Friday, 26 February 2010

Save BBC 6Music Campaign

My Device, Illness: ROTA @ Notting Hill Arts Club Tomorrow

Tomorrow sees another fine ROTA line-up at the Notting Hill Arts Club headlined by Shifty Disco's My Device. Doors are at 4pm, it wraps up at 8pm, it's completely free to get in and what the link above doesn't tell you is that a band STA are getting very excited about, Brighton two-piece Illness, will be opening the show up. Here's them in their practice space...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Alan MX: Different Drummers

I'm getting so excited now about the second album.

I'm off over to Ireland in March to do a Showcase for IMRO in Belfast, but I will also be going into the studio to record the live drums for the next album. This is going to be a first for me as I have never worked with a live drummer before. It's gonna be an experience I think. I'm so used to building beats synthetically by now that it will be difficult to hand over the duty to another person, but the songs that are coming out just now really need that gristle running through them.

On drumming duty is Alan (another one) from LaFaro, who are also signed to STA. I'm so fucking excited to be working with Alan as the drums on the LaFaro tracks are mind bending. I'm not sure whats going to happen really but it's going to be really enlightening to work with someone who properly knows about beats and maybe doesn't see them as geometrically as me. The thing about working electronically is that, especially in midi, everything is square and graphic and it is hard to break that convention, to move away from the longitude and latitude of the grid and view sounds as animals.

The beats on Warpsichord were pretty formulaic and loop based, which worked for the theme of the album, but things have to get a little bit more weird from here on out. the howl is getting deeper, the synths dirtier and, hopefully, the beats more primal.

so Yeah, Alan from LaFaro is going to teach me things and lend me his mind for a few days this March.

Lookee Lookee:

Also! Another new thing for this album, I'm going to lend out some vocal duties. I've never written a duet until now, well, actually, I did write a terrible duet when I was younger called Bite the Apple for me and Siobhan Donaghy. No one will ever hear this song. EVER. I really want this new one to be a departure from the last and one way to achieve this is to be less greedy. So I will be working with two surprise vocalists for this album. The tracks will turn up somewhere if not on the album proper, then somewhere down the line, but it's gonna be lots of fun to try things out. I'm booking some Can Can girls too.

This one has come around really quickly actually. Just when I thought I would never write another song and writing another album seemed like a fictional hope, loads and LOADS of new material came spinning out. and I think its quite good. What the critics will say is something I can't think about at this point. Some people were really nice about Warpsichord and some didn't like it, which is bound to happen. I hope to fuck they will like this one though.

That Carter woman is making a huge impression on me at the moment so there will be a lot of her in there, Alan Moore too and some Norse mythology. It's gonna be a big mixed assortment of magical realism i hope and to ensure that it works I am saluting all the magpies i see and enquiring after their families.

The IMRO show is on the 25th of March at somewhere in Ireland that I don't know yet, but I will update of course.

And the next item on my agenda is the second single from Warpsichord; Green Tea. This is going to come as a sort of special edition 2 CD set. and it is SO COOL! basically, there will be disc one, which will have the single Edit (minus fucks) an alternate version of the track and four new tracks which have never been released anywhere before! thats exciting, and it will come as a download from iTunes and a limited edition physical release. Disc 2 is going to have a whole different set of things. First, you will have the Green Tea video, made by Stuart Sandford ( ) which is reaaaaaalllllly sexy and naughty, and five remixes from some really talented and lovely people. This is going to be solely a physical release and will be extremely limited edition, so you will have to snap this up if you want it. I hope you will enjoy this package, it's taken a long time and a lot of effort from people to make it really stunning, it's gonna be worth it.

Speak soon.

Be Good.


4 Or 5 Magicians Welcome New Drummer

One in, one to get! We have chosen a new drummer, and his name is James Thomas. He used to be the drummer in legends of the London rock scene Sludgefeast, and has also served as the touring skin basher in Europe for Electric Eel Shock! "THIS A-ONE FOR GEORGE A-BUSH! BAAAAAAASSSSTAAAAAARRRRDDDD!!!". Here he is in action with the Japanese rock n' rollers :

Punk as fuck! I might have to start wearing earplugs. Or we need to get one of those screens around the kit like Reef / M People have.

