A biography of musical releases. The latest is at the top.
Kingdom Vs. Empire (2013)
My first release on the Minor Artists label.
The album tells the story of the exile of the people of Judah in Babylon in the 6th century BC. This is the telling of old tales, which, As Tolkien saw it, always shines its own light on the present.
Where You Don’t Want to Go… is a hit song, I think.
A Broken Hearted Christmas (2011)
We recorded five songs, but in the spirit of the ABH we let passers by come and join the band, and a man with a voice like a plug-hole showed up and sank both Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and O Come, O Come Immanuel. So there’s only three songs left on it. Rob (Greybeard), leader of the Zang label, was recording it and he thought the whole free-for-all thing was ridiculous.
Another free EP.
There’s an odd narrative device where parts of the EP are monologues from the ghost of a girl who is killed in the first song for her resistance but goes on to haunt the next two songs…
Vincent Gould edited together an incredible video for the first track.
I decided I wanted to play music on the streets and start street parties and riots and civil unrest and such, so I needed to create a band that could play anywhere. I recorded these songs in an effort to try and create something called The Army of the Broken Hearted.
This album resounded with people more than any other I’ve made, perhaps because people felt like they could be part of it. It’s in the spirit of social, spiritual and political folk and blues. It speaks with a collective voice.
Pillar of Smoke (2008)
This album and it got more glowing reviews than any of the others, but it was a tipping point of discontent for me. I got tired of gigging it to audiences who felt like they were supposed to stand there with their beers and take in its profundity. I wanted to do something people could be part of. I wanted to do a conga, or something that would blur that austere divide between the exalted artist and the audience. Hence what came next…
Babylon is Dead Vol#1 (2008)
It’s free to download.
More people got hold of this record than any other I’ve done, because of a reggae artist called Franz Job released an album by the same name around the same time. So all the people looking for a free version of his record found my one by accident. And they liked it. The concept of Babylon is obviously rich in the reggae world.
It’s Raining Glass & Tears (2004)
This record is half made of samples of glass and crockery that I smashed and crunched and grated against the back wall of my house in Brighton. I laboured over every bar to fill it with grit and horror.
Industrial beat poetry, it was called. My brother does some incredible scratching here, right before he gave up DJing altogether. Coincidentally he’d been doing some remarkable photography of broken glass that same year, so the cover photo is also his.