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.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Poznan - 2 March 2014

After re-visiting Warsaw and Berlin it was nice to venture somewhere new and for this part of the journey I would be on my own as Emma had flown back to the UK from Berlin the previous day. The Poznan show was at Troche Kultury, a cafe/bar place about two minutes walk from the Old Town Square. In support was an enthusiastic, young Polish musician who plays under the name Nocna Lampa

The next day I had a few hours to explore the city. I did find two excellent record stores, but unfortunately didn't make any purchases due to lack of space in any of my bags. One of them was possibly the best classical / world music shop I've been in, with shelves of CDs from floor to ceiling.

Due to it being a Monday all the museums in Poznan were shut, so I walked around the Cathedral Island, which was the center of the Catholic faith in Poland at one point, before heading back to the City center to explore the 19th Century architecture that was on offer there.

Inside of Poland's oldest Cathedral.

A twenty hour coach journey was ahead of me, crossing three borders to head home to Riga. I got a lot of reading done, but still didn't manage to finish War and Peace.

A big thank you to all the promoters and venues that helped enable this tour. Hopefully, I will see you again soon. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Berlin - 27 February 2014

We arrived in Berlin by train, a very comfortable journey during which I saw storks for the first time. From a young age the Stork has been an iconic image representing this region of Europe for me, so it greatly pleased me to see them, despite that view being from a train window. Also spotted were a huge amount of deer eating the tender shoots of farmers crops.

A Lost Harbours travel blog is not complete without a church spire.

It was a pleasure to return to Madame Claudes, a very friendly venue with great acoustics and a very helpful Sound-man. We also discovered a very fine Mexican restaurant and both managed to injure ourselves due to extensive exploratory walking. 

Playing on the same bill that evening was Jin & Daun, who style themselves as Kurdish electronic meditation. Their flowing, transcendental set filled the room with warm sounds, whilst they utilized a motley collection of synths, pedals and a harmonica to create extended drone pieces. 

The Ramones Museum. 

The next day we rambled around Berlin taking in the Ramones Museum, before we stumbled upon the Instrument Museum, which was not too far from the Sony building. Whilst containing a plethora of amazing instruments, including an Aeolian Harp (see below), it quickly became a frustrating experience as our hands itched to play them all. Unfortunately, due to time restraints I didn't manage to visit the Bode museum and it's excellent collection of Byzantium ephemera, that is one for the next trip. 

An Aeolian Harp in the Instrument Museum. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Warsaw - 26 February 2014

This short trip across Europe was to be a revisiting of old haunts; it was also the first time Emma and I had played together, or even seen each other, for a few months. With this in mind, we had a lot of catching up to do and plans to put into motion.

I had arrived the previous day in Warsaw due to the long bus journey from Riga, with Emma arriving at midday it meant we had a good few hours of sight-seeing before the show at Eufemia that evening. We wandered the Old Town before heading to the Chopin museum for a few hours. Inside was a fascinating insight to this composers life and mind-set, plus some very engaging interactive features which meant you could listen to a substantial number of his works in full. I discovered a new favourite piece in Nocturne Op. 27, a very sombre and solemn work. Emma was likewise captivated by Scherzo No.1 in B Minor Op. 20 a grandiose and frankly ludicrous piece which has been getting many plays since.

Discovered on walkabout in the Old Town.

After this foray we made our way to Eufemia and were greeted warmly with a meal of soup and aubergine. One of my favourite memories from our previous visit in 2011 was the great soup and politeness of the audience, and this visit was no exception. 

                                                                         Klubojadalnia Eufemia

Playing on the same bill was Bibi and Palcolor. Bibi being the project of a young lady who seems to be in about four other bands as well. Her performance reminded me a little of the Outsider musician Space Lady. Palcolor utilitised two synths for an ambient, beat driven set which drew on influences from the Warp Records roster. It reminded me of artists like Petrels or Kostoglotov yet without the manipulation of samples into the mix.

The Wall of Fame

New Totes on sale.

Space Lady Bibi.

Despite the lack of rehearsal, Emma and I managed to get through our set without mishap, except when my guitar randomly de-tuned half-way through Autumn Returns, one of the newer songs I've been playing recently. The string slipped on the tuning peg and caused all sorts of weird sounds to issue, a slight embarrassment, but easily overcome.