Updated: Oct 11
I can't believe it's been 11 months since I wrote a blog. You'll definitely have noticed and missed them, I'm sure.
It is absolutely chucking it down as I write this on a gloomy Saturday afternoon. Glasgow looks like an alarmingly high percentage of it is underwater and I am pretty sure that I've just seen a trawler pass between the tenements in my street.
If you're reading this, it's Sunday at the earliest. The following day. Artifice! Deception! my humblest apologies.
It's been a pretty horrendous week this week, hasn't it? The rhetoric coming out of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester is absolutely appalling. The Home Secretary's speech making reference to a "hurricane of migration" is, frankly, outrageous. It is unequivocally the language of fascism and should be challenged whenever it is given platform. Why did we spend almost 80 years teaching folk about the horrors of fascism and yet now so many are happy to stand by (or cheer) as the UK Government tries to open internment camps for immigrants and refugees? When a speech akin to Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech is not given the dressing down by the press it should? The opposition at Westminster's main objection to it seemed to be that the cruel treatment of immigrants wasn't efficient enough. It is beyond extremely worrying.
The Prime Minister suggesting in his keynote address that the British public, himself included, are being "bullied" by one of the most marginalised and vulnerable groups - Trans people - is not only extremely dangerous but it is nakedly cynical scapegoating, looking to draw further on the culture war stupidity imported from the USA. It is also an absolutely ludicrous assertion. This sort of "permissable" transphobia is being exploited online as a gateway to other far right ideas.
Trans Rights are Human Rights.
We are sliding towards a horrendous future and it will require courage, organisation, and public objection from the many good people on this seemingly-cursed set of islands to alter the direction of travel.
Musically, I've been up to quite a lot. I really need to find the compulsion to post #Content on social media again, but it's difficult when not in the throes of an album campaign. It's not out of any disdain for you guys - I feel exceptionally privileged to have an enthusiastic audience that buys records, CDs, t-shirts and who come to shows in this day and age (it's the only way I can keep doing it) - I just really struggle with the constant posting churn and I am very protective of my privacy amidst our digital dystopia. Also, I just cannae be doing with being confronted with my own visage that often. But...
First of all, the new record is ✨ finished ✨.
Done, finito, sounding absolutely class (in my humble opinion). It's exciting and I can't wait for you to hear it.
It's been a pleasure to work again with Paul Savage in the production hot seat. Working with him the past 3 years on two different records has been an incredible learning experience. He's got the best out of me as a songwriter, I think. I was bursting my arse with the demos to this record trying to deliver ones that would receive as few notes from him as possible. Challenging myself like a pure swot. I think the new songs sound immediate, vital, jagged, part-abrasive/part-pop, but it's possible to lose sight of what something sounds like when you've been so involved with it for months. I've listened to close to no music outwith the references playlist and various mixes for months. Podcasts only on commutes and during exercise, to clear the head.
The band were absolutely shit-hot too. BC stalwarts Bart Owl, Charlotte Big Red Printer were in fine form, and with Audrey away with Franz, the indefatigable Martin Johnston was in the drum stool for the vast majority of the record, with Paul whacking the kit for one of the new tunes. BC veteran Gav Prentice is on the record too, absolutely shredding guitar all over the closing song on the LP. They've all put in some shift.
The finished album was sent off for Mastering earlier this week, and it'll be sent off for manufacture next week, all going to plan.
Vinyl waiting times seem to have recovered from the whole COVID, Brexit, materials, something has burned down somewhere in America affecting everything, situation of the past few years.
It'll be out in early 2024. If you would like to receive some actual post with news about the LP before everyone else, then please sign up with yr email and postal address here, if you haven't already.
I'm trying to remember what else has happened in between now and the last blog. Music-related, that is. I'm not losing my marbles. I'll do a longer blog, track-by-track, regarding the album sessions once it is out in the world.
Something that was a real pleasure recently was playing at Kilkenny Arts Festival. A treat to be able to play any gigs outwith the UK post-Brexit, and even more so being able to take a band, so thank you to the festival for that.
It's pretty mental seeing your face on posters anyway, but to see your own coupon all over a city in another country is wild indeed. It was nice. Everything like that feels like a significant win. The first Broken Chanter album coming out almost immediately before the pandemic means that things have felt like a real battle at times post KC, so things like this are lovely.
The show at Cleere's Theatre was a delight, and it was great to have enough original BC tunes to play for 90 minutes again. Two more songs from the new record made it into the set and it is exciting to give them that additional layer of being real. It was nice to play a band version of Occupy My Hours for the first time since...uh...November 2019...?
Charlotte and I filmed a live session for The Influences which should be up in the near future. We managed to get absolutely soaked going between our hotel and the gorgeous round parade tower of the mediaeval Kilkenny Castle. What a setting. We performed two covers and an original after we'd (mostly) fixed our hair and shaken the water off ourselves.
The session should be online soon. Then you can hear two of...my influences. I am genuinely curious to see how soggy I look.
I'll be booking shows for the first tour to support the new record early next year once we've had confirmation of expected delivery time of the album. So why not let me know in the comments below where you'd like to see me and the band come and play in 2024?
I cannot wait to get the new record out and get in front of yous again.
Proper details of the new album will be revealed very soon indeed.