We’ve migrated over to:
Hope to see you there!
We’ve migrated over to:
Hope to see you there!
Ok, so this is MASSIVE fanboyism, but I, like many MANY of my friends, am a utterly huge Muse fanboy to, at times, embarrassing lengths. The mp3s have been worn out by their constant play over the years, the posters faded, the amount of hair gel used up in emulation absurd. This love of mine has died down as of late, as again is also the case with many of my friends.
The short of it is that listening to the new songs/past few albums (realistically anything after Absolution) so far frustrates me. I don’t in anyway think they’re bad, and there are some titanic gems (‘Map of the Problematique’ comes to mind, and there are no doubt others), but they just frustrate me, and it’s taken me a while to think of why.
Muse were my utter release.
Maybe it tied in with messy breakups, weird emotional times, or just flat out growing up, but Muse were my release. They were just there, a pillar of talent showing that from pain, heartbreak, emotional destruction there was beauty. An almost life affirming, ‘we’re all in this together’, understanding support, delivered through emotionally devastating lyrics (“You make me sick because I adore you so/I love all the dirty tricks/twisted games you play on me” from Space Dementia, lyrics I haven’t actually heard sung for a number of years but that just flow from my fingers) and a duality of barbarity and virtuosity.
I’m just not the guy I was 10 years ago. When I listen to Muse’s post 2006 material, I just don’t feel that level of release from it anymore. Obviously Matt’s lyrical attention had focused elsewhere – and perhaps for his own personal health that’s probably a good thing! – and he’s moved onto the things that interest him, and I really hope that the whole band are happy following what interests them all musically – but for me, the raw emotional connection’s been severed – now they’re singing about things that I find it harder to relate to, or find in anyway approachable as subject matter (“United States of Eurasia” – really?).
I’ll just have to stop trying Muse to be the band I got through breakups with. They’re doing what they want now, and that’s cool, I just hope they’re REALLY enjoying what they’re up to these days. I’m just going to have to stop thinking they’re the band they were 10 years ago, and try listening to their material with cleaner ears.
But it’s hard you know – the old stuff was just AMAZING. I’m sure the new stuff would be just as good if I didn’t have the emotional baggage.
Here’s a list of some of the tracks that still do it for me to this day, and I hope you enjoy:
Eternally Missed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWXCMCmQCb8
Yes Please: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcunO362qU8
Sunburn – this video is WHY I learnt to play piano!!!
Hello lovely people, Rich here – how are you today? You look lovely today, have you done something with your hair?
It feels that we’ve been a bit on the quiet side recently – I blame Thatcher.
Business has been slow recently – all our ‘real lives’ have been changing quite a lot as of late, so we’ve taken things on the slow side. However, all is well and we are a happy quartet indeedio, just steadily working on new material, learning new instruments, and generally having fun. I’ll probably be releasing some new demos in a bit anyway, so there will be new morsels to feed you hungry lot.
In case we didn’t make a big enough ho-ha about it, we put together a self-recorded, self-produced, free-to-download EP called ‘Home Away From Home’. It was my first attempt at anything resembling decent production, and though that’s where I feel it’s weakest points lie, please take a listen and let us know what you think. ‘Sodium’ turned out fantastically, Pat’s bass parts sail throughout ‘Illustrations’, and Ruth gets to be an entire sax quartet in ‘King Of Hearts’:
Anyway, in other news I’ve been sorting out the music for a production of Wuthering Heights which has just finished at the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s had some lovely reviews, with my own personal efforts getting a few nice mentions – the music just involved a few folk song arrangements and making the cast produce the sound of the Yorkshire Moors (which worked incredibly well!), and was great fun sorting out. Weirdly it’s been the second year that I’ve helped with music for the Fringe (last year our song ‘Mr Mistake’ was used in a ‘A Preoccupation With Romance’) but have yet to ever actual attend. Next year.
In band related things, Kit, the drummer, has fitted in perfectly and we’re a very happy entourage. Our standard pre-gig warmup of playing Bananagrams has been made that much more competitive through his mad boi Scrabble skillz, and our sound as a unit has just blossomed. I’ve also started playing Electric for gigs now which I personally find a lot more liberating, and soon there is to be a keyboard thrown into the fray, to be played by whoever has a spare hand at that point in the song. Happy daze.
