Sunday, 18 December 2011

Dodgy Iceland Christmas, new single and UK recessions

And so nearly Christmas....
It's funny; we've just been asked to write some notes on our song 'What Became Of You', with the exciting news that a slightly edited version is going to be the first single from the new Dodgy album 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' next year. It got us thinking, how similar circumstances are now to when we were first trying to break through as a a band. It's been a little contemplative round here because last week Dodgy  completed all live dates for 2011 and after being humbled by the positive reaction to the tour where we played the whole of the new album, it was nice to bring things to a close with a club date at the This Feeling Xmas Party at The Queen Of Hoxton. It was a suitably boisterous jolly-up and I think Dodgy guitarist Andy summed it up quite succinctly "the gig was fun .. with an attractive young crowd.. who had the span of their attention pushed to the extremes of our 45 minute set and appeared relieved there wasn't an exam at the end ;-)".
The Dodgy set list included 'What Became Of You, 'Staying Out For the Summer' went down a storm and we finished with a cover of The Who's 'The Kids Are Alright' .. sweet. A big shout out as well to the other bands that played: the Kasabianesque rocking of The Bibelots, the truly dynamic Elsie and great to catch up with DJ Maggot from Goldie Lookin Chain, who told us all the secrets of Celebrity Big Brother.

So live dates over for another year and the legendary Sir Keith of Richards best sums up how it can be very disorientating when a tour comes to an end, he compares it to withdrawal symptoms from hard drugs, something that he may well know something about but we couldn't possibly comment. It's particularly hard, when with all our time and resources spent this year getting the new album together, our main source of income is Dodgy playing gigs. So having returned to the hearth to discover last year's tinsel brushing our heads as we came through the door, there's the realisation that no more gigs before Christmas means that littl'uns in Dodgy households will be somewhat Tiny Tim'd this year, we find ourselves paying more attention to the Iceland TV ads than the Waitrose ones and our Christmas trees, though standing upright in a cool place, droop well short of the ceiling. For some reason other Blog subjects present themselves, like; will we allow the new album to be streamed on the likes of Spotify, with growing evidence that the financial implications might be damaging? Should we line-up with the likes of The Black Keys and say 'No'? Current feeling is that may well be the case but we'll discuss it later.
 >moving off topic alert!
OK, it does however bring me back to my point, that at a time when we are all feeling the pinch of recession, the last time this happened in the UK was in the early 1990's, the time when Dodgy were first trying to break through as a band. As far as I can remember music-wise, at that time there seemed to be too much bad grunge about and UK bands seemed a bit aimless. Personally I remained a big Dexy's Midnight Runners fan and The Stone Roses held a lot of the weight of hope for British music, the band we liked going to see was Primal Scream, then cue Dodgy and 'Staying Out For The Summer' which we never envisaged as a poignant anthem but to a certain degree was, though you wouldn't know it if your only knowledge of the song was via the video... perhaps the less said about that the better.

So now guess what? 2012 coming round the corner, another recession and new recordings expected from The Stone Roses (recently signed two new recording contracts), Dexy's new album in the bag expected soon and Dodgy likewise - Oh come ye merry gentlemen, saviours we'll see.
We'd like to think that there's a case for 'What Became Of You' being a song of and for these times and lyrically at least is our take on the old adage of 'don't let the truth stand in the way of a good story', which is quite sweet when recalling a harmless tale about your auntie but when it comes to vitally important issues that affect peoples' lives then you’d think the truth is essential, yet major institutions still rely on spin, mistruths and blatant lies to convince us that their ideals hold weight and probably at least partly to blame for the mess we are in now. All that and a catchy tune - what more could you ask for?

There were plans to include in this post some hard cutting edge pontificating on the subject of Twitter but that can be left until a later date but yes, if you are Twitter inclined you can start to follow us @DodgyUK and if you haven't already signed up to our emailing list then do so at if only to catch the benefits of access to remaining days gifts on the Dodgy Advent Calender 2011 where we've still got some goodies to give away. Also if you do whatever it takes to 'like' us on Facebook there's some exclusive stuff there as well.

Finally we are awaiting a schedule of album launch dates in February but we can announce the London date at The Bush Hall on Wednesday 22nd February - click HERE for details

Friday, 16 December 2011

Nigel Clark (Dodgy) Top 10 Tracks from 2011 (Dodgy Advent Calender)

What tunes from now and then that have been rocking Nigel from Dodgy's world in 2011
01. OBSERVATORY CREST - Captain Beefheart

Putting this list together, it's the anniversary (17th Dec) of the Captain leaving us but he and the magic band left us with some of the most amazing music.

Fleet foxes, with the new album this year this was the first single.
Such a talented band of musicians with voices of angels.

Had these on my I pod since I brought it. I rarely skip these tracks.
Probably the funkiest band ever And you get 2 for 1 on the video

04. GUIDING LIGHT - Television (album Marquee Moon)
Another great band, hard to pick a track off the album because they are all great. I chose this one because it's not the most obvious but a great track all the same

05. I WILL TAKE YOU THERE - Harry Nilsson
Just a beautiful song, Simple but true.
The Beatles loved Harry, this explains why.
06. WALKABOUT - Atlas Sound (ft. Panda Bear)
Bradford cox the singer from deerhunter. A real feel good track from the Logos album released a couple of years ago featuring Noah Lennox (a.k.a. Panda Bear) from Animal Collective .

07. RED LIGHTS -  Holy Fuck
Saw holy fuck live this year. Four guys making this sound live, Awesomeness

An album I bought and paid for this year. Such an emotional rollercoaster, but utterly engaging. Just pick the right time to listen

09. COLOR ON THE WALLS (DON'T STOP) - Foster The People‏
Heard these first on Dermot O'Leary's radio show; they did a cover of heart of gold and I had heard pumped up kids on the TV ad
Goes without saying that they are going to be a big band. Just hope they can keep making good pop music

10.CROSSEYED AND PAINLESS live (Stop Making Sense) - Talking Heads
This will forever be my fave talking heads track. Get the studio album version, it's amazing

AND A BONUS TRACK - came to me just after the 10
MARIE - Willie Nelson/Townes Van Zandt 
Just listen to this. So much honesty, emotion and experience. Just beautiful

That's all for now... looking forward to 2012

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Andy Miller's Top 10 Tracks from 2011 (Dodgy Advent Calender)

Here's a list from Dodgy guitarist Andy Miller on what tunes have rocked his boat in 2011, somethings old, somethings new, somethings borrowed and somethings sounding pretty damn fine - over to you Andy...

