GOODBYE

THE GOODBYE EP

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?

THAMES FROST FAYRE 1814
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.

ANYBODY’S GUESS
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.

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

RAISE HIGH THE ROOFBEAM, CARPENTERS…
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.

LITTLE MISTAKE
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.

RE-ENACTMENT
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.

x

Thumbs Up

WOODEN BONES

And so we gallop onwards to the ART NOUVEAU EP. The idea behind it was to present a flip side to the electric, full band ART DECO EP. If you bought that you got a code that would give you a free download for these gentler, acoustic offerings. I don’t think I ever actually got round to sorting it out like that though – instead we just bunged it up on our soundcloud page for any folks to have if they wanted it.

The first track is ‘Wooden Bones’. I recorded most of these songs on my own or with Nelly at Old Blacksmiths during downtime from us working there. I think The Dawn Chorus were recording what would be their last album ‘Tremendous Magic’ around the same period so I asked Kyle if he was up for singing a duet with me and this was the result. It’s a song about being lazy. Of which I am. Lazyness is highly underrated you know. We’d talked about performing it live a couple of times but it never came about. In fact I don’t recall anything on this EP being played live by us. Lazy.

Whatever instruments were around on the day got chucked on – banjo, mandolin, shaker. We were going for a Neutral Milk Hotel/Bright Eyes spontaneous lo-fi(ish) sound I suppose. I was listening to a lot of Decemberists around then too. Hazards of Love. What an album.

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

Strange Days have found us….

Bit of an odd blog this one…you’d be best off thinking of it as a Jeff Buckley song (only far less poetic and beautiful…) as it contains the following:

Heartbreak

Hope

Desperation

Joy

Optimism

Pessimism

A three and a half octave vocal range (OK…that’s just Buckley)

Anyway. Enough waffle. Sad news first. Our lovely little label Jelly Maid Music is closing it’s DIY doors. Sniff sniff. I’d like to say a massive thankyou to Rich Tamblyn who ran it pretty much single handed and helped out so much with our first album and our last 2 EP’s. A great ambassador for the local music scene and the shenanigans that went on at Old Blacksmiths Studio (JM HQ) will be much missed…..

Which brings me on to sad news #2….let me get another hanky….my favourite band The Dawn Chorus are drawing a veil over their impeccable back catalogue with one more album (which I’ve heard most of and it’s incredible). Fittingly it will be the swan song release on Jelly Maid in a couple of months and will be called ‘Tremendous Magic’. Our paths as bands have been ridiculously intertwined over the last 5 years (as last weeks Incest Fest gig showed…! Thanks to all that attended) and we will miss them as touring partners, storytellers, friends and occasional lovers. I had the honour of playing live with them on their last few tours (Whitear kiss of death) and they were some of the funnest shows of my life….more news here:

http://jellymaidmusic.com/2012/07/24/our-final-swan-song/

So…there’s your heartbreak and despair in the first couple of verses….where is the joyful bridge and the optimistic chorus you cry? Well, here. Kyle, Nelly and Pauly B of the DC carry on the flame (with our very own Elliott Gregg on drums) as The Retrospective Soundtrack Players. Keefy Beefy is now our top grade bassman. Drumster Simps is now fronting excellent electro-pop outfit Beatamax. And Benny Boy the Mandolin-Meister? Well i’m eagerly a’waiting his solo sex-funk project (one of these may be a lie…)

Where does this leave The B of the Bang I hear no-one ask? Well….no manager, no label, no publisher, no agent BUT the finest collection of songs we’ve ever written, better gigs than we’ve ever done before, more radio play than ever and the sexiest members in our odd and amusing history (sorry Maff & JD…it’s open to interpretation…).

SO. Here’s the deal. Do bands even need those previously mentioned industry types in the 21st century? I don’t know the answer but I’m sure as hell fed up of being the least successful band since…well…that band that the chubby older Gallagher brother had that no-one cared about. We’ve got a great album ready to go and we’re gonna come and stuff it in your ears whether you like it or not. If anyone wants to help us that’s great but if not….LOCK UP YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS COS WE’RE COMIN ATCHA LIKE CLEOPATRA….

Here’s a free download of our new track ‘The Forest (The Devil is in the Dirt)’. Spread it around yeah?

http://soundcloud.com/thebofthebang/the-b-of-the-bang-the-forest

Wit

xxx

Incestuous Southsea…

Autumns spindly fingers are slowly creeping around us here in the South of England and this chill morn seems like a good time to post. Things are rosy in Camp Bang at the mo – writing more than ever and it looks like we finally might all find the time to get together and record all this new stuff soon. It always seems to be winter for us when we record – I guess we’re a winter band….here are some early demo’s for the forthcoming album:

For the uninitiated I should probs introduce you to a few of our other projects – the reason that organising our gigs and recording is similar in scale to organising the Olympics…

Ready? Deep breath…

I myself (Wit) try and devote most of my time to The B of the Bang but I also have a lovely side project on the go with Dave Of-The-Bang (who I’ve been in bands with half my life) and former Bang-man Mighty Matt E (The Myth). It’s called Analogue Manilow and is much rawer and grungier than TBOTB. This is us:

