WANDER (THROUGH THE NIGHT)

I better get a bit of a wiggle on as I don’t want to be writing about this stuff after Chrimbo. Let’s get cracking.

So ‘Wander…’ was our first single of the album. I think, in the same way ‘Alfred…’ did on the first album it sort of summed up in succinct fashion everything about the band at that point. Harmony guitars, weird time signature, little bit heavier, creepy lyrics. It also has a Westlife-style key change in it. What more can you want in a song?

The words themselves are very stalker-y. Seemed to come naturally that part. Not sure what that says about me. We made a lovely video (see below) with our pal Joe Watson who fronted the excellent Attack! Vipers. They also split at Southsea Fest this year though. The TBOTB curse strikes again? Sorry about that. The vid itself was filmed in the round tower in Old Portsmouth where I’m fairly sure we weren’t allowed to be so in vaguely rock and roll style we got in and out before THE ROZZERS COULD GET US. I doubt the rozzers would have really given a toss.

It got a wee bit of radio play on 6music specialty shows and Amazing radio (where the esteemed Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins/Bella Union gave it a spin…probably a career highlight for me personally…) and also gave us a bit of a fright when we got the test-pressing of the vinyl back from the plant as there were 3 suspicious scratches at the end of the song. Turns out it was when we recorded Elliott’s lighter for some reason and I’d forgotten that we bunged it on the recording. There was a reason for it but it escapes me now….I also recall myself and David doing a reworked, quiet acoustic version live on Express FM. It was hideous.

BUNGALOW TOWN

So I think enough time has gone by now and the dust has finally settled to finish the last few posts about the songs we released. Grieving period over….I think (sniff sniff…). We had our final gig at Southsea Fest and my word it was emotional. I’ll probably write a little bit more about that at the very end of these posts…

ANYWAY – WHERE WERE WE?

Bungalow Town. Yes. A duet. Myself and Rox sharing vocal duties entirely. I always wanted to do more of this as I think it sounds rather nice in general. Her vox and piano make this song for me, really.

This was the ballady one on the album. A guilty pleasure of mine (actually I don’t feel guilty whatsoever) is The Connells. Those of mid 90’s pop-rock one-hit wonder-smash ’74/75′. ‘Bungalow Town’ is me basically ripping it off. Yes, yes yes you can listen to all the Ben Frost/Nils Frahm/These New Puritans you want and pretend how hipster you are but at the end of the day….THE CONNELLS. Crikey, what a song.

The lyrics stemmed from something I was reading at the time regarding a sort of little English version of Hollywood that sprung up sometime at the start of the 20th century on the beaches of Shoreham-By-Sea. As unlikely as that sounds. I think it was a film star who first moved there and had a house built. Lots of others followed suit and it lead to this bacchanalian little set of Primrose Hill-esque trendsters having a bit of a party in all these new bungalows they’d had built. A lot of the buildings burned down though quite soon after being made of wood which all seemed like an appealing metaphor so…there you go. I guess personally growing up in a small town and wanting to leave as soon as possible is something universal to lots of folks in similar positions too which also informed the lyrics. However, when you get to this new exciting place, you still have that same ‘grass-is-greener’ feeling inside. That’s what ‘Bungalow Town’ is about in a nutshell.

I’d also read an article on the recording of an REM song (I forget which one) but it was pertaining to the fact that, although the song was just piano, guitar and vocals, there were tons and tons of tracks recorded and layers of instruments to give it a thick, lush sound. I tried the same for this so there were quite a few acoustic guitar and mic combos even though it sounds like one guitar playing. To be honest, Jake the Snake who mixed it probably got rid of them all anyway so I may be talking balls. No change there.

One week today….

The countdown begins…..

We're on at 6.15pm

We’re on at 6.15pm on the P&V stage @ The Wine Vaults

Southsea Fest (http://southseafest.com) is always an excellent day for us Portsmouthians and it’s a really strong line-up this year.

My (Wit. Hello.) recommendations would include:

The Boy I Used to Be, New Desert Blues, BellyEyeSmile, Veronica Falls, Joe Black, Is Bliss, Curxes, Splashh, The Day of the Rabblement, Cosmo Sheldrake and probably a few more I’m forgetting.

Our Elliott and Ox will be playing with The Retrospective Soundtrack Players (http://retrospectivesoundtrackplayers.blogspot.co.uk) at the Kings Theatre too and I’ll also be doing a solo set on the Xtra Mile Stage at The Atrium. Fun times all round.

