Monday, 22 November 2010

It's coming on....

Hello all, 

Firstly, check out this fantastic new video to "No Reply" which was made entirely by hand by my 16 year old brother, Terry. Do leave your comments to this below, I'll make sure he sees them! 





UPDATE.

I realise I've not posted in a while - after all the flurry of activity earlier this year you may think things have gone quiet in The Foxes camp. On the contrary, it's just all going on behind big shiny closed musical doors! 

With the album now complete, we've been working hard to arrange a release for next year. There's a LOT to sort out and these things are never quick, especially when we're looking at releasing in other countries as well. 

Rest assured, the music is there, it's sounding great, and it'll be in your hands and ears early next year. 

We're also deep in thought about a name for the album - what do you think? I'd actually really appreciate some suggestions - you don't need to sign in to leave a comment below.

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Artist Owain Thomas (no relation) who painted the fantastic artwork for our "Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame" EP did a few other designs for us to choose from. Check out the alternative covers below (click on each for a large version) 




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What else? 

Photographer Jane Hoskyn made this slideshow of snaps taken at the Great Escape Festival last May. I look a total mess for....various reasons... 




A friend suggested I sign up to a music site called "Bobcom" and they kindly featured me in their first newsletter -  

"Nigel Thomas makes really rather beautiful acoustic folk, tinged with the sadness of Bon Iver and the warmth of Fleet Foxes."

Click here to check it out.  

 

So, that's all for now! We're playing a special free entry headline show at "Death 2 Disco" at Notting Hill Arts Club this Wednesday (24th November) - details here. If you're in the area do come down and say hello. One or two very special guests have already confirmed....

Much love, 

Nigel. 

 

P.S. I tweet all the time!
P.P.S. You can ask me anything here. Anything at all.
P.P.P.S. We've loads of videos you've probably never seen before - click here.



"When I die, I want people to play my music, go wild and freak out and do anything they want to do." Jimi Hendrix

"I'm really not in the mood to be distracted and confused by your carefully placed illusion to mask your intrusion in to my good day." Jon Bretman 

"If you don't know it now, then you will do." Damon Albarn. 
 

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

ALBUM RECORDING: FINISHED

View from the control room at Sawmills - this is what we call 'high tide'!

This is just a quick update to let you know we've now finished recording our début album! I'm not going to go into laborious detail on the recording process this time, just suffice to say we're all VERY happy with how it went, and we're working with John on mixing the tracks at the moment. 

The tracks we recorded on the final session were:

* 'Run' - one of our older songs, but not like any version anyone has ever heard!
* 'The Sad Thing' - a bluesy, melancholy song with a massive punch...
* 'Out Of Service' - we all love this song, the rhythm is rather unusual too.
* 'Too Little, Too Late' - another of Jonno's with some great lyrics. 
* ' Sweet Little Wonder' - my favourite love song of all time, as I wrote it about no-one just because I could. 

A lot of people ask us about what it's like to record at the 'legendary' Sawmills Studios, where they recorded 'Definitely Maybe' (Oasis), and albums from Razorlight, Muse, Cast, Supergrass, The Stone Roses, The Verve, etc....I think this video from the TV series 'Three Men and a Boat' sum it up nicely (thanks to Alex for finding this) 





The other question....


....which everyone keeps asking is 'When will the album be released?!

The answer to this is, we don't know. 
Recording 'The Sad Thing'

Basically, there are three very big and exciting things which may or may not happen for us, and if even one of them does happen, it'll change EVERYTHING for us. We'll know by November.


Just to be annoying, I'll give you some clues - some of which are 100% true, some of which are complete fabrication - NASA, Hollywood, The Hoosiers, Paul McCartney, Owen Wilson, The Inbetweeners, Sony, EMI, Universal, REM, Warner Bros. Care to have a guess which are true?!


In other news:


* EP Review - Leeds Music Scene. A good review, but apparently 'No Reply' feels 'too much like hard work' - pah! :-)


* EP Review - Vanguard Online. '...out of all the artists and bands I have reviewed so far this year – this is the one that has left me wanting more the most.'

* Our first single, 'Trauma Town' is featured on a new independent horror film from New York, 'Night of the Living Heads' - it's on DVD or you can watch online - http://www.notlh.com/


* There are some photos from our performance on the main stage at the 'Basingstoke Live Festival' here. 

