A Message from Jon
Eyyy up guys. I hope this finds you well rested and full of beans for 2024! We’re just poking our heads back in from some nice time off comms, and given our ears a much needed rest from the ‘soundcloud album playlist’ which has, and will be back dominating my cranial cavity for the coming months.
Lots of exciting things to look forward to in camp FM.. some fun festivals over in the US (starting with Jam Cruise festival around the Caribbean yey), getting the album finished, and also beginning to think about how we want things to feel aesthetically around it. It really feels like these are the months to get our heads down and immerse ourselves in all things Franc Moody. Not that we don’t usually.. but time to properly buckle up! Let’s goooooooo!
In other news, Amber and Luke have decided to focus on their own paths and have moved on from the live band. We’ll miss them dearly, but with any big changes comes opportunities, for both their own journeys and also for the live show. We’ll be starting rehearsals in a couple of weeks and can start to figure out how it’s gonna feel and look… we’re looking at it as an exciting new chapter for us. Ams and Luke have been such a massive part of the journey so far and they’ll always feel like part of the FM-ily.. We wish them the very best in their musical endeavours and selfishly, I’m really looking forward to Amber focusing on her record because it’s shaping up to be something really special! We’ve been chipping away at it together for the past year or so and it deserves her full attention now.
I don’t know about you guys, but the main event over Christmas in my home is definitely food. I’m not sure we spoke about much else other than planning what the next meal would entail. Imminently conjuring up the next full scale plan of attack, whether it be a barrage of brussel sprouts or prepping the ‘rots’ (carrots), ‘nips’ (parsnips), and ‘tats’ (potatoes) to perfection as you bid them farewell and they start their journey to becoming the most praised operation since Noah’s Ark.
As the enthusiasm dulls when the bellies swell, and the arteries clog in that sweet spot between Christmas and New Year, I traditionally do a curry night. Few things give me more joy than stirring delicious spices or kneading dough for the naan breads. Full disclaimer - I’m by no means an expert! But I thought I’d share my recipe for a black garlic daal I did as a side dish this year. It went down a treat and was even better for breakfast the next day, on toast with a couple of fried fellas on top.
Jon Boy’s Bodge Job Black Garlic Tarka Roald Daal (Serves at least 6 as a side dish)
Red split pea lentils (1 cup)
Roughly 30/40g black garlic
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 red onion, finely chopped
2/3 fresh chilli’s
Big knob of ginger
4 large tommy’s, roughly chopped
Bay or curry leaf
Add 3 cups of water to the lentils and get those bubbling up. Add a tsp salt. They’ll take about 20 - 30 minutes to soften and go nice and soupy. Personally I like a soupy daal so no rush on time there, you can’t really over do it..
Fry up your corry and cumin seeds until aromatic
Add the onion, chilli’s, and a large dollop of olive oil or whatever you like to cook with.
As the onions soften / sweat, grate in your ginger.
After about 5 mins of those onions doing the biz, add the rest of your spices and the bay leaf if you have one.
Give that a few minutes to paste up and blend.
About now was when I added the garlic… I added the cloves whole and then kinda squished them in (professional cooking term), but it was a bit of an arse so next time I might try blending them with the tomatoes…
If you added the garlic separately like I did then get those tommy’s in now.
Season well, and bubble away on a medium heat for 15 mins(ish), stirring well and giving it plenty of praise and good wishes.
When that’s brewed up, add the black garlic tarka to your lentils which hopefully will be nice and soft by now. Stir for a while and revel in all its glory. I usually let this gently bubble away for a bit until serving.
JOBS A GOODN’ !
A Message from Ned
The Romance Of The Road
When people think of life on the road, they inevitably think of a Jack Kerouac-style existence. A seemingly endless expanse of road; hitherto unimagined boundless freedom, complete with life-affirming experiences, hair cinematically blowing in the wind, eagles soaring majestically in sweltering midday suns all set to a Bob Seger-penned power ballad. Similarly when people think of tour buses, they think of vast leather-clad juggernauts; the Ritz on wheels with a Versailles-esque lounge in the back, spinning 4 poster beds and a revolving cast of glamorous and unruly characters. And finally, when people think of hotels on the road, they think of penthouse suites, booked under exotic and humorous aliases, sprawling rooftop rooms repurposed for 24/7 revelry, TV’s thrown out of top floors into vast swimming pools and six figure room service bills.
Sadly these myths couldn’t be further from the truth where Franc Moody is concerned. That’s not to say there’s a great deal of wonder and romance involved in the touring we do, there definitely is. Put simply touring can be a real ole slog sometimes. It’s an acquired taste at best which really is not to everyone’s liking. When you first start out it’s all about trying to minimise the debt you wrack up, which 99 times out of 100 will sink a band before it’s even started. As such you have to expect years spent sharing beds, sleeping on floors, under desks, in cars and half the time not at all to keep the show on the road. Jon and I have learned over the years to manage the meagre FM account like seasoned accountants, and as such have booked transport and accommodation accordingly. In fact booking the cheapest available rooms or nefarious motel spots became a favourite pastime of ours, in some respects we became more full time Travel Agents than musicians. If you were looking for somewhere to stay that cost less than a ham and cheese sandwich and gave the booker a really good chance of contracting cholera then we were the guys for you.
Needless to say we’ve stayed in some crackers along the way. A few examples…Case study 1) A stunning Parisian apartment (a space roughly 3 square feet) into which we all crammed, complete with ravenous bedbugs and no actual bed covers to be found. I think Dan slept under a sock that evening as he was viciously mauled by a horde of the little blighters. Case study 2) A picturesque Dublin hideaway that contained more mould than a mature Stilton, with a tepid shower that was overrun with pubic hair that leaked through the floor onto Rosy’s face as she slept. Case study 3) A Mancunian stronghold that doubled as a slug hostel, and Case study 4) an infamous Los Angeles pad that despite saying it could sleep 8 actually slept 1 at a push, was overrun by an outbreak of soiled tissues and sported a used condom in the front yard. Motel bookings haven’t fared much better, in the US we always stay at ones that have a familiar funk, a kind of mixture of vicious body odour and powerful bleach. I’ve become obsessed with documenting the carpets in these places, they’re incredible.
Simply put we wouldn’t have changed any of those lo-fi, DIY experiences for the world. It’s those same adventures, the highs and lows that really bond you as a group, that really tests the mettle of each and every band member. If you want it enough then you’ll happily put up with the deeply unhealthy service station diet, the unsanitary living conditions, the lack of sleep and the lack of pay. It’s the archetypal sink or swim lifestyle and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s very much still the same skeleton crew (with the extra addition of the amazing Gav Chalmers who helps us on tour) running the whole shebang; us, the band, Adam, Becky and Tilly. I think it’s that spirit and sense of adventure that has fuelled the whole project and long may it continue!