Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Anatums Abode - London

Near Limehouse tube station is a shop front named Anatums Abode, the home of two curious individuals, a studio and a small performance space. We were welcomed warmly by Anastasia and her partner who run the project. They had recently (as in the day before) repainted the performance space a rich blue and ripped the ceiling off to reveal the wooden beams underneath. 

The audience gathered in the garden area as the heavy smog that had been hanging over England for the last few days glowed a sickly yellow from London's light pollution. We were an international crowd and between the beautiful mix of accents, the candlelight, the travel stories and the eerie sky it was possible to believe we were anywhere in the world.

As part of this performance we were requested to bring an element of audience participation to the evening. In order to action that a large bag of various percussive and drone producing instruments were brought along. I won't talk much about what occurred as we have a recording of the show (see below), but what we started with was a play on Hymns & Ghosts Pt 1 (off the first album of the same name). As I conjured vocal drones, I handed the various instruments out to the audience introducing their participation slowly to the overall mix. When the set was over there was another spontaneous collaboration as the audience found their chanting voices.  Anatum's Abode is a secret pocket of peace, meditation and friendship on a busy city street and we were very privileged to share the magic.

The next morning saw an early start as we had the drive to Lincoln and the Weird Garden event to undertake. 

Winchester - Ancient and Modern

It was our first time in Winchester, a beautiful medieval town nestling within the County of Hampshire. Once the Capital of England prior to the Norman invasion, its winding streets have remained unchanged for centuries since Alfred the Great altered the original Roman street plan. 

Not having a huge amount of time we merely wandered the twisting ways and meandered through the beautiful architecture, enjoying the quintessential Englishness of the place. A delightful second-hand bookshop was found and despite an attempt at resisting temptation I failed to not purchase a hard back edition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'Love in the time of Cholera' and Dostoyevsky's 'The Gambler'.  Emma bought 'The History of Western Music' and 'An Illustrated History of Religious Chanting'.

The evenings show was at the Railway, just off Clifton road, an uncanny parallel to our home-towns Railway Hotel. Organised by Ancient and Modern, the gig was in the upstairs room of this bar, an intimate and warm space which created a homely atmosphere conducive to relaxed music making.  

We were playing in support of Nathan Salsburg the American guitarist / songwriter who is a curator of the Alan Lomax archive. As suggested by his job, his music reached back into the American folk  / blues tradition, but with a freshness. His on-stage anecdotes and behind-the scenes Grammy Awards insights were very well received, as was our Brighton sea debris collection. If it was practical we would probably return for this:

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Smelly Flowerpot Radio Show

One of the stops on the recent tour (which I will talk about more later) was Cambridge for the Smelly Flowerpot Show on Cambridge 105. Previously it had featured fellow Southenders Plantman in session and this time it was our turn. We recorded three songs from various releases and an interview with Davey Hammond, our host.

If you missed the feature going out live, you can listen to the mixcloud of the show below:

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Tour Playlist

Keeping us amused over the last two weeks has been a hastily grabbed pile of cds, plus a few additions we've picked up along the way. Featuring heavily have been Carn by Kemper Norton (whilst searching out Neolithic Britain) and the latest Current 93 album 'I am the last of all the fields that fell' which features Jon and Bobbie Seagroatt.

Here is the list in it's entirety (almost):

Kemper Norton - Carn
Current 93 - I am the last of all the fields that fell
Current 93 - Dogs Blood Rising
Xasthur - Subliminal Genocide
Xasthur - Gate through bloodstained mirrors
Velvet Underground & Nico
Lou Reed - Berlin
Nirvana - Nevermind
PJ Harvey - Dry
Schoenberg - Chamber Symphony No. 1
EMA - The Future's Void
Polyphonic Voices of Georgia
Greg Weeks - Awake Like Sleep
The Owl Service - A Garland of Song
Crafting for Foes - Love is scorned
Rif Mountain - Label Sampler
Plus various Rough Guide to CDs.

Our constant companion on the trip was Julian Copes excellent book The Modern Antiquarian which led us down winding lanes and across hollow fells to The Gop and Devils Arrows.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Brighton - The Outer Church

The tour started on the 28th March with a show arranged by The Outer Church in Brighton at the Caroline of Brunswick. Earlier that day we had wandered around the lanes, ate at Wai Kika Moo Kau, purchased the new Current 93 album and walked up to the Marina picking up sea debris as we strolled along the undulating mounds of stones that make up Brighton's shoreline.

The Outer Church events have a certain vibe about them, a quiet atmosphere filled with music that organiser Joseph Stannard calls 'the uncanny'. 

Lutine were the first on stage, a folk duo utilising harmonium, piano and auto-harp to create folk songs with the most beautiful female vocal harmonies I've heard in years. You can hear their music here: LINK I recommend 'All I have is gold' among the offerings there. 

Kemper Norton followed Lutine, blurring the lines between obfuscating electronics and folk song in a beautiful, rambling set. Check out this excellent review of his work in the Quietus.

As always Brighton's hospitality was warm and greatly enjoyed by us. Winchester next.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Pre-Order Into The Failing Light

You can now pre-order Into the Failing Light from bandcamp and receive 'Winter Shall Reign' in advance in a digital format of your choice. All physical pre-orders will be sent out on the release date of 14/04/2014, perhaps a little before if you are lucky. Otherwise, copies will be with us on tour.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Into the Failing Light - the first review.

With the  release of our new album imminent, we have received this beautiful and praising review from Joseph Burnett of the Quietus.

Link to The Quietus

The album will be released on the 14th April. However, we will be selling some early bird copies on the tour, so come along to a show if you want to get it before the official release date. 

We have a couple of gaps in the tour schedule, if anyone can help out with a show in one of these, then please contact us. The tour currently looks like this:

27 March 14 - Phoenix Fm Live Session
28 March 14 - Outer Church - Caroline of Brunswick
Brighton (UK) - Lutine / Kemper Norton - 7.30pm
Facebook Event Link
01 April 14 - Ancient and Modern
Upstairs at the Railway, 3 SAt Pauls Hill,
Winchester (UK) - Nathan Salsburg / Echo Engine - 8pm
Facebook Event Link
03 April 14 - Anatum's Abode
613 Commercial Road, E14 7NT
Facebook Event Link
04 April 14 - Decimal Place / Weird Garden
06 April 14 - The Roxy
10 April 14 - The North
Rhyl, Wales - ft: Gareth Howatson (UK)
Facebook Event Link
12 April 14 - Milton Keynes Gallery
7.30pn £4 - Muh-he-con
Milton Keynes.
Event Link
13th April 14 - Bohemian Jukebox
23 St Marys Row, B13 8HW
Birmingham (UK)
24 April 14 - Insurgent Souls Live
Rumour Cubes, Ben Glass and Cloud & Owl
Tamesis Dock barge, London
Facebook Event Link
25 April 14 - Squeezebox Folk Night
ft: Nancy Wallace
Leigh on Sea (UK)
26 April 14 - Hazel Gallery - Spring Arts Fair
The Waiting Room, Colchester.