As is traditional we plan to celebrate the launch of our new album with a bunch of live shows and a lot of drunken dancing. But we’ve been wondering how best to mark the date itself. The record is officially released on Monday 3rd March. As we are all aware, Mondays aren’t the most ideal of gig days – a lot of people tend to have one eye on the clock as they wonder how painful Tuesday morning will be once they’ve dusted the last traces of hedonism from their hats and hips.
Also the buses don’t run as late.
So we pondered long and hard. Wondered about early evening acoustic shows (a bit tame), or another Bedlam social event (a bit easy), or an informal Q&A (a bit boring), or maybe even dinner somewhere (a bit… dinnery). Something that wouldn’t go on too late, wouldn’t cost loads, but could still have a certain exclusive (and yet inclusive) vibe.
So we hit on the idea of an open recording session. It seemed apt to launch a new album by starting to record the next one. We have a bunch of new songs no one has ever heard, we have a lot of recording equipment (thanks to WR Audio) and a certain predilection for eschewing the opaque.
So at 7pm on 3rd, 4th and 5th March we are going to hold open recording sessions at secret locations around Greater Manchester. We’ll record for approximately two hours each evening and there will be an opportunity for those present to contribute to backing vocals/percussion/noises once we’ve got the main body of work done. It should all be done by 9.30pm. Everyone in attendance will then be sent the songs once they’re mixed and mastered.
I hope it goes without saying that anyone who doesn’t need to get up too early the next day is also very welcome to stick around for a drink with us afterwards.
If you would like to attend one (or several) of these sessions please send me a message via the contact section with your preferred date. I’ll then send you the relevant address once we’ve finalised all the details. Places will be limited so do get in touch sooner rather than later to reserve a ticket. There will be a small fee to help cover any room hire costs.
As for the live launch parties, they will be held in London, Havant, Brighton, Liverpool and Manchester (see the Bedlam Six gig list for details).
The Bedlam Six and I will be releasing our very first DVD next month. It is a concert film shot at The Dancehouse Theatre earlier this year. It was a lovely event featuring special guest vocalists and a sold out auditorium. It coincided with my thirtieth birthday and we played thirty songs to celebrate. The ones we own the rights to (or have permission to release) are included on the DVD (unfortunately the duet with John Robb – Bugsy Malone‘s “Bad Guys” – could not be included for this reason).
Each day I read a bunch of articles written by people involved in or associated with the music industries.
I do not do this because I want to learn all I can about the creative economy or how best to navigate the modern music marketplace or what trends I should be keeping up with (for that way madness lies…).
No, I mostly do it to reassure myself that I’m not the only one who doesn’t know what the hell’s going on.
I’m not being flippant. It needs saying (and saying often). We should all be very suspicious of those who speak with too confident an air about “the future of music consumption” and “strategies for independent artists” and all those other rent-a-panel issues that fly around the conference circuit and blogosphere.
Many balk at the quantity of new bands jostling for attention on social media platforms. But that’s nothing compared to the infestation of so-called media experts popping up at every opportunity like so many sardonic meerkats…
There are two launch parties for our new single “Three Down, Four To Go”
The second is at The Picket in Liverpool (in association with Threshold Festival) on 20th October. Tickets can be booked here
“Three Down, Four To Go” will be on general release through Debt Records on Monday 22nd October.
In 1895 an express train travelling from Granville to Paris overran a buffer stop and crossed over thirty metres of concourse before plummeting through a window at the Gare Montparnasse. One hundred and seventeen years to the day after that catastrophic but oh-so-photogenic moment, Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six release their latest single “Three Down, Four To Go” like a steam locomotive through a station wall.
In the manner of most train wrecks, however, this release has not been on the cards for long.
“We hadn’t originally planned on releasing the track at this time” says Louis, “but we’ve been playing this new number throughout festival season and at the end of each performance it’s the one that gets singled out by people we meet afterwards, they’ve been asking where they can get hold of a copy so we figured we’d better record and release it ASAP.”
The release date itself is an auspicious one throughout history, full of great leaps (both literal and metaphoric – some positive and some, like the train, less so). 22nd October was, in 1797, the day of the first recorded parachute jump (by André-Jacques Garnerin) and, in 1879, Thomas Edison’s first successful test of the incandescent light bulb.
“The song itself is loosely based on the Seven Ages Of Man and the Seven Deadly Sins as well as the usual stuff about love and revenge” says Louis, “but we’re trying not to be too fancy with this one as those are old themes that very much speak for themselves. Really the whole thing is just a vehicle for a massive, face-melting riff – indeed it’s our most unashamed rock number yet – that’s probably why it’s had such an enthusiastic response.”
The accompanying music video is also a little different from The Bedlam Six’s usual promotional material. This one is being created entirely by the audience.
“We sent out messages via social media announcing the upcoming release and calling for weird and wonderful footage to edit into a music video. We’ve had a great response in all sorts of visual styles; it’s great to include more people in the process. Thinking about it, this whole release has been a collaboration with the audience – from choosing what song to record, to how it’s marketed etc… it’s been a fantastic journey and I hope they enjoy the results!”
NOTES TO EDITORS
“Three Down, Four To Go” by Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six is released through Debt Records on Monday 22nd October 2012.
There will be two launch parties: the first at Islington Mill in Salford on Thursday 18th October and the second at The Picket in Liverpool on Saturday 20th October.