Next AFH live show will be at the lovely ‘Famous Times Live’ a Sunday afternoon session at Homerton’s Chat’s Palace. Doors 4pm, and once we know our stage time we’ll let you know!
Here’s The Longest Handshake – a video-art/social-happening conceived and organised by Claire Flannery and a team of other interesting people, that took place in June 2013 in Skerries, Ireland. As a nice side-project I composed music for the piece, using piano, guitar and harmonium – taking two chords as the basis, echoing the idea of two hands interacting. Finger sounds recorded on a table top add a little percussion and rhythm.
From the original event notes:
“The act of shaking hands is a performance. Humans alone perform this act, frequently and often on a daily basis. The context defines the intensity and weight placed upon this single gesture that joins two bodies together in a physical bond. It is a performance we enact to demonstrate genuine interest, commonality, shared integrity and is generally servant to a social occasion or contractual agreement. In ‘The Longest Handshake’ this act is isolated and performed by up to one hundred people simultaneously.
On a vast beach, two long lines of people will be facing each other, and moving from a considerable distance, will slowly walk towards a central point in a choreographic gesture of approximation. The performance will culminate in a collective handshake of people that may know or not know each other, an act that expressly magnifies our awareness and aims to realise its poetic potential…”
Update: tickets available! here: https://www.facebook.com/earmusicgigs/app_211526985586920
As a member of ChapsChoir, London’s foremost artful new male voice choir, I wrote an article reflecting on the experience of joining such a group, and what it might tell us about the evolving nature of maleness. You can read the full article on the Chaps’ website below.
“We’re singing songs from the fields of Georgia to the snows of Finland, the chart world of the 1990s to the elegant drawing rooms of Manhattan’s upper-west side. Men of all stripes and ages, learning in public, transmuting long held fears about public speaking into a determination to make the very air turn new colours in song…”
Read: On being a Chap.
Bonus: here’s an excerpt of us in full flow:
A little video from our December 2013 show at Union Chapel… We present ‘Present and Correct’ featuring members of Chaps Choir on backing vocals…
Thanks to Julius Beltrame, for shooting and directing. Also thanks to Arctic Circle who put on the excellent Daylight Music sessions at this truly one-off London venue.
So in a sop/bid/gesture/offering to those Hallmarkian Gods of Greeting Cards who rule our time on Earth, Mr AFH spent a busy night cutting together a little Valentines video for “I’m gonna get married” from the album. The song also features some lovely duetting from Miss Piney Gir and is in no way suitable listening for the romantically cynical.
Here’s the video and you can get the song on iTunes here.
And with the agglomerating leaves underfoot, a sure sign of terrible poetry in the offing, it is of course autumn. In gigging news, AFH will be opening proceedings tomorrow night with a full-band show at the Buffalo Bar, 28th Nov., onstage 8.15pm.
If you can’t make that and are feeling a wee bit festive, AFH will also be playing a couple of songs at a very special Union Chapel show on Saturday 7th December at 12 noon, playing with other contributors to “Festivus 2″ – a delectable Christmas compilation from New York’s Highline Records. Headliners are the Trans-Siberian band – should be a mad show and the perfect way to kick off Xmas. We’re on at 12.15 sharp, FREE entry.
You can RSVP or find more details here:
“One moment a green olive being seductively swirled around a perfectly mixed Martini, the next a revolving mirror ball lighting up the eyes of George Gershwin” (Plectrum-TCP magazine)
“AFH sounds like Jarvis Cocker backed by a street marching band trying to play Disco in a gay Vaudeville cabaret owned by Kompakt” (HowDoYouAre blog)
Friendface event page here: facebook
Central to the story of the Upturned video was the idea that the always-slightly-disturbing ventriloquist doll, Mr Charles, had a long history of former accompanists, all of whom disappeared in mysterious circumstances. To try to get this point across we decided to have bill posters from Mr Charles’ long and illustrious career on the walls of his home, designed by the very talented Linda Baritski.
