In which ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the last LP gets the director’s commentary treatment, oh yes.
In which ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the last LP gets the director’s commentary treatment, oh yes.
Put down that algorithm, and allow two highly unreliable narrators to guide you through the best part of an hour of highly selective musical whimsy. Yes, it’s episode 9 of the Rather Resplendent Records podcast!
The show features a lounge-y take on the Sisters of Mercy, some Bruton Music Library gold, and un bon niveau of French cinematic score grooviness! Enjoy. AFH x
Nightclubs. Boîtes, as it were, de nuits. Evenings out, a shimmy at the old disco. Or you could just stay in. So here we are in lockdown <enter-variable#>, pining for a night on the tiles with friends, under flashing lights and spinning reflective ball.
So I made thing for my insta, #DiscoInspo if you will. (Argh.)
Need some new tunes? Course you do!
We bring you another podcast from the imaginary record shop run by m’self and good pal, Christopher Laird! It’s our usual blend of lost Europop gems, Japanese genre-craziness and some recent American gems, to celebrate the passing of the Donald. As ever, the only algorithms involved are decades of two men hanging around in record shops. Check us out and give us a follow on Mixcloud.com!
Another in a growing list of ‘remain-indoors’ musical whimsies, I bring you ‘Where’s yer bucket’n’spade, eh?’ – the forbidden taste of now lost holiday-making. Drizzle and ice cream. Stubbing your toe on the gravel beach. Someone’s ghastly uncle flirting. Chips.
Grazie to Pathé News Reel’s YT channel for endless source of how-we-used-to-live goodness.
[Trigger warning: features scenes of Sid James golfing]
Because what precisely no-one needed was ‘a song about the difficult time we’ve all been having’. However… with good friends at The Betsey Trotwood, one of London’s finest community-musical venues, holding an online fundraising show… I had an idea for a song that seemed to capture the overlong-longeurs of this strange time.
You can watch the whole show on YouTube here. And drop some coin in the hat for the fundraiser right here. Many fab people contributed music, comedy or films, including Parenthesis DotDotDot, Robyn Hitchcock & Emma Swift, Piney Gir, Darren Hayman, Emily Barker, Ren Harvieu and oodles of others.
Anyway, I give you… Sexybored.
Just to let you know that you can now also purchase the ‘EP from the album of the book’, Not From Above! It’s available from our good friends at BandCamp and comes with a high quality download of the album too. You can even buy a bundle and get the accompanying book of darkly comic stories.
Why now head over and grab your copy: BandCamp.
Good news stuck-for-what-to-listen-to music fans! As Fri(y)ay afternoon hoves into view, what better way to discover some new music, established and just-hired alike, than by tuning in to episode two of Rather Resplendent Records. Join Christopher and myself as we rifle through another batch of future classics and lost gems:
And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram:
Ah what a time we had! Am-dram, top quality tunes on spinning vinyl disks, lots of lovely people. Thanks to the always wonderful Horse Hospital for hosting us, to Travis Elborough for playing some kick-ass tunes, and to everyone who came along.
Photos feature “Pete” (Nick Faber) and “Chris” (Laurie Innes) in our (makes scare quotes) “adaptation” of The Onset of Battle from Not From Above! A kind of immersive theatre satire set in a Russian warzone that looks suspiciously like Hampstead Heath. Photos by Michael Jones.
Here’s a little interview I did for the Portobello Book Blog, as part of the Random Things book blog tour for ‘Not From Above!’. A bit of book backstory, musings on self-help, and why tidying isn’t my new jam:
Read: Ten Things About…
Thanks to Joanne at Portobello Book Blog.
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…
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:
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.
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:
And you can pre-order the album at
Thanks again to all who have supported this music-on-paper project!
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!
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).
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…
“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!
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.
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.
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.
When Upturned came out a few years back I approached a bunch of different people to re-build the track, with some delightful results. One of them was a dreamy-than-thou chillwave re-boot by Zachary Gray, another alumnus of America’s once most eclectic labels, Le Grand Magistery Records. Zach’s “Mitternacht in Koln” remix took the original’s electronica roots and dug a whole lot deeper. Other tracks on “Remixes & Reinterpretations” include Phoenix, Holobody and many other fine people.
For Apple Music subscribers you can listen now, for those on iTunes it’s still available to buy!
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:
Now this is a tad exciting… (indulge me). Just had a box of proofs arrive with a resounding thud. For yes, the new AFH record is also a book. A collection of mad monologues, passive aggressive board game instructions, and dictator’s memoirs.
