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:

Photo is by the lovely Mark Rietveld in Antwerp.

Next up: photos from our May tour with Zomes.

New Design Work - September 2011


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:


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.


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 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.


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.
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.


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.

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:

It’s a fiver.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Enablers - Oct 13




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.


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


"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"

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


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