For reasons I can’t quite recall I wanted the names of the guitarists who played with Mr Charles are all taken from the Petit Nicolas books, so take a look through and say ‘salut!’ to Alceste, Geoffroy, Nicolas, Rufus et Clotaire.
Played by AFH Micro-Team, at an intimate soirée, hosted by painter Stefanos Rokos, at London’s South Place Hotel.
John Rogers, Snipe London
More exciting gig news… AFH will be playing at Secret Garden Party 2013 – as part of The Local’s ‘Sunset Sessions’ on Friday 26th July. Onstage at 6pm. Also playing are our good friends The Machine Gunners who are rather splendid. Hope to see you there!
Minitour news now… AFH will be playing 2 German shows in July 2013, both super exciting:
1. Alexander’s Festival Hall, supporting Tom Tom Club. Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Monday 8th July. This show is an honour for us to play at. I think I learned pretty much everything I know about playing guitar watching Stop Making Sense on endless repeat till the VHS wore out
More details and tickets here!
2. Alexander’s Festival Hall: Thursday 11th July. German album launch party. AFH Micro-team (just two of us) will play songs from the record with support from our good friend DJ Supermarkt of the ace HowDoYouAre blog. At Smaragd Bar. FREE so come on down!
We’ve just been forwarded a nice review by a blogger who happened to visit our show during the month long Revert to Disarray gallery show by talented Greek painter Stefanos Rokos. The show was really a lovely thing to contribute to, and we wrote a song especially for one of the paintings (“Loyal to the campaign for a beautiful terrorism”, no less) which will appear on the next album.
You can read the whole thing here:
Simon Bookish, aka talented writer/composer/arranger/journalist Leo Chadburn, created this movingly re-orchestrated version of Upturned, from Not a dry eye in London. Julius Beltrame, AFH’s collaborator, directed and re-cut a video together using out-takes from the original video shoot too.
Join my robot avatar for an exclusive radio show canter through some of the inspirations for “Not a dry eye in London”.
And so… as we career gayfully down the scree towards what in the digital world they refer to as “yer launch date” (that’ll be Monday 25th March 2013), why not listen to the whole thing on Soundcloud? #audiofeast #Saturdayisyourtreatday
(Insert champagne cork clip-art here? ED)
Grab your finest clip art of executives high-fiving, or cheap pomagne being excitably decanted aside the race track – the AFH album launch do is on-on-on! 3rd April 2013 in fittingly regency-ish environs of The Old Queen’s Head, Essex Road, London N1.
Doors 7.30pm. One for the diaries… we hope to see you there! x
At the lovely Ryan’s Bar, Stoke Newington Church Street. Pop, pop and more pop. Swoonsome (it says here) pop from AFH, Dansk disco stylings from Parenthesis DotDotDot and delicate folk from Helen Lawson.
Plus proper disk jockeying-for-your-attention from Alex Gold (Word mag).
That, is a night out, mes cheres… See you there! x
Hi all. I mean ‘ho ho ho’ etc. Invited by those lovely people at Highline Records AFH has penned a wistful Xmas ditty that trades under the name “Present and Correct”. Features include the singing loveliness of Miss Anna Robinson and serid ranks of singing snowchaps. You can grab the album or song at iTunes/Amazon and many other fine e-tailers.
Listen now on iTunes:
Something evil’s lurking in the air… could it be a selection of devilishly-disposed danceable divertissements? I’ll say! AFH will be spinning some genuinely disquieting *hits* from beyond the grave at Fright Night at the Proms this Sept 29th – an all-nighter at the Scala put together by the nice programming genii from MidnightMovies, featuring some great movies (Prom Night 1 and 2?! come on!) and a decidedly dead-teenagers-at-a-prom atmosfear…
Get your tix here!
Fright Night at the Proms (Midnite Movies)
Bonus! And so an AFH song about Pfaueninsel, or “Peacock Island”, a delightful little floating folly in the River Havel in Berlin. The site of royal nookie making back in the later 1700s, it remains a darling place to visit, with its eponymous inhabitants wandering about occasionally showing a little tail feather.
