It seems all our Italian friends, old and new, want to sing along to the new songs when we play them live here. So here they all are. We can’t wait to see you in Ravenna and Turin, on our last two days here.
So far the tour has been pretty immense. The shows from the last three days have been some of our favourite ever shows. In Milano you all went bezerk, a danger to yourselves you crazy Italians, and the sound was huge and the atmosphere was beautiful. And we saw so many old friends and made so many new ones, and we slept well and for more than three hours at a time for the first time in days.
Then the night in Padova was something else entirely. The venue was an old prison. Proper old. As a prison it was probably very horrible, and the madonna was in a birdcage to stop her getting her head bashed in, and everywhere you are watched by towers. But nowadays it’s a beautiful place with a natural reverb to die for, and the people of Padova came to see us be the last band to play their summer of outdoor shows. The moon was full and Andrea Suri did our sound really well, and Davide and his crew of organisers never said no when we asked for more Weiss Beer. We played with Gazebo Penguins, a trio of fine gentlemen who play fuzzy and loud and have great taste in food, wine and grappa. And and Minnie’s, who make Italian college rock with heart and soul and great melodies. We’ve had their new album on in the van since we left for Rome, and it went round three times before we even thought about changing the record.
The last time we played at Traffic in Rome my knee bent back on itself during the climax of Gold On Red. It didn’t happen this time, and Suri did the sound again, Gazebo Penguins appeared to be the biggest band in Rome and there was really no question as to why that should be. Late night croissants, and the show caused some strange effects.
We saw our friends Fine Before You Came in Milano. They didn’t play, they just came to say hi to us and do bird whistles while we played. But they told us they are going to play their first EP Cultivation of Ease from start to finish, for the last time ever.
And we’ll be there to see it!
And the day before we’ll play on a beach with Raein.
And in the meantime Gazebo Penguins will make sure we learn to appreciate the finest Grappa with our uncouth English mouths.
Honestly guys, you are too good to us.
Here’s to singalongs,
…and probably everywhere else including The Pirate Bay.
Later on today we’re going to celebrate by playing in our home town of Derby. My Psychoanalyst and Alpha Male Tea Party are playing. They’re both ace. And Justin from My Psych is a great chef and he’s making us pulled pork back stage.
Since February, in the background, we’ve been listening to the album until we could all say “yeah man it’s done” and then it was mastering where we listened and said “yeah man it’s done”, and we gave it to some friends who said “yeah man let’s put this out”. The album is called KNOTS and here’s a track off it to wet your ears.
It’ll come out on Big Scary Monsters in the UK, Topshelf Records in the US, and To Lose La Track in Italy. Release dates, artwork, tour dates will follow when we’ve stopped refreshing Twitter and proudly enjoying how much people are enjoying the track. This track:
I’m sat here in the last few hours of our time at Whitewood Recording in Liverpool, about to pack up and hoof off back down the motorway. The sun is shining real low in the sky and the Mersey Delta is shining like a National guitar, all shimmery like the Space Echo reverb on the backing vocals and the room mic picking up the cymbal washes in the songs that we’ve been recording here for the past nine days on the fifth floor.
Thank Christ the lift’s been fixed.
And Rob Whitely is a genius and a gentleman. John and Lynny from Vasco Da Gama are saints. The staff at Elevator are so friendly I feel like I’ve been working here years.
The other day we were having a coffee down there and there was John Power and the rest of Cast drinking tea with Ian Broudy of The Lightening Seeds, and right there you’ve got about three of the first records a couple of us ever bought, them being the 7″ of that La’s single, the first Cast album, and the Seeds one with the strawberry on the front. I don’t know how well those records are standing the test of time on our shelves, but it’s a good feeling making music in a place where the music that got us deeper into music was made.
Next up: mixing and mastering, pressing and putting out the whole thing.
We started in London then went to Manchester and Leeds, then to Glasgow and Newcastle and finally down to Brighton, and everyday we travelled and played with the great band Raein who started playing some new songs from releases in the pipeline, and these songs blew us away even more than the others that had already blown us away repeatedly on the tour and in the weeks and years before the tour, on our record players and mp3 players and MiniDisc players.
Any why isn’t the whole internet written as Gizoogle would write it? We’re a funky-ass band with two boomboxes, two basses and a thugged out drum kit, dammit, and for the cost of my guitar I could get a pimped out boombox.
We played all new songs on tour. When we got time to play more, we’d kick out a Distal jam but for the most part we didn’t get that time. These new songs feel really good and have now been beaten about the face by being played live everyday for a week, which is a good place for a new song to be in and still be liked by the people that wrote it and the people who heard it on one or more of those days.
So on to the studio, where we’ll record those new songs and a few more, and come out at the end of it with a new album to pack up into boxes and put in the back of a van or a car and drive off for days at a time seeing inspiring sights and meeting brilliant people in new towns and cities, and then going back to work at the end of it feeling tired and beaten about the face but feeling all the better for it.
Hope you had a good festive season and all that. Happy New Year to you and yours.
We’re kicking off 2013 with a little tour with one of our most favouritist Italian bands – Raein. They’re incredible. Really they are.
We have a new batch of t-shirts to flog as well. The same design as the last one but in some sexy new colours. One or two of them are so nice that I wish I could wear them, but you’re not supposed to wear your own band’s t-shirt, right? Damn. I wish we were one of those bands that could get away with that. Or uniforms. But, no, we’ll be driving around and hanging around and playing, in our civvies, in these places on these dates:
January 4th – London – Old Blue Last
January 5th (Matinee) – Manchester – Kraak Gallery
January 5th – Leeds – Brudenell Social Cub
January 6th – Glasgow – 13th Note
January 7th – Newcastle – Northumberland Arms
January 8th – Brighton – The Green Door Store
Here’s what Raein sound like. I think this is a whole album in one video:
Remember when we released a tape, yeah? And we did a show in London, yeah? Where we played the album (the one on the tape) from start to finish, like those bands that haven’t been around for a while but then they come back and play that album from start to finish because it’s probably the best thing they ever did so why bother shoe horning in that new orchestral jazz odyssey ‘cos no-one really wants to hear it, not even yer Dad, Lars. Yeah, like that, except we didn’t go away at all really and we haven’t finished the orchestral jazz odyssey, so all we really did was play all the songs we usually play, but in the order that’s on the tape. Sounds really boring when you boil it down like that doesn’t it? That’s how Lars’ dad mind works. Always boiling it down boiling it down, standing on one leg in his son’s new field and boiling it down.