Monday, 30 May 2011

Whats been happening.

Hello everyone (that reads my musings)

So you may be wondering whats been happening with us over the past few weeks.

Well. Me Jen and Keith have been writing songs. They are songs of a different style to that of what people would expect of Kidnapper Bell.

Obviously we are not going to radically alter the way we write songs and turn into an octopus of self indulgence. I still want to write songs that people want to listen to and that wouldn't sound out of place on the radio.

For me personally the last few months we rehearsed as a four piece I felt trapped within a sound and that it was important that we wrote these angular pop songs, which is all well and good. but when it becomes the only type of music you write then a certain part of you can feel trapped.

Plus it seemed like three of us were on the same page and one of us was not. I wont witter on about stuff I've already banged on about though.

Secondly here is a picture to illustrate my next point.

THIS is a picture of Salmon swimming upstream. Its the only analogy I can use that describes being in a band in this day and age.

You are constantly fighting against a never ending tide in order to get people interested in you.It can feel like constantly swimming upstream at times.I feel that its sad that bands can no longer be just bands in this day and age, they also have to be shark-like businessmen too.

After three years, basically I became (for want of better words) Burnt Out from constantly plugging,gig arranging and general asking people to listen to us. Luckily Keith stepped in and took over in that department. And we had help from friends in the plugging dept.

That combined with the fact that rehearsals became rubbish started to grate on me.Plus I started to come up with songs that I thought I could use for something else.
Some people that play music prefer to spread themselves as thinly as possible over as many bands as they can. I am a firm believer that if you are in just one band that gives you creative freedom and you respect each others opinions then theres no reason to be in another band. I know for a fact I am in a band with the most talented people I ever have been. And I can give 100% to it.


So basically what i'm saying is that the last few weeks of songwriting have been a refreshing eyeopener. Its been great. No pressure and reeeeaallly creative!

We have taken a step back from trying to make people listen to us and have just locked ourselves away and started writing songs in the studio.

For the first time in a while I feel inspired to push myself forward as a "musician" and I feel that our new songs will be our best yet!

Plus it seems to be taking us a lot less time to write songs while being no less meticulous.

As we are writing songs from the studio rather than in a rehearsal room when we take it live we will almost certainly need another member. All in good time though.



I feel that this blog has a certain sense of "Christ hes taking himself seriously here"


Friday, 15 April 2011


I am filled with joy today for reasons most joyous.

Since we became a three piece its been a bit of a strange time. For the past two weeks we got together to play stripped down versions of our songs and even were prolific enough to record a live demo of this new one(on which keith has a cold,much in the same way Phoebe from friends gets a cold then takes on a whole new personality)


The past week we got together and started work on new material. I must say its come together rather quickly. I forgot how easily a song could come together when you are all on the same page.

Its a bit of a new direction.Ive wanted to write a more mellow song for a while but it hasn't been possible really for a variety of reasons I wont go into!

Sooooooooooo. New Direction? New Image?


Nah, i'll go mad before I make us all wear the same thing on stage.

So basically what i'm trying to say is that for the first time in a while it feels like a new start (creativity-wise) as its been dying to get out over the last few months.



Wednesday, 30 March 2011

New Drummer Required!


We need a new drummer who can rehearse in the Birmingham area once a week (Hockley St Studios to be precise, room 19 oooohh its swish) and play gigs with us.

Can you;

Play our songs?

Write new ones with us(possibly from the first or 2nd rehearsal)

Put up with me (Liam)

If you can do these things then please fire us off an email here


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Diary of A local gig

We don’t play many local gigs in and around Birmingham so I thought I would do a diary of our last one at the Flapper (from my perspective)

6am – as this weekend contains my birthday and due to the over indulgence of the night before I am up at this time as my body attempts to purge all the wrong things I inserted in it last night at The Actress and Bishop (then Standard International curry house)

8am – still sick I mean Linda Blair/Regan McNeil style sick!

10am – enter that “emotional” part of being hungover. I want more than anything to hug Antonio Carluccio from Saturday Kitchen. I resolve to feed Jen up and perm and grey her hair just for someone to hug.

