Monthly Archives: October 2012

New Old Video

As a cop-out for tonight’s cancelled Hallowe’en show (sorry, everyone!) and the fact that you probably won’t be seeing the new record until tomorrow now (sorry, everyone!), here’s a new stupid FaceOmeter video you haven’t seen before! I actually filmed this about two years ago but forgot it existed before I got round to editing it. One can only imagine what other glorious projects have fallen by the wayside in this fashion. Anyway, none of them can be better than this, that’s for sure.

If you like tea then this tech is for you! And by the way, those of you who think this is just a “joke” or “comedy” video, this method does genuinely work, so blaze.

Ready to Rock?

The end of every creative endeavour is a faltering mewl of fits and starts, with the exact moment of completion unidentifiable amidst a haze of administrivia, hype, last-minute revision, and disappointment. Was Last Days in the Capital complete when I wrote the last word of the last song, a few months back? Was it complete when we finished the fourth of our three recording sessions on it in early October? Is it complete today, the day we ran everything through mastering through the last time, administered the Peug tests, and started uploading files to Bandcamp? Or will it be complete when I press the ‘release’ button – it’s frighteningly abstract and disconnected, doing a digital release – in a few days’ time?

Perhaps it will only really be out when the material on it has seen a little live action, and it’s certainly going to be great to have something new to sell on the merch table at the numerous upcoming shows around England I have lined up! I played the first Hallowe’en show with TT&J last week in glorious Pangbourne, and I think we all had a riot of a time. Playing live is certainly the most fun part of what I do – for me, at least: I had a chat with Matt “Catweazle” Sage a while back in which he confessed that he vastly prefers recording, the sensation of being able to get everything right. Not me! It’s been far too long since a good whale of a show, far too long in studios and libraries putting stuff together. Well, now there’s a new record to flog, and plenty of shows to flog it at, and plenty of new material to play at the shows, and plenty of awesome other acts on the bill too! It’s going to be a blast and you simply have to come!

If you live in Oxford or Birmingham, we’re doing two shows in each of those places, and there’s also stuff happening in Falmouth, Exeter, Bristol, and London! Even if you live in the very centre of Dartmoor itself there’s no excuse, for we play in the tiny village of Gidleigh on Nov 10th! Visit the shows page for more details!

All Hallows, all the Time

Taplin, Tattersdill, and Jones’s first live appearance since- well, since last Hallowe’en will be tonight at Pangbourne’s Hall of Sound, three quid in! As previously announced, is the first of three special Spooky shows, the other two being in Birmingham (31st October at the Yardbird) and Oxford (3rd November at the Isis tavern).

With The Spooky EP, released a year ago, we wanted to reclaim Hallowe’en a little bit from the ‘Sexy Nurse’ outfits and the cardboard hats and write something that conveyed the same sense of carnivalesque whilst also being a tiny bit more thoughtful and sincere. You will judge whether we achieved our aims by coming to the above shows, or by watching the following amusing video, reposted from last year:

Content Content Content

Hard to believe it’s been a year since I put a record out! But there’s a consolation prize: this digital scrapbook EP, incorporating three new songs with a whole bunch of videos, pictures, and words, downloadable in a neat and highly affordable package, and released at the end of the month.

Last Days in the Capital is a digital-only release because although it centres around recordings of brand new songs, to wit:

1. Silent Shrove (Dancin’ on the Night Train)
2. Monkey Horses in Strange Climes
3. Settling Out

…there’s also going to be a bunch of other stuff that an audio CD could not give you:

  • Video download of Silent Shrove, our latest stupid movie.
  • Exclusive Director’s Commentary version of same.
  • Music Video for ‘Silent Shrove (Dancin’ on the Night Train)’
  • A diverting and extensive photo journal of my time in London, including studio shots.
  • A bit of prose non-fiction which you can safely ignore.

All coming extremely soon and available only through Bandcamp! Please stay tuned!

