Friday, November 25, 2011

Grey Hairs' First Gig

2 songs from the first Grey Hairs gig on Nov 18 2011, kindly filmed by Nick from Hello Thor Records. No titles yet.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

For Sale - 70s Lawsuit Set Neck Les Paul Custom

FOR SALE: 1970s CMI Les Paul Custom

Financial ruin means I'm selling this CMI Les Paul. I bought it in a bit of a state and have invested a lot of time and effort getting it right but last-in/first-out is always the way and it's got to go. Click the photos to head to Flickr where you can read the relevant info. If you're interested drop me a line at honeyisfunny(AT)fastmail(DOT)fm

Pics:

FOR SALE: 1970s CMI Les Paul Custom

FOR SALE: 1970s CMI Les Paul Custom

FOR SALE: 1970s CMI Les Paul Custom

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grey Hairs

Just started doing a new band with some local types. It might be a mid-life crisis. I'm not sure and my hearing is kind of iffy so I can't hear what anyone says to me about it anyway.
Making a demo seemed a bit like hard work so we asked our friend Andy (aka brandnewbadidea) to bring his budget video camera down to where we practise (in a cave) and film a couple of "songs". Here they are:





Not content with making a video before we play a gig, we did an interview too which is largely gibberish: HERE

Then we thought it might be an idea to play live so here's our first 2 gigs:

NOVEMBER
FRIDAY 18: SPANKY VAN DYKES, NOTTINGHAM w/ULYSSES STORM, 8MM ORCHESTRA
WEDNESDAY 23: RESCUE ROOMS, NOTTINGHAM: VICE LAUNCH PARTY w/BEATY HEART, PEACE, CANTALOUPE (FREE ENTRY, FREE BOOZE: INFO)

Lords - Live 2005



Whole show by Lords at The Freebutt in Brighton, April 2 2005 (Red Monkey, The Sticks and Designer Babies were also on the bill) filmed by Dusty Bible. Goes in and out of synch a bit but then so did we.

Enablers Footage





Had the great pleasure of a few days in the company of Enablers recently and I had the presence of mind to take my camera. Here's Tundra from Nottingham Chameleon and New Moon from The Hope in Brighton.

On My Walls

Noticeboard 1

Noticeboard 2

Damn You! Christmas Covers Party 2011

DAMN YOU! XMAS COVERS PARTY 2011

It's that time of year again when bands in Nottingham scurry to secret practise rooms to heatedly discuss which pop classics they're going to murder in front of a paying audience in the name of good tidings. Yep, the 10th Annual Damn You! Christmas Covers Party is happening at The Bodega in Nottingham on December 17th.
If you socially network you can read all about it here:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=153536504743034
And if you don't then the local paper The Evening Post grilled me about it last year here:
http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/nottingham-evening-post/mi_8158/is_20101217/gig-damn-christmas-covers-party/ai_n56509476/
All proceeds from this year's event go to Nottinghamshire Hospice as if all the tomfoolery wasn't reason enough to attend. See you there...

And if you're too young to understand why Santa is eating a piece of salmon from his beard then catch up here:

Recent Poster Work

No updates for a while so here are a few recent poster designs:

NEW YEAR'S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA

FOREST FIRE

ULYSSES STORM

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sack The Headline Writer

Sack The Headline Writer

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spiritual Unity - Vimeo

Back in November 2006 I saw Marc Ribot's tribute to Albert Ayler Spiritual Unity play in one of the rooms at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Due to a traffic jam, I got there 10 mins after doors to find the doors closed and had to pretty much beg the stewards to get let in. When they finally relented I found my front row seat taken by someone else and the band whipping up a euphoric storm already. No matter, I perched at the side of the stage and left my crappy little Minolta camera running as well, so here's the 3 snippets it captured. Doesn't capture the volume but it'll do.





