Yep, yep! Thanks to the “miracle of the cyberwent” (TM), even if you weren’t at the gig I did last Friday in Gothenburg, you can now hear my rather tremulous rendition of the first White Town song. Which was… White Town. (You can download the original 7″ version for free from here.)
Thanks to the Cosy Den posse for posting up the vid on You Tube! Check out their other vids, there’s some real gems on there.
Another thing I brought back from Sweden, nestled next to a deep sense of well-being, was a little box containing 7″ singles. Yep, you heard right, shiny, shiny vinyl records. I can’t remember the last time I released a vinyl record, I suspect it was around ’93 or ’94. A bloody long time ago, anyway.
When I got home yesterday, I plopped the record on my deck, turned up the amp and listened, amazed, as sound poured out of the teeny grooves. And it sounded good. I’m not going all Neil Young on you but this is a lovely-sounding record. Whoever cut it did a grand job.
Now, I can hear you asking, “Where, oh where can we buy this slice of lovely?”
Well, popkids, if you live in Derby, amble along to Reveal Records and buy one from there as I dropped in a few this morning.
If you aren’t from Derby, I think you should head to the Heavenly Pop Hits website and bug them for a copy as they released it. They’re lovely people, very clean and I’m sure they’ll be able to help you out. Do send them actual money though, don’t just email them begging for free stuff.
The EP is four tracks:
A1 A New Surprise
A2 Melissa Joan Hart
B1 Make A Right At Jordfallsmotet (cover version of the classic Agent Simple song)
B2 Theme For A Post-Watershed Cop Show Set In Wellingborough
I’m very proud of it as I think it’s a great little EP. Of course, I would say that, wouldn’t I? But I genuinely think it’s poppy and punchy and if you make a tiny bit of room in your heart, it might crawl in there and curl up for a kip.
Lovely gigs! Shiny records! God, I love being a musician!
No, I’ve not been slacking – I’ve been away for the last fortnight playing some gigs in Scandinavia, more specifically in Finland and Sweden. Note that I say “playing some gigs” rather than “touring” as that implies rock’n'roll excess. I only played four gigs which is much too leisurely to be rock. Still did a hell of a lot of travelling, though.
I only managed to do the shows because Gaz travelled with me as roadie, guitar tech and soundman. He basically did everything strenuous while I swanned around, fainting at the very mention of heavy lifting. Amazingly, even in a whole fortnight we didn’t have a proper argument, although things got slightly heated when I tried to sell him the Carter Leslie Doomsday Argument.
The gigs were all lovely, in different ways and we met some of the most charming people. I know musicians always say that but it’s true. If you’re in a band and you want attentive, caring audiences, go and play in Sweden and Finland.
I played with Goodnight Monsters at Dynamo in Turku, Erik Hallden in Stockholm and Cats On Fire + Agent Simple in Gothenburg. All the bands I played with do pop music so it was a dream set of gigs. No dull experimentalism, no “challenging” chin-rubbing excesses, real songs about real life. Such a breath of fresh air after the moribund British music scene.
Stefan from Agent Simple played on a couple of my songs at the Gothenburg Cosy Den gig and Ville from Cats on Fire was also kind enough to help me out at that gig and the two in Finland. They were worried about learning my songs but when I pointed out they were mostly two / three-chord wonders, they relaxed a lot.
The sheer beauty of the countries was, at times, overpowering. And a little intimidating because, let’s face it, the average Scandinavian is far more gorgeous than the average Brit. That’s no myth. Sadly, I was a bit rubbish at taking pictures as I was concentrating on not putting my back out like I did last year. But if you click some of the pics above, you’ll end up at galleries of the few pics I did capture.
Playing those four gigs was very special for me. If you came to any of them, thank you for being such a good listener and making me a very happy performer!