After almost three years of failed attempts to get things sorted, I have finally managed to assemble a band of really talented friends. We have been rehearsing regularly and we've played a few shows. Including myself, it's a six-piece line-up with Gabriel Minnikin on electric guitar (who, as I've already mentioned in a previous blogpost, is a fabulous songwriter in his own right), Ben Playford on piano (another great songwriter), Chris Hillman on pedal Steel guitar and Ben Price and Charlie Garson of I am Blackbird on Bass and drums respectively. I'll keep the Myspace, &c, updated regarding our next show, but I expect it'll be some time around May.
For some time now, I've been working with a Manchester-based charity
organisation called Manchester aid to Kosovo, contributing a track to their fantastic album 'ten' and playing several shows with them. It's
been an incredible thing to be a part of, not only because of my respect for the work the group have done in Kosovo, the continuation of which
will be partly funded by the sales of the record, but also because it has
been an honour to work alongside some of the musicians involved- Liam Frost, The Travelling Band, Cherry Ghost, Badly Drawn Boy, Elbow, Josephine, Gideon Conn, Silverclub, Jim Noir and Liz Green to name only a
The details for the release and the work that MAK has been doing can be found on their website.
I am Blackbird
Another thing that's entered my world since the last time I could find the willpower to update this thing six months ago is my involvement with I am Blackbird. For those of you new to the band, you can check them out (without me) on their myspace here. I've been playing piano, organ and electric guitar and we'll probably do something together soon (with me). The plan, in the vaguest sense, is to do an E.P over the next few months and release it sometime after the middle of the year. Again, I'll be keeping y'all posted.
Since every time prior to this that I have made some grand statement about doing an E.P or a record, any notion of the project has dwindled and disappeared without mention or acknowledgement, you'd be forgiven for never trusting me again, perhaps about anything. It's your choice but this time I'm getting involved with an aspiring and insane young producer and the band, of course to finally finish the fucking thing once and for all, most likely over the next few months. The idea is to do the whole thing using exclusively analogue gear and almost entirely live. Once again, I'll keep you posted on developments as they come. We'll be making the preliminary demos and talking specifics over the next few weeks.
I supported Simone Felice at St. Ann's church in Manchester the other day, and somebody filmed a lovely video...
Also, the new Bill Callahan album is beautiful and everyone should hear it.
'Til next time (it would be cruel to promise when)...