The song is dedicated to my dear friends Thomas and Sarah. String arrangements and violin/viola from Amy May: http://www.aboutamymay.com
Finally, thanks to Sonja for suggesting such a great island to visit, and Sarah for making the sock puppets whilst negotiating a cracking hangover…
Good news everyone! AFH will be opening a lovely show in London’s north-west one, at Specks in the Sky, The Monarch, Camden, 27th September. More details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/438143726235673/
A free show, we’ll be supporting the heart-meltingly lovely Melting Ice Caps, and the madcap genius that is Mikey Georgeson (sometime David Devant, Mr Solo and all round musical matador). Watch out later this week for a new song to get you into the autumnal mood too…
Hope to see you there!
Here’s a song I wrote for the London 2012 Olympics compilation from WIAIWYA records. Everybody got a different sport to write about, and I landed “judo”. Guest vocals from my musical colleague Yazuyo Uemura. Video is a clipfest of physical action. Enjoy!
Merci, gracias, thank you kindly to all who came to our lovely Daylight Session at the Union Chapel in April. Team AFH, initially held together by nothing stronger than coffee and Victoria Sponge quickly took the reins (and surely reverb gets no longer than that in a London venue?). For a special day out you can’t beat these free Saturday shows hosted by the Arctic Circle (more).
Also here are a couple of songs video’d by the audience to give you a flavour… Thanks to ‘Andunemir’ for posting.
Thanks to all who came along for our Upturned launch show… In exciting news we’ll be treading some rather bigger boards at the end of the month at the delightful Daylight Sessions @ The Union Chapel in Highbury/Islington. Saturday 28th April; show starts at 12.00 and runs till 2pm and is a delightful way to kick off the weekend. More details here:
Hope to see you in the pews!
Just to say the next show, our little Upturned (but hey, in a basement) launch do is at Power Lunches and we’ve got a dream bill of musical diversions for you all… the elegantly intuitive Machine Gunners will be opening proceedings, followed by the total pop of Tim Ten Yen with supportive parallel world of musical marvels from DREAMTRAK and DJ Soft Focus on the decks.
A free CDsingle (remember them? stare at the artwork as you listen on soundcloud mes cheres…) to the first 20 arrivals too!
See you there, doors 7pm, live music starts at 8.30:
(nearest station: Dalston Kingsland / Dalston Junction)
Exciting times..! The “Upturned” single is coming out in April 2012, and to get you in the ah, mood, we present a dark, dark video concerning the perils of the auditioning process, when you travel a world away, to the sea. Directed by Julius Beltrame, with graphics by Linda Baritski, puppet cameo from Mr Charles of New Jersey, and featuring a semi-animate starring role for a lost village out near Clacton-on-Sea…
Check out the video and preview for AFH’s Judo track, now up on Where It’s At Is Where You Are’s site. The blog’s going to build for weeks up to release, a different musical act for each of the 26 sports! Album out in June team so head on over:
It’s the taking part (site)
Good news! Next AFH live show at The Betsey Trotwood, 3rd November 2011. With support from the smooth pop hooks from DJ Soft Focus and more tbc!
Well it’s an embarrassment of remixy-riches at AFH towers and no mistake. Latest to pitch up a mix for the Upturned EP (coming late March with video) is Simon Bookish, possibly one of the most talented and deserving of the description ‘musically ambitious’ people working out there today. SB has taken the song to a delicate, near-ambient state with Satie-esque pianos and ranks of recorders.
[singlepic id=66 w=200 float=left]Good news everyone!
A Spring Soirée of Single-length Sensuous Song! Courtesy of the ace people at Radio Nowhere, the masterly pop chops of Mr Tim Ten Yen, and the klikkerty zingzong of Alexander’s Festival Hall. Disk Jockeying for your attention will be Mr Christopher Laird, he of the radio show. Come on down!
£6/£5 with flyer (flyers can be printed from the Club Fandango website)
Adv. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com/bullandgate/event/110564
Sound of whooping all around at AFH towers. 2k11 is underway and we’ve got some really interesting people doing mixes for the pre-album EP, based around the album tracks “Upturned” and “Like 79″. AFH himself has taken it in a strings, harmonium and acoustical de-mix direction. While over in Canada, Zachary Gray, (pictured) has gone all clubby-dreampop on us, and two more fabulous guest mixers are also prepping versions. Excitements! More details on release date as we get them mes amis.
