I’m not going to write a load of individual blogs for these tracks. This will be my, and our, final ever post. These songs are my home recorded demos of what potentially would have ended up recorded properly by the whole band on album 3. Why not download them for free now and give them to a friend, lover or enemy as a parting gift?

The Thames used to freeze over periodically. Mini ice ages we had in the past apparently. When that happened, London folks held markets on the ice. Brilliant. This conjures up some evocative imagery so I delved in to my Sigur Ros-stealing songbook and penned this number. We opened with it at our last few gigs and I really thought we were on the form of our lives as a band. Classic TBOTB really. Long build up, harmony vocals, layered guitars. Bosh. I was looking forward to doing more of the electronica-tinged percussion elements to this that we’d started to introduce live. More synth stuff too. Piano at the forefront. This was definitely where we were headed.

Another song we’d only very recently popped in to our live set. Maybe 2 or 3 outings. Blissfields, Bestival and maybe Isle of Wight I believe saw this in action. I was going for a kind of Talking Heads feel. Listening to lots of Field Music too which is obvious here I think. I predict album 3 would have been half slow-build, piano-led electronic things and half up-tempo semi-funk. Would that have worked? Who cares. A pretty political song (which was a rarity for us) talking about where and why we’ve p’raps gone wrong with our generation. Eat your heart out Billy Bragg.

Elliott’s dad liked this one. A foot-tapper. Allowing our inner-funk out again. I blame Prince.

A little nod in the title to our good pals (and Ox & Elliotts other band) The Retrospective Soundtrack Players as they’d recorded a concept album about the ace novel ‘Catcher in the Rye’. ‘Raise High…’ is another short story that JD Salinger wrote and I thought it was a great post-rock song title so I cheekily pinched it. Another piano-led number with a bit of electronica thrown in. Indebt to Mogwai greatly here…especially their incredible Les Revenants soundtrack. This song was instrumental for a while too but that would have probably been too much of a rip-off so I flung some lyrics at it about THAT MOMENT. You know, the Eminen ‘Lose Yourself’ moment. P’raps we should have got Rhianna to guest on this. Then things might have turned out differently. The ending also sounds remarkably like that tune All Saints did for ‘The Beach’. TBOTB goes pop. We ended our set with it live a couple times in embryonic form and it went down well. Shame we never got to flesh this one out.

The only track out of this collection of demos that we didn’t get around to learning live. Not sure it would have worked but I liked the idea. Kind of Nick Cave meets Caribou (or that’s what I had in my head). Very vitriolic lyrics – again vaguely political….maybe this album would have been our ‘What’s Going On?’. Maybe not. The guitars on this were so treated and effect-laden that you can’t really tell they’re guitars. There definitely would have been more of that going on. Again – synth bass and sampled drums. A club banger with Calvin Harris would have certainly been our next natural progression. It wouldn’t.

This got one live outing at an acoustic gig in a church supporting the wonderful Smoke Fairies. From the same place as ‘All Be Gone…’. A simple but emotional piano ballad. I would have loved to record a real string section for this. Lyrically about a parent who’s child dies before them but really for anyone who has lost someone. Another chirpy subject as always. S Club we were not.

So there you go. That’s it.

On behalf of the entire band (Elliott, Rox, Dave, Ox, Jack & Keef…) – and all who sailed in her in the past (Emily, JD, Maff, Matt, Fozzy, Cal…) plus more who got involved (The Dawn Chorus lot, the Pie & Vinyl chaps, Old Blacksmiths Studios, people who guested, sang or played with us, bands we supported on tour and who supported us…) I’d like to thank everyone who ever came to see us or showed us support of any kind. We had some incredible times that will stay with me for my entire life.

Thank you.

Christopher George Whitear.

The B of the Bang.

Signing off.


Thumbs Up

What do Wales, funk, royalty, sex and churches all have in common?

They are all mentioned in this post.

Hallo there

Not written (wrote?) for a bit so here are a few updates for you. Bad news traditionally goes first so….

Alas, our Emily has upped sticks to go back to her homeland/mothership of WelshWales. We wish her all the ruddy best. She will be missed mightily and we’re sad to see her go. Who else will throw drunken slaps around as violently/generously? Well…Rox….BUT….our door is always open so you may well see her pop up now and again at future live dates. Especially if we play in Cymru. So join us in a hearty ‘BYE EM (weep weep)….’!

In a more positive light, we have already demoed 5 songs for the next album so expect to see some newbies in the set from now on. I’m hoping there won’t be as big a gap betwixt releases this time too. The direction of the new material currently seems to be that of a depressed Prince. As in the tiny lord of all things sexy and funky. Not our future monarch Charles. As far I it goes, I’m reliably informed that he is unaware of both sex and funk.

Annnnnnnnnd last but not least, here’s some live dates where you’ll be able to catch a few of those aforementioned spangly new numbers. Particularly excited to be playing with The Smoke Fairies in a church next week. They’re fantastic artists and our paths over the years as bands are bizarrely intertwined. Theirs is liberally sprinkled with success, laughter, fame and Jack White…ours is grimly dribbled with chaos, tears, obscurity and Jack Malpas-Coker. But intertwined they are none the less. Buy me a drink and ask me about it somewhen and I’ll tell you why. (Disclaimer. You may want to reconsider that as the story will be long, meandering and actually quite dull.)


SAT 6th JULY – Black Heart, Camden (Hall of Mirrors Summer of Psych)

TUE 9th JULY – St Johns Chapel, Chichester (acoustic set w/Smoke Fairies)

FRI 23rd AUG – The Workshop, Old Street, London (UnHappy Birthday Club)

SAT 24th AUG – Portsmouth Dockyard (Victorious Festival)

SAT 14th SEP – Southsea Fest

Turns out I was wrong about our next King of England…