* I did a new photo shoot with my friend Heather at a deserted asylum we had to...er...break in to...click here to see the pictures!  



* A new interview about The Foxes on this blog from Gia.



* Remember that day when I played guitar in the sea and got SOAKED at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton?! Watch the video below...I'm on from 5mins 15secs. 



Red Stripe - The Great Escape 2010



Oh, I almost forgot to say that I'm confirmed as playing at Clarence House for Prince Charles at a charity Garden Party on 8th September - there's a BBC News article here. 

Exciting?! 


Much love, 


Nigel.


P.S. Follow me on Twitter, where Danny Wallace told me yesterday how much he likes 'Get Me' and is looking forward to the album. Yes, I'm showing off. 
P.P.S. You can ask me anything here.
P.P.P.S. Thanks for your comments on my last blog - I've replied! 
P.P.P.P.S. The soundtrack to this blog was 'Woodface' by Crowded House, and 'Marquee Moon' by Television.
 
'The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be.' Alain de Botton.

'It seems that whenever I learned something about people or life in general, I was merely changing the form of my immutable ignorance' Stephen Vizinczey. 

'The trouble with burning bridges is that often I can still stumble back across their charred remains.' Me. 

Click for a big readable version!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

First album recording session update

What an amazing time we've had! Let me explain....



Sunday 18th July.

Played at The Electric Sound Cafe which was an all day music and comedy event at The Bedford in Balham, organised by Alex. We did a totally different stripped down set which went down really well - and Suzy felt especially good to play (no, it's a song). Saw a lot of other great acts, including our friends The Roads who were superb. Big shout out to Ayumi Suzuki who travelled all the way from Japan to see us!

Monday 19th July.  

"Songs and speeds""
After a few hours sleep we left London at 3.30am to catch the 9.30am tide at Golant to get the boat to Sawmills. Amazed by how much gear we seem to have seeing it all loaded on the quay. The first day was spent initially dealing with an infestation of gremlins...there was a big buzz on the bass track (dealt with by spraying Alex's guitar in gloop) Jonno's amp developed a strange harmonic sound so we took it apart and had to fiddle with valves which were too micro-phonic...apparently....and then had to sort out the intonation on mine and Jonno's guitar. Still, we'd got a great take of 'Sorry to Leave You' by 10pm. All exhausted. It's lucky we loaded in in the morning as it poured with rain most of the day. 

Tuesday 20th July.  

Today we finished guitar overdubs to 'Sorry to Leave You' and started and finished 'Suzy' - spent ages doing the vocal overdubs at the end of 'Sorry to Leave You' in the evening as they're really complex. Then we got a good take of 'Waiting for the Storm' and vocals (Jonno and I swapped on this one - he sung lead vocals and I did the guitar solo!) 
Poured with rain most of the day.

Wednesday 21st July.

Finished guitar overdubs to  'Waiting for the Storm' and started and finished 'Out of Service' - then did the backing vocals to 'Waiting for the Storm' After dinner we got a great take of 'Send Me Nothing' and got the lead vocals sorted.
Poured with rain most of the day.

Thursday 22nd July.  

Although I can't give details, we've been approached by people from a major tv show who asked for instrumental versions of 'Get Me', 'Something About You', 'Bill Hicks' and 'Lover, Killer'. As we couldn't get hold of Sam Williams (who mixed the last two), we brought the raw recording of the songs to John Cornfield to mix. Watch this space! 

Anyway, as we had a bit of time, Steve and I decided to do some filming on the train tracks (it's a single non-electric freight train line) across from the studio, and genuinely did nearly get killed by a train - I've never laughed so much. 

Did this little video for you: 


You can hear the original recording of this song on my Facebook page. It really was the first time it had stopped raining, and of course, it proceeded to POUR down in the evening. Speaking of which, we later recorded a great take of 'Sweet Little Wonder' (a happy, summery love song song written for no-one) 

Friday 23rd July. 

 Jonno got up early today and was in full smug mode when I entered the studio in the morning as he'd already done all the guitar over-dubs on 'Sweet Little Wonder'! Somehow I managed to kick start my voice into doing the lead vocals on the track (normally it doesn't start to function before late afternoon) and then we finished off with a few little tweaks on all the tracks and a big listen through. 