<iframe width=”100%” height=”450″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”no” src=”https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1542079&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true”></iframe>
Insert sound of clapping/dancing/falling-over but the debut AFH album, so very long in the brewing to our secret recipe, has now been finished and mastered! Titled “Not a dry eye in London“, and being some 13 delectable tracks in length, the AFH record features twinkling sounds from birds in the trees, to cellos in the basement, synths in the club to sweet words on the breeze.
Update: released by State51/MelodicalTrax in March 2013. Listen here…
And so… a side-project of manifest bizarreness… all dating back to a long-time Denim/GoKartMozart obsession,… having worked with Denim’s producer Brian O’Shaunghessy and knowing Christian Flamm, German artists responsible for FoxtrotEchoLimaTango – a book about Lawrence’s former band Felt. What could it add up to but… the Rocketcottage Radio Roadshow! A live, probably-never-to-be-repeated* performance by Tim and Alex of Baxendale parish, at the Betsey Trotwood, 6th August, 7pm…
Preview track: “Kings of the Road”
Imagery from the show, update yo:
[singlepic id=61 w=320 h=240 float=left]
*until ATP gets Lawrence to curate in 2058
News in of next show! AFH is extremely excited to be playing at INTRO-DUCING, the pre-party, warm-up for Melt! Festival 2010 just south of the city.
Ah the remix, … all hand-claps in a canyon and extendo-c-c-c-choruses. Two minutes of slowly building stab chords and a voice going “Uh-huh… Uh-huh, yeah!”… Well, AFH likes a nice refit-remix – where you take the song on a trip to DisneyLand kind of against its will but in a good way It’s even better when the band who asks you to do it is really musically interesting and open to a little adventure…
Cinema Verité, (“like the Beach Boys in a colder climate”) are a dreamy post-rocking duo from Canada, whose debut “Sunrise, sunset” is out on LGM this summer. They’re also releasing a separate remix album on Lebanon, Mass. Records and asked AFH to contribute a reimagining of their “Perfect Day”… Excerpt of the mix to follow! x
[singlepic id=52 w=200 float=left]Well, with only 13 minutes of official training in the art of space suit maintenance and no pockets to stash the space mints… Here are the setlists from Friday night’s Barbarella Night at the Curzon. AFH dj’d with Mr James in a kind of triple tracker tag team that saw the arrayed synths of Giorgio Moroder take on the hairy space hippy freaks!
Most jolly. Thanks to Nadia’s team at the cinema for inviting us to play…
AFH’s SonicSpatialness Mix:
Barbarella – Geoff Love Orchestra
Holiday on Ice – Le Knight Club
Running in the City – Space
Baby Blue – Giorgio Moroder
Space Invaders – Playback
Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind – Ronnie Aldrich
Clouds across the Moon – The Rah Band
Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
Galaxy of Love – Crown Heights Affair
Money (8 Bit Dark Side of the Moon) – Pink Floyd
Drunk Girls (Holy Ghost! Remix) – LCD Soundsystem
Rocket – Goldfrapp
Spacer – Sheila B and Devotion
Holiday on Ice – Le Knight Club
Like an Eagle – Dennis Parker
Chicago – Roy Ayers
2001 – Deodato
James’s Hot Psyche’n 60s-70s Phreaklist
Since You Asked – Singers Unlimited
Me And Mrs Jones – Billy Paul
I Am And So Are You – Affinity
Camel Back – A.B.Skhy
You keep me Hangin’ on – Vanilla Fudge
Super Stupid – Funkadelic
Black Magic Woman – Fleetwood Mac
The Battle Of The Locusts – Aphrodite’s Child
One-Armed Bandit – Jaga Jazzist
A Man and A Woman – A Man and A Woman OST
Butterflies Are Free – The Free Design
Beautiful Scarlet – Capability Brown
Fire – Arthur Brown
Are You Man Enough – The Four Tops
It’s About Time – HP Lovecraft
Cronus (Saturn) – Chase
Barracuda – Heart
She’ not there – Zombies
You’re The Song I’ve Always Wanted To Sing – Timmy Thomas
You Must Be Joking – Locomotive
(thanks to MegaEye for the image!)