01. THE WEIGHT – The Band
The Band were and are in many ways 'the band' and have rediscovered this song on the road with Dodgy this year, it's a lovely song and is always one of the inspirations for me to pick up a guitar and play along.

02. HONEY ALL OVER - Gruff Rhys
The first time I heard Honey All Over by Gruff Rhys earlier this year, I thought 'What a great tune, why don't I put this on a playlist if anyone asks' and here it is. Top marks for this video as well...

You cant' beat a good instrumental and John Barry certainly knew how to put together an instrumental, he sadly passed away at the beginning of the year but won't be forgotten while his tunes like this are around.

Band Of Skulls proving that the south coast of England (Southampton) can produce rock and roll that's dark and dirty, just how I like it. This is  a great tune and the first single apparently from their new album due next year, recorded at Rockfield Studios, where Dodgy have been known to lay down a few tunes in the past, most notably when The Stone Roses were in the studio next door...

Recently discovered and got hooked on Dogs (the band ;-) - great band shoulda been bigger! A crime of this music industry! Me doth protest.

This year, last year, next year, Champagne and Reefer is always welcome. Grooving, no need for a middle eight - why bother? Found this video though - were there no bouncers to stop the skinny chap stage invasion?

07. FREEDOM – Jimi Hendrix (Live at the Isle of Wight)
This Jimi Hendrix record was one of the first I had in my collection at 15 years old. Could not stop playing it then and still keeps blowing me away today - there's been a lot of talk about the Isle Of Wight Festival recently and of course *ahem* if asked, Dodgy would love to play in 2012 alongside Bruce, Noel, Petty Tom and ... The Christians.

This particular track reminds me of living in Nantes in France with my ex-band Hey Gravity (M.A.S.S.). Great time lovely friends there. PJ won the Mercury prize this year for Let England Shake - by all accounts it's a mighty piece of work and a deserved winner, it's on my Christmas list but haven't heard it yet, perhaps when I have one of the tunes will make my list next year.

09. REVENGE – Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse feat. Wayne Coyne
Another great tune discovered this year - apparently, my friends in the know tell me, to get a single in the upper reaches of the UK single charts these days you have to 'feature' someone who's not in the band but rarely do collaborations come off as good as this - had to be included.
Dangermouse has also produced the new Black Keys album 'El Camino' that has come out in the past few weeks and interested in hearing that too #andyschristmaslist

10. DOWN ON THE CORNER - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Oh, last tune already? Well it's a peach. There's rumours that CCR might be reuniting for a tour next year but in the meantime John Fogerty has very much returned after years of bitterness and record company rangles. Best just get out there and play the music eh? Mind you, this vid is from 1969 and it looks as if the record company weren't exactly providing a budget for equipment and stage clothes even then...

Enjoy my playlist as much as I've enjoyed putting it together and ... a happy Christmas and new year to all you adventers from me

Friday, 2 December 2011

Mathew Priest's Top 10 Tracks from 2011 (Dodgy Advent Calender)

This is Mathew from Dodgy and I'm pleased to be delivering this list of my Top 10 tunes discovered this year as a contribution to the Dodgy Advent Calender 2011 (you can still get more offerings as part of the Dodgy Advent Calendar by signing up to the mailing list @ and they are... in no particular order...

What would we do without BBC 6Music? ... I'm pretty sure that's where I first heard this track and full marks to Denmark, firstly for giving us some great TV with The Killing and then this; a prime cut of Scandinavian indie 60's pop - what's not to love?
On the new Dodgy album 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' we've got a track called 'What Became Of You' and Treefight For Sunlight appear to have a track called 'What Became Of you... and I', so we're obviously thinking on similar lines somewhere.
Treefight For Sunlight website:

Dodgy have adopted this tune to get us vibed up before we go onstage. Amazing song - even better video. Met the guy who is Wallpaper in San francisco when I was on tour playing with Electric Soft Parade and he was playing in this crazy but brilliant prog rock band Facing New York. This guy is in a different league and very much one to watch and listen out for...
Wallpaper website:

03. SYREETA - Harmour Love 
A tune I 'discovered' this year heard as the play out song on the film Junebug that I saw for the first time. For some reason it took me ages to find out the name of the song. Syreeta's best known UK hit was probably 'Your Kiss Is Sweet' and sadly she died of breast cancer aged only 57 in 2004, she looks so beautiful in this video.....

04. THE LOVELY EGGS - Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like It)
God knows where I first came across this, probably Facebook. Just ace pop-punk with a belting cameo from John Shuttleworth, presumeably a nod towards his previous musical alter ego creation Jilted John, in the video. Just noticed their new single is out on Monday (Dec 5th) so might be also be worth a listen.
The Lovely Eggs website:

05. LAURA MARLING – Sophia
I’m very rarely onto an artist early; when I am, I feel like the coolest fella in the world. Then somebody invariably comes along and says “Oh yeah, she’s ace, have you heard her first album” ..shit.
Laura Marling website:

06. H.HAWKLINE – You Say Love Me

If you haven't heard Cerys Mathews' show on 6Music you should, wonderfully eclectic and some great discoveries. That's where I first heard this and it leapt out at me from the car radio. He's got a lovely Welsh twang and sounds likey a mixture of Gruff and Syd Barrett. Worth seeking out the full band version as well.
A H Hawkline website:

07. CHASE AND STATUS – Chase & Status - Blind Faith ft. Liam Bailey
There's an article somewhere about the high percentage of collaborations and 'featurings'(ft) in the singles chart this year, don't know whether you should be expecting Dodgy featuring......??????.. Chipmunk? anytime soon as we attempt to crack the upper regions of the charts - perhaps not.
Anyways got to have a banging tune in this list and this is it. Great UP tune. Amazing video, I never thought I could get flashbacks from watching a video until now.
 Chase & Status website:

