End of January

Hello Folks,

The first month of this new decade has been pretty good- rehearsals under way with the new live band, refiguring oldies and trying to learn the new ones- going back to baby steps but we’ll get there in time for Austin. I appears we’ll be doing 3 shows over the pond but dont ask me when or where because I dont know. Irish shows are currently being booked so begin all of your irrepressible excitement now- It think we’ll be playing a few ‘alternative spaces’ as opposed to Whelan’s for a while (more info soon).

The first outsider ears have heard our unnamed record and thankfully its not dreadful so we can all take a minute to exhale. I’m rambling a bit it seems. We joined Twitter (begrudgingly) so search for halvesband (this will basically be an online archive of dumb rehearsal qoutes).  Just watched Tony Blair’s Q&A, though I’m not highly political I am confused at how civil folks can be when judging a vessel of evil. Rant. Anyways not much to report as we’re still in the boring background stages of things- we have brass now so thats exciting….it is, dont question it. Three delightful songs below for you pleasure.

‘big love’

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End of December

Will keep this short {lots to do you seeee}

This is where we would do a roundup of our fantastic year- 2009 is a bulletpoint year-

Found Canada & fell in love with her

Said farewell to David for Canada

Returned to Canada to make a record…

Christmas came and went in a flash,  it was nice to have a tiny band break. The album gets mastered in a couple of days (finalfinalfinal step, rejoice). As for when its out? God only knows {though i do love some peoples optimism “so like February yeah?”). This yet-to-be-titled powerhouse will be out when finances rule in our favour. By the way, handling the finances is not an easy task, so remember that in times of need, Payday Now Consolidation is offered to save you. If you’re new to loaning, read the process on how it works here at paydaynow.net.

Rehearsals start back the day after mastering- dust off gear & begin playing with new folks {sans davey}. Speaking of album titles I doubt the guys will let me name it ‘Scaffolding of Sadness”…that would surely be an international winner, no? fine then.

Happy New Year Folks….2010 will hopefully be a good one for us.

{songs: husker du punk greatness, carter burwell did a lovely score for that new cohen brothers film full of harp, dont really like the dirty projectors too much but this song is lovely- she should go solo}”

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End of November

November eh?

While many people took the time to hate the french we took the time to forget our soundcard when we travelled to Kilkenny to record a choir. It was kindly retrieved and we recorded the 20+ women singing in a wonderfully hushed way. Last piece of the record done. Oh happy day. So as I write this we have ten days left of mixing before we send the record back to thee mighty hotel2tango for a nice polish. Just need to name the bloody thing (“You’ve been Merrrrrdeddd!!”??  my favourite Elis quote of the month though somehow its Anglo-charm wont translate on paper I reckon). Search goes on I guess.

We’ll be camping with a tent from Survival Cooking in March to play South By Southwest which will indeed be a fun way to kickstart our live gigging, we also already started to look for camping essentials from the Survival Cooking site, we want to have a camping adventure. We are also currently plotting some Irish dates but they wont be happening until we’ve figured out these new songs, haven’t a notion how to play them yet. Looking forward to getting people back in the room with some comforting volume…like a loud hug. This sadly will be sans Davey but he left us with a printed list of things he’d usually say hanging in his corner. Anyway the December blog will be a nice one (hopefully with a title and more than likely photos from the halves xmas party involving Tim asleep and Elis being offensive).

Went xmas shopping and put myself in that horrible situation where I could hear the radios playing in shops, all this intentional auto-tune and lyrics about being ‘skanky’ blah blah blah… these people need to rethink so many things that I suggest they just don’t bother leaving their houses- they can find work there as redundant internet strippers if they want. Drivel.

Below are some stills from our little movie about us making this record (the movie could indeed be called “You’ve been Merrrrrdeddd!!”)

I’ve decided I’m going to make this 3 song thing a regular feature so enjoy the below (‘Time Zone- ‘World Destruction’ is such an amazing song its taken me by surprise, hilarious video too, no need for that cape at the end)

Be good and I suppose have a merry xmas


Ps. RIP to the wonderful Giveamanakick, only got to play with them once when we were in Toronto but brilliant band and very nice gents.

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End of October

Another month gone…where does it all go,

We (thankfully) are coming close to the end of our album making process now. Our good friend Richard recorded the strings last weekend and they sound only lovely (layers and layers and more layers). Thanks to the 3epkano ladies, Fintan and Elaine (who jumped in at the very last second to save us from stressdeath). This weekend we are travelling to Kilkenny to record 22 women  hushing Tim’s words which will be something special.