On a seperate note, where are you guitarists? Doesn't everyone play guitar? Get in touch and join in the fun! fourorfivemagicians[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

Dan xx

Monday, 22 February 2010

ASIWYFA Namechecked By Wall Street Journal

No, really

Pavement Tribute Night Planned By 4 Or 5 Magicians

With this May being renamed 'the month that Pavement came back' (Pavementuary?), news of a 4 Or 5 Magicians-curated tribute night courtesy Sweeping The Nation: We gather Dan Ormsby, increasingly 'and your granny on bongos'-like frontman of 4 Or 5 Magicians, is planning to follow up last year's Our Band Could Be Your Life tribute weekender at the Brixton Windmill with a Pavement covers/tribute night on May 10th, with Ace Bushy Striptease and The Muscle Club involved. Those probably won't be the last of them either.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

LaFaro: It's Raining Severed Heads!

The Helsinki Seven/LaFaro travelling freakshow rolls on.........

I have seen Nick Cowling's cock and balls more than I have seen my own in the last week. I don't particularly mind, it's all new. We played in Manchester after Man Utd beat AC Milan yeo and hung out with Ian and Paddy, it was fun and games and fun and games.......then we hit Leeds, where we had a guest saxophone player for a song. From leeds we went to sheffield where we made too many Def Leppard jokes and partied with Oisin and 'Daniel Maytree'. Well, I say 'we', I mean 'they'....I fell asleep under a table instead. Then began the fun of a 5 hour drive to Glasgow to play the 13th note, which was AWESOME! After that we headed to nice n sleazys for a wee drink & said hello to Bill Mastodon and James Biffy as well as plenty of friends from back home, a strange night which ended in Gok Wan's cousin's house but a good night all the same. Props to Bruce, Stella, Ian, Sarah & Laila, Andrea & Stef, James, Niall, Kathy and Jesus for making it all possible.

Last night was Henry's cellar in Edinburgh and a certain Nick Cowling's birthday so we had a few more drinks with the good friends that we have in this part of the world. Big GIGGIDY PROPS to Rick, Anouska, Alan Davidson and his lovely wife, Sander, Matthew, Nadine, Owen Morris and Norah, the nicest and certainly prettiest soundwoman we've ever had.

We were supposed to be in Stoke tonite but, alas, it has been cancelled because we're TOO FUCKING AWESOME so we shall head back to Northwich for the night before driving to London tomorrow to play with Let our enemies beware & hang out with a few more friends.

We're all pretty tired right now, 5 weeks on the road, sleeping on floors and getting shitfaced every night while rocking hard for 45 minutes every night takes it's toll but we're still having lots of fun. Going home will be weird but we'll give it a go. We've been drunk but well behaved. Kinda.

It's like a beautiful summers day here in Edinburgh but it's cold as fook. Boring weather's not much of a conversation this is it? Ive been talking for ages and you haven't even said " Oh that's nice Herb, sounds like you're having fun!" Pfffffffffffffft I'm away on now, there is a fine-ass bacon smell coming from Rick's kitchen so i'm gonna EAT.

Stay classy anonymous internet surfer, stay classy.

Herb x

Thursday, 18 February 2010

ASIWYFA & LOEB For New Exploding In Sound Comp

And So I Watch You From Afar and Let Our Enemies Beware feature on the GLORIOUS NOISE compilation out on March 1st from Exploding In Sound. The track listing is as follows...

1. Traindodge - If I Pass You on the Street
2. Mr. Gnome - Vampires
3. LIONS - Poster Child
4. Regular John - Language
5. The Blind Pets - Fever
6. Disco Doom - The Magic Arc Song
7. And So I Watch You From Afar - A Little Bit of Solidarity Goes a Long Way
8. Let Our Enemies Beware - Personal Space Invaders

9. STEREO IS A LIE - What We Do
10. Battleme - No Time For Blood
11. Apteka - Traitors
12. Talons - Dazzling Metallic Stallions
13. Turbo Fruits - Mama's Mad Cos I Fried My Brain
14. Postdata - Tobias Grey
15. Sugar Army - Building Castles
16. Ceremony - Dreams Stripped Away
17. Prayer for Animals - Neutral Bees
18. Black Nite Crash - Jonah Dive
19. Veil Veil Vanish - Anthem For a Doomed Youth