08. BLAKE SHELTON – Austin
We were lucky enough to get to go over to Texas in July to mix the new Dodgy album and admitedly I was a little tiddly on the plane when I became obsessed with this song... I played it over and over, much to the chagrin of Dodgy guitarist Andy Miller who had drawn the short straw and was seated next to me. It set us up for our adventure over there. OK it is cheesy beyond Gorganzola and might be percieved by some as being a bit crap as well but it soundtracked an important part of 2011 for us and for that time me and and Blake were like brothers..
For some reason, Blake (or his people) don't want us to embed the official video, in all it's shiny red car glory here but you can get it by following the link below
Blake Shelton website:

09. WHITE DENIM – It’s Him
First track on the utterly bonkers album ‘D’.  First heard about these Texas, psychedelic indie-prog-rockers on the brilliant website and then with their single “Is And Is And Is” on BBC 6Music which to these ears sounds a bit like Coldplay mixed with Deep Purple - should be wrong but it's right...
 White Denim website:

10. MVPs – Turning My Heartbeat Up
That’s the great thing about Northern Soul, you keep discovering absolute BELTERS and this rocked my sox this year not just because it opens with the line "listen to the sound of a drummer...". I’m pushing for Dodgy to do a cover of this as we’ve got a scooter rally to play next year- I'll keep you posted.

What tunes have rocked your world this year?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Dodgy Advent Calendar, give it a rest X-Factor, women and the NME Cool List

In 2012 the Olympics and the Euro Football finals take place but no Glastonbury Festival. Shame - but weirdly it got us thinking about the X-Factor and it would be prudent perhaps, to apologise to Michael and Emily Eavis for the following analogy and case that we will attempt to expound here.

On Saturday nights these days you will most likely find Dodgy playing a gig somewhere so the main X-Factor TV show doesn't taint our world but sometimes we are home when the results show is on and on our travels the subject still inevitably crops up in conversation - sad that somehow you know who Frankie Cockohza is. Our thoughts on this great national treasure of a TV show and similar programmes are sometimes sought in interviews but generally the answer is that we are involved in creating and making music, they are involved with making Saturday Night tele, you know like the Generation Game and the music part is just a bit of an incidental.
It does appear though, that the media and (usually the lower reaches of) the charts are full of winners and runners up of one year or another, of these competitions. Now, we're not going to suggest we can immediately freshen the air for good but here's a thought ITV, something you might do with your Saturday night cash cow, similar to that which Mr. Eavis does with his cows at the dairy farm which is the location for another much frequented institution, the Glastonbury Festival - HOW ABOUT YOU GIVE IT A REST? - even, like Glastonbury if it's just for a year. Michael Eavis understands that when thousands and thousands flock to a particular brand year after year an extraordinary amount of effluent is produced, things get tired and you've hardly launched Matt Cardle's career when another bunch turn up fighting to squeeze into the dinghy called 'No Dignity'.... Perhaps the public might want a Christmas song for the Christmas #1, not a prescribed cover suitable for one of a bunch of wannabee talent show finalists.

It's funny how lots of the pre-publicity for X-Factor suggested that Gary Barlow might write a new song for the winner (or dig up some discarded Take That out-take) but that seems to have slipped by the wayside and now the producers of X-Factor have come up with the brilliant idea for a shoe-in for the Christmas No.1; a version of..... 'Cannonball' by Damien Rice. Christmas and Cannon And Ball perhaps but Christmas+Cannonball...  take that for a Google search festives.
ITV/X-FACTOR producers - STOP, OK; just for a year, CAN you? WILL you? If people can do without Glastonbury for a year - the country can do without X-Factor for a year and then everyone can take their own view on how much they miss it...

So with the Christmas No.1 cannonballed.... it's a nice little lead in to Dodgy's plan to bring a bit of festive spirit to our new fans and old this year -  so from December 1st we will be opening the first door on our very own (fanfare - sleigh bells please)

- you just need to be on or subscribe to the Dodgy mailing list and then well... NOTHING.. as we will deliver the gift or link direct to your inbox every single day right up to and including CHRISTMAS EVE and what, ladies and gentlemen of the Yule, a tidy collection of gifts they are!
We hope you like the PRESENTS we have lined up for you, so if you haven't already, you can sign up to our mailing list here  and while you're at it, why don't you invite your friends so we can all share the love this Christmas.

We will be bringing you this Calendar in partnership with Cancer Research UK and have an exciting little project that we'd like to involve as many of you in as possible that will require Minimum Effort for Maximum Satisfaction. All will be revealed later this week but look out for our first FREE GIFT on December 1st.

Last weekend we were in Norwich.
On the touring map of Britain it's deceptive. You think that it's just over there, when in fact, it's WELL over there, with only a farm track and footpath to get you there. Perhaps that's why our gigs there are so good, we think 'well it's taken us a day to get here, we may as well play our socks off'.
Here's a pic of me looking excited outside the Waterfront + a pic of Nige looking hard during the soundcheck
So there we were after a belting show, talking to some very juiced up but very happy Dodgy fans about how far we and they had to travel and I mentioned the journey back to Wiltshire and someone piped up... "Wiltshire.. ah, the Nebraska of England" A new one on me but got my interest as the American states are a bit of a geeky interest round here - yes, when pushed, we can name all 50.. AND point to them on a map. After pursuing this and coming to the conclusion that Manchester would be Chicago and Brighton San Francisco (yeah, bit obvious that one), I enquired what US city would Norwich be and someone made the brazen claim "New Orleans of course"..
without entering into a conversation why (I'll let you come up with all those bands and music from Norwich), this did throw up a bit of synchronicity though as 'The Big Easy' has been on our minds quite a bit recently, just having finished watching the first series of the HBO TV show Treme, which is based in New Orleans in the recent period just after Hurricane Katrina and was made by David Simon and the same team who made The Wire. If you haven't seen either show then you are missing out. The Wire is generally regarded as one of the finest pieces of TV drama ever but Treme beats it; it's outstanding, beautifully made and uses music in such an instinctive way. The Season 2 DVD is on our Christmas list.. if you were wondering what to get us.... *coughs*

