I’m very excited to be at last be able to announce this officially!
(see press release below)
This is all down to everyone buying Eat Junk last Christmas and the lovely Lesley Bleakley at Beggars who runs the Arkive label there. I’ve been working with her closely now on making this happen since last January. Right from the off she wanted to make it a special release and not a straight ‘best of’ as she felt that wouldn’t be the right way to represent the band and what we had done with Beggars and in the years after.
We had our first meeting in Nottingham last January and since then we have hammered out this release together but it’s her that’s really made it happen and I owe her many many thanks. It’s been such fun working with her and the label again and she probably only had to tell me to fuck off about 150 times as I waffled on endlessley about wanting to change the world…
SIX . BY SEVEN
Reissue classic album The Closer You Get
On double LP with Peel Sessions
Plus release Six By Seven Greatest Hits CD
Via Beggars Arkive on 17 February 2017
4 March 2017 – The Maze, Nottingham (Sold Out)
11 March 2017 – The Garage, London
Nottingham’s finest rock export Six By Seven are set to release a double vinyl reissue of their 2000 classic The Closer You Get, with an additional LP of Peel Sessions and B-sides, as well as a Greatest Hits CD, both to be released via Beggars Arkive on 17 February 2017. To coincide with the releases, the band will be bringing together their original line-up for the first time in sixteen years for a triumphant return to the stage with a special show at The Maze in Nottingham on 4 March (which is now sold out) as well a one-off London show at The Garage on 11 March.
Despite heaping praise on Six by Seven’s breakthrough second album The Closer You Get, the press seemed confused as to how to categorise them. The band straddled a fine line between post-Brit Pop, British rock and a much edgier kind of punk. Inspired by the Pistols and the Stranglers as well as US bands such as Sonic Youth and Mercury Rev, Six By Seven consciously wanted to write songs that would get played on the radio, as Chris Olley explains: “We wanted to fill a gap I think, fill it with the sort of music we would like to hear and buy ourselves; sort of Captain Beefheart doing pop.”
Mixing misanthropic lyrics with Olley’s distinctive vocal style, the music was underpinned by malevolent, slow-burning guitars, creating a menacing, dense wall of sound. Chris Olley continues; “There is a great sense of vitriol running through The Closer You Get both musically and lyrically.” Journalist Sharon O’Connell commented in her review for Mojo; “Few bands now have the courage to make noise as meaningful as this; it’s like warming your heart against a limited nuclear strike.”
Back in 2000 it didn’t seem like the country was ready for Six By Seven’s brand of politically aware, angry and astute rock’n’roll. Whilst Olley was singing about junk food culture, unexploded mines, fake success and “this country’s dirty and depressing”, others were embracing Blair’s Britain. People had it “good” and Coldplay were about to become the biggest band in the world. It seemed like no one understood where Six By Seven were coming from. As Olley explains: “To us it felt like everything was being diluted, merged and homogenised.” He talks about the sense of isolation they felt from the rest of the music industry: “We actually felt quite helpless and not part of anything, it was almost like we were in our own broken dream, stranded on an island because we had pulled up the drawbridge.”
With everything going on in the world currently, the time is ripe to experience these impassioned songs again. The idea for the reissues came following a fan’s campaign to get the song “Eat Junk Become Junk” to a Christmas number one after Shaun Keaveney played it on his breakfast show last year, knocking both Slade and The Darkness off the number one spot for a brief moment during Christmas week in 2015. Following this flurry of interest, Olley and Lesley Bleakley from Beggars Arkive decided to reintroduce the band’s classic sophomore album The Closer You Get to a modern audience, as part of a carefully curated reissue package.
The Closer You Get reissue will be presented in all its former glory, without being remastered or tampered with, and will sound the same as it did when it originally came out. In homage to Beggars Arkive’ re-release of Olley’s heroes and labelmates, Mercury Rev’s Yerself Is Steam, the additional LP will be polybagged together with the album. It will feature Six By Seven’s third Peel session on one side and various b-sides and other Peel sessions on the other. The “Greatest Hits” CD will include a celebratory selection of songs from across their seven studio albums.
Having formed in 1994, Six By Seven have gone through various incarnations, with the only constant being singer and composer Chris Olley. They recorded three albums for Mantra Records via Beggars Banquet – The Things We Make (1998), The Closer You Get (2000), The Way I Feel Today (2002) – toured extensively, had two hit singles – “Candlelight” (1998) and “I O U Love” (2002), recorded five Peel Sessions and appeared on Later With Jools Holland (December ’98).
Since the release of 2004’s sixbyseven:04, Chris Olley has been releasing Six by Seven albums with various musicians independently through his own label Saturday Night Sunday Morning Records, which is distributed worldwide through London’s Cargo Records.
Six By Seven are set to perform gigs with their original line-up. Joining Chris Olley is James Flower (keyboards), Sam Hempton (guitar), Paul Douglas (bass) and Chris Davis (drums). Their sold-out hometown show at The Maze in Nottingham on 4 March will consist of two sets, starting with ten songs from their rich and varied catalogue and followed by a performance of The Closer You Get in its entirety. The London show on 11 March will be a “greatest hits” set, comprised of fan favourites and will be the last chance to see the band in this configuration.
The Closer You Get Re-release
1. Eat Junk Become Junk
2. Sawn Off Metallica T-Shirt
3. Ten Places to Die
4. New Year
5. One Easy Ship Away
6. My Life Is an Accident
1. Don’t Wanna Stop
2. Slab Square
3. England and a Broken Radio
4. Another Love Song
5. Overnight Success
6. 100 & Something Foxhall Road
SIDE A – 3rd Peel Session
- Another Love Song
- England And A Broken Radio
- Sawn Off Metallica T Shirt
- Overnight Success
- Get A Real Tattoo (B-Side)
- Oh! Dear (1st Peel Session)
- I’m Wide Open (B-Side)
six by seven Greatest Hits (CD ONLY)
- A Beautiful Shape
- For You
- IOU Love (Single Edit)
- So Close
- Catch The Rain
- New Year
- Eat Junk Become Junk
- Bochum (Light Up My Life)
- Oh! Dear
- Always Waiting For…
- European Me (live Student Radio Session)