Grasslands playing at Swindon Old Town Gardens and Treefest over the August Bank Holiday

Tree Fest Promo Final

Next weekend looks to be an exciting weekend for Grasslands with two live performances over the same weekend.

Saturday 27th August – The Little Big Festival Presents: …And Now for Something Completely Different

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First up on the 27th August we have ‘The Little Big Festival Presents: …And Now for Something Completely Different’ featuring The Big Heart, Grasslands and IndoorGoblin in Swindon Old Town Gardens (in the band stand).

I will be bringing along my full electronic set up, which should make proceedings two-parts interesting and one-part in danger of all going wrong, but where else would we all like to be?

The performances kick off at 12:00pm and should carry on until around 3:00pm and entry is free.

More info can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/TownGardensLittleBigFestival/

Sunday 28th August – Treefest (Acorn Stage)

Tree Fest Promo Final

Then on Sunday I will be playing an acoustic set at Treefest at Westonbirt Arboretum, which is a wonderful festival with all sorts of fascinating musical folk performing from 27th-29th August.

I’ll be playing on the Acorn Stage at around 12:00pm on Sunday 28th August 2016, but be there from 11:00am and watch all the cool performers!!!

The full music line is here:

http://4014.co.uk/treefest_2016.html

Treefest tickets £10, Under 18s free

Pre-order tickets for Treefest here

Grasslands new mixtape: The 17th Year

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Everything must come to an end’

Part diary, part collage, part mixtape, ‘The 17th Year’ documents a life-changing year through audio samples, writing and songs. Music featured in the mix includes an updated recording of a Quintessence song (one of Tom’s former bands) and a new song by No Side Effects. The mix also includes the voices of Adrian Wallington of Two Short Planks/No Side Effects and Sumita Majumda of IndoorGoblin.

 

Track List:

Susanne Sundfør – Darlings

Ben Folds – Capable of Anything (Grasslands Overdub)

The Vaccines – Dream Lover

Nils Frahm – Our Own Roof

Grasslands – Too Many Knives

The Magic Lantern – Guilty Hearts

Cloud Nothings – I’m Not Part of Me

Low – What Part of Me

Lanterns On The Lake – I’ll Stall Them

No Side Effects – Final Forecast

School Of Seven Bells – Open Your Eyes

New track Fa(i)l[l]ing released

Here’s our new No Side Effects track – Fa(i)l[l]ing!!

Fa(i)l[l]ing Cover (LR)

What were Ade and Tom up to this weekend?


As part of a long delayed meet up, Tom and Ade discussed life, relationships, Brexit and even managed to have a go and turning their recorded tunes into live performances. They even managed to set dates for their next proper single and album releases (ooooh).

As would be expected, the session descended into a mirage of noise at around 2am and gave birth to our new drone song – Fa(i)l[l]ing.

Enjoy!

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Grasslands makes new friends and gets out and about in Swindon

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So much is happening over here in Grasslands universe that I rarely have time to write it all up for the blog.

2016 has seen Grasslands performing live for the first time (despite having spent years and years writing and recording songs) and has even seen the addition of a new Grasslands member!!!

With three gigs under my belt, and another three on the horizon, I thought I would give you a quick update on the events of the past few months.


Gig #1 – Roaring Donkey – April ‘16
First up was an acoustic gig at the Roaring Donkey, supporting George Wilding. I experimented with some electronics for ‘The Ball Starts To Move’ which seemed to go down well. My new 12-string suffered from stage fright and decided to de-tune, so I eventually abandoned it. We have since been to counselling together to discuss what went wrong between us. Maybe I’ll recount that experience some other time.


Gig #2 – Baila Coffee & Vinyl – May ‘16
For this gig at Swindon’s best coffee shop, Baila Coffee & Vinyl and part of ‘The Renegade Sessions’ I was supporting the amazing Vienna Ditto and I decided to have a go at a full set of electronic goodness. My musical friend, Indoor Goblin, helped me out for this gig on keyboards, glockenspiel and harmonies. We thought we blew up the PA at one point, but all was good in the end. The crowning achievement of this gig was finally being able to perform ‘Ambient Groceries’.

Grasslands had so much fun performing with Indoor Goblin that she is helping me play some other gigs too. We also hope to play some music with Vienna Ditto again in the future.


