So, last night at the Q Awards we won the award for classic song for Chasing Cars. Knowing that we had won before the event (there were no nominees just the winner, us) I had my speech all planned. Sitting listening to everyone else’s speeches though my one felt a little long. Most folk were just getting up and saying a quick thank you. So at the last minute I ditched my speech and just said a few quick thank yous. During which I thanked Jim Chancellor (the man who signed us to Fiction when no one else would have us), Garret Lee (our producer) and Jazz Summers (who managed us at the time). In my haste to get off the stage I forgot to thank someone that is as important as anyone in the history of our band: Tara Richardson.
And boy do I feel like a cock.
Tara was our manager at Big Life Management for many years and was so important to us that when we left Big Life we took her with us to our new management, QPrime. Never has someone worked so hard and tirelessly for us and with so much passion. She believed in our band through everything. That I didn’t thank her last night was one of the greatest travesties of awards speeches in history. I’ll not forgive myself for it but I want everyone to know how important she is to our band. Thank you Tara.xx
our first time in rio was lots of fun. the show was good. big. very big. 90,000 people. yikes! as we had a tv show during the day on our day off and as it took 2 hours to get anywhere in traffic we didn’t really get to sight see very much of rio. the hotel was on ipanema beach so the girl from ipanema was in my head for the three days we were there on a constant loop. no bad thing. although too much of anything can send you daft. three days of catching myself humming it every half an hour was probably enough. next time we’ll stay near the copacabana beach and i’ll be humming barry manilow for the duration of my stay. could be troublesome…
we flew into buenos aires last night and went straight to an argentine steak house (although here they just call them steak houses i guess…) for steaks at midnight. probably not the best idea for the constitution or indeed the mind. we all had hellish nightmares. mine consisted of being thrown about in a tumultuous sea in a boat made of meat. jonny dreamt there was a bear lose in the hotel and he was worried it was going to find him as it would be able to smell his steak sandwich. no more meat after ten o’clock methinks….
we just shot the video for the next single - this isn’t everything you are - with brett simon (who shot the called out in the dark vid) once again in the director’s chair. we are the band in a tango bar with all hell breaking out around us - dancing, fighting, kissing (and the rest) and all manner of night time pursuits. was loads of fun and the dancers were amazing. as was the bar/club we shot it in. a real working tango club that has riotous tango nights most days a week. we’ve been invited to one tomorrow night. could be fun. could be dangerous. will be an adventure.
forgot my blinking camera today but our grameo (jonny’s drum tech and all round legend) was taking tonnes of snaps so i’ll pester him for some choice ones and put them up here. the place we shot it in needs to be seen to be believed.
before the gig on wednesday here we have a well needed day off so we are going to explore buenos aires which is a beautiful city from what i’ve seen so far. i’ll snap away tomorrow and god knows i may even shoot something worth putting up here.
peace, love and understanding. and chips. bags of chips with salt and vinegar. gL. x
so excited about this version of fallen empires that i mentioned on this blog a few days ago. well here it is. easily the best we’ve ever played, sounded, looked, er, been on any tv show ever. so excited about playing this song live. get to do that in a few hours as we’re on stage soon at rock in rio. more on that soon….gL
yes one needs to be brave when hurtling in a mini bus through the unfamiliar rio streets at 80 miles an hour mere inches behind the car in front towards a destination which turned out to be not the place we were even staying. yes, brave one must be. as yoda might say.
we landed a few hours back off a 12 hour flight to rio from london where we were met by the lovely folk of rock in rio at the airport and ushered by them through customs with relative ease. bless them. they then escorted us to our mini bus/horizontal rocket ship. that’s where the high speed fun began.
anyway, in the hotel now and am delighted to be both in one piece and in rio for the first time. we’re doing three songs on a tv show tomorrow and then rock in rio on saturday night just before the chilis. s’gonna be fun. i’ll try to take some pictures. always seem to be without my camera these days but brought it with me this trip so…
oops… pressed the wrong button. first batch of these comes without description. let me make up for that now…. ish…
so, yeah it’s been a while since i last posted but to be honest we’ve been crazy busy and when i get home the last thing i want to is look at a computer screen. we have some touring coming up though and i’ll endeavour to post more regularly. south america at the end of this week. exciting times. never been to rio or buenos aires. first though it is later with jools tomorrow night (and friday night of course) and we get to play three new songs (two live tomorrow and the third on friday which will be well worth checking out as it’s a version of fallen empires with four drummers and the lovely foy vance singing with us). delighted that two of my favourite bands are on with us - the duke spirit and little dragon - so it’ll be extra fun with fun cherries on top.
