Time for a late summer roundup of recent happenings. We’re all looking forward to the album tour this September, but before we get onto that there are some special London shows to report…
DayLight Music @ Union Chapel, Islington (June 29th)
This was a little while ago now, and we were missing Thom who was away doing phd research in California (which he later explained entailed taking yellow folders out of grey boxes to look at bits of paper for 2 weeks), but it was a great gig. We were on a bill with a 55 piece ‘indie choir’ from Brighton, the Jam Tarts, who do choral arrangements of indie hits. There was some Bowie, Tom Waits, Nirvana, Beyonce and more. They were extremely entertaining, and a real contrast in mood to the atmospheric, lo fi stylings of Lux Harmonium from Devon (“treading somewhere between the weird folk world of John Fahey or Glenn Jones and an altogether more outsider pop of Robert Wyatt”).
It was an honour to get to play Union Chapel. It’s often described as one of the best London music venues, and we also had a great audience of all ages and generations. And because it’s a lunchtime thing, everyone was soberly content and nicely pepped from all the delicious cakes, teas and coffees to just sit and listen. DayTime Music is produced by Arctic Circle. Check out the site for upcoming events. Free entry (donations) and all proceeds go to the homeless project run by the church.
Cocos Lovers Album Launch @ Wiltons Music Hall (July 18th)
A few weeks later in July we had the privilege of supporting the official launch of ‘Gold or Dust’, the 3rd record from Deal’s Cocos Lovers (Smugglers Records). Will and the team decided to go all out on London, hiring out the historic Wiltons Music Hall. Tucked away down a side street between Whitechapel and Wapping, you’d never guess you were approaching the “oldest surviving music hall in the world”. It is comprised of a 19th century grand music hall attached to the 18th century terrace of 3 houses and a pub. It’s very beautiful.
The night was a real success with tickets sold out in advance, but it was all fairly rocky in the afternoon after Aidan accidentally reversed his car into a non-uniformed police car triggering off a terror alert in North Wapping. It got even more surreal when Aidan was required to leave the stage during sound check for questioning. Thankfully no charges were made.
Come the evening time there were loads of familiar faces who had journeyed up from East Kent, as well as a large audience of people we’d never played to before. Joining us on stage we had Annie Whitehead (Robert Wyatt, Penguin Cafe Orchestra) on trombone and Phil Self and James Gow from Cocos Lovers (mandolin and double bass).
Cocos played a blinding set as usual. Momentum is just starting to build with their album PR. They recently did a live set for BBC Radio 3’s World on 3 programme which you can now stream. Aidan wrote some orchestral parts for us to play for their 2 encores, the Krautrock-tinged Song for Jack from the new album and Silence of a Moonlit Sky from Johannes. The audience were completely delirious by this stage, it was a joyous moment.
‘Clearing’ Tour – September
So now we’re all looking forward to Smugglers Festival and the launch tour of our album, ‘Clearing’. We wrote countless emails to venues all over the UK, but unfortunately we’ve only managed to get bookings in the South. Alan Partridge fans will be happy to know we are making it up as far as Norwich though, and we have secured our Manchester debut in October at the 3rd Carefully Planned Festival in the city centre.
We’re all very proud of the album, Aidan especially. There are guest mandolin solos from Syd Arthur‘s Raven Bush, trumpet shapes from Nick Walters (Riot Jazz, Beats and Pieces Big Band), double bass from James Gow (Cocos Lovers), bodhrán from Andy Renshaw and the album itself was recorded and engineered at Wicker Studios by Joel Magill (Syd Arthur, Dawn Chorus Recording Company). We’re going for proper PR for the release which we’re hoping will pay its dividends. It’s been sent far and wide to all kinds of journalists, broadcasters, critics and bloggers. The big question now is whether anyone can be bothered to write something about it, hopefully favorable. Guess we’ll find out in the next few months…
The tour kicks off at Smugglers Festival (August 31st- September 2nd).
Have a great end of summer,