…is a word I’m not sure I’m comfortable using, but we are part of it now, so I’d better get used to it.
Keep up to date with Efpi Records news along with breathtaking insights in to my day-to-day existence over at twitter.com/efpirecords
And, for similarly exciting updates from the mind of Ben Cottrell, including (but not limited to) the crushing disappointment and bitterness that comes from being a Liverpool FC supporter head to twitter.com/beatsnpieces
And click “follow” whilst you’re there ok? Thanks.
P.S. Sam doesn’t know what Twitter is, but if you’re around the Stockholm area, keep an eye out for pigeons with two or three sentences stapled to their backs. It might not be reaching the biggest audience ever, but if you can get your hands on one it’ll change your life…
Posted: June 25th, 2010 | Author: Anton | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
So we’ve been and done our first UK tour, we finished it a couple of weeks ago actually, but it’s taken me till now to get the emotional space I need to write about it.
I for one was pretty nervous about the volcanic ash but fortunately Sam, Fin and Eero were all there by Sunday evening for some night-time drinking in the park, perfect way to mentally prepare ourselves for the first day of rehearsals…
We rehearsed a bit, ate a lot of bananas, made some sandwiches, and drove to Sam’s mum’s where we saw this weird bug thing outside a pub…
Then the gigs started. Matt ‘n’ Phred’s in Manchester was a good start, first time I’d actually played there an all. Eero managed to silence the crowd with his bass solo in Punky Tango (which became a live favourite, download it on the Aaargh! EP too, just click the link on the right)
After the intense first two days, everything chilled out a little bit. Long drive down to and from Bath on Thursday, I felt better about the tunes as well, starting to relax into some of the new material a bit. Quite a small crowd, but really attentive, and it’s a great space to play in, if you find yourself in Bath head to St. James’ Wine Vaults – I think there’s jazz on every other Thursday.
And on to the Lake District, not much to report other than we all had to sign CDs (for Fin’s girlfriend Bryony’s mum). Played new tune “With The Same Eyes” for the first time, which is only the third proper co-composition between Sam and I, it didn’t sit quite right but with a bit more playing in it should be a good addition.
Sunday – recording starts. With Ben Cottrell taking the role of producer very seriously indeed; a few interventions over our headphones left us wondering when we’d actually asked him for an opinion, but several times over the two days he got better stuff out of us so all is good. Spent a good hour or so practicing “Why Why Em?” and still didn’t get it right, ended up arriving late for our Hillary Step gig which, due to the bank holiday was rammed and made us wish we’d brought a bass amp. Nice klezmer version of Punky Tango, but a lot of the quieter sections got lost unfortunately.
Monday – FULL day of recording, we did pretty much everything we’d been doing on tour, including “Introduction” by Fin’s flatmate Jordan, a proper good funky-rock-out tune that sits nicely alongside our heavier tunes. I’ve still no idea what any of this sounds like, it felt ok on the day but we’ve been a bit nervous to listen back yet, it’ll be better given space.
We also uncovered evidence that Ben was redoing parts overnight when we weren’t there.
But under pressure from Eero (and a power-tool), he erased his contributions so it’s all on us again.
The next run of gigs were by far the best, and with the pressures of recording off our backs, Leeds and London went really really well, we even managed to give up writing set lists, which felt pretty good (although is going to make filling in our PRS forms tricky). Leeds was a landmark; first HAQ gig when we’ve all been able to go drinking afterwards due to the amazing Wardrobe venue letting us leave the gear there. And London was great in that seemingly everyone I know came to watch, including the wonderful Kate Findlay who so kindly lent Eero her double bass for the fortnight. London also offered a great chance to see Normal Gimbel again, I heartily recommend seeing them if you get the chance, I can’t even begin to describe them…
More photos of London (including several with our eyes closed) can be found on Richard Kaby’s Flickr site.
And then it was on to Birmingham (after spending tour earnings in Ray’s Jazz in London). Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, Sam had to leave us for the final date but we were fortunate enough to have local trumpet supremo Aaron Diaz stepping in. After a hurried rehearsal/soundcheck and some noodles we opened the first set as a trio, playing the only few tunes I know the melodies to, then Aaron joined for some of the old favourites, plus “Technojoshi” by Food, which I’d not heard before but shall definitely be checking out. It was a shame we couldn’t end our first tour with Sam, but hopefully this has opened doors for some cross-city collaborations.
And that was that. Eero flew back the very next day, Fin returned to Liverpool and I went to see Mr. Scruff at the Band On The Wall (much better than I thought it would be, I was worried about the balcony-and-carpet vibe but it turns out Mr Scruff brings the noise wherever he be…).
More photos on our Flickr page. Massive thanks to everyone who booked us, came to watch us, put us up in different cities (Ben and Henri and Jim and Adam), put up with us all in our flat (Toni) and lent us stuff (Kate and Rod and Dave and Rob).
Here’s to the next one…
Posted: June 24th, 2010 | Author: Anton | Filed under: HAQ | No Comments »
HAQ on tour in the UK
‘Share The Mishmash’ @ The Others, 6-8 Manor Road, Stoke Newington, N16 5SA
Very excited to be sharing the stage with Ruth Goller and Alice Grant’s amazing vocal duo “Normal Gimbel” – so get down early!
Posted: April 15th, 2010 | Author: Anton | Filed under: HAQ, Listings | No Comments »
Haq on tour in the UK.
The Chillout Session, The Wardrobe, 6 St Peter’s Square, Leeds, LS9 8AH
9pm, Free entry
Posted: March 26th, 2010 | Author: Anton | Filed under: HAQ, Listings | No Comments »