Going slightly mad, pt.94

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.)
Enjoy! 🕺💃🏻

Where’s yer bucket-n-spade, eh?

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]

Lockdown #inspo: Sexybored

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.

Thanks to folk who sent through home-viewing perspectives.
It’s not quite ‘Live at the Budokan’ but I’ll take it ;-).

Anyway, I give you… Sexybored.

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!



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

The Longest Handshake

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…

Present and Correct – acoustic at the Union Chapel

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.

Feeling nuptial? new AFH video

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.

Upturned: poster design gallery

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.

Peacock in a hotel..?

Played by AFH Micro-Team, at an intimate soirée, hosted by painter Stefanos Rokos, at London’s South Place Hotel.
June 2013.

Watch Simon Bookish’s Refit of “Upturned (in slow motion)”

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.


On Peacock Island – a what-I-did-on-my-holidays-video-ette

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…

2012 Olympic compilation: “Judo (what we’ve been playing)”

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).

Presenting … “Upturned”

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…