Thursday, 16 June 2011

big mixing it up

just a quick word on The Big Mix festival in London this coming Saturday (18th)..

i've been meaning to write about it for a while but haven't been able to find the time to succinctly write down something substantial enough to give this all-day festival the credit it deserves. it's one of those all-dayer, £20-buys-you-a-wristband-that-you-can-go-to-lots-of-venues-with style festivals that i normally run screaming from the idea of, but it's not just to line someone's pockets, it's in aid of Macmillan, a leading charity in helping to support the victims of cancer. you know, the real C-word. for this reason i'm honoured to be taking part in a day of live music, comedy and more.

and to be honest i'm not sure that 11.50pm on a school night is an ideal time to try and dig deep emotionally and try and do an important cause justice. and then i thought, fuck it.

let's face it, cancer will at some point affect either you or someone you know. it probably already has. depressing? sure. statistically accurate? very. the good people of macmillan, leading cancer care charity and organisers of the Big Mix, dedicate themselves to giving people living with cancer as comfortable a life as they can provide, whether it's through medical support, financial support or otherwise.

you'll find me this Saturday at Spitalfields market, 6.30pm.
b. x

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

xfm listen again, interviews and more..

yikes, where did that week go?!

this time last week i was sat here telling you of the xfm session. well, it went well. a good chat about the recent tour, some cool texts in and live versions of 'Singalong' and 'Tell Avril..' can all be listened to right here on the xfm website until Thursday evening (16th). it's about an hour and a quarter into the show, and i'm pleased to report i survived.

in other news, the various interviews I did on the road seem to be seeing the light of day. you can see me looking particularly rough for Moon and Back Music by clicking here, or maybe listen to an interview with the lovely folk of Spark 107 FM and hook up with Audio Apocalypse. i'm sure there are others i've forgotten, but for now, that's your lot.

this weekend i'm playing the Big Mix over in Shoreditch, onstage around 7pm. it's a great value alldayer, and one i'm going to tell you about properly in just a couple of days..

after that, i'll be spending this Sunday NOT with my dad for father's day, because i didn't find out the date until a couple of days ago (this Sunday 19th in the UK, fact fans!), and instead i'll be recording a track for release later on in the summer, as well as working on a new EP/album/whatever my next record ends up being, and generally being a terrible son.

but how are YOU?

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

xfm live session, radio 2 and how we broke the internet

hey all

a few things to get through this actually-pretty-okay Tuesday evening:

so we broke the internet
last night's album launch show for Frank Turner's fourth (and greatest) album England Keep My Bones was streamed over the internet, in theory, by the good people at Muzu TV. as it turns out though, high demand left streaming a little sketchy. thanks to those of you who made it through the constant rebuffering and helped me enjoy what was frankly one of the best gigs i've ever played ever, and sorry to those of you who just couldn't get it. for what it's worth, Frank's triumphant ninety-minute set is now available to watch again here - just search for Frank Turner Barfly or some equally simple search term and we'll all be fine. watch out for an extra-special 'District' in the closing stages too, featuring yours truly. having spent the majority of the past month with him, it's going to be a shame to not be seeing FT now until the end of the summer, but i'm sure he'll be okay without me.

xfm live session this thursday
this Thursday the good people of Xposure With John Kennedy have kindly agreed to have me in for a live session sometime between 10pm and 2am (though in reality, i hear it'll be between 11pm and 12.30ish). whilst i'd love to pretend it's because Outside There's A Curse has just gone platinum in French Polynesia, it's actually because i'm one of the lucky artists to be playing The Big Mix festival in Shoreditch on 18th June. i'll be joined by a few other acts as John Kennedy grills us as to who we are, who we're not and then we play some songs at him. believe. more on the Big Mix coming up soon.

steve lamacq is my Radio 2 bitch
Lammo recently commented that his is the only show on Radio 2 to ever play me, which rings frighteningly but hilariously true. on Saturday night, his guest persuaded him to give 'Singalong' a spin alongside other songs from the likes of Franz Nicolay, The Weakerthans and Tim Barry, and i'm sure none of you are surprised that his in-studio guest was, and I swear this is the last time his name will be mentioned in this post, Frank Turner. i'm eternally grateful, obviously, and you can still hear the show right here.

and a host of other things
amongst them, someone asks the question When Does Appreciating Ben Marwood's Music Turn Into Stalking?, i'm Artist of the Week over at Rock Reviews 24/7 and Mr Franz Nicolay and I sat down in Kingston and spoke to one of my favourite indie sites Blagsound for an interview which you can now read right here

there's a whole lot of other things to go through, too, but that's for another day. first: sleep. thanks for your support!

stay hungry (or eat)
b. x

Thursday, 2 June 2011

with luck and courage

"you seemed a bit depressed tonight", declares Mr Franz Nicolay immediately after my stage exit at Brixton's Windmill last night, and why not? the twin blades of THE END OF THE TOUR and YOU'RE GOING BACK TO WORK swing ominously, unseen above the stage.

it's a recognised fact that time is linear, and against my wishes the tour with Franz and Frank was going to end, eventually, given the failure of the rapture to materialise and freeze us all in time and space, and so it is over, but i'd like to reflect on a few points.

POINT 1: i exist in an industry famed for inflated egos and twattish behaviour. to hang out for three weeks with two living, breathing professionals capable of conversation and devoid of alpha male attitudes was both a pleasure and a privilege.

POINT 2: tourbuses are great for sleeping on

sure enough, immediately after my return, my sleep habits that have been absent for the entire tour return as soon as i walk in the door. the first night i collect up all my unsorted post from the past few weeks and, in my sleep, file them inside various books that are dotted around my room in a bid to keep the tour bus tidy.

the night after that i awake around 5am to find that i have dressed myself in my sleep and that all of my m&ms are absent and i feel decidedly full of sweets.

life, then, is already returned to normal. after saying goodbye to Frank on Monday night where at least one person in the road outside the Railway Inn heard us howling 'Tiny Dancer' to a mostly empty room before heading back with an entirely sober Ben Morse, on Wednesday night I bid farewell to an actually-pretty-drunk Franz and accept a ride home from Jacqui despite the fact that Reading is still nowhere near her home of Maidstone.

Speaking of Frank, Franz and Ben Morse, you can find a selection of videos taped backstage at the Railway Inn on the final night of the Frank Turner tour, pre-Brixton:

Oh, another point

POINT 3: it was good to finally get out on tour with Frank and his crew. it's been such a long time coming and it was an appropriate-sized tour for a man such as I. he remains a fucking gentleman and someone i hope to a call a friend until one of us succumbs to gout aged 110.

it's sometimes easy to forget, spending five days a week most weeks behind a desk, that there's more to life than being paid on the 27th of the month and making sure your alarm is set each night before you go to bed, and this has been a pleasing reminder of why i brave the various nights per year playing a Wetherspoons in a town i don't live in to twenty to thirty people.

so thanks to anyone who came out to the shows, obtained free hugs from me, bought my record, or a seasonally-inappropriate beanie hat, sang along, didn't sing along, heckled incomprehensibly, took pictures, took the piss, took themselves home.

photos to follow. i'll see you soon.
b. x