Indelicates Album Launch, The Camden Head 25/04/2013

A brilliant night all round!

This was a gig for the launch of the Indelicates new album, and a rare acoustic gig for my band.

I'd been in two minds about whether to play it acoustic for a while, but then I remembered how many stairs I would have to carry four guitar amps up, and that was that. I decided to play as Keith Top of The Pops & His Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band (Folk Edition)

Arrived a bit early, had a few pints with Dave Hughes & The Renegade Folk Punk Band (The Only Band To HaveTheir Name Correct On The Sign)

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Which may have been why I forgot the first line to at least three of my songs later on.

When I say acoustic gig, I mean acoustic gig. None of this "plugging acoustic guitars in" nonsense.

There were still 8 of us though

Although there was a vocal mic, which meant everything else was a bit quiet. I asked the sound guy to turn it off, but settled for moving one of the other mics onto my guitar. Not for vanity reasons you understand, but so the rest of the band could hear where in the song we were. I am a kind boss.

The odd thing about acoustic gigs for my band is when I don't have to be heard above a wall of electric guitars I get to actually sing rather than shout in tune. which then means I get a lot of people who have seen us before coming up and saying "You can actually sing!" which is always nice.

Multi Instrumentalist Charley Stone played violin on a few of the songs, which sounded great and was apparently the first live outing for the violin since she was in school. Muscle memory, never fails.

There were singalong bits from the crowd, foot stamping to replace the drums, I got covered in glitter from my new guitar strap, and it was just an awesome gig. I might do more like it

The crowd were generally ace, Dave Hughes & The Renegade Folk Punk Band, started a song with "This has a singalong bit if you want to join in" and then seemed genuinely shocked and happy when people actually did.

Then the Indelicates played, and it was one of my favourite gigs I've seen them play, and I've seen them play a lot. Technically, I used to be in The Indelicates (Touring Rhythm Guitarist, Reading Chords Off Bits Of Paper While Playing, Drinking The Rider, Flying To Berlin To Add Handclaps To An Album) I love them.

There is a photo here http://www.flickr.com/photos/aguichard/8683527399/in/set-72157633343738401 but The Internet isn't letting me steal it.

Line-up
---------------------------

Me - Acoustic Guitar, Singing, Forgetting Some Words

Micky Ciccone - Fancy New Acoustic Guitar, Singing,

Charley Stone - Acoustic Guitar, Singing, Violin Without A Chin Rest (They're Unnecessary), Violin Solos

David Barnett - Acoustic Guitar, Singing, Breaking The Same String As Last Time

Simon Indelicate - Acoustic Guitar, Being In The Awesome Indelicates

Melissa - Muted Trumpet That You Could Actually Hear!, Hiding At The Back, Forcing Gin On Micky

Sara - Musical Saw, THAT YOU COULD ACTUALLY HEAR!!

Emma - Flute

Googies Coffee Shop, Folkstone. 20/04/2013

A lovely day, an awesome gig!

If you're ever going to play a gig downstairs in a coffee shop in a seaside town that's quite close to Dover, I recommend Googies in Folkestone.

Lovely place. Lovely people. Slightly odd cider which tastes like a pint of wine.

I've said this before, but if a venue gives you free hot food, they instantly shoot up to near the top of the list of venues I like.

Before the gig we went to the harbour and saw all the celebrities yachts.

These two belong to the guy out of the Shamen

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and I assume this belongs to Phil Collins. No Life Jacket Required

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Here is some of my band at the seaside

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This was another gig where pretty much everyone in all 3 bands is also a member of my band. It's a great system. I recommend it

There was a little kid in the audience. Because I'm an All Round Family Entertainer this led to me editing some of my songs as I sang them "Flip you! I'm Keith Top Of The Pops!" and changing a bit of I Hate Your Band to "yeah, they're not very good, but you should see them live" being my two favourites.

"It's Slang" became a song about loving yourself

"Do You Want Some" became about going to hotel rooms to cuddle.

It all worked pretty well. I might just rerecord family friendly versions of everything I've ever done. Or I would, if swearing wasn't so big and clever.

As nobody really knew when we were on, we went on fifteen minutes late. Because we are professionals though, we just played everything twice as fast and finished with a couple of minutes to spare. I've never over run a time slot in my life.

Also playing, the excellent New Royal Family.

I love them. This a new (from 1984) song of theirs


The Indelicates were on last, with a new drummer (who was ace), a new bass player (who wears his bass at the correct height)  and a new singer (who was awesome).

