Friday, 26 March 2010

Tall Ships press

Lots and lots of lovely reviews for Tall Ships EP have been flooding in (geddit?! Oh come on!) over the past few weeks. Here's a few quotes - in one context or another - for you. Make of them what you will.

"Just slightly weirder than your average briton... Fairground influenced instrumentation... One of the more interesting EPs I've heard this year" - Alter The Press

"I've been meaning to write something about any of the bands signed to Big Scary Monsters for quite sometime. Finally I can cross that off my list title "Lifetime Goals"... a little bit of Foals first record about it, mixed with a bit of Explosions In The Sky" - And Everyone's A DJ

"Think of them as a quieter Enter Shikari or a less American The Killers" - Audio Flare

"Ricky P, Parksy and Jamie B are better known as Tall Ships" - BBC Introducing

"With such a fun multi instrumental set up they really could never fail to entertain" - Dark Party

"Their mathy, artschool tech is delivered with rousing assurance to a sea of bobble hats" - Drowned In Sound (live review for EP launch show)

"There is no reason why they can’t achieve NME domination" - God Is In The TV

"Consistent quality and energy in the songwriting" - InForty

"Some great rhyming... Modern church music" - Let Me Touch Your Face

"For comparisons you could loosely look at progressive bands such as Foals, Late Of The Pier, and The Murder Of Rosa Luxemburg, but Tall Ships deserve more than to be bandied amongst others such is the strength of their ideas and music" - Music Liberation

"Pretty much everything they turn their hand to here is a success. Fascinating stuff" - Rock Midgets

"A varied, entertaining, and vibrant experience" - The Easy Mode

"At a time when I’m finding less and less indie to adore Tall Ships have come out of nowhere and peaked my interest. Their sound is playful without being annoying or kooky, there is a underlying hopeful yet subdued atmosphere to it all and they seem at home in their own off-kilter world, truly refreshing" - Sonic Minefield

"Anyone wanting to fill a Youthmovies-shaped void might want to investigate Tall Ships further" - The 405

"The record label Big Scary Monsters puts out some of the best independent music in the UK... No-wave grooves... Tall Ships are certainly going to make great waves" - Your Cardiff (live review)

And of course, the NME said this...

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

10 Collection blogs

I've recently found a couple of nice blogs/articles on our '10 Collection, which were very flattering and deserved sharing with you all.

First up is In Worried Piles, I Typed For Miles, who are undertaking the slightly daunting challenge of reviewing all 52 tracks from the series. Have a scroll through and see what they made of the first 10.

Secondly there's Rock Pulse magazine, who asked me a few questions regarding the series, along with Hold Your Horse Is, one of our 12 entries thus far.

And finally we have Ignatius ofLoyola blog, who wrote a nice little entry about our '09 and '10 Collections back at the start of the year.

If I find any more I'll post them up on here. If indeed you're a blog writer yourself and have posted anything about the series - or the label/our bands in general - please do send me the link(s). I can't post everything on here but do my best to share as many as possible. Next week I have a fairly length list of Tall Ships EP reviews to add, all of which are brilliantly nice.

Gotta love the blogosphere... no matter how crap that word is.

K-Dev update

Its been a while since I mentioned this man's name. After seeing him every few weeks through the second half of last year - thanks to the UK tours with Brand New and then Manchester Orchestra, followed by The Get Up Kids in the US and the back over here for our xmas extraveganza - it feels like ages since he last graced us with his presence.

Kevin's playing some awesome festivals in America this summer (Coachella, Bamboozle and Bonaroo) with the likes of Jay-Z, Muse, Weezer, Paramore, Minus The Bear and seemingly every other band under the sun, as well as a very cool US tour, soon to be announced, and a few days in Australia with Brand New. Busy times, as ever, but he'll be back over here soon, with lots of plans currently being worked on. Hold tight.

In the meantime, here's a little video of him covering Belle and Sebastian's 'Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying'. Enjoy

Monday, 22 March 2010


Go here to watch Shoes And Socks Off performing CYF (a track which will feature on his new album this summer) live in an abandoned playground for the lovely people of Clinic promotions.

Toby's new, 6 track, free download covers EP, 'Piepton', is available now. Download it here or stream it here.


My morning so far

I have...
  • Woken up, considered going back to sleep, managed to battle on
  • Read, replied to and deleted somewhere in the region of 100 emails
  • Updated the webstore with the remaining 40 copies of the re-released Blakfish EP
  • Updated the '10 Collection webpages and sent this weeks MP3 out
  • Sent a news mailout to 80-odd websites re: the Shoes And Socks Off free covers EP
  • Promoted said EP on Facebook, Twitter, the website news page and, last and very much least, Myspace
  • Eaten more Maryland cookies than one person should in a morning
  • Marked the aforementioned Blakfish EP as 'sold out'. Already.
  • Fought the continuous urge to stop working and watch Dexter
  • Wrote our next mailout, set to go tomorrow morning, announcing the Grown Ups tour dates, a heavy hint on a new band, a reminder of Walter Schreifels UK tour, Talons live appointments and split single with Noumenon, and a few more bits and bobs.
  • Shocked a delivery guy by opening the door in a dressing gown at 1pm
  • Ordered some new badges
  • Decided I will leave 'the office' early today as I've done loads and Dexter is stronger than me
Seeya tomorrow

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Happy St Patrick's Day

Two years ago, to celebrate Tubelord's debut single release...

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The wheels on the bus

I'm on my way into a very sunny London, listening to the girl in front boast on the phone about how she earns between £700 and £1000 a day. The wi-fi connection on the bus and/or my laptop is having an off-day so this seemed like as good a time as any to write a blog update ready to post later, in a more internet-friendly location.

