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, 


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


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...


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,

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.