Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Between the feasts

The dark nights are already shortening and eyes turn to the coming year. Thanks for your support over the last twelve months, we've got moving and achieved a lot; finally releasing the Everything Changes album and receiving a 9.5/10 review for it in Sounds Magazine has been a fulfilling experience. 2017 looks pretty exciting from here too, with more video planned and a bunch of gigs waiting for the dates to be nailed down, plus a huge triple-header gig in July, and as always new songs in the pipe. The album is available on bandcamp here We hope to see you out there in '17.

Wrapping up the years live appearances were gig numbers 52 and 53
December 18th at the Thirsty Scholar set list:

I'm Real
Only Everything
The  Moment Is Now
I Can't Say
Uhrwerk
Love
Shut All The Clubs
Seen It All Before
I Don't Want Your Attentions
Checkered Land
There's No One There

and...

10th December Moor Rugby Union Club set list:

Whatcha Gonna Do About It
Checkered Land
Substitute
Girl On The Roof
Nothing But A Heartache
Only Everything
The Moment Is Now
Seen It All Before
Walk On By
Karin B
Shut All The Clubs
Poison Ivy
There's No One There
Brand New Cadillac
Crash
Venus

Monday, 12 December 2016

Sounds on The Speed Of Sound

Everything Changes is a big album, so it's quite a big review...
Mick Middles writing in Sounds :


Gorgeous product this, especially in vinyl format, where the main affair is accompanied by an additional 10 song CD. Essentially therefore, that rare beast, the ‘double’ album and a most intriguing one at that. Fear not, this is no ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ where the entire career hinges on a gimmick-laden, video friendly head-bug of a song. Although bugs do abound and kind of twist your brain with repeated plays, offering visions of, I guess, Whalley Range or thereabouts. The beautiful cover features four photographic tints of what looks like a Manchester Park with a stunning marble sculpture on the reverse. There is more, a lyric heavy inner-sleeve neatly overlays un-doctored images of the band who also appear cartoon-esque on a separate sheet and – more more, again – a neat A4 glossy poster. I doapologise if this initial talk of packaging might seem rather crass, but I mean no disrespect. What is important here is that the parade of artwork and extraordinary care that is built into it reflects the equal care embedded in the music.

And there IS care there, too. This is a band fully deserving of the term ‘underground’ in the ancient sense. For the entire affair dips below any conceivable radar and apparently, they are a band assembled from numerous others – including the equally extraordinary Poppycock – and have punched their weight down and through the decades. The main focus of their recording ethos is ‘first-take effect’, where initial magic is captured in favour of superior polish. Not that you would notice, for this is far from Lo-Fi.

What I particularly like about this album is the unlikely relationship between the languid New York style vocals of songwriter John Armstrong and the infectious evocative bass of Kevin Roache. It's a marriage that governs the album, recalling - for me at least - a rather bizarre cocktail of Television/Only Ones /Henry Cow and, when when Ann-Marie Crowley's vocals kick in, touches of 'Meet On The Ledge' circa Fairport. The Comparisons might seem lazy but, from this is precisely where the album sits -, oh perhaps elements of off-kilter John Martyn. Maybe—maybe, definitely.

I mention the latter for a curious and possibly ironic reason. For John Martyn, as ungainly and openly macho as any musician could be, provides the haunting of this exceptional album—from start to finish. I am not suggesting that ‘Solid Air’ sits so effortlessly in the background—but. With ‘Everything Changes’, some kind of ghost is born.
Despite all this background, this is a contemporary urban album. Through and through, really and – although I have no idea where the individual musicians reside, there are elements of Chorlton Bohemia here. Again, this may appear derogative, but it isn’t, really. Track one, ‘Shut All The Clubs’ is a sincere response against the blanket regeneration of Manchester and, beyond that, the obvious close-down of lifestyles without consultation or consideration. We are left, adrift, in deadening satellite towns, bereft of the bonhomie of
pubs and, in the city centre, the club culture that made the city thereat music extends from a stalwart socialistic heart. Rightly so and this filters defiantly through every song here. Indeed—of loss—loss and more loss, in social rather than romantic sense. This stuff flutters on local news every every evening of every week. Some of it PR puff. Some of it heartfelt. It doesn’t matter. It settles here and is openly recognisable, But there is more..much more—again and again. You can ignore and even disagree with all this background and simply groove. That is the true nature here. Kick-back and groove. Ignore the lyric sheet if you wish – it IS difficult to read, in truth and languish on the sofa, not unlike one of those advertising sloths from the DFS advert. Because, simply put, the music flows and soaks with delightful effect And boy does it!



