Friday, 30 July 2010

Shout4Music Tip Skibunny As Bestival Must-See

If there’s something truly awe-inspiring about modern Britain, it’s the amount of opportunity promoters give us to go and stand in fields. The UK probably now has more festivals than it does dentists. We even have festivals for people that are too old to go to festivals any more. And on these, we’ve got a wee bit of an exclusive – you won’t find it on Bestival or The Big Chill’s websites, but there will be Sailor Jerry stages at both events. The Big Chill line-up includes We Were Promised Jetpacks, (the only useful thing to ever come out of Edinburgh outside of Boards Of Canada), Race Horses (Welsh boys – you may have known them as Radio Luxembourg) and Not Cool. The offering at Bestival is perhaps even more exciting, bringing you the barmy Chrome Hoof (think The Flaming Lips designed by Blue Peter-watching kids), the suave, debonair, and pictured above electronic monster that is Errors (huge noise; signed to Mogwai’s label, have supported 65DOS & Underworld among others), and our perennial favourites, Skibunny.

The Belfast-based remixers extraordinaire have recently returned to the live arena with a short UK tour; and having been doing electro-indie since long before it became trendy, the duo’s sound has been honed to a fuzzy brand of loveliness with an underlying sadness. A bit like a teddy bear that you find hanging itself and then talk down and take home. You can win tickets to go and see them at

The Flaming Lips, The Prodigy, Gil Scott-Heron and The XX will be there too. So it might be quite a good weekend all in. In the meantime, have a punt at Skibunny track ‘Aahooh’ . It’s not new or exclusive. But it’s dead good.


Listen Again Live Highlights of Glasgowbury Sets

Listen again to live performances from Fighting With Wire, LaFaro and And So I Watch You From Afar plus many more from last weekend's Glasgowbury on last night's BBC Introducing in Northern Ireland show.

Fionn Regan — Lines Written in Winter
Ash — Carnal Love
The Wonder Villains - TV Live
Lafaro — Girl is a Drummer Live
Lafaro — Great Conversations Remembered Live
Lafaro — Tupenny Nudger Live

Yes Cadets — Lies Live
Yes Cadets — Canada Live
And So I Watch You From Afar — Set Guitars to Kill Live
Strait Laces — Where the Wolves Roam Live
Fight Like Apes — Hoo Ha Henry Live
Cashier No.9 — Goodbye Friend Live
In Case of Fire — Untitled Live
RAMS' pocket radio — Dieter Rams has got the Pocket Radios Live
RAMS' pocket radio — Untitled Live
RAMS' pocket radio — Dogs Run in Packs Live
mojoFURY — The Man Live
mojoFURY — Run Away Live
Fighting With Wire — Cut the Transmission Live
Fighting With Wire — Sugar Live
Fighting With Wire — Everyone Needs a Nemesis Live

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Fighting With Wire UK Mainland Shows - Tickets On Sale

Tickets for FWW's November England and Scotland shows are now on sale.

ASIWYFA Sonisphere Update

This weekend Sonisphere comes to Knebworth for 3 days of noise with a capital N; here's the stage times worth noting -

Friday 30th July

AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR - Strongbow Bowtime Bar, 8.30
THROATS - Jagermeister, 7.00
WINNEBAGO DEAL - Jagermeister, 9.00
65DAYSOFSTATIC - Bohemia, 10.00
CHROMEHOOF - Strongbow Bowtime Bar, 10.30

Saturday 31st July

GENERAL FIASCO - Red Bull Stage, 8.00
POLAR BEAR CLUB - Bohemia, 9.05
THERAPY? - Bohemia, 11.00

Sunday 1st August
TURBOWOLF - Jagermeister, 3.30
THE XCERTS - Strongbow Bowtime Bar, 7.00

4 Or 5 Magicians: Recreating Reading Festival 1992 & October Tour

OK finally some constructive news!

I'm booking a tour for the new look 4 or 5 Magicians and our friends from Birmingham, the wonderful Ace Bushy Striptease. We're heading out together for 8 days from Friday 15th to Saturday 23rd October.

If you are a promoter reading this and would like to put us on, or if you are a fan reading this who wants us to visit your town, and would like to suggest us contacting a promoter or venue who was likely to put us on, then please get in touch.

Sadly, this tour will take place without James, who had recently joined on drums, as he has decided to leave the band. Nothing sinister, it just wasn't working out for him logistically and he decided to back out before we got properly going again. In his own words he still loves the songs, and he is actually helping me out in finding a permanent replacement! Until this happens (probably until 2011), the drum stool at live shows will be occupied by the highly capable swinging arms of Brighton drumming master and all round top bloke Rob Ling, who plays in our Brighton contemporaries Grow Claws, and has also performed in a session capacity for bands such as The Joy Formidable, Wildbirds and Peacedrums, and Nick McCabe from The Verve. So he knows what he's doing!

