Forms of (Transglobal) Expression

Scenes from the inaugural Project Blackbird set at The Borderline in London on May 2nd, supporting the phenomenon that is Little Hurricane, both captured by the lovely Dave Gurman:


For those unfamiliar with the refurbished Borderline, no this is not an airlocked portal to Michel Faber’s imagination in The Book of Strange New Things.  It’s the corridor leading to the loos.  Good though.

And okay yes, this post is arriving a long time after I started it, hence the sense of delayed reaction, but tardiness gives me a chance to squeeze in news about our contribution to Specialized this year.  Specialized 6 is Gifted, a tribute to The Jam, and we ourselves were gifted the opportunity to spread our wings with a track none of us had heard before, Trans-Global Express.  When you can actually decipher Weller’s lyrics, it’s pretty heart-stopping.  We recorded the drum track, guitars, and trombone at home, and did the rest plus mixing in a day at Neil Segrott’s Tiny Studios in Leicester: tabla (Hari Trevedi), other brass, woodwinds, and miscellany; and vocals; truly enjoyable.  

This is what Specialized had to say about it: “Spirit, passion, imagination, creativity, attitude. These are what music has always been about for me. It’s why I got into the artists that I did. It’s what I hoped for when we selected The Jam. This is precisely what I was hoping someone would do. Bluebird Parade have done all of that in their version of Trans-Global Express. Outstanding”.  We’re the first track on Disc 4. 

Starring as…

Never one to follow blog promotion guidelines, I’ve let almost a year slip by since my last post, so it’s definitely time for a quick update.  First and foremost, we DO have a couple of full-band gigs coming up, so please pack your saddlebags and join us in Leicester at The Donkey on Saturday, April 29th (youngster Ro Jordan will be on first, after catching Thure’s support radar at Sumo earlier in the year); and again in Leicester at the celebrated Simon Says Festival on Sunday, July 30th, where we have a lovely, don’t-pack-your-tents-yet slot on the outdoor stage at 2:45 p.m.. 

But you would be forgiven for pointing out that things have gone a little quiet for the band since we released Songs from the Headland at the end of 2015.  In February 2016 The Beat’s Dean Jackson called “Crossing the Border” “gorgeous” three times in a row on BBC Introducing, but our last performance as a seven-piece was in May of the same year.  Such is the way for a collective whose member numbers, musical influences, and respective responsibilities exceed the constraints of our diaries and pocketbooks*.  In the absence of a recording contract or any ambiguously triumphant “one-hit-wonder” status, we have, as a septet at least, gone into semi-permanent hibernation, a state of affairs which makes the periodic unfolding of wings all the more special for us.

It isn’t all eating and sleeping however; we’ve also taken on an alter-ego of sorts, so keep on the lookout for Bluebird Parade starring as Project Blackbird, a flexibly-populated, electronically-tinged, darker sibling within the “Corvids” family (yes, in-joke).  A few of us are working on songs for eventual recording and, since the format is more portable, very gently hitting the road.  We are thrilled to announce that one of our first Project Blackbird outings, this time with Thure, Jon, and me, is in support of Little Hurricane at The Borderline in London on May 2nd (part of their UK tour promoting new album Same Sun Same Moon).  If you aren’t already familiar with Little Hurricane, this promo photo tells you just about everything you need to know: 

Project Blackbird may also return to Denmark later this year as a follow-up to our sets in Skive and Selde last October.  And Jon is starting work, as I type, on our sixth contribution to the Specialized charity project: Specialized 6, a.k.a. Gifted, is a tribute to The Jam in aid of The Teenage Cancer Trust, National Foundation for Youth Music, and Tonic Music for Mental Health.  So – Bluebird Parade in 2017: older and wiser, occasionally fewer but never less; not shouting to be heard, but still always worthy of your listening ears.  

*I heard a police sergeant consistently and without irony refer to his officers’ pocketbooks during a train-the-trainers session on the Mental Capacity Act.  Another, utterly charming, example of the transatlantic disconnect, like “Trump” and “fart”.