On top of that, i’m currently recording solo stuff for a film and I also play live with The Dawn Chorus who are recording at the mo:

http://www.thedawnchorus.com/blog/

A few of The Dawn Chorus have their own side project signed to Xtra Mile called The Retrospective Soundtrack Players: Who’s their drummer? Well if it’s not our very own Elliott Gregg! This be them:

http://retrospectivesoundtrackplayers.blogspot.com/

Greggles also does his own DJ/electronic thang that goes by the name of St Robe:

http://soundcloud.com/saintrobe

Keefy Beefy, our bassman, plays with the aforementioned DC and has his own ace solo guise called Tom Fossum:

http://www.myspace.com/tomfossum

He took over from The Ox who plays in a reggae/dub/rock band called Zegema Beach with…..yes you guessed it! Our heroine Roxanne Johns – who also plays and records top-notch solo stuff:

http://www.facebook.com/Zegemabeach

http://www.roxannejohns.co.uk/

Confused yet? You will be. Jack and me used to play in his band Hats are for Heads and he also does remixes under the name of Billy and The Bears. When he’s not organising hostile take-overs.

http://www.myspace.com/hatsareforheads

http://www.myspace.com/billyandthebearsmusic

I think that’s most of it covered…might have missed out one or two bands but it’s so incestuous here in Southsea that it’s hard to keep track. Most of us have something to do with this wee DIY label here so have a peek and, if you’re feeling all communal, like – p’raps buy an album or 2 and keep us all in electricity for another week.

http://jellymaidmusic.com/

To play you out – a cover of one of my favourite artists – the lovely John Grant:

and a new song:

DONE!!!

TTFN
xxxxx

ps tomorrow (Tues 8th November) we’re playing one of our last gigs of the year at The Edge of the Wedge with the excellent Chapman Family. Do come say hi yes?

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.

You’ve got a nerve to be asking a favor (or favour)…

Howdy hi pop-pickers

Haven’t posted here for a wee while have we? Apologies for that…rest assured we’ve been as busy as beavers (who are renowned for being particularly busy…I suspect because building and maintaining a dam requires a lot of effort…)

An excellent mini-tour over the weekend last properly inaugurated the fine talent that is bassman extraordinaire Keefy Beefy into The Bang….it culminated with him swallowing a penny for reasons that we shan’t divulge here (7.5% cider may have been a contributory factor, however…). Thankyou Brighton, London and Preston. It was emotional.

Next up – we’re all moist with anticipation as we’re supporting one of our favourite ever bands The Walkmen! Yes, we’re supporting those actual sexy American indie legends (and I don’t bandy that term about willy…or indeed…nilly…) tonight – and it’s on home turf too at our most loved Southsea venue The Wedgewood Rooms. The icing on the cake is that the excellent Retrospective Soundtrack Players (our drummer Eggliott Egg’s other band feat members of the equally splendid Dawn Chorus) are on the bill too! Frankly, you’d be an ingrate not to be in attendance. AN INGRATE, Y’HEAR??!!?

After that we’re playing at one of our fave venues in our home-away-from-home (bizarrely…) of Cambridgethis forthcoming Saturday. Headlining the Buzz Festival at The Haymakers I believe. They’ve got a cider bar so might keep ol’ Keefy away from that….

So that’s how for now…we’ll see you down the front for ‘The Rat’ yes? Will let you know how it all goes. Here’s some piccies of us chillaxing at home for no real reason other than I just found them…

Wit
xxx

FOSSUM ON A BOSMAN!!!

This hazy golden morning brings both good news and bad news in Camp Bang (oo-er missus…)

Let’s start, as they always do in films, with the bad shall we? Our beautiful bass man Ox has decided to follow the ways of the Blood God Khorne and dedicate himself full time to painting Warhammer models. The thing is, he paints all of them to have his own face. This is a little worrying I feel….

Of course, he hasn’t really…I jest…no, our Ox is off on a voyage of self discovery learning the twin mantras of Reggae and Folk. This, alas, leaves him no time to administer his taut, coiled low notes to us bunch of chancers so he’ll be stepping down after our next couple of shows….sniff sniff….they grow up so fast….

We would like to thank him for all his lovely efforts and the fact that he introduced the almighty drink of Brothers & Gin into the band.

GOOD LUCK OX. MAY THE SEEDS OF LIFE BE FRUITFUL FOR YOU.

Now the good news. For every cloud has it’s silver lining. The departure of Ox leaves some pretty daunting shoes to fill (if a shoe can indeed be classed as daunting…). However, there is but one man alive who I feel can deftly and sexily fill those very shoes. We introduce the next character in our strange and wonderful fable:

KEEF (aka Keefy Beefy, Tom Fossum, Good Evans) – Yes oh yes. No-one can shake a fringe like he can. No-one can sport a Wrestling T-Shirt quite so nonchalantly. He provides the bass for The Dawn Chorus and his solo Nordic Football themed Tom Fossum project. He brings with him his faithful guitar lead Curly Sue and frankly we’re very lucky to get him this late on in the transfer window. There are a few agents fee’s to sort out and a clause that allows him to opt out of European games but dagnammit it’s good to have him on board.

So, a brave new future beckons once more. Get yourself down to one of the following shows to see off The Ox in style won’t you?

APRIL 14th – The Rhythm Factory, Whitechapel (w/ Her Name is Calla & Revere)

APRIL 23rd – Lennons, Southampton (w/ Thomas Tantrum)

MAY 1st – Acoustic set @ Edge of the Wedge, Southsea (w/ The Retrospective Soundtrack Players)

Until then, you can see the big man in action one last time here where we were all very hungover due to consumption of aforementioned B&G’s. Filmed by the excellent HiveLocal, this is a new song called ‘Bungalow Town’.

Wit

xxx