One year ago I was doing the exact same thing, only in a slightly more exciting place. I was on my way to SXSW in Austin, Texas. After a 5am, St Patrick's Day Guiness at Wetherspoons in Heathrow, the long flight had literally flown by, and by this point in the day I was sitting in Houston airport, eating disappointing pizza and looking out for cowboy hats. The two week trip was wonderful from start to finish and was one I very much intended to repeat this year, but later opted out of. A huge mistake, it would seem, judging by how desperate I am to be there right now. High Wycombe from my window here just doesn't compete.

Not sure what to tell you right now. I'm in a bit of a funny position as I feel that everything I can say has already been said. A lot of the stuff I'm working on right now - for one reason or another - is kind of secret or up in the air. It feels a little deceitful to not tell you about it all but such is the nature of this job, a small web of lies is sometimes necessary.

Over recent weeks I've actually started to ponder what I may do with my life were it not for the label. It's a strange question to ask yourself after close to a decade of hard work. I began BSM at the tender age of 17 and despite spending the early years also working 4 or 5 other jobs (from stocking shelves at the local Co-Op to pretending to be an amorous penguin on Myspace. Seriously) this is the only occupation to ever receive my full love and attention. The idea of doing something different has never previously crossed my mind but the reality of running a bedroom indie label which has by FAR outgrown itself, not to mention its owners wildest dreams, is that one day this is a bridge which will need to be crossed. Brief moments of considering seeing out my days like The Dude in the Big Lebowski are enjoyable, although frustrating enough in a hypothetical world to know the lack of, well, anything would drive me insane. Football is another great passion of mine, but the boyhood dreams of playing in the Premier League died the day I realised even Ray Parlour was better than me. Travelling the world and writing a book on an as yet undetermined subject or whim is extremely appealing, and would certainly be one in the eye of the line of GCSE English teachers who slated my lack of effort, although hardly the most lucrative of career paths. I'm turning 27 this year, after all. I always promised myself I'd have a pension by 25 and am already two years behind schedule on that small goal.

This whole subject is, of course, very premature. Looking at the release schedule we already have 23 little beauties coming up for you between now and the end of the year, divided across the CD, vinyl, cassette and paperback formats. If some of the aforementioned secret plans come into fruition, this number will rise closer to 30 and file any such thoughts of career changes under "you're kidding me, right?!"

It's funny how even when doing your dream job can occasionally mistake the grass on the other side as being that little bit greener. A rude awakening is needed. Maybe I should see if I could reprise my role as Sunday morning yogurt stock assistant in a little village supermarket for <£4.50 an hour and then check those colours again?

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Last night I went to a gig to see my friends band (who I missed, oops) and two others I'd never previously heard but really enjoyed. Can't remember the last time that happened. I seem to be going to less gigs these days and when I do, it's rare it's to see bands I have no previous knowledge of who turn out to be really good. I must remember to try this blind opportunism again.

Between bands the subject of puns somehow arose, initially through talking about the Air Bud film series, I believe. Golden Receiver, the movie about a dog playing American Football, still blows my mind. As does this:

And indeed, this:

Fellow pun fans, I urge you to check out this blog and make your Sunday a little bit better. Perhaps forward the link to your Mum and wish her all the best on Mothering Sunday?

Fact: Sean, the man responsible for the blog, designed the Holy Monsters artwork for our split 10" with Holy Roar Records last year.

Friday, 12 March 2010

You just can't keep a good Tall Ship down

Having enjoyed their first Radio One play this week from the ever-dependable Huw Stephens (as well as being the opening track on his new podcast), the BBC have given the seaside based threesome their 'tip of the week', er... tip. Check it out here.

A cheeky live video of a new Tall Ships song is below. It may or may not appear on their next EP, due out later on this year...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

I've lost my way

I've really gone off the blogging boil in 2010. It seems like days, or even weeks, pass before I get a chance to post on here, leaving millions of people around the world heartbroken and lost, no doubt! Here's a little catchup of a few things going on around here right now...

  • Tall Ships self-titled debut EP is released on Monday... but has already sold out! The 250, screen printed, hand-numbered CDs flew out via pre-order and gig sales alone (and that's before they get to play their triumphant homecoming show in Falmouth next week!), which really did leave a lot of people heartbroken and lost towards the end of their recent tour with Tubelord. Good news, however, is that it's being repressed straight away, with a further 250 copies set to be ready in the next few days. This second batch will be printed in red, rather than blue, and will be numbered 251-500. They continue to be available from our online shop and the band will be back out on tour in a couple of months time. We've just booked up a Huw Stephens live session too, which won't air until later on in the year, but means another nice BBC canteen lunch for me, and frankly that's the most important thing here.
  • We're pitching for a new release. I'm not telling anyone who it is, but if it comes off, you're all gonna love it!
  • We've also pitched for another release. This one isn't new, but is actually in my top 10 albums of all-time. The plan is to re-release it, some 7 years(!) after it's original birth, on limited edition vinyl, hopefully with a couple of bonus tracks. This one is pretty much sorted and will be finalised early next week, so look out for an announcement shortly. In the meantime, if you want to try and work out what this mystery release is, you could start by looking up every album from 2003.
  • Grown Ups UK tour is pretty much finalised. Just waiting on confirmation of the final two shows, which should be sometime in the next few days. The European dates are starting to fill up too, and all will be posted online shortly. Check out the two new tracks and the live videos on their Myspace page, and start getting excited.
  • I've recently become addicted to Dexter. Halfway through series two right now.
  • Walter Schreifels hits our shores in a few weeks time. He's currently in Canada recording some new material and is due to land in the UK on March 26th. The tour dates can be found on our website. A second UK run is already being planned.
There's loads more I could tell you about but I'll save that for my next "oops, I haven't blogged in a long time" post. Same bat channel, same boring excuses.