We also grabbed a moment to go and see comedian Sarah Millican live this week and laughed our faces off. What a hilarious, naturally funny FILTHY woman, if you are one of these poor misguided puppies who believe that comedy is the preserve of men you should go and watch her live. It's an often repeated falsehood that women aren't as funny as men and both Christopher Hitchens and Germaine Greer have recently chipped in to this 'debate', proving that even the great thinkers make mistakes and talk bollocks.
In fact is it just me or has there been an upsurge in old fashioned misogyny in the media recently? There was Brian Sewell 'promoting' his autobiography in the Observer on Sunday recently demanding "Where is the female Mozart? Where's Mrs Shakespeare?"  Then there's the  very disturbing 'revelation' of the vile abuse that's aimed at woman commentators, spotted here in The Guardian
Just check out  #mencallmethings , 'trending' apparently, on Twitter but prepared to be shocked. 
And finally, giving support to girls with attitude - it's good to see that the NME have been getting it right recently. Last week they were one of the first to report on Dodgy's new album and then they put the potty mouthed Azealia Banks on the top of their NME Cool List 2011, this is an amazing tune if ever we heard one, oh and congrats to Jarvis for his inclusion and for those that haven't seen it  No.s 11-13 are taken up by the members of Dodgy.. apparently. Over to you Azealia...

So just two more dates left on the current Dodgy tour - Bristol Fleece on Dec 1st and our final gig in St Albans @ The Horn the next day, which might prove to be rather large so we have ordered in some spare bibs and nappies just in case.

Until then....

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Dodgy Weller, new album tracklisting, Kaiser Chiefs pizza and The Queen Of Hoxton coming soon

When Dodgy embarked on the current tour and laid out our stall so to speak, we stated quite plainly that whereas a lot of bands are going out and playing previous albums we would be previewing our new album Stand Upright In A Cool Place  in its entirety. So excuse us for a slight nod, wink and a giggle and possibly even a sniff of the word 'vindication' when Paul Weller announced his week that he had come up with the novel idea that his new album Sonik Kicks will be performed in full this spring at two shows at The Roundhouse in London previewed as "Weller is hardly one to wait 20 years to be invited to perform his 'classic' album, he'd rather do it here and now, no need for nostalgia to play its part". Indeed... though thinking... if, for instance, we ever were to play  the Homegrown album from start to finish.. the first three songs would be 'Staying Out for the Summer', 'Melodies Haunt You' and 'So Let Me Go Far'.. just a thought.

And talking of tracklistings, song orders etc; the committee has sat, the votes have been counted, tempos assessed and we can now exclusively reveal that the song order for 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' has been finalised. You might think that this would be the easy bit after the album has gone from actually nothing existing - thin air, to a germ of an idea, to writing the songs, to eventually recording the songs, to travelling to Texas and mixing then mastering the songs, to deciding on the album title and the artwork, to finally manufacturing the album so you can hold a physical copy (or not, see previous blog) in your hand - it's a long, arduous but obviously utterly rewarding experience. The one process I missed out there, which would seem like the easiest to some people but can in fact be the biggest ball ache out of them all, is deciding upon the track listing. Have you ever played your favourite album on shuffle? It's like alcopops, it's fun for a while, but it's not right. You like to think that the artist has sat for hours, painstakingly playing through every permutation of the tracks until finally deciding upon the correct order and most of the time, they have.

What we have tried to come up with, is a coherent collection of songs - It was great to hear Kate Bush weighing into the debate recently in a BBC interview saying  that she would hate to see the album die out and that listening to an album is a totally different and immersive experience, and although I applaud their pioneering spirit, I wasn't a fan of Kaiser Chiefs' 'create your own album' marketing around The Future Is Medieval, where you could choose your own 10 tracks from 20 on offer - rather like going into Pizza Express, being handed a ball of dough, and some onions, peppers, olives and mushrooms and told "there's the oven!" - well not exactly but you get the idea. For us though, playing the new Dodgy songs live around the country has helped point towards the best way to present the songs on the new album and also knowing that we will be able to release it on vinyl, hence the added parameters of splitting the songs into two sequences. Anyway we're satisfied that this is the right order for these songs - unless a certain chap in Swansea wants take up his ukulele in protest ...
  1. Tripped and Fell
  2. What Became Of You
  3. We Try
  4. Shadows
  5. Did It Have To Be This Way
  6. Waiting For The Sun
  1. Raggedstone Hill (7. CD)
  2. Only A Heartbeat (8. CD)
  3. Find A Place (9. CD)
  4. Back Of You (10. CD)
  5. Happy Ending (11. CD)
    I suppose one of the biggest sticking points was whether to end the album with Happy Ending which some thought was rather cliched but it's not every day you get such a powerful song called Happy Ending END an album with :-) and like Primal Scream starting Screamadelica with the obvious 'Moving On Up' or When The Levee Breaks ending Led Zep IV, we decided to walk down rock and roll's well worn path for this decision.

    We had one live date this week in Cardiff @ Clwb Ifor Bach, which brought our tour of Wales to a close. Well a sort of tour - 2 dates, over 3 weeks, with two dates in England in between - but we won't tell if you don't, right ;-)
    And what a belting gig, thanks to the audience who were so appreciative of the new album in the first half, so much so that they inspired us to include 'If You're Thinking Of Me' for the first time on this tour (are you reading Norwich ...see what I did there?). Also, nobody was punched, which can only be a good thing.

    On December 10th Dodgy are taking a side step from the new album tour, adjusting the set accordingly when we play the This Feeling club night in London. The club is @ The Queen Of Hoxton and so there has been much idle chat and laughter about one of our fav TV shows Nathan Barley and indeed how prophetic it was/is, especially when you see blogs like Hackney Hipster Hate starting up..
    So it gave us immense joy to see that it's not just restricted to Hoxton now (see poster below)
    "Yeah mate, I'm off my mash, you got any speedo fraudsta shit, yeah? It's well fucking futile"

    This Friday (Nov 25th) Dodgy play @waterfrontUEA in Norwich of which we have very fond memories as this was the venue back when we were a mere fledgling band, which was a real turning point for us where we realised that people actually liked what we were doing, big time, so we have high hopes. Norwich is also the home of one of our favourite bands The Rockingbirds (who are also working on new material) and as we made the official announcement for the album release this week it was nice to get lots of news pieces, NME etc. but surprising that on the usually reliable website, they added a photo of their own, god knows how they came by it, purporting to be Dodgy but in fact featuring just our Andy, along with two imposters; the legendary Andy Hackett from The Rockingbirds and um Razorlight's tour manager??? - can't quite work that one out. As it happens, for 5 minutes, sometime in the dim and distant past, Andy Hackett did step on the stage playing an additional guitar as part of Dodgy, he's currently playing guitar with Edwyn Collins and here's a vid of them playing the classic 'Rip It Up' at an acoustic set in London just last Sunday - Andy H is the one looking distinctly David Crosby on the far left....