Other than that, it should be said that for the next few months Albatross Archive may feel like a slightly different band. Everyone’s got a lot on, so until about Christmas time no one really knows what’s going on, let alone what country they’ll be in. Our next confirmed show (2nd September, Undertone, supporting Les Jupes) will be without Pat since he’s training elsewhere, and after that we really have no idea. However, this is an entirely temporary thing, and the one thing we are all totally focussed on is keeping the band together and alive for when things calm down a bit. Just bear with us, everything’s totally cool, albeit possibly a bit quiet for a while.
Anyway, sorry for the recent silence, thank you for reading, and have a mind blowingly fantastic day – you deserve it.
Our new EP, free to download from our bandcamp (albatrossarchive.bandcamp.com, or just click on the picture)
Enjoy and share x
Hello again lovely Albatrux, how are you this rainy day?
Usual apologies for not filling you in sooner as to our whereabouts, but we’ve had an incredible few weeks: let me explain.
From where we left off, we had our wonderful show supporting Trwbador and Bensh at The Moon on May 16th, and what a wonderful show it was! A night full of good people, good music and general loveliness – what a way to end our line up as a 3 piece band…
‘What’s this!?’ you say!? You are no longer a 3 piece band!? And the answer to that is no – we are super excited to announce that we now have a drummer: the awesome and aptly named Mr Kit Denison. We are super stoked to have him join us – and getting our teeth into some brand new music with a newer, fuller sound.
On June 5th, we performed on The Pavilion Stage at the How The Light Gets In Festival in Hay-on-Wye. Apart from a bit of drizzle and a few technical difficulties cutting our set short, we had a brilliant time! Much pie, barbecue food, and tea was consumed, as our new photo album clearly demonstrates…! You can check it out on here, or alternatively go to our Flickr page.
In May, we performed an intimate set at The Factory in Porth for the Acoustic Approach evening. Despite some real logistical challenges we managed to get the majority of our gear (including a paired down drum kit) and ourselves into a tiny Fiat 500, only to discover that if you’ve never been to this legendary venue, then you need it in your life. The turn out was fantastic and so were all the acts who performed – we hope you all enjoyed yourselves, because we certainly did!
Perhaps the busiest we’ve been was preparing for Kit’s first show, which happened to be our biggest show to date – no pressure then! On June 8th we supported a sold out Charlotte Church at The Globe in Cardiff, and had an absolute ball 🙂 It wasn’t just a fantastic experience, but it was a big show for us in a few ways.
It was a pleasure to support Charlotte and her band, who were, without a doubt, superb. We wish them all the best for the rest of of their UK tour dates, and look forward to bumping into each other again at some point 🙂
Apart from being a sold out gig, it was fantastic to see so many familiar faces in the crowd cheering us on – and a huge thanks go out to everyone who helped us out in the hours before the show! Needless to say, any worries Kit had about playing his first gig with us as a 4-piece were unfounded and to his credit, he was phenomenal.
Pics of that gig will be up on our Facebook and Flickr soon, but in the mean time we need to dust off the camera to get some new shots of our newly formed selves and introduce you formally to the lovely Kit.
Sooo… what do we have on the menu in the next few weeks? Well, we’re busy finishing off our new download only EP Home Away From Home – its been a long time coming but we’re not far off now and its definitely the record we are proudest of to date – we hope you like it too 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled for a little sneak preview of its incredible artwork, designed by our friend Tom Kitchen.
Apart from that we are busy getting stuck into our new stuff, finding our new sound with drums, and again preparing for some excellent upcoming gigs. As always, we’ll keep you posted 🙂
Hello again! This is your friendly update to let you know what’s coming up in the world of Albatross in the next few weeks. To say we are rather pumped for the next month of gigs is a bit of an understatement…
Firstly, we will be supporting the incredible Bensh, and lovely Trwbador, at The Moon Club on May 16th. Presented by CrossWire, we are SO frickin’ excited about this. To quote the press blurb:
Fresh from performances at SXSW 2012, Canadian Music Week, and a headline slot at Focus Wales Festival here’s Bensh!
The trio have garnered a lot of airplay across Europe with their first single releases How Come Nao, Doubt, and Sweet Repeater and the list of comparisons Bensh have drawn is long, diverse and illustrious: ‘The lovechild of Beck and Syd Barrett’, ‘Velvet Underground meets the early Animal Collective’, indie-synth-pop with an infusion of ‘European Dylan’.