The cover art was done by Jon Turner ( and as you can see many great makers of noise are featured so worth checking out.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Spinner Interview ASIWYFA

Read an interview with ASI as part of Spinner's pre-SXSW coverage

LaFaro/Helsinki Seven Daily Tour Show Episodes 1-5

Sat Nav Sam's on the road with the bands, making the rockumentary as we go

LaFaro On The Road In New Alternative Ulster


4 Or 5 Magicians: Final Show (of sorts) on April 1st in London (not a joke!)

Ok so as previously reported, Alex and Sam are leaving the band, and we are recruiting a new drummer and guitarist.

However, we will be playing one final show with the lineup we have had for the past year or so of Dan - Sam - Ivan - Alex (and probably Graham for a couple of songs too). This will take place on THURSDAY APRIL 1st (which is my birthday!) at The Windmill in Brixton. We will be playing our album 'Empty, Derivative Pop Songs' in full, in order. This will be the last ever opportunity for you to hear a few of the songs from the album played live, and the ones we do keep on we will not be playing regularly, as we are effectively relaunching as a new band in May (though for various reasons, after a lot of thought, I am keeping the name '4 or 5 Magicians' on) so make sure you come down if you are a fan of the band as this will definitely be the last opportunity to see 4 or 5 Magicians as you know them (us? them?). I know I said this at Christmas, but as we only managed to play about five of our own songs then, I felt we had to do one more show! Support comes from our touring buddies The Muscle Club, playing their first show of the 2010, and two more super duper bands that are yet to confirm but I'm sure will shortly. Entry is £4 on the door, but alternatively you could pay £8 on the door, and gain entry to the show as well as receiving a copy of our album! Doors are at 7:30pm, we're on at 10:00pm. DJs spinning ultimate party choons until the landlord kicks us out!

On the new members front, fingers crossed, we appear to have found a new drummer already. Me and Ivan are meeting up with him next week, and if an initial rehearsal goes well, then we have ourselves a perfect replacement. We are still looking for a new lead guitarist though - please get in touch with me if you are interested, or know anyone that might be! fourorfivemagicians[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk is the place to email me.

But yeah Thursday April 1st - come along, yes? It is Good Friday the next day, so you have the day off, right? Party time!


PS. Just to reiterate - I know the show is on April 1st, but this is not a joke!

Monday, 15 February 2010

LaFaro: Fookin' Hell Luv, It's 'im Off Telly


we are now in Northwich.

With all that there salt, like. its nowt but salt and I.C.I. even the fookin practice room and studio are in I.C. fookin I. every fooker in town is wearing a hi-viz jacket like, and a hard hat except for that Tim Burgess off of the charlatans fame, like, who works in charlies coffee shop and served me a lovely fry with plum tomatoes instead of real ones. That were this mornin. You what, love? Tip him? did i 'eck.

actually there is one other guy who doesn't work for I.C.I. His name is john and he's the scot wot runs bar, like. He's from Glasgow but his folks moved to the west coast when he were three. and it took him 18 years to find them. BOOOM BOOOM!!!

Q. what exactly has happened in the last week, Jonny?

A. Well....we went to Portsmouth. Then we went to Oxford. Then we went to Northwich. Then we went to Crewe.

Q. Jonny, can you please elaborate on this succinct, yet basic and uninformative order of events? Your attempt at a slightly humourous and pithy retort is found to be nothing more than numbingly banal and retarded blah flum. Sort it out.

A. Ok, I will try.....We jumped on the arse end of a bill in Portsmouth because we were there and playing is better than not playing, ain't it? We found out when we got there that the two bands we were playing with needed to be taught the basic principles of polite ettiquette. just a few simple mannerly questions, eg. - "I say Paddy, we've had a little chat amongst ourselves and a few of the lads were wondering if one would mind awfully if one was to use some of that rather spiffing looking musical equipment in order to play this bloody awful caterwauling that we have decided to call 'hard-core', what what?"

