And a reminder from Mr Willo:
“Go to- www.specializedcharityalbum.co.uk for all your SPECIALIZED needs. All the releases are there including the new 7″ vinyl Ep and the brand new 13 track white vinyl album. Don’t forget we are on Itunes, Amazon & CD Baby as is the exclusive extended remix of King Hammond’s version of ‘Friday Night Saturday Morning’. Our merch arm is there as well, treat yourself to a t-shirt or mug knowing all proceeds go to Teenage Cancer Trust 100%. Finishing on our 3 day end of project spectacular event in Sandford, Dorset”.
Even if your eyes have just been dazzled by the glow of the White Album, your ears may still be working. Never one to miss an opportunity to plug Bluebird Parade, Jon manages to get us top ‘n’ tailed on internet radio:
24 August 2012 by Pure Radio
Jon Read Trumpet Player with The Specials told Paul and Brinner how it feels to play in a band that were your heroes at school.
Also details on Specialized charity album project for Teenage Cancer Trust – www.specializedcharityalbum.co.uk.
Keep in touch at www.facebook.com/purefuzzbox and @purefuzzbox on Twitter
Anarchy in SK!
Burt: What’s it like?
Leonard Shelby: It’s like waking. It’s like you just woke up.
Burt: That must suck. It’s all backwards. Like, maybe you got an idea about what you want to do next but you don’t remember what you just did.
7. And that’s us caught up, for now.
Plus, here is a video of Martha in a live session on The Beat at the BBC.
You can learn more and check out her album The State of the Art at www.marthabean.co.uk.
If you haven’t heard of her, she is a wonderful singer-songwriter who will have her guitar and a string section on the night.
Amazing that she is not too-big-to-say-yes (not yet); we’ll grab her while we can.
After Leah and Jenny, Martha Bean will play.
They’re still too bohemian for a website, but we’ve unearthed a a photo that’s so pixelated it looks like the start of the kind of movie you shouldn’t be watching…but I just couldn’t figure out how to lift the whole video from Facebook:
You may remember Jenny and Leah from the Musician – irreverent spirit, mischievous covers, spine-tingling harmonies.
Our support acts are confirmed, and we couldn’t ask for better.
6. And finally – the countdown is on for our gig at the Donkey on Saturday, September 15th.
The drums are down, and Will weaves his bass magic next week, if he can remember how many songs we’re doing.
The talented Dave Tidmarsh is behind the sound at his new studio in Syston, Leicestershire.
5. Point of Interest: we are re-recording two songs from The Wednesday Night Island, and two older songs that aren’t on the album, for a forthcoming EP featuring our current line-up.
Jon Read: hero of the local rags.
I’ll spare you the “best moments” recap, but suffice it to say Jon brought home gold (Leicester Mercury pre-Hyde Park, front page), silver (Melton Times pre-Hyde Park, solo article and Bluebird namecheck, inner page), and two bronze “meddles” (Leicester Mercury post-Hyde Park, apparently the only one in the band to have his image displayed on a giant screen, p.7; Melton Times post-Hyde Park, solo article and Bluebird namecheck but no photo, inner page).
4. You can’t have missed the Olympics (…can you?).
And most excitingly, the non-ska band vinyl 7″ featuring Lushy, This Modern Youth, and us is now available – a free Horace Panter 7″ single accompanies any purchase.
In the meantime, we’re mentioned in @VinylJack’s review of the charity album – http://wonderfulawkward.wordpress.com/specialized
It really is turning into the must-attend festival of the year, and now includes the “Specialized All-Stars” playing on Friday: Winston Reedy, (Sir) Horace (Gentleman) Panter, Tim Smart, Nikolaj Torp-Larsen, Drew Stansall, Stan Samuel, Dave Anderson, and our own Jon Read.
We can’t wait for the Big One (October 19-21).
3. No post would be complete without a Special-ized roundup, so here goes.
It was a great afternoon and evening, albeit punctured briefly by a sobering episode near the locks – so, if you are the thin, teetering red-headed young woman with the polka-dot mac and empty bottle of vodka in her hand, we’re still thinking of you, and hope you made it home safely.
We were also especially touched by the efforts of Supertim (Smart) the Tongue, one-third of the Specials’ brass section and, like Jon, fresh off the bus from their gig in Aix-aux-Bains, to get across town to InSpiral and jump in on songs he’d never played before: the mark of a true professional, and a true friend.
Big thanks again from us to Andrew Crayford, and to the magnificently understated axeman Thure Gade Johansen.
She was also blown away by Andrew Crayford and the Kosmos, so we’ll let her words fill in the gaps here: http://eyeplug.net/magazine/?p=3534
We were a bit dubious about the quality of our set, as we were struggling to hear each other onstage, but Michelle Oldman was there, and she thought otherwise, as her review will attest.
The gig itself was well-attended and raised more money for Special-ized and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Here we are waiting to see who is going to find the CD that he put on top of the crosswalk signal box.