11am – I am told of a wondrous sale at Cash Converters just up the road. Filled with all manner of things (one of them being a Saturday only sale of 50p a DVD) normally this would have me running for the door in a manner to quaff as many low price copies of 80s movies as I can
Not on this day!

12pm – first cup of tea of the day (mmmm tea, giver of life)

2pm – pack car ready for rehearsal. Due to lack of focus + hangover + shrinking of brain cells it takes me half an hour to pack this much

4pm – Reherse for an hour just to make sure the set is tight and I can check that all my pedals are working in an almost obsessive way

5.30pm – Drive across to the studio. On the way we pass a shop called “Wine Lord”, so we then discuss other ideas for shops that sell alcohol which we could one day own such as “Scotch Overlord”, “Lager Baroness” and “Spirit Emperor”.

5:45 – Kill time by watching this vid on youtube

6:30 – Arrive at Flapper after wading through traffic of countless parents dropping their daughters off for the Justin Bieber concert over the road. Its a sea of pink neon leggings and oversized glasses!

6:35 – (At venue)Ahh the familiar sight of different bands dotted around a venue with their instruments awaiting sound check. Normally I would go straight up and introduce myself. Not today though as I am still coming to terms that (for today at least) there is far too much reality in the world for me to cope with.

7:30 – We sound check. We know the soundman and he has done the sound for us before. We are in good hands.
During sound check I unlearn Falling and Laughing. This strikes fear into my very soul as Now ive thought about it so much that I have actually forgotten the Keyboard part.
After sound check I plug the Keyboard into my amp and proceed to re-learn it.

7:45 – Fetch Jen to ask her if what I’ve re-learnt is the actual song or just a selection of notes I’ve made up that are out of key!

7:50 – Greet people (friends that have come to see us).

8:05 – We play a half hour set, The set went well however it was a subdued performance from me to be honest. Maybe because we were on first, maybe because I was still feeling a bit rough.

9:00 – Mill around in an out, sell cds to pissed people that ask for them. Obtain one lovely guy that whenever he sees me he wants to shake my hand(the handshakes soon give way to hugging)

9:30 - I try to convince Jens friend Steve that buying cowboy boots is a good idea. But only from Vegas. I then launch into my theory that a gentleman can get away with certain types of clothing in different country but not in the UK. (I can often be seen swanning around Paris in all manner of silly hats)

10:30 – Middleman lead the crowd in a rousing chant of “Fuck Justin Bieber”

11pm – Middleman instigate a huge tropical dance party on the stage of the Flapper.

11:30-1am – the rest of the nights events blur into one as we play pool against a bunch of Middleman fans, dance around to Nu-Metal and attempt to settle arguments over who gets copies of our single with handwritten lyrics and who doesn’t!

At around 1:15am we finally get booted out of the Flapper and make our way home.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Goodbye you old knackered donkey!

I'm refering of course to

Our Myspace Page!!

But lets start at the start and remember fondly our dearly departed social networking site.

My first memory of Myspace was that of when we( in our first incarnation with a different lineup) rush recorded a glut of demo songs and hastily rushed them up onto myspace(which made the recordings sound even worse) then sat back and waited for the praise to roll in.

I remember the intense joy upon finding out that we had a new comment
Only to feel crushed when it was an advert from some promoter putting on a "dance" night in San Fransisco

I remember teaching myself HTML code and trying to make the page as beautiful as possible.I took sooo much pride in our page, it was the equivalent of my house and I had it decorated how we wanted it.

I remember the sometimes hilarious/deluded/nonsensical notes that came with "friend requests"

I remember the intense feeling of joy when we were placed in someones "Top Friends"

I remember feeling mind bendingly frustrated when I couldn't do a "page break"

I remember it being a gigantic personal statement whenever I changed the profile song on my personal page!

I remember getting really excited about how many song plays we had whenever we uploaded a new song

I remember THIS GUY being EVERYWHERE!!!!


