“Tonight Matthew, we’re going to be musicians”

October 31st, 2011 by Klepsie

So… yes. We’ve completed what is either our first 4-track EP, or else our first proper demo tape, depending on which way you look at it. And we’re really pleased with it; it sounds astonishing. Soon we’ll be announcing what you can do to listen to the tracks — keep watching!

Meantime, don’t forget the gig at the Standard on 10th November is coming up soon.

But for now, here’s a quote from Mark Radcliffe’s autobiography “Thank You For The Days” which rang a loud bell with us:

“I’ve been in a band since I was fourteen years old… I’d never been good enough at sport to warrant being included in a proper team, and always rather envied those who experienced the camaraderie you get when you’re all pushing towards a common goal. Once I was in a band, though, I realised that here was the gang I’d been looking for. Bands are small private clubs in which peculiar roles apply, unspoken hierarchies prevail, despite lip service being paid to the vague notion of democracy, and shared adventures are guaranteed. Since I discovered all that, a band is just something I’ve had to have to make life seem complete.”

Which pretty much sums up our position to a T. You out there — yes, you – if you have the faintest interest in music, go and get a band together. Now. Don’t wait. Don’t wonder. It’s the best thing in the world and anyone can do it.

Just a quick update

October 18th, 2011 by Klepsie

Don’t forget that we’re playing the Standard at Walthamstow on 10th November. As you’ll recall the Standard is closing down after a long and very honourable career as a live music and comedy venue, and we’re very glad to have squeezed in a final gig there to say goodbye to the dear old place. For those of you who may be pondering coming from a little way off, the Standard is the easiest venue in the world to get to; you take the Victoria Line tube to Blackhorse Lane, come out of the station and it’s staring you in the face. There’s now a flyer on our website which, if you print it off and bring it along, will get you in for a fiver rather than £6. (Despite what it says, we don’t suggest hauling 250 roubles along…)

“What about those studio recordings you were doing?” you cry. Aha, we say. Two tracks are done, but there’s still just a tiny bit of work to do on the other two… Watch this space for a few days if you want to find out details of all four tracks, and be able to listen to them. There’s some other news associated with this too, but that’s also still under embargo for a few days more…

Oh I do like to walk along the prom prom prom

September 11th, 2011 by Klepsie

After our frankly triumphant gig at the St Moritz a month ago things have outwardly been a bit quiet here, partly because some of us have been on our summer holidays, but also because we’ve been buckling down and are doing our first proper demo tape (which appears to be what most people still call it, despite the fact that tape has nothing to do with it). We seem to work well in the studio, and are certainly enjoying the hell out of the process. Watch this space for more details shortly!

Meantime, though, last night four of us (minus Blacksnip, who couldn’t make it) went out to the Proms in the Park, in honour of Camrath’s birthday. It was interesting to note how the different band members responded to the entertainment in different ways:

Shazomei sat, rapt, listening to every piece of music on offer

Ullan sang along to everything, and despite being Belgian knew all the words (including the various British patriotic songs for which the majority of the audience knew about two lines of the lyrics)

Klepsie sat scribbling in a songwriting notebook (“so I don’t have to listen to Westlife”)

And Camrath went to the bratwurst van.

Afterwards, drink flowed, and people became a little silly. Ullan danced a hornpipe; we turned “Rule Britannia” into a barbershop quartet; and then we sang Monty Python’s “Knights of the Round Table” lyrics when the concert got to “Land of Hope and Glory”. I don’t know how we avoided being lynched, or arrested for treason.

A good night.

Bits of news from all over

August 5th, 2011 by Klepsie

Ahoy there once more. Here’s a quick bunch of updates for you.

Apologies, first off, for the cancellation of the Standard gig on 21 July due to circumstances beyond our control, and indeed the control of the promoter. We’re still trying to sort out a replacement date there before the Standard closes for good (yes, afraid so) in December. We’ll confirm as soon as we know. Meantime, Club Bus Wind, which has been putting on local talent at the Standard for lo, these many years, is planning to continue by hook or by crook at whatever other venue promoter Gary King can find; he’s been looking everywhere from Chingford to Southend (!). Fingers crossed.

Happier news, though, is that on Friday 12 August we’ve been invited to play Club For Losers, a night of punk, lo-fi, goth, and general rootsy rock at the St Moritz club, Soho. Full details are on the flyer (whose design we’re rather proud of — we work on these things, you know) on this very site. (Kudos to Nick Cramp, one of our cleverest fans as well as one of our loyalest, who instantly spotted where we nicked it from.)