Before the tour, we have the next in line of my wonderful cover nights, which will definitely be the most ambitious (if "ambitious cover night" isn't an oxymoron) yet, once again at The Windmill in Brixton.

It will be called 1992: The Year Reading Peaked, and take place on Saturday 28th August. I was thinking of themes for another cover night, and when I overheard my little sister excitedly talking to her friends about attending her first Reading festival, it struck me that it hadn't even occurred to me to attempt to blag a ticket, let alone buy one for £180+ for at least three years now. I figured there must be plenty of other people in my position too, kinda demoralised by the commercialism of the festival these days, and the hefty ticket price. So I decided I would attempt, on the same weekend, to put on my own tribute to the Reading festival, and recreate the best of the bill from the classic year of 1992, remembered chiefly for THAT Nirvana peformance, but also including early performances by bands that would go on to become major players and/or hugely influential in the 90s and beyond, such as PJ Harvey, Smashing Pumpkins, Pavement, Manic Street Preachers, Suede, Beastie Boys... oh and Bjorn Again played as well!

8 or 9 bands will come along and blast out some classics of yesteryear, and some classics of their own, and of course there is the famous free BBQ - we will not charge you £7.50 for a burger here!

Already confirmed are 4 or 5 Magicians as Manic Street Preachers (happy to fulfil NME's labelling of us as "the new Manic Street Preachers" by attempting to be the old Manic Street Preachers for one night only!), Amy Blue as Smashing Pumpkins, and Kannberg 1664 - a supergroup featuring Alexei from Johnny Foreigner, Craig from Internet Forever, Aaron from Eelectricity and Lust, and myself. We'll be performing a 10 song Pavement set of early hits. Other offers and exciting TBCs are out there and will shortly be confirmed!

As headliner I am attempting something which I very much hope will be the best thing ever. I'm wheeling out (literally, like Kurt at Reading '92) two Magicians alumni to create Bananirvana, the ultimate Nirvana tribute. Jon Wood, original Magicians bass player, is filling the huge boots of giant Krist Novoselic. Sam Clarke is growing some stubble, donning a blonde wig, and busting out some of Kurt's finest guitar, and I am straightening my hair, getting down the gym, and brushing up on my Dave Grohl drumming action. We will be performing an hour long, 20 song set made up of the choice selections from Nirvana's classic set.

And then YOU will be the singer. The chance you have always been waiting for of being Kurt Cobain! I am planning on each song having a different Kurt, and while I already have a few semi-famous indie singers confirmed for guest slots on the microphone, I also want to open it up to members of the record buying public too. So if you are interested in having a go at being Kurt, then please get in touch and we can get you involved! All I ask is, i) that you can actually sing a bit, ii) that you promise to learn the words to and the structure of your song properly, and iii) that you can bring a few mates along to witness your finest hour! Open to boys and girls. But if you're a girl you got to sing it hard. Or if you're a boy for that matter. Anyway yeah, get in touch!

TTFN dudez!

Dan x

LaFaro Confirmed for Reading/Leeds 2010

LaFaro have just returned home from a whirlwind week of shows spanning Glasgow to Guildford, where they lost their UK festival virginity packing out the RockSound Rock Cave stage at Guilfest 2010. Thanks one and all who took the time to check them out!

The weekend closed on an almighty high as LaFaro performed a show-stopping Glasgowbury Festival set ahead of our very own headliners Fighting With Wire. The Glasgowbury festival weekend is the most eagerly anticipated in the STA calendar - well done to organisers Paddy & Stella on their 10th anniversary year of the festival, roll on the next 10 years!

On August Bank Holiday 2010, the BBC Introducing stage will return to the Reading and Leeds festival sites for the third year running to showcase another batch of talented new bands and musicians. This year they have been kind enough to extend that welcome to LaFaro - needless to say Herb/Jonny/Dave/Alan LaFaro are counting down the sleeps before they savage eyes and ears across both sites - be sure to count them in on your plans for that weekend, exact times to follow soon.....

Illness: Tour & Recording Write-up

Hi blog-readers,

I have been desperate to tell you all about our touring and recording experience....

We went on tour and had a good time. We went with Shield Your Eyes and NOPE. Both bands are really good, I highly recommend that you check them out. It was really satisfying to watch them both play every night for about ten days. We also played with a couple of other really good bands, one in Glasgow called Eternal Fags and one in Leeds called Ultimate Thrush, both of whom are part of a Glasgow based DIY collective called Winning Sperm Party who put on shows and do free digital releases or genuinely cheap CD's - truly independent! So check all that stuff out. I spent a lot of time worrying about my thumb in which I believe I'm developing arthritis, and at one point we had to change the brake pads on the van like true lads, a task undertaken primarily by Stef from Shield Your Eyes, but with at least some input from everyone along the way, even Spencer who found the cap of the copper rubbing right at the last minute. Everyone we came across along the way was so genuine and generous, and it was a completely conflict free experience - YES to humanity!