Speaking of band members doing other stuff, I know this is the TBOTB blog but just wanted to point you towards a couple of those extra-curricular activities briefly (the rest of the band all do other stuff too, just this is mainly what’s going on at the moment…):

Elliott Gregg’s DISC JOCKEYING:

http://soundcloud.com/elliottgregg

My (Wit. Hello.) SOLO STUFF:

http://soundcloud.com/christophergeorgewhitear

Anyhoo…..back to le bang. Here’s a vid of me (Wit. Hello.) and Jack talking absolute balls post-gig from Victorious Festival t’other week:

…and another vid of our bestest buddies and occasional lovers, the Pie & Vinyl boys plying their wares. With some idiot cropping up shamelessly. Me (Wit. Hello.)

I feel I’ve mentioned myself too much in this blog. Me. Wit. Hello.

To end, here’s a nice blog what someone done about us:

http://musicalnourishment.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/song-of-the-day-desire-lines-by-the-b-of-the-bang/

SEE YOU AT SAAFSEA FEST GEEZAS.

xxxx

Victorious & Free

Hallo there

Being in a band can be a lot of things – invigorating, exciting, liberating, sexually arousing, annoying, incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking – but, ultimately – it’s never boring. This weekend just past proved that with aplomb. I love the word aplomb. Aplomb. Say it. Brilliant.

Friday was the usual ups and downs of playing in London involving a car crash en route (a fairly minor one but still one that wrote off our Ox’s car and meant we had to use a guitar lead to tie the boot shut to get to the gig…) and the standard, minimalistic London crowd. We played well though and it was a good warm up for the next days show which is probably in my top few of recent times….

Victorious Festival was organised by some of the fellows that run a couple of the decent boozers in Southsea – namely Little Johnny Russels and The Belle Isle (Fact #1 – I was the first person to play a gig in LJR’s when it opened….check me out…) and it’s always nice to be involved with something that brings together all the best bits about living in our community. The independent spirit shone through the whole weekend and it was pretty much a roaring success. I even finally got to see Reef!!! (Fact #2 – my first ever gig as a pimply young nipper should have been Reef at Southampton Guildhall and I bought 3 tickets off a tout…silly….only to give the 2 real ones to mates I’d gone with….mates who didn’t know who Reef were….mine was fake and I had to go home….alone…..sniff sniff…..lesson learned though….)

Anyway – our set drew a great crowd and having a decent sound system for a change really does help us with all our silly instrumentation etc…here’s a pic by our Retrospective Soundtrack Playing chum (and trumpeteer on ‘Chemikals’) Pauly B:

Victorious Pic 1 (pb)

Sexy hat eh? EH?

 

The rest of the day was spent catching up with chums and wandering about enjoying the delights of Portsmouth Dockyard…the wonderful old ships of the Mary Rose, the Warrior & the Victory are certainly beautiful backdrops for a festival. Special mention also goes to All About Tea for supplying their top notch Portsmouth Tea blend when the queue for the Ale Tent was too long….oh and Day of the Rabblement sounded great on the acoustic stage too.

Our sexy lovers Pie & Vinyl where also there ‘representin their endz’ with a stall in the Smuggler’s Market. They asked us back on the Sunday to do a ‘secret’ unplugged set for them which was most enjoyable….mainly because rugby player Rob had to ask the Camp Cooks (the excellent on site Drag Queen caterers…) to turn their music off for a bit so myself and Elliott could fumble our way through some songs we rarely play. Here’s a pic by the ace Joe Watson (who did our ‘Wander’ vid and fronts ace hardcore band ‘Attack! Vipers!’):

special friends....and me still looking good in the hat...

special friends….and me still looking good in the hat…

Here too is a wee review from the wonderous (and fantastically named) music blog ‘Call Upon the Author’:

http://www.callupontheauthor.com/blog/4489/victorious-festival-one-mans-view/

All this good cheer in the air has led me to think should give something back so we’ve made our twin EP’s from a couple of years back FREE to download for a while on our Soundcloud page. ‘

ART DECO’ is full band electric stuff and ‘ART NOUVEAU’ is stripped back acoustic stuff. Have a gander and see what you think. ‘Padre, oh Padre!’ on ‘ART NOUVEAU’ is one of my fave songs we’ve written but…for some reason…we’ve never played it live. Doubt we ever will either. Odd that.

Anyway – here they are for you:

…and…

So….finally…..that brings us to our next gig and one of our favourite events on the planet. The mighty Southsea Fest. I think we’re the only band who’s played every single one of these. God that makes us sound like seasoned veterans rather than the clueless amateurs we so successfully seem to portray on a daily basis. Best line-up yet too….