""I'm on a mother f*cking boat!"
I really can't express how happy we all are at how the songs are sounding. Without wishing to sound too arrogant, they're going to fucking blow you away (there, I think this balances the fairly dry diary account of what went on!) 

We played a celebratory gig at John Cornfield's local 'The New Inn' in Tywardreath (close to where we get the boat to the studio, built in 1775 apparently) which was packed and we had a great evening, which included a very entertaining house party 'till 4am with John and Alex. I would show you some video, but really can't! HUGE thanks to the lovely owners of the pub for letting us stay, and feeding us so sumptuously (amazing food including home made Cornish Pasties with "Fox" written into the crust!)

In other news....

* We'll be back to the studio in two weeks to finish the album. 
* Check out this new review of "Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame" - it's really rather good. 
* I had a great time playing at the Whitecross Street Party on Sunday, and met lots of genuinely lovely people, especially the girl in the blue dress :-) 
* A new music video to "No Reply" is coming soon. 
* I might be playing at an event for Prince Charles. Will let you know...

A question for you. 

What tracks from our last EP should go on the album? All of them? None? What about the singles? I'd love your thoughts, and you can comment below without having to sign in to anything.
I'll leave you with this clip of Steve and I being silly on the tracks trying to record a song....


Much love, 

Nigel. 

P.S. New songs coming soon! 
P.P.S. the quote below the boating picture is from this video.
P.P.P.S. I am happy.

"I believe its no good to talk about your songs; its wrong. You should leave your songs alone and let them say what they say; let people take what they want from them."
Paul Simon
 
"Actually I don't know if honesty is a strength or some kind of weakness." Ani DeFranco


Watching you walk out of my life does not make me bitter or cynical about love. But rather makes me realize that if I wanted so much to be with the wrong person how beautiful it will be when the right one comes along.” Anon.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Here comes the album...

Head in My Hands by nigelthomas

Dear reader,

The little player above will play a new acoustic song, "Head in My Hands" which I wrote at Heathrow Airport. It's based on a true story too.

Well, the big tour is now well and truly finished, and we've just been doing the odd festival gig to keep us going. Coming up we have....

(all day event with music and comedians at The Bedford in Balham. Buy seated tickets here, and standing only tickets here)

1st August - Frimchett Festival

4th September - Lodestar Festival

25th September
- BFest


DÉBUT ALBUM RECORDING. 

Straight after The Electric Sound Cafe this Sunday, we're driving through the night down to Cornwall to catch the morning tide to get to Sawmills Studio (see this blog entry if you don't know why we have to put everything in a boat to get to the studio) to start recording our yet untitled début album with John Cornfield. Since the end of the tour we've been rehearsing furiously, and we're very excited to record songs we hope you'll love as much as we do. 


Courtesy of Google Maps, you can see above just how isolated the studio is - the big red arrow points to the studio itself, and you can see the trainline (and a train!) which runs alongside and under which we go in our little boat to get to the studio.

The Foxes Diary. 

Since 2006, I've been writing an intimate diary about life in The Foxes, and it now stands at nearly 70,000 words. Having never show it to anyone, I've been thinking now might be the time to let someone have a read through and let me know what they think. I'm not Willy Wonka, so just email me or leave a comment on this blog if you'd like to be the one to read it, and tell me why you'd like to. It's got quite of lot of very personal things and events in it, and I'd rather not say the kind of person I'm looking for - so please don't take it personally if you're not selected. I'm sure most of you can think of nothing worse than trawling through thousands of words of my random thoughts and stories anyway! 

New guitar:

Martin DX1RAE. She is beautiful and I love her.



Silly mood video with new guitar....





Better than Hollywood.

I'm going to be an extra in a film in London tomorrow - I've got two scenes, one of which is at a strip joint in Shoreditch (no, it's NOT one of those films!) so I'll give you a full report on the next blog...


Finally....

I'm going to leave you with the interview we did at BBC Tees for the fantastic Bob Fischer during the last tour - we really enjoyed speaking to him, can you tell? Anyway, I think it's well worth a listen!! 


