Fleeing from Pigeons Records

A record label and blog from the same idiot that gave you Bearded Magazine

Plan B closes

Plan B have announced that the next issue of the magazine, released in June, will be their last.

Confirming the decision on Drowned in Sound, Plan B staffer Kicking_K said: “Plan B is funded mainly via advertising from indie labels – who are selling less records – and thus…have less to spend on advertising.”

I’d like to express my sorrow of Plan B shutting its doors, there are precious few independent music mags out there, and if even the more established ones are closing, it means things really are bad.

Further reaction to follow…

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Filed under: Blog

Record of this Day: Betty & the Id – The Wrong Side of Everything

First 100 copies come in five colours on vinyl effect CDsIt seems like a great while since I actually wrote about any music. In fact, the last blurb talking about whatever record I was listening to at the moment was focussed on a comedy(ish) hip-hop release. Anyway, back to my point…

Being a music writer, it’s always a feeling of accomplishment when a press release contains a quote that you wrote about the band previously (unless its a heavily paraphrased quote completely changing the meaning of your original article, but that’s a little tangent). When I received the last Betty & the Id EP – Neutron World – I was suitably happy to have a quote of mine, taken from a review of a Misty’s Big Aventure gig published in the first ever issue of Bearded, used in a complementary manner.

The quote included the phrase “the wrong side of everything” because, quite frankly, the band aren’t your normal bunch of young upstarts unleashing a wall of psychadelic post-punk excellence. The band are excellent live, and deserved the nod, regardless of appearance.

I was chuffed that the phrase then became their Myspace headline, so imagine what I was like when the phrase then became the title of their excellent debut…

Of course I’m biased, although there’s absolutely nothing that links the band, the music or anything to me or Bearded, but this record is a cracking listen. The record might not be topping any critics’ end of year lists, but it’s a throwaway bop around your bedroom cut of sublimity. It was recorded at Toe Rag studios (where The White Stripes recorded Elephant) too so they probably need the sales to begin to pay off the costs of studio time – so get it!

Filed under: Blog, Record of this Day, , ,

In the Dog House: Bearded/FFP gig afoot!

Fleeing from Pigeons are proud to present the first of a monthly series of sessions in The Dog House venue in Kennington, London.

On 19 June, the show will be dedicated entirely to Fleeing from Pigeons Records, with Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences, Pagan Wanderer Lu and Andy Price’s band Dig for Fire all on the bill.

To make it even better, the gig is FREE to all. You can ensure your place by emailing info @ fleeingfrompigeons.com – although this is not necessary (yet) to get into the show.

The Facebook page for the event can be found here.

Filed under: Blog, Live shows, , , , ,

Andy Price talks Clothing and Failure (pt. 2)

DFFAfter yesterday’s piece about the recording of Clothing & Failure, today Andy writes about the songs themselves…

The songs on the record talk about what I’m doing now, not what I was doing a year ago. It’s in an attempt to pre-empt the idea of “quality over speed of delivery” – that’s what Coldplay are for, that’s why Green Day took five years to release an album.

Although some tracks had been written already, some like ‘I walked into the room’ were written at the time of recording and the title track ‘Clothing and Failure’ is simply one never intended for anything and was just something I’d written about a month before recording. I didn’t think it’d work out as an acoustic track but it turned out as one of my favourites – perhaps because I made the guitars up on the spot which nicely reflected the lyric writing process.

Every song has a story, but not all of them really need to be told here, so I’ve included some thoughts on just a few of them:

Maybe in Another Life
I’m currently playing in a Bristol-based alt-punk band called Dig For Fire and we run largely to the same ethic as my own stuff – documenting each moment within songs as well as keeping a record of the growth of our sound.

That may sound pretentious but there’s something nice about being able to release an entire album by yourself when you grew up in the times that singles were released well in advance of albums – even reports of DIY punk recordings that I used to love reading pale in comparison to what can be done now and it keeps us aware of how easy music has to be when every step isn’t about making money.

I like to think this is coming full circle in that respect and there will be someone who reads this and comes back in 10 years having recorded an album in 10 minutes via some super-fast speed playing during recording before slowing down the track afterwards. Now that would be cool.

Anyway – this was one of the first songs we wrote for our third album – and I love the transformation we gave it – turning a completely narrative song into a full on rock song was great, but I also love this quieter version, for those interested in the story, like.

Anyways – I go through a lot of phases in all aspects of life through simple boredom. This talks about the three things that always stuck: Writing for magazines, playing in bands and small-scale self destruction and deprecation.

