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A Message From Jon

Hello guys. I must admit I find it a little unnatural to be writing to you with these thoughts. It’s a new thing for us so please do give us any feedback on here or reply via the telegram group, or email, or indeed send a pigeon. Whatever’s easiest. We love the idea of this becoming a conversation, taking questions, or even receiving a bit of good old fashioned hate mail (in moderation please). All will be appreciated.

I’m writing this first piece to you, as we descend to the depths of album writing and producing mode. It feels as if we’ve turned a little corner with the writing over the past couple of weeks.. and in all honesty I genuinely haven’t felt this excited about all things FM for aaagessss. It’s been a lot of fun in the studio recently and we’re really appreciating the juju thats paid a us a visit, providing some necessary good energy and inspiration. At the massive risk of over analysing it, I’ve been wondering what’s changed..

Maybe it’s because we’ve seen so much incredible live music this year already (including LCD Sound System which was mind blowing and probably deserves its own news letter write up tbh. I’ll bank that..) Also L’Imperatrice, Gabriels, Say She She, Jamie XX, Underworld, Leftfield, Fourtet, Fred Again, Charlotte Adigery to name a few, and those shows have definitely been filling our heads with goodness and inspiration… Maybe it’s because the last time we found ourselves in album mode was when we were writing Into The Ether, deep in lockdown and wondering what the hell was going on! Writing fun dance music not in a lockdown is definitely easier, quelle surprise… Or maybe because when we first spoke about the dreaded ‘A’ (album) word a few months back with our managers it was kind of a daunting prospect. That seems to be subsiding the more we get our teeth stuck into it… Possibly it’s because we’ve got this sexy new keyboard in the studio (a Honer String Performer for you fellow keyboard geeks) which sounds fucking amazing and is absolutely doing the business.. Or maybe simply it’s because we’ve set the bar again and we wanna make an absolute belter of a record that we’ll be proud of when it’s released…

Let’s hope these warm winds of creativity stay a while…. Have a great day everyone. And if you find yourself visited by a similar gust, whether it’s an ant's sneeze or a full blown supporting tailwind, for gods sake enjoy it!

Jon xx

A Message From Ned

From Chess Records to Chicago House We’ve just returned from an amazing, whirlwind trip to Chicago, playing two gigs, one at Lollapalooza itself and one for the official afterparty the night before. Both were great, one in a small, packed, sweaty venue (the sort of place we love playing) and the other at the sprawling festival site itself on a large open stage with a few thousand people watching on (a lot of whom who had most probably come to bag a spot for the insanely popular Noah Kahan who was on after us). This is the second time we’ve been to Chicago with the band and it’s become one of my favourite spots across the pond. It’s a true blessing to be able to travel the world with your mates and play in all these amazing cities. Over the years returning to the same spots you invariably get more and more familiar with each one, plundering local knowledge and committing to extensive google searches to enrich each trip; restaurants, bars, museums, parks, live spots and the like all become etched in your memory but you also get a feel for the inhabitants themselves. We’ve been lucky enough to have met some amazing people on the way and Chicago is certainly no exception. Music from America was what inspired me to become a musician. As a 5/6 year old my mum and dad used to always play 50’s and 60’s compilations in the car. Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry, Del Shannon, the lot. That was it for me, the beginning of everything. Maybe I was born in the wrong decade, on the wrong continent, 40 years too late. All my friends growing up were much more enthused by what was going on in the charts, I was too, to a much lesser extent, but give me a rock n’ roll groove, a voice like Little Richard’s or some Chuck Berry guitar-slinging and I was in my element. Jon must’ve felt the same thing growing up in Devizes. Being from a classical background he might’ve felt he had been born in the wrong century let alone decade, wistfully daydreaming of Vienna in the 1780’s. Aside from the shows themselves this trip was particularly poignant because we got to delve deep into the rich musical history of Chicago, something we’ve always loved to do. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Sun Studios in Memphis where Elvis, Johnnie Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were discovered by the great Sam Phillips so it was an absolute honour to visit the equally historic Chess Records in Chicago where brothers Leonard and Phil Chess recorded the likes of Chuck Berry, Etta James, Buddy Guy and Little Walter with the help of the legendary Willie Dixon. Walking through those hallowed rooms, and learning about the history of the label was a real privilege. Sitting down and listening to “At Last” by Etta James in the very room she recorded it was a moment that will stay with me forever. We also got to meet with some pioneers of the Chicago House scene. DJ Lady D and Lori Branch were both there at the beginnings of Chicago House, finding their place in an underground community that provided a much needed safe space to dance and didn’t care whether you were black, queer, male or female, a true community. Meeting two pioneers of the early electronic music scene was incredibly inspiring for us and for them to give us so much of their time and to take us to two vital components of that story, The Warehouse and Gramophone Records was something I’ll never forget. We also had the pleasure of hanging out with the amazing Bless Tonio who is very much carrying the torch for the next generation of Chicago DJ’s. We had an awesome night watching him do his thing at Penny Whistle. For Jon and I to see a master at work given our own ham-fisted, cack-handed DJ attempts was particularly humbling. To explore two vastly different music types born of the same city was so interesting. Both are indelibly linked and woven deep within the fabric of Chicago’s powerful identity. Both bear witness to Chicago’s changing history, particularly of it’s African American heritage. To see both in a matter of days helped me understand Chicago perhaps a little more, and to meet people that were involved in creating that history, of making the world a little safer, a little brighter and inspiring generations to come was something truly special.



Scott James
Scott James
Sep 05, 2023

Dope. Be on the lookout for my carrier pigeon.


Love what you are doing! Can’t wait for your next record. 🎸🪩

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