Au Palais du Crackque

I’ve just returned from yet another interlude at the homestead of the Dapper Swindler, whose Hackney Mansion has been the centre of our social network for many a year now. The end is near for Palais du Crackque, with its denizens all planning imminent moves across the breadth of East London – and this is sad, because we’ve had many a good time there – this video from a few years back documents a typical evening there:

Anyway, my own involvement in PdCqk has only ever been ephemeral. I’ve never lived there, even for a month – although I’m pretty much the only person I know who hasn’t, and I can claim some entitlement through my association with the symbolic mog Pockets Penrose (subject of the Poivrons song ‘Our Cat is Fundamental’), whom I had to look after for a few weeks earlier this year when the ceiling collapsed.

Exhausted from my return trip, I don’t have the inclination just at the moment to launch into the sustained flow of sentimentality which regular readers are probably expecting from me. But I will say that I’m delighted that this was one of my last visits, because in a sense it was a totally platonic one: there was homely cooking in front of Bargain Hunt, the cat wasn’t being a prick for once, the weather was nice, the people in Local Supermarket gave us free sushi, the Dapper Swindler let me wear his French pantaloons, we did about twenty jillion crosswords, there was midnight vindaloo at one point, we had a really productive recording session, and we watched Father Ted while the D.S. did a terrible watercolour of me as a deranged pirate. Plus I somehow got a few days’ work done in amongst all of that.

Perfect, and typical of the Hackney experience that it would draw to a close on such a keynote. Onwards.

Any Path Will Do

So I’m going on tour with The Magic Lantern, also known as Jamie “Skipinder” Doe, a schoolfriend and a musician of prodigious skill. Here’s a song of his:

Good, no? Doubtless you wish to hear more of this man, and also my new live set, with several fresh tunes? Here come the details:

6th NovGardener’s Arms, Oxford (with Sam Taplin and Matt Chanarin) Facebook
8th Nov – Harbour House, Falmouth (with Rosie Caldecott and Flying Dog Walking) Facebook
9th NovNorth Bridge Inn, Exeter (with Jess McAllister) Facebook
10th NovGidleigh Village Hall, Dartmoor (with Freddie Crowley & Diggory North)
11th NovServant Jazz Quarters, London (with Shine Like The Sun) Facebook
13th Nov
Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham (with Polly and the Billets Doux) Tickets
15th Nov – Scout Hut, Bristol (with Rachael Dadd!) Facebook

After two years in the gigging doldrums, I’m really excited by these dates (and the Hallowe’en ones detailed previously) – really looking forward to being on the road! Hope very much to see or meet you out there!


The nature of our show on November 3rd has been revealed! Now with a sodding facebook event!

I can confirm that in addition to Taplin, Tattersdill, and Jones, of whom I am one, you will also be able to see: Matt Winkworth and the Winkworthers Originals (whom I rate), The Embellishments (a musical collective including the beautiful Rosie Caldecott), and the dance group AfroFusion, about whom I know nothing, but I assume they’re fantastic! It’s an expensive in, but the ticket price includes sparklers and drink, and I understand there’ll also be a bonfire (to which you are invited to bring a Guy).

In short, I expect to see you there!

Going Live

I’m slowly starting to roll out this website’s exciting new features, which now include a gigs page. MOREOVER! It’s a gigs page with some gigs on it! That’s right, this Hallowe’en Taplin, Tattersdill, and Jones are reuniting to bring the Spooky EP to audiences in Pangbourne, Birmingham, and Oxford! Here are the dates:

26th OctHall of Sound, Pangbourne. £3/2
31st OctThe Yardbird, Birmingham. Free entry!
3rd NovIsis Tavern, Oxford. £6/4

In each place we’re on the bill with a whole host of other awesome artists, so please do come and see them and us do our thing!

For more on the Spooky EP you might want to see its special mini-website, or listen to it for free on bandcamp (you can also buy it there!), or check out some blog posts about it from last year!