Photo 305

Technical difficulties all over the shop and they were still amazing. I love them.


Line up

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Me - Guitar, Singing, Massively Insulting Dover For No Particular Reason

Charley Stone - Lead Guitar, Singing, MCing, Health & Safety

David Barnett - Guitar, Singing, A Little Bit Of Politics

Rob Britton - Guitar, Singing, Blowing Up A Bass Amp, Ruining His Knee, Bleeding Everywhere, Generally Being In The Wars

Les Carter - Bass, Being The Sound Guy For A Bit

Simon Indelicate - Guitar, Master Of Puppets

Jen DenitWHOAH - Drums, Holding It In

Aug Stone - Protection

Bull & Gate, Goodbye Bull & Gate Gig, 18/04/2013

Incredible gig.

A farewell to the Bull & Gate.

Due to getting there at 5, and not going on til after 10, I can remember almost nothing about this gig apart from it all being excellent, there being loads of amazing people there, and it being one of my favourite gigs ever.

As usual, here's a picture I stole from the internet,

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Look at us. We're fucking amazing!

Line- up

------------------------------------

Me -  Singing, Guitar, Wearing The Best Shirt

Micky Ciccone - Singing, Guitar

Adie Nunn - Guitar, Using A Phone On Stage Because Fuck You The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Ian  Catskilkin - Guitar, Picking A Note, Sticking With It

David Barnett - Guitar, Singing, Being The Birthday Boy

Jim Rock - Guitar, Climbing

Rob Britton - Guitar, Singing, Slapping Guitars, Taking His Guitar Off FAR Too Early

Les Carter - Bass, Singing, Doing A Little Dance

Mike "Mr Click" Drums - Drums, Standard Rock Ending #5, Hardly Dropping His Sticks At All

Melissa Reardon - Trumpet, French Horn, Trumpet

Nathan "Wolf" Thomas  - French Horn, Trumpet, French Horn

Arec - Sax, Climbing

Phil  Whaite -  Sax

Sara - The Musical Saw

Emma - Flute

The Hope & Anchor In Islington 16/04/2013

An excellent gig!

I'd never played the Hope & anchor before. I like it.

It could do with selling actual cider though, i.e Strongbow and not that cloudy nonsense with apples in it that all pubs seem to sell these days.

When I got there they had a chalkboard outside with most of the words from the band name, in the wrong order, and in entirely different places.

Photo 289

I'm doing quite a lot of gigs recently as I'm going on tour soon. Non of them with the actual drummer I'm taking on tour though, that would be a bit too much like rehearsal.

We were supposed to go on first, but had a band pull out. so we got moved up the bill. Which meant not only more time to get P.L.D but also extra time for band members to arrive. Arec arriving with his saxophone just as we went on stage.

For various reasons (babies, old men playing old songs on the other side of town, jobs, etc) it was a pretty stripped down band. I actually got a little concerned when people started saying they couldn't make it, until I realised there would still be seven or so of us.

After a problem with the bass lead at the beginning, giving me time to do some local geography based stand up comedy, we were away.

And we were great!

Despite not being able to hear anything I or anybody else was doing, everyone in my band is REALLY GOOD at playing what seems like it would go with whatever they think the others might possibly be playing, and being right.

It's a handy skill!

Somebody came up after and said we were "Surprisingly good"

I think "Surprising" is easily the most common word in reviews of my band.

After that, I watched the excellent Desperate Journalist, who we were supporting, and who were amazing.

Then I went to the pub.

I'm calling the whole night a success!

oh, I was also trying out a new guitar. This one to be exact

Photo 232

as my normal guitar keeps breaking strings.

Although it looks great (important!), and sounds great (almost as important!), the pickup selector is in such a place as I keep hitting it with my hand and wondering where all the treble has gone. Gaffer tape will fix that.

More oddly, after having played the one guitar for every gig my band has ever played, I kept thinking the notes were in a slightly different place. I can play my normal guitar with my eyes closed, and if photos are to believed often do.

This one not so much, so spare guitar for when I break a string on the normal one it is!

Lineup
-----------------------------

Me - Guitar, Singing

Charley Stone - Lead Guitar, Rocking Out, Singing

Fruitbat - Broken Bass, Bass, Singing

Jen Denitto - Drums

Melissa Reardon - Trumpet, Leaving Rubbish Books Around The Place

Sara - The Musical Saw

Arec - Sax, Being Late

Phil - Sax

Portland Arms, Cambridge, 20/02/2013

This gig was at a birthday party for my friend Steve, judging from the rider he gave us,

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I think private events may be the way forward!