    And also in anticipation of Norwich, we will now revisit our occasional feature,

    Hello, a few weeks ago we brought you NEWARK being and anagram of WANKER
    Today we bring you NORWICH being an acronym of NICKERS OFF READY WHEN I COME HOME

    Thanks now, until next time..

    Friday, 18 November 2011

    NOT on the Dodgy agenda - no CD formats after 2012?

    As we ease our way back in to the business side of this thing called show, we like to keep abreast of new developments, for instance in Side-Line music magazine a couple of weeks ago, there was an article headlined "CD-format to be abandoned by major labels by the end of 2012". It's not a particularly well written or edited article, ex: "It's a move that makes completely sense." ??? -  but basically its claiming to blow the whistle on how the major labels plan to abandon the CD-format by the end of 2012 (or even earlier) and replace it with download/stream only releases via iTunes and related music services.

    It just struck us as interesting, as Dodgy have been putting a lot of effort into making sure that our new album Stand Upright In A Cool Place is as complete a package as possible. In many ways the loss of packaging, which is in essence what discontinuing CD formats would be, is something which takes this era of rockandroll pop music back to its origins. Digressing a bit and you may not be aware of this but for instance,  up to including and beyond Dodgy signing our major record deal with A&M, most record contracts include a 'packaging deduction' which was always a rip off and means that the record company deduct 25% of the artist's royalties for putting the release in a record or CD sleeve (a matter of pence in costs if you're producing in bulk). I was about to say, that hopefully in this digital age especially where downloads are concerned that 'deduction' doesn't happen anymore. .. Hey look - wrong... enter Mr. Chuck D.
    It turns out that Chuck is in the process of suing Universal Music on the grounds that for each download that's bought for 99cents.. he gets just 8cents and guess what? The first thing that the record company do when calculating how much of the money they are going to pass on for sending a track from their server to your computer is in US language ... a 25% 'container charge for audiophile records' - yes, you've got it, a packaging deduction. Now as a practiced recycler, I hope that all you people downloading tracks out there are behaving responsibly and disposing of any extraneous packaging you find sensibly, if you're running out of disc you know why, it's all the packaging from the downloads!! - Check out the story on Chuck D vs Universal Music @ it even has a photocopy of the royalty statement showing how it's calculated.

    Anyway, where were we, ah yes... it would appear that in the 50's and 60's, packaging and/or artwork wasn't considered important, it was all about the 'song' in many ways, so not that different from iTunes etc. now. B-sides were considered throw away tracks and the format 7" inch vinyl singles, were mostly sold in functional generic single bags for each record company. Though it's ironic that even these have now become interesting design artifacts in their own right. Here are a couple, we particularly like the Tamla Motown one
    - essentially though, it was just about the music - the vinyl and the packaging just being the means of delivery.
    I don't think it was really until the advent of the second wave of vinyl albums that the real heyday of album artwork came into its own - the first wave of albums, The Beatles / Rolling Stones etc usually had to include a pic of the band.
    There you go - a question - what was the first Beatles album not to feature a pic of the band on the cover?
    And while I'm in Bob Holness mode - what's your favourite album artwork? (after The Dodgy Album by Dodgy, of course) - answers on a postcard. (or you could just reply below, after all, we're trying to save on paper)
    For singles it was really the coming of punk at the end of the 70's where the art work and picture sleeves gave a colourful boost to the music and as CDs became the norm, the artwork still retained its effect, albeit on a smaller scale.

    In the early days of Dodgy we were lucky that my brother was a graphic artist, he lived in the Dodgy house (nearly burnt it down, twice) and was getting to be as on top of his game with the artwork as we were getting there with the music. Again he was essential to the whole Massive Dodgy Vibe and was probably from that point of view, just as much one of its architects and still has a beady eye on what we are doing with the band. Here's the artwork for the very first Dodgy single ... the three of us are all to be seen in the photo somewhere, along with a young cherubic Bluetones or two and a variety of other Dodgy characters from our story.
    For the new Dodgy album we are extremely lucky to have hooked up with Russell Hardman ( another inspired and inspiring artist. Let's say fate brought us together. Perhaps if we'd decided to come back releasing singles then we might not have bothered with artwork, or we may have even created our own Dodgy, Tamla Motown/Stax inspired generic sleeve, but as we began writing it quickly became clear that what we were creating was 'an album' - a collection of songs that mean a lot to us, need to be played together and deserved an encompassing artwork to complete the package. Which is why we are happy that Strikeback Records are making the album available as a CD and also a limited edition heavy vinyl version - you can order it now if you like, sorry couldn't resist the plug.  And that is why, for the moment, we believe that getting rid of physical formats of our releases, is definitely not on today's Dodgy agenda and while we'll probably be popping into Spillers Records in Cardiff tomorrow to see what bargains we can find before our gig at Club Ifor Bach in the evening... anybody know the Welsh for 'see you there'? x

    Wednesday, 16 November 2011

    Dodgy Twin Towned in Swansea, cupcakes and "Yes, you may go to the Noel"

    As everyone probably knows by now (with the apparent exception of one particularly annoying chap in Swansea), Dodgy are currently touring the UK with the specific brief of previewing live our new album 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place', before its release early in 2012.
    The pace has stepped up a bit this week; we popped up in London @thebowerylondon on Tuesday before continuing around the country with gigs in Swansea @garagevenue, Warrington Osale Rooms and Stratford @coxsyard. The London gig was a one-off, as it turns out 'not so secret' gig, enabling us to get a few media/press types along. It helped that we've had a few weeks sharpening the songs up and at the end of the night the verdict seemed to be a smiley thumbs up from everyone involved. A big thanks also to The Rise, who were our guests on the night and did a great set.
    Check out Chapper's blog for a more comprehensive take on London here

