Aaaand we're off!
Almanac returns for Volume 5 of the EP-every-month-for-year extravaganza.
Those on the Almanac distribution list get a CD in return for a donation towards ink, discs and postage, and some kind of feedback. These are limited editions of around 50 copies. Once physical copies are out it gets uploaded to Bandcamp for free streaming and download.
1) Oh Lord (Hear My Prayer)
2) Whilst Watching N.3
3) It'll Be All Right
4) Oh Lord (The Torments of Job)
gw lang, mark oliver, tony bennett, simon foster & bing bongo.
All songs by gwl.
Recorded by Jimmy Buxton for Mario's Recording Services, Ashington, Northumberland.
St James Infirmary were honoured to be asked to play at the 50th birthday celebration of SJI member Steve Malley.
1) An Invocation of the Feather Stone
gw lang (Vocals, apps, drones), Cath Tyler (Violin), Joanne Burke (Violin), Jason Thompson (Drums), C Joynes (Guitar), Simon Foster (Guitar), Mark Oliver (Guitar, Percussion), Andrea Woodyer (Saxophone), Bing Bongo (Bass).
Group Photo - Debbie Armour
Close-up Photo - Unknown
Video Footage - Rebecca De'Wessington
Live Audio - Mark Oliver
Video Editing - Jason Thompson
This should be a goodie - st james infirmary in solo gwl guise and the genius of Nev Clay.
Here's a lovely write-up by Lee Fisher for NARC:
"Two ludicrously talented and ludicrously overlooked musicians make for one special show
By Lee Fisher on Monday, January 9th, 2017
You don’t have to have been around the Tyneside music scene for long to realise that both Nev Clay and St James Infirmary are both ludicrously talented and ludicrously overlooked – taken for granted even. They’ve notched up the best part of 50 years of playing between them, and hundreds of gigs (including a few together) and are both spoken of in hushed tones by the likes of Richard Dawson, Cath & Phil Tyler and Kathryn Williams. The next of their gigs sees them both set to play Prohibition Cabaret Bar on Thursday 12th January.
Nev Clay trades in gentle, poignant, insightful acoustic music that he’d probably hesitate to call folk (although his love for metal shines through in the occasional bursts of shredding). Unassuming and modest to a fault, nonetheless his honesty and his ability to throw a spotlight on small moments of sadness or delight get you right in the feels. The man is a master.
St James Infirmary is primarily Gary Lang, the ‘Ashington Brian Wilson’ (although depending on the night, he could equally be the Ashington Steven O’Malley, the Ashington Klaus Wunderlich or the Ashington Father Yod). A veritable cottage industry, he self-releases a bewildering stream of music from his secret bunker at Mario’s Recording Services: everything from lush electro-pop to psychedelic jams, neighbour-sampling doom to baroque covers of Richard Dawson songs. It’s fair to say you never know what to expect from an SJI gig except something to remember.
So this Tyneside titan, double-header, no-holds-barred, (no)-grudge match seems pretty unmissable, especially since all proceeds are being donated to the mental health charity MIND – particularly appropriate since both artists have had long careers in that field."
After being very lax as regards updates, I've pretty much caught up with things. There'll be things I've missed, releases I've overlooked, photos and posters that I can't find on social media any more, even some set-lists here and there, but by and large we're where we need to be.
It's always worth while keeping an eye on the SJI Soundcloud page - tracks often get posted there first, and sometimes they don't become part of a larger project until much later (if ever). For example, if you weren't following the page you'd have missed sji's imagining if The Velvet Undergound had released a Christmas album:
It's also worthwhile following the SJI and Mario's Recording Services Facebook pages (the latter gets more updates than the former):
SJI Facebook Page HERE
Mario's Recording Services Facebook Page HERE
I also wanted to particularly point out that SJI were the subject of some impressive (boy) detective work courtesy of the Cloudberry Cake Proselytism V.3 blog, who gave us a lovely write-up HERE.
Which reminds me I need to scan and upload a great write-up that Pete Dale (Milky Wimpshake, Red Monkey etc) published in his fanzine A Love Letter For the Future. I can't find anything about it online, which is how it probably should be.
COMING UP IN 2017
The first gig of the year is with the brilliant Nev Clay at The Prohibition Bar, Gateshead, on the 12th January. Event Page HERE:
There will be a limited edition cassette of new material on Concrète Tapes. On their website they describe it as "truly uncategorisable".
There will also be a cassette release of a collaboration project with Cath Tyler (Cath and Phil Tyler, Fret!, Cordelia's Dad). Watch out for more details, it is called Blackdamp.
It's likely that this year we'll get around to releasing Artefacts: Sacred and Profane, as well as reissuing Ashington. The tracks are all mastered, we just need to do something with them. Here's a taster from Artefacts; it features Nev Clay on vocals and Richard Dawson on guitar:
Also this year, for the fifth time, there will be an Almanac project- an EP a month for 12 months. They'll go out to subscribers first and get uploaded to Bandcamp shortly thereafter. For details of previous Almanacs, head back through the blog. Almanacs 3 and 4 are all up on Bandcamp.