I first met Alec back in 2015 when I interviewed and recorded him and his previous band, 'The Wild Man of Europe' for a session on The Proc-Cast. We got on well at the time and Alec was really impressed by the quality of the recordings we got in such a small space. Fast-forward to this year and following the disbanding of TWMoE, Alec had an album's worth of material that he wanted to record and release with as little fuss as possible.
We spoke about the possibility of me recording the album and what he wanted to do and where. It was important to Alec to have a very raw, live sounding recording, produced on location. After trying, and liking, the acoustics at The Hopbarn in Southwell a location was set and a date was planned. In the end everything was recorded live (barring some backing vox and the piano) in just a few hours as we only had the barn for one day. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out in the end all things considered!
In addition to Alec on the album, you can hear Rikki and Jim (former TWMoE) on Bass and Harmonica and Dan of The Most Ugly Child playing the Electric Guitar, Piano and on Backing Vocals. You can listen to the album below through the embedded player or via the following links:
A selection of a few photos from the first ever Proc-Cast live event which took place at Rough Trade Nottingham on June 18th. The evening was a showcase of some of the best acoustic music that Nottingham has to offer, with a Country/Americana theme through most of the evening. Each of the artists has featured previously on The Proc-Cast and they were all specially picked to form a lineup that fit together well.
The nightstarted off with the excellent Luke Whittemore who played a selection of songs including some from his new album 'Northern Town', a particular highlight of Luke's set for me was 'Nothing Beyond This Northern Town', a beautiful slow number which had the audience captivated.
Next up after Luke was the exception to the Country/Americana of the evening, Jamie Beau. Jamie's music is far more than you would expect from a man and his guitar. Utilising percussive sounds from the guitar and a wooden stomp box, he creates a fantastic musical backing for his wonderfully strong voice. The style is difficult to describe other than as a mix of alt-folk and singer songwriter with some rock influences added in too. He opened the set with a heartfelt rendition of Catherine, John and Michael from his album 'Tales of...' before playing some more great songs to a great reception.
The penultimate act up was Ryan Farmer. When you meet Ryan you would be forgiven for thinking that he couldn't possibly be a performer because of his shy nature, but you sent him up on that stage and he becomes a different person. His huge voice and songwriting are reminiscent of some of the best blues musicians of the past. The highlight for me personally, was seeing him play an acoustic version of 'Jessica' from his EP 'Lurch'. I loved that song in a full band setup on record and it was awesome to hear it unplugged!
Last but not least, it was the turn of two members of Nottingham's foremost Country/Americana band 'The Most Ugly Child', Stevie and Dan played a number of the band's songs as a duo. A receptive crowd left with smiles on their faces after a great set which included a bit of a domestic on stage.
Thanks to Benedict Cooper (http://benedictcooper.co.uk/photography/) for the photos of Stevie and Dan below.
The whole evening was brilliant! The music, the people, the venue, the sound. A huge thank you goes out to all who were involved in the event and all who attended for supporting up and coming music! Maybe there will be another in the future...
In Nottingham next weekend?
Love awesome live music?
Looking for something to do?
Well look no further! The first ever Proc-Cast live show is taking place at Rough Trade Nottingham on Saturday 18th June 2016. Join us for an evening of great music from artists who have featured on The Proc-Cast.
Check out the featured acts and their Proc-Cast appearances here:
The Most Ugly Child
Where is Rough Trade?
Check the map below to find out!
Episode 17 guests The Madeline Rust have generously provided a copy of their album 'Truth or Consequences' to be given away by The Proc-Cast. To be in with a chance of winning, click on the Facebook post below and follow the instructions there! Good luck!
You can check out The Madeline Rust's appearance on The Proc-Cast HERE!
As the Proc-Cast continues to grow, I'm looking for ways to expand the listener base internationally. One of the best ways that I can do this is to expand the audience I'm able to reach through the bigger podcasting platforms. I haven't yet set about really pushing iTunes and Stitcher as I wanted to ensure that I had a good base of episodes available before trying something new. Now I feel that The Proc-Cast is at a level where I am very proud of the content that's being released and the amount that is available to listen to. As such I would love it if you wonderful people would take the time to review the show on iTunes and/or Stitcher for me. Below are links and instructions on how to do this for both formats. I believe it's generally much easier to do this on a PC/Mac than through a phone.