I Walked Into a Room
This song was inspired by ‘An Afternoon Dance Party’ by David-Ivar Herman Düne and is basically a song about lacking in confidence and just reflects my experience in the great human trait of starting with good intentions but ultimately falling prey obeying a pre-destined ability to ruin things, miss opportunities or simply to get things very very wrong.

But anyway – the inspiration came from the DIHD song not in content, but in style. I like the way that his song meandered, never really reaching his point, including a lot of words that inevitably never led to a resolution.

I use this style a lot and I don’t think it’s either lazy or sloppy, I think of it more as playing a game and it entertains me to no end.

Before I wrote songs I used to write letters to people, and these letters always spent three pages going nowhere. A friend of mine wrote me postcards telling me exactly what he was doing and how we was feeling in 3 lines, and so I replied with a volume of nothingness. As long as people don’t realise that it goes nowhere until the end I think it’s a success. It’s a pointless hobby, but a hobby no less.

Negative Song
This is a song about how frustrating it is that being miserable seems to be so much easier. Maybe it isn’t? But it sure feels like it sometimes.

I can’t decide whether accepting this as your own personality is a good thing or a bad thing, probably bad – but it’s what I’m trying to say when I repeat the line “this shit is bigger than me,” I think that the simple feeling of acceptance of being helpless to something can be something everyone can relate to when things get out of control.

Clothing and Failure
This quickly became my favourite recording as the lyrics followed a similar concept to ‘I Walked Into a Room’ – but instead of conscious meandering, this is unconscious meandering – which I think sometimes feels like it has more direction.

It’s just full subconscious lyric writing – I found it best to type it as I’m quicker at typing than writing and there was literally no thought involved in any part of writing this song.

It’s quite nice to be able to look upon your own lyrics as an outsider… I’d say it ended up being about expectations: expectations about other people, their expectations about you and yours about your own life.

I’d quite like to do an entire album in this style – maybe next time.

And finally

Don’t take this album too seriously, if you like it, that’s great, if you don’t, that’s cool too. I just hope you appreciate that fact that it’s a fun experiment in both song recording and song writing. Here’s some links:

Myspace.com/digforfiremusic
Myspace.com/afbmusic

Love Andy x

Download the entire album for free by clicking here.

View the first part of Andy’s blog here.

Filed under: Andy Price, Artist blog, Artists, Blog

Andy Price talks Clothing and Failure (pt. 1)

AndyPriceTwo weeks ago today, Andy Price sat in his bedroom and recorded Clothing & Failure. A few days later, it was available to all to download for free from Fleeing from Pigeons Records.

It raced into being our most successful release in our month’s existance and here Andy talks about the album’s recording – just so you know how ramshakle it is. Tomorrow we’ll have the second part of this post, where Andy writes about the songs themselves…

Those interested enough in FFP-R to be on this site will hopefully understand the concept behind this album.

For a long time I haven’t felt comfortable selling my music. It happened awhile ago when I realised that paying hundreds of pounds for a recording when you’re in a small band removes so much of the fun of playing the music itself. It may be nice to have a polished and well produced record in your hand, but in all honesty, with the bands I play in at the moment, I’d prefer to record using borrowed or average equipment and putting together something myself just to entice people to show support to the band and come to the shows – after all, that’s where the real fun happens.

The purpose of Clothing & Failure was to simply push the abilities of the internet in releasing music: how quickly can it be done when there doesn’t need to be such a huge hoo-har behind a release.

So, discarding money spent on equipment (none of which was bought specifically for these recordings), this album was made for nothing. If I spent 5 years producing a beautifully sounding record I’d be cheating myself – and this, for better or for worse, is why you had Clothing & Failure within a week of recording.

Equipment

This is a bedroom recording – even the quality of my equipment is entirely average. I have a laptop that cost about £300 about two years ago and is so poor I can’t actually hear what I’m recording as I’m recording it and the only way of tweaking the sound is to record, listen back, blindly tweak, listen back.

I use a digital 4-track to record too. Its substandard amount of tweakers and twisters is way too many for me to handle, but over time I’ve perfected the optimum settings that can be used for both guitar and vocals, it’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for me. Which I’m considering making my motto.

As for microphones, yes, I have one. I use it for both guitar and vocals. I seem to remember the mic and 4-track costing me £100 together three years ago. If there are any clunks, it is most likely down to having to freehold the mic as I left the stand at the Dig for Fire practice room – my bad.