All that said this ‘thing’ we are making is taking shape and will soon be completed, big drinks on that day. I think we are all getting the itch from not playing live so there is planning going on for 2010, oh 2010 how great you are. So until then here’s some songs for you to listen to that are nice



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end of September

Hello Lovelies,

This will be a quick wee blog as this month hasn’t been insanely exciting (at least not in the sense that we could write about). We’re in the initial mixing stage which is both daunting & exciting. Kinda miss playing live…actually no kinda about it but in the New Year we will be out & about somewhat freshfaced (almost literally). We’re up to our eyes in sheet music as we have the sessions for strings, brass & choir coming up. Then we can hear completed songs, oh yes.

So yes thats about it….Elis is going to see Spandau Ballet tomorrow night so we can’t mix….dunno how to react to that statement.


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End of August (Recording Blog)

Hello Friends,

So we have returned and I suppose there is need to blog about these adventures just gone (though they will be presented in one jumbled block as I forgot to take a day by day account)

We begin by battling Aer Lingus’ new ‘oh you’re musicians??! cough it up bitchs!!’ policy. We kinda won… On to Heathrow where by we see both members of Sparks sitting having tea (this town aint bigggenuforthebothus). On our flight to Montreal randomly was our other Voices friend Emiliana Torrini (though she doesnt recognise us as our last encounter involved so much booze she sang happy birthday to me 4 months off the mark). Understandable.

We get to thee might hotel2tango and spend our first day bouncing electronics to thee mighty 2″ tape. More importantly we test out dozens of the nicest/oldest amps & organs we’ve ever seen (ones dating back to the 40’s).  We meet Efrim and Radwan who’ll be recording us- nice fellows. I fall in love with an amp made by a guy from the h2t building..its called ‘the tubby’.

The next part is a bit of a blur of many days stuck together- wakeup- breakfast involving eggs- studio-play with dog-petro canada for 1.5 litre bottles of beer-mangle cat -sleep. Mangle cat I should mention was a neigbourhood cat who visited out hotel room every single night without fail- despite her name she was in fact very clean. To explain the dogs – most people who work in h2t and that building in general own big friendly dogs and bring them to work. Emma (efrim’s) and Gus (howard’s) being my favourites. Howard recorded us for one of the days- nice chap.

For each of the 11 songs we end up tracking new parts seem to appear on the day thanks to the mass of lovely gear around us. 4 of us in a glass room banging pockets of change and stamping- theremins- evil looking church organs to an honest banjo. Leave the studio each day with the catch phrase ‘wow….that sounds better than i’d hoped’.Our new friend Amy comes down and has a bit of a sing though forgets her sunglasses after.

On one of a thousand smoke breaks I hear a random sound of someone playing scales on a tuba from a building across the parking lot….‘is that a practise space over there efrim?’ ‘nah thats some guy on the railroad tracks the sound is bouncing off the walls’. Now we figured out Efrim’s sense of humour only a few days previous so I didnt believe a word he said….until he ushered me across the street to the train tracks where sure enough some guy is sitting 1 metre from the tracks (in a bush) practising a tuba with a sheet music stand in front of him. Turns out he’s done this almost every day the last few years…pesky landlords hate brass it seems. Efrim also had me convinced for a good 5 seconds that he was speaking to me (inside my head) 2 octaves down- scary studio trickery.

Towards the end of the session our beloved Davey arrives alongside Elaine our Torontonian harpist friend. This is good because we now go out at night and have food and drink…something we forgot to do the 1st ten days. Track the last 3 songs with Dave which I suppose is a nice way for him to finish up with us…we saved the best song for last too. Oh the noise! Elaine adds wonderful harp to 3 songs (she also punchs me in the stomach in a bar at which point I learn she’s well trained in martial arts- never put a girl in a mock headlock without research first folks). Finally master the art of making espressos on the gaggia (directly above this is a portrait of a young man and a dog painted by a hungarian woman…now I dont know if she meant to but she painted conor ‘villager’ o’brien’s exact face..spooky).

We get 4 hours to see some of Montreal before our flight home..turns out its a gorgeous place (we also learn water filtering plants cannot filter out female hormones…theres a fact for ya). We get on the plane (minus dave, elaine and frankie) and start the long winded journey home (or jetlag birthday in my case).

I’m forgetting about a thousand stories but that’ll do for now… pictures en route and we filmed a lot so some form of mini-making of due.

