Monday 29 February 2016

A radio session and an unannounced gig

We played a live acoustic session on Newusb Radio, it makes a change to be quieter sometimes and we do like to move things round a bit, it featured stripped down versions of Love, Seen It All Before, Checkered Land and The Wargame.
The Community Centre where our rehearsal rooms are held an open night and we played an unannounced electric set for them:
Set List:

Only Everything
Girl On The Roof
Day In Day Out
There's No One There

Sunday 21 February 2016

Elizabeth Gaskell House gig

It's a pleasure to announce that some songs from the new album will be making their live debut at a very special gig in Manchester taking place in the drawing room of Elizabeth Gaskell's House on 7th April. A rare acoustic gig for us, in an intimate room full of history and music.
And... its a double header we have Turner performing a live set too, she'll be accompanied by Nikki playing an 1890's piano. This is a unique experience.
Shay Rowan did a photo shoot with us at Elizabeth Gaskell House before Ann-Marie joined us a couple of those are pictures are below.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

the making of the video

We are delighted to work with NPME Style Ltd of Wells again on the Shut All The Clubs video, among other things Natalie is a photographer and we used several of her stills to overlay the live film shot at Ruiby Loung Manchester for the video. Her 'sinister bunny girl' images feature in Shut All The Clubs. And they are very sinister.
We used shots from the Welcome to Wonderland series, the nonsensical wonderland logic that is applied to city planning in the 21st century fits the lyric. There is a short piece about the video on  the NPME website here where you can find links to other of her photographs some of which are for sale as prints via lenswall here.

Monday 8 February 2016

Rock At Night interview

Rock At Night have done an interview feature:
ROCK AT NIGHT: What is the history behind The Speed Of Sound? How was the group formed?
JA: The simple answer is the band has been live since September 2013, with several different drummers before Paul joined us last June, he's a really good fit for us and AnnMarie made it a four piece in December, there's more to it than that... Essentially the band was formed in August 1989 and was live until May '91 the 22 years gap between gigs is quite long, I'd never stopped playing, just hadn't been gigging or releasing records. Life gets in the way sometimes and you have to concentrate on other things for a bit, but this is waht all of us actually do, we're driven to it and theres something mossing if we don't. I've been playing guitar with Kevin since around 1990. The 1989 line up was a four piece with dual male & female vocals so it's really neat to come back to that shape. The name is because it doesn't make any different how fast or hard you play; the soundwaves still leave the speakers at the same speed.

ROCK AT NIGHT: I know you are really into the mod scene, which is uniquely British. As an American, I've always been intrigued by it. Who are your influences? Would you classify The Speed Of Sound as a 'mod band' or is there a mixture of genre's at work?
We all come from different musical listening backgrounds which gives it a nice twist, The Jam and The Who are major influences on my style of playing and it was The Chords and Small Faces that made me want to pick up a guitar, add in Siouxsie & The Banshees, Throwing Muses, Joy Division, PJ Harvey, John Coltrane and of course The Beatles and you'll get a sense of where its coming from. Kevin is a massive Rolling Stones fanand is very into Northern Soul, Paul would tell you he started as a guitar player and once he's learned 'Sunshine Of Your love' he thought job done and moved on to 'better things'. AnnMarie hasn't done rock based music before, she grew up listening to Irish music and C&W, she;s now listening to Foo FIghters, Counting Crows and Alanis Morrisette: to me er voice has a very clear tone to it not unlike Kirsty MacColl

ROCK AT NIGHT: I was fortunate to hear the new single whih is being released, I do have to say, its really catchy and has a definite 60s vibe. Please tell me the story behind the song.
Shut All The CLubs is the A side of a traditional 7" 45rpm sing, the bside is a bonus track when its bought as a digital download. Its a song with a message - There's a lot of music venues, small to medium sized ones, that are closing down, local town and city councils don't seem to value them and these important cultural places are being bulldozed to make way for expensive flats and corporate-spaces. offices and gyms and shop chains. A single complaint about noise can cause a venue thats been there for decades to be closed down. That nearly happened to Night and Day in Manchester. The Start And Garter isn't actually being knocked down but it'll be completely inaccessible for three years so can't possibly survive, across two roads from there the Twisted Wheel has just been demolished - for the second time. It's everywhere else too, not just here, this whole thing is vandalism. The real cultural assets of cities aren't valued by the people entrusted with them and they are all becoming sanitized and dull. In ten years time we will all be living in some sort of airport lounge. No independent traders and no culture, every city is slowly becoming the same and all the interesting things that make them great places to live and work and send spare time are being lost. We've been playing the song live since April and it always gets a good response.