Comets On Fire - Vimeo

Jaybird and Holy Teeth from 7th October 2006 at Nottingham Boat Club






Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumlin/sets/72157594318810090/

The Monorchid - Vimeo

Back in September 2006 a few of us from Nottingham made a last-minute decision to go to Chicago for the Touch & Go 25th Anniversary. It was great fun, it looked a bit like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumlin/sets/72157594314716448/with/261746806/

The last band to get added was The Monorchid. I'm a fan. I got asked to write something for Careless Talk Costs Lives magazine a few years ago. The plan was to interview vocalist Chris Thomson about the various bands he's been involved in but with an eye on deflating the whole revivalist/reunion culture that was on the rise at the time and now seems to have killed music stone dead. To quote Chris from another interview:

"It’s not that this music existed in some vacuum. We toured, we played out, and we did our best to make the performances accessible. So, if you’re upset you never got to see Monorchid or Lupus, I really don’t give a shit, there were plenty of opportunities"

It would have been good. Seems like every band the guy is in gets progressively less interested in referencing the past. If anyone can stick a banana in the exhaust pipe of the whole Michael Azzerad, Our Band Could Be Your Life, re-assessment of gut-instinct-events-as-carefully-planned-socio-political-plans then I figured it'd be Thomson.

The editor thought it was a shit idea. Oh well.

On the Friday, after the first day of the festival, they played a warm-up for their Sunday slot at The Note. Here's 2 poorly-lit, horrific-quality snippets of X Marks The Spot Something Dull Happened Here and The Warmers.






Woke up on Saturday morning with a bad head and about $2 in my pocket together with this covered in what looks like dogshit:

THE MONORCHID

Here's how Sunday went:

Felix - Vimeo

A few bits of Felix footage uploaded to Vimeo:




"Oh Holy Molar" from The Betsy Trotwood in London, April 21st 2011





"What I Learned From TV" from Cardiff Arts Centre, January 24th 2010





"Death To Everyone But Us" from Cambridge St Paul's Church, February 12th 2010





"Bernard St" from Liverpool Wolstenholme Projects, January 22nd 2010

Nathan Bell - Vimeo



Nathan Bell, Bristol Cube Cinema, May 7th 2011

Vimeo

Right. My external hard drive is collapsing in on itself like anti-matter under the weight of hundreds of snippets of footage I have taken on digital cameras of varying qualities (usually of the "not that good" quality) of gigs over the last 5 years or so.
I posted a lot to You Tube a while ago but there's something about having to select "Do Not Allow Users To Add Comments" each time I upload that reminds me about how the world's going to end so I'm going to reassemble them all in Vimeo.
Most of the footage isn't that great quality but I'm an excited gig-goer with a beer not a cameraman.
The whole list (being added to weekly) is here: http://www.vimeo.com/user2333244/videosLink

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kogumaza Interview



Jack Chuter at ATTN: Magazine interviewed Katy and myself in advance of this year's Supersonic Festival.

Read it here: http://www.attnmagazine.co.uk/feature/4313

Photo is by the lovely Mark Rietveld in Antwerp.

Next up: photos from our May tour with Zomes.

New Design Work - September 2011

GUNPOWDER TREASON AND POT

First up is this poster for the Gunpowder Treason & Pot! night of spoken word, lyricism and poetry that Nottingham Culture magazine Left Lion is putting on with Dealmaker Records. They wanted something bold and iconic to catch the eye in print and in poster form and get people interested in what is a pretty unusual event. You can read more about it here:
http://www.thedealmakerlabel.com/2011/11/gunpowder-treason-pot-a-scribal-gathering-of-poetical-dissent/

JAMES DEANE "DIAMONDS & HEARTS" CD MOONPACK

Second is this "Moonpack" CD digipack for Diamonds & Hearts by singer-songwriter James Deane. I'd previously worked on some album graphics for James' band Clearfield and he asked me to work on his first solo album too. James wanted to combine a feeling of Americana with more English feeling touches with reference to Victorian sheet music illustration and lettering. As before, James was a pleasure to work with and had clear ideas about how to bring everything together and hopefully the results speak for themselves. More images from the package here at Flickr.