We then went straight to Derry (NI) to do some recording and had a good time. We recorded twelve tracks with Andrew Ferris (Lord STA) and Chris Cassidy, who were the best recording team we possibly could have hoped for. It all went swimmingly well and is looking due for release as an album around February time. Ash Pocock made a special guest appearance and took us out for an all you can eat Chinese meal, which I came away from feeling kind of hyper and with a pounding heart.

Later in the week Spencer and I went to see Toy Story 3. I tried not to cry during the film but was ecstatic about the ticket price:
£4.50! And on a Saturday night to boot! That's what the cinema should cost... in Brighton it's at least £7.50 a pop. Anyway... again, all parties involved went above and beyond the call of duty in accommodating us and in making sure that we made the best of the recording experience. We can't thank Andrew and Chris enough for their enthusiasm and generosity. They are both bastions of a moral disposition which finds its foundations in empathy, benevolence and supreme good will - YES to humanity!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Download Skibunny MP3 Mix

Skibunny follow in the footsteps of Pvt and The Vinny Club to contribute an mp3 mix for State - featuring Skibunny remixes plus tracks by Holy Fuck and Four Tet, it can be downloaded here.

Monday, 26 July 2010

ASIWYFA Footage From Secret Glasgowbury Set

So the worst kept secret of last week was that ASIWYFA would be making a special appearance at Glasgowbury; here's some footage filmed from the heart of the mosh pit.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

More Dates Added to Fighting With Wire Tour

Expanding the previously reported Irish dates, FWW will be now be hitting Wales, Scotland and England in November - tickets on sale soon (we'll let you know when)


LaFaro XFM Session Airs Tonight 10pm

LaFaro recorded a session for John Kennedy earlier in the week and it airs along with the band in interview with John on his Xposure show at 10pm tonight on xfm London.

Breaking News: LaFaro To Support Helmet Winter European Tour

On the eve of their key slot on this weekend's Glasgowbury bill, some huge LaFaro news -

Seminal post hardcore heavy weights Helmet have just announced that they have chosen Belfast’s LaFaro to join them for a tour of Europe, kicking off in Holland on November 17 and ending in Belgium on December 14. In many ways the pairing is a marriage made in heaven (or hell, whichever you prefer) as both acts bow down and worship at the altar of the all-conquering riff and this one-two punch is sure to be a knockout all over mainland Europe.

LaFaro support Helmet on the following dates:


Sunday, 18 July 2010

Behind The Scenes: LaFaro Film STA Documentary

Fighting With Wire Irish Tour Adds Dates

Now looking as follows -

27 Sep 2010 ROISIN DUBH Galway, Co. Galway, IRELAND
15 Oct 2010 Lush @ Kellys PORTRUSH, IRELAND, IRELAND

Win Glasgowbury Tickets


It's nearly that time of year again where we all go up a big mountain with all our chums, rock out to Ireland's best bands, throw gallons of Buckfast down our throats and stagger round in the dark for hours trying to find the tent we pitched.

This might not read as fun but trust me - Glasgowbury is THE party of the year and we're already getting excited about playing this year.

Get your tickets fast
or alternatively go to the MUZU site where they're running a competition to win 2 weekend camping passes!

See y'all there....

LaFaro x

Friday, 16 July 2010

Skibunny To Play Edinburgh Fringe

Skibunny will be playing an acoustic-ish (or stripped down anyway) slot for the legendary Lach's Antihoot at the equally legendary Gilded Balloon as part of the Edinburgh Fringe on Fri 13th Aug.

Lach's Antihoot: NYC's coolest hangout and longest running open-stage! Birthplace of Beck, Moldy Peaches, Regina Spektor and hundreds more. Think Letterman meets 'American Idol'. No two shows the same. 'Face-ache funny, beat-punk-unplugged joy.' (The Guardian)

Calories New Album Available For Pre-Order

We're pleased to announce that the good folk at Tough Love Records have put the amazing 2nd album by STA graduates Calories titled Basic Nature up for pre-order ahead of it's September release. To whet your appetite for this genuine gem of a record, the band have put a new song from the record up on their Myspace. You know what to do.

Ice, Sea, Dead People Launch New Website, Album Art

Check out ISDP's new-look website and the unveiling of the cover to their long-awaited debut album Teeth Union, out this autumn.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Skibunny EP Tour Diary Part 2

Thurs 24th June - After a few days off the tour continues, starting in my mother’s hometown of BATHGATE. We’re playing in Harley’s – “Midlothian’s no.1 live music venue”. There are 5 other acts on the bill, 3 of them play only covers. One of them plays 2 Oasis songs in a row. Clearly this is going to be a tough crowd. But I think we get away with it!