[singlepic id=51 w=200 float=left]Hi all, here’s a new track from the debut album (still simmering but oh-so-very-close!). It will be available to buy from an album of 60 second songs from Le Grand Magistery this summer, which promises to be a playground of colourful sounds indeed. Meanwhile, in a nightclub in Koln…
[singlepic id=48 w=200 float=left] A week’s notice to my space-headz But self aka AFH will be spinning some intergalactically spacey tunes next Friday at the Curzon’s Barbarella Midnight Cinema in Soho! Grab a ticket, don your pervotronique outfit and see you there… I can promise an otherworldly set of chansons indeed… xx
Date: 30th April 2010
Grab a ticket here: here
Click here for groovy poster!
[singlepic id=47 w=320 h=240 float=left]New song preview friends!
Check out “Upturned” in the soundcloud player, right. (or go here)
There was a point, marked clearly in one of my notebooks early on, where this song was going to be called “cover her upturned face in burning kisses – part III” … but saner and wiser heads prevailed. The story is still a story though – kind of a fairytale… inspired part by Murakami and part by Wodehouse.
[singlepic id=46 w=179 h=178 float=left]Yes, insert uptempo comment about snow, crampons, yuletidings and the whole sherry mid-afternoon in front of Roger Moore thing. Whilst the egg nog simmers on the stove, here’s a revisit from the AFH tune bunker… Click on “Silent Nites” on the new player, right… Kind of inspired by Kay Starr and the possibility of a Christmas gone awry…
Happy holidaze! AFH x
Well, what a well dressed peacocking and friendly bunch were the assembled throng at the Curzon Midnight Movie showing of Labyrinth last night… Afh judged the mood as requiring a blend of scritti politti, Ryan Paris, human league and by the end the 14th consecutive 80s revival was definitely in full swing thanks to Nadia and all you pretty things… X
[singlepic id=45 w=320 h=240 float=left]Aloha team, time to put on your mask, fluff your mullet (!?) and get yourselves tickets to the midnight Masquerade at the Curzon Soho! AFH will be playing a DJ set of classical-madness-and-80s-Bowie-baiting hitz to follow the screeny goodness. Friday 27th November is the date. Click the image for more details! Or go here to find out more and book tickets…
[singlepic id=40 w=320 h=240 float=left]Thanks to everyone who came to AFH’s show at Beyond Retro on Saturday… Resisted the urge to butcher Bowie’s “Fashion”, and the warm coat selection was exemplary so a win all round we think. More pics from the talented Steve Brummel in the Gallery…
Enter the Labyrinth!
Next live show to be scheduled but AFH will be DJing at the Soho Curzon Cinema’s “Late nights” on 27th November, which is (reads from card) “Labyrinth Masquerade” themed… More details will be up soon on the Curzon’s facebook page: link
[singlepic id=38 w=320 h=240 float=left]Come see AFH play amid the frocks, pantaloons and assorted yesteryear accessories at Beyond Retro’s ubershoppe of vintage goodies on Cheshire Street, just off Brick Lane… 3pm, October 24th 2009.
Update: Facebook Event Link
Hey team, here in all its raintastic and chilly glory is our acoustic rendering of “I’m gonna get married” live on BalconyTV. Simon from Vatican Cellars helping out on guitar, Will Byers from BeeStings on Cello and Clare Younis providing the vocal heartbreak. (PS If you look very carefully you’ll see us being pelted with confetti amid the raindrops… x)
Most exciting! AFH will be playing a little acoustic, single-song set (nano-gig? ach, whatever…) for BalconyTV, on the LockLounge balcony on Tuesday 15th September. It’s the end of the summer but there’s still time for a wedding song we think…
Link: BalconyTV. We’ll post the video up here once the nice people at BalconyTV have put it up… For now here’s what it was like singing to a month’s rain in a single nacht! Pictures by the superbly waterproof slash diligently dry Nicholas Tucker!