Southsea Fest Line-Up 2013

 

See you there.

Wit

xxxx

TBOTB

 

 

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.)

ANYWAY.

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…

SEE YOU SOON

xxx

Totally Wired….

Howdy Bangers and Bangettes

How are you? I feel we don’t talk enough. Tell me what you’re up to? How’s the dog? Did you see that thing the other day? Isn’t the weather changeable?

How am I? Oh very well thankyou. That rash has gone and the geraniums finally sprouted.

Here are the headlines in BangLand…..

BANG! In keeping with tradition and attempting to match the mighty mighty Fall (hence the blog title…) in amount of band members, TBOTB has once again had a slight cabinet re-shuffle. Fingers crossed this is now the line-up for ever and ever amen. It certainly has a good feel about it and contains a diverse and talented spread of sexy folks within….in fact, I’m very excited as to what we can achieve.

Sooooooo…..

WELCOME EMILY. WE’RE SORRY FOR WHAT YOU WILL UNDOUBTABLY HAVE TO PUT UP WITH IN THE FUTURE.

The flipside of that bright and shiny coin is the dull and rusty news that our lovely friend and colleague Roxanne Johns has stepped down as a Banger to pursue all the other endeavours she’s involved in. We wish her all the best as she’s ridiculously talented and a great person too. We’ll miss you Rox.

BANG! Our favourite event of the year occurred at the weekend. The top class multi-headed behemoth that is Southsea Fest happened across loads of venues in our hometown. 100+ bands including Clock Opera, Bo Ningen, Pale Seas, Tom Williams & The Boat plus loads more fantastic stuff. We played at The Kings Theatre which is always a pleasure – such a beautiful venue and a super-enthusiastic packed crowd for Em’s first gig. Here’s a coupla pics – cheers to Cal from Pinter Moments.

Southsea Fest was also the last ever Dawn Chorus show and they were absolutely on fire…maybe the best i’ve ever seen them. Collectively these guys are probably our favourite ever band and to call them friends is a privilege. All the best with your future endeavours boys and thanks for the inspiration, the games of bum and the shots in Bumper…..XXX

BANG! On a happier note, the ever excellent Tom Robinson included our track ‘The Forest’ in his BBC6 Music download podcast this week which went out on air early hours of Sunday/Monday morn. Here’s a bit of info:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tomrobinson/2012/09/in-the-small-hours-of.shtml

and here’s the actual download link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/trintro

Some great music on there and many many thanks to Tom for his ongoing support.

BANG! And finally…..(to be said like Trevor Mcdonald)…it looks like the second album we’ve been slaving over for 18 months will finally come out! YAY! If you’re a longtime follower of the band you’ll know our up n down rollercoaster-like existence and the fact that our lovely little label closed it’s doors a couple of months ago. Well we’ve been scurrying around and, with the help of our new management (Barney at Outright – cracking the whip and getting us into shape…) it looks like there is a light on the horizon. More news on this very soon but, rest assured, it’s a very exciting time for us and we’re not going to rest until every one of the 62 million plus people in Britain have heard it. Then next stop is THE WORLD. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Now I must go and tend to those geraniums.

Love

Wit

xxx

Southsea Fest

Hoi hoi all

Southsea Fest this year was probably our best gig so far in my opinion…we’ve had the pleasure of being involved in it in some way or another ever since it’s humble beginnings 5 years ago. It never fails to be anything less than a most splendid day. Although, when we played last year we had a monumental technical meltdown with an erroneous bottle of water being sent tumbling (in Matrix-style slo-mo) onto our power supplies just as we stepped on stage, thus shorting out all our amps and fx pedals. Not ideal. I think we slayed (slaid? slew?) them demons good n proper this year, mind…

This year’s fest was a huge event for our wee home town so a round of applause is due for all involved. 150 odd bands and 15 venues involved with some of the most exciting up and coming artists around – Clock Opera at the Wedge were outstanding as was Fionn Regan in the splendour of The Kings Theatre. Gutted I missed Dry the River and couldn’t get in to our Dawn Chorus/RSP pal Kyle D Evans solo set but had a great night all round nevertheless. For some reason or another we started on rounds of Port in the evening. Odd. But pleasant.

Anyway – here’s some footage of us, also in the lovely setting of The Kings Theatre, playing ‘Film Noir’ & ‘Reykjavik 101’…see you at next years fest eh?

Next step. BACK IN TO THE RECORDING STUDIO. FINALLY.