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A Message from Jon

Hello all. I hope this finds you well and warm. I’m currently waiting for my feet to defrost after a treacherous icy walk into the studio this morning, although beaming with love from this year's Spotify wrapped. We’ve had so many lovely messages come through and although the stats are really just a bit of fun, it’s actually mad how many hours some of you have committed to listening to FM this year!!

There was a request to hear the jungle version of Antiques Roadshow Theme Tune I spoke about a few newsletters a go… Find it here. Please do not listen to this without context! (E.W.I Newsletter).

Ron Mayonnaise :

Maybe some of you are aware of our dear friend and colleague Ron Mayonnaise from our Dream in Colour podcast series. But for those of you who are looking at this name with a confused and intrigued feeling rushing over you, I’d like to share the story of the man, the myth, the legend that is Ron Mayonnaise, and how he came into our lives..

Being in a large band presents numerous challenges on the road, especially in the early days of touring 400/500ish capacity rooms and being independent (meaning there isn’t a big corporation shovelling cash in, propping the tours up financially). You have to be frugal and savagely cut as many costs as possible. I am truly astonished our band and crew still talk to us after some of the $%%*holes we’ve stayed in over the years, not to mention Ned and I blagging our way through as travel agents, drivers, merch vendors, tour managers, and a number of other job roles we were (to a degree still are) most certainly not qualified for.

Keeping crew to a minimum, i.e just Hoff (our legendary Front of House Sound Engineer) was the only way we could make it work on a shoestring budget, however usually bands of our size and equipment would have at least 3-4 other technicians to assist with job roles including monitor engineering / drum tech / stage tech / playback etc etc. We kinda had it down between us but the stumbling block came when we realised how horrifically uncool it is to go and set up ones equipment on stage in front of a packed crowd who are waiting with such excitement to see the show. It TOTALLY ruins the suspense from the audience’s point of view and frankly makes you feel like a right wally when you’re up on stage sound checking your instruments, fiddling around with cables etc, only to then leave and come back on 5 minutes later to start the show. So being the tight gits we had to be at that point, rather than hire an extra pair of hands to take on this job, we decided to take it in turns to disguise ourselves and dress up as a roady. That way the energy of the band first walking on stage doesn’t get ruined, and we don’t bankrupt the project - genius! Ron Mayonnaise (who hasn’t showered for days) is a roady who’s been around the block 100 times, unkept and a bit stinky having worn the same pair of jeans for 27 years, would often be heard making comments like “Toured with Oasis back in their prime, still chat to Noel every now and again” or “Nice of Mick and Keith to send me and me wife a Christmas card last year”, rolling off his tongue with ease every time he met someone new. Life on the road is all Ron knows, a suitcase case that has travelled more miles than Vostok 1, and a penknife which has held more shows together than you’ve had hot dinners. Ron is a heavyweight tour junkie, who knows everyone in the industry and has seen it all. Not an ounce of excitement left in him. Sure enough moments before leaving the house for tour the day after, the beard, wig, pillows, sunglasses and head torch arrived in the post and we were good to go - the plan was hatched! He even had a little theme tune…

Very amused and genuinely quite chuffed with our solution, the change over (the bit in between the support act and the main show) began to creep ever closer for the first show of the tour in Dublin. Ned gallantly stepped forward to take the first shift, donned the outfit, strapped on the head torch and got into character. He got the ok to start the change over and went about lugging the keyboards etc into position, however with great difficulty as he couldn’t see anything due to wearing sunglasses in a dark room. He battled through, channeling Ron's spirit, until he got to testing the guitar amps… mid power chord at 10,000db we realised from the side of stage that the support act hadn’t actually finished their set yet. So essentially Ron had just gone up on stage plugged in a guitar and joined in their set with great distaste! Whoops!!!!

Sadly that was basically the beginning and the end of Ron Mayonnaise’s stint with Franc Moody.. I think he may have showed up at one other show. Sadly and with a heavy heart of defeat, we realised it left no time to get dressed and ready to perform. His spirit still lives on with us to this day. Never forgotten. Thank you Ron Mayo. We sincerely hope that somewhere out there on a dark and dingy stage, another band has got this right as it could very much be the make or break in a tight tour budget!

PS. I can feel my feet again thanks to a good ol’ chuckle!

A Message from Ned

Transitioning to DJ’s :

One of the most exciting developments to emerge from the Franc Moody camp over the past 2 to 3 years is our much heralded arrival as ‘amateur-DJ’s par excellence’. Before we embarked on this journey as Franc Moody neither Jon or I actually knew how to operate a computer, let alone use anything vaguely approaching what the western world might call ‘modern technology’. We were staunch technophobes, obsessed with the “purity” and “sanctity” of recording to analog tape, and of using only analog equipment. We were disciples of Daptone, Stax, Muscle Shoals, Lewis Durham and the like. Anything built post-1830 felt like a kind of anathema to us. We may as well have been the Wright Brothers, trying to create tunes from nowt but whicker and horse hair.

Realising that living under a rock wasn’t necessarily the most productive way to advance as musicians we did start to learn our digital trade under the watchful tutelage of the one and only Professor Joe Hertz. The journey has been amazing but for all our leaps and bounds the potent power of the USB stick had always evaded us till a few years ago. Realising it was actually a great and fun way to perform, and also showcase some of our white label tunes and remixes it’s been an amazing journey. From celebrating each and every vaguely successful mix like we’d scored a last minute winner at Wembley to playing the same tune twice in a row by mistake in Santa Barbara. From pressing stop 37 times in 5 minutes with my elbow in Paris to falling asleep behind the decks at the same club in Santa Barbara it’s been one hell of a ride thus far.

One thing is for certain, it’s a heck of a lot easier to tour. Taking a USB stick round the world rather than 15 metric tonnes of equipment and 10 (nonetheless amazing) people is a thing of joy purely for it’s simplicity. But I hasten to add, not to worry, the DJ gigs are there to supplement the real deal which is obviously the live show. The live show, with the full crew is why we started Franc Moody and will always be the driving force of the band. But there is something truly magical about playing a drum and bass remix of the Antiques Roadshow theme tune to a packed crowd of low swinging jaws and dilated pupils from time to time.



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