Monday, 28 June 2010

Last Few Months

[Above] Some photos.

I dream of the day when I, too, can give out personalised condoms. Tim Westwood, I take my hat off to you sir.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

I've been in the Lake District

[Above] Real men (on their way to Scafell Pike). Cheers to Sophie Clarke for the photo.

Hence a lack of posts. However I'm back now and work is starting on recording for myself, for Courtney, and for The Doubletakes.

Long summer ahead. Good summer ahead. Stay tuned.

Probably gonna head to the Inn On The Green this Tuesday night, Harpenden folk, if you feel like coming to watch a few songs.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Played in King's College Chapel last night

It looks like this:

It was part of King's Affair, their end-of-year party. And when I say party I mean mini-festival except a lot colder and with no tents. Myself and Rhodri Karim, who is currently staying on my floor due to accomodation difficulties, rocked up about midnight, and once inside we were instantly shaken by the wobbles of dubstep and the clicky glitches of electro house colliding in the air. The windows of the college literally rattled as we headed across the main court to the green room, under laser beams and disco lights and projections of weird images across the fronts of buildings. Burgers were being cooked, laser quest was being played, jacket potatoes were being ignored. Everywhere were drunken students, dressed in fancy clothes and costumes, facepaint, wigs and cardboard boxes. It was great. DJ Derek was there.

I was onstage at 1:30 am in the chapel. It was a good atmosphere, a space like that always is, but there was no microphone, so I ended up having to rely on my wits and my lungs to put on a good show that everyone could hear. I had to literally herd people forwards so that they could hear the guitar, because although a chapel has an amazing acoustic for voice, it's less good for guitar strings. I also walked among the crowd for some numbers, just cos I could. In some ways it's liberating not to be amplified, you have to invent new ways to involve the audience - talk to them a lot more, make more jokes, to keep their attention. Kind of like if you've ever seen a street performer keeping up a commentary while they juggle. It's to keep you watching whilst they prepare the trick, and make you focus more on what they're doing whilst they do it. I've watched quite a few street performers here in Cambridge, cos they come for the tourist dollar, and the best ones keep a flow of jokes and audience interaction going at all times. It's something I admire and have often tried to emulate.

After the set, myself and Rhodri reclined in the courtyard with a Hookah pipe and several beverages, seated upon cushions. Faith Taylor played after me, she has a lovely voice, and isn't too bad on the guitar either. When the sun began to rise we decided to call it a night, and walked back through empty streets just as the birds began to sing. It is a lovely thing to see the sun rise in Cambridge.

[Update] Got papped. Many thanks to Alice Duncan for the photo:

New Website

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Alban Arena, 5th June 2010

[Above] Photos by Ben Jacobs. More can be found here: Benji Photography.

Set List:

This City Has An Echo
Ruby Soho [Rancid Cover]
The Navesink Banks [Gaslight Anthem Cover]
Dirty Old Town [Ewan McColl Cover]
Albert Street
Edward Brown

[Above] I'm proud to be doing my bit for St. Albans Arts, Sport and Health Development. Photo by Grae Wall.

Pretty much went off without a hitch. Not a lot of people there, but still it was a beautiful day and a handful of people turned up just to see me play. You know who you are, thank you.

Cheers to Grae for organising and Ian for doing sound.

Stuff that also went on today:

[Above] Swanvesta Social Club, a local latin parody[?] band played at the Clock Tower.

[Above] Some nutters parked their steam engines near my house. Those things are amazing! They have pistons and gaskets and everything, and the road still smells like coal-smoke. The funny thing about steam tractors is they all display road tax disks on the boiler, that run out in 2011.

[Above] I went to the Woodman in Wild Hill for a couple pints of ale with my dad, and a folk band was playing. I think they were called 'Kiss The Mistress'? Or something. They played a load of covers. It was pretty good, lots of people were up for it, as they had drunk a lot of ale.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

St. Albans [Yellow Light]

[Above] In the Boot. My 18th Birthday. This photo was taken shortly after I told the barmaid she was pretty nice looking for 28. It was also taken shortly before I had a haircut, a shave and a hangover. About a week or two later was the first time I ever made a record with Samuel Fletcher Killin:

See? Haircut.

It's kind of scrappy [the recording that is, my haircut is sick], and stuff's out of time and out of tune, but I have a lot of love for this early recording. This wasn't the very, very first version of 'Yellow Light' we'd ever done [the very first, I think, involved a cardboard box for a bass drum and clinking beer bottles?] but it was the second recording we ever made together, and the first we showed anyone.

This is what it sounded like when we re-recorded it for 'This City Has An Echo':

The EP version features an actual gang on gang vocals. Check them out:

[Above] Shady, shady mans.

St. Albans [Edward Brown]

[Above] An early draft. These words took such a long time. Not really much I can say about this one, it's all there.