The software used for recording was Acoustic Mixcraft 3. A licence cost £15 or so a year ago and it does the job, a similar set up to Cubase.

Guitar: I’ve only ever had two acoustic guitars. The first cost £35 when I was 19 and lasted a good three and a half years before meeting its end at the end of the first ever Bearded magazine gig. Needless to say it was a drink-fuelled incident which I whole heartedly welcomed as it was a terrible, terrible piece of equipment.

The guitar I used on this recording is made by Lindo. I don’t know much about them except that they’re based in Bath where I work as I had to collect it after they screwed up the first delivery. It’s half-depth, but has a great, full bodied sound, it’s nice and light too so it’s good for gigs.

And as for the voice – it’s 24 years old and cost me nothing. But I still feel somehow ripped off.

The process

The songs on this record have all been written over the last couple of months, many of them demos for the next Dig for Fire record – but the transference from electric to acoustic was pretty much made up on the spot. All the tracks only have one guitar track on them, and usually two vocal tracks, three or four for special occasions.

All I did was sit in a chair, with the microphone resting on the table and recorded the guitar tracks one after the other – the majority are first take.

The vocals required a few more takes – mainly because I’m still getting to grips with singing a little less loudly after being in noisy bands for so many years – but I listened to a few old acoustic demos the other day and there’s a definite improvement in there. Let’s hope they never get out!

Afterwards I tightened up the different guitar and vocals tracks with a few pre-set settings which I don’t really understand but they did the trick…

Download the entire album for free by clicking here.

The second piece of Andy’s write-up will focus on the songs themselves, it will be published here tomorrow

Filed under: Andy Price, Artist blog, Blog

New T-shirts on the way

Earlier this year, we at Bearded screen-printed up some beautiful T-shirts designed by Aurelia Lange, who won a competition we ran around the New Year.

Well after those sold out last week, it’s time to print some new ones but, as we got awful size differences last time (small and medium sold out in two days, large took about two months), we’re offering people the chance to pre-order the size they’d like their Tee to be. The design, by Steven Topley, is above.

Pre-orders are just £10 including all postage and packaging (UK only, please add £2.50 for Europe/£4 for RoW), they’ll be £15 if we have any left. They will be a strictly limited run as well. Please specify what size you’d like when ordering.

ORDER BY CLICKING HERE

Filed under: Blog

Productive variables?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting John Leckie – he of producing Stone Roses, Radiohead and, err, Kula Shaker fame. I was writing a release based around his comments at a talk at the University of Westminster and, following the recent (modest) success of the Andy Price record (which has almost double the downloads of any other FFP-R release) it was interesting to get an insight into the world of ‘proper’ record production.

Andy’s record has galvanised me and a couple of other artists FFP-R are going to be working with in the coming months that ‘live’ writing and recording of records in the public eye is an interesting concept, and it is certainly something we’ll be exploring. But Leckie’s talk really introduced me to the romanticism of recording a record – coming into the recording “80% ready” and going to a £1,000/day record studio (such as the secluded, accessible only by boat Sawmill Studios) and working full time on a record for a number of weeks or months.

It was certainly something that would appeal to me to put a band that I really believe in through, but there is a huge disconnect between what major labels can afford for their artists and what a DIY or small label artist is provided. It strikes me as stunning that you can spend thousands of pounds on a record or you can spend literally tens of pounds on a record and the result, aside for the love of purest audiophiles, is negligibly different. Take the Holton’s Opulent Oog record The Problem of Knowledge recorded for £100 or Antarctica Takes It!‘s record The Penguin League, recorded through the built-in mic on a laptop for epically amazing records as examples.

It reminds me of the second Electric Soft Parade record The American Adventure, which, following a £1,000 recording in a Brighton studio, was rejected by SonyBMG who quickly frogmarched the brothers White into Abbey Road and spent around £100,000 recording four tracks. Listen to that record now and tell me which tracks were in Abbey Road and which were in a studio in Brighton – tell me the difference, because I’ve forgotten which track was recorded where…

Filed under: Blog, , , , , , , ,

New artists, new releases and new site on the horizon

tapeThe success of Andy Price’s latest release – Clothing & Failure – on Fleeing from Pigeons has astounded us all, it has also got me thinking about some future projects the label is working on.

Those involve our latest additions to the Fleeing from Pigeons roster – ‘genius electronic Bath music’ purveyor Throwing Snow and the incredibly secretive – down to not even having a Myspace page – Joshua Banks.