Fri 25th June – GLASGOW’s venue has been double booked, so we are moved to a slot downstairs in Maggie Mays. There’s a good turnout and although nobody knows who we are we receive a very warm welcome and leave with a bunch of new friends.

Sat 26th June – Can’t believe this is only our first EDINBURGH show! We’re playing Electric Circus, a great wee venue with amazing karaoke rooms. MIAOUX MIAOUX are also on the bill, it’s nice to finally get a proper chance to chat to Julian, he’s a lovely chap, check out his stuff immediately! PILOTCAN are playing too, the new line up sounds good, and later their soundman gets in trouble for making it too loud! Despite the 16 or so screens on the back wall, we are unable to make our visuals work but even with the technical problems it’s a fun gig. It’s great to finally play for some old friends and afterwards there is much catching up to be done.

Sun 27th June – Pretty excited to be back in FIFE again. We played at The Greenside in Leslie before, supporting YUCK, so it’s cool to be back headlining so soon. We’ve just found out that the other band on the bill (Be A Familiar) have cancelled, which is a shame. But the gig is fun, the crowd is up for it, good times all round! One thing is for sure, Fife KNOWS how to party, not bad for a Sunday!

Fri 2nd July – We head north up to ABERDEEN for the final show of the tour. We go to a nearby courtyard bar to meet the promoter and watch the end of the football and then it’s back round to the venue. We’re playing the Polar Bear Club at Tunnels, a great venue that will soon be hosting the likes of Mudhoney and The Wedding Present. We are warned that the students are all away and that the club may be quieter than normal, but we manage to make everyone come down the front and it turns out to be quite a laugh.

So that’s the end of the tour then, we have a bunch of festivals still to play through the summer, then we’ll be touring the album release (6th September! Not long to go now!) Thanks to everyone who came along, hopefully you’ll spread the word and we’ll see you all again very very soon? Good stuff.


Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Fighting With Wire Autumn Tour

Fighting With Wire will be breaking in forthcoming 2nd album Bones Of The Twilight in both Northern and the Republic of Ireland from late September...

FRI 24 SEP - Dundalk, Spirit Store
SAT 25 SEP - Warrenpoint, The Square Peg
MON 27 SEP - Galway, Roisin Dubh FREE ENTRY
TUE 28 SEP - Limerick, Bakers Place
WED 29 SEP - Cork, The Pavilion
THU 30 SEP - Dublin, The Workmens Club
FRI 8 OCT - Mullingar, Stables
SAT 9 OCT - Omagh, Co Tyrone Hallion @ Dalys

Friday, 9 July 2010

And So I Watch You From Afar November Tour On Sale Monday

Set your alarms - tickets go on sale 9am Monday 12th July except London which is on!


Mon Nov 22nd London Dingwalls
Tue Nov 23rd Birmingham Hare & Hounds
Wed Nov 24th Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Thu Nov 25th Liverpool Kazimier
Fri Nov 26th Glasgow King Tuts

And So I Watch You From Afar: Them Crooked Vultures Tour Diary

So, we got home from a mammoth 8 week tour on the 17th of May that took in, Toronto, New York, a few dates in Austin, Derry, Dublin, plus the Majority of the UK (with the towering Riff Inferno LaFaro) and France, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Denmark and a host of other places (you get the general idea).

We were looking forward to some writing and rehearsing time when outta nowhere we get asked if we wanna hit the road again on short notice. It's only three dates over ten days we were told to soften the "blow". The "blow" was more like a warm embracing hug from an estranged friend if anything else as we were asked to be the main and only support for a new little beat combo that goes by the name of Them Crooked Vultures. Comprising of Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones, Josh Homme and Alain Johannes. Needless to say we mulled over it for a while before giving it the go ahead.

That last sentence is a barefaced lie. It was an instantaneous YES, of course! We didn't have much time to get ready for the tour but we're that used to it by now it all seems like second nature.

We hit the road with a slighly larger crew than usual as the difference between our normal 250 capacity club shows in Europe and the arena sized ones we'd be doing with the Vultures is a tad larger. So we brought on board our good friends Niall Kennedy of Panama Kings, Simon Crowe of Team Fresh and the legendary Dermot McBride of Glasgowbury fame along with our trusty TM Graham Smith and our bearded sound wizard Andy Coles. TEAM ASSEMBLED!

Tuesday morning at 6am we disembarked from Rory's place outside Portrush. It was a short jaunt to Vienna. 44 hours later we arrived, in various forms of discomfort. Poor ol' Graham Smith had the back of a 90 year old war veteran, but he's a trooper and never complained once, which merely encouraged us to laugh at his velociraptor like stance and posture, sorry Graham.

