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A Message from Jon

Hello everyone. Firstly, huge love to all of you who have got your tickets for the US tour dates! It's great to have these shows booked in, it's been nearly 2 years since we had a proper headline tour on sale stateside..  mad how the time flies. We’ve had to be quite selective of the cities we’re coming to this time… but fingers crossed most of you will be able to catch a show. I will say for now though that there will be some big news dropping for San Francisco soon . We haven't forgotten about you I promise!

I wanted to explain in a bit more detail how we’ve got to the new set up and live show which we’re currently getting match fit ready for these dates. I’ve touched on this before, but I think no bad thing to explain to anyone who doesn’t know the details!

There’s been a lot of change in the FM camp over the past 6 months, with Amber and Luke both having moved on to pursue their own musical endeavours. It’s been a bittersweet pill to swallow. We miss them so dearly both on and off stage, but at the same time it’s so exciting they’re focusing on their own music and following their dreams. I’ve been doing some work with Ams on her next record and trust me, this needs her full and undivided attention because it’s AMAZING! I can’t wait to follow them both on their journeys and genuinely wish them every single ounce of success they deserve. Be sure to follow them too.

Also at the same time Rosetta has had the most amazing opportunity present itself, which is to play with one of the most exciting musical acts out of the UK, Sampha. You’ll be happy to know she’ll still be joining FM when she can, but Sampha is a busy man at the moment so she’ll just be joining us for the September run this year. Again, we’re so thrilled Rosetta’s in that hot seat, it’s arguably one of the best gigs to get as a session musician currently. Sooo well deserved, and Sampha and band are in mega safe hands with her onboard. I actually went to see her play with him at Alexandra Palace last week and it was genuinely incredible. A beautifully curated show, from the live reworks of tunes, through to the aesthetic, and the intimacy they managed to convey in a 10k capacity venue was genius. Crazy good! (Also mad seeing Rosy playing next to Little Simz!!)

With all this going on, we realised we had to adapt the live vessel to fit this next chapter, eventually carrying the new songs we’ve written for the next album. And it turns out that the change is really suiting where the new record's headed. We realized maybe for a brief minute with the old line up we were feeling almost too comfortable with where things were at. The show was feeling well oiled and it seemed to be going from strength to strength. However, I think in this game, sitting comfortably is a dangerous place to be. In a way the worst possible thing would be for the show to feel stagnant and for us to be resting on our laurels. Having said that…. blimey there’s been a lot of change at once .

So.. in a nutshell, we’re now a tight knit four piece band. Dan, the rock of the sound, is still at the helm on drums keeping that engine pumping. No finer engine master on the planet in my opinion. Bass wise, we’ve been lucky enough to have Seye Adelekan (Gorillaz, Lana Del Ray, Paloma Faith to name a few) sit in so far this year. And we’ve just locked in Yves Fernandez (Lianne La Havas, Loyle Carner) for the first few dates of the tour in July. We’ve had a few shows already as a four piece and it took a little settling in, but I have to say we are actually loving this more direct approach to the tunes and giving the energy a rawer feel. It's surreal playing some of the older songs we’ve been playing for years with the larger band, but it's also breathing new life into 'em. It’s a lot to adapt to but they say, pressure makes diamonds.. if you haven’t seen it yet, we hope you enjoy and embrace the change too!



A Message from Ned

Side Projects

With our album starting to reach the latter stages of completion trying to find something vaguely interesting to write about for our monthly blog has proven beyond me. Many would argue this has always been the case. 

What I’ve decided to drone on about this month is the fabled “side project”, familiar territory for artists the world over. From Audioslave to The Raconteurs, Andre 3000's "New Blue Sun" to Mick Jagger’s SuperHeavy and to the timeless Fat Les and “Vindaloo”, musicians have been scratching that itch since time immemorial with varying degrees of success. 

Personally I fully endorse that desire to scratch an itch that simply becomes more and more impossible to ignore as the years roll by. I’m certain Jon and I (at some point) will both venture out on our own separate quests for a short while to exorcise our own non-Franc Moody creative id’s. Jon no doubt will return with a masterful “Oboe Odyssey” and myself with that Techno/Baroque hybrid I’ve been threatening to birth for years now.

I think a lot of what makes Jon and myself tick is that in addition to loving (and being inspired by) much of the same music we also have musical tastes that differ vastly. Rightly so there are parts of the Franc Moody 'Venn diagram' that are solely the enclave of Jon, and similarly other parts myself. Those disparate elements are vital to the overall sound and key to creating a more intriguing hybrid of the two of us; adding pineapple to the pizza where necessary or indeed offal to the croissant, to create that special "je ne sais quoi" (cue chef's kiss emoji). A Little Chef meets Heston Blumenthal sort of thing.

It was only the other day I caught Jon wistfully musing over some haunting chamber organ music, deep in thought and almost certainly contemplating the amount of hands one would require to attempt playing such a complex piece. I'd never heard of the geezer tinkling the ivories (nor could fathom how many hands he had) but it was a real education to listen to something so masterfully crafted, I felt roughly 3 points more intelligent (in IQ terms, bringing me to 31 in total). Also Jon's mum Daph (one half of the "Franc Moody Family String Section - Pantz n' Sockz") also recommended James Macmillan's "Seven Words From The Cross" which she'd played at Salisbury Cathedral the week prior to recording with us in the studio. Stunning, atmospheric music which I'd never have had the chance to hear without her pointing me in the right direction. The arrangement's use of drama and space is incredible and very inspiring. I can see where Jon gets the inspiration for tunes like Night Flight Reprise. 

For my own part I have shown Jon songs like "The Antiques Roadshow" theme tune and the "Dad's Army" theme tune which I'm pretty sure have added a greater sonic depth to his already considerable musical pallete. I'm excited to see what my colleague will glean from such classics when he ventures off to make his first solo album. All I know is I'll see him in the Top 40, and also at the Grammys, and potentially at the Eurovision Song Contest because we'll both be setting the bar high. It could result in a Blur vs Oasis scenario but on a slighlty smaller scale…



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