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A Message from Jon

Hello hello. 

Just back from another quick jaunt State Side. This time playing shows firstly in the lovely little town of Boise, Idaho, and then onto headlining our first festival, Moustache Bash in San Diego (whooaaaa trying to play that sentence cool but I’m still like whhhatttt!) The wind and the rain tried its hardest to scare us off in SD but if we Brits thought we were resilient to a splash of rain, the usually sun-drenched party goers of the Moustache Bash literally couldn’t have cared less. It actually was a big vibe, even though I spent the majority of the gig wondering at what point I was going to be electrocuted.. My equipment was totally drenched to the point of watching puddles form on my keyboards and water leaking down into the circuit boards. God knows what’s growing in there now. Come to think of it, I should have thrown a few seeds in whilst we were at it and turned my set up into a travelling botanical garden, or maybe a little Roland herb patch. Could be quite nice to pick some mint as I adjust settings mid ‘She’s Too Good For Me’. Seriously though I’m very much hoping it turns on when I get back into the studio this week!

Would HIGHLY recommend Moustache Back for any disco and dance loving Californians. It’s such a nice vibe there, run by a crew who started it as a house party and 16 years later are throwing a full throttle party with a bunch of stages and great music. Do it!

Post San Diego, myself and my colleague drove up to LA to stay with some dear friends, and get back into the amazing studio space ’64 Sounds’ in Highland Park. We wanted to have a last push on a few new ideas before having to knuckle down to cross the t’s and dot the i’s on what’s shaping up to be the next album.. In some ways it’s frustrating because the more we write, the more we seem to be figuring out a sound and a direction of where we want the record to sit. It’s tempting to push everything back and keep writing and writing. But the problem with that is if you don’t give yourself a deadline then it becomes impossible to ever let go of anything.. Possibly a common curse for songwriters and producers??! But one I guess you have to be quite strict with if you want to keep the momentum up. As much as I’m planning to have a keytar modded on the front of my zimmer frame when I’m older I’m not sure it’s quite the look for the project just yet.. Better to get the album finished eh, and save the keytar zimmer for the farewell tour in 10 albums time…

We love it in 64 Sounds. It’s a labyrinth of rare synthesisers, drum machines, guitars and pedals from all over the world, maintained beautifully and in full working order (which is no easy task when everything’s between 40 and 65 years old!). It’s the only studio I’ve been to where it looks how we want the music to sound. Beautiful wooden floors and walls, and cluttered to the brim with these wonderful quirky sounding machines that ooze personality and character. They were precious days and precious memories that were carved there, and I really hope a few of the ideas make the cut. I generally find that ideas are most exciting at the point of inception, when they’re full of potential and you can get a glimpse of what it could turn into. I guess it’s the maze of decisions and directions you take from that point which actualise it.. which is often the hard part! We’ll see.

Right, better get on with it… Much love all, have a great few weeks. xx


A sneak peak of FM in the studio here!!

A Message from Ned

Celebrating The Mundane

As my colleague Monsieur J Moody may have already mentioned we have just returned from a small, bitesize stint in the US. This trip in particular was a big one for us, for the simple reason it was our first billing as a headline festival act in America. A bit of a bucket list moment and definitely not something we take for granted. The palm of my hands are red raw from all the high fives we as a band indulged in this past week or so. My back is feeling the aches and pains of a thousand pats of the congratulatory variety. Yet in spite of these mere flesh wounds it was all in all a wonderful moment for us and one barely conceivable when we first took to the stage in the modest surroundings of the Bermondsey Social Club almost 7 years to the day.

Riding the crest of a wave from Boise, Idaho all the way south west to the sunny climes of California, set to a backdrop of Cadillacs and Palm trees swaying in the breeze one could be forgiven for getting a little carried away. But there’s nothing like returning to Heathrow 700 coffees down, with a stomach wilfully trying to digest the remnants of the unspecified roadkill you consumed the night before only to be greeted by grey skies, miserly drizzle and a bone chilling north westerly to bring you right back down to earth. That being said, I must confess, I love it. I mainline drizzle. “Overcast” would be the name of the deodorant I’d use if I wasn’t already so predisposed towards the ever exotic and timeless Lynx Africa. Just imagine a “Lynx Drizzle”, or even a Givenchy “Puddle pour homme”. Now you’re talking. 

I grew up next to a seaside town on the south coast which was to all intents and purposes way, way past it’s sell by date. Using phrases like “faded grandeur” to supplement the more accurate “absolute shithole”, but honestly to me it feels like home. An ice cream in a cone in sub zero temperatures, complete with howling wind, predatory seagulls and knackered old public houses is very much my safe space. Celebrating “the mundane” as some may term it feels like a particularly British sentiment. Being able to find a kind of beauty or comfort in these quirks of our country is what I’ve definitely been trying to hone in on for this latest record. Artists like Damon Albarn, The Arctic Monkeys, John Cooper Clarke and Ray Davies have all been masters of distilling these snapshots of British life into their songs. The aesthetic of the US and the UK couldn’t be more different. The light, the landscape, the colours, the language, the world weariness. Everything. By touring we’re afforded this jarring juxtaposition on an almost monthly basis and it’s never ceased to fascinate and beguile me in equal measure. It almost reaffirms your connection to where you’re from. You see it in much clearer resolution. The faults, quirks, mystique and rhythms of the place you call home. 



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