When we got to the outdoor Vienna Arena the Vultures were still on a transatlantic flight (on a plane, they're not actual Vultures... I think...) so their crew had set up everything and were soundchecking the gear, they played some TCV tunes, and a couple of Zeppelin riffs were blasted out. The crew are the world's finest TCV cover band, honestly, these guys were so tight, and a great group of fellas to boot.

We kicked about the backstage eagerly waiting to soundcheck, shortly thereafter we got the go ahead to set up our stuff. We set up in front of the guys' gear, something we'd done on support tours before but this was by far the most illustrious gear we'd ever set up in front of.

Sound check went great, with alot of TCV's crew coming up and saying they loved our sound and were looking forward to the set, always nice to hear. We went back up to our room and talked our usual round of guff, then from out of nowhere Josh (or Joshua as he would later introduce himself to me) walked by our room, stuck his head in and said, "Hi, I'm Dave Grohl", then 5 seconds later stuck his head in again and said, "Hi, I'm John Paul Jones". Big ginger liar.

We chatted briefly with the band and they were super cool and thanked us for coming out on such short notice, then... showtime.
Our set had to be half an hour sharp, and we adhered to it. During the first song, my guitar decided to be an idiot but after some serious guitar butchery it came back to life and we were fully in business. More and more people filtered down to watch us and by the end of the set the place was pretty much capacity, just shy of 2500, and they were going nuts. Job done.

A seriously quick load out followed and we went back upstairs, where Dave Grohl met us in the communal dining room and grabbed me by the hand, shook, thanked us again and said (and I quote) ,"You guys rocked, thanks for warming 'em up, that was one big roar from the crowd!". Nice way to finish a gig, huh?

Vultures were amazing, the musicianship on display was second to none, obviously! Needless to say we enjoyed a few post gig beers. Roll on the next gig...

So...where were we? Ah yes the first show with TCV in Vienna had just drawn to a close and our next date was Luxembourg in three days time so we had to contend with our biggest enemy...time spent not playing music. The plan was to drive to Frankfurt for two days, then hit Luxembourg and be nice and fresh for the next gig, not to mention how gagging to play we'd be. The plan pretty much went smoothly, then we got stopped by some very friendly Austrian Police who literally laughed in our faces when inspecting our passports, we couldn't blame them, we look hilarious in our respective photos.

That short, insignificant hold up led to us drifting a little off schedule but if it hadn't happened then we wouldn't have seen this...

WARNING: This video contains explosions and swearing - some of it in slow motion! For a few short seconds we all felt like we lived in an action movie, pretty cool huh?! (NOTE: The driver was safe)

We arrived in Frankfurt pretty late, checked into our hotel and got a few beers in the lobby to unwind, then hit the hay. A sleepless night was had due to a mix of the heat and the knowing dread that we didn't have a gig the next day. As funny as it seems we're genuinely not used to having days off when we're on the road, it seems like a wasted day when we do, but since the invite for these shows came at such short notice we didn't have time to book our own shows in the free days. So a day of doing nothing followed. Damn.

Dermot and I went into the city centre to check it out, have a beer and put the world to rights, the rest of the lads did something similar, only with a lot more alcohol involved. Responsibly imbibed though, of course.

Next was another travel day, no explosions this time (gutted).

Onto the next show in Luxembourg, it turned out we had really impressed the band and the crew in Vienna so we were afforded another valuable 5 minutes stage time, which we were delighted about. In my opinion we went onto play our best set of the short jaunt (in my opinion I should stress, I think the rest of the guys thought Amsterdam was the best). Vultures went on a little later than they were supposed to as Josh Homme was a little late, when he did arrive, Johnny and Niall were chatting to Dave Grohl who apologised about cutting the conversation short with the immortal line, "Sorry guys gotta go, Axl's here!". By the time they went on, the crowd were at fever pitch and they responded by playing what was by far one of the best sets I've ever witnessed. They all flared that little bit more, but never for a second in a self indulgent manner. Every lick, beat, slide and pulsing bass note was to total perfection, but then again, you kinda expect it to be with maestros such as these guys. Having said that, musicians of this calibre take your expectations and smash them against the wall at 1000mph at every twist and turn and shift and drop. That's what makes them such maestros. In short, they rocked.

That night we enjoyed some wine with our gracious hosts and exchanged tour stories, albeit theirs being a tad more varied, exciting and in depth than ours, pesky long time rock legends. Dave even had his laptop out showing us family snaps whilst talking about Nirvana playing Belfast back in 1992. I told him TCV had to come to Belfast, telling him we'd put the show on in Laverys and they could crash at mine. I'm still awaiting a response. He then showed us a pic where he was playing guitar but he was slighly obscured by two heads in the shot, I jokingly asked, "who are those bozos ruining the shot", to which he courteously replied, "oh those bozos are Barack Obama and Paul McCartney". Oops.