Needless to say, when i pointed this out it was met with a brazen "fuck off Paddy." Well as you can imagine, this kinda grinded my gears, so i then pointed out that his attitude problem was probably the reason he had never succeeded at life and was nearly 40, in a shit job, in a shit band, playing shit music with shit lyrics to 8 shit mates in Portsmouth, where he was from just so that once every shit month, for a shit half-hour he could live out the spastic-mongol shite that was his musical vision. what what?

Anyway, there were more pressing matters to attend to on this night and a certain legend of a man who we shall call Mr. Hatton made this possible by letting us come round to his house, sit in front of what i can only describe as a cinema screen and watch the superbowl. i still cant quite believe what good athletes those homeless people were.

Then we went to Oxford where the promoter Jimmy was an absolute sweetheart. We played with 2 very different but equally great bands called 'Hold your horse is' (get it?) and 'Ute'. I hope to be seeing both these guys again. Great people, great music.

After Oxford we hooked up with a group of guys who simply call themselves 'the Helsinki Seven'. After much confusion and head-wrangling we found out that, oddly, there were only three of them and they were in fact from Northwich, in Cheshire, not Finlands' beautiful capital as their name would suggest. Whilst not the biggest or most offensive lie ever told, it has to be said that it is a lie nonetheless, and that as a band we feel like they are now outside the circle of trust. Dark days do indeed lie ahead...

In case you haven't noticed we are back to Northwich, which is the place i mentioned at the start of the blog. I feel an enormous sense of achievement being talented enough to round a story off like this and bring it back to logical conclusion in such an organised and brilliantly concise fashion. Duz mie gramatticle +literry talunt railly no no bowns ?£

I am going to stop writng because to tell you the truth, it is now 4.40 in the morning and im very tired/farty/horny and i need a wee-wee.

Thats a bingo, arrivaderci,

Jonny. x.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Fighting With Wire: SXSW Dates So Far...

Hey all,

This is where you can catch FWW so far at SXSW, any extra shows will arrive on the homepage and here when they are confirmed!

Hope you can make it down, it'd be nice to see plenty of friendly faces! Also make sure you check out the ASIWYFA shows too!

March 17th Belfast Rocks at SXSW
Lattitude 30 , 6th Street
Stage Time: 2pm (this could alter slightly)

March 18th SXSW Official
Red 7 , 7th Street
Stage Time: 10pm

March 19th The Full Irish Breakfast MFI at SXSW
BD Riely's , 6th Street
Stage Time: 5pm

Cheers guys!
Sam FWW Team

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Free ASIWYFA Belfast Show

Hey guys!

Monday the 15th of Feb is the date and its a free instore show at HMV in Belfast!

Who's coming?! Starts at around 5pm, so get there early to make sure you get in! Should be LETHAL (I always thought "lethal" was actually spelt "leathal", it also is giving me an annoying red line under "spelt" thats a word isn't it? Its not spelled is it? That doesn't get a red line?!?! AHHHHH, stupid international spell checks that got me questioning the world!

Anyway, the important things are:




PS - Let us know if you are coming and also if you can help on my grammatical quandary!

Google Vs Blogs

Troubling news which could really hurt the industry if it becomes widespread

Sunday, 7 February 2010

LaFaro UK Tour Diary Part 8

Ah, the perils, thrills, trials, triumphs and mind numbing boredom that comes with being in a touring band. On any given day we are bound by will or contract to travel for anything up to 6 hours to play in mostly unknown venues to unknown amounts of people, most of whom haven't heard our music, a few who have and some who don't want to. Put that way it can seem like a strange career choice. And of course there are days when I question these choices, usually on days off when we're sat around like four lost Irish dickheads, unsure of our futures and disappointed with our pasts.

Of course being in a band is like anything else in life, you find your way through a series of unknowns, learning new things each time. As corny as it is to liken a band to a family or a troop of soldiers, it's not far off the mark. Any triumphs are shared but unfortunately so are all the lows. Morale is always an issue on tour. If we can go on a two week tour with Fighting With Wire having been given less than 24 hours notice and survive having all our gear burnt to a crisp in Derry then we can survive the rest of this journey at least. We carry on regardless of the situation. Because we want to and we have to.