In short, though, the doors open at 10pm and we’re first on. So all you hard-working types have time to get home,eat dinner, chill, and change into your clubbing finery. Should you so desire you can stay on after we’ve played for two more bands and then clubbing till 3.30 in the morning (oh, such debauchery!)

We hope that if you’re reading this you’re already following us on Facebook and/or Twitter, but if not, why not? You’re missing our small but perfectly formed (and much more frequent than this blog) pearls of wisdom. Also, we’d rather like to get above 100 followers on Twitter, because we’re insecure and worry that nobody wubs us. Frank Turner has 32,000 followers and there’s only one of him; we have to share our 87 among all five of us.

Those loyal 87 will doubtless be pleased to know we’ve finally got our act together to do some proper recording, and this is actively in progress at this very moment. Keep checking back for progress reports, announcements of which songs are to make it into the project, availability when complete, and so forth. More than one of us have recently had changes in our personal lives which should give us more spare time and energy to devote to what we like to call “music”, so you may wish to start running now.

Rally round the standard, boys (and girls)

June 5th, 2011 by Klepsie

There have been frequent rumours about it before, but now it seems almost certain: the Standard, after providing live music (and other entertainment) to Walthamstow and its citizens since 1986, is to be sold out from under its tenants’ reluctant feet and turned into a supermarket, or flats, or some such money-grabbing scheme. No matter that E17 already has flats a-plenty, and supermarkets galore (indeed, just up the Forest Road, the former Essex Arms is being transformed into yet another); no matter that E17 has no other dedicated music venue at all.

Live music will survive, of course; live music always does. But it’s a body-blow to all the local, up and coming bands who have long been given unswerving support by the Standard, not to mention that it will knock out a major venue for that genre which nobody will admit liking but which always manages to fill houses, the tribute band.

Of course we must declare that we are partisan here. Our very, very first public gig was at the Standard, and indeed we’re booked to play there again on 21st July. But the principal remains the same. Venues such as the Standard are the backbone of music; without the local support that they generate, without the opportunities that they give to musicians, an important brick in the wall is removed. And if you take too many bricks out of a wall, the whole wall falls down. If you don’t believe us, just ask Pink Floyd.

So let us hope that by some miracle these shameful plans fall through and that the Standard is once more spared by the skin of its teeth. And if the worst comes to the worst… well, the local paper confirms that the incumbent tenants must be given six months’ notice to quit, and those tenants, Paul and Amanda White, are on record as  wanting to “make the most of the last six months”.

You get the message, I’m sure. Get out there and get down the Standard. While you still can. Because this is your last chance.

A cellar full of poise

May 22nd, 2011 by Klepsie

How do I get to Carnegie Hall? How do I get to Carnegie Hall?

Thanks again to all those at Thursday’s gig at the 229, both those who came along to see us, and those who came early for the other bands and cheered us on while waiting for them. A receptive and responsive audience is the number one spur that prods bands into giving it all they’ve got. New songs “When I Woke Up” and “The Other Ronald True” saw their debut at a public gig and both went down extremely well. Two more keepers! A tip of the plectrum also to the promoter, venue and sound guy, without whom &c &c.

Some of the audience feedback deserves to be set down for posterity. As we came offstage, the burly figure of the singer from post-punk maniacs We Buy Gold loomed up. “Great songs! So f***ing cynical!” he boomed. “That’s the way we write them,” was Klepsie’s reply (thankfully I just managed to avoid saying “That’s the way we roll in the Donutsh,” which would have sounded like a bad joke).

Meantime another audience member was remarking to Camrath’s girlfriend “They sound like Johnny Cash biting off Johnny Rotten’s head”, a quote which she gleefully relayed to us after our set and which it was instantly agreed by all of us summed us up to perfection. Shazomei was despatched upstairs to the land of mobile phone reception and ordered to put it on Twitter without delay, and it’s going on this website too next time we revise it. (Unless, dear reader, you can think of a better and pithier quote?)

Small wonder, then, that we wended our way home in the best of moods — in my case, with the sublime Sparks album LI’L BEETHOVEN blaring in the car. Next gig, please!

Practice, man, practice! Practice, man, practice! … I practiced! I practiced!

Hello! My name is Simon Quinlank!

