days that I haven’t had a chance to send out yet, so they’ll be another week or so. Sorry. I have a good excuse though… I’m in Latvia!

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