We worked well with myspace, even though a lot of bands at first seemed embarrassed to tell people that were watching them that they had a myspace page, it seemed to normalize after a while and venues all over the country would be filled with bands quoting their myspace address.

Come to think of it, if i went to see a band now and they said "you can find us on Myspace" i would have trouble determining if they were being ironic or not!

There was a time (shortly before everyone got megafeckedoff with constant band adds) when Myspace and people worked harmoniously. It was a great time when everyone was happy


I remember the beginning of the end. It was the day a certain Jenny Hipkiss said to me "I'm on Facebook, its like Myspace but more grown up"

I was cynical at first but uploaded myself to Mark Zuckerbergs global database of self preening.
Then Came Twitter
Then came Soundcloud
Then came Bandcamp

Slowly the features of Myspace started to get buried under an almost inexhaustible amount of better social networking sites.

Then the final nail in the coffin!

Myspace changed the way its users could do stuff.

I dont know about anyone else but after this i felt like Myspace had run its course, i was too well acquainted with it to re-learn how to re-use it and to top it off our beautiful band page had a permanent advert in the right hand corner for something like UGG Boots!

So, (for us at least) Myspace is no more!

Goodbye old friend

Sunday, 13 February 2011

I am a PR Machine!

I sometimes wonder how bands got signed in the days of Joy Division.

I would imagine in the most pure way possible, by playing shows and creating a buzz. I cant believe how much the music industry has changed over the past few years.

Incase you didn't know we have a new double A-side single out in March

We are taking preorders here

You can listen to both tracks here

How does a band like us get this facking single into peoples ears do you ask?

I tell you.

Since we announced the single we have had a flurry (3) of emails from P.R companies asking if we need any promotion done for the single.

When we first started out we did pay a PR company £250 pounds and sent them about 100 cds to promote to their contacts.
They typed us up a (poorly written) press pack and sent our cd out to various online sites.
But because we had already done a lot of the legwork in sending out our cds ourselves some less observant websites cave us two seperate reviews.

I would hate for the reader to think that i'm making out P.R companies to be an evil in the music industry, indeed like bands there are good ones and bad ones, the ones that are good use their contacts and only work with bands they work with in order to claim some sense of pride in the material they send out!

indeed here is a good one

All i'm saying is reeeeaaalllly given the right amount of time (and lurking on other peoples websites) theres no reason why a band putting their first cd out cant make a killing with countless reviews if their material is good!

Take a look at our Hotmail Outbox for instance

While it may not be considered Punk to trawl through websites asking people to give you time of day, its an awesome feeling when people write back and say not only that they like it but will also take the time to write words about it.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Desert Island Disks

Jen made a few Desert Island style compilation CDs the other day for some people she knows,

Its got me thinking. I made a list of songs, however compiling a Desert Island disk is a hell of a lot different from doing a comp cd for someone.


1. These have to be songs that you have always loved and will continue to love
2. These have to be songs that if someone said you could never hear these songs again you would be most upset
3. Ten Songs

I think I short-listed about 30 songs but finally got it down to ten

Some of my dilemmas are;

1. I would like either Atmosphere or Love Will Tear Us Apart By Joy Division, I would also like Crystal Or Blue Monday By New Order. I would also like Getting Away With It By Electronic.
Theres three bands that are all connected to New Order Joy Division and also feature Bernard Summer

2. I would like a Post Rock song on there since Post Rock has influenced me and been a big part of my life for years. As far as i'm concerned there are 2 Post Rock songs that are seminal

Mogwai - Fear Satan
Mono - The Kidnapper Bell



Here are the ten Desert Island Disks songs that I consider seminal in my life, These are songs I cant live without and will love forever!

The names are click able and will take you to the song should you want to hear them!

1. Grammatics - Relentless Fours

2. REM - Man On The Moon

3. Owl City - Fireflies

4. Fountains Of Wayne - Hey Julie

5. Spin Doctors - Two Princes

6. Take That - Never Forget

7. The National - Fake Empire

8. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Hysteric

8. New Order - Crystal

10. Mono - The Kidnapper Bell