Gig #3 – Desk Cowork – July ‘16
Desk Cowork had a party and Grasslands was invited. along with singer songwriter George Lewis Todd. This gig was subtler than the previous two and provided a bit of background music for various party chats and ping pong games. A few Quintessence songs from the long lost past crept out of hiding too including ‘This Train’ and ‘See You On The Otherside’. My car broke down on the way to the gig, so I taxi’d to the venue and had the opportunity to drink lots of gin in the aftermath, which is always a good thing.

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What next?
In my next blog I will detail the next set of gigs planned for Summer and Autumn.

I’d also like to thank Songs of Praise for all their support and offering me performance slots this year these guys are great!!!

Throws (reviewed by Thomas Haynes)

Dancing About Architecture

ThrowsThrows debut album documents an Icelandic adventure through a range of musical styles with soulful vocals and awkward drum beats. The resultant noises can be compared to The XX, slower Super Furry Animal numbers and The Polyphonic Spree.

Throws is a collaboration between old friends and collaborators Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders formally of Tunng’s who found themselves rekindling their friendship while meandering across the unearthly Icelandic landscape and recording songs along the way.
The album features space-laden tunes with soulful high-pitched falsettos provided by the Northern tones of Sam, which are reminiscent of Bon Ivor.

Awkward drum loops and freestyle live drumming prick your attention and stop this record fading into the background while string and key arrangements provide some warmth and depth. On first listen the album sounds grounded in folk, but you soon discover some surprises such as a bit of gospel in the opening track ‘The…

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Will these memory flashes fade? Coping with the coping mechanism

Here are some words from me for our ongoing series of blogs over at http://www.nosideeffectsmusic.com

Coping Mechanisms

Following Ade’s recent blog on loss, Tom considers how we walk through the maze of healing and tries to understand how the brain reacts to loss.


Ade’s recent blog about death and how we cope with such things has made me think about the ghosts and shadows that haunt my life. It has been almost 12 months since I separated from my wife and the pain of that event is still present. Ade wrote that ‘much in life becomes trivial and is rendered superfluous in the wake of a loved one’s permanent absence’. I have said many times that it would have been easier to cope with my wife’s death, rather than the circumstances under which we parted ways. In that scenario there would have been an end to our story, but there wasn’t one, there was just a sudden transition to a different form of life.

I…

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The Renegade Sessions are go!

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Songs of Praise - Promoters of the best in underground and grassroots live music from the west and beyond.......

It has been in the planning stages for a while, but, as part of a wider review of what we do, how we do it, and where, we are launching, in conjunction with the top folks at Renegade Brewery, live music at the rather cool Baila Coffee & Vinyl on Victoria Road in Old Town.

baila_2522016151053But live music in a coffee shop I hear you say? Well, yes, the core of the business may be as a coffee shop, but it is the antithesis of the identikit chains which are taking over the high street, , much like us at SoP. Additionally, along with the very friendly vibe of the place there is a rather tasty vinyl rack, which follows the shops quality over quantity way of operating, stuffed full of seminal albums and underground collectibles, the cream of the leftfield, everything from rock and soul, dance and hip-hop, funk, pop and even…

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Grasslands live at the Roaring Donkey in Swindon

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Without enough practice to make him comfortable, Tom has decided to take his collection of Grasslands songs outside his studio and attempt to play them in a coherent manner to audiences of humans in places that he likes.

Here is the type of thing you can expect (backwards and sped-up, thus making it not exactly what you can expect).

Tom’s first gig is at the Roaring Donkey in Swindon on Wednesday 20th April in support of George Wilding.

Here are the full details: https://www.facebook.com/events/845523335570906/

Come and say ‘hi’ or give me a Mars Bar, it’s up to you which you want to do.

Who Cares What The Laser Says? – White Wine (reviewed by Thomas Haynes)

Here is my review of White Wine’s cool new album

Dancing About Architecture

White-Wine-Cover-2500White Wine’s new album ‘Who Cares What The Laser Says?’ is a twisted broken treat to listen to. Joe Haege’s antagonistic vocal delivery flashes over the synths and awkward beats and the lyrics are well written and delivered. His angst filled delivery is on show in the second track ‘Where’s My Line?’ (see the video below). You will also quickly assimilate the chant of ‘I’m a sick and narcissistic sycophant!’ from the track ‘Bullet Points Like Swords’.

The album title is a sentiment against technological progress, which feels well represented within both the lyrics and the soundscape of the album. Many of the drumbeats present are stop/start, which keeps you on edge as the album progresses.

There is a dark moodiness to much of Side A (I am so happy to see the two side album concept still in effect). The opening track ‘Is This Weird?’ reminds me of a…

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