October 6, 2013
The piano music came first. It was written in 2010 breaking a long period of writer’s block. I played it to my friend Guy who encouraged me to take it forward. This and the piano on Tiny Moments, Tiny Omens, which disappeared amidst all the guitars. They were the first pieces written. Photographing Rain was the first piece to catch Julian’s ear, making him think we had something here. He went on to layer guitar upon guitar giving it the depth you hear. The title came before the words. I had in my head an image of so many people crying that it was like rain. And then the story came.
I love playing piano. My first instrument. Here’s a picture of me with one taken yesterday:
Folly should be out soon. So sorry for its delay. I could explain but it’s too dull. Suffice to say my head is sore from bashing it against the wall.
When it does come out I will buy a new piano maybe to celebrate. Thinking of a Vogel by Schimmel.
August 6, 2013
Here’s the video we made, featuring ourselves and our fans in various guises. I really love the way this feels, a celebration of our 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, teenage, glamorous, depressed, miserable, ecstatic youth. It looks like such a laugh. Thanks so much to everyone who was courageous enough to send in their photos.
Of course I prefer this version of the song as it is complete. It has the dip after the middle 8, and it has the final verse where the wig is taken off, the lipstick smeared, and the illusion revealed. The beautiful girl is really a hairy trucker.
July 31, 2013
Steve Lamacq of BBC6music will be playing the radio edit of Japan to Jupiter on his show tonight. And it starts in 5 minutes!
July 31, 2013
The new Kitchens of Distinction record is available for pre-order today from 3 loop music. And here’s the link, and here’s what I have to say about it.
Folly – Kitchens of Distinction
Not so much a reformation as a reconciliation. Reconciling the past with who we are now. That what we had to offer 20 years ago was actually worth making AND worth listening to. That all the frustrations, elations, regrets, and ambitious lustings are put behind us. Now it’s time to say “Again!” Not as a gigging band, but as a creative unit.
Not sitting in a hot practice room playing music, planning gigs, being drunkly young, but rather talking over tea, over Stratocasters, and over and over about what happened then, and what happens now.
It started with an idea. That me and Julian would write some new music together. No more than that. Nameless. Just see if was possible, and also fun. And it was possible, and it was fun. We wrote and wrote, and played and played, and over the course of 2 years shaped up ten songs that we were happy with.
I worked on the words and singing at my studio in Derbyshire. Played piano, keyboards, bass, guitars, and programmed lots of stuff. Julian worked in his studio in Brighton, recording his guitars, his sitars, his cello and his Stylophone. We met up three times over the months to make the whole cohesive. Dan dipped in briefly to add his rhythmic advice and some beautiful cymbal playing. And it sounded like Kitchens. And so it was christened.
And suddenly it was done.
Pascal Gabriel joined in, mixing the record in the first week of April 2013. He took our rough recordings and made them bigger, brighter, better.
I like what we have made. It isn’t a rehash of our old records, yet it still sounds like us. No escaping that then. There isn’t a “Third Time” or a “Drive That Fast”. Instead there’s an “I Wish It Would Snow” and a “Japan to Jupiter”.
Yes, it’s Folly to try again. Yes, it was Folly in the first place, the daft idea of a being in a band. But without this madness, how pale our lives would be. Without those strange useless Follies that dot Britain how plain the landscape would be. Folie á Deux – a medical condition where two people share the same psychotic delusion. Folie á Trois? What a marvelous crazed thing we have made, full of hope.
1/ Oak Tree
5/ Japan to Jupiter
7/ No Longer Elastic
8/ I Wish It Would Snow
9/ Tiny Moments, Tiny Omens
10/ The Most Beautiful Day
I’ll write more about the songs once the record is released.
July 24, 2013
There’s always going to be references to the cosmos in stuff I write. Can’t help it. Otherness, other worlds, possibilities. In a recent interview Buzz Aldrin described his experience of standing on the moon as an awareness of desolation and emptiness. I paraphrase. But I guess it was also astonishingly beautiful. I wanted so much to be an astronaut as a child. The nearest I got was visits to the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank. Still an astonishing structure today that sits oddly in the Cheshire plain. Great views from the hills above Macclesfield.
My favourite Holst planet is Neptune.
My favourite planet is Earth of course.
My favourite book that captures the immensity, the desolation, the oddness, is Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino.
And my favourite colour is….
July 23, 2013
July 22, 2013
July 21, 2013
July 20, 2013
June 26, 2013
Next up is getting a song played on the radio.
Record should be out early September. But you know how these things go. If it was 1972 it would be out next week. Modernity seems to have made things slower.
Next for me is getting back in the studio to fiddle with the songs and do some creative mixing. Instrumentals, ambient versions, trying to figure out how to do it live.
Off to sunbathe at Mick’s in Mustique now he’s busy at Glastonbury. You know how we musicians are.