CARNIVAL OF CYCLING

Finally, back in June, Sustrans commissioned me to design this artwork for their Carnival Of Cycling at the Nottingham Trent Uni. It had to be bright and summery and above all it had to quickly communicate what the Carnival was about to anyone viewing it. This type of poster can often present problems in striking a balance between necessary information, fulfilling corporate obligations (logos etc) and making the thing look appealing and uncluttered. I think the end result does the job nicely though. And what typeface says "transport" better than Gill Sans? Eric Gill saves the day again...

Nathan Bell - 26 Oct

NATHAN BELL

DAMN YOU! PROUDLY PRESENTS; FROM BALTIMORE MD:

NATHAN BELL

Nathan Scott Bell is a banjo player hailing from Baltimore, Maryland via Brazil.

You may have seen Nathan play in Nottingham before as ½ of Human Bell with Bonnie Prince Billy sidekick (and now Arboreteum frontman) Dave Heumann, who we had the pleasure of putting on a few years back.

We tried to put him on last year but UK border control weren't so keen though they did enjoy his impromptu gig in the holding cell at Heathrow.
Now he's back at the invitation of Capsule for the Supersonic Festival and we've asked him back to Nottingham.

Nathan is perhaps best known for his bass playing in legendary Dischord Records band Lungfish. He manned the low-end from 1996 to 2003, meaning when you put on Artificial Horizon or The Unanimous Hour and find yourself transported to alien, subquatic lands where your balance has been flipped upside down and you get the feeling of “I-should-probably-just-lay-back-down-here-that’s-better” it’s this man you should be thanking.

That this ability to alter perception should continue will come as no surprise if you’ve heard the music Nathan makes on his own and as part of the Brassa Bell ensemble.
Those same transformative qualities are richly abundant but now, instead of the bass, Nathan uses the banjo.
Whereas former Lungfish bandmate Daniel Higgs uses his own banjo as a grounding point for his vocals or as a raga-like instrument that always insists upon the moment, Nathan uses it’s spectral tones to explore melodic possibilities that hang in the air and bury into the brain.
Whether picked, bowed, sung into, scraped or drummed-on, he uses the banjo to somehow dislocate you from the present.
But this is no flashback or nostalgia trip. He might use tools from a past century but it’s the future you’ll be hearing.
Don’t be afraid.

http://www.myspace.com/osmodiusbell
http://nathanscottbell.bandcamp.com/


THE HORSE LOOM

Where to start to describe The Horse Loom?
The best acoustic guitar player in the country? Maybe.
The most unique marriage between British folk music, avant garde guitar playing and punk rock spirit? Certainly.
Wonderful? Definitely.
Under-rated?
You’ll have to ask him about that.

Northumbrian guitarist and singer Steve Malley would doubtless be extremely embarrassed to read any of these things. That says a lot. Steve played guitar in Crane in the early 90s, whose post-Husker Du take on The Byrds-meets-DC hardcore earned them a deserving reputation as one of the UK's finest live bands. He would go on to play in Kodiak, Four Frame and then most notably The Unit Ama.
The Unit Ama existed in direct contrast to their (musical) peers from America. Whereas a cold and cool approach was favoured by the bands from across the pond, The Ama dropped any of this fa├žade and opened themselves and their music to possibilities of accident and misfortune creating a live experience that was truly inspiring. I say with total sincerity that they changed a lot of people’s musical outlook forever.