Not from above – a literary-musical adventure if you like – will be out in the new year. Hopefully with a lovely cover once I’ve got round to figuring out quite what should be on it…
This Sunday, 27th August 2017, I’ll be performing at Folk in a Box in the Barbican Centre. Taking the idea of an intimate gig to its logical extreme… a single audience member gets a gig-for-one… in a box. ‘Now wait just a minute there,’ I hear you say, ‘since when did Mr AFH have any songs even passingly folk-some in nature?’ Your reservations are well taken, Madame, well taken…
Instead of Cecil Sharp-approved balladry, I’ll be reading a couple of stories from the forthcoming AFH album + book “Not from above”, with a light musical backing. How does that sound? Lovely. Hope to see you there!
More details on Folk in a Box’s Facebook page:
“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.
Spring has sprung, a nation is convulsed, every flower-strewn path is bestrode by mediocre political hacks, their hearts black and full of empty promises… So what’s the medicine? Music and words my friends, words and music!
Come to the Tin Tabernacle
I will once again be performing music with the inestimable London wordsmith Guy Sangster-Adams, showcasing some great new compositions we’ve been collaborating on. Poems with a beat, songs with wit, call them what you will, but make sure you catch us performing them in front of a battleship inside a tin church. That’s our entertainment special pledge to you all…
Vote art! Book now!
(You can grab a ticket here)
“Guy Sangster-Adams combines a poet’s eye with an art rocker’s ear to offer brilliantly observed and subtly woven, lyrical and pop cultural romantic tales.”
– Murray Lachlan Young, poet, broadcaster, BBC6 Music poet-in-residence
Photo: Guy Sangster Adams and Alexander Mayor, shot by Paul Kelly
“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…
Just to announce what should be a great little show at The Horse Hospital on Tuesday 18th October. AFH will be performing some songs and telling some stories at ‘The Map is not the Territory’, featuring author Geoff Nicholson, writer/raconteur Travis Elborough, some great vinyl DJs and more. There’ll beÂ spoken word, music, short films, DJs, maps, walking, it would be lovely to see you there! 😉
More details and ticket booking links here:Â Horse Hospital.
Featuring excellent musics from:
Van Dyke Parks
… and many more…
Also including exciting feature items from our artisanal contributors:
Mike Monaghan’s View from the Drum Stool
George Terry’s History of Britpop: feat. Dodgy
Piney Gir’s Drunk Cookery: Three
“Our voyage begins at last” a nearly-sci-fi story from Alexander’s Festival Hall
Katrin Geilhausen the Hackney Kansas Weather Girl
Yes it’s a gig with a difference… an entertainment-strewn blend of spoken word, polite punk choiring, and infectiousÂ pop music.
You’re in good hands with:
Fax Telex – the latest brainchild from pop’s whizz kid Tim Ten Yen.
Piney Gir – our good friend Piney appears, in a warm up for her US tour with Gaz Coombes of Supergrass.
AFH – our lot performing in micro-acoustic format with some story-telling thrown in the for good measure.
The Hackney Secular Singers – a choir from East London who’ll be throwning in some punky vocalising.
MC’d by Kevin Reinhardt – a celebrated wit of London’s poetry scene, and pro-bingo/karaoke doyenne.
DJing from Mr Travis Elborough – writer and film-maker
It’s all happening at Paper Dress Vintage by Hackney Central. You should be there. There are cool clothes and excellent beers too.
CONCERT NEWS UPDATE FOR YOU:
Alexander’s Festival Hall play a full band show at The Slaughtered Lamb, Clerkenwell, on Thursday 14th of January. Lovely little joint. There’s comfy seating and a contemporary drinks selection. Nothing too pricey, which will be comforting news to those who’ve had to “go large” on a Sylvanian Families Cottage and Volkswagen set for a thankless god-niece this Yuletide.
Doors at 7.30pm. Be lovely to see you there!
Somewhat tardily, mine and Piney Gir’s podcast enters its critical second-episode all-grown-up phase!
Yes, it’s episode 2 of RadioNowhere’s “The Hackney, Kansas Radio Hour” – an eclectic mix of light entertainment from the imaginary borough of London that’s stuck in the middle of the American mid-West. Your hosts Piney Gir and Alex (of Alexander’s Festival Hall) take you on a spin through exotica, pop, lounge and country, intermingled with sport, cookery, and documentary shenanigans. In fact, let’s just file the whole thing under “shenanigans”…
Quand vas tu rentrer – Melody’s Echo Chamber
Prussian Blue – The Lilac Time
Supersonic – Oasis
Jacqueline Taieb – La coeur au bout des doigts
Shades of Winter – Streetplayer
Dreaming – Knower
Donut Taco Palace – Shiny Ribs
Palast Orchester mit Max Raab – Super Trouper
The Love You Save – Jackson 5
Home – Jane Birkin
AFH recently collaborated with performer/poet Guy Sangster Adams on four musical poems, short vignettes of love and loss, encompassing the grey possibilities of the seaside, fumbled first beginnings, and memories of a lookÂ that changed a life forever.