    A slight departure from Dodgy activity on Wednesday, staying in London for an event at the Royal Festival Hall to see @stephenfry and friends celebrate the life, loves and hates of Christopher Hitchens, the journalist, free thinker, drinker and smoker. Sadly he has cancer and was supposed to actually be in conversation with Mr Fry but he just wasn't well enough, hence the legion of friends lined up to talk about the great man. Oh Boy and what friends he has - Sean Penn, Richard Dawkins, Salman Rushdie, James Fenton, Martin Amis, Ian Mcewan, Bungle and Katie Price*. OK, a couple of those were made up but a fascinating evening and I urge you to look up his books if you don't know his work. My favourite quote of the evening came from a text to Stephen Fry from Ian Mcewan who was by Hitch's bedside, "the Rolls Royce mind is still purring"

    After that cultural interlude, it's back to Dodgy in Swansea. We perhaps regret alerting people to the connection between Dodgy and the film 'Twin Town'. The film set in Swansea, was probably the first major film role for Rhys Ifans and as 'Good Enough' is on the soundtrack, Dodgy performed at the film's original premiere there.
    TT is a tough spirited film, peppered with dark humour, pretty random violence, vandalism and miscreant characters and now, as the three of us stood staring at the shattered window of Nigel's car,  with him one sat nav and pair of sunglasses the poorer and we having to cope with post-gig inyourface ramblings of an audience member complaining about the way we ordered the songs in the set, can only think that sometimes art reflects life in uncanny ways. We were just as surprised as our haranguer though, when behind us he was struck to the ground by a more supportive fan who had overheard the somewhat one-sided conversation. Now, Dodgy do not condone violence in any way but have to admit, it Twin Towned! the situation and curtailed the harassment, it was like a living embodiment of the Internet forum, where the trolls get policed by the decent folk. If he felt that he had a point, it was that we didn't play any old songs in the first half of the set but as mentioned above, we couldn't have made it clearer, that the whole aim of these current tour dates is exactly that; we are playing the new album in its entirety at the beginning of the evening and we also make efforts to explain that during the set - luckily the rest of Swansea responded with great feedback and we continue to be assured that we are doing the right thing. Onwards and upwards

    Warrington, the following night was another sold out gig and calm by comparison, in fact there was a distinctly village fete feel, with Dodgy cupcakes for sale courtesy of a dodgy fan called Sarah Beardmore who is raising funds to rebuild an orphanage in Mombassa in Africa with the Girl Guides
    Dodgy, girl-guides, stop smirking you there at the back, no girl guides were allowed in the venue, apart from the lovely Sarah who's more like a Big Girl Guide. She also made a big Album cake which we should auction off really, shouldn't we?

    Nice support again in Warrington from Selfish Lovers and Bill Davro, definitely worth checking out.

    And so all roads lead to the birthplace of the bard with a sold out Stratford Upon Avon show and a homecoming of sorts for Nigel and myself. It was also a chance to meet up with some fans/friends from further afield who had booked B&Bs making a night of it and the guitarist and bass player from the very first band that Nigel and I were in back when the 80's became the 90's - Four was the band and no, there are no Facebook or Myspace profiles, there was however a shout for one of our songs from way back then. Crikey!
    On stage our guest support band was the mighty Electric Soft Parade who have been zig zagging across the country, alternating support slots with us and Noel Gallagher - there, a band endorsed by Dodgy and Noel, a sure ticket to success - anyway, after the gig they came up with a special request, asking our permission (bless em - as if it was needed) to not do the last two dates of our tour in Bristol and St. Albans, as they'd been asked to continue with Noel on his European dates. Well, what would you have said, a no brainer really, we hugged and wished them well on their way with a little wink that they should nudge Noel to listen to the new Dodgy songs, as we quite fancy being his guests when he plays UK arenas next year.
    Another old friend that turned up in Stratford was Grandmaster Gareth, as well as being the creative force behind and in front of the ever wonderful Misty's Big Adventure , he is a pretty mean force with a mix tape - you might well have caught Misty's on tour with Dodgy before and if you haven't heard them yet they are on tour at the moment and have a new album The Family Amusement Centre out now.

    While I'm on the plugs and recommendation tip, look out for the reissue/revamp of one of the greatest albums ever made - Quadrophenia by The Who. It's a towering piece of music and quite rightly Pete Townsend calls it his favourite Who album. It's an album we keep going back to and it never disappoints. This reissue comes with a CD of almost complete demos that Pete made in 72/73, which is amazing to listen to as the songs are almost fully formed and certainly makes me marvel at the genius of the precocious 27 year old. One of the greatest nights in the pantheon of great Dodgy nights is when we tried to blag tickets to see The Who performing Quadrophenia at the MEN arena in Manchester in 1996 only to be told that we could.. but only if we turned up and became the support band - I'll let you work out what the outcome was....

    back in Wales this weekend, so see you in Cardiff on Saturday...x x

    *APOLOGY - for the gratuitous mention/link to KP in the context of appraising a serious cultural event

    Monday, 7 November 2011

    Dodgy looking forward to @thebowerylondon and 'Only A Heartbeat'

    Having set ourselves the task of previewing all of the songs from the forthcoming album on the current tour, it's been educational to nurture the little buggers into blossoming flowers. Take 'Only A Heartbeat' for instance - it has always gone down well, especially on the recent gigs where it appears to be resonating with a lot of people. Nigel wrote it about losing someone very close to him and in Brighton @ The Concorde2 gig we had a request beforehand to dedicate a song to a chap who had died a year earlier, so that was the obvious choice and gave the whole performance an added poignancy.

    Mormons and drunken men in England shirts are very high on my list of things to avoid, not far behind are using the words 'mature' and 'grown up' to describe our new album. It's lazy and an easy trap to fall into and I'm as guilty as anyone, whenever I feel those words forming in my mouth I immediately think of Dennis Locorriere and Charlie Landsborough, with their shit. (see pics)
    I prefer what some chap said at the weekend - "the new material is like Dodgy but a bit older and a lot better" - I know it's not ideal but as I was explaining to a journalist last week, we're not writing about the same things we did when we were younger and themes like religion, dishonesty, regret, hardship and addiction don't quite match up to the happy-go-lucky, chirpy image some folk have of us, but hey.