We even drunkenly challenged Josh to a drinking contest, the nine of us versus him, with a smile on his face his cooly delivered response was, "...I don't think you guys realise who you're dealing with". Cool ginger medical wonder that he is.

We said our goodbyes and John Paul Jones told us to take every last drop of alcohol and food with us, needless to say we obliged. Cue a gaggle of drunken Irishmen stumbling down the stairs with more free booze than its advisable to give aforementioned drunken Irishmen.

Another couple of days off (curses), the first of which was spent in Eindhoven then onto that haven of touring rock band cliches, Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam show was another triumph, our manager Alan and our agent Beckie flew into town, always a pleasure to see them.

Again, we were afforded an extra 5 mins of set time, it may not sound like alot but believe me it really is on a ship that's run as tightly and smoothly as Them Crooked Vultures. All of this gig (bar A Little Solidarity...) is available online, with sound coming direct from the desk, so hop on over to it and you can be the judge on how it went!

We stood side of stage for the final time, the guys came out and gave us a wave, Dave Grohl pretended to fly kick me, then put me in a half headlock, half embrace, I believe the technical term is a "noogie". Probably one of the strangest and coolest moments of my life. The teenage Nirvana obsessive that lives inside everyone of us was beaming from ear to ear, and genuinely still is...AMSTERDAM


Thursday, 8 July 2010

Watch ASIWYFA Live at London Calling, Amsterdam

Set Guitars To Kill, Dutch TV feed from London Calling Fest in Amsterdam from April, blap!

July 2010 Newsletter

MPFree: Illness Make 'Old Song' New

Everyone enjoy last month's bleep-assisted LaFaro remix? This month, to celebrate the release of their new EP, we have an exclusive live take on Illness' 'Old Song'. Click here to download the track.
More details about the band's new EP and their upcoming tour dates can be found just below.

Illness' 'Gifts From God' EP Out Now

We've mentioned them on here before many a time, but let's recap. Illness are a two-piece from Brighton. Spencer plays guitar, Emilio plays drums, there is no singing. In fact, Gifts From God is a six track, twelve minute unrelenting argument against the need for vocals. It clearly convinced us, as we snapped them up and put it out.
Gifts From God is available now from iTunes, 7digital and all quality online retailers. It's also available as handmade, limited edition CD (including an exclusive video for 'Old Song'!) direct from the STA online store.

The band head out on tour this week, alongside Shield Your Eyes. Here's a list of the dates, and please note that a few dates on the tour have changed from those we've listed in previous mailouts:

July 7 - GLASGOW, Mitchells
July 8 - EDINBURGH, Henry's Cellar Bar
July 9 - BOLTON, Dog & Partridge
July 12 - SHEFFIELD, The Red House
July 13 - MILTON KEYNES, Windmill Hill Golf Club
July 14 - OXFORD, Jericho Tavern
July 15 - BRIGHTON, The Hydrant
July 16 - LEEDS, The Brudenell
July 17 - BRADFORD, 1 in 12 Club

Check out the tour poster as well.

To celebrate the release and the tour, the band also recorded an episode of the new STA podcast. It includes tracks from friends, compadres and tour mates
Shield Your Eyes. You can find more details of that by clicking here.
The band are also working on a second EP and their debut album, but more on those in the future.

Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea Sign To STA

We're very pleased to announce another new addition to the STA roster, in the form of Brighton's Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea. Despite being named after a somewhat Silver Jews / Pavement combination, the band draw more sonic inspiration from the crunchier side of indie rock (Cursive, Fugazi etc). Since forming they have have embarked on tours with Hold Your Horse Is and Shoes and Socks Off and won praise from 6music's Tom Robinson.
Their first release for STA will be a six-track EP in late August, titled I Watched It From The Roadside, accompanied by a tour with Amateurs. Preorders for the limited CD version will begin at some point this month, so keep an eyeout on the STA website and the band's myspace. The band also have a couple of hometown shows coming up this month:

July 8 - BRIGHTON, Hector's House (with Los)
July 30 - BRIGHTON, Pav Tav (with Shoes and Socks Off)

STA Store July Bundle Deals

We've added some new summer bundle deals to the STA store, made up of items from our catalogue and various distro items we've taken on over the years. They're perfect for the hayfever sufferer in your life who is currently too terrified to go outside! We might have one of those on-staff...

July Vinyl Fever - £20/ 10 x Seven Inches!!!
July Special Bundle - £12/2 x 7's Plus Tshirt
Summer Festival Bundle - £20/2 x Albums Plus Tshirt

FWW: Album Update & Video Diaries

Word on the street is that bar a few vocals the Fighting With Wire album is all but recorded. Catch up with the guys in Nashville via Fighting With Wire TV and check out new song 'The Dirty Shark'.