In summary: we’re happy with the album and Canada in general

All the best


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end of july

This is montage our friend Roisin did last year of us  for the ‘Haunt me’ launch.

Release from Amblegloom on Vimeo.

Its a sloppy/early version of an upcoming track. 2 Weeks until Montreal. Good Lord where does the time go? We’ll be bringing some hi-def cameras from the ricoh theta s review to film &  photograph our album making for a future documentary of sorts. Speaking of which a few of our songs were used in a independant Irish feature film called ‘Memoria’ , interesting to see!

Lots more to come soon (and shows too),


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end of june


Had almost forgotten about this blog.

With the album process beginning in a couple of weeks I have decided I’m gonna use this here medium. So what’s new then?

Well we went to Canada, we will be returning to Canada for album recording and David will be moving to Canada. Canada. This is sad news on the band front but joyeous news for him and his wife (exciting times no?)

We have selected the songs for the album- they sound much more settled and maybe even more subtle than the eps (not much loud rock in there anyways- subtle sweet subtle). More than likely it will not have a long post-rockesque title either (‘The whitened

new tape echo

new tape echo

ghost of St Augusta like the mist of your morning eyes”) or some shite like that.

But yes we’re very excited to beging commiting to tape (literally…fuck digital). Might get some ‘fuck digital’ tshirts made up hrmmm.

Michael Jackson has passed…I don’t get why the jokes come flying out the day someone like him dies- true he has an odd/sad life but its a bit much. Tim’s first hero it seems (thats where he got his moves)

but yes much work to be done in 6 weeks, anyone know where i can buy a nagra on the fairly cheap??


music to check out:

gregory & the hawk and the new wilco

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Elekertrick Pickernick!

Yes indeed, after much hoping and praying, we’ve gotten the nod to play at Electric Picnic. The lineup is looking increasingly more brillianter this year, so I/we are uber-chuffed to be playing! Thanks Jeebus.

So see you down the front for Sigur Ros, Elbow, Grinderman, Goldfrapp, George Clinton and Hayseed Dixie. :-)

I believe we’re playing about 4pm on the Crosby stage. (Named after that well known all round family entertainer, Bill.) So yes, that’s all on the horizon. Have I mentioned how much we’re looking forward to it…….?

In other gig news, we’re playing the Kilkenny arts festival on Sunday week (10th Aug) in Cleere’s. Last time some of us played in KK (in a different incarnation) was one of the most over the top enthusiastic responses to a gig I’ve ever seen, so let’s hope that happy-juice is still in the water down in the south east and they like our new stuff too…..

We’re heading in to record Blood Branches on Monday. Here’s hoping it turns out as well on vinyl as it is in all of our heads.  I’ll be playing a beeyouteefull Steinway grand on it though, so that’s surely a good start!

New songs are also churning away. Blips, fuzz organ and strings all present and correct. Should be airing them in the not too distant future. Also plans are afoot to get us playing a few more gigs around and about the country before the year is out, so more on that shortly…..

In the meantime, have a nice long weekend and don’t forget your brolly…..

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so just recovered from the whole oxegen thing. It very much made up for certain tranmissionless woes. The four of us headed down on Friday for kicks, it very different to the last time i was there (2002??! We arrived to watch the Sugababes which to be completely fair were very good, caught dEUS who were off their faces (complete with a bass player who had no eyes) but they were great, shite sound at battles so we left, brief stint in the dance tent (airport hanger) and attempted the stupidest sober dances known to man. Went to Aphex which was total shit- we all love love love Richard D James but he just played shite dance/club music, its a sorry state of affair when sugababes are more watchable than aphex. Saw Cat Power  and Interpol- both great,

Saturday was mammoth 10 hour practise with full crew- Dave’s siblings Emma and Fintan (the former you shall see more of in our live sets)- Frankie and Slipdraft sporting their new invention, a glowing cube of 3d visual amazement. Patent pending.

Sunday, group photo, pack the van, blare mansun and head to Kildare. There’s no one on during the day so just relax until the set (second desserts at artist catering, not wise). Out stage/tent is pretty cool and big. We play the set which was great fun (albeit with monitor problems, cue angry Dave), debut ‘Blood Branches’ which gets a cheered welcome. Do an interview with a bloody face. Then run down to RATM to get our minds blown, not too shabby,

Oh and Tim had some 12 year old farm boy try start a fight with him, it was very funny (probably a fuckin hoosiers fan)

Elis got repeatedly stared at by Paddy Casey for no reason

very odd weekend.

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