Today: ‘Not From Above!’ is published and released!

It’s out. It is en-released. It is in the wild. And it’s even in some shops! (Champagne and party hat emoji here. Ed.)

Yes folks, ‘Not From Above!’, my book of darkly comic stories and accompanying 12-track album of songs, is finally out. The album was finished in 2017 on a lovely floating boat studio in London, and the book crowdfunded into existence by supporters all over the world in late 2018.

Since then the book has been professionally prepared and improved by the lovely team at Unbound; the fact-checking alone should get a high-five. Ahem!

As of 25th April, the book’s available from Amazon, Waterstones, The Owl Bookshop, Pages of Hackney, with more independents being added all the time. The album is available as a Bandcamp exclusive until June, after which it’ll be on Spotify, Apple Music and all the other streaming services too. A vinyl EP of four songs will be available in mid-May. More on that, later…

Order your copy:
Amazon | Waterstones | Bandcamp

This has been my first foray into fiction, an enjoyable new way to think creatively about the many strange aspects of life, love and London. I’ll write a longer blog post about the actual stories, and the wonderful musicians who play on the album soon. For now, thanks to everyone who supported this project – you helped make it happen.

Oh and there’s a little launch party if you’d like to come along:
https://www.eventbrite.com/…

AFH x

Not From Above! – book now out to pledgers!

Hi all,

Exciting news… after many months of preparation, and some deft copy-editing and cover designing by the lovely team at Unbound books, ‘Not From Above!’ is finally being mailed out to you, dear pledgers.

An influencer-ready photo of ‘Not From Above!’ accompanied by a fashion-forward pale ale and kickstartered cycle helmet, YES.

The official publication date is Thursday 25th April, but supporters of the project receive their copies early. The 12″ ‘Not From Above!’ EP is still being produced, within a vinyl pressing plant deep in the wilds of the Czech Republic, and should be with you in mid-May. (I’m blaming Record Store Day for the delay, and you should too!).

If you’re not a pledger, but would like to order a copy of the book it’s available from:

> Amazon
> Waterstone’s

And you can pre-order the album at
> Bandcamp

Thanks again to all who have supported this music-on-paper project!
AFH x

Next gig: 23rd March – Union Chapel, N1

Hi all

AFH return to the stage on 23rd of March 2019, for one of those lovely Daylight Music sessions. We’ll be playing songs from the new album ‘Not From Above!’, featuring a few friendly guests and reading some extracts from the book. Should be a lot of fun! Also on the bill, the wonderful Fiona Bevan and others.

Daylight Music is a free lunch-time concert, and starts at midday. Hope to see you there!

Alex x

Coming 29.04.2019: “Not From Above!”

Yes indeed, the new album and book of stories are finally scheduled for release! The book has been corrected, errant apostrophes told to go to their rooms, the cover chiseled and honed… The album has been mastered, a vinyl EP is being worked on in a distant European factory, good lord, we’re even learning to play the songs!

More details as we get nearer, but mark your diaries: 29th April 2019.
(insert minor whooping noises here).

Ax

We made it! Thanks to everyone…

They said it couldn’t be done. They said we were dreamers. They said no-one actually buys short-stories-backed-with-an-actual-album-of-songs.

Well… together (SFX: swelling music here)… we proved them wrong!

Ahem. Thanks to simply everyone who supported the crowdfunding campaign for ‘Not from above’ over the summer. Some of you went digital, some ordered the paperback, some were up for the vinyl 7″ (more on that soon), and eleven of you even ordered a personalised song. It feels a bit like the arts should be, a nicely interactive back-and-forth.

Next up: we go into the book production process now with the nice people at Unbound. More details on precise release dates once we have them…

Much love,

Alexander x

Krowdfunder klaxon: we made it to 50%!

“We made it to… fifty per cent…” A lot of people shy away from the use of statistics in songwriting. They say it’s a little dry, a tad cold, but there are … ways.