Details of the releases are sketchy, but A Future Without Records founder Throwing Snow will be providing us with some original releases over the coming months and possibly a ‘live sessions recording’ in which he takes over the blog for a little while.

That is a project that Joshua Banks is going to be doing as well. Carrying on his Super Army Soldiers ten-part opus, Banks will be taking over the blog for a whole week in late June while he writes, records and mixes his entire record – Super.Army.Soldiers.III live on the blog, before releasing it on the Friday at the end of the week. Stems, video diaries and write-ups will all be made available, and he’ll be asking for some involvement from the good people (that’s you) to come up with bits such as artwork.

Before all that though, I’m currently beavering away on a ‘proper’ site for Fleeing from Pigeons Records that will be integrated into a more comprehensive Fleeing from Pigeons website. It should have loads more interactivity and tie up everything FFP is getting on with, when it’ll go live is anyone’s guess, although I’ll be asking for feedback throughout the build.

I think that’s a pretty comprehensive round-up. My new fanzine Plastic Garden Furniture is still under development and is still just as secretive. You can pre-order it here.

Filed under: Artists, Blog, Joshua Banks, Throwing Snow, , , ,

Free download: Tortoise – Prepare your Coffin

You have to love Tortoise’s don’t you? Slow and steady wins the race they say, and if the band Tortoise had waited any longer to release new material, we might have all fallen asleep like the Hare does in the famous fable.

The first release of new original material since 2004’s It’s all Around You, 22 June sees Beacons of Ancestorship rear its head from the band’s shell enclosure. And here, in true FFP-R style, we have a free download of teaser track ‘Prepare your Coffin’ kindly donated by the band’s label Thrill Jockey.

DOWNLOAD IT BY CLICKING HERE

Filed under: Blog, ,

Andy Price – Clothing & Failure

AndyPrice4.5Artist: Andy Price
Title: Clothing & Failure
Cat: FFP-R04.5
Run time: 41:50

The story behind this release is this. Today is Friday 8 May – Monday 4 May was Bank Holiday Monday and Andy Price, who put out the first ever FFP-R release, is bored. So he writes and records an entire album (using a few unrecorded Dig for Fire tracks he’s working on). On Wednesday 6 May he sends it to me, I listen to it on Thursday 7 May, and then deliver it to you today, Friday 8 May.

By his own admission, it’s hit and miss, but the joy of FFP-R is that it is raw and ready. Some tracks written this week – including the fantastic title track – rate amongst the best songs Andy has ever written, without this release, it’d take you another few months at least before you heard it – if ever. It takes on all the anti-folk values, love, loss, food prep, and runs with them. It’s a remarkable release, and we’re continuing to argue over which tracks we think are hit, and which ones are miss!

Tracklisting
1. Imaginary Song 7. If Only
2. Maybe in Another Life 8. Shotgun
3. That’s That 9. What a Day
4. That’s Life 10. When Every Passing Moment Makes You Afraid
5. I Walked into a Room 11. Clothing and Failure
6. Negative Song

FREE DOWNLOAD (MP3 192kbs)

Other formats are currently unavailable with this release. You can still donate to us though.

Donate to Andy

Releases by Andy Price
Andy Price feat. Sarah Hall – Live @ Cafe Oto, London 27.03.09
This acoustic live set, recorded at Bearded Magazine’s show at the luscious Cafe Oto in North London’s growing creative hub of Dalston, covered tracks new and old from the band’s back catalogue, tracks from the AFB Band, his project with Sarah Hall – who accompanies him here – as well as covers by Ace of Base and Ratface.
FREE DOWNLOAD (MP3 V0)
Dig for Fire – Sorry
Debut LP from Andy’s punk rock outfit Dig for Fire, a fabulously ramshakle DIY recording, Sorry was recorded and produced in his bedroom. Limited edition of 200. All money goes directly to the band, not to Fleeing from Pigeons.
CD £5.50 – BUY NOW
CDx2 £8.50 – BUY WITH ALBUM 2
Dig for Fire – Album 2
Second LP from the obtuse DIY punk rock outfit. Recorded and released just six months after their debut, Dig for Fire’s second record merges both bedroom and studio recording, and heralds a move towards solid songwriting. Limited edition of 200. All money goes directly to the band, not to Fleeing from Pigeons.
CD £5.50 – BUY NOW
CDx2 £8.50 – BUY WITH SORRY

Filed under: Album, Andy Price, Artists, Release type,

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