Sunday, 29 April 2012

New single and tracks from Dodgy, Levon Helm RIP 'Only A Heatbeat'

A double dip recession? Really? And we had so much faith in those boys. Of course there is a track on the new Dodgy album 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' where Nige sings
    "I thought we'd seen the back of you"
expect 'Back Of You' to be trotted out a few times this Summer and we expect most of you to be singing along.

WELL, how are you? I ask that, because your happiness is of interest to us, so much so that we have endeavoured to make this Summer the busiest in the history of Dodgy. There are more dates to announce but we promise* that nobody in this country will have had to have travelled more than 50 miles^ to see the Dodgy flame live this year. From Shetlands to the Scillies. Dodgy are nailing Britain.
We can make this declaration because since the album release we have purposely had a fallow period
    fal·low/ˈfalō/  :
    Adjective: Plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility .

Yes, we've stayed inside during the April showers and now, as the first signs of life are beginning to sprout, we're poking our heads out the door. As mentioned in the previous post, we have decided to release a second 'single' from the album, which will be 'Only A Heartbeat' and can exclusively reveal here the artwork. Once again a brilliant piece of work from Russell Hardman.
'Only A Heartbeat' being an emotional song ( you can still check out the short interview clip we did for it on YouTube ) we thought we would try and deliver some appropriate B-sides. Are they called 'B-sides' any more? Bonus tracks? Extra Tracks - that sounds like something Tesco might do and hey! they're not doing very well at the moment.
Anyway, last week we decamped to Vale Studios for two days; the glorious boys from The Smoke Feathers said it was a great place to record and they weren't wrong. The studio is based in a tiny village called Fladbury, near Evesham that has NOTHING....apart from a couple of pubs and a butchers that sold the best pork pies in the world. I know what you're thinking - NO jokes about the drummer and pies please! Word is obviously getting out about the studio as they had @TheUnthanks in straight after us, which when I heard gave me quite a little quiver in my stomach (no, it wasn't the pies) as I have rather a thing for those sisters. Lovely, earthy women, singing beautiful harmonies hits me somewhere deep, and apparently so for Nigel also, as we found out the next day when we watched @thestaves, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Going into the studio, we start to pick up on word on Twitter that our favourite singer and drummer from one of our favourite bands, Levon Helm from The Band, was not in good shape, so we decided to change our well made plans and record a cover of a Band song. Afficianados of Dodgy will know that we have already covered 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' - noone can remember if we ever recorded it properly (there might a bootleg somewhere) but we certainly played it live, probably on the 1996 tour. It all got spooky when we got back into the control room after we'd put down the final take of  a version of The Band's 'Long Black Veil' to find out the sad news that he'd passed away. Apparently he'd been in a lot of pain for a long time so it was probably a welcome release. Hope you like our version, Mr Miller's one take guitar is rather splendid.
The other track Dodgy recorded is 'Pitcheroak', a song that Nigel wrote with a bunch of pupils he has taught at Pitcheroak School in Redditch and the kids who took part in the writing process have a whole range of special needs from severe autism, reading and talking difficulties. They were inspirational and the most caring young people we have ever worked with. The song is written especially for the school, the kids wrote the lyrics and if you listen to the track some of them are singing on it with us, all proceeds from the song will be going to the school to help fund further arts based projects.
You should be able to download the new songs from iTunes and other usual suspects from June 11th.
'Only A Heartbeat' (new single version) / Long Back Veil / Pitcheroak

After we said our goodbyes to Vale on Saturday morning, we jumped into the Dodgymobiles and headed up to Leeds for our first gig of the day outside @JumboRecords as part of Record Store Day. We don't necessarily enjoy these daytime 'in-stores', (as they're called in the 'biz'), as shopping malls and afternoons are not conducive for rock and roll (see Spinal Tap and Artie Fuffkin) but we had a good old time here, probably spurred on by the hearty crowd that turned up and also by the promise of @thestaves performance straight after us. If you've ever heard four more beautifully blended voices since the Beach Boys then please let us know. We even made a special trip to the @poundland across the way during their set to buy a bag of Fox's Butterscotch especially to offer them after their performance.
Only one of them wanted one.
We finished the day the best way we know how, by playing a cracking little acoustic gig at the Bohemia Project in Accrington, where Long Black Veil went down as well with the crowd as the phenomenal Mexican meal did with us that the promoter and 'our Julie' made for us.

So, the batteries have been regenerated and we're all awake now and RARING to go. Keep a look out for the updates on the LIVE page on the website and please keep sending us messages and emails.

Look after each other cuz it's plainly obvious that THOSE fuckers won't

As I'm writing this @WhisperingBob OBE  is on the radio. He's opened his show appropriately, in many many ways, with Bob Dylan's 'Rainy Day Women #12 & #35' which Dodgy have also covered, a bunch of other Band and Levon Helm stuff, including 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' and what's this...? Ah.. @thestaves - perfect. Can't wait til we meet up with Bob and do the session for his show in July ;-)

A last reminder that we'll be in London on Tuesday (May 1st) doing 'A Word In Your Ear' for @TheWordMagazine at The Lexington and got to give a shout out for Dumbfest at the Phoenix Arts Centre, Bordon in Hampshire where we play next Saturday (5th May) should be a great event and all proceeds go the Teenage Cancer Trust


* sort of
^maybe 100

Monday, 16 April 2012

A Word In Your Ear from Dodgy - New Single and Record Store Day

OH WELL, Easter is over, chocolate eggs eaten and the lord is all risen like a well baked cake. It's been a good time for Dodgy to regroup, refresh and review the situation and consider the next phase of Dodgy 2012 - and exciting it is too.
We have already achieved much more than we expected with the release of a new Dodgy album and 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place', continues to stand it's ground. We probably have you to thank for that and word continues to spread as day by day we get an email or see a complementary tweet, so all good there.

After a lot of discussion, feedback from you and talks with our label, it seems that everyone agrees that the next step would be to release a new 'single' from the album - but how do you pull a track from it's comfortable little space that's been made for it in the album track listing?
Well the answer is, that first you dust it down, change it around a bit and make sure everyone thinks it's up to the job. As to choosing which track, we also took into consideration the feedback we have been getting and which song(s) have been going down well and getting the best response from the live shows.
Now we can reveal exclusively, that the song that's been chosen as the second single from 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' is (insert fanfare)..... 'Only A Heartbeat'.
For the new single version we had another listen to the master tapes and sent them back over with our ideas to Matt Pence in Texas, who has revisited the track and done a sterling job - we are sure you will agree when you hear it.

We are currently finalising a May release date for the single (we'll let you know when actual release date confirmed). Now that the decision has been made there's lots to do. We'll be going into Vale Studios as soon as we can to work on a couple of new tracks to go with it, we've asked Russell (Hardman) to do the artwork and hopefully there'll be a short film/video to go with it. As these things happen we'll let you know - Hey, Dodgy have a new single coming - spread the news.
First stop for the new single will be getting it on the radio and as we speak, promo copies are making their way to all DJs, producers and radio shows now.
If you want to be one of the first people to hear the single and request your favourite DJ to play it then send us an email to to let us know which DJ(s) you'll be contacting and we will send you a personal link to hear the new single.

IN MAY there are a whole bunch of gigs coming up with Dodgy playing live including a trip to Scotland and even the Shetland Isles. We are also hoping to pop into our favourite T-Pot Studios with Robin Evans who worked on the album with us, to do a bit of sneaky recording (might be a surprise in store when you hear the results of that one)..
As we mentioned in the previous blog, it all kicks off with a special London gig for Word Magazine, headlining their 'A Word In Your Ear' night at The Lexington on Tuesday May 1st. Just added to the line-up is Boo Hewerdine and Brooks Williams - Boo Hewerdine was the creative force behind the band The Bible and he's hooked up with American slide guitarist Brook Williams for his new album 'State Of The Union' - so should make for a very special night.
For tickets for A Word In Your Ear' with Dodgy click HERE
And don't forget RECORD STORE DAY on Saturday April 21st when it's Dodgy Live In Leeds.

This is a worldwide event to support record shops. We were hoping to release an exclusive limited edition picture disc of the album for RSD but unfortunately time and practicalities got the better of us - Russell even did the artwork and sent it through to us for approval, to say it would have been a thing of great beauty is an underestimate (gets teary) but unfortunately it won't be hitting the shelves in the foreseeable future. So, instead we are going to be playing a special live acoustic gig at Jumbo Records in Leeds, one of the best independent record shops in the country, alongside a whole bunch of cool bands including The Staves. Then after that we'll be jumping from Yorkshire to Lancashire to play another acoustic gig in the evening in Accrington at Bohemia.

This post is written from the drum seat of Dodgy and as drummer I get invited to quite a few drum related events, which I don't tend to turn up to because I don't generally like drummers, thugs, the lot of them. But I decided to go to the Zildjian Artist's day at the Hard Rock Cafe in London, mainly because it was the Easter holidays and it was somewhere exciting to take my boy as an alternative to the motorway services + I'm sure there would be free stuff (a T shirt and sticks, thank you Zildjian). Anyway, I met a very nice chap who has got perhaps the cushiest job in Drummingham - he's the drummer for Blood Brothers in the West End and has been for 21 years!!!
Oh giz a job! I could do that!
He very kindly got us some discount tickets (they don't do free tickets anymore apparently, EVEN for me). I was told about the brilliance of Blood Brothers by one of the Dodgy Dollies, Ann (her and her daughter make a pilgrimage once a year) and she wasn't wrong. Written by Willy Russell who wrote Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine and is basically a heartbreaking story about class based in his native Liverpool, which as you probably know, Dodgy have had a lifelong affinity and love for. As musicals go, it's probably one of the best and well worth a pop if you've never dipped your toe in those waters - 24 years in the West End, they must be doing something right
Finally a word up for Graham Le Saux ( @graemelesaux14 ) and his mates. Those that follow us on Twitter might have caught some of the banter between Dodgy and Graham (he likes the album apparently) and now he's about to undertake a mammoth project as he's one of the key riders on a charity bicycle ride from Athens to London on behalf of Cancer Research and Great Ormond St. It's 2800km and takes place between April 23rd and May 18th. You can donate and support Graham and the team by going to the following web page

'Only A Heartbeat' x x