Penultimate MuZiK KluB 49 available HERE
Penultimate MuZiK KluB 49 available HERE
New vinyl album arrived just now so hopefully I will get them in the post tonight so you get them for the weekend. For anyone who didn’t pledge, now is your chance to get a copy of this awesome record HERE (buy today if you want it for the weekend!)
Happy solstice (whatever that means).
There is a documentary coming out in two weeks time about six by seven. It’s still being made so we can’t say too much about it yet. It’s got some notable people in it and they filmed me for 3 days around Nottingham six by seven haunts and in my studio and the old Square Centre Studios where we recorded quite a bit of stuff including The Closer You Get.
Dunno about you but I can’t wait to see it. Hopefully there will be a premiere in Nottingham or London.
I couldn’t give a fuck..no, I really couldn’t. People call me prolific but I’m not really. I just got the new MuZiK KluB Cd’s delivered for next months release..number 44. Hang on that’s nearly four years I’ve been doing this; doesn’t make me prolific though, all I’m doing is sharing it…for a price. That price makes it quite unavailable to a lot of people. That’s the way I want it though, you can download for free and I give enough free stuff away in a year too. People have chastised me for this ‘elitist pricing’. I don’t care. If you can’t afford it and don’t want to pay £20 then don’t buy it. BTW. It’s still £20 4 years later so it’s actually dropped in price. Truth is, I steadily sold more so I never needed to put the price up, as my costs went up I covered that cost. That’s art for the people…people!
So what do you do? You get up and go to work and do a job for most of the day? Yep, probably. I do this you know. I start writing songs at about 7AM, in bed. I like to write lyrics first thing in the morning before my mind has been tampered with. I don’t listen to the radio anymore and try and stay away from TV. All that stuff is designed to misinform you, give you a reality that doesn’t exist and keep you in a state of fear. The other day my Missus was watching something called ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ and how we laughed as they told us the rice we had been eating (for thousands of years) is laced with arsenic. Christ, how did I make it this far? Mummy, I’m scared, the rice might kill me.
I love this story about Andy Warhol and Lou Reed, I don’t know if I got it right but it goes something like this… Andy asks Lou how many songs he’s written today and Lou says something like 5 and Andy says: “God, you’re so lazy, go and write me a song, call it Vicious but make it vicious like a Flower.” You get the idea. So how many songs should you write a day? How many can you write a day…if you’re getting paid. How many did Bacharach and David write in a day in the famous Brill building in New York. I met his publisher, he told me, it was an unbelievably high number.
So if I write one song a day, that’s not hard to do is it? Pick up a guitar, write a song with a plectrum, a pen and a piece of paper. That’s 30 songs a month. Shit! Suddenly I’m not so prolific after all, I’ve become a lazy- arse like Lou and the MuZiK KluB is a slacker.
Next months MuZiK KluB is a corker. There’s something about working in three’s. It sort of free’s you up. One to get started, one to get into and one to get bored by. This is part three and it’s the best one and it’s a double CD release again as I’m going to release another CD of unreleased demo’s too. Sorry, just being a slacker.
Tomorrow, according to Victoria Segal at Q Magazine, it’s officially Flamethrower rock day. That’s what she calls our particular brand of music concerning the six by seven Beggars Arkive re-release and Greatest Hits. It’s coming out tomorrow and BBC 6 music are gonna play us on the Breakfast show. Beggars are working hard to get us ‘album of the day’on 6 music, so when you hear us tomorrow, write to them and tell em you love us and it might just happen. Don’t forget, people power is what made this release happen in the first place. People power keeps the MuZiK KluB going. It’s you who are prolific, not me.
I love you all. Power to the people and art for arts sake and money for Gods sake.
Everyone has a band that has fallen and you’ve ruffled your worried brow in disbelief that more people didn’t sit up and take notice. For me one of those bands was Six By Seven.
Sat between a caustic merge of noise, harsh guitar parts and Chris Olley’s dark lyrics they seemed a given to make a success in the business. Their debut ‘The Things We Make’ came out in 1998 and although it didn’t dent the charts it did lay the groundwork for this, their second album ‘The Closer You Get’ which was initially released in 2000 and is now a re-release in 2017 possibly due to two gigs in March with the original line-up that made the album.
Whilst the band’s debut had a connection, this second album saw the band in a much more buoyant place personified by the opening bars of ‘Eat Junk, Become Junk’ which ended up being worn by Kele from Bloc Party on a t shirt, to such a degree people thought it was from his band. However let’s not take away the awesome power and clean arrangements on ‘Eat Junk…’. The vibrant guitars bounce off each other perfectly whilst Olley tells us that if you “Eat Junk, you become junk, I never broke no law no”. The pace doesn’t let up when ‘Sawn Off Metallic T-Shirt’ hits the lugholes. A song of just over 2 minutes, packed with a breakneck pace and Olley screaming “I’ve got a pretty bad fucking haircut, I’ve got a backseat for a bed”.
There’s a great deal of twitchy band tension on this album and the tightly wound members put this across in their music with the quite brilliant ‘Ten Places To Die’. A slow burner of a track that lights up halfway through and descends into a malaise of cathartic power. ‘New Year’ is of similar intensity but it swoops and soars instead and with Olley’s mainline chorus: I wanna reach out, and I wanna stay, how can I lose, if I refuse to fail”.
The mainframe of Six By Seven’s framework is their ability to create a wall of sound that is so monolithic you haven’t a fucking prayer of climbing over it. Yes it is malevolent at times but it’s also soothingly uplifting and effortlessly cool.
‘My Life Is An Accident’ is more sedate in arrangement but still maintains their trademark menacing aurora. Packed out with layers of alien guitar that brood and brood until they can’t keep a lid on it any further it’s like letting a pack of bulldogs off the leash when the bludgeoning six strings take the centre stage and beat the living shit out of us. In some ways it seems possessed by the atonal noise parts of Sonic Youth’s ‘Diamond Sea’.
Whilst their debut was a masterclass in long songs ‘The Closer You Get’ has its fair share of shorter numbers reflected in the mid to latter part of the album with the high energy ‘Don’t Wanna Stop’ and ‘Slab Square’ both of which clock in at less than three minutes apiece but still ably equipped with enough of a draw to have you fully mesmerised by their output. Olley puts warts and all into his shredding vocal: “I’ll meet you there down in slab square, we’ll make a pair, I wanna shake the sky, C’mon and shake the sky”
It’s lighters ahoy on the mellifluous melancholy of ‘England & A Broken Radio’. Olley’s lyrics are kept lo-fi, seemingly sung through a redundant cassette microphone and accompanied by a metronomic beat and jagged guitar compliments perfectly.
‘Another Love Song’ takes another twist. A plethora of mellow electronic beats are quickly joined up by the soaring keyboard and crashing drums which have the intensity of a man drumming for food. The layers jump up again when the guitars crash in and all in all we have a fucking party. This is the least love song you could ever have. It has no frills, no jolliness, just sheer belligerent parcels of blackness. ‘Overnight Success’ is so similar ilk and maintains a rich high-water mark of output.
The mellowest moment is saved for closer ‘100 And Something Foxhall Road’. The guitars are retired, well almost and replaced by all things percussion and one note keyboard. Olley tells us: “The Dream Is Sweeter Than The Taste”. Maybe he’s right but when he looks back on the back catalogue of Six By Seven he might just scream out this was our best album. ‘The Closer You Get’ is a lost classic and hugely understated. I dare you not to wallow in its simple brilliance.