Somewhere In The Highlands……….

19th January 2015 | Jim

Monday 19th January 2015 – Pick Tim up Inverness airport.

The temperature drops to minus ten on the drive and the washer fluid in Larry’s car freezes.

We are back in the Scottish Highlands writing again. Not the autumnal gales and rain of last time but slap bang into winter. Getting from A to B in the ice and snow is challenging but it’s so beautiful.

The weather keeps us indoors and we work. We manage to squeeze us and all our gear into the dining room so we can jam.

We record everything. The jams lasting from 7 minutes up to nearly an hour.

In various parts of the house people set up mini studios of their own to edit the jams down into listenable lengths, and songs start to appear.

We can’t do more than a fortnight of this without it feeling like ‘The Shining’. Saul riding around on a bright red tricycle and Larry appearing at your bedroom door with an axe.

We come away with maybe twenty ‘things’… These will be the basis for the next record.

On 2014: You can’t book private jets on Uber!

23rd December 2014 | Mark

A run of three truly memorable shows in Greece, Spain and Portugal left me looking forward to getting home to play to a home crowd at Latitude. Shortly before the flight was due to depart we were told it may be delayed for seven hours …and then we got the bad news. Larry’s vegetarian meal was stuck in Luton! …And we were going to miss our slot at Latitude.

Our management went into overdrive looking at our options; different flights, different airports, helicopters, charter jets, even buying him a sandwich in the airport, but even the ridiculous options wouldn’t get us there in time (you can’t book private jets on Uber!). But within an hour or so the airline found a plane and our seven hour delay became about three, though still too late to get us, our crew and our equipment there on time.

Rather than pull out of the festival we chased every possibility, and were offered the only available slot, Sunday at midday in the big top. Better than nothing, especially for those fans who’d bought weekend tickets just to see us, but we wondered what our audience would consist of. A little sparse maybe, hung-over wet campers and dogs on string?

Our bus finally drove onto site as the sun was setting on a beautiful evening. We caught a few bands before the storms and settled into our bunks for our early show the next day.

We needn’t have worried. The tent was rammed with beaming faces. The atmosphere was fantastic …the strange hour and the unusual setting for us (a dark tent at a festival) made for one of the most bizarrely engaging shows for a long time …and we were finished in time for lunch! It’s often the case that when we’re thrown a curve ball we respond with a special gig, and this funny hour on stage was just that.

On 2014: Thank you Greece – we love you.

21st December 2014 | Andy

After the high of playing to a big home crowd in Castlefield, it was hard to know where to go. But that would be to underestimate the amazing fanbase we have in Greece.

Just a few days later we played at the Theatro Vrachon in Athens. The stage was set against a big rock with a beautiful open air amphitheater. The threat of rain, which may have meant a last minute change to an indoor venue just made us appreciate the sunshine and the amazing venue when we came to soundcheck.

The evening was beautiful. The crowd amazing. Tim climbed into the crowd during Getting Away With It and they passed him over their heads towards the back of the arena. Then there was a stage invasion on “Laid” and Tim crowd-surfed again – all the way to the sound desk at the back then returned to the stage.

The crowd’s mixture of exuberance and support was incredible. Tim’s crowd surfing formed the inspiration for the video made in Portugal a few days later for “Curse Curse”.

Thank you Greece – we love you.

On 2014: Shot through with moments of great positivity.

20th December 2014 | Saul

The year has been shot through with moments of great positivity and there don’t seem to have been any disasters….yet. One major moment this year was standing onstage at Castlefield in Manchester as the sun went down….a sea of faces upturned in front of us with a real buzz in the air. I started the chords of Interrogation and the hair on my neck went up…and a thought came to me.

I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else on Earth, with anybody else other than the amazing people I had around me on the stage and I wanted the moment to last forever. I was reminded of the moment up at Jim’s place in the Highlands when Interrogation first appeared as a fragile and tentative jam. Even then it had power to move me….and here I was over a year later sharing that experience of intimacy in this massive place with all these strangers.

What a remarkable process – what magic is weaved.

Over and out…Saul Sentimental Davies

On 2014: It’s been a year of highlights.

17th December 2014 | Tim

It’s been a year of highlights.

I’m loving how we are communicating as a band and working through some particularly intense situations that might once have caused friction and fire.

A particular highlight for me is that I have been able to have some small influence upon the videos we’ve been making. Universal Records in the 90s never let us near the video scripts and we were seldom happy with the results.

A big thanks there to Faye Purcell, Terry Felgate at BMG, Cooking Vinyl and everyone else who allowed us to put quality ahead of deadlines.

If you hadn’t noticed, our element is playing live. We love the shows where even we don’t know what’s going to happen next.

The New York gig in October was coincidentally on the second anniversary of my friend Gabrielle’s death, to the day and hour. She lived less than a mile from the venue and I got to sing the song lyrics inspired by her, to her husband Robert, who wept and danced in the balcony. Regina Spektor and her husband Jack were there for the show. Regina’s a musical heroine of mine.

The Manchester and Athens gigs were also very, very, special.

Lisbon Arena

29th November 2014 | Larry

Multiusos de Guimarães, Portugal

28th November 2014 | Larry

Leeds Arena

23rd November 2014 | Larry

The N.I.A., Birmingham

22nd November 2014 | Larry

Brixton Academy, London

21st November 2014 | Larry