The Horse Loom sees Steve take this approach and apply it to his love of folk music. Combining folk structures and melodies with his incredible guitar playing has made The Horse Loom something truly unique. Getting Steve (a fireman by day) to play gigs these days is next to impossible so don’t miss this rare adventure to Nottingham.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWUcdN-2-MI


BLACK OCTAGON

Black Octagon brings together musicians from the same bubbling underground music world in Liverpool that brought you bands like Mugstar and Kling Klang. Take that sense of unravelling psychedelia and export it to the wilds of the countryside and you might start to imagine what sounds would occur. 2 guitars intertwine over bobbing drum patterns recalling something somewhere between the Neil Young “Dead Man” soundtrackisms of later Earth and the beautiful, layered melodies of Aerial M. But always sounding distinctly British and distinctly rural.

http://blackoctagon.bandcamp.com/



This is all happening at Lee Rosy’s Tea Room. We’ll open at 8pm and kick it off at 8.30 and try and bring things to a close at 11. Lee Rosy’s will be serving teas, coffees and the usual waistband-disaster that is their cake display. There will be a full Lancashire & Somerset record stall with limited vinyl releases, books and artwork: http://www.lancashireandsomerset.co.uk/

It’s a fiver.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Enablers - Oct 13

ENABLERS

DAMN YOU! AND GRINGO RECORDS VERY PROUDLY PRESENTS; FROM SAN FRANCISCO:

ENABLERS

ENABLERS are from San Fransisco, CA and are without doubt one of the most powerful and amazing live bands on the planet right now and one of only a tiny handful of bands that we all agree on as being truly something special.
They combine a sinister tautness (somewhat akin to Slint maybe - and by that I mean dark, heavy, dry, bare, economical and not the dreaded "post rock" tag) with a love of heaviosity and weird riffery that sits them somewhere between the ritualistic displays of the mighty Lungfish and the more cathartic explosions of Nottingham's own Bob Tilton .
They employ a 2 guitars and drums set up to maximum effect whilst vocalist Pete Simonelli delivers spoken-word beat monologues and moods that either whisper below the surface or fight hard to be heard over the band's righteous racket.
The addition of drummer Doug Scharin (Codeine, June Of 44, HiM etc) and an increase in activity culminating in the new LP "Blown Realms And Stalled Explosions" (on Exile On Mainstream/Lancashire & Somerset) and a genuinely triumphant final-night set at the Pavement-curated ATP has seen Enablers hone and perfect their already considerable skills to the point where they are truly unstoppable.

http://enablers.bandcamp.com/


KOGUMAZA

Kogumaza formed in Nottingham in 2009. They use primitive rhythms, patterns and riffs to create dense and mesmeric song-cycles. The band’s live sound is manipulated through dub delays and echoes, allowing what is basically a heavy rock trio to expand and willingly lose control of the sound they make as they make it.

The resulting music marries fuzzed-out psychedelia to an ambient aesthetic, placing the band somewhere between the infinite repetition of Moondog and the thick gloop of Master Of Reality-era Sabbath.
They have recently released their first LP on the Low Point label and toured Europe with Zomes. A split 7" with Hookworms is in the pipeline and October sees shows with Nathan Bell, Enablers and an appearance at the Supersonic Festival.

“At times Kogumaza sounds like the future or the strange murmurings of the universe; at others, the cyclical pounding of drums conjures ghosts of ancient rituals, as if drawn from the very centre of the earth” Fluid Radio

http://kogumaza.bandcamp.com/


WITHOUT MAPS

"Without Maps hail from Nottingham, they consist of four people who sing, play guitars and drum. They came about through a desire to create music that was as direct as it was engaging. Initial practices began in late 2010 with three mutual friends mapping out their first creations. A decision was made after these first sessions that these songs needed to sound as big as possible and a fourth member was subsequently added. Late January this year saw the band making their first trip to the studio to record their first audio offering “The Cellar Tapes EP” and February marked the bands first live appearances. In the coming months the band hope to see themselves playing many more shows and write and record as much as possible whilst holding down low paid jobs"

http://withoutmaps.bandcamp.com/


All this excellence starts with the doors to Chameleon opening at 8.00 and the first band on at 8.30.

