22 April - all day gig party and BBQ at the Brixton Windmill

I'm hosting an event under the SoundsXP banner in April and I'm super pleased with the line-up. A couple of weeks ago I thought this show was doomed 'cos after contacting over 75 bands/managers/agents we only had one band confirmed but now our not-very good Friday has turned into VERY good Friday and I'm now looking forward to it muchly, as you can see from my page, I've been listening to Hannah Peel's album an awful lot so it's going to be great to see her at one of my favourite London venues with a burger in one hand and an ale in the other. I'll be djing at some point in the evening too.

Go over here for tickets and here's the blurb:

April 22nd isn’t just ‘Good Friday’ anymore, it’s Bloody-Brilliant-Music-And-Grub Friday at the Windmill, with an all-day line up of bands and a BBQ laid on for the Bank Holiday. We’re still adding courses to this banquet but the lip-smacking line up includes Hannah Peel, Laura J Martin, Fuzzy Lights, Dignan Porch, Cheatahs and I Spy with more to be announced shortly.
 Hannah Peel is a strikingly talented multi-instrumentalist, whose debut album Broken Waves (Static Caravan) was produced by Mike Lindsay of Tunng. Uncut described the album as “vibrant folk-pop with a stunning voice to savour (4 stars)” while her brilliant cover of the Cocteau Twin’s ‘Sugar Hiccup’ graces the latest Rough Trade Counter Culture 2010 compilation. Hannah’s playing with a full band at this gig so expect drama!

Laura J Martin is a one woman whirling dervish who wraps flute, mandolin and loops around gloriously crafted songs. She’s won over the likes of Marc Riley,,who she recently performed a 6 Music session for, and Rob Da Bank who said "Laura J Martin is one of the freshest out there....musically gifted, addictive and sodding brave please make sure you buy her records and most importantly see her live!'

Fuzzy Lights are Xavier and Rachael from Cambridge plus friends, who play a reverb-soaked mix of psych-folk, Americana and noise-rock. Their first album was described as “gorgeous” by Huw Stephens and second album Twin Feathers (released August 2010), with more prominent vocals, is receiving similar accolades.

Dignan Porch are brothers Sam and Joe Walsh plus friends Hayley, Phillippa and Ben from Tooting. Their fuzzy dreampop, recorded on Tascam 8-track, has attracted praise from the likes of Pitchfork and Vice magazine, and they’ve been snapped up by Captured Tracks, for whom they’ve released an album, Tendrils, and a new EP. Rough Trade are also smitten by them: “Dignan Porch are several matches made in heaven…bursting with coolness and melodies to kill or die for”.

Cheatahs was originally the solo project of Nathan Hewitt, (also in Little Death) and is now a trio. Their hazy lo-fi tunes have been released by such gurus of cool as Young and Lost, Paradise Vendors and Marshall Teller and they’ve shared bills with Best Coast, Crocodiles, Ariel Pink and Wavves. Rough Trade raved thus: “sounds like a lo-fi Elliott Smith skateboarding with Wavves - it’s totally amazing”.
AFTER SIX (ex-Friends of the Bride / The Fog Band)
This will be the debut performance for Bobby Grindrod's new outfit, entitled After Six. The band are so new they don't even have a MySpace yet but if any of his previous bands Firends of the Bride and The Fog Band are anything to go by they're sure to be a sumptuous treat of a band.


a mumbling fool is interviewed at Judy's Vintage Fair

The Fair was rammed and there was a pitiful selection of men's clothing but I still managed to pick up a delicious paisley tie. No surprise there then.

A Tour In Photos

This post should have happened weeks ago but various dilapidated obstacles got in the way.

Many political manifestos have included the Three 'E's but you only need to attach two 'E's to the Smoke Fairies' UK tour and in this case it isn't the same word lazily repeated three times for dramatic effect. The two words are 'exceded expectations'; one thing you're unlikely to get from a political party. To sell out most venues on a debut headline tour in the desolate month of January is heartwarming and encouraging stuff.

Enough with the rubbish, tenuously linked E words; here is the tour in photos:

 Kaf and Jess doing their 'witch house' poses for NME

 Manager extraordinaire Matt utilising his travel printer



 Frequenting haunted pubs

 How many candles? 

 Two peas in a pod

 an angel amongst Fairies 

 How many pedals does one viola player need? 

 The Smithereens

 Marc and Mark proudly in place at BBC Manchester where we went for a session on Marc Riley's show. Marc was refreshingly fanatical about everything as per usual which reminded me how wonderful it is to have him on our airwaves. I also happened to meet Gruff Rhys who's one of my favourite song writers as he was doing a session in the studio next door.

Part of the NME review of the Brighton show. I know I'm a tall chap and probably even a 'cello would look like a violin under my chin but it's not, it's a viola. Everyone called me Frank after that came out, which I rather liked!

 Piccadilly records

 would you like a Lionel with your hat? 

 one of the more pleasant dressing room graffiti appearances.

 at times the anticipation is unbearable.
as blurry as our heads the next morning

 Rob is overwhelmed by the tour malaise but as per usual Jules Sea of Bees has such a blazing supply of enthusiasm that it makes you feel dead inside in comparison.

 sound will be checked 

One of the many pleasingly non-travelodges we stayed in. Thanks Mr Tour Manager. Sorry guests for waking you up at silly o'clock in the morning by setting off the fire alarm. 

 Kris finds a special poster tucked away.

 How many stairs?

Blasts from the past
 at Bristol Fleece

Sea of Bees at Bush Hall. Not strictly part of our tour but they kept touring long after we'd returned to normality and overcome the longing to be back on tour.... 

...and in May we'll be doing it all again but in a slightly different order. Superb. Keep an eye on the Songkick page for details.