May 17th, 2011 by Klepsie

As you should know by now I am the Duke of Hobbies. This is better than all other hobby nobility because they are only marquises or earls of hobbies and Dukes get to wear nicer coronets than them. Ha! I am here tonight to tell you of a new hobby which you all can do, and here is what you will need for this hobby:
–A computer with internet connection
–A printer
–A pair of ears
–A flask of weak lemon drink

This hobby is called ‘Being a fan of that super up and coming group the Donutsh’. In order to do this hobby you first need to go to the Donutsh’ website and see where they’re playing next. Today I see their next gig is at the 229 in London on Thursday 19th May — ha! Perfect. Then you need to find the flyer for their gig, which is usually on the website too, unless the band have been crap and forgotten to get their webmistress to put it up in time. Print a copy off, and off you go to the gig! You might like to drink your flask of weak lemon drink on the way, as some venues don’t like you bringing your own drink in and arguing with security guards may spoil your enjoyment of the Donutsh’ piquant original compositions.

When you get to the venue you need to go to the man on the door and say “Is this the venue where the Donutsh are playing a gig tonight? ANSWER ME!” If he says yes you show him a copy of the flyer, pay him and go inside. And then you listen to the music! If you’re really enthusiastic about this hobby you can dance while they play. But if you want to declare your eternal love for the Donutsh, or rub yourself all over Camrath’s lithe muscular body, it is best to wait till they’ve finished the set.

And that is all from me about this hobby! Isn’t it a cracking hobby!

East London roundup

March 25th, 2011 by Klepsie

Having survived jury service, a most unpleasant ordeal I hope never to have to undergo again, time at last to catch up with things musical.

The Romford gig went well despite Daddy Amp (largest of the family Daddy Amp, Mummy Amp and Baby Amp) developing a fit of the sulks at soundcheck, leaving us having to borrow another from Last of the Waiting (thanks again, guys). The Bitter End is a cracking little venue and the guv’nor there very easy to deal with. We’ll be back, I hope.

Next up comes our West End debut on 6th April. We’re first up in a lineup of four followed by Model Railway Exhibition, De Shamonix, and Elize Kellman. It’s another bring-a-flyer-for-a-quid-off do, so cast your eyes up the page a little way and you’ll find a link to download ours from. The promoter sez that if we bring enough people we’ll get rebooked, so if you’ve been meaning to check us out and not got round to it, make this gig the one you get to, eh?

A few plugs to close with. At Romford we also shared the bill with Chelmsford’s The Library Suits, and I think it’s fair to say that if you like our stuff you’ll also like theirs. They’ve just finished recording a new album which should be well worth grabbing once it’s released. Their video for “You Don’t Have To Be A Wizard” is a hoot.

Terrorvision‘s new album “Super Delux” is their first in ten years, with a new drummer, but you’d hardly think they’d been away; it’s a triumphant return to their high points of the mid-90s such as “Regular Urban Survivors” and “How To Make Friends And Influence People”, and they score extra brownie points for making the first two lines of the first song a huge great salute to the late, great Kirsty MacColl. Too often bands which reform are a pale, washed-out shadow of their former selves. Buy this album and send Terrorvision the message that they, at least, are welcome to regroup any time they can bring something this good to the party.

Other good bands seen live recently include Run Don’t Walk and Hercules Rockafella both of whom were high points of the first Most Rated night at the Rhythm Factory last night in Whitechapel. Herc Rock are another band with a video to check out.

Romford rumble

March 10th, 2011 by Klepsie

Less than a week to go now to our Romford gig. We’re sharing a stage with Last Of The Waiting, whose energetic metal-punk should compliment our stuff interestingly. Flyer is now on the site, though (contrary to our webmistress’s remarks) you don’t need to print this one off because the gig is FREE ENTRY! (woo). We just like making flyers, is all (and thanks to the various music shops in Romford that have put them on the counter).

It’s a mighty long way, though it may sound silly, from Romford High Street to Piccadilly

February 7th, 2011 by Klepsie

Which being translated means that we have two more gigs to announce.

One has already been sitting in the box at bottom right for a few days; 16th March at the Bitter End, 15 High St, Romford RM1 1JU.

After that, we’re pleased to announce our first central London gig: 6th April at the Comedy, 7 Oxendon Street, London SW1Y 4EE (between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, and not, I am advised, to be confused with the Comedy Store which is next to it, or the Comedy Theatre down the street).

Need I add that this last one has got us really stoked?

More nearer the time, I’m sure…