£5 ADVANCE FROM : http://www.wegottickets.com/event/132541

£6 DOOR. Buy a ticket as this will be busy...

DO NOT MISS!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Abandoned House

Oakhurst House

Oakhurst

Now showing on Flickr

Coffin Pricks

Wouldn't mind being in Chicago tomorrow night for the first show by new band Coffin Pricks. Former Bob Tilton guitarist Chay Lawrence is manning the low end and Monorchid/Skull Kontrol/Red Eyed Legends/Circus Lupus man Chris Thomson does the vocals. Sounds about right to me. To be listened to back-to-back with the Eddy Current Suppression Ring song in the previous post. Then "Stranded" by The Saints maybe? You can make your own comp, I'm rubbish at them.

Group Home Haircut by impastah-rasta

Which Way To Go



Can someone do the right thing and import/release/re-release the Eddy Current Suppression Ring albums on vinyl in the UK so I don't have to sell a ball to pay for the postage?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kogumaza Upcoming



Apologies for lack of updates if anyone cares. Been doing lots of music-related things. More of which to follow but here's a load of upcoming shows for KGMZ:

AUGUST
19 OXFORD WHEATSHEAF w/Dive Dive, Richard Walters, Seabuckthorn

OCTOBER
13 NOTTINGHAM CHAMELEON w/Enablers
14 BIRMINGHAM HARE & HOUNDS w/Enablers, Backwards
15 LONDON POWER LUNCHES w/TBC
16 BRIGHTON HOPE w/Enablers, Sweet Williams
22 SUPERSONIC FESTIVAL at The Custard Factory, Birmingham w/Turbonegro, Bardo Pond, Tony Conrad, Nathan Bell, Part Chimp, Skull Defekts and more

Here's an interview on the Supersonic website: http://www.supersonicfestival.com/news/kogumaza-qa/2011/

There are tentative plans for a split single in the pipeline with Leeds friends Hookworms as well.

Picore Posters

2 new posters for shows in Derby and Nottingham for the mighty Picore from Zaragoza.
Both are of the very slight in-joke variety but hopefully still look nice to those of you who haven't seen this Spanish gas commercial and who also know Michael Cross and those of you unfamiliar with this review of Picore's last show in Nottingham that makes particular reference to some of their facial foliage...

PICORE

PICORE

Go to both!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kogumaza vs Dot To Dot

Kogumaza - Nottm Trent University 29.05.11 from neil johnson on Vimeo.

EBay Frustration

I'm selling a cheap and cheerful guitar on EBay at the moment to raise some funds. Here's a genuine message exchange I've just had:

Hi...
Funny how time shows how the now legendary Japanese consistency of quality is really a very recent phenomenon.
I too had experience of the Sumbro brand in the early seventies (mainly SG copies) and while I have seen some nice examples subsequently, the dozen, or so I handled were assembled using what were without doubt the cheapest, nastiest, hardware fitted to any guitar at the time... The chrome on the pickup covers flamed off as they left he shop, the machine heads rattled when unstrung and the plywood bodies were as lively as concrete posts.
- b**dicus27


Dear b**dicus27,

Erm... thanks...
I would suggest not bidding then and perhaps making better use of your time? Write a novel perhaps? Break the elusive code in the Taman Shud case from Australia in the 1940s (Google it: well worth a read)?
Or better still, learn some manners maybe? Let me know if you ever put your house on the market and I'll pop over and point out faults in other people's guttering I have seen.
Regards,
Chris


Dear chris_summerlin,

Firstly, youll have to forgive the grammer and spelling, as this device has its own, strange predictive text system.

If you'd bothered to read my last message properly, you will see that I was remarking on the inconsistency regarding the quality of early 1970s Japanese manufacturing, while making it absolutely clear that the Sumbro guitars I came across after that dismally poor batch of a dozen, or so I had to sell were not of such a poor standard.

if youre going to spend your time exalting the quality of a marque in order to raise its standing in the eyes of those who know no better and may be about to give you money, and you actually care one jot about courtesy and manners, you should be prepared to be corrected and accept an equal amount of valid criticism when you perceive it instead of throwing a tantrum.