In some ways we are fighting a war against awful music which is almost completely void of any substance or creativity. If I was to be given £5 for every half-assed, pretentious, talentless but well dressed band i've seen or will see on this tour I would return home a wealthy man. And if I was given the same amount for every time one of these no mark, tone deaf oxygen thieves used our gear without asking I would be wealthier still. Apologies for ranting but it happens enough that I feel the need to comment.

You also find new ways to keep yourself entertained in the back of a dark van when on tour. I've discovered that I can hold my breath for upwards of a minute now. I can also go for more that 4 days without a poo, yet no longer that 12 hours without a coffee and certainly no longer than 1 hour without a cigarette, unless I'm sleeping, in which case I'm probably dreaming of clean, warm beds, coal fires and roast chicken dinners. It has been a testing few days, as I'm sure you can tell.

Enough moaning then. We've been very lucky on this tour as we've found out just how many good friends we have scattered all over this land. Kind people who take time out their lives to support us at our shows, let us sleep in their houses, use their showers and feed us. People like Matt, DD, Anouskam Kiri, John, Bruce, Rick, Ian, Oisin, the KnuckleDragger boys and the others that I've forgotten. Without these people we would have returned home with our tails between our legs long before now.

The last week or so has seen us staying with our good buddy Ian in Manchester while Jonny returned home to play a Skip Moses show. Ian was kind enough to feed us, give us a place to sleep and take us round the sights of Manchester (Old Trafford being a particular highlight for me) and on the 2nd February we went to the Academy in Manchester to see our good buddies And So I Watch You From Afar supporting Oceansize. They played a blinder of course, even though they were only given a 25 minute set. The room was packed and I'm sure they converted a good few non-believers. From there we went to Sheffield to stay with a certain Mr Oisin O'Doherty and his lovely lady made us a fry (yay!!), in return we made him a pasta bake. Then we had a couple of gigs in the Midlands. In Derby we played in a coffee shop with Qisa (big, LOUD) and Idiosync, who are lovely, lovely boys, even if they are more racist than we are. Thenwe travelled to Birmingham to play the Flapper, again with Idiosync, and had a great time playing and meeting lots of lovely people. Then we drove through the night listening to Radiohead as we approached Oxford (coincidence really), grabbed a kebab and spent the night by the side of the motorway, dreaming of the usual warm beds and chicken dinners........

Last night we played in Chichester with Monroe Effect and Driveby Shark, who were both great but Driveby Shark certainly stole the show with their hilarious brand of thrash metal. We couldn't believe our ears. After that we drove to Pompey with our good friends DD, Rose and Adam for a good old fashioned drinking session which involved much nudity courtesy of Andy and me getting a mohawk courtesy of Rosie. A good night was had by all. Tonite we found ourselves still in Portsmouth which is just as well because a band pulled out of tonight's Edge of the wedge show so we stepped in to
fill the void.

By the time you read this we'll probably be on our way north again. I dunno where we are next, all the days blend into one after 22's still a strange career choice but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Herb x

And So I Watch You Live In Tower Records


2009 was a truly phenomenal year for TOWER RECORDS' legendary in-store appearances. More than 100 amazing acts from all over the world (as far afield as CANADA, AUSTRALIA, and even JAPAN), not to mention major homegrown talent, strutted their stuff on the Dublin Wicklow Street boards.

Unforgettable performances were delivered by MUMFORD & SONS, DIRECTOR and WOODPIGEON, to name just a few.

Who could forget the day the legend STEVE VAN ZANT broadcast his highly acclaimed show from the store (word has it he wants to come back??? Watch this space!)

We also played host to 7 out of the 10 acts that were nominated for this year's Choice Music awards, including hot favorites DUCKWORTH LEWIS METHOD, VALERIE FRANCIS, and, our first guests of the new season, AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR. Anyone who witnessed their last in-store will testify to an astonishing performance. It's safe to say that this upcoming gig is not one to be missed under any circumstances. You are advised to get here early as space is limited.

We also welcome back the mighty POWER OF DREAMS. The guys will be in to celebrate the 20th anniversary re-release of their brillant debut album IMMIGRANTS EMIGRANTS AND ME. Again this is one in-store to be missed at your peril.

Other highlights include up and coming acts, AT LAST AN ATLAS, DIRTY9'S and former TURN frontman OLIVER COLE.


