Taken from the Maureen Tucker garage rock EP out now on Bandcamp HERE
Taken from the Maureen Tucker garage rock EP out now on Bandcamp HERE
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Last year was a big year in my life, largely because I instigated so much change in it. I said goodbye to my immediate family and left them for good, I also moved on from many friends. If you want things to change, you have to start by changing yourself and that is often where many people falter, because it’s hard to do. It’s amazing how quickly toxic people distance themselves from you if you say it like it is. The biggest mistake I have made in my life is letting people stay in my life far longer than they deserve. Last year I changed that. It’s hard at first but it’s for the better. You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions. Onwards and upwards!!
Last year me and the lovely Lesley at Beggars [Banquet] Arkive instigated and hatched a plan to release a ‘Greatest Hits’ CD, a film and ‘The Closer You Get’ on vinyl with Peel Sessions and B-Sides. Through her persistence and my cooperation we made it happen and we got two reformed gigs off the ground too. Was it worth reforming the band? Yeah, for the music and to help Beggars sell some records. Was it worth going back to some of the old guys in the band? Nope, but it was worth doing to just become friends with Chris Davis again and to start making music with him again.
six by seven at The Garage by Paul Maps
It’s always worth trying something because you never know what might come of it! So, then we managed to pull another Maze gig off in Nottingham which was even better than the reformation gigs. A new sound with two drummers and two guitars and two Marshall stacks. It rocked and we are doing it all again in London at the Borderline on April 14th with more gigs to follow in Nottingham and Bristol later this year.
Last year I also travelled to Eastern Europe and visited many places but none struck me more than Auschwitz. Auschwitz was overwhelming. I cried in one of the (prison) blocks, I couldn’t help myself, I had to walk out and hide my face. It was a room full of children’s drawings that finally did it, drawings found at concentration camps and recreated by an artist with charcoal and pencil on the walls. What made it so poignant was that the drawings were presented at the kids height. The subject matter bared witness to what these kids observed and reflected in their drawings. It was heart-breaking. If anything, it showed how they adapted to the unimaginable, it’s what kids do.
You read about places and historical events in books yet nothing is quite like visiting them. I never understood the scale and enormity of the Normandy Landings until I went there. Auschwitz and particularly Auschwitz Birkenau – the extermination camp which held over 20.000 people and at it’s height murdered 6000 people per day – are almost too much to comprehend. Everyone should take a pilgrimage there. I have spent a lifetime trying to understand the Holocaust, going to Auschwitz finally made me come closer than ever before.
This year I also made a new friend in Michael, a Nuremburger who we met up with on our travels this summer and who did an amazing job of showing us around all the old National Socialist sights in Nuremburg. He took us around in his car and knew where to go and park the car and exactly what to show us. It’s a difficult thing still to this day as no one knows what to do with some of these old Nazi buildings. A lot of it you wouldn’t know was there or the significance it has unless a local person guides you. Here are some pictures of me standing on the same spot where Hitler once stood.
The best bit about Nuremberg was seeing the courtroom where the Nuremburg Trials happened. This courtroom (Saal 600) is still in use today for murder trials. We didn’t know if we could get in but we went to the court clerk and told him we had come from England and he said: “Ahh the land of the Catweazle! I love Catweazle.” Because of this he let us in! He told us: “There is a session in progress but go up now and just walk in as they are not quite ready to start.”
We walked up there and it took ages to get to it because the building is so big. It was eerie going in and seeing it for real with an actual murder trial about to start. We spoke to the lawyer who was in the room and waiting for the trial to begin and he told us that it sent a chill down his spine every time he had to work in this room. The policeman who was there was very nice and let me sit in the same place where Goring sat during the trial. Later we went to the museum next door but no one could enter the courtroom because it was in session, so we were very lucky. (Poor Catweazle died this year btw.).
The museum was outstanding. For many years the Nuremburg Trials were forgotten and it’s only recently since the war in Yugoslavia that the significance of what happened here is appreciated again in world history. In this room a precedent was set by which people who committed crimes against humanity in war where accountable by law for their actions.
This little sign was pointed out to us by the lawyer in the room. He told us to go and read the little brass plaque on the door just to my left in the picture above. The door is a door to an elevator and on the sign it says: “ELEVATOR! Weight capacity 650 KG or 8 people.”
The funny bit is below that. If you translate it, it basically just says: “This lift is only to be used with a guide.” However, the German word meaning “leader” or “guide” is of course: Führer. So the bright spark who worded this plaque has given it a double meaning. It also reads:
“Only use if you are being accompanied by the Führer.”