Speaking as one who has spent the most part of 2016 hunting for actual songs on albums, famous and otherwise, it comes as an unexpected pleasure to something so effortlessly tune-heavy. Please don’t be paranoid, exotic bands of Manchester and beyond—I don’t mean you. Well possibly not. But here the songs carry more melodic twists than I have encountered in many years. All of them, if the sleeve is to be believed, scratched by the quill of John Armstrong although deftly augmented by a band who have been shuffling under the surface since 1989. An therein lies the key. It is now a long-term existence of a band lying so beyond the weakening tentacles of record companies, able to produce quality music and present it as a beautiful artifact without the need to tap into hazardous investment. This is how you do it.

So what do we get? The band’s website refers to the music as ‘atmospheric independent’ although that’s far too vague a tag and one that hints at the kind of psyche punched across by the skillful Gnod. But this is a truly different kettle— there lies a maturity within that – I may be wrong, they might bicker like a pack full of Scotties – seems to seep sweetly beyond he curt snap of musicianly ego. This reflects in the aforementioned member of Poppycock,
Ann Marie Crowley – a busy professional person shunting through a frenetic life – juggling life in two bands. This she achieves with a palpable sense of serenity. Poppycock live always remind me of distant grainy films of Pentangle, a band so lost to heavenly musicality. Well this is the atmosphere on ‘Everything Changes’ (The title being the least effective aspect of the entire package).


20 songs is a lot to take. More than most bands manage in a lifetime and yet, even deep into the extra disc – this being a multi-media affair, the atmosphere continues to push through. I don’t know quite how the sleeve is intended to relate to the music—.although it does. These are Autumnal strolls in Manchester park songs, spiced by that Television or Only Ones drawl. I admit, I am a pure sucker for such vocals and, somehow, the distance from ‘Speed of Sound ‘from any kind or record company or showbiz unreality serves to heighten the effect. Hype is peeled away. The youthful illusion of stardom is not allowed to feature. These are mature people who do not feel the need to exist in the minds of people they don’t know. I scan through the lyrics provided on
the inner sheet. There is an element, perhaps, of the blissful existentialism of ageing. Of moving away from the pulse-beat, of drifting thoughtfully. One thinks, maybe, of Dylan’s ‘Not Dark Yet’, of a fully thirty years of Cohen or, more locally, the ‘End of the Pier’ outpourings of The Distractions. This is the punk reflective. This is a valuable album for that, and more. For I know, I am parallel age, parallel feelings. How this might filter down to youth, I have no idea. The point is. Let the songs flow and enjoy them in the most uncomplicated manner and, to drag up seventies terminology, uncommercial way. Nothing matters. Look to the inner sleeve and scan the faces of this extraordinary band. Ghostly as they are. Even this is a shape-shifting moment. Ann Marie, dark and distant. John Armstrong, looking like the jazz musician of your dreams, glancing to the left—his left. Paul Worthington and Kevin Roache, somewhat shifty. It all combines to form a wry parody of the presentable pop persona. Times have changed and here, now it feels all the better for it.

The link is here:
http://soundsmagazine.co.uk/the-speed-of-sound-everything-changes-double-cd/

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Everything Changes

No fanfare or overblown hype, just a simple statement: the album is released today.
You can get the digital version everywhere you would expect to find it and the physical version at https://thespeedofsound.bandcamp.com/album/everything-changes and at gigs.
No separate label, no corporate control, just real music made by real people.
Radio play has been racking up with multiple plays in Berlin, California, Florida, Gothenburg, Liverpool, Manchester, Salford, Seattle, Stockport, Stoke-on-Trent and more to come
Support the independents and buy some real music.


Following the epic 26th November gig, on Friday 2nd December we played a loud and immensely enjoyable birthday party supported by Kill Pretty and Elevator Lady, we're back live with Kill Pretty again on 10th in Warrington, then on 18th at the Thirsty Scholar with support from Weimar and 22nd we're in Blackburn seeing in the New Solar Year.

