six by seven at The Maze

six by seevn maze photo

I have to say that was the best gig I’ve ever done on Saturday at the Maze. In the past six by seven was very strict and everything was worked out, right down to when we put the fuzzboxes on to create the build ups. People said I looked miserable and scary on stage, but this was because I spent most of my time counting numbers in my head and concentrating like a motherfucker.

Saturday was the opposite of all that; freeform guitar solo’s, huge segue’s with improvised drumming, cue’s for chord changes counted out live and beginnings of songs starting when I came in with the first line of the lyrics. Apart from that, everything was structured, we don’t want to be a jazz band after all. It sounded like Spacemen 3, Stooges, Velvets and Crazy Horse.

I also enjoyed doing the ‘acoustic / stand-up / story-telling’ support slot. Again, everything was pretty random but there was such a great atmosphere that it was easy to do!

It was great meeting people from the mailing list and putting faces to names and addresses, especially Shohei Miyauchi who had come all the way from Japan to see the show. I think best of all was that you made it happen by pledging on Kickstarter.

Rehearsals were also a joy, working with Charlie, Chris Moore and Chris Davis, everyone was so professional at getting this together in just 5 rehearsals. It was hard work and we knew we had to time it just right so that we peaked for the gig. Lets hope we can do some more, everyone in the band is up for it.

1. Got To Find A Way Out Of Here
2. Alone (new song)
3. Well (new song)
4. Mother Of Life
5. Fade Away
6. Cafeteria Rats
7. Flypaper For Freaks
8. Mind (Head-Fuck)

(Acoustic set)

  1. Everything Disappears
  2. All My New Best Friends
  3. Pain
  4. July August Winter
  5. Fighting (song from MuZiK KluB)
  6. 100 & Something Foxhall Road




six by seven show announced


The Maze Nottingham 28th October.

ALL SEATED 100 tickets ONLY includes souvenir programme and exclusive album.
Finally time to announce this show I’ve been working on for a while now!

I wanted to do something different from just the usual gig. This show will be all seated and performed in a unique way.  Everyone who comes in will get a seat and table and a full colour souvenir programme / book (signed by the band) + a full length album which will be exclusive and only available at this show.

The show will be in two parts. Part one: I’ll be performing acoustically on an electric guitar, telling some cool stories and reading out the odd poem!
Part two will be the full band, with Chris Davis. The band will have two drummers including Charlie and guest musicians. Sadly, Sam and Paz declined to do the show but it’s great that Chris is doing it. As it turned out, me and Chris were the only members who carried on releasing music after six by seven and for me Chris was always an integral part of the sound of the band, not just his playing but also his beliefs and attitudes towards music.

It will be new and interesting and extremely loud and melodic, everything you would expect from a classic six by seven gig. It won’t be like the last one, re-hashing the past. Although we will play some oldies. Please come along and make it work. Then we can do another and another and another…

(please note: we did advertise tickets through an agent for a few hours and if you bought one you will be refunded straight away. Sorry about this but I don’t see why fans should have to pay a £2 surcharge for simply buying a ticket, we might as well do this ourselves and shoulder any internet charges – which won’t be 10%!)

Live At Maze Bootleg

Six By Seven’s first 10 song set from their recent reunion show at The Maze in Nottingham is being given away with this months MuZiK KluB. It’s a 16 track recording off the desk and sounds pretty rockin’ I can tell you. Left all the inter-song banter in it too.

There’s also 4 new tracks which sound great with this months MuZik KluB which are nearly half an hour long.


six by seven EX EP

  1. Tinseltown
  2. Somewhere Between
  3. Elimentary
  4. Lonely Night

Six By Seven Reunion Gig Live At Maze (4th March 2017) [FIRST SET]

  1. A Beautiful Shape
  2. European Me
  3. Something Wild
  4. Oh! Dear
  5. So Close
  6. Brilliantly Cute
  7. Candlelight
  9. Get A Real Tattoo
  10. Always Waiting For…

Album has arrived!


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).

Film press release…

The Dream Is Sweeter Than The Taste

six by seven documentary released today

Released today, six by seven documentary The Dream Is Sweeter Than The Taste
Directed by Alex Mannion-Jones

Watch full film HERE (feel free to share!):

Reissues out now via Beggars Arkive
Vinyl version of The Closer You Get with extra LP of Peel Sessions
Double CD Greatest Hits

Finally ready to be unleashed on to the world, Beggars Arkive are delighted to present The Dream Is Sweeter Than The Taste, a documentary about acclaimed Mantra band Six. By Seven, whose influential second album The Closer You Get was recently re-released along with rarities and Peel Sessions. Directed by Alex Mannion-Jones (Concrete Sleep/The Ballad Of Skelmersdale) the film follows Chris Olley and members of Six. By Seven through the streets of their native Nottingham, mixing new scenes with electrifying archival live footage. There are a range of guests talking about the band including reknowned producer John Leckie, BBC 6Music’s Shaun KeavenyNiall Doherty from Q Magazine, along with people involved with the record label, Martin Mills and Lesley Bleakley from The Beggars Group.

Despite Six. By Seven’s unique sound, their huge popularity in the music press, endless touring and the efforts of the label, the hype never quite broke through into mainstream success. However, Six. By Seven frontman Chris Olley has always kept the fanbase alive and developed his own ways to distribute music outside of the industry.

Praise for the reissues:
“The darker successors to Britpop, musically akin to the minimal guitar mantras of Spacemen 3 and Loop. Their songs harness the beauty and momentum of playing one or two chords, then socking it to you with the big change.” Mojo 4*s

“A sort of pendulum-swing away from the cheeky-chappy cheer of Britpop back toward the stoic guitar maelstroms of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, Nottingham’s Six By Seven set out to chart a course between the dissonant and the epic.” Uncut

“Veering between Sonic Youth-style jet-engine feedback and atmospheric rock, it sounds as exhilarating as it did back then.” Q 4*s

“Six. By Seven were a fantastic band. Capable of mini-epics culminating in fearsome noise.” Louder than War 8/10

“The Closer You Get is a lost classic.” Soundblab 10/10

Soundblab 10/10 review…

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.