This is the door all the war criminals and Hitlers cronies would have been led in and out of the courtroom through. Who says the Germans don’t have a sense of humour.
Other places we visited where Prague which was very disappointing. It looks nice but it’s an expensive tourist trap. Katowice, in southern Poland, a mining town where my German Grandparents originally came from and Zagreb. I was amazed whist travelling through Eastern Europe at how quickly the Soviet-ness has been wiped out, except Zagreb! Christ what a shit-hole.
Anyway, onto this year. First thing we’ve done is successfully fund a Kickstarter campaign to record an album at Rockfield Studios. The campaign ends tonight at 8PM so this is your last chance to pledge and be sure to get the album. (Pledging now is more or less a pre-order for an album which you will then get at least month or so before anyone else) Pledge HERE before it’s too late!
Thanks to anyone who, last year, has bought something, pledged, come to a gig or helped in any way to keep me and six by seven going. I’m hoping to build on the live aspect of the band much more this year and also release a couple of books about the band.
This year for me will mainly be about not giving a fuck anymore. That is to say: I’m not going to get worked up about people I can’t change. I’m going to try and control only what I can and let everything else go.
I’ve lost my ability to give a damn. If you find it, there’s no need to return it. Go ahead and keep it and see if it works for you.
Happy New Year, CHRIS
Just got time to blog this as I’m off to post office now to send all the MuZiK KluB’s out. Sorry again for the delay whilst waiting for these digipaks to come from the printers. They look amazing. Very..er…Pink Floyd 😉
This album comes free with release 51. Less than 20 left…grab em HERE
six by seven will be playing a unique one off show at The Borderline in London on Saturday 14th April.
This show will be an album launch for the record we are making at Rockfield Studios in mid February.
The Borderline has a capacity of 300 so this show will probably sell out, tickets are on sale today, grab one quick to make sure you don’t miss this spectacular sonic assault with two drummers! The recent show in Nottingham was rocking and we lost count how many people who had seen us loads of times before said this was the best six by seven show they had seen. It was certainly the best gig I’ve ever done. Get your tickets HERE
So far we are up to 95 backers on Kickstarter for the Rockfield Album. Please pledge to make sure you get a copy of this album. If we don’t get more than 150 pledges I’m only going to make 300 vinyl. After sending all the Kicksarter vinyl rewards out we will sell the remaining copies at the gig in April and then in the shops in May (reason for this below in red). They will be gone very very quickly.
If you pledge, it will be like a pre-order and you will definitely get a copy and it will be sent to you in March 2018. So it makes sense to pledge! Also, if I get more than 150 pledges I’ll be able to make 500 and put the record on coloured vinyl and generally make it a bit more spesh! So please pledge by clicking HERE.
The reason the Rockfield album won’t be out until May 2018 is because of Record Store Day when we will be releasing a double vinyl deluxe edition of six by seven:04. This will be available on record store day in April on red and green heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve and cost just £14.99 on the day. It will be limited to 500 copies and is being pressed up right now.
Kickstarter is great, the money goes to the band and enables us to keep going and do things like play at The Borderline in London 😉
So please pledge for the vinyl and support us by coming to The Borderline in London in April.
Don’t forget that there is a one off MuZiK KluB Special with two albums worth of music out now….get it HERE.
Peace And Love CHRIS
I’ve put out a MuZiK KluB release, a one off, it’s number 51. The music that’s on the main CD was not really suitable for the bandcamp page and I didn’t want to throw it away because it’s pretty good as it was recorded in my studio with drums, bass and guitar and more guitars and vocals overdubbed later. I was working on an album and we were just playing and jamming tracks down with vocals and finished lyrics. I was listening to a lot of Thurston Moore and Can and the record is very groovy with chimey guitars but it wasn’t the sound I was looking for so halfway through the overdubbing I abandoned it.
I’ve also included 5 extra songs with those abandoned album recordings which were recorded over the last 3 months or so.
There is also a second CD with the release. I’ve had some digipak CD’s manufactured of my solo album ‘Sign On You Crazy Diamond.’ (The picture above is a mock up, I’ll put some pictures of the actual stock up when I get them delivered this week)
I released this album quite a few years ago through bandcamp but then deleted the Chris Olley bandcamp page and forgot about the album. I stumbled across it recently and listened to it and was surprised at how good it sounded. It was made on a laptop and has a very Kraut feel to it and a few songs are in German too.
Anyway, it’s another MuZiK KluB release! I’ll be sending them out around the middle of this week. Click HERE to buy.