Much love,
Nigel.

P.S. Wednesday always sees me DJ'ing at Death2Disco with Sir Danny Watson at Notting Hill Arts Club from around 7pmish. It's free entry, on 'till 2am and there's live music too. Come down (I won't be there on 21st though as we'll be recording then).

P.P.S. At last, someone actually asks me something about a song!! 

P.P.P.S. If anyone can sort me out with a new phone, a laptop and perhaps a Topic bar, get in touch.


"Modern music is people who can't think, signing artists who can't write songs, to make records for people who can't hear." Frank Zappa


 "Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely."  'David Copperfield' Charles Dickens.




Tuesday, 15 June 2010

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....



...and it really is. I've been reading the cheery little book by Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities" and it's made me think about how close two worlds can be, and how one can be so good and positive and the other quite the opposite. I've got "Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk lined up though, so that should be....diverting...any other book recommendations, let be know below.

In brief.....
* An interesting live review from "Ark Magazine" from a tiny gig we did in Cambridge: "I saw a band more confident in their image and a lead singer who has developed his confidence to the level of Heather Mills in a Hop-scotch race."

* A review from our last minute Brighton gig by XYZ Magazine. They're right that we deserved a bigger crowd, but didn't do too badly for two days promotion! Thanks to everyone who came down at the last minute :-)

* Interestingly, we've been getting increasing amounts of play on U.S. Radio stations...and we're not sure how because we've sent nothing off! "Something About You" was played on WRIR 97.3 FM Richmond, Virginia  last Saturday, and "Get Me" has also been getting played on the Los Angeles station KCRW 89.9FM. Do feel free to email these stations (or your local one!) to request us!

* London station XFM also played us while we were up in Scotland - and they're a station which pretty much sticks to mainstream stuff.


THE TOUR.

We had an amazing series of gigs in North England, especially the two IPO Festival gigs at The Cavern in Liverpool. Leeds and Middlesbrough also deserve a special mention...the latter of which was so good I thought I'd video the people who came to see us:



Our mini Scottish tour with our friends The Trade was a blast, except I'm NEVER drinking whisky again (I'm serious) after the end of show party left me practically disabled for most of the next day. Thanks to everyone at BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC Radio Tees and MFR Radio for the sessions. Just a few shows left of the tour now -

Wednesday 16th June - The Portland Arms, Cambridge.
Thursday 17th June - The Solstice, Peterborough.
Thursday 24th June - Puzzle Hall, Halifax.
Saturday 26th June - The Orange Box, Yeovil.

Our next London gig is Saturday 3rd July headlining at The Garage in Islington, with special guest Maini from Primal Scream DJ'ing straight after our set .


Isle of Wight Festival. 

Jonno and I did a couple of intimate acoustic gigs at the Kashmir Cafe stage at the Isle of Wight Festival, and had, quite frankly, an amazing time. Both gigs were to a packed out tent, and we were then free to see a host of other great performers...not least The Strokes, Paul McCartney, Blondie, Vampire Weekend, Friendly Fires, Orbital, The Hold Steady, Ocean Colour Scene (what was up with their sound?!!) and The Blunt Instruments! Thanks to Doug for everything.


I'm off to New York in a couple of weeks - still working on confirming the acoustic gigs, but I plan on sorting it soon. Looking forward to going a lot - I plan on having a good time!

I'll leave you with a video to "Drift" which was recorded for BBC Radio Tees. You can hear the original recording (and see the lyrics) on my Facebook page.



Much love,

Nigel.

P.S. New set of tour photos on The Foxes Facebook page.
P.P.S. You can now leave a comment below without signing in to anything! So let me know your thoughts!
P.P.P.S. Ask me something. (there's been some good ones recently!)

"'I love the succession of glittering images which distract and amuse yet ultimately do little to quell the boundless sadness at my core." Charlie Brooker.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

On the road.

I've a few precious hours free, so thought I'd write a quick update blog as we've now got twelve gigs over the next eleven days and so this is the last chance I'll have to use a real computer!

Let's have a quick look at some of the recent reviews first:

* We're featured on "The Best of Myspace" from the lovely Gill Mills. Click here to listen.