MARCH 25th - DIRTY 9's - 6pm

After amazing sets from Heathers, Neil Hannon, Mundy and many more last year, we can promise this year's day-long in-store sensation is going to be even bigger and better!!!!

As always all in-stores are free and for all ages

For more info please contact

Also reported here by Hot Press

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Fighting With Wire For SXSW

Hey everyone

Its been a while hasn't it!?

I'll give you a quick update and some welcome news!

Basically the vast majority of album 2 was completed before the new year, there are a few tracks to finish off which should be done in a few weeks or so! It's all sounded sweet and we hope you all like it!

I can confirm FIGHTING WITH WIRE ARE PLAYING SXSW! Yep, that's right, some live shows are a-coming! We'll get the details up asap, but its been far to long!

There's loads of cool stuff going on behind the scenes in preparation for the new album and in the coming weeks we'll hopefully be able to start passing the news on!


Sam FWW Team

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Skibunny London Residency

So we have two, yes, TWO London shows this month, both at the lovely BARFLY in Camden.

Wednesday 24th Feb - The Barfly, Camden - w/Rogue States - we're on 8pm - buy tickets

Thursday 25th Feb - The Barfly Camden - w/Casiokids - we're on 8pm - buy tickets

Really hope to see y'all there!

ASIWYFA on XFM New Music Award Result

Hey all!

Thanks once again to everyone who voted to get us onto the shortlist for the XFM New Music Award!

Unfortunately the judge/judges who got to decide gave the 'XFM New Music Award' to the well deserving band "The XX".

The main thing for us is that YOU all voted to get on us that list, and that was a really surprise and treat in itself!

Thanks to everyone at XFM for putting us on the initial list to.

Take care all, and better luck next time ay!?


Everyone at the ASIWYFA Team

Skibunny Remix Super Extra Bonus Party

When we were over at CMJ in New York recently, we saw an awesome set by Irish band SUPER EXTRA BONUS PARTY. They were SO great, that we simply HAD to do a remix for them. The SKIBUNNY remix of their single COMETS is released on 5th Feb, go get it!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

LaFaro: Life On The Road Continueth


I type this from Manchester, ex-Debonaire Ian Mac's house to be exact. The man is a gift from the rock gods...

So here's what has happened with us since we last spoke via the medium of 'blog' :

We stayed with the lovely Matt Young ( Singer in Landmarks - check em out...) in Lincoln for a couple of days. On Thursday we took in a little culturewith a walk up to Lincoln Cathedral ( **WOW**). Needed a pint after that...

Straight to Leeds on Friday to stay with Sir Rob of Anderson in the lovely village of Baildon. Another day off means another trip to the pub so off we went to what felt like a school night out. Everyone in Baildon is 19 it seems. We met a girl who was on hit TV show and ultimately failed John Fashanu career vehicle 'Gladiators' who showed us she could put her leg behind her head. Well done you.

Saturday was gig day so after a much needed brunch we hit the road for Carpe Diem in Leeds centre. Great gig,great crowd, great people and a couple of nice bands too.

No Tiamo, I'm not talking about you. For you to be a 'nice' band you would have to at least ask to use our gear before you play,or maybe thank us afterwards for using it rather than play your brand of indie-pose-rock like four haircuts looking for a game of 'Slap Me, I'm a Douchebag' then leave straight after your set taking what few underage people you brought to the show with you....

Rant over.

After the show we had the mammoth drive from Leeds to Edinburgh to leave J Bizzle AKA Jonny Black, at the airport. A man so in demand, he had to fly back for a show at the Black Box in Belfast on Sunday afternoon then fly back the next day. We then had to drive straight back from Edinburgh to Manchester to stay with Ian, catching a couple of hours kip at a services. Brrrrrr.

Got to Manchester, home to Simply Red, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jack Duckworth around 11am and have had a couple of days off taking in some sights ( Old Trafford - Yeeeeooooo!).

Our good buddies ASIWYFA are in town with Oceansize tonight so we have that to look forward to later then next stop Derby on Thursday.

Up ye.

Talk soon,
Dave LaFaro

Cargo Collective February 2010 starring The Letters EP