The website is now up and running! Remember, you can also visit us and leave a trail of comments on Facebook, Myspace, Soundcloud, and Amazing Tunes. Amazing Tunes is affiliated with the digital radio station Amazing Music, which plays a wide range of material from unsigned artists. It makes you realize how much great stuff is out there – so much of it better than the mainstream drivel that’s in the charts and earning millions. A personal favourite of mine on Amazing Tunes is pale marble movie – check them out if you have a minute. And while we’re on the topic of good music, I can’t get Warpaint’s “Billie Holiday” out of my head…bliss.
The Musician is the site of our debut gig and album launch, and in our highly subjective opinion is one of the best music venues in the country. Check out their City Acoustic Nights on Mondays too; we may try to hone in on a few of those in our three-piece acoustic (dis)guise.
Ming, Mark, and Jon ventured out for our first drop-in acoustic slot at Steve Rothero’s well-established Harborough Acoustic Sessions at Joules Yard in Market Harborough. What a lovely outdoor venue, with equally lovely artists and audience! Even local talent Misterlee dropped by to exchange hugs, share a pint, and charm us with his amber-tinted aviator glasses. As an act, we were warmly and generously received, but it was a shame we hadn’t prepared more songs with flugel, as those present were so enthusiastic about the flugel part on “At Last We Understand Each Other”. I did feel a bit guilty going back on for the second set with only vocals and guitar on offer, but next time we’ll be better prepared, and Jon will remember to bring a flannel with which to warm up his brass.
We supported local outfit Joel Owen and the Antoine Band, plus singer-songwriter Declan Bennett, at the Musician; we were the thorns between roses, the the jam in the sandwich, the pride that goeth before a fall. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and admired Declan’s creative CD packaging afterwards.
Ming, Jon, and Mark played at Gaz Birtles’ Song Club at the Donkey in Leicester, along with singer-songwriters David Parkin and Daisy B. Mark was supposed to do a solo slot as well, but he lost his voice somewhere back in the countryside (he and faithful hound Poppy have since checked the hedgerows and, I believe, retrieved the little rascal).
Jon accidentally happened upon County Durham brethren the Bluebuds, aka Justin and Kirk Boulton, when trying to Google his own band. We liked their songs and style and invited them to support us at our first headlining gig at the Donkey, Leicester’s stellar watering-hole/venue on Welford Road. Unfortunately, we had neglected to tell them (or ourselves) that the gig was taking place on the same day as a free music festival in Leicester. Let’s say the crowd supporting us was small, but perfectly formed. Justin and Kirk were suitably chilled out and earned themselves a few Midlands fans; they stopped over at our house and Justin got so much unanticipated sleep he thought the baby rabbit hiding behind the sink pedestal in the bathroom was a hallucination.
You may be wondering why our second gig took place in the idyllic village of Thorpe Satchville, Leicestershire. Suffice it to say there are “connections”. And you know what? Thorpe Satchville rocks! Despite the last-minute bring-your-own issue, they were dancing in the aisles. There was a strong Fox Inn contingent particularly appreciative, no doubt, of Ming’s appalling French accent in “Coup de Soleil”; special thanks go to Rita Fitzgerald for her promotional work, and to Wendy Mason for her help with drinks and tickets on the door, and for her exceptional dancefloor moves (was it salsa or samba?).
After what seemed like an eternity finalizing the album, we had our debut outing at the Musician Pub in Leicester. It was a Sunday afternoon and a very civilized affair indeed. Ming’s mom and stepdad attended from across the pond, and with other family and friends there, including Laura’s posse from Mansfield, it was a chance to share the music and say “thank you” for the support we’ve been given. CDs were only £5 (!) a pop, and no one fell over.