[5] New LaFaro Single & iPhone App Out Now

LaFaro's latest single, 'The Ballad of Burnt Dave', is out now via all major digital retailers, and includes the exclusive b-side 'Climate'. We have also launched a LaFaro iPhone app, which is an STA first! You can find it here for the very reasonable price of nothing.
The band have a number of live dates this month, kicking off with an appearance to Guilfest.
17 July - GUILDFORD, Guilfest (Rocksound Cave)
18 July - LONDON, Dogstar
21 July - LEEDS, Carpe Diem
22 July - EDINBURGH, Bannermans
23 July - GLASGOW, Capitol
24 July - DRAPERSTOWN, Glasgowbury Festival

[6] And So I Watch You From Afar Festival Highlights

Fresh - or the perma-touring ASIWYFA equivalent of the term - from supporting supergroup-du-jour Them Crooked Vultures at Brixton Academy on Monday night, Rory, Tony, Johnny and Chris will be laying waste to the following festivals - including 2 in 1 day!
16 Jul - GUILDFORD, Guilfest (Rocksound Cave)
16 Jul - CHELTENHAM, 2000 Trees Festival
17 Jul - LATVIA, Positivus Festival Salacgriva
19 Jul - NETHERLANDS, Festivale de-Affaire, Valkhofpark Nijmegen
30 Jul - MILTON KEYNES, Sonisphere Festival
31 Jul - GERMANY, Krach am Bach Festival Beelen

That's all for July - go outside, enjoy the sunshine. We'll see you next month.

Fighting With Wire TV. Album 2 Studio Diary. Part 2.2

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Zane Lowe Radio Masterclass: How To End A Radio Show

Listen again to last night's show

  1. Chapter 1

    Hear Zane's quickie catch up with the 30 Seconds To Mars frontman ahead of T In The Park.

  2. Chapter 2

    Listen to 'Sex On Fire' and 'Molly's Chamber' from their Headline set last year.

  3. Mark Ronson & The Business InternationalBang Bang Bang

  4. Pendulum Pendulum Witchcraft

    Warner Bros
  5. Jared Leto On The Phone

    1. 30 Seconds to Mars 30 Seconds to Mars Closer To The Edge

  6. Kings of Leon Kings of Leon Sex On Fire

    Live At T In The Park 2009
  7. Kings of Leon Molly Chambers

    Live At T In The Park 2009
  8. The Drums The Drums Let’s Go Surfing

    Moshi Moshi
  9. Plan B Plan B Prayin (Breakage Remix)

  10. Hottest Record In The World

    1. DJ Shadow DJ Shadow Def Surrounds Us

  11. Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend White Sky

  12. Skream Skream How Real (Feat Freckles)

  13. AOTW – Bombay Bicycle Club – Flaws

    1. Bombay Bicycle Club Bombay Bicycle Club Evening/Morning

    2. Bombay Bicycle Club There Are Many Ways

  14. blink-182 blink-182 What’s My Age Again

  15. The Count & Sinden The Count & Sinden After Dark (feat Mystery Jets)

  16. M.I.A. M.I.A. XXXO (feat Jay Z)

  17. Single Of The Week

    1. Chase & Status Chase & Status Let You Go (feat Mali)

  18. Tokyo Police Club Tokyo Police Club Wait Up

    Memphis Industries
  19. Toddla T Toddla T Sky Surfin

    Ninja Tune
  20. Reaction Record

    1. Mona Mona Listen To Your Love

      Zion Noiz Recordings
  21. LCD Soundsystem LCD Soundsystem I Can Change

  22. Frank Turner Frank Turner Try This At Home

    Xtra Mile Recordings
  23. Mics Down

    1. The Middle East Darkest Side

      Chess Club
    2. Biffy Clyro Biffy Clyro God & Satan

      14th Floor
    3. The Suzukis Reasons For Leaving

  24. Sway Sway Pop A Bottle (feat Donaeo)

  25. Black Keys On The Phone

    1. The Black Keys The Black Keys Everlasting Light

  26. Beach House Beach House Lover Of Mine

    Bella Union
  27. Lafaro Lafaro Lenningrad

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

4 Or 5 Magicians On 100,000 Plays

So we have reached the fabled Myspace milestone of 100,000 plays. It has been nearly five years since I added some demos to the page I created over five years ago. At the time I had just turned 21, and had been badgered to write some songs by friends for ages until I finally bit the bullet and did some. I borrowed my friend Jon's 8-track recorder, worked out how to use 4 of the tracks, and recorded some rough ideas. I think I put up a dodgy version of 'Your Fictitious Character' (then called 'Your Ficticious Character', in a rare example of my exemplary spelling letting me down) and perhaps a live demo of some weird song that sounded a little bit Scottish (think I was listening to a lot of Mogwai and Idlewild around then) called 'Bulbs'. In fact if anyone by some chance has this, then I have most definitely lost it so, for posterity more than anything (I remember the song being a little sentimental and out of character, and the recording being beyond lo-fi, i.e. a bit shite), then send it over!