Ahem. So huge thanks to everyone who has pledged and got my book-and-album to 50% funded…! More ways to support the project, including a gig round your house… visit unbound.com 👉🏻 “not from above”.

A few weeks left to go!

Alexander

x

These are the New Zounds!

Here’s a little teaser video I made to kick off the crowdfunding campaign for ‘Not from above’ this summer. The music is an instrumental from the new record, called ‘New Zounds!’

Zounds, (or “Zounds!” as it is more commonly exclaimed) is one of those words I think I first encountered in P.G. Wodehouse. A sort of upper-class, toff surprise word. As the graph below clearly demonstrates, it’s been on something of a losing streak for the last century, but… there’s been an uptick. One that tracks with a certain bunch of useless horrors currently running the country. Ah well. As I say, faced with that set, the only solution is dancing… The full song is a kind of musical theatre-goes-disco love letter to house music and ballads, if that’s conceivable.

New story… ‘Home time’ and still time to pledge!

Just look at their faces. They know it’s all over. The clammy realisation as tiny misadventures unfold. An afternoon beset by gentle horror and micro-reversals of fortune. Just what is it about ‘Home time’?

Find out in this audio-excerpt from my new book (and album) ‘Not from above’. Beautifully read by London comedian Alison Dennison, the story is taken from the book. Pledge today to pre-order your copy, vinyl single, and digital album.

Alex x

Pledge today to support the new album + book

There’s a crowdfunding campaign going on… 🙂
The new AFH album comes with a book of stories. You can back the project now on Unbound.com. Pledge and you’ll be pre-ordering either the book, the book and album, the vinyl single, and you can even commission a personalised song.

Visit unbound now to watch the promo video and support the project.

Many thanks!
Alexander x

A little taste of the next AFH record, you say?

So while we’re waiting for the slow-moving admin of pop to grind away, I thought I’d give you, the keenly-mousing website visitor, a cheeky behind-the-curtains preview of the new AFH record.

More release details in the New Year, hopefully with some shows in winter 2018 to promote this literary beast of a record. For now here’s a quick mega-mix of what’s been brewing:

Here are some of my lovely singing friends from Chaps Choir, nailing the title track’s chorus:

Some top showtunes-y backing vox from some dear chaps… #notfromabove #afh #mixing #vocals #showtunes @grandcru.studio

A post shared by Alexander Mayor (@alexfestival) on

From the recording decks of the GrandCru boat…

“Do you like drums? Great.”
“How about Latin percussion? You’re right, it is awesome!”
“… whaddabout midi-bass with quite on-the-nose compression. To die for isn’t it?”

More details to follow. Suffice to say this studio and these producers are something special and the new LP is coming along nicely sir.

New LP! Boat mission! New book!

“Welcome back!” as they used to say on ITV after the adverts.

2017… bit of a mixed bag thus far, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. But let’s focus on the positives, AMIRIGHT? Hack-like comb-overs and political melt-downs notwithstanding, I’ve been in the studio finishing a bunch of songs for an exciting new AFH album that is also a book.

“Not from above”, the next Alexander’s Festival Hall album… will be 12 songs and about 33 stories, available as book, vinyl single and art print. It’s a title I liked and imagined might work as a spoof self-help book where the schtick was absolutely nothing spiritual would ever work out for you.

But that was a bit poor, a bit … obvious. That said, I really liked it as a phrase, there was something there that had a bit of a poetic gamble about it. And in the end that one phrase led to a really fun writing and recording project – a whole collection of short stories, a set of what-ifs and crazed concepts… accompanied by a 12 song album recorded with some brilliant, musical friends.

Anyway, there’ll be more details to share very soon. We’re just mixing and polishing at the moment. But here are some stills and clips fresh from the oven…

Glorious piano magic from Joe Thompson going down on ‘At the Double’ #piano #jazzy #babygrand #AFH #recording

A video posted by Alexander Mayor (@alexfestival) on