Delighted to announce we will be doing our 1st ever acoustic festival slot at the Beautiful Days Festival this August. Quite a line-up!
Delighted to announce we will be doing our 1st ever acoustic festival slot at the Beautiful Days Festival this August. Quite a line-up!
Hello folks, ta for all the love for Pleasure Death today. Realising it was a quarter of a century old coincided with hearing this morning of the closure of the legendary Harlow Square venue. Such a shame. There is a story linking both venue and album.
Late ’91 we were touring the U.K. and had planned to record some songs at Southern Studios, London for release on the Wiiija/Southern label. The night before we had a gig booked supporting Spiritualized at Harlow Square. We were staying with Gary Walker, boss of Wiiija Records in North London so we headed down to Harlow with Gary and got ready to check out this venue we’d read so much about. Spiritualized’s soundcheck took forever and we weren’t allowed into our dressing room until they finished. When they eventually stopped doors were opening, an event that also coincided with our dinner being served by the venue. We went to take our baked potato and beans ( I remember what we had to eat. Is that sad?) into our dressing room and were told by Spuratualized’s crew that they were using all of the backstage area and we weren’t allowed in it. The three of us sat on the stage, dinner on laps and chatted to those punters who had made their way in early to check us out. This was very strange indeed. Within ten minutes our plates would be empty, we’d strap on guitars, pick up sticks and play to those who had just watched us scoff our food. When we went to leave our empty plates backstage a crew member told us we couldn’t come back. Naive as we were then we we’re still aware that this was a load of bollocks. Fyfe tried to push past the Scottish tech who proceeded to do what all Scots and Irish do in that situation and exaggerated his accent to sound as if he’d just come out of doing a ten stretch. Seeing the guy was giving Fyfe grief myself and Michael piled in, knives, forks, dishes flying everywhere, lots of pushing and shoving. In the background a terrified Jason Pierce looked as if he had just shat his pants while his crew huffed and puffed and tried to keep us out. Eventually, people from the club and Gary Wiiija got involved and the melee was stilled. We grabbed our instruments and played a blinder. The audience that had come for blissful space rock were startled while the noise heads down the front lurched back and forward In revelry.
After Spiritualized finished their set they got out as quickly as they could. We hung around and got amongst the vibes in the club. For some reason I decided that some speed was what was needed and got a punter at The Square to hook me up with a dealer who arrived in a navy blue Ford Granada and looked like Barry Grant from soap opera Brookside. I spent the night tearing the ears off Gary Walker and Harvey Birrell and ranting about soap operas I liked. I was still flying on the way back to Gary’s house in London, still awake chatting to Gary’s flat mates and still awake when we arrived in Southern Studios the next day.
I remember recording Potato Junkie and thinking my Fender Telecaster sounded the best it had ever sounded. We hit the pub later that night and the next day we’re back in again. After we finished recording we headed out to do a John Peel session and drank more beers but this time Tennents Super which is, as some ‘specialists’ are aware the most awesome of beers ( if you’re wired that way). On the trip back from the Peel session I was hanging out the back of the van while being shouted at by the late, much missed,John Loder, head honcho of Southern who was in a vehicle behind and trying to get me into safety. From there we headed to London ULU to watch Silverfish. After their fantastic set us and Silverfish headed over to a party at RAK studios where I drank more and took microdot acid. This episode would later be memorialised in ‘Knives’ as I wandered around, kitchen knives in hand silently freaking out. I stayed up all night in a spare room with shades of ‘the fear’ and when I went into another room later everybody had left. The next morning staff at the studio came in to inform me that my bandmates had left a message that they would be at Southern Studios with Harvey to mix our album. They also, in no uncertain terms, requested I get off their property as they didn’t like the look of the saucer-eyed Wurzel Gummidge with the Ulster accent.
There I was, still tripping, on the street with no mobile phone (this was 1991) and hardly any money. I’ve a vague recollection of standing at a bus stop in Picadilly scared out of my wits and also a vague episode on Oxford Street. In the end I managed to make it to the studio where I was so fucked I spent the entire mixing session under the mixing desk shouting “turn up the feedback” or “sounds amazing” to anyone that would listen. That night the thought of getting on a bus back to another destination filled me with dread so, as we were due in the studio again the next day, I asked if I could sleep in the studio. John Loder didn’t mind, fair play to him, and so with the aid of a sleeping bag I bedded down under he desk. That night I had fitful night terrors and couldn’t settle, wishing the last of the acid, booze and speed would leave my system and let me feel normal again.The next morning I was woken by a staff member from Southern saying “Andy? Can you get up please? Cathi Unsworth from Melody Maker is here to interview you”.
Where the fuck did I get all that energy and capacity for shenanigans?