So I'm sitting here now at the age of 26 and my life is radically different, but actually pretty much the same. It's funny how this can happen to people and how often it does. A lot has been acheived in these five years, both musically and otherwise, but then nothing really has. I guess this is reading like I'm gonna say the band are splitting up, and this is something I had considered - moving on to do an entirely fresh new project - but then how can I split up with myself? 4 or 5 Magicians is, always has been, and probably always will be, me (plus an array of excellent and largely loyal musicians along the way). A change of name isn't going to change anything. For the band to split up I'd probably have to kill myself. And I'm not doing that just yet!

No, instead of sitting here thinking "what have I really acheived in these five years", I think back to when I was a teenager, or even when I was 21 demoing those songs, and if you'd have told me then that I would have received 100,000 plays on myspace, been hailed by the NME as one of the best songwriters in the country, released an album through Jetplane Landing's label and received 9/10 reviews for it from national press, been interviewed by Steve Lamacq live on the radio (good news about 6music, eh?), headlined the Barfly in London, played in about 50 different towns and cities around the country, and most importantly, played with Seafood, I would have been terribly excited. And at every juncture of the above, I have been. But then I have always hoped for and wanted more.

And the good news is, I still think I can achieve it under the banner of 4 or 5 Magicians, and I am currently more excited about the songs I have coming up than I have ever been before, even more so than when I finally discovered that I could write songs after all back when I was 21. So 4 or 5 Magicians is here to stay, and there will be fresh developments before too long. Me and Aslam have been demoing stuff in his room, and while it is a slow process (some of the new songs are definitely a little more complicated than the stuff on the first album!), we are getting there, and when we do finally get there, this stuff is gonna be gooood!

In the immediate future, we have a London show at The Macbeth in Hoxton on Friday, but I am sorry to announce to anyone that was expecting this to be our big comeback show, that unfortunately, for reasons that will become clear over the next couple of months, this is not going to happen just yet. I'll keep schtum for the moment, but WE ARE PLAYING, as an acoustic duo, me and Aslam. Will be showcasing a couple of new songs! I have played a few acoustic shows over the past couple of years, and they have been good fun and well received by the crowd. So please still come down. It is a Friday night, there is no football on, it is only £3, and I think there is even a free BBQ! Please note that I think we are now on first, so get down early!

Beyond this, we are going to spend the majority of the summer making sure we have the new songs spot on, and recording them at various levels of demoing, and hopefully make our proper live comeback in late August / early September. We are currently planning for a tour in early to mid October to roadtest all the new stuff, hopefully with our friends Ace Bushy Striptease in tow. So that is something to look forward to! Then, we hope (nay, expect) to be in a position where we can record album #2 in late October, and get it out to the world by Feburary/March next year and really make a go of it in 2011.

Thanks to every single one of you people who have made up our 100,024 plays on myspace so far. Here's to the next 100,024, hopefully a little bit quicker than the last ;-D !!

Dan xx

Monday, 5 July 2010

Illness Are A New Band A Day Today

Illness get the A New Band A Day treatment.

I was in Ljubljana last year. It’s the capitol city of the bijou country Slovenia; a nation so small that it has one motorway, which is mainly used by Germans in large silver cars to whoosh through as they head to the Croatian coast.

Ljubljana is equally pint-size. It’s roughly the same size as Crewe, but with all of the charm, beauty and culture conspicuous by its absence in Crewe. Towns that are best known as being a railway junction rarely have much else to offer.

Ljubljanans are particularly proud of their Three Bridges – which, cheerfully enough, are three quaint, tiny bridges, standing side by side across the quaintest part of the smallest river ever to flow through a capitol city.

All these memories came trickling back, treacle-like, as I was listening to – hey! – Three Bridges by Illness. The reasoning seems obvious enough, but wait – there’s more…

It wasn’t just the title of the song that forced the connection. This kind of abrasive music straddles a divide – a little like those bridges – between the sort of soothing white noise used by psychoanalysts to draw out repressed memories, and the simple, straightforward tunefulness used to get the people dancing by bands since time immemorial.

There’s a special purity to Illness. Meat, gristle and fat is stripped away, and the bare bones of rock are there for all to noisily gnaw on. One of my most over- and mis-used new band clichĂ©s is the mentioning of ‘clattering’ drums, but here, finally, my mismatched hyperbole has found its natural home.

Illness’ drums clatter in the most satisfyingly tactile manner since Steve Albini last hooked up his microphones to Dave Grohl’s kit. There, I said it. And as a devotee of clattering, it seems reasonable to continue and say that Illness’ drumming, guitar playing and general demeanour are as wildly Animal-from-Muppets-like.

A band to fully blow out the cobwebs. Yum.