* Remember the pictures of me in the sea in the last blog? It was at The Great Escape in Brighton and Stephen Brolan (as seen right) explains it all here. It's well worth a read!

* There's another review of our new EP, "Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame" on the Beat Surrender website. We're also doing a last minute gig for them in Leeds on Sunday straight after the England vs. Mexico game.

* A few dark snaps from our EP launch, courtesy of Adam Roberts.

Recently, we played a gig at Trafalgar House, which is the mansion in Wiltshire given to Nelson's family after the Battle of Trafalgar. (I've included links in case you're not clued up on one of the most important person and battle in British history!) More recently, it was used in films such as "28 Days Later", "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma". Being uncouth musicians, we were most excited about it's connection to the famous zombie film, as you can see:


Last night's gig at the Oakford Social Club in Reading was good, until we had to stop because water started pouring through the ceiling which the organisers seemed to be concerned might have led to us being electrically fried - not a bad way to go.

Coming up we've got:

27th May - Music Cafe, Leicester.
28th May - Cafe de Paris London.
29th May - Blyth and Tyne, Blyth (this is going to be mental)
30th May - Northern Monkey, Leeds - plus BBC Merseyside Session.
31st May - Liverpool IPO Festival (Cavern Club then the Cavern Pub!)
1st June - The Keys, Middlesbrough - plus BBC Tees session.
2nd June - Cafe Drummonds, Aberdeen.
3rd June - The Voodoo Lounge, Edinburgh.
4th June - Maggie Mays, Glasgow.
5th June - The Doghouse, Dundee.
6th June - Hootananny's - Inverness.


That's all for now! I'm off to audition to get a busking licence on the underground. Should be fun.

Do keep up to date on the tour by following The Foxes Twitter page. Oh, and I've changed the comment form so you can leave a comment without going through the stupid hassle of signing in to something. So say hello!

Much love,

Nigel.

P.S. I'm going to put up the full set of sea photos from Brighton on my acoustic Facebook page shortly.
P.P.S. I handed my petition to the General Medical Council earlier this week. Do take a moment to read, and please sign if you agree.
P.P.P.S. Ask me something.





'Excessive grief, like excessive joy, is a violent thing which is of short duration. The human heart cannot long remain in either extremity. The gypsy had suffered so much that surprise was now the only emotion of which she was capable' La Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

So, how goes the big tour?!


Well bless my soul, thank you for asking, it's going incredibly well! Since my last blog we've played 16 gigs including The Camden Crawl, the Great Escape, Taunton, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Dundee, Aberdeen, Stirling, Newcastle and London. We've had national airplay on BBC Radio Two, countless playlists on commercial and BBC local stations - even KCRW 89.9FM in Los Angeles played us!

We've had some incredible gigs confirmed including.....the Isle of Wight Festival! We're playing on both Saturday and Sunday, and I'm rather looking forward to seeing Paul McCartney, The Strokes, Crowded House (I don't care that they're not trendy, 'Woodface' is a classic album!) even Biffy Clyro should be a laugh. Click here for the rest of the main line-up.

Our new EP, "Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame" is also out now! As you may or may not know, we finance and release everything ourselves, so please do support The Foxes and buy a copy!

Download from iTunes.
Download from play.com.
Physical CD from Norman Records.
Physical CD from play.com
Download from Amazon (U.K.)
Download from Amazon (U.S.)
Physical CD from Amazon (U.S.)

It's available from loads of other places, but that's quite enough links for now. The EP is a taster for the full album which we're recording at Sawmills with John Cornfield. We won't be making any more copies of the EP once this run is sold out, so get it while you can!

I've put up a selection TOUR PHOTOS (carefully edited of course) which you can view on The Foxes Facebook page by clicking here.

There's a competition on my acoustic Facebook page - you just need to work out where the title of my latest song comes from - it's called "Third Movement" The winner wins a whole host of goods which I'll post anywhere in the world. There have been several entries so far as you can see on the page...all very far from the mark, but some good guesses!

Within the next two weeks, The Foxes tour will take us to Bedford, Leeds, Brighton, Reading, Leicester, London, Blyth, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness and Basingstoke! Hope to see some of you there.

I'll also be playing some acoustic shows in New York in July while visiting friends - more details to come.

Much love,

Nigel.