Set list from 2nd December:
I'm Real
Sit By The River
Maid Of The Grey
Day In Day Out
The Moment Is Now
Seen It All Before
Girl On The Roof
I Can't Say
Only Everything
Love
Shut All The Clubs

and... we're RockAtNight.com's Band of the Month with an interview feature to go with it

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Launching

'Everything Changes' is here, the first of the album launch gigs was on Saturday at The Klondyke Club
With a mammoth high energy hour and a half twenty two sing set, including all the ten tracks on the vinyl LP together for the first time:
set list:
Checkpoint Charlie
Keep It Quiet
Uhrwerk
See You Everywhere That I Go
I'm Real
Love
I Don't Want Your Attentions
Charlotte
Checkered Land
Nothing But A Heartache
Shut All The Clubs
I Can't Say
Only Everything
Little Miss Restless
The Moment Is Now
Girl On The Roof
Seen It All Before
Karin B
Always Seems To Fall
Venus
There's No One There

Thanks to everyone that helped make this such a bloody ace evening and for buying our stuff too.

independent music for independent minds

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Moment Is Now

The video for The Moment Is Now, track one side two on the Everything Changes LP:


It was massive fun to film and so it should be for a song about astrophysics and lust.

The album is released on Dec 6th and preorder copies will go in the post to arrive early.
https://thespeedofsound.bandcamp.com/album/everything-changes

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Back in real time

Album release finalisation and preparation has eaten a lot of time lately, but we're through to the other side now and back in real time. There is a video shoot to look forward to next weekend and the photographs from last week's shoot will be done soon, the last two pieces in the puzzle for the release. Physical production is almost done, the CD's  and the vinyl are being pressed this week and the inner LP sleeves are being printed.
Here's one picture from the early morning shoot with Paul Husband http://www.paulhusbandphotography.com

The gig with The EPI was massive fun as was the WSO gig at The Station in Ashton, we were very happy to assist again but it is simply disgusting that Britain in the 21st century has food banks, having said that, supporting them with ALL of the money raised going directly to that cause rather than being syphoned off into corporate mechanisms does make a real difference to lives. It saddens me that it needs to be done but we are happy to help.

Set List 01 Oct WSO The Station:
Checkpoint Charlie
Love
I Can't Say
I'm Real
Nothing But A Heartache
Seen It All Before
Keep It Quiet
Uhrwerk
Karin B
Always Seems To Fall
Shut All The Clubs
I Don't Want Your Attentions
There's No One There

Set List 24 Sep The Klondyke Club:
Seen It All Before
Keep It Quiet
Sit By The River
Nothing But A Heartache
Only Everything
Brand New Cadillac
Girl On The Roof
Brass In Pocket
Love
Shut All The Clubs
Karin B
Crash
Always Seems To Fall
I Don't Want Your Attentions
There's No One There

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Power Popsicle Brain Freeze compilation

We're delighted to be included in the Power Pop and More compilation Power Popsicle Brain Freeze which is by the way Extremely Good... anyone that grumbles about 'the state of music today' should listen and it will not take long to realise the real grumble is with 'the state of the major labels today' and 'the media' which has no interest in 'interesting music' so simply ignores it, go on climb in and give it a listen
https://futuremanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/power-popsicle-brain-freeze

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Little Miss Restless video

There's a live video from the Elizabeth Gaskell's House gig, eventually... there was a lot of work in making it watchable but all worth the effort.
It's all eyes on album release now and the artwork is almost finished for the inner and outer sleeves, the vinyl is at the pressing plant.
Its a huge project so there haven't been any post updates here for a couple of months,independence is great but there are times when it would be nice to have 60 hours a day to egt stuff done in. That isnt going to happen so it sometimes just take a while. The set list from the Luddstock gig was:
Girl On The Roof
Checkered Land
Brand New Cadillac
Karin B
Sit By The River
I Don't Want You Attentions
There's No One There
And a really nice little festival it was too, a great way to spend a July day and evening. We're back again next year.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

live at the Klondyke

The Speed Of Sound played two sets at the Klondyke club last night, opening for the first half hour and closing the night with another hour (and a bit) including six songs we've never done live before. In between there were sets from Troy Fridge, Nina Gerstenberger and President Ray-Gun. Big thanks to the Klondyke and we'll be back.
soundcheck photos:
setlist 1 
Checkered Land
Maid Of The Grey
Keep It Quiet
Walk On By
Little Miss Restless
I Can't Say
Karin B
Always Seems To Fall
setlist 2
Overlooked
No Kicks
Only Everything
Girl On The Roof
The Last Time
I'm Real
Love
Nothing But A Heartache
Seen it All Before
Day In Day Out
Shut All The Clubs
Brand New Cadillac
The Moment Is Now
I Don't Want Your Attention
Sit By The River
There's No One There


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Wearable Art

The T-Shirt has landed:
Get yours here via bandcamp
205gsm unigender T-shirt with centre chest print of the Natalie Paddick  'Bunny' design. We've worked with Natalie before on video production using her stills in the video for Shut All The Clubs and also Checkered Land, her images compliment The Speed Of Sound's music and her 'Alice Through The Clockwork Orange' series of photographs are simply inspired, a perfect match.

