Wednesday, 30 September 2009

another one dites the bust

apologies for the quiet - but it's full steam ahead in preparation for mixing the forthcoming EP/album combination, most of which needs to be done by friday 9th.

but amongst the chaos, word reaches me that DJ hero Jon Hillcock is once again parting ways with xfm. his second tenure ends this sunday, october 4th for his final new noise show, and all at Camp Marwood would like to wish him the very best. so i did. by email. and he wrote back within the hour.

beat that, terry wogan.

ps. hah, Camp Marwood.

Monday, 14 September 2009

that was the week that was (rubbish)

so: life, eh?

sometimes it bites you in the butt. or bum, if we're being english about it. alors, behold my Week Of Rubbish, which is a phenomenon that occurs every so often and happens to have happened recently, since you asked.

we begin with the show at the Rising Sun Arts Centre on Friday, September 4th, my first hometown show since coming off tour and the cause of much excitement in my heart and pants, as i play host to Tom Williams & the Boat, originally from Tunbridge Wells and now from all over the shop. we meet up, we chat a bit, i plug my guitar in, little happens.


so, my guitar which i fixed twice on tour bit the dust that night, albeit not quite that dramatically, and to reward Tom and the gang for lending me his (new) guitar for my set later that night, I take him and his bandmates out for some top quality alleged food poisoning* at Mr Cod, my fast food outlet of choice. once they'd all finished being horrendously ill, the show was a great one, if slightly quiet, leaving me down on cash by the time I'd waved farewell to Mr Williams and then with the morbid(ly obese) task of checking my guitar in for repair and resuscitation the next day, the very same next day that should have seen me be on a train to Newcastle on a trip that was cancelled at the last minute due to sickness that wasn't even related to Mr Cod, nor I. down on a not particularly cheap train ticket too, I decide the week is out to get me.

and then my guitar comes back with more problems than it left with.

if you're listening, this week, you better be good.

(*i was fine, perhaps they just all had weak, out-of-town stomachs)

Monday, 7 September 2009

stick this in your album

i am going up the wall, stir-cabin-fever-crazy, call it what you will.

i blame the tour. the sight of so many different places in such quick succession and then, just as quickly, a return to a one-place-one-job routine is at least irritating, and at most depressing. still, the vast open wasteland that passes for my current gig list has at least given me time to work on the album. the date for the first of three mixing sessions is in the diary for 9th october, and things are moving along nicely.

naturally, when i loaded the works in progress onto a CD and blasted it from the stereo it sounded, predictably, like there's a lot of work to be done, but that's exactly why we book these sessions for a whole month away, and not tomorrow. quite why i'm on here and not working away, i have no clue; fear perhaps? or maybe self-sabotage. regardless, before the 9th there is much work to be done - a few extra guitar takes here and there, some vocals to re-do (some of them, would you believe, suffer from not being harsh enough), and numerous percussionisms to contemplate along the way.

enough of my album though, it barely even exists; let's talk about Frank Turner's third album Poetry of the Deed, which is out this week on Xtra Mile in the UK and Epitaph everywhere else. i have it and i love it - it's less a solo record and more a band affair, but for my money Turner could give any pop songwriter on record a run for their money, and live is almost off the radar. his set recently at Reading left me pleasantly shocked, such is the support he received from the gathered thousands. if you can, pick up a copy. if you can't (because, say, you're too poor), at least go halves with an equally-broke friend. do it. DO IT.

of course, none of this insistance that you need this record is returning the favour for FT playing 'I Will Breathe You In' on Huw Stephens' In New Music We Trust show on Radio 1 recently, but that was bloody lovely.

that same week he was album of the week on Zane Lowe's show, and it also heralded the last ever Radio 1 show for Steve Lamacq, given the boot after sixteen-or-so years' service, and to this day a thoroughly humble man who is the exact opposite of the glamourous, swaggering chunderholes that pass for DJs on stations up and down the land. This man just loves music.

of course, none of this praise is returning the favour for Lamacq playing tracks from The Wookies' new EP, Sparks, on his 6Music show, the record being out this very week on Broken Tail Records. plug plug plug:;-1;-1;-1;-1&sku=212165

on his last show, Lamacq did manage to do something I at one point never thought possible - he managed to tip me over the edge into a fully-fledged fan of Fight Like Apes. i was not shy in sharing my feelings as to their inadequacy upon seeing them support Future of the Left in London this past May, nor was i shy of slagging them off to Kev as he played me 'Tie Me Up With Jackets' in his front room, but that hook kept niggling at me, wormed its way into my soul and onto my mp3 player and, eventually, with my guard down on his last Radio 1 show, Lamacq rammed the point home with 'I'm Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverley Hills 90210 To Me'. stunning. i think i'll track her down and steal her.

but.. er.. anyway, steve lamacq. on the Evening Session in the 90s/early 00s he was an essential listen - he did so much for the alternative scene and helped so many bands over the years, i have nothing but respect for the man. without him i'd probably have never heard of Chris T-T, never picked up 'Paul' by the Landspeed Loungers and all the other anthems from my university years. such is the impact, i even still remember the first song of the first Evening Session i ever heard - Grandaddy's 'A.M.180'. that i remember that surely just goes to prove how important he is, was, and shall remain

and at least he's escaped the wheels of the Radio 1 juggernaut before he's in his 70s, a diabetic and presenting shows thrice weekly from his house til 1am.

if you know what i mean.