On our way to Cambridge in the van I decided it would be hilarious (to me) to pretend to confuse it with Oxford all night. Lots of mentions of gleaming spires and Inspector Morse. Luckily, I was right and it WAS hilarious (to me)

Rob was also playing bass in the headline band, the excellent Abdoujaparov, which contains two members of Carter U.S.M, and four members of my band. Look, here he is doing that.

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A quick trip to the Wetherspoons over the road to reach P.L.D and it was time to play.

We were amazing!

Jokes about Oxford were still hilarious (to me)

The newest song we play, which lasts for 1 min 35 sec on the album, lasted for about 40 seconds after I decided to make new drummer, Ben L'ambert play it at double speed. For some reason.

Then it was drinking, dancing, some sort of bottled beer that comes pre mixed with Tequila, and the best disco based entirely around the year 1992 I can remember, before getting the van back for home.

It was great! I give it a thumbs up.

Have a video

Line-up
--------------------------

Me - Guitar, Singing, Hilarious Jokes About Oxford/Cambridge (The O.C As I Now Call It)

Fruitbat - Bass, Singing, Being In The Excellent Abdoujaparov

Ben L'ambert - Drums, Mental Drums, Being In The Excellent Abdoujaparov

David Barnett - Guitar, Singing.

Simon indelicate - Guitar, Singing.

Johnny Fade - Guitar, Being In The Excellent Abdoujaparov

Rob Britton - Guitar, Singing, Being In The Excellent Abdoujaparov

James Rocks - Guitar, Singing

Julia Indelicate - Recorder, Losing Her Recorder In The Car Somehow

Charley Stone - Standing 61 Miles To My Left, Playing Lead Guitar In Spirit.

Secret Gig. Brixton Windmil. 20/02/2013

A gig so secret I wasn't sure I was going to play until I turned up.

I was at the Windmill to see legends of the mid 90s Lewisham scene "Soup" (who were amazing!)

The day before, all the posters still said TBC on them for the opening act, and it was suggested by my  Lead Guitarist that as I was attending we should get up and play. And a genius idea it was!

On arriving, the posters still said TBC, so five minutes later it was agreed we could play. After altering the posters

photo (10)

(One more reason you should never leave the house without an autograph pen), and borrowing a guitar, lead guitarist, bass player, and drummer from the other two bands, we took to the stage and played an amazingly fun gig.

The bass player, Stuffy, who I had borrowed from the excellent band Stephen Evens (Who went on after us, and were amazing) had never heard most of the songs, but he's a professional, and the songs are mainly the same chord sequence in slightly different starting positions, so it was fine.

Highlights include me not only forgetting the words, but also the chords to a song the rest of the band didn't know and having what lasts for 1 minute 27 seconds on the album become a sort of 4 and a half minute krautrock thing mainly consisting of the chord A, which was brilliant.

And telling everybody it was Stuffy's birthday and they should all buy him a drink, accidentally making him announce from the stage that as he was actually an alcoholic he would be drinking orange juice.

All in all, the best Wednesday night out I've had in ages!

As i don't think there's any photos of us, here's one of the amazing band Soup

photo (11)

Lineup
---------------------------

Me - Guitar, Singing

Charley Stone - Lead Guitar, Singing, Being In The Amazing Band Soup

Mel Woods - Making Up The Drums, Being In The Amazing Band Soup

Stuffy - Making Up The Bass Bits, Being In The Amazing Band Stephen Evens

Buffalo Bar, 12th of January, 2013

This was a great night.

An excellent gig, with excellent bands, filled with excellent people.

I can remember almost nothing else about it.

The promoter was busy playing in Dream Themes, so made the decision to give me the money up front to pay all the bands, considering what usually happens when people give me large amounts of money in bars, this actually turned out fairly well

I remember the microphone being dodgy, meaning I could do a quite excellent Norman Collier impression, after chasing the mic stand around a bit.

After seamlessly swapping mics mid song, I achieved a personal best of breaking four string on two guitars.

After swapping guitars with David, who managed to still play his bits on 5 strings, because he's a professional, I have a vague recollection of him and Charley rocking out in the audience while I attempted to play guitar behind my head. Possibly on the extended outro of the best performance of I Hate Your Band in recent memory.

My plan of swapping albums for drinks at gigs is still working out fine.

Then there was dancing, and hugging, and rum.

Then it was 6am and I decided to go home.

I am still smiling from this gig now.

Here is a photo I've just nicked from the internet. Taken by Ashley Jones of http://www.thechaosengineers.com/ fame.

