White Town iTunes Charts

White Town iTunes Charts

Above is the UK iTunes chart for my songs, ranked by sales. I’m very chuffed that slots two and three are songs from my new album, ‘Don’t Mention The War.’ Yaay!

Also cool is that number four is an acoustic ballad from my second album, ‘Peek & Poke.’

Soon, my first album, ‘Socialism, Sexism & Sexuality‘ will be added to iTunes too and then I’ll have all four albums I’ve done on there (the EMI one has been up for ages, of course).

This is only possible thanks to the magnificently transparent and helpful CD Baby. Apple are an absolute pain to deal with personally, CD Baby rode to the rescue! They make the whole process of selling my music, either physical CDs or online, very, very easy.

If you’re an independent musician like me, check them out! 😀

February 19, 2007. posted by Jyoti. News.

Peek & Poke

Peek & Poke

My third album, ‘Peek & Poke,’ which was released in 2000 is now up for sale on CD Baby. Just use the cart on the right if you want to buy a copy. Click here to have a listen to clips of it.

It’s also up on iTunes now! My plan for global hegemony is progressing apace! Hah! 😀

And just in case… my new album is here! 😉

February 6, 2007. posted by Jyoti. News.

Ten Years Ago Today!

White Town - 'Your Woman'

On Sunday 25th January, 1997, my song, ‘Your Woman,’ went to number one in the UK singles chart. It was soon number one in eight other countries (twice in Spain, apparently).

That song, recorded in my spare bedroom in a small semi-detached house on Silverburn Drive, Oakwood, Derby, went on to sell 400,000+ singles in the UK and a shitload in the rest of the world too. Although the album it was from, ‘Women In Technology,’ only sold 47,000 in the UK, it went on to sell 250,000+ in the USA and Canada.

Not bad for one bloke and some basic equipment:

* Tascam 688 Midistudio (8-tracks on cassette)
* Atari 520STFM running Sequencer One (free prog off the front of ST Format magazine)
* Emax II (Akais – yeuchh)
* Casio CZ101 (cost 50 pounds)
* Roland JX3P
* Casio VL-1
* Crappy old electric guitar.
* Tandy PZM mic.

For a while there, my life was a whirl of interviews and promo trips, airports and TV studios.

Of course, it couldn’t last.

Within a year of being signed, EMI couldn’t wait to drop me and I couldn’t wait to be dropped. I can’t work the major label way, I’ve never been a fan of art-by-committee and that’s the definition of working with a major. Everyone sticks their oar in: A&Rs who know nothing about music and less about recording start questioning mixes, MDs start choosing singles, label heads force ugly covers on you. It’s not for me. If you’re a stage-school kid or an artist who is immensely obedient and likes having a lot of money/drugs, it’s probably perfect.

It looks like I’ve been pretty lax in the decade that’s passed since then. I’ve only released two albums, a few singles and a handful of compilation tracks. But, seeing as I went barmy, bought a mansion, sold it, moved to Norwich, went even barmier, bought a studio, sold it, moved back to Derby, got a little less barmy… well, I’ve not been twiddling my thumbs.

Here would be a good place to plug my new album, ‘Don’t Mention The War.’ If you click on that linky, you can have a listen to clips of it to see if I’m still mentally unstable. I seem to have come full-circle in that I’m now back to being completely DIY. I’m very happy being my own label. Of course, if somebody waved wads of money in my face, I would be tempted since there’s a lot of useless gadgetry I want to buy. But I know that as much as I covet HD plasma screens and collecting every synth manufactured, I can’t work with major labels. (Not that they’re queuing up to work with me, mind!)

I feel immensely lucky and happy that a decade on I’m still married to the same gorgeous, silly woman, still making music and still in love with life. I didn’t go mad on cocaine, I didn’t buy a Ferrari, I didn’t go on all the crappy TV nostalgia shows that persist in emailing me. I loved having that bit of commercial success and, as much as people think I must hate it, I’m proud of having written a song that made so many millions of people both happy and slightly puzzled.

The older I get, the easier I feel with my own creativity. I love photography, DJing, I love writing on here but most of all I love being a songwriter. I know that if I hadn’t been a songwriter for the last 24 years, I would have gone even more mental. It’s truly a perfect form of deep auto-psychotherapy! And you get paid for it! 😀

I also know that if nothing had happened all those years ago, I’d still be a musician now. There’s nothing like writing a song and then sitting in front of an audience, singing it to them. That emotional connection, that shared moment is the most wondrous, beautiful feeling.

So, even though you may have to struggle on for years, like I did, even though you may never “make it” in the financial sense, a life in music is its own reward. It’s ace! 😀

January 25, 2007. posted by Jyoti. News.