The album sounds great and, despite the freaking out, it was a marvellous time. Big up to fellow travellers Michael McKeegan, Fyfe Ewing, Harvey Birrell and John Loder. The album would come out in ’92 and go to number one in the independent charts and later that year my beloved Fender Tele would bite the dust on stage at the Mandela Hall in Belfast (it’s on display at the Oh Yeah centre in Belfast, fact fans. There’s probably still some speed lodged behind the scratch plate) so it was such a vibrant and thrilling time to be involved in music and involved with the band. I heard this morning that The Square in Harlow is to close. That’s a shame, a real shame. If you fancy it, get a can of Tennents Super and crank up Pleasure Death and wish the good people of The Square all the best. Go easy on the acid though….shudder….
(You heard the man, CRANK IT!)
Very pleased to confirm we will be doing a run of “Wood & Wire” acoustic shows in April this year. The dates are…
Just a quick one before we shut up (rock) shop for the holidays to wish you all a very happy Xmas and New Year. From a 2016 band point of view we had a great run of “Infernal Love revisited” shows, a summer of killer festivals and most recently our 1st acoustic tour. There are already a few cool tours/shows in the pipeline for 2017 plus we’ll be writing and recording album #15 so do watch out for info on all of that as and when it happens. As always, thank you for your continued support of the band, you’re a wonderful bunch! Have a lovely festive time folks and here’s to 2017!
Apologies, the last remaining copies have all gone.
been asked by a few people, because of the very limited numbers involved, if it would be possible to pre-order the last remaining Gemil Boxsets. You can pre-order HERE, but please BE AWARE that it may take 6-8 weeks before you will receive the Boxset. We are at the mercy of Amazon (who have the remaining stock) as to when they actually send them back to us…and Christmas and New Year will interfere with matters. Obviously if we can ship earlier we will!! All parcels will be sent by courier or registered post.
Nothing-Tired of Tomorrow
Architects-All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Danny Brown-Atrocity Exhibition
Moor Mother-Fetish Bones
Elza Soares-A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo
True Detective 2
American Horror Story Roanoke
84 Charing Cross Road at Cambridge Arts Theatre
Watching Chelsea beat Manchester United 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in a match that became a fitting tribute to the late, much missed, Matthew Harding.
Chris Petit-Butchers of Berlin
Emma Cline-The Girls
System Of Hate-Unhallowed Ground
Ghost BC-Square Hammer
The Virgin Marys-Divides
BAT-Wings Of Chains
Naïve Sense-Art Failures
MAKE-Pilgrimage Of Loathing
Bloody Hammers-Lovely Sort Of Death
Dinosaur Jnr-Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
The Body-Nobody Deserves Happiness
Entombed AD-Dead Dawn
NASA Space Universe-70 AD
Miasmal-Tides Of Omniscience
Lust For Youth-Compassion
Howls Of Ebb-Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
G.L.O.S.S.-Trans Day Of Revenge
Castle-Welcome To The Graveyard
Art Of Burning Water-Between Life And Nowhere
House Of Cards
American Horror Story
True Detective 2
Stranglers-Nirwana Festival, NL
Marduk-Wacken Festival, DE
Mike Monroe-Stone Free Festival, UK
Day Four-Sarah Lotz
A Death In The Family-Karl Ove Knausgaard
Midnight Sun-Jo Nesbo
A Brief History Of Seven Murders-Marlon James
Mr Mercedes-Stephen King
The Fireman-Joe Hill
Murder in Successville
I, Daniel Blake
The Big Short
Mudhoney – Rescue Rooms, Notts
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) Silent movie with live musical accompaniment – Cathedral, Derby
Hell’s Angels – Hunter S Thompson
The Axeman’s Jazz – Ray Celestin
Porgy & Bess, Vienna
After a night letting off steam and eating well in Linz, the following morning we head over to Vienna. The venue Porgy and Bess is a renowned jazz venue and we’re very excited to be playing there. The venue’s wonderful and the gig’s brilliant. To top things off, our friends Christian and Hannes join us onstage for Screamager, Nowhere and Die Laughing which is great fun!
Apart from the freeeezing cold dressing room, the Colos-saal was great. Lovely people and great food! The show goes down really well and we have a smashing time.
Stone Im Ratinger, Dusseldorf
(Before leaving Aschaffenburg)
Ok, so, me and Herb (our lovely merch guy) dropped everyone’s washing in at a launderette the previous day to be washed overnight and picked up before leaving for Dusseldorf. The morning’s plan was to quickly pick up the clean clothes and then head off… erm, not quite!!
Let’s just say something was lost in translation and the launderette thought we were picking up the clothes a day later than we wanted!! After much pleading from us both we were asked to return in 2 hrs and everyone’s washing would be done. This allowed us to have an unexpected walk around Aschaffenburg which was absolutely lovely I must say. The Christmas market was in full swing and Christmas was definitely in the air. What began as a disaster actually turned out very well (thankfully for me and Herb!!!)