finally got time to go see the guard the other night and sweet mother of pearl it is brilliant. glesson and cheadle are both marvellous. glesson more so but it’s his movie really. if the world was a fair place and america’s shadow hung at the same height as the rest us he’d get an oscar nomination but it’s too small a film and it’ll be overlooked. let’s hope for reason above razzamatazz and that both glesson and gary oldman’s names are read out when the leading actor noms are announced. one can but hope. tinker, tailor, soldier, spy is my next trip to the cinema and by the evidence of the trailer alone oldman should be stocking up on gold polish….. fingers and toes are crossed. jesus, i haven’t even seen it yet but haven’t been this excited about a movie in years. just gimme a fooking night off and i’m there….
i know, world’s smallest violin… not complaining about being busy at all. had enough times in my life when i was almost begging for work of any kind so i know its value.
peace, love, understanding and may the divine koala of coziness purr you to a sleep blissed and deep. gL (is off to bed).x
hey there everyone, been hectic the last wee while so haven’t had much time to write. will post something bigger on our site very soon. am watching mark cousins’ the story of film on channel four. anyone that loves film should give it a whirl on 4oD on line. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4od
incredibly detailed and immaculately put together. mark cousins is a hero of mine. a fellow countryman too of course. the first part of a twelve part weekly series. exciting times.
we’re on the andrew marr show very early tomorrow morning (we’re doing an acoustic version of called out in the dark, the very first acoustic performance of it) so i’m off to bed.
more to follow soon.
so many good movies out right now. see The Guard though before all others.
read some comments below it already (why did i do that?!). yikes! lovely people, this is supposed to be funny. no need to be taken so seriously. having some fun with our videos from now on. unless the song doesn’t lend itself to joking around a bit then we’ll not go there of course.
i had loads of fun doing this and will do similar again.
so yesterday i went to metropolis studios in london to hear the mastered record. it is done finally and (if you don’t mind me blowing my own trumpet for a second) it is great. fallen empires is finished and we move now into live mode. rehearsals have started and there will be details of some one-off live shows - one for sure in both belfast and london - very soon. i have never been more proud of a record i’ve made (by any band i’ve been in) and more excited to get out and play it live. it’s time.
we shoot tomorrow. the wonderful brett simon is directing an idea i had (although he has made it infinitely better and his own) and noemie lafrance is choreographing. she choreographed (amongst other things) the Feist videos 1234 and My Moon My Man. we did the dance rehearsals today (yes i’m dancing in it! be afraid, be very afraid!!!) and her routines with the proper dancers are stunning. me not so much but part of the idea is that i’m not supposed to be good at it so we’re half way there because i do nought but stink up the place.
i also have to act a bit so gawd help us all…. anyway, if you don’t try new things you fade away and die….
i cannot wait to see this. a friend of mine saw it and said it blew her mind. so excited. am gonna post on the SP.com forum soon about the run up to the single release, tour and album status. much love. the shot at the end of this trailer with her on the rocks and earth 2 in front of her. wow, just wow!gL
(PS, 76 people have ticked ‘dislike’ to this trailer! what the what?! have they no heart beating in their chests? how can you not be left breathless and intrigued by this? the mind boggles!)
so i went to see BUCK yesterday. it’s a doc about the cowboy the horse whisperer was based on. see it! run to see it! steal a jet pack to get there faster! it is one of the most incredibly moving and life-affirming movies i’ve ever seen. i’ll not lie i cried a lot but they were good tears. i felt reborn when i left the cinema. seriously, see it.
and speaking of life-affirming…. VITUS is about a child prodigy pianist who is not only that but a genius too. a big burden for a little kid. more tears during this one. good tears again. it is beyond great. and bruno ganz is in it who’s one of my favourite actors. always a joy. and the two kids that play vitus at two stages of his early life are also perfect. the 12 year old vitus played all the piano himself, at times it is truly breathtaking.
just saw this. it is extraordinary. if you see two movies this summer… see this twice. ewan mcgregor hasn’t been better since trainspotting and christopher plummer is always incredible.
actually you could see Super 8 by JJ Abrams too. it’s like he took all my favourite movies when i was 12 years old (the goonies, ET, close encounters) and made them all at once with modern special effects. awesome.
ok so nearly 6 million people seem to somehow have gotten to this before me but it’s a hell of a thing all the same. not for the faint hearted though… hip hop has, in recent years become a lost art (guns, bitches, bling….. enough please!). great, intelligent, dynamic, fierce hip hop is extraordinary (public enemy, NWA, pete rock and cl smooth, run dmc, young mc (ok so he wasn’t that fierce), de la soul (and neither are they), eminem) so hopefully tyler is the first scion of a new dawn… gL
am a huge fan of Aidan’s and had the pleasure of making two records (the reindeer section) with him. this is his new stuff with the polymath bill wells. listen to the copper top, it is astonishing. both beautiful and devastating!
ok, so i tried to post this straight onto my tumblr but i’ve tried three times and it’s not worked yet. i must be doing something wrong but i can’t figure out what. anyway, i decided to put it on youtube instead. this is my first ever clip posted on youtube so it’s a pivotal moment for me. anyway, not sure how i feel abut the whole thing. i liked the cocoon of tumblr. feel like i’m inching my nose out of the safe-cave to the big bright burny light of the world. had to happen sometime.