The vibrant pink and yellow in this design creates a shockingly bright and eye-catching motif, while the vapour trails in the band logo to either side twist and perform aerobatic turns when worn with a loose fitting size. A design reminiscent of (but more brutal than) Andy Warhol's screen prints. Natalie has prints of her other work on sale via Lenswall and also at SaatchiArt online. Find her here http://www.npme.co.uk
Much more than a band t-shirt, this is wearable art.

It's a heavy weight t-shirt which makes it more durable and hard wearing than the standard lighter weight garments. Other features include a taped neck and twin needle stitching for neatness and strength.
S = to fit chest 35-37 inches
M = to fit chest 38-40 inches
L = to fit chest 41-43 inches
XL = to fit chest 44-46 inches
(overall product size tolerance = +/-2.5cm, chest size measured under armpits)
One piece cotton/Lycra neck for improved shape retention
Shirt Fabric 100% Cotton.
Fabric Weight: 205 gsm.

Postage is worldwide and trackable 'signed for' delivery.
If its in stock we'll send it out within five days (often sooner) if not we'll have to order specially which will take a little longer and we'll keep you advised of expected delivery.
===============
Washing instructions:
Wash at 30ยบ celsius with garment inside out
Do not bleach
Do not tumble dry
Cool iron on reverse side of garment
Never iron over the print
=============== 
And you get a free download of English Electric Lightning F6 when bought through bandcamp. Fantastic.


More of the new

The hottest day of the year started with a four and a half hour rehearsal, working on some more new ones to pepper the set with on 2nd July at The Klondyke club and refreshing some we've not played for a while.

And, big thanks to Raul for sitting in when Paul wasn't able to drum with us at the private booking on 28th a year since his last gig with us and no rehearsal... its just as well we like to improvise. Experimentation is growth.


Sunday, 22 May 2016

a video on the radio

The next gig is on 2nd July:
As usual some songs will be making a debut, along with others e've not played for a while making a come back.

The Speed Of Sound will be playing two sets, opening and closing the night. Troy Fridge is playing a solo set as well as DJ-ing, we have Nina Gerstenberger and President Ray-Gun guesting in a superb four act line up.

Doors at 7pm and it runs oil midnight plus the added attraction of modestly prices real ale. All taking place on major bus routes and a matter of yards from a railway station.

The Bunny knows this will be a good night out.

And

A video of a radio interview - and yes, it works

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Electric50

An indescribably fantastic night for the 50th Anniversary of Bob Dylan's 1966 Manchester gig when everything changed... not a commemoration of 'the "Judas" shout' it was a marking of the birth of 'loud'. Before Mr D's '66 tour amps were just used to balance volume to an acoustic drum kit, regardless of the size of the venue. Since then amplification is used to make EVERYTHING louder. Bands couldn't hear themselves above the audience noise and May'66 is when that changed. thanks Bob. And thanks to everyone that came including a lot of people that were at the Free Trade Hall half a century ago. 

Drummers are always missing in photographs, Paul is there too.
Visions Of Johanna
photo by Jennifer Stevenson (thanks!)

And this was our view: 
Some audience photographs by Aidan O'Rourke 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

image preview

We've been quietly working on a t-shirt with photographer Natalie Paddick, we previously collaborated with her on the videos for Shut All The Clubs and Checkered Land, and have also used some of here pictures on our gig posters.
A selection of her 'boxer 'photographs are exhibiting at Saatchi gallery online, just
find their website and tap her name into 'search'.

It's a great pleasure to work with her again and they are very striking bold graphics, exactly what a band t-shirt should be like.

We'll have some modelled shots of the prototype in  a week or so, in the meantime here 's a preview:


Saturday, 30 April 2016

the underground route

Shut All The Clubs was included in Lord Litter's Magic Music Box on KWTF 88.1 in Bodega Bay California (where The Birds was filmed)


A German DJ playing a mix of international independent music in Berlin, speaking in English, broadcast in California and relayed via the net throughout the world. The 21st century is astounding sometimes. 