As for what I do with my time.... Not that it has anything to do with you...... If you believe it's wrong for me to point it out when someone makes blanket statements without giving a balanced view, then your opinion of what is and what isn't good manners requires serious adjustment.

My state of health means that I do indeed have too much time on my hands. I probably do spend too much time reading some of the drivel people write in heir listings and if you think that an Ill considered tirade from someone not even capable of reading a statement properly is likely to bother me more than an untreatable illness, your intellectual faculties are dismally lacking.

The only reason I took the time to read your listing is that I would have liked to have another 70s Gibson copy to go with my others, but I can honestly say that after your arrogant response to my previous message, I wouldn't buy a Gold plated Sheraton off you if it was advertised for free.

Don't bother replying, as I will delete any further communication from you without even reading it.
- b**dicus27


Dear b**dicus27,

Look pal - you messaged *me*. I answered. The listing says clearly what the pros and cons of the instrument are. Check my other sales of guitars - all positive feedback, all happy people, all fair prices. Hence this is 90 quid start, no reserve as opposed to the 250 quid or more that Sumbros, Mayas, CSLs, Kimbaras etc etc often get.
I *did* read your message carefully, it was speculating on the variable quality of these instruments. No question about the item, just a statement that somehow implies that I am being misleading in my description so excuse me if I failed to pick up on your interest. Fact is, I don't care about the variable quality of the instruments, I care about the quality of *this* particular instrument because that's the one I am selling. I'm not selling all of them ever made. I have described the quality more than adequately in the listing as opposed to "exalting" it. Warts and all with pictures to show them.
What you do with your time has everything to do with me if you spend it writing to me. Sorry to hear about your health but if you think that gives you carte blanche to be snooty about a listing for a 90 quid guitar, then I'd still recommend writing that novel I suggested - we all need to spend our time more wisely on this planet. Unfortunately, the internet is a handy distraction to that.

Sincere best wishes,
Chris


Auction is here if you want to critique my description too...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290577836668&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Kogumaza S/T LP



Released May 9th 2011 on clear vinyl LP: www.low-point.com

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Lawsuit" Gibson SG For Sale

'


Just got a bill for finally repairing my Fender Twin Reverb after years of gigging and tour-rentals to Erase Errata and Gang Gang Dance and a million more. It's hefty so I have to clear out some stuff... I'm selling my spare "lawsuit" SG (right). I bought it as a back-up for my Antoria SG (left) not long ago. It uses the same body and neck type but differs in the hardware. It has a fixed bridge and tailpiece and the bridge itself is a level bar type not a Tun-o-matic copy. It intonates very nicely though. The strap peg on the back is on the neck heel as opposed to the body. The tuners have been swapped out for 6-a-side ones which means the top 3 wind the wrong way. If I can find the set off the Antoria (I swapped them for some Grovers I had lying around) then I'll include them in the sale if you want to put it back to stock. The pickups appear to have both been changed. The neck looks like a normal period-correct Super 70 type but the pickguard has been cut along the top edge suggesting it's been installed later. The bridge one is a mystery. Looks a bit like a Univox but it isn't. It's dead as a dodo though. A quick glance under the pickguard suggests a home installation by someone about as skilled as I am. I suspect this is what confined this guitar to the cupboard of the previous owner. In any case I am confident a re-wire would get this mysterious pickup firing again.


Other stuff: there are stress cracks at the neck heel like just about every other guitar of this era with a bolt-on neck. Nothing to sweat about. It's missing about an inch of binding on the treble side of the neck too. Another common problem. At least the inlays on the fretboard haven't dropped out. So there you go. It's cheap so msg me if you want it.


More pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumlin/

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Remix



Just did this remix for friends and pub companions Medium Death Kick. The original song was a perfectly-proportioned sketch-like nugget on their album but it seemed ripe for expanding and messing with. Ended up being a bit more Kevin Shields than expected but I hope that's a positive. All done very lo-tech as well, just on the Way-Out Is The Way Out studio gear which means lining up the vocals and manually pressing play when you hope they should come in. Plenty of trial and error, like it should be. Andy from the band made this awesome montage-style video for it. Love the bit with the dog and the body on the beach.


Anyway - WILL REMIX FOR RED STRIPE AND/OR MONSTER MUNCH. Hit me up...

Friday, April 08, 2011

Epiphone ET270 For Sale

FOR SALE: Epiphone ET270 My esteemed bandmate Philip John Welding is selling this piece of total rock history. Get in early and beat the Hard Rock Cafe. It's a 1970s Epiphone ET270 as used by Kurt Cobain (not this one), Justin Trosper (not this one), LCD Soundsystem (the bass version), Trans Am (this exact guitar) and erm...Lords. Some nice touches like the E pickguard (which Phil's other 270 doesn't have) and a pearl inlay logo (ditto). The pickup surrounds have crumbled to dust and it's got chips and dings as well as vintage replacement Schaller tuners but this is a bad-ass guitar for sure. He's also selling a 1970s Maya fretless P-bass with changed hardware and perhaps a changed body as it's a thick, heavy, possibly mahogany lump of wood that makes this thing sound enormous. Message me if you're interested in either. If you're near Nottingham feel free to suggest trying them out.

Wedding Invite

Wedding Invite Another wedding invite, this time for one of my best and oldest friends who finally found a lady willing to put up with him and for that we should all feel suitably warmed. I normally run a mile from the words "soft", "pencil" and "portrait" but I'm willing to give anything a go when it's for someone who has helped me out of many tight spots, usually involving pouring me into the back seat of a car and getting me home from some gig or another in our teens. I guess I lucked out on this one as it turned out very nicely, if I say so myself. I suspect the wedding party concerned might not end as softly or as tastefully...

Posters For Daniel Higgs Tour

DANIEL HIGGS DANIEL HIGGS TRIO
2 new posters for shows on the upcoming Daniel Higgs Tour. The top one is for Nottingham on April 27th (solo performance) and the bottom one for Cardiff (Trio performance). The Cardiff poster recycles and re-jigs an old illustration I did for Plan B Magazine for a playlist chosen by Tony Sylvester (Aurora Borealis). I did it with the "I vomited up a blinking eye" Lungfish lyric in mind. It's somehow supposed to represent how the important details can be so subtle as to pass you by, or at least not be the first thing you notice. If you catch my drift. It goes without saying that I'm an enormous fan of Higgs' art and music. There are some photos from the opening of his solo show at the 96 Gillespie Gallery a few years ago here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumlin/sets/72157602758905434/with/1773774989/ The temptation was to go for something ancient, or pseudo-mystical in terms of imagery. But Higgs isn't really that much older than I am. He's just got a better beard. So I drew a Cosmonaut for the Nottingham poster. Hope you like it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Red-Eyed & Blue Poster

THE BRUTE CHORUS

Another one for The Brute Chorus. This one absolutely broke my brain (not entirely the fault of the poster, more the timing of it's desired completion date!) but luckily it all turned out nice in the end. Some Gris-Gris style Day Of The Dead witchdoctor shit. In yer breakfast...