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Line-up
------------------------------

Me - Singing, Guitar, Broken Guitar, Guitar.

Mike Drums - Drums

Fruitbat - Bass

Charley Stone - Guitar, Singing, Being in the best Adam & The Ants cover band

David Barnett - Guitar, Broken Guitar, Singing, Being in the best Adam & The Ants cover band

Micky Ciccone - Guitar, Singing

Rob - Guitar, Being in the best Adam & The Ants cover band

James Rocks - Guitar, Singing

Arec - Sax

Phil -  Playing Sax in three bands a night

Sara - The Singing Saw

Melissa - Playing the trumpet at approximately the same time somewhere in London

Battitude Festival 2012. The Windmill. 8th December.

I have decided to start doing these again. So,

This gig was amazing!

It was Fruitbat's all day birthday party festival.

One of the many excellent things about this, is that means I know most of the people playing, and that the bands are great!

As usually happens with these things, when you tell people you're bringing 8 or 9 guitar amps, everyone asks to borrow them. Which means that although we weren't on until 10.30 I got there at 4 to put them all on stage for the other bands.

Which means I can start getting Performance Level Drunk slightly early.

Irish Mike The German Drummer couldn't make it. Which leads to the other excellent thing about these sort of gigs. Mainly that I could close my eyes, reach out in a random direction and find not only a replacement musician for any that can't turn up, but also one who has quite likely played in my band before (Tip for promoters here. Book my band. It means you are usually guaranteed at least two other excellent bands that can replace any bands that pull out of your gig at a moments notice, and we're amazing.) In this case Jen Denitto from the the awesome New Royal Family, who were playing earlier, and were brilliant as usual.

When we finally took to the stage, I realised I had paced the warm up drinking slightly wrong and was in fact hammered.

This means, as it usually does, that I play all the songs slightly faster (maybe twice as fast) and because of the slightly different way my band works compared to other bands (everybody has to follow me, including the drummer. Meaning that anyone not just strumming chords and singing and actually doing the tricky bits that make me sound amazing, so everyone but me really, has to keep up) which makes it slightly more intense, and actually produced one of my favourite gigs I've ever played!

Emergency drummers also mean I get to do the "Hold the guitar in the air to say when the song is ending before everyone finishes at the same time over Standard Rock Ending Number Two drum rolls" thing. Which I love doing. So that's good.

We got the pub to do a singalong happy birthday to Les, and played a new song which a lot of the band had never heard before. Which due to the aforementioned drinking effect, featured a LOT less words than it was meant to, but only lasted about 90 seconds. It was great!

There were some people from a music school there recording it, but we crashed their computer with sheer ROCK! Or maybe somebody trod on a lead. 50/50

I've also started doing the extended outro to I Hate Your Band again, in which I introduce the band. Which depending on the line up can take anywhere up to 10 minutes of extra glorious noise as everyone drags as much music out of two chords as they possibly can. It's amazing!

There is a thing that happens at some gigs that as soon as you step off stage, you realise that you can remember almost nothing about what you've been doing for the last half hour, but are well aware it was probably one of the best half hours of your life. This was one of them.

Here is a photo that, as usual, I have nicked from Facebook

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In conclusion then, I fucking love my band.

Cheers.

Line-up
------------------------------------------------
Me - Strumming Guitar, Singing, and Conducting
Fruitbat - Bass, and Birthday
Jennifer DennitWHOAH! - Emergency Drums
David Barnett - Guitar, and Singing
Johnny Fade - Guitar
Micky C - Guitar, and Singing
Charley Stone - Lead Guitar, and Singing
Rob - Guitar, and Singing
James Rock - Emergency Spare Guitar After Leaving His On A Train, and Singing
Mel - Horn
Sara - Musical Saw
Arec - Sax

Keith Top of the Pops Guide To Mixing Hit Records (Of A Certain Kind That Sell Around 800 Copies)

Hello

I've not posted here for a while. I stopped listing all the gigs I played as I thought me just going "That was amazing!" repeatedly would get a little boring for the five people that read this. In the meantime, I've played many more gigs, and they were all amazing!

I record the last song for my 2nd album "TOTP 2" tomorrow, which means I have to mix it soon, so I thought I'd write a handy guide offering completely unasked for advice for anyone who's interested in that stuff. A lot of it probably only applies to the sort of records I make, so feel free to ignore it.