Thank you all in advance!
iTunes (Requires iTunes software):
Click HERE or copy and paste the link below
Once you've followed the link, click on the 'View in iTunes' button on the left of the page, this will open iTunes and display The Proc-Cast's feed in the Store. Click the 'Ratings and Reviews' tab in the middle of the page, click on 5 stars (Please) to rate and then click the write a review button below to write your review. Thanks!
Stitcher (No Software Needed):
Click HERE or copy and paste the link below
Once you've followed the link, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the 'Write a Review' button on the right hand side. Fill out the form that appears and click submit and you're done. Thanks!
Last night I was fortunate enough to see ‘An Evening With Machine Head’ at Rock City in Nottingham. I have to admit that throughout my teens and most of my twenties I was only into rock and metal, having only really broadened my tastes over the last two or three years. Don’t get me wrong, I still listen to a lot of metal, but this is accompanied by a broad spectrum of other music too. This gig was a real throwback for me and really reminded me of what I love about heavy metal and live music in general. The band made the decision to come back out on the road and to return to Rock City, the site of their first ever headline show outside of the USA. This tour has exactly what you would expect from Machine Head, a mix of thrashing guitars, pounding drums and snarling vocals whipping the crowd up into a frenzy. However there was a really interesting difference that you don’t often see, there were no support acts, just Machine Head committing audible assault for two and a half hours. The crowd loved it and the band were on great form. I was there thanks to Martin of Nottingham band ‘The Madeline Rust’ as he had a spare ticket, he suggested that they may be considering releasing some content from this tour as a live album. Judging by the level of commitment and aggression from the band, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was right.
Unfortunately, some aspects of the night weren’t as great as the music. This is NOT an attack on the band at all, more of an observation of the live music industry as a whole. If common consensus is taken at face value, that very few bands make any money now from record sales on major labels, and touring costs have now risen to extreme levels with dwindling crowds at all but the biggest events for the latest manufactured pop artists, or even the bands in their 50s and 60s that seem to be perpetually touring and selling tickets for ever rising prices, there seems to be only one place that bands can make up that deficit to make enough money to live on. Merchandise.
I have two issues with that, the first is the counterfeit sellers that gather around the venue to hawk their dodgy t-shirts. When the show finished and we had left, we saw a whole line of dodgy looking geezers standing in the road outside Rock City flogging ‘tour t-shirts’ for a tenner, about a third of the price of an official t-shirt (my other issue, I’ll come to that later). Surely this shouldn’t be allowed and something should be done to combat it? A ban on this sort of activity generally and more specifically within the vicinity of a venue on show nights? I don’t know whose responsibility it would be to police this, is it the duty of the venue? The police? (the force, not the band) or trading standards? It’s essentially stealing money from the bands. They put in all of the hard work and pay for artwork, images, photoshoots and more importantly their own merchandise! The intellectual property involved and the image belongs to the band and there are laws to protect this. If they were actually enforced then it would make it easier for bands to make at least a little more money without some chancer leeching yet more money out of the music industry that is already in decline financially at anything other than the very top level.
The second point, also linked to merchandise as well as point one, is the pricing of official band gear. I appreciate that in all likelihood, this is the only place that the band will make enough money to come out of a tour with money in their pocket (not an unreasonable request given the amount of time it takes to write music, play songs and actually organise and go out on tour), but prices are getting ridiculous. Last night the two prices that stood out to me were 55GBP for a zip up hoodie and 20GBP for a beanie hat. First off, if the band that writes, plays and is the entire point of the tour can’t make enough money without charging that much for what is essentially cheap standard black clothing with a bit of printing on it, there is a problem. Yes, the other services like the venue, sound, lighting, tour buses, management can’t do it ‘for exposure’ or ‘for the love of music’, but where is all the money going? Surely there must be some way to lower tour costs to allow everyone to make their cut without it being as expensive as a rip off premier league football match? In addition to this, possibly as a separate point, but relevant nonetheless… If there were no dodgy geezers selling knock offs outside the venues then bands could lower the prices and sell more merch… A winner all round surely? The band makes the same amount/more money through increased sales, fans get official merchandise and are actually financially supporting their favourite bands and we keep more money within the music industry. I know this is a very small piece of a much bigger and more complex puzzle, but surely it could at least have a positive impact?