P.S. Check out the new BILL HICKS film!
P.P.S. There's a good chance I'll be on "The Wright Stuff" on Channel 5 on Monday (24th).
P.P.P.S. Ask away. It can't get any weirder.
P.P.P.P.S. Heather's photoshoot.

"I admit I've got a shit taste in music. I've no qualms about it" - Random punter at one of our gigs. Worryingly, he really liked us.

"
Where's the nearest website?" - Random guy who took one of our flyers, after I explained that to listen to our music he'd need to go to our website.

Some people have STILL not seen the video to "Get Me" -

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Start of UK tour - crazy busy!






It's spring! I'm writing in glorious sunshine looking out across the English Channel, with nothing but plumes volcanic ash between myself and the sun! Since coming back from America I've been insanely busy with a whole host of exciting things. One of which includes making the above trailer for the documentary I'm putting together for our U.S.A. tour back in 2007 - I've just gone through all the hours of video footage, and it's going to be hilarious! Thanks to my adorable friend Lucy (who's only fault is her love of Oasis, and her insane cat), I had lunch with the drummer from Blur, Dave Rowntree at the famous Groucho Club in Soho. He is a vegetarian who drunk water while I had steak and gin, but he was a thoughtful, interesting and generous man, who dabbles in politics, computer programming and animation directing as well as being a drummer in one of the biggest bands of the last 20 years! Blur's new single "Fools Day" is available for free download via their website now.

Our UK tour is now under way after a brilliant first gig in Epsom, and here's what we're doing (click on this or any other photo for the full whack size) :



This coming week, we're playing up in Dundee, Aberdeen, Stirling and Newcastle. Really excited about being on the road again, and only slightly worried about Aberdeen because of what ALWAYS happens after a gig there. Good days. Here's a little after gig report from "Native Tongue" in Epsom:




We've finished sending demos to John Cornfield at Sawmills, and will be setting dates this coming week for recording our first full length album - hopefully in July. It's going to be a belter, the hardest part is deciding what songs we can't fit on it! I'm afraid "Trauma Town", "Lover, Killer" and "Bill Hicks" are all to be left off it.

I've answered 340 questions so far on http://www.formspring.me/nigeljthomas - do keep 'em coming, your questions have been very amusing lately! And remember, you can ask me anything.

Finally finished reading "Walden; or Life in the Woods" by Henry David Thoreau. A tough book. I don't agree with everything he says about how to live your life, and what you should do (while I agree with him that you should be able to enjoy your life whatever you do, and find joy in just sitting watching the sun rise for example, I don't think it's something that you should spend ALL your time doing, and lacks any ambition and drive to use your skills and to grow) - but this is still very relevant -

"...if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagine, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind him, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour* in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the licence of a higher order of beings."

Having had a little time to myself, I've been writing (and recording) new songs almost non-stop, so do drop by my Facebook Music Page for a listen. I'm now giving away mp3's of my songs for free, so email me nigel@thefoxesband.com telling me which you'd like and I'll send them over when I've a free minute!

I'll leave you to check out the Spring shoot (click here) I did on a beautiful sunny day in Cambridge with the highly talented Heather. We had the best ice-cream in the world too.

Much love,

Nigel.

"Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn't you - all of the expectations, all of the beliefs - and becoming who you are."


P.S. I'm really looking forward to seeing the new Chris Morris film, "Four Lions."
P.P.S. George Washington was naughty.
P.P.P.S Links to Twitter and all The Foxes and my other pages in the convenient "links" box on the right hand side.

* I've upgraded the spelling to British English.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Somewhere in America...the U.S. Mini-Tour



First off, have a look at the video above to "Get Me" which is the first track from our new EP, "Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame." It was made entirely by piecing together clips taken on my N82 phone from the recording session, and I'll be making a full documentary type affair when I have a moment of time.

Incidentally, we're still looking for someone to make a video to the last track on the EP, "Country Low" - please get in touch if you can help, or if you know anyone who can (cartoon style or animated especially welcome!) nigel@thefoxesband.com

And so....to America.....(former British colonies, couldn't afford the tea, now prefer coffee so could have just left the tea anyway...)

THE FLIGHT THERE.

