So it seems that the book of Flyers has been left to gather dust on the proverbial shelf for the last two months or so; a round up of our previous gigs that now seem like a lifetime ago. We’ve been making moves that will turn us into a Proper Band, with songs out and stuff like that, but until it all slots into place, there’s nothing that I or anyone can add that’ll make it seem exciting. However, since you’re taking the time to come and see us, and read all about our mythical lives (lucky for you, we leave out the bits that don’t involve music; no one needs an insight into where we have our ‘proper’ jobs or how often we shave or whatnot), it’s only fair that we should impart something of substance into this electronic diary. So, off we go:
Dan has left. We’re all very sad, and we mean that. As I’ve said before, Dan is the musician that I’ve worked with longest in all the time I’ve been a musician, and we were a formidable rhythm section for half a decade on and off. Peach, Crack Mansion, Dr. Yes, Cartell and finally The Gresham Flyers were all built on our simpatico power and ability. Or so I like to think. But he’s off traveling for a year, and good luck to him. Had I not already been on a global jaunt, I’d be tempted to join him.
We had a good send off though; our friend Lizzie put on a fabulous gig with Syrus, us and The Michelles at the Pleasure Unit at the end of January. Lots of people were there, including my parents and brothers, but mostly people we didn’t know, and weren’t brought along by Syrus’ coach party. But they stayed and packed the place out. And liked us. Without wishing to sound big-headed, we were really, really good. No huge glaring mistakes, a load of enthusiasm and three cheers for Dan meant we came off stage feeling like it was the best gig we’d played. However, some people thought that about our Beat Hotel gig in December, but I’m not so sure there. What made it even better was that the soundcheck was atrocious beyond description. Maybe it was nerves, and not having played together live for over a month, and under the scrutiny of a potential drummer (who subsequently said he didn’t want to join), but I came off stage in a foul mood that lasted until the gig. Then I felt better. For an interview with us and Lizzie, see here
Kerry has joined! We had about five serious applicants for the drummer role, and Kerry was the only one we all agreed on unanimously. We met up, she liked the songs, we liked her, it all falls into place, especially as she’s an amazing drummer. She’s also a good multi-instrumentalist, which fits the bill nicely, and we’ll get her profile up soon, and some pictures if she lets us. We’re currently rehearsing up the old songs, and writing new ones. More on them later.
We’re going into the studio next Thursday. We were supposed to go in a month ago, but events have been tumultuous recently and things out of our control needed to dealt with. But this session will be special as it’ll potentially be a historic recording of a seven piece Flyers lineup as Dan will be in attendance, as will Kerry. We’re going in to record Dan’s contribution ‘Plastic Bag’, and Waz’s ‘Blackpool’, which would make a great future single. If there’s time, we’ll try for ‘Theme From The Gresham Flyers’, which is the instrumental song we open our shows with. Interestingly each song will feature a different drummer (Dan, Andrew, Kerry respectively), and hopefully we can get all seven of us on one track and have our very own ‘Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun’ (look it up).
Speaking of singles, the delay behind getting Shiftwork out has all the hallmarks of our perfectionist nature; the artwork needed to be a certain format, the colours needed to be exact, yaddah yaddah yaddah. The upshot is, we’ve paid for it, the factory has the masters, they’re printing it up. It’ll be with us soon. And you’ll be the first to know.
The prospect of holding a seven inch single that we helped create, and has OUR SOUND in its’ grooves is still too impossible to believe and I have nightmares it’s going to sound awful. Even so, we’re selling it cheap and giving away a digital download to everyone who buys it so you can put it on your computer and MP3 player.
We’re aiming to get back out on ‘the circuit’ in late April/early May. We’ve vague plans to return to Scotland due to overwhelming demand (i.e. a few lovely girls have asked us back, which is good enough for me) and do a few dates in the north, including the Deeply Vale Festival if we can get on the bill. I’m itching to do more gigs, really to get back out there and do it over all of you, and spread the love.
We’ve been offered TWO compilation appearances for some people whose ideas and tastes we firmly support, so we’ll be recording a few more songs over the year; we’ll let you know as and when as we can’t say too much right now. But it’s a great honour to be asked on both counts.
Importantly, we’re all upgrading our equipment. For the technically minded, here’s what we’ve recently purchased or will soon get:
Kerry and Andrew have both bought new drumkits.
Andrew’s also got a laptop to aid with the synth and sampler.
Sharon’s bought a Microkorg to replace her clapped out Casio.
Waz has upgraded to a Fender Telecaster (the classic yellow with black scratchplate)
Martin has threatened to get a Tele too (though I’m of the opinion his SG is the daddy).
I’m splashing out (hopefully at the end of the month) on a Rickenbacker 4003 bass- but should I go with black or sunburst red?
The songs. The most important bit! We’ve got songs coming out of our ears. Martin has popped his songwriting cherry with a fantastic power-pop song called ‘Everyone Has To Meet Somewhere’. John has provided two more enduring anthems that are ready to go. ‘Foolscap’ was initially titled “The Visage one” and has a much more icy, synth-y sound thanks to me and Andrew playing dual keyboards and Sharon’s vocal. It’s brilliant. His other contribution ‘Factory Records Museum’ was something that was supposed to be throwaway, but has ended up as the song we all end up with going round our heads after practice is over. It also gives me my drumming debut, which is, of course, fun for me but hell on everyone else no doubt.
For my part, I’ve got four new songs on offer, including one that we’ve been playing since before our first gig but hasn’t been finished, and Kicking Down The Door, which hopefully will do what it says on the tin. My listening tastes have been informing my writing, and my current kicks of The Zombies, Ooberman, Sparks The Cars and 60s British psych have also provided the template to a further two songs on top of these…hold me back!
Sharon and Andrew have both threatened to provide new songs, and Sharon’s obsession with Canadian quintet The Organ seems to be spurring her on to complete her song, which can’t come quick enough. I want to hear it!
Anyway, I hope this missive makes up for the spectacular lack of correspondence over the last couple of months. I thought it’d be brief but I still haven’t covered everything. I’m tempted to suggest Andrew puts a Q&A section on the board, but we’re not that big yet.
Love to all,
P.S. It’s John’s birthday on Saturday and Sharon’s on Wednesday. Happy birthday to them both!