Thursday, 19 January 2012

New Dodgy single 'What Became Of You' is good enough - Official

Can't say we're not chuffed that momentum seems to be building around the new Dodgy single 'What Became Of You' the first track to be released from the new album. We always appreciated that it might be what we believe is termed in the business as 'a grower' - one radio producer has apparently said to our radio promoter "well, it's not good enough is it?" If you were being picky, you might think they were playing the teacher and reading out our report
"Clark, Miller, Priest - it's just not good enough, IS IT?" ..
"no sir, Mr. Producer, sir" *looking down sheepishly at our scuffed shoes*
"you could DO BETTER, boys"
Well actually, we think we have done rather well judging from the other feedback so far and obviously what he is referring to is the past Dodgy single 'Good Enough'. Though we are very proud of that song, it did cause us some, albeit positive, problems when it was originally around. It was sooo ubiquitous on radio over the summer of 1996, that the release of the follow up single 'If You're Thinking Of Me' was put back and put back, because radio stations didn't want to stop playing 'Good Enough', bless em, in the end it was released in November, if we'd known at the time or been more in control we'd have delayed it even more, overdubbed a few sleigh bells and released it as 'If Your Thinking Of Me This Christmas' as a Christmas single. Alright to think of these things after the event.

Before anyone has had a chance to say "well it's not a roof top in Jamaica, or a beach in Morocco, is it?" We'd like to say that the video for 'What Became Of You' has certainly helped people get a handle on the single and proving popular on tha youtube thing, here it is if you haven't seen it yet. All your comments about the video on You Tube and Facebook etc. are appreciated, the more the merrier.

We have done our first big radio session this time round. Back in the day, Dodgy did a load of them, especially on tour abroad. The usual tour routine of drive, soundcheck, drink, gig, drink was usually punctuated with a few radio interviews and sessions and you soon forget that you are being broadcast to thousands of people when you do it everyday.
But when it's Radio 2, the biggest station in the UK and also one of your favourite stations then we got very excited and a little nervous. Bless.
Going into Radio 2 is a bit like going to the zoo. You shuffle around these corridors past these big reinforced glass windows, peeping in, hoping to see a bored wild animal. Or a famous DJ, or indeed both. Or maybe a mixture of both. Spotting Tony Blackburn in full flow behind the glass on Saturday filled me with the same excitement at seeing a rare White Rhino at Dudley Zoo when I was a kid. Especially as they didn't have White Rhinos at Dudley Zoo. We were on Dermot O'Learys show with Cerys Matthews sitting in for the absent Dermot - as it happens we go way back with Cerys, including her band Catatonia being guests on one of the Dodgy Big Top Circus Tent shows, in Exeter, where we also booked Muse for our 'new band' stage. Yu can return the favour any time you like chaps. We haven't moved.
We were briefed beforehand that as well as the single we would have to play a cover version, prompting some frenzied learning and run throughs of the song backstage at the Bromsgrove gig. Well, one run through anyway. We chose Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People cuz Nige had heard them first on Dermot's show and liked them, helped by the fact that they did a cover of a Neil Young tune, also his daughter is a fan. It seemed like a good song to cover because a) it's not a bad tune and b) because Foster The People have had 55 million hits on YouTube and figured if we could maybe attract 0001% of their fans with our homage then we'd be happy.

Thanks to Cerys for being as charming and lovely talking to us on Radio 2 as you could ever hope someone to be.

We got back in the gig saddle, leaping into 2012 in style last week. A wee semi-impromptu-acoustic jobbie at The Boogaloo Bar in North London, which coincided nicely with quite a few press features focusing on the fact that the bar had been named one of the Top 10 Bars and pubs in Great Britain. Us playing there coincided with Thierry Henry's return to Arsenal prompting an on the spot bit of songwriting from Nigel.
Following The Boogaloo there were two full band gigs in arts centres - Arlington and Bromsgrove. The last one was a bit of a homecoming for me and Nige as we met in Bromsgrove 26 years ago when he joined the band I was in called Four of which the two other original members of said band came down to the gig and brought some early demos. Oh my word - "from my cold, dead hands" as Charlton used to say.. before his hands went cold and dead.....

Thursday, 5 January 2012

2012 starting with a Dodgy Secret and Twittering as we mean to go on

2012.. a New Year; we've made thirty three and a third resolutions which just about equates with the speed of the revolutions that the vinyl version of our new Dodgy album Stand Upright In A Cool Place will be spinning at - it really is now just 7 weeks until the album is finally released and we can't wait for people to hear it. Orders are coming in thick and fast apparently via

We're not wasting any time and will be beginning the year with what we'll call an 'under the radar' appearance, another live preview of the new album in London of the semi-acoustic variety. Dodgy are rubbish at keeping secrets but here's the deal on this one - we've got a major London album launch gig coming up at The Bush Hall on February 22nd. If you purchase your tickets for Bush Hall this week or have already got them then just let us know the ticket number or confirmation code and we'll let you know the full details about where Dodgy are playing next Monday (Jan 9th) and we'll make sure you can get in on our special guest list for a fiver. Can't say fairer than that. Very intimate.

It was nice to get a mention in the pre-Christmas edition of The Guardian Guide
- although OK, you could smell the sarcasm as they bunched us in with a few other bands releasing albums after a break. Slightly annoying though was that they managed to avoid properly linking Dodgy to whereas most of the rest of the article was studiously linked to relevant websites... don't worry, we expected the cynicism from some quarters and are confident that the music will do the talking once they actually get to hear it. Though I must admit, being bunched in with NOFX and Garbage is no bad thing really.

So New Year's resolutions. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with all the developments that come with being in a band. This time round we have been advised to Twitter, Blog, Facebook and Tumble (might have made that last one up) in order to ensure we're 'in the game' apparently - and there's silly me thinking all I had to do was help write a bunch of songs and bang a few drums. So before I go off on one I'll come clean with you, the short version of this blog is FOLLOW @DodgyUK on Twitter, sorry.. PLEASE, follow @DodgyUK on Twitter - we keep communications short, sweet and relevant and you'll get all the Dodgy news and gossip first.
This might be one of my own 2012 New Year resolutions, or I might have been sat down in a chair and threatened ...  I'm not sure but whichever it is, in 2012 Dodgy are going to try and get to grips with Twitter.
We can add a bit of personal historical context here; just up to and before we started writing and recording the new Dodgy album I was involved in managing bands amongst other projects (hoped you checked out the Tribute bands podcast/radio show I contributed as part of the Dodgy Advent Calender) and it seems only yesterday we were attending meetings with A&R executives who would try and justify going to less gigs to check out new music as it was easier for them to check out stuff on MySpace - anyone remember MySpace? .. and I was quietly informed that if a band didn't have a healthy quota of MySpace Friends then record companies wouldn't even consider signing them. All this seems to have gone one step further now, listening to the radio the other day and in the midst of a conversation about a new website called Live&Loud a representative from the A&R community was on and actually said, that for a band to get signed now "they should be trending well on Twitter"
- What? WHAT?? ...At least on MySpace there is/was some music to listen to....

So applying the principle "if you haven't bought a ticket you won't win the lottery" (or if you haven't got a ticket for Bush Hall you won't know where the secret gig is) @DodgyUK Twitter account is up and running. What use is it? Well, it's instantaneous communication, people can be informed immediately of developments in the world of Dodgy and we can sign up to follow other 'interesting' people on Twitter and check out what they are Tweeting? then if they are expounding words of absolute wisdom or information that is essential to a Dodgy follower's well-being at that very moment, well we can press the 'retweet' button and that will go to all our 'followers' too. The big question is, how many potential Dodgy fans are signed up to Twitter and how many new converts are we likely to reach and how do we reach them?

At current count we only have 500 or so people following @DodgyUK - when this blog is finished we might even close our eyes and wish it over the 600 mark... fingers crossed eh? It can be sometimes dispiriting though, because it's always interesting just to check out 'who' is actually following you and sometimes you look, only to discover that a bunch of ladies have joined up to follow you, looking very much like their reputations are in dispute, offering weird and wonderful services, usually in $ dollars.
I have mentioned the mighty Grandmaster Gareth before, front man and genius behind the band Misty's Big Adventure - after he came to see us near Birmingham on our tour last year it was nice to see that of the half dozen or so new Twitter followers we had after that gig, he was one. However,  a minute either side of the time he signed up were two very orange buxom ladies from California. It gave the impression that Gareth might have left our gig with one of these ladies on each arm and when inside a limo outside perhaps, he insisted they all gather round the smart phone and Twitter up to follow @dodgyuk - nice image but obviously a long way from the truth. Who are these people? Spammers obviously because their Twitter accounts seem to get removed as soon as they arrive.
Personally it's extremely heart warming to know we can follow the Twittering of a few of our favourite bands, comedians and venues; the likes of Sarah Millican and my personal favourite Brian Blessed and it seems that Twitter is the main means of communication from Dexys Midnight Runners at the moment, who also have a new album  ("a few tweaks and it should be there" via Twitter) out next year.
So come on Twitter, 2012, let's have it - let's be trendy and get trending..

Don't forget to let us know when you've got your tickets for Dodgy at The Bush Hall on February 22nd and if you're in London ... see you next Monday....