We eventually arrived in Dusseldorf, sound checked and made sure everything was nice and comfortable on stage. The gig turns out to be more like a ‘rock gig’ than most of the shows we’ve done on this acoustic tour (yes, there was even stage diving!!) Everyone was very rowdy and in fine voice. Thanks Dusseldorf, what a great night.
After the show we begin the trek back to Blighty. We make a start by driving to Holland to stay over before driving on to London the next day for an evening off. We all chill out and have a lovely meal together in preparation for London.
We arrive at the Union Chapel around lunchtime. All I can say is wow – what a venue! The place is stunning.
We spend time getting the sounds right on stage – tonight we have our friends playing alongside us, Stevie and also Jenny Nendick on cello, so we make sure they’re happy and sounding great.
For us, the gig was amazing. I loved every minute. Thank you, London and thank you to everyone who travelled to the show. What a fantastic end to the tour!
An acoustic tour was always going to be an odd one for us (from our end and yours)
It was the first time we’ve attempted acoustic shows and I can honestly say I’ve not had so much fun in a long time.
Approaching the songs and the tour in the way we did was a real challenge but it was incredibly rewarding and to be honest I’ve come off the back of the tour feeling invigorated and full of new ideas for the future. I loved it! Thank you for your part in making each and every show so special.
A massive thank you to everyone who came out to the shows in each city and all who travelled from around the world to join in the fun. Also, thanks to all our friends who got up onstage and played alongside us. We really must do it again some time!
(oh, I’m on Instagram if you fancy it… ncooper.insta)
Apologies, all the copies of this run have sold-out now.
Pleased to announce we now have some of the limited edition “Wood & Wire” acoustic cds available over at the webstore. The 11 track album features reworked songs from “Babyteeth” right up to “Disquiet” and was orginally available on the “Wood & Wire” 2016 tour. ORDER IT HERE
If It Kills Me
Nobody Here But Us
A Moment Of Clarity
Maastricht Musiekgieterij 22/11/16
After a day off we’re ready for tonight. Never been to Maastricht before, our hotel is opposite the MVV Maastricht football ground.Town is gorgeous and makes me regret not going out the previous evening with Neil, Richard and Herb.Gig is a wonderful old market complete with steel girders and cobbled stones and it works really well for an acoustic show. The audience are friendly and warm create a fantastic atmosphere in the venue. The lights are great and afterwards we chat and have photos taken with a few people. Thanks to all at the venue for the good food, helpful tips and hands with the equipment. We’d like to return to Maastricht with the full electric band experience.
Brussels Botanique 23/11/16
We didn’t know how this gig would go as it wasn’t seated and we were worried that it might lead the audience to believe it would be a full on show. No need to worry the Brussels crowd sang their hearts out from start to finish and made for a full blooded show with shouting, drunken chants and lovely smiles.
Thank you very much for your kindness. That was a wee bit special.
Roeselare De Spil 24/11/16
Another first. A fantastic venue. Stunning inside like an opera house. At first I found the setting strange but soon got into it. The crowd was really sweet keeping us going throughout and when we started asking them to boo Donald Trump they happily obliged. Thanks to everyone including the venue for making this a special night. We’d like to go back.
Rotterdam Arminius 25/11/16
One of my favourite cities in Europe and I don’t get a chance to visit it very often. We start the day at famous Barbershop Shroem where we play in the back while people get their hair cut. A first for us! Thanks to the guys for the food and drinks. Next time I might get myself a haircut.
I then spend an hour looking in record stores for local band release Sweet Release of Death but I can’t find it.
The gig was on another level altogether. Stunning venue, incredible crowd and I thought we played very well. What a night. Seeing all the smiling faces was an immense feeling, real goosebumps. A big thank you to all of you who came, all at Rotown and Ronald, our Dutch friend, who turned up with a vinyl copy of the album I’d been looking for!
Can’t wait to return to see you all again and the spectacular night took our minds off the fact that we had a twelve hour drive to Linz the following day.
Day Off, Linz 26/11/16
Arrive at 16.30, have beers in bar, find Bar showing Chelsea v Tottenham game.Drink more beer while cheering on the mighty Blues.Chelsea win 2-1 with a stunning goal from Pedro and a second, well worked one, set up by Costa and scored by Victor Moses. Come On You Blues KTBFFH
Go to curry house and, for the first time ever, let the guy talking us through the menu choose my meal for me. It’s delicious. Back to hotel, watch crap TV and hit bed. Big day, big gig ahead in Vienna. Go to sleep still buzzing about the Chelsea win.