Step 1: Know How It's Going To Sound
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Sounds obvious, but if you haven't already mixed it in your head then you're not going to know when it's finished, leading to a load of pointless second guessing and doubts. Nobody want's that. It's rubbish.
It you're not mixing it yourself, at least have the guy who recorded it mix it. It saves a whole load of
"Where did that dropped tambourine go?"
"Oh, I thought it was a mistake"
"...MISTAKE! THAT WAS THE MOMENT THE WHOLE ALBUM HAD BEEN BUILDING TO! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? DON"T YOU UNDERSTAND MY ART? YOU FOOL!" type conversations.

Step 2: Put Everything In It's Place
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Panning stuff around. Generally the main good bits go hard left, centre, and hard right. All the little flourishes and interesting good bits fill in the gaps.
Some people will tell you that everything should have it's own place. This is nonsense. Layer stuff up. bury stuff. Make things barely audible. Have stuff you can only hear on headphones. Who wants to hear everything a song has to offer on the first listen? Not me, and therefore I arrogantly assume, nobody else does either.

Step 3: Press Play
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Press Play.

Step 4: Turn Everything UP
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Push all the faders up. If you're lucky, job done, and you can go to step 5. If you're not so lucky then turn down the bits that don't need to be as loud as everything else. Adjust the panning if needed to fill in gaps or hide more stuff.
Turn the vocal up slightly louder.
A lot of other (admittedly, more successful. Not better, Just more successful) people start from the bottom with the drums and then add stuff. I tried this for a while and would end up running out of room before things start distorting and have to turn everything down and start again. This is rubbish, don't do it.
Everything has it's level. It's totally fine to have an instrument playing away for the whole song without you being able to hear it except in brief bits where other instruments suddenly make room. A lot of the time you only think you can't hear it anyway, until you mute it and immediately notice it missing and suddenly everything turns rubbish. Put it back in.

Step 5: Record It. Forget It
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Record the mix. Then, very important, DO NOT LISTEN TO IT! (This is for the final mix, listen to rough ones all you want)
Go to the pub for around 3 days, put it out of your mind. Then sunday afternoon stick it on your phone and give it a listen on the way back to the pub, have a proper listen on the stereo when you get back. You've probably forgotten just how great it is so it'll be a nice surprise.
If you think minor stuff needs changing, try to limit it to only changing three things. Make sure it's worth it.
If you really hate how one of the songs has turned out. Mix it again from scratch. Don't recall the mix and try to fix it. Why would you want to recall it? It's shit remember. Just do it again!

Optional Step 6: Do A Bit Of A Tour Playing The Songs Almost Completely Differently
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Just because the songs on the album sound like they do DOES NOT mean that that's how they go. They're yours and you can play them however the hell you like. It's impossible for you to play them wrong, just differently. Also, touring is ace.

Now you might be thinking
"But Keith. What about all the other stuff?"
"Other stuff?" I'll ask, having read your mind.
"Yeah you know, EQ and stuff"
To which I'll give you a look and say
"You should have recorded it properly in the first place. Fixing it in the mix, and not making decisions is bullshit and leads to you making rubbish records both you and nobody else are happy with."

Then there'll be a bit of an awkward silence I imagine.

Then you'll say "Wait. Why am I listening to your unasked for advice anyway?"

And I'll walk away muttering stuff under my breath about you and the fact that at least three songs I made are in the Guinness book of hit singles (I say at least three, it's exactly three) while shaking my head.

Oh, and remember, you are NEVER "Releasing an album for yourself and if anyone else likes it, it's a bonus" If it's just for yourself you could have saved a lot of people some time, money, and effort by not releasing it and just giving it people. You're releasing it because you think it's ace and people should hear it. Also to get girls, free sunglasses, and if you're lucky a bit of travel.
If anyone else likes it, it's not a bonus. It's the bare fucking minimum you should expect. Unless you're the Kooks, in which case anybody else liking it should be considered a miracle.

There you go. Five easy steps. Follow them and you too could have a small indie following (probably in Europe), countless plays on independent studio radio, and a song in the festive fifty in time for christmas.

You're welcome.

A bit of a tour.

Next month I am playing some gigs more than 20 minutes from my house. I have decided this counts as A TOUR!

First off, the 13th at the Buffalo bar with Piney Gir, and The Inevitable Pinhole Burns

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=166394693371721&index=1

Then 3 dates opening for The Blood Arm ( http://www.thebloodarm.com/ for tickets to these and the rest of their tour dates ) which are

November 16th at FAC251 in Manchester
November 17th at Fibbers in York
November 19th at The Lexington in London

They're all going to be ace, so why not go to all of them. I am.