Author: chrisolley

Artist and musician based in Nottingham, UK

Kickstarter Ends Tomorrow….

Image result for kickstarter logoLAST CHANCE TO PLEDGE!!

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN ENDS TOMORROW AT 11AM

Thank you so much to everyone who has made this gig happen. After the Kickstarter campaign is over, you will be able to buy tickets for the show up until the event or when it sells out, whichever happens first.. but remember, they will cost you more as they will have a booking fee, and you won’t get a free album with your ticket.

The campaign ends tomorrow morning at 11 AM so this is your last chance to get the CD and souvenir programme too. It’s also the last chance to get the brilliant European Me T-shirts.

Thanks again everyone!! We are really looking forward to doing this show for you.
Pledge now…click HERE

Kickstarter Album Track…

 

Here is another track off the Abstraktion 6 album which you can pledge for HERE and will be a free download with every ticket bought for the Maze gig currently on Kickstarter.

It’s a lovely distorted piece of groovy Mu mu mu mu mu Mother Sky…

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR Thanks everyone

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” 
― Sigmund Freud

Dunno about that! Happy New Year to everyone who has helped me out in 2018 and kept me going. I just look at 2019 as another year to make music, write books and blogs and just keep going for as long as I can.

Last year I released the double album Abstraktion 12 which had just 6 songs on it. It was an album me and Chris Davis recorded at Rockfield with Chris Moore and Charlie on the drums. We rehearsed it like crazy, went into the studio with our old friend and top producer Ric Peet and we put 5 tracks down in one take.

There was only one song we had to do twice because we had played it too slowly. One of the songs on the album was a staggering 17:40 while most of the others clocked in at 13 minutes, 9 minutes and 14 minutes. I was always going to edit the songs later but in the end I couldn’t find any parts to cut out because even though the songs were so long, they seemed to flow with a constant unfolding energy. It seemed a shame to disrupt that and once I’d started the editing, where would I end?

What was unique about this album was that it was recording with two drummers. This made the constantly evolving psychedelic freak-outs at the end of songs work. The other thing unique about this record was the fact that after 23 years of using the same guitar on absolutely everything I’ve ever recorded, I tried something different. I had always wanted a Gretsch guitar but these guitars are so expensive that I could never justify getting one. I had ‘Gretsch Country Gentlemen’ in my eBay saved searches for over 8 years and one morning, suddenly, one came up for about £800 cheaper than it should have been and I just happened to have the money at the time. My wife said to me: “If you haven’t bought it by the time I get home I’ll kill you.”

This guitar enabled the Abstraktion 12 album to happen because it has an incredible sustain and dark, full, sound. For the first time in my life I was able to rattle along like a pound-shop Neil Young with all the filth and sustain of Cortez The Killer. Later in the year we also played the album live at The Borderline in London in a nearly two hour show. We had already played the album live once at The Maze in Nottingham before recording it.

My favourite release of the year was the Orange vinyl ‘The World Hates Me And The Feeling Is Mutual.’ This was another album which came about because of the acquisition of another instrument which had been a life-long dream of mine to one day own; a Moog Minimoog. These things are so expensive that I saved for years to buy one. In fact I didn’t so much save but bought and sold things on eBay to make music with and make money out of. Moog had re-issued the Minimoog and I just couldn’t get the colossal £3500 together to get one. Then last January Moog announced that they were going to stop making them. I watched slowly over the next few months as one shop after the other became out of stock. Finally there were 3 left, one in London and two in Holland.

Years ago I had bought a pedal from the shop in Holland and one morning they sent me a discount code of 10% because ‘I hadn’t bought anything in a while.’ It was then that I noticed that the price of the Moogs in Holland had been reduced by £300. I put the 10% code in and realised that if I managed to sell about £800 of stuff on eBay I could actually get one. I phoned the shop in Holland and asked them to give me 3 days to sell stuff and get the money together. I did it, just! About a week later there was a knock on the door and me and Charlie unpacked the Mini-Moog and just sat there looking at it in wonder for about half an hour. We took it into the studio and fired it up and within minutes we were saying: “Shit, listen to this, it’s Autobahn…it’s that Air song, this is that exact sound on that Pink Floyd album…”

The remaining two Moogs went within two weeks and now my machine is already worth £600 more than I bought it for and will continue to go up. But it’s the sound and the ability to make new music that is important. The Moog was an integral part of the sound I created on the album. I made the ‘World Hates Me’ in just 3 days. I synced the Moog to the drums and then added Hammond and vocals. I was having terrible problems with my nose at the time. I couldn’t breathe through it for weeks, then one day it freed itself  up and I went into the studio and recorded all the vocals in about two hours. It then clogged up again and I went to the Doctor and was told I had Chronic Rhinitis and had to take 11 tablets of steroids per day to clear it up. This would take 6 weeks.

By the time my nose opened up again, I had recorded all the guitars and on listening back, I decided to leave the vocals because they sounded so alive and fresh. Bits were out of tune but it didn’t matter. Because of the Rhinitis and having this tiny window to record the vocals in, there was a sense of urgency and longing about the vocals. I sounded like a condemned man desperately trying to get it all out before it was too late. After finishing the tracks of that two day session, I wanted to record more songs for the album but nothing I did worked and I couldn’t get the sound back. Whatever went into that album, it came out fast and disappeared just as quickly. This is what I love (and hate) about music. There is no formula for making it work, there are too many variables, it’s like trying to replay a football match or a game of chess in the same way, you just can’t.