It's great to feature again in such a long running show and to have been there on the German language show on Radio Marabou and on the earlier Kentucky Fried Royalty show long long ago too. A sense of continuity. 

Lord Litter has been a lynch-pin of the underground music scene for many decades hosting radio since 1987 and was frequently described as the German John Peel.
His shows only feature physical releases and only those of independent artists (really independent ones). In his words:
"I only present physical releases. Today's mainstream, the internet
including "digital only releases" and so called "free services" like Facebook, where one person earns LOTS because each and everyone taking part means MONEY to the owner, this needs an alternative"
Here's the show link 
The Speed Of Sound played a walk up gig on Thursday night, we'd been expecting to rehearse but Kevin had double booked himself and was supposed to be running an open-mic night. We got there early and ran through our allocated Bob Dylan song for the Electric 50 gig on 17 May a couple of times and had it in the bag before anyone else got there.
Set List:
Visions of Johanna
I Don't Want Your Attentions
Love
The Moment Is Now
Seen It All Before
Day In Day Out

Lord Litter's website is here

Saturday, 23 April 2016

A tangle of wires

A tangle of wires at soundcheck, like the snakes on medusa's head. Turning it up again last night at a private function, keeping it live and real; spot the new ones in the set list:

I Can't Say
Girl On The Roof
Brand New Cadillac
The Moment Is Now
Maid Of The Grey
Femme Fatal
I'm Real
Glide On By
Substitute
Shut All The Clubs
Poison Ivy
Only Everything
I Don't Want Your Attentions
Whatcha Gonna Do About It
Sit By The River
There's No One There


Friday, 15 April 2016

Single review

We're very pleased to see Music Is My Radar blog have a piece covering Shut All The Clubs in their latest installment today; see what they have to say about it below:
You can read it on their site here:


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Live in the drawing room and then back to new

Astounding gig at Elizabeth Gaskell's House, packed and a surreal setting to be in that room its like actually playing live in 1854 with the 21st century outside in the park playing basketball and cricket through the window. We were joined by Lucy Power on flute for Little Miss Restless, she's on the album recording, this is the first time we've had her playing it live. Great acoustics in there and a superb set by Turner too.
Set list:
Checkered Land, Only Everything,
Day In Day Out, Love, Charlotte,
The Wargame, I'm Real, Little Miss Restless,
Uhrwerk, Seen It All Before, Femme Fatal,
Girl On The Roof, Glide On By

Not ones for sleeping on our laurels, we were back in rehearsal this morning and working on new stuff again this morning.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Elizabeth Gaskell's House

Yes it really is unique. An acoustic gig in Elizabeth Gaskell's drawing room beckons, a 50 minute set with new songs making their debut from the forthcoming album and one song too new to be on the album, plus an acoustic set from Detour Record's Louise Turner accompanied on the 1890's piano. Thursday 7th April. 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW.

and, the single is released...

Monday, 28 March 2016

Single Release Day

Its Single Realease Day and here's Shut All The Clubs / Love -
45rpm Vinyl https://thespeedofsound.bandcamp.com/album/shut-all-the-clubs-love
Digital - via bandcamp £1 for A and B side s 50p each each https://thespeedofsound.bandcamp.com/album/shut-all-the-clubs-love
CDBaby https://itun.es/gb/nKWnab
iTunes https://itun.es/gb/nKWnab
and also 24-7music, 7Digital, 8tracks, Akazoo, AmazonMp3, Deezer, eMusic, GoogleMusicStore, GreatIndieMusic, Groove, iHeartRadio, Inprodicon, MediaNet, Kdigital, MixRadio, Rhapsody, Omniphone, Slacker Radio, Shazam, SoundExchange, Trade Bit, Tidal, Yandex, YouTube Music.

Live at The Blue Anchor Byfleet 26March2016
 set list;
Shut All The Clubs
Only Everything
Substitute
Maid Of The Grey
Love
Poison Ivy
I'm Real
Girl On The Roof
I Don't Want Your Attentions



Thanks to Paul Hayes for the photgraphs from ModsForMillie
 27 March 2016 MarchOfTheMods StokeOnTrent
thanks to Stuart Goodwin for these 2 from Stoke

Setlist:
Checkpoint Charlie
Checkered Land
Only Everything
Substitute
I'm Real
Love
Girl On The Roof
I Don't Want Your Attentions
Sit By The River
There's No One There
Thanks to Terry Vine for this photograph also from Stoke:
and Carl Houlton for this one