    We now make a welcome return to a our occasional feature - Interesting Facts We Learn as We Travel Around The UK, part 73

    1. NEWARK is an anagram of WANKER (though any inferences weren't apparent in the people that turned out to see Dodgy)
    2. The area in Brighton favoured by the dogging community is called Duke's Mound.

    This week is a busy Dodgy week. We are all looking forward to our not-so-secret gig tomorrow (Tuesday 8th Nov) @thebowerylondon. You will find this gig in Saturday's Guardian Guide listed as 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' with no mention of Dodgy - that's because the set we play at 8.30pm will be the whole new album - perhaps if we'd added 'performed by Dodgy' it might have been clearer. Anyway that's what we are doing but are not ruling out any surprises or extra curricular activity later in the evening.
    I will be staying down in London to see Stephen Fry interview the incredible but sadly, very ill Christopher Hitchens at the South Bank on Wednesday - before anyone comments, I realise that those words 'mature' and 'grown up' might come flying back to haunt me.. but hey...
    Then its onwards and Dodgy will be coming to play for all of you folk in Swansea, Warrington and Stratford - This will be a good stretch of dates and I'm not sure Dodgy have been in Swansea since we played at the premiere of the film 'Twin Town' with our friend Rhys Ifans set in that fine city.. come along and I'll tell you the stories.... take care now

    Friday, 4 November 2011

    Dodgy Dara O'Briain , James Levy And The Blood Red Rose in London

    This post is a postcript to the previous one:  'Dodgy Ryan Giggs, (not so) Secret London gig, Kingston and We Need To Talk About Winchester' which hopefully you've had time to read.

    On route to the Dodgy gig in Newark, a night was spent out in London. Couldn't turn down the invitation from Heavenly Records to see their brand new signing James Levy And The Blood Red Rose at The Social, performing as a duo involving  the dark one (Alison)  from The Pierces - you should deffo check out 'Sneak Into My Room' - lush. Then popped in to a friend from the BBC's leaving party and hassled Dara O'Briain. Do I look like I'm bothering him? Mentioning the fact that Dodgy will be back down and performing live in London next Tuesday (Nov 8th) to whoever would listen.

    Dodgy Ryan Giggs, (not so) Secret London gig, Kingston and We Need To Talk About Winchester

    On Tuesday (Nov 8th) Dodgy are bringing 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' to The Bowery in central London. This is a tiny showcase gig and as we just intend to play the new album live - it was originally listed just under the name of the album and a 'secret gig' for Dodgy but even before Gary Crowley announced it ... TWICE ...on BBC London Radio,  it was already heading towards the record books, as one of the worst kept secrets ever, I mean we never even managed to persuade the cat to get IN the bag.
    Dodgy will be hitting the stage at 8.30pm sharp, we'll be playing the album in full and be quickly followed by a set by our guests, support band The Rise. After that there may be further surprises involving Dodgy and we're hoping to run a quick seminar with Ryan Giggs on how to keep a secret.

    Tickets for Tuesday's London gig are still available at £10 plus booking fee but everyone who buys a ticket will be able to take advantage of our *£5 Cashback Offer* if they pre-order the new album at the gig.
    You can get tickets HERE via
    - and feel free to spread the word, Twitter, whatever, to your friends

    EVERY GIG has had it's special moments and we would be the first to admit, that even though we are growing in confidence and encouraged by the by the overwhelming amount of positive feedback about the new songs, that it's a big ask of audiences to take a big chunk of something so new in one sitting. However, We Need To Talk About Winchester. Now firstly, The Railway, is one of the best and invaluable small venues in the country but we  would just like to focus on one person in particular, wearing the checked shirt, standing down the front appearing to use his i-phone voice boost app to talk very loudly through the first 5 songs; for us, he represented the 'face of adversity' which we had to overcome, which can only be a good thing. He had a good excuse though, he was talking to his mates about when he saw us at V97. That's OK then, he obviously had more memories of it than I do.
    One of our favourite ever artists, Nina Simone was famously severe on anyone who talked during her shows and I can understand why - even though it may be just a couple of people, onstage it feels like everyone and it's very off-putting, but hey, it's a rock and roll show and the talkers generally get the message eventually. If they don't, we put them in the grudge book where their names remain ;-)

    It certainly led to a bit of hesitation at the start of the next night's gig @ The Peel in Kingston-Upon-Thames but we needn't have worried, even though we asked the audience to bear with us at the start of the gig and held Mr Chatty up from the night before as a reason why. Indeed the gig turned out to be one of the best of the tour so far, up there with St Helens. A few factors contributed towards this - it was the first time we had played Kingston since we ran the Dodgy Club at Bacchus Wine Bar there 21 years previously (see our pilgrimage there in the video below); also because it was the 4th anniversary of our friend and associate, Andy Moore's death.
    Andy was the lighting tech for Dodgy since the start, he was such an integral part of our gang, so much so that he features somewhere in most of the funny stories we tell from those times. He was the reason why we got back together, asking us to reform for a couple of songs at his testimonial. The cheeky bugger knew we couldn't exactly say no.
    Besides the spirit of the Gary Numan loving Manc at the gig, there were also a couple of other vitally important people to Dodgy - Dave Ripp and H (who can be spotted in the background of the pic above with Moorsey and a particular handsome drummer). Maybe by coincidence or cosmic design but we hadn't all been in the same room since 1997. We played his favourite song for him, Big Brown Moon and you can see the video below of the version we played at River Cottage the week before... anyone for a crisp sandwich?

    Hope to C U nxt Tuesday and if you're not following us on Twitter yet @dodgyuk please feel free to sign up.


    Friday, 28 October 2011

    Dodgy, River Cottage and How To Make A Crisp Sandwich

    Been a very busy week and before we begin, congratulations to Noel Gallagher for his No.1 album with High Flying Birds; nothing against Matt Cardle but it's reassuring that Noel wasn't pipped to the post by an X-Factor winner, another strong argument for bigging up Why Music Matters.