You can buy “To the Fore” on iTunes, Amazon and from many other fine electronic retailers… Many thanks to the Horse Hospital for hosting our launch party on Tuesday 1st Dec. A wonderful and supportive arts venue in the heart of London, which is of course under threat from rapacious developers. If you can support them in any way, there are details of their ongoing campaign on their website.
Cor… cold innit? Why not come warm yourself up at The Horse Hospital on the 1st Dec 2015… where AFH and performer/poet Guy Sangster-Adams will be debuting an EP collaboration called “To the Fore”. Four musical poems, availableÂ soon fromÂ Spotify/iTunes/Amazon and all good digital stores.
AFH will be playing a short support set with the micro-acoustic-storytelling team, there’ll be some lovely records from Travis Elborough and some recent photography from Guy, Travis and Isabelle Sarginson Allen.
Well, that was one lovely show in Berlin’s famous Sudblock venue last week! (Friday 6th November 2015). Effortlessly capturing the Berlin wit, November Depression is hosted every year by the charming Christiane Rosinger, a luminary of many fine German bands and independent labels to boot. A show, a quiz, a sing-off, prizes and much tanzen, it’s an entertainment arrow aimed straight at the misery of winter.
As this was a nearly-solo show AFH enlisted the help of local visual artist Astrid Rostaing to open the show with a heliumized recollection of a lost but wonderful summer, a story from the forthcoming AFH album and book “Not from above”. Then it was a quick whirlwind tour around a few songs old and new to open what was a lovely evening that reminded one that really, a good show is always about variety and ‘Variety’…
Many thanks to Thomas Venker for organisation, to Jens Friebe for the Telecaster, to Julius Beltrame for some fine photography, Sarah Szczesny for the mid-80s Tokyo-Sound and Marc and Andy at Ragu for the best recovery food known to man… Some photos, including from the Editions-Fieber launch of Claus Richter’s amazing soundtrack, and an excerpt from the night’s opening story below…
To the Fore (EP) – Guy Sangster Adams
AFH has teamed up with writer/poet/performer Guy Sangster Adams, to create four tracks of love, lust with healthy doses ofÂ “itâ€™s complicated”. Guy has written four Â mini-dramas documenting seaside lust, confounded romance and that particular longing that hits you as the sun dips below the horizon. AFH has crafted musical settings for each from elegant piano tinkling to peppy pop…
The EP will be available on Spotify/iTunes/Amazon in December and we will be performing it for the first time at The Horse Hospital, Tuesday 1st December. AFH will also play a short acoustic set and there will be some deletectable vinyl spinning from Travis Elborough and much more besides.
We’d love you to join us…
Free! Reserve your seat here: Eventbrite.
AFH is appearing at a small show in Berlin this Friday. Winningly entitled NovemberDepression, this little solo set will attempt to encompass the manifold of human misery in the best way we know how: popmusik.
Come and say ‘hallo!’ if you’re in Berlin. It’s at Sudblock. Starts 9pm. Freitag, 6th November.
BONUSÂ DJ set: Thursday 5th November
AFH will also be spinning some 7″ platters-that-definitely-don’t-matter, at the Claus Richter / EditionÂ Fieber launch party, 5th Nov, Smaragd Bar,Â Prinzenallee 80 13357 Berlin, from: 9pmâ€“. You can find out more about Richter’s wonderful soundtrack and vinyl art piece here:Â Edition Fieber
Just time to mention a hastily booked appearance on Monday 28th September at Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston. It’ll be a reappearance of AFH in story-team form. We’re playing with Piney Gir who have a new double A-side out. It’s a lovely venue, and we’ve got our fingers crossed the piano is in tune 😉
There’s a map here, it’s right by Dalston Kingsland station:
Hope to see you there!
Aloha! It’s time for something on the board-treading front so come join AFH Acoustic Story Team for a slightly different kind of [makes air quotes] “gig”. I’d let you in on a few more details but that would be a touch previous,Â as at this point we’re still brainstorming in the ideas lounge, lost some steps amongÂ the gnarled roots withinÂ the forest of possibility… I’ll get Clive to ping you an update, first thing Monday, promise.
Mark your dance cards for the Specks in the Sky, at the Slaughtered Lamb, Clerkenwell, 21st March 2015. Doors 7pm.
Here’s The Longest Handshake â€“ a video-art/social-happening Â 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 â€˜The Longest Handshakeâ€™ 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:Â 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.
“Weâ€™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 Manhattanâ€™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 etÂ Clotaire.
Played by AFH Micro-Team, at an intimate soirÃ©e, 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).
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 SoirÃ©e 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!
Â£6/Â£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.
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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:
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*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 VeritÃ©, (“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!
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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.
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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
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