It ALWAYS rains on the day I leave for America, whether to New York, LA or in this case, Salt Lake City in Utah, via Detroit. We flew Delta, and thanks to my friend Amber, we had first class seats on plane. It was quite an incredible experience - as soon as you sit down in your giant chair, they offer you orange juice or chilled champagne, which you drink while looking through the well stocked toiletries bag they provide you, resting on your full size plump pillow. After take off, I mulled over my good fortune with another drink while casually nibbling some of the warm mixed
nuts while watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm" - really very funny.

Because I stole a menu, I can tell you that for my first course that evening, I had the Caprese Salad with mozzarella, tomato and basil (with a warm wheat roll of course) and for main, the roast chicken breast garnished with olives and tomatoes, accompanied by sweet couscous and sugar snap peas. For dessert, I merely went for a natural vanilla ice-cream sundae, with strawberry sauce and chopped nuts, garnished with a pirouline cookie.

Before this turns in to a food blog, I'll just tell you that I was GUTTED that they ran out of my first choice of pre-arrival light meal (the roast chicken breast sandwich) so I was forced to somehow shovel down a cold salad plate featuring smoked salmon slices, potato cucumber salad and tomato, accompanied by bread sticks and fresh fruit. How I managed, I'll never know as I lay back flat to sleep...

LANDED.

Amazed to see snow in Detroit, thought about cars, then flew off to Salt Lake where we were picked up by my lovely "American sister" Karen Ashman who took us to Karma Banks beautiful house and where I met up with some wonderful people I'd not seen in SO many years! Karma made me a sandwich with enough meat for a large family (it was delicious though) and we enjoyed the most amazing spread before playing some songs to a packed out room and having a great evening generally. We stayed at Zach's house (Amber's friend) and got to sleep at around 7am UK time.

Monday 1st March.

After Amber made us a form of "French Toast" with butter and maple syrup which was the nicest thing I've ever eaten, we headed out to look round the centre of Salt Lake round Temple Square - it was great to see how well everything was looked after, and it really is a pretty place. Everywhere you turn, you can see the most incredible mountain range in the distance. I STRONGLY recommend you try a "Jimmy John's" the next time you're in the States. Their bins, aka "trash cans" have an interesting suggestion too, as you can see from the photo....

The afternoon show was at a coffee shop called "NoBrow" - and we played "au natural" without a pa or amps, with glorious sunshine coming through the window (see photo above). I'm grateful that so many of my Utah friends came along to see us play, and I think they enjoyed it almost as much as we did.

That night, my friend Rob Turner who is a master of the local music scene (he also works for Disney films, and kindly took us to lunch on set) took us out and we had a rather jolly evening. I won't go into details, but the guy at the Carl's Junior with the gun DID like us apparently, and it was nice to meet some more people from Zach's apartment!

Tuesday 2nd March.

Today we experienced "Taco Soup" for the first time in our lives, courtesy of the Draschil family (it was delicious), whom we then performed for them in their living room. There were about a thousand children there, but it didn't feel like it as they were all so well behaved and danced around to our songs - it was a real pleasure to play for them. I also found a new friend in the form of "Grace" - who wouldn't let go of my hand! We played at Club Velour later that evening, and watched some other very talented people play too - it was still very hard to get used to how friendly every was to us...even strangers were chatting and buying the our CD's. It was a refreshing attitude. We had a delicious "In 'n' Out" burger on the way, back, and I drunk more Dr.Pepper than is really healthy for a human.

Wednesday 3rd March.

This was the day we went for a quick drive in the mountains and got a bit lost, going a mere 80 miles out of the way! It was very pretty though, so that made up for it, though we arrived rather late at the Ashman's for a lovely dinner (with tasty cool whip...like Angel Delight, but you have it with the main meal!). We almost didn't make the gig at The Vertical Diner after that, because Amber's car was so exhausted from its mountain drive, it gave up about a mile from the venue. Karen saved the day, and we made it to the gig just in time to leap on stage, and have a great evening.

Thursday 4th March....trying to get home.

This was the day we were meant to be going on Fox 13's "Good Morning Utah", but they pulled out at the last minute because of some big news story, and they couldn't fit us in! Very annoying, as I've been told Channel 2 also wanted to have us on that day. Next time!