also, today i got a lovely surprise. miracle fortress, makers of my album of 2007, five roses, sent me their new album. i’d written some nice things about them in Q magazine (i do a monthly column) and on our site and they got wind of it and thought i might like a preview. i sure would. have listened to a few tracks already and it’s sounding mighty. how very sweet and thoughtful of them to send me a copy. am chuffed to bits. it’s called Was I The Wave?
the song on this clip is love like a sunset part 2 by phoenix by the way. another favourite band of mine. we listened to their It’s Never Been Like That album every night before going on stage for about a year. it was their last record that blew up for them obviously but their back catalogue is well worth checking out.
so i mentioned this channel the other day. you can listen live here.
the best radio station in the world. no defined music policy at all. it need only be good. everything lives here: soul, hip hop, indie, electro, world music, experimental, the lot. and they happen during EVERY show, not just in specific segments.each dj is free to play whatever they want for the most part. also some of my very favourite djs too: marc riley, stuart maconie, lauren laverne, matt everett, guy garvey (yes, the elbow frontman has a show on here, it’s THAT good a station!), gideon coe, steve lamacq… and lots more wonderful folk playing wonderful folk (sometimes).
in the last few days alone they have turned me on to tUnE-yArDs, metronomy, faded circus, devon sproule and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
i listen every morning (although i’m in LA so it’s the evening shows i’m hearing. i miss lauren laverne in the morning, aw..) and am always hearing something that thrills me. the radio stations over here (aside from NPR) have a very strict music policy. they will play only one style of music and they play it all damn day. very often the same songs over and over again until even songs you like can become hateful. with 6music you get none of that balls. and the beauty is you can listen to it anywhere on earth from right here on this link. stick it on in the background and let it educate and thrill you like it does me. you’ll never look back.
if we are what we put in our bodies we are, too, what we put in our minds. so feast on the good stuff!!
nothing but love and the biggest hamster of goodwill you can imagine. steve the giant goodwill hamster as he’s known.gL.x
so this guy is peter mcCauley from round my neck of the woods. well, lisburn but one place ain’t far from another in northern ireland. to put it in context: northern ireland is 5345 sq miles in area. the state of california alone (forgetting about the size of the US), where i am now, is 158706 sq miles. we live in a small, small country. if you think about it though, given that, we give a whole heap to the world for a place our size: louie macneice, seamus heaney, cs lewis, george best, van morrison, the undertones, ash and more besides. but the thrilling thing about our wee country now is the wealth of bands appearing in all four corners of the provence. RAMS is one to watch for sure, in fact i think he may be the next big thing to break from our country but check out also: foy vance, robyn g shields, kowalski, panda kopanda, the lowly knights, burning codes, cashier no. 9, panama kings, general fiasco, two door cinema club and a bunch even newer than them that have no doubt formed and made extraordinary music in the time i’ve been away from home. check out the oh yeah website for details of ‘the contenders’ cds for evidence of that. love music, love life. one and the same.gL
here it is… my new favourite song. know very little about them yet. was listening to 6music on line, as i do every day, and this came on. knocked my tiny ear-socks off!!
and later that day……
so i looked them up and it seems to be the work of one woman, merril garbus. have just bought her first album ‘bird-brains’ and am very much looking forward to listening to it and the new one out soon with this song, Gangsta, on it. new things to love! this is what life is!
so i’ve come late to this party as limmy’s show is two seasons in on bbc tv back home but i’m so glad i made it in the end. we’ve been watching youtube clips for the last week or so. most of the ones you’ll find under the name limmy’s show are very funny but this one (featuring my favourite character of his, Dee Dee) is my favourite. those of you outside of scotland might have some trouble understanding the thick Glaswegian accent thickened further by Dee Dee’s perpetual stoned haze. anyone who thinks this character is far-fetched or even over blown i lived in glasgow for ten years and knew some guys who got on just like this. ha. that’s part of what i love about it, it’s nostalgic for me as well as very funny. some of you though simply won’t understand what on earth he’s on about. this might help: http://www.urbandictionary.com/. no offence though, it took me a while living there before i got it all. it is though the best. accent. ever!
been sick so i’ve not been taking pictures nor have i been in the studio. we also have this week off so no action shots this week neither. will be back up to full power on all fronts next week. i have pictures in reserve but they are mostly of sunsets. i did say there would be no more. might put them up anyway tomorrow. hope you are all very well.
watching the west wing (as i like to do often, especially when poorly) president jed bartlett referred to the better angels of our nature. it’s a quote from abe lincoln that is as apt today in these days of revolution and awakening as it was in his first inaugural address in 1861 when referring to the north/south divide and impeding civil war in the continental USA:
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."