Hhymn - "In The Depths" CD Artwork

'HHYMN

Pete Fletcher at First Love Studios really saved our collective hides recently with some very generous studio time to complete the Kogumaza LP. Nice to return the favour and be asked to put together this sleeve for the first release on Pete's label Denizen Recordings by Nottingham's own Hhymn.
They supplied the wonderful Ian Chatburn underwater photos and some design direction. Maybe my hungover brain was operating on half power but it was a real struggle to find space and colours to make text work well over such detailed and high-contrast images without ruining the images or making the text illegible. I thought about resorting to boxes or worse still, shrinking the pictures and putting the text underneath. Some Monster Munch and a lie-down later and I went mental with the crop tool and cut the images to quite extreme levels in an attempt to place the divers contained within them on the periphery of the image, making it somehow a little spooky and taking the emphasis away from the human involvement in the images (and isn't that always the best music too: made by humans but with as little trace of their grubby paws as possible, like something in nature just laid it right?).
Some blue and red tints later and I'm very happy with the results. I think Peter Saville was on my mind or at least a low-rent version of him.
Out soon. In the meantime watch Hhymn's video here: http://vimeo.com/21108423 and marvel at the lovely blue Fender Jaguar contained within...

Here's some more images of the sleeve, click them to be magically transported to a world where they're bigger.

'HHYMN

'HHYMN

'HHYMN

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kogumaza LP Artwork

LP043 KOGUMAZA LP

LP043 FRONT

LP043 BACK

Forthcoming on Low Point on clear vinyl. Katharine Eira Brown took the cover image (of the coast at Aberdyfi) on Kodachrome slide film and I added the minimal graphic elements.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Recent Artwork

One-off Commission

Wedding Poster
2 new pieces of work from the last month. At the top is a significantly scaled-down version of a one-off piece done as a commission by my friends Matt and Kerry who wanted something for their living room wall and liked what I'd done for the band The Slow Life. The actual piece is framed and measures something like 3 feet across.
Below that is a gig-poster-as-wedding-invitation for Anna Storakers and Per Winroth. Anna has commissioned me to do lots of gig posters in the past and she really wanted something for her wedding that was funny. And has Basset Grifon dogs on it...

Kogumaza LP



Kogumaza LP preview. Out May 9 2011 on Low Point on clear vinyl and download. You can hear a full track over at the Low Point Sound Cloud Page.
We open for Deerhunter in Leeds on March 29 (get there early). And then you can buy a copy of the LP early at shows in Nottingham at Chameleon on May 5 (with Ex Easter Island Head and Apalusa) and Bristol at the Cube Cinema on May 7 (with Nathan Bell and more).
We're then off to mainland Europe with Zomes from May 11 to the 22, more details to follow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Manic St Preachers

Something has always bothered me and I am hoping a fan of the band can help clarify things. Is it Manic Street Preachers as in "Preachers on a road called Manic Street"? Or is it Manic Street Preachers as in "Street-preachers who are manic"? Is it Manic Street Preachers? Or Manic Street Preachers?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scans Of Bands

Throughout the 1990s and early 00s I never went anywhere without my trusty Olympus Super Zoom AZ300. I have boxes and boxes of photos of gigs, most of them pretty awful. Ignoring this, I decided to scan them a few weeks ago and chuck them up on Flickr. They are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumlin/sets/72157625712202359/with/5360811013/ And here are some of my favourites: Fugazi Fugazi; Nottingham Marcus Garvey Ballroom Bob Tilton Bob Tilton; Nottingham Dubble Bubble Deerhoof Deerhoof; Nottingham Maze Fugazi Fugazi; Nottingham Rock City Godspeed You! Black Emperor Godspeed You! Black Emperor; Manchester Amigo's Cafe (first ever European show) Ligament Jamie from Scarfo (now from The Kills) enjoys Ligament's last gig (it wasn't); London Upstairs At The Garage Mogwai Mogwai secret show opening for Ligament; London Upstairs At The Garage Shellac Shellac; Camber Sands Sweep The Leg Johnny Sweep The Leg Johnny; Birmingham Jug Of Ale Sonic Youth Sonic Youth; Shepherd's Bush Empire The Make-Up The Make-Up; Notting Hill Arts Cafe Trail Of Dead Trail Of Dead; Nottingham Social