Born in Austria, Benjamin ‘Bensh’ Zombori studied composition in the UK in 2004 and during studies in Cardiff he joined forces with Welsh synth-wizard Sion Trefor. Bensh evolved into a noise-popping three piece when multi-instrumentalist Sevo joined the band. After sessions with Dan Swift (Art Brut) and Gordon Raphael (The Strokes), the band lived and worked in Japan, Germany, UK, Austria and Iceland, where the final mix of debut album Clues was completed with Biggi Birgisson (Sigur Rós). Bensh are currently dividing their time between their home bases of Cardiff and Vienna.
You can get tickets for this awesome evening (which are frankly a snip at £5…) from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/162585 . If you’re not there, then you really are square.
Finally, we are super excited to announce that we will be playing at this year’s How The Light Gets In Festival (part of the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts) on June 5th in Hay-on-Wye. You’ll find us in the Pavilion at 3.15pm, with what we have prepared to be a really special set.
Aside from being super-stoked we are deep in the midst of recording our new EP, squealing hysterically over business cards, wading through Willy Wonka themed evenings, and confirming some really incredible events for June. We’ll let you know in due course.
Until then, keep on flying fellow Albatross 🙂
Well hello there!
Standard apologies for the lateness of this post – everything’s been a touch tempestuous in Camp Albatross, but relative stability is being restored. Huzzah!
The most recently bit of big ol’ news was that we played a set for Alan Thompson’s ‘The Evening Show’ for BBC Radio Wales a few days back – it even got repeated! The recording can be found in the Music section, but here’s the playlist embedded for your ease:
Other than that we’ve been playing occasional shows here and there, but have taken the foot off the gigging gas and been pumping fuel into the studio tank. Work’s begun on the new record – we’ve even got a drummer for the recordings! More of that in later posts…. and everything’s sounding great. We’re really happy with the new songs (‘One By One’ and ‘Illustrations’ were performed for the BBC session) and we’re hoping to sort that out in the not too distant.
Ruth has now had the official switch from Tenor to Alto sax, and we’re really feeling the difference. Between her Bari and Alto the range she can cover with saxual tenderness is immense, and she’s really coating the music in reedy goodtimes – plus with Flute, Picc. and maybe even cheeky keyboards, not forgetting that top notch singing, she’s gotta whole lotta sound. Due to popular demand there will be more saxcentric songs to join the AArsenal in no time at all, so you just sit back and we’ll let you know when we’re ready to entertain you.
Pat’s also made the switch up to an epic 5 string Musicman bass which just sounds immense. Having the extra depth has just given Pat’s idiosyncratically mobile riffs that extra bit of grease, so he’s just flying through the latest tracks. Again, we’re really excited to show you what we’re working on, but it’s just not quite ready yet.
For Rich’s part, he’s been busy getting to grips with Ableton Live, working on how to be a drummer-less band by any means necessary through drum programming. It’s a task of making something electronic became organic, taking the corners off and adding the fluidity, without becoming a Kraftwerk tribute band. On the sly he’s even started actually practicing piano again so he’ll be whipping those ivories out when you least expect it…..
So what’s next? We’ll we’ve got two shows confirmed for definite –
1) Barsha 21st April: Headlining the Acoustic Stage in The Full Moon, we’re playing alongside local songbird and total babe Maddie Jones, the bullet-time fingers of Joe Silva and two lovely folk we haven’t played with before: Aled Rheon and Tomos Lewis. That should be free entry and a joy to play at!
2) Bensh + Trwbador + Albatross Archive (presented by CrossWire), The Moon, 16th May
This is going to be an insane show of electro-pop. It’s Bensh’s first Cardiff show in over a year, and they’ve just gone from strength to strength, jumping borders like John Carter without, you know, being utterly terrible, losing millions and changing their name for marketing. Alongside them is Trwbador, an Aberystwyth based acoustic/electro/folk/pop duo purveying beautiful, beautiful music. It’s our first show in a long time when we’ve wanted to just BE at the show we’re playing at, so we’re super grateful we can go on first so we can just enjoy the night! It’s going to be an incredible experience that one.
Anyway, with the sun shining and the day beckoning, here signs out a long overdue update on all things Albatrossy. Please take a listen to the BBC session and let us know what you think!
Some of the songs that’ve been tickling our pickles recently: