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

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to these B sides! Even though i will have to download them in mp3 format. Maybe you guys can upload a CD cover for us to download and print out so we can make our own CD single!