I’d like to point out that this post is written from a fairly uninformed standpoint, I don’t have working knowledge of the finances of a touring band beyond what I have read in differing publications. If you agree/disagree/can shed any light on any of what is written above then please leave a comment!
Due to generally being snowed under with work and other commitments at the moment, editing and production time has been seriously lacking at Proc-Cast HQ over the last week. As such, the first video episode has been delayed for a while. Just to keep you interested and provide a sneaky peek into what you can expect when it does arrive, here's a Proc-Cast live session video of Kelly Oliver playing 'Lay Our Heavy Heads' live at The Musician in Leicester. Thanks again to Kelly and her management team for being willing participants and to Andy and Malc at The Musician for being so welcoming!
Last night I was invited to go to and record some of a house show with The Wild Man Of Europe and their friends. As well as TWMOE there were sets from Nottingham folk musician Paul Carbuncle, a man with the best mohawk I've ever seen, and I See Rivers, an acoustic indie pop trio hailing from three of the four corners of Norway! The music was great and so was the company. I managed to blind the acts with a new set of filming lights I received in the post that day, new equipment is always fun to play with and I feel like having the lights has added a new level of clarity to the videos!
I'll be producing an episode soon for both of these acts, for now though, here's a preview of what you can look forward to... This is Paul Carbuncle playing 'Ben Kenobi'.
After seeing Kelly at Rough Trade on Sunday evening, I knew I had to try and organise an interview with her. I knew she was back in the area on Tuesday, so after conversations with her manager Helen, I was lucky enough to be able to head down to The Musician in Leicester to take in the show, record some live session tracks and interview Kelly. First off, if you're from Leicester (or nearby!) and you've never been to The Musician, what are you waiting for? It's a great venue, decorated brilliantly, the staff are friendly and helpful and the sound is excellent. I would thoroughly recommend heading down to check out some of the great acts that they put on!
It was an interesting first experience for me of filming for a full video episode of The Proc-Cast, there's a lot of footage to go through and edit and it seems a bit of a daunting (but exciting) task. This video, of a song from her second set of the evening, is called 'The Witch of Walkern'. In it Kelly sings beautifully about the last ever official witch trial in the UK witch took place in the town of Walkern, which is very close to Stevenage in Hertfordshire where Kelly comes from.
Keep an eye out for more content and the full video episode featuring Kelly Oliver coming soon!
Yesterday I went to Rough Trade Nottingham to the latest in a really great series of events run in conjunction with the venue by Y Not Festival and BBC Introducing East Midlands. Beforehand, I'd only heard of one of the acts playing, The Golden Troubadours, as their percussionist/drummer is a friend of mine from work. I thought I'd go and check them out and see some other new music at the same time. Good choice.
The first act up was a folk singer/songwriter called Kelly Oliver. Kelly hails from Hertfordshire and has strong Irish roots which shine through in her songwriting and her beautiful voice. She told the crowd about how she inherited her love of folk music from her Irish grandmother, and spoke eloquently of the stories that inspired her music. Unfortunately I didn't have time to properly capture the audio, but this video of her song 'Jericho' shows you a brief glimpse of her talent.
Great huh? Well this next lot aren't half bad either. It's The Golden Troubadours, playing a brand new, never before recorded song called 'Dancing With Pretty'. Thankfully I managed to record the audio properly for this one too, so the quality is that bit better!
Also on the bill were the excellent Crosa Rosa and Nai Harvest. Unfortunately I ran out of SD card space to get footage of them!