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

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