People often email me and say: “I really loved that album you did called ‘blah blah’ can’t you just make another few like that please?” The answer is no. Sometimes I decide to try it. I think to myself that I will write an album like ‘Love And Peace And Sympathy’ again and after about 3 weeks I either have something totally different which I usually end up deleting, or something similar which I think is not as good (which I end up deleting) or I give up and try something else (which normally becomes a good album in itself).

The only thing I do know is that the faster I work, the more interesting the results seem to be. The music just seems to happen in a certain way and the way I do it is to try and experiment by combining different instruments and methods and working within a framework, which has to be limited, and then to work fast. Working this way makes stuff happen.

This year I also did the lyric book ‘The Things I Make’ which I had mixed feelings about as I started it. This looking back thing is not good for the soul. I just don’t think we do ourselves any favours when we look back. Looking back at lyrics and then writing about why you wrote them was terribly weird. However, it was also a way of understanding the things I had written about 20 years before. Once I latched onto that part of the reason for writing the book, it became a worthwhile thing to do.

This year I shall be finishing my autobiography which I am calling ‘Counting Clouds In A Clear Blue Empty Sky’. Half of it is already written in the style of a straight autobiography. However, the first half of the book will just be chapters of individual unconnected stories and anecdotes. You don’t wanna know what school I went to, you wanna know what it was like meeting Debbie Harry on Jools Holland. I’m gonna just go straight in and tell the stories about the band and believe me, they are hilarious, we were truly chaotic. I’ve been making a list of the stories I’m going to tell and I find myself sitting there sniggering to myself as I’m thinking about the things I’m going to write. I’m also going to talk about some serious topics like abuse and coping with narcissism in the book. So its going to be in three parts and be very funny and bitter-sweet and also informative. I’ve no doubt it will be a best seller and I will be able to go and live on an Island somewhere and drink cocktails by the side of the pool for the rest of my life.

Another release I’m looking forward to doing this year is the ‘Das Ist England’ album me and Charlie just recorded at Rockfield with Ric Peet last December. It sounds absolutely fantastic and will be released as two single vinyl albums with the same cover. I’m going to try this through Kickstarter in the coming months and I really hope this works financially because the two albums need to be separate and be together at the same time. This will make sense once you have them and hear them.

The only other thing I have planned this year are two live shows. One at the Maze in Nottingham to play The Things We Make in March and then Glastonbury at the start of the summer. The Maze gig is currently on Kickstarter being funded and has passed it’s goal. Glastonbury….we have played Glastonbury so many times, it’s always been special. I will try to get more shows if I can.

Anyway, this blog has turned into a bit of a Queens speech! All I really wanted to say was thank you. Can I make it through another year? I dunno yet! That’s part of the ‘fun’ of being an artist. Don’t give me an advance, I’d could probably end up spending it on guitars and cocaine and end up watching Bargain Hunt. Planning from one Kickstarter to the other and releasing stuff through Bandcamp is more real. It could collapse anytime but then you could have a steady job and get run over by a bus anytime. Ain’t life great?

Into the New Year….again.

Kickstarter Funded…FREE track…

 

Thanks to everyone who has pledged for the Kickstarter campaign so far. We’ve already crossed the £2000 goal and made the gig a reality in less than 3 days. It’s amazing considering this is traditionally the worst time of year to launch a Kickstarter… DOH!

Here is one of the tracks off the Abstraktion 6 album which will be given away as a free download with each ticket bought for the gig through Kickstarter. The album is already half finished and sounds great and I’ll be removing this track and adding other ones before hopefully putting a medley of all the tracks together to put onto the Kickstarter website. HERE

Thanks again to everyone who has pledged and for those of you who haven’t and want to see this unique gig, please head over and pledge and get your ticket. Don’t forget, if you can’t make the gig and want the album, you can also get the download or physical copy of the CD during the next two weeks before the campaign ends.

Head over to the Kickstarter campaign page to see all the different rewards available.
Click HERE

And remember, if there is a reward there that doesn’t suit your needs, please message me and let me know and I will make it for you.

Thanks again everyone and have a cracking new year tonight. CHRIS

SIX BY SEVEN TO PERFORM THE THINGS WE MAKE ALBUM + MORE

Image result for six by seven the things we make

Please pledge for this Kickstarter to make this gig happen in Nottingham on March 30th. There are loads of things to pledge for including tour memorabilia and white labels + you get a free download album with each ticket. Only 200 tickets are available and this will be a one off show to see six by seven perform their debut album, The Things We Make, in it’s entirety. The band will also play a whole load more songs and there are also a couple of rewards where you can pledge to have the band play your personal favourite song and have it dedicated to you on the night. Go and check out some of the rewards…

PLEASE PLEDGE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN AS WE ARE ALL REALLY WANTING TO DO IT!!

PLEDGE NOW HERE

six by seven- I Believe In Father Christmas

Greg Lake’s song is possibly the best song about Christmas ever written, it’s certainly my favourite.

We recorded this in the middle of Summer for an XFM Christmas compilation CD with all proceeds going to the Big Issue. The CD had some great bands on it like Grandaddy, The Dandy Warhols and The Flaming Lips. Snow Patrol were on it too, before they were famous. It also had the wonderful original Christmas song by Low on it, ‘Just Like Christmas.’

I Believe In Father Christmas is great because it confronts the darker side of Christmas, the commercialisation and the loss of innocence and childhood belief…

 

They said there’ll be snow at christmas
They said there’ll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin’s birth
I remember one christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
’till I believed in the israelite
And I believed in father christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
’till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there’ll be snow at christmas
They said there’ll be peace on earth
Hallelujah noel be it heaven or hell
The christmas you get you deserve