Will was born for espionage and quickly got the technique down pat.
We even did a few cheeky Migration drops.
Tempting as it was to get lost in the wilds, we did return – but not before having a splendid afternoon wandering the streets.
You could be forgiven for thinking we never made it back.
2. The previous post saw us on our way to Camden.
It’s the Arrival, which is basically our warm-up song, so you’ll just have to imagine us kicking into the main set afterwards.
1. First of all, I’m going to rewind to the Belper Exile Festival and point you in the direction of a YouTube video that features us and a few of the other bands that played there (there are other videos on YouTube if you want to catch the full line-up).
A little confusion is good for the mind.
It’s also summer, and summer means cinematic blockbusters, so in honor of the genius that is Christopher Nolan (before the Dark Knight, there was Memento), I’m writing this blog in reverse order.
It’s been a long time since the last post; there’s a lot to get through, but I guess that means we’ve been doing a good job living….
Tomorrow evening, we’ll be playing semi-acoustically at InSpiral Lounge in Camden. Andrew Crayford will be performing after us with his band the Kosmos, and the evening is also the launch of his ten-day photographic exhibition, “Illuminated London”. He has set this up in partnership with Special-ized, so entry to the venue is free, but any much-appreciated donations will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Here’s a sample of his artwork:
We’re having a Bluebird road trip complete with a fully-packed van and handwritten directions and will hopefully meet Jon, who has sandwiched this gig in between Lake Geneva with the Specials and Newcastle with the South, in time to sample the vegan delights of what looks like an affirmatively progressive venue. Oh, and…you already know about Thure covering for Mark, but there may be another “Special” guest (how many times does that old chestnut get peeled?) on hand as well to fill out the brass section….
“In Camden town I’ll meet you
By the underground
In Camden town, we’ll walk there
As the sun goes down
In Camden town
In Camden town, you can do anything
You want to”
It was the source of much amusement for us to be billed for the Belper Exile Fest under our burlesque alter-ego:
…and the weather was far from utopian, but the rain held off last Friday night, so all was good. We loved the idyllic setting, the friendly atmosphere, and especially the traffic light at the end of the driveway into the site. The crowd was unfortunately not in great attendance at the time of our set – something about the Olympic Torch, or had the festival pizza oven started working again? – which was their loss, because I thought we were terrific. We are becoming more confident playing as a unit, and the songs are taking a shape beyond what we envisioned and enacted when we recorded them. More gigs, please!
Afterwards, Mark reminisced about performances past from atop a bale of straw; Will had fretted initially about being overdressed, but after seeing BB Blackdog’s outfits, we decided he had nothing to worry about. We developed elaborate fantasies inspired by their bassist’s gimp mask, the sight of which had frightened Russ’s family away, and even gave away a couple of Bluebird Parade business cards (only 998 to go) before heading back home. Here are some photos that have just arrived from festival photographer Stuart F. Steele’s magic box of tricks:
He took hundreds of great shots, and I’ll upload some more into the Gallery soon. But one of my favorites of the evening was taken by the lovely Phoebe Coleman on an iPhone:
Sadly, our next festival isn’t until the Big One in October, but with the way the weather’s going, we’re probably better off indoors. Next up is a semi-acoustic set in Camden on July 14th with Thure Gade Johansen filling in for Mark on guitar. He’s Danish, with a penchant for funk and a tattoo of a flaming guitar on his forearm – if you want to know anything else, you’ll have to join us at InSpiral.
…and ye shall receive. Here are the permanent Dropbox/mp3 versions of the songs we played for Tony Wadsworth’s Clock Tower Hour. Isn’t the BBC great!
Because we can’t figure out how to save the Clock Tower Hour of Tony Wadsworth’s radio show from last Saturday – it all seems to involve copyright infringement of some kind or another -, you have a mere two days to Listen Again to our debut live, open-air, BBC Radio Leicester performance. Use the hours wisely: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00t673w/Tony_Wadsworth_16_06_2012/ (also featured – Toyah Wilcox on the Walk of Fame, the Equality and Diversity officer at Leicester Council of Faiths, Carol Leeming, and a local cop reminiscing about the Beatles’ concert at deMontfort Hall. We’re about 2.30 in).
Uncannily – see “deRigueur” post below -, Tony refers to us as “Bluebird Paradise” in the first half of his studio show (did you think I wouldn’t listen?).
To tell the truth, it was all a bit stressful initially; we took the name of the show too literally and didn’t realize the radio car was around the corner, so were waiting for about half an hour at the Clock Tower thinking they hadn’t arrived yet. But we met up eventually, and things fell into place. After Tony played a track by Cliff Richard we launched straight into “music to slash your wrists by”, i.e. In Case You Fail. Tony – an inimitable host – admitted that he had been expecting something “dour”, and sounded genuinely surprised when he announced, “Hey – you guys rock!”…You couldn’t make it up.