    So Dodgy are at the halfway point, on our tour previewing the new album 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place', the legs are starting to ache but encouraging cheers from the crowd are spurring us on to the end. To continue this marathon / fun run analogy, we also seem to be surrounded by men dressed as chickens and we're taking in far too much fluid for this stage of the race.
    Indeed our show at Whitstable on Sunday marked the half way point for our Autumn Tour and all is calm in Camp Dodgy. Top DJ Gary Crowley played 'What Became Of You' from the new album on Saturday on his BBC London new music show (you can listen to the show HERE ) and we heard the news at River Cottage which made us all very happy bunnies and also provided a delicious slice of serendipity as Gary reminded everyone that he was the first DJ EVER to play Dodgy, back in 1990 on his 'Demo Clash' part of his Sunday afternoon show on BBC GLR.
    The weekend started in mighty Frome on Friday. Oi, if there are any bands reading this - go to Frome! There's an amazing venue there called the Cheese And Grain (Cheesy Groin to friends) and it's seriously under used and join in with the anti-Tesco campaign whilst you're there

    On Saturday it was the Dodgy @ River Cottage event (above) and we were determined to keep the price for Dine With Dodgy At River Cottage as low as we possibly could and certainly below the £100 mark and because of this we knew we wouldn't be making a penny from the evening (though we did get a free meal) so it's understandable why quite a money minded folk asked us why we were doing it. Well you just have to look at the pics and messages on dodgyuk Facebook wall this week to see why.
    Here are just a few of the many messages we've had -

    "Definitely one of the best nights ever"

    "Awesome evening. Truly one of those once in a blue moon events that the wife and I will remember and treasure.
    I truly hope that the new album is a runaway success for you all"

    Well there you go. Just a couple of reasons why we did it.  A special mention must go to the French contingent who were so keen that they arrived an hour early as we were setting up and then proceeded to make friends with EVERYONE in England.
    Here's a little video blog that hopefully gives you a flavour of the day for us.

    Also, I'm sorry but how on Earth do you expect us to have the free run of the place and not do this

    And we must thank the wonderful folk down at River Cottage who were beyond helpful, in fact they reached a plane of zen helpfulness where they knew what we wanted before we knew. Just amazing.

    If our starter was the cheese (and Grain) in Frome on Friday, River Cottage the main course on Saturday, then Sunday in beautiful Whitstable was a top class dessert of a gig to finish off the weekend, where Nigel tried to take the piss out of my beard onstage by saying I looked like a fisherman. In a fishing town. OOPS. But he somehow managed to pull himself out of that mess by writing a brand new impromptu song, Everyone Loves A Fisherman, such an instant classic that it was played twice in a row and was in danger of over shadowing our 'proper' new songs. If anyone at the Whitstable gig managed to film or record that then please send it through or put it up on facebook.
    We made another wee video bloggy whilst we were there. Just waiting for the call from the Whitstable tourist office now

    This weekend we'll be playing 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' in Winchester @ The Railway on Friday (28th), scene of a tremendous gig earlier in the year and then a triumphant return to Kingston on Saturday (29th) @ The Peel, the place where it all started for Dodgy back in 1990 when we used to host the Infamous Dodgy Club in Bacchus Wine Bar on Union St. If any old Dodgy Club members are reading this then please get in touch. Will let you know how it goes...
    This crisp sandwich is delicious....

    Wednesday, 19 October 2011

    Dodgy, The Stone Roses and the reunion rollercoaster

    by the way.... this is Math, drummer with Dodgy and a few people have enquired as to why I've started to sport facial hair and my answer is simple - I'm playing to my strengths. I'm not tall, I'm not slim but I have the power to grow a beard to Brian Blessed proportions.... which brings me nicely on to The Stone Roses...
    already a lot has been written and said about this but The Roses are one of THE most important bands both to us as fans and being in a band... the rumours began on Friday and all weekend I was texting some good friends who I know are massive Roses fans, like Jo who I play with in the Yellow Moon Band, who founded and runs the Green Man Festival and who by her own admission is like a giddy teenager again over The Roses news, our ex-manager who claims that The Stone Roses at Blackpool Empress Ballroom was the best gig of his life, and Mark Morriss, who actually hadn't heard until I told him and indeed the irony of The Bluetones going their separate ways as the Roses reunite, was not lost on him.
    It's fair to say that The Stone Roses had an influence over most of the major UK bands in the 90's - certainly Oasis, The Charlatans and The Verve wouldn't exist without them but also Blur (listen to 'She's So High') Radiohead, Muse, Prodigy, Pulp, Supergrass and er.. Dodgy would all acknowledge them as a major influence.

    Obviously the announcement resonates with our situation. Personally, I'm not sure about the word 'reforming', it always sounds like such a big statement; the fact is, as a band, if you gain any kind of success, you find yourselves on a roller coaster which doesn't stop after one circuit but continues round and round and round until after a while you just want to get off. Doesn't mean that you won't want to get back on at a later point, just that at that moment you want to step off for a breather.
    We went through quite a lot of line-ups and band names (ask and we'll tell) before we finally found the chemistry that was the three of us as Dodgy, and having spent a bit of time apart you appreciate more that there's something special about that chemistry. At the Stone Rose press conference, when (man of few words) John Squire said it was not just a band getting back together but best friends burying the hatchet, we thought "blimey, that's us". Talking about him and Ian Brown he said "I think in some ways it's a friendship that defines us both" and the same applies to all three of us in our case. The Roses got back together after Mani's mum's funeral, for us it was the sad loss of lighting fella and good friend Andy Moore, for all of us it's a case of life's too short, so here we are.....

    Some people are saying that they are worried it will be shite and they don't want to be disappointed but that's fine, no one's forcing you to buy a ticket or think about it more than you want to... in fact the Roses have already disappointed many with the debacle of Reading 96 (we were there) and some of the shockers off Second Coming (Straight To The Man - so I know they've made howling (literally) mistakes but we STILL LOVE THEM and have memories of a gig in Pilton (September 1st 1995) where Dodgy were the named 'headliners' and they were the special guests ... .and that is why, Friday morning 9.30am we'll be on the phone trying to buy a ticket.... and while we're waiting, if enough of you request it, then I'll trot out my story again, of how little old Mathew from Dodgy christened Ian Brown, 'King Monkey'.....

    So till next time, feel free to keep spreading the word about Dodgy, with your help we can start making things better.
    As Ian Brown said at the press conference - "for positive thinkers everywhere"