After very many fond farewells, we flew out of Salt Lake and arrived in the afternoon in Atlanta JUST IN TIME to miss our flight home. Running across terminals with your bag and a guitar at high altitudes after days of being stuffed on American food is NOT RECOMMENDED. Fortunately, there was a flight back at 10.50pm that night which we waited for and, as good fortune wouldn't have it, was full so we couldn't get on. Our friend Richard Ryea who runs a label in Atlanta (and whom we stayed with when The Foxes toured the U.S. in 2007) came to our rescue, and kindly put us up that night. The next day we caught a flight to Minneapolis (therefore going AWAY from home) but from there finally managed to get flights back to London, dealing as best we could again with the limitations of first class seats.

Thank you to Amber, Karen, Zach, Rob and everyone who made our mini-tour so amazing. We'll be back soon! I'll be putting up the full photo collection soon, and a little video. I think everyone agreed that my American accent REALLY was making progress by the time I left. A few more days, and I think I'd have passed for a local....er...maybe....

I've written FAR too much, so will leave you here with a song from our fantastic gig at The Barfly on Saturday. Looking forward to the big tour!




Much love,

Nigel.

P.S. Have a look at our latest photo shoot here.
P.P.S. Why not join my music page by clicking here?
P.P.P.S. Thank you for all your comments while I was away - I really enjoyed reading them, even if I couldn't reply!

"You're very annoying, stop taking photos" - What Jonno's expression said for most of the trip!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

New EP, tour and American adventures!


The picture of beauty above is the front cover to our new EP, "Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame." It's an original piece of artwork by a very talented artist called Owain Thomas (no relation...that I'm aware of). Do check out the rest of his work. It's not finalised, but we're looking at a release date of around 12th April, with a big UK tour (and maybe Europe if we have time!) in April/May. The new tracks should be up soon too. Exciting times...I love touring, despite the long drives, sleeping in random places and the dodgy petrol station diet! Lots of gigs already booked across the country. Check out our gig listing on our Facebook or Myspace page.

Mastering, the final touch to the tracks, went very well with John Davis at Metropolis, and he dealt with our usual pestering to meet Damon Albarn, etc very well. Also need to thank John for having us at his birthday party, which is responsible for my very sore head this morning! Our producer John Cornfield also drove all the way up from Cornwall to be at the session to. What a guy! Here's a little video clip of the mastering - check out his three GIANT speakers (that John later climbed on...)




In other news, Jonno and I are heading off to Salt Lake City in Utah for a week to play some acoustic gigs, and hopefully do a few TV and radio spots. We've got one gig booked already at the Vertical Diner on 3rd March, and should have shows every night if all goes well, thanks to my good friend Rob Turner, a local music scene legend! We're also going to be flying first class, thanks to the lovely Amber who works for an airline and is getting us a rather amazing flight deal! Having never flown anything above cattle class, I'm going to be an excited little child on the flight - sorry Jonno, but I WILL be taking stupid photos and video, and making a fool of myself.

Speaking of the U.S. it's looking very likely that we'll be doing a week of shows in Los Angeles in June for various industry folk...but I guess we'll let the public in too! Anyway, more details to come. Mmm....In 'n' Out burgers.....

Big thanks to Laura at Exposure PR for giving us a host of clothes and shoes from Ben Sherman, Levi's, Original Penguin and Farrah. We've several photo shoots coming up, so look out for them then...and at gigs of course.

I'll leave you with this video clip in the van after John Davis birthday party, where the following can be ascertained:

1. Steve is the drummer.
2. It's dark at night.
3. Alex loves "penis."


I've probably left out loads of exciting things, but am too tired to think at the moment! Oh yes, we've just been confirmed for the main stage at a major UK festival. Can't tell you which one yet though.

Much love,

Nigel.

P.S. Part two of the Yeti Tour video is now up - check it out now, if you please!
P.P.S. A new song on
my Facebook page.
P.P.P.S.
CHECK OUT MY BAKING SKILLS!!
P.P.P.P.S. You can ask me silly questions, safely veiled behind anonymity by clicking here. 221 questions answered to date!


"Happy Birthday to me!" - John Davis, yesterday.

"He didn't really say that, but it WAS his birthday yesterday" - Me, right now, to you.