Good news everyone!
[singlepic id=27 w=320 h=240 float=left]The AFH-produced/arranged new Piney Gir album “The Yearling” gets **** out of 5* in the Sept. 2009 issue of Q magazine. Hooray! The record hits the shops on 14th of the month too, for which “woo!”. (UK, released in USA mid October on Grey Day Records/Warner).
More great reviews from the web’n'blogosphere:
Music Fix: http://www.themusicfix.co.uk…/
Late last year AFH was approached to contribute to an album of Bruce (“Broooce”) Springsteen cover versions by the nice people at the WIAIWYA label. A chancey gambit you might think, as AFH knew next to nothing of the Boss’s back catalogue and had spent little time in checkered shirts or contemplating the ups and downs of life in New Jersey.
However, there’s nothing like a short-ferry ride away from the old music komfort zone so AFH readily agreed and went into deep Brucemmersion. The result is “Empty Sky”, a song chosen for its dark 9/11 subject and forceful simplicity. Piney Gir lends her lovely voice to the choruses. Dedicated to the memory of Suria Clarke. Hope you like it. x
[singlepic id=37 w=320 h=240 float=left]Old video guest appearance news…! AFH braved the cold with friends Psapp last winter to play bones percussion (the smell of lamb has polluted the old AFH mittens to this day…) on their Bandstand Busking acoustic set in Arnold’s Circus. Songs are from their excellent album “The camel’s back”. Watch clips here
Back indeed when girls when taller and cooler… AFH’s reverie, half imagined, half designed, about the clash of disco and apres-disco… a boy in a bar, a bar full of people and well, a video cartooned into existence by the ever so talented Mr Tim Benton… Now watch on…
So before the album comes out I thought it would be kind of cool to make a record, but not one, crucially, that absolutely no-one could actually play. I have a record player but it sits rather unhappy looking in the corner, its direct drive downcast, its needle needled, whilst the music hums out of a laptop next door… What to do then? Given that vinyl is such a nice format? Well AFH decided to DIY it and make a new music format: VP3.
[singlepic id=22 w=320 h=240 float=left]
As you can see, they’re ahem, handmade and there *highly collectable* and in some cases the B-side is still playable (assuming you don’t mind spraypaint on the initial synth stabs in “I feel for you…”)
AFH songs available for download from the vinyl are “Like 79″ and “Becoming the Reason”, (grab a preview here!) whilst on the B’ you’ll find the likes of the J Geils Band, Wham!, Sarah Brightman and Van McCoy. Quite the lucky bag! For sale at aFH shows this autumn and winter…
Here’s a new AFH song, which will be on the debut album. It’s rather nuptial. I wrote it at New Year’s in Berlin, sitting looking out on a snowscape from a 4th floor window. Strangely the mood is less minimal techno and more cowboy lament, not quite sure how that happened…
Here’s a video, (well animated instructional thought-stream?) I made for my remix of Piney Gir’s Nightsong. The original is a lovely jazzy duet between Piney and Simple Kid. I thought it would sound cool as meltingly acidic smooth jazztronic f**k-up. The video is just because. Just because these days we all watch music rather than just listen to it, right?
“Night song” Piney Gir
(AFH’s San Fran Disko Mix)
[singlepic id=23 w=320 h=240 float=right] okay this is just daft… but I got a stamp made. For the making of VP3s (of which more, later)… So yes a stamp, from Blade Rubber Stamps which on account of being opposite the British Museum, feels like a proper place for a gentleman to place an order. I feel like I’ve started my own civil service department. If anyone would like a law enacting or a document stamping I’m your man…
[singlepic id=21 w=320 h=240 float=left]… to everyone who came down for AFH’s show with Tim Ten Yen at the Doghouse, 17th July 09…
Great to blow the dust off some old songs and give a good airing to some new ones… We’ll be back to play again soon, hopefully in September… x
[singlepic id=26 w=320 h=240 float=left]