ROCK AT NIGHT: How many songs are there and when will it be released? What kind of vibe or songs can we expect to hear? Will You have any videos for the songs?
Pre-order is live now for Shut All The Clubs and it'll be released when they've arrived form the pressing plant and after we've signed them all, its scheduled for 28th March. Then a full sized album to follow in the summer. There's a video for Shut All The Clubs and we'll be doing some more as we get closer to the album. There's a very 60's influence in what we do but we don't sound like a 60's band, the mix of influences makes it far more 'now'. All bands think they're unique but people tell us we are, which is cool. AnnMarie's voice is more prominent on a lot of the album songs and there's acoustic guitar as well as the heady crunch of electricity.

ROCK AT NIGHT: Who writes he music, or in other words, what is the process?
I write, always starting with the lyrics, I demo it and play it to the others ans they work out what they're going to play which is often very different from what I did, it evolves back and forth, Music never stops changing ans a recorded version of a song isn't definitive, it just 'thats how we did it that day'. The improvisational nature of live music is pretty important to us.

ROCK AT NIGHT: Since I play music, I'm always interested in knowing about gear. Do you use vintage gear to get that retro vibe? Do you favour any kind of guitars, amps, or effects?
A Rickenbacker twelve string, a Vox six string and a 1950's six string acoustic archtop, but most of the gear is actually pretty modern. In the Shut All The Clubs video Kevin and I are both playing Italia guitars. They're new British designed and sound fantastic, they're semi acoustics with peizo bridges and have a really rich tone, great clean or filthy and always feel just on the edge of feedback which is great. I also have a Hutchins, another modern British make, it jangles and chimes really cleanly. Kevin uses a Laney for stage work. Depending on the size of the venue I have a 50Watt Laney combo (vintage now but new in 1990) and a 150Watt Vox Valvetronix which I use on the AC15 setting with a boss multi-effects pedal. I've preprogrammed four user settings and that pretty much does me for live work; a distorted lead tone, a similar one set quieter with a touch of flanger added, a pure clean sound with a lot of sustain and compression so the top end swirl about a bit and a pretty spaced-out reverse attack sound thats a little like 'traditional' backwards tape but very different. Paul has several drum kits, he renovates them the same way people do with classic cars, his current stage kit is a Slingerland Classic and the vocal mics are simple trusty SM58s'
ROCK AT NIGHT: Who is the artist you have always wanted to see in concert but never had the opportunity? Also If you could work with anybody who would it be?
Miles Davis and Muddy Waters are both people I wish I'd seen live, if I had loan of a time machine I'd probably go to the night in 1966 where The Action and The Creation both played at The Marquee, but I'd want a return trip. Collaboration wise, I do collaborate already with a lot of the guest artists we have at our gigs so I'd want to do something very different from what I'm already doing in The Speed Of Sound, so; locally, Kyla Brox has a great blues voice and that woudl be ace, wider than that Kate Bush would be sure to come up with something different. Jimi Hendrix would always have a seat on my 'fantasy dinner' party team.

ROCK AT NIGHT: What do you do for fun when you're not playing music?
I'm a bit of a music obsessive so if I'm not playing it I'm still likely to be listening to it, I like to see other bands whenever I can, I'm always interested in what other musicians have come up with and will play a record rather than turn on the TV, reading or walking are both great escape; sometimes you've got to get out and see a bit of sky.

ROCK AT NIGHT: Do you have any upcoming events planned? A tour perhaps?
We've been concentrating on the recording since AnnMarie joined, I pretty much thought the album was in the bag but we had to start again, so we've not got a lot of gigs set up for 2016 yet; we're concentrating on playing outside Manchester more this time around and are looking for gigs. We do have a few intersting ones including a fully acoustic gig in a non-traditional venue in April, a spot in the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan's "Judas!" gig (in Manchester of course) andwe're looking forward to 27th March where we're part of a great line up for a Teenage Cancer Trust gig in Stoke-on-Trent,plus some private bookings too, we'll be ading in more dates.

ROCK AT NIGHT: Is there anything you would want people out there to know about the band or its music?
Give it a listen, we've put everything into the new single (and album too) and we think it shows, We do it because we mean it and we're still doing it after such a long time, with easily over a hundred  years of playing experience between us. Its what we do. Enjoy music and keep it live don't let them Shut All The Clubs.

You can find the whole piece HERE

Thursday 4 February 2016

Shut All The Clubs - the video

Here it is, the new 45rpm single the video for Shut All The Clubs:
Pre order the 7inch and get instant download here
filmed at Ruby Lounge in Manchester and with still photography by NPME Style Ltd - it kicks.

first gig of 2016

We took a break from recording to play a live set in Blackburn at the Dog Inn, Belthorne it was good to see so many people out supporting live music on a very wild and windy Sunday afternoon and great to get out playing live again. 24 January 2016
Set List:
Seen It All Before
Day In Day Out
Checkered Land
The Moment Is Now

The album is mixing up nicely.
Pre-order the single here