‘DMTW’ Makes Aversion’s Unsung Heroes List!

Aversion 2006

Yaaay! I’m very happy that my new album is on Aversion’s Unsung Heroes of 2006 list. Click here to see the full thingy.

January 4, 2007. posted by Jyoti. News.

‘Don’t Mention The War’ On iTunes!

Don't Mention The War on iTunes

Yaaay! Finally, I have more than just my ancient EMI album and a scattering of single tracks up on iTunes. If you click here, you can now buy my new album, ‘Don’t Mention The War,’ from your friendly, local iTunes.

Or, if you prefer the hardware version, you can click here and enjoy the luxuriant packaging I spent aaages designing.

Horses for courses, innit?

My heart leapt with joy when I saw the little tag on iTunes saying © 2006 Bzangy Records. It feels good to own my own songs.

More to the point, if my teeny-tiny label can now be selling physical CDs and downloads across the world, that means anyone can.

November 7, 2006. posted by Jyoti. News.

Buy My New Album!

White Town - Don't Mention The War

Yep, so far my new album, ‘Don’t Mention The War,’ has only been available to the supreme clientele that is my mates in Derby. But eagle-eyed readers may notice the new box in the sidebar on the right —>

Now you can buy your own lovely copy of ‘DMTW’ direct from CD Baby! Just click the button or follow this link to have a listen to soundclips of the new tracks and see if you fancy shelling out for it. CD Baby ship internationally and I just worked out that if you’re a Brit buying the album, the cost is £10.67 including postage (or £9 if you opt for no jewel case). Not bad, eh?

I’ll do another update when it’s available on iTunes, hopefully soon!

Oooh, it’s exciting! 😀

October 23, 2006. posted by Jyoti. News.

New Album!

White Town - Don't Mention The War

Yep, after six years of moving house, going barmy, moving house again, etc., the new album is finally here! It’s called ‘Don’t Mention The War’ and here’s the tracklisting:

1. Make The World Go Away
2. A New Surprise
3. Somewhere Blue
4. I Was Trotsky’s Nun
5. These Are The MPs
6. Hold It In
7. Death In Kettering
8. Fanfare For Emma Goldman
9. Whenever I Say Hello
10. Theme For A BBC Natural History Series Presented By Richard Dawkins
11. The Straight-Edge Atheists’ Hymn
12. Sabrina, Won’t You Help Us Out?

There you go, twelve songs about love, lust, war, peace and teenage witches. I’ll be putting up clips of the songs soon so you can have a preview.

This album is about as DIY as you can get: I wrote the songs, performed every part (no guest musicians this time), recorded and produced it, mastered it (not fun!), took the pics for the graphics, did all the graphics and now I’m sticking it out on my own label.

Yep, ‘Don’t Mention The War’ will be Bzangy Records first release. The album was meant to come out on Ninthwave Records but they’ve sadly had to shut down for the forseeable future. My thanks to Dave for putting out my music and generally being very supportive and involved for the last few years. It’s a tough job running an indie label – I know as Bzangy Records will be my third!

I’ve signed up with CD Baby, so ‘Don’t Mention The War’ will be easily available in physical form in the US (and as an import elsewhere) and will also be on iTunes around the world. Give it a while though, I only sent off the first copies to them on Wednesday. :-)

As I’m sitting typing this, I’ve got one of the 1000 pressed albums sitting to my right. It looks brilliant! I’m soooo excited to be releasing this record. Of course, every artist thinks their new record is the best yet and I’m no different. But I can honestly say, some of the best songs I’ve ever written are encoded on this small piece of shiny plastic.

From my heart, straight to yours!

October 13, 2006. posted by Jyoti. News.

New 7″ Vinyl!

A New Surprise

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! 😀

September 20, 2006. posted by Jyoti. News.

More Gigging!

Gothenburg - 47

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.

Back In Turku - 1

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.

Helsinki + Train Journey - 11

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. :-)

Kvibergs Tramstop - 1

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! :-)

September 20, 2006. posted by Jyoti. News.

‘A New Surprise’ on iTunes

'A New Surprise' on iTunes

Yep, as a taster for my forthcoming album, the lovely Ninthwave Records have issued ‘A New Surprise’ on iTunes. For the amazingly tiny sum of 79p, you can buy the single track. Or wait a bit and you can buy the whole album.

Click here for the iTunes store link to ‘A New Surprise.’

‘A New Surprise’ is also the lead track for the 7″ coming out soon on Heavenly Pop Hits, but that EP also has three other tracks on it not previously released or on the new album. Yes, I’ve been slightly prolific lately. :-)

Oooh, it’s lovely having new music to announce! 😀

August 11, 2006. posted by Jyoti. Music, News.

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