Wednesday, 8 December 2010

An Entire EWITFR...N Show.

EWITFR...N was an unusual thing to tour. We'd written the songs a while in advance recording the album in Joshua Tree with our friend Dave Newton. When it came to touring it it sort of turned into a cabaret thing with lots of talking between the songs. I think it worked out really well. When we tour Volume 2 of Fixing The Charts I think we're going to aim for all seated venues and really embrace the cabaret feel of it.

This show was filmed at Union Hall, Brooklyn by our friend Alex de Campi

If you want to buy the album it is available HERE and Merch is available HERE and when I get back home HERE

Monday, 6 December 2010

Back In Salem. Weekend Round Up.

We spent all day Saturday taking our songs apart and putting them back together again with Black Francis conducting us. Everything is now sounding at least as twice as awesome.

Here is Ian recording a guitar solo in the bathroom for our new song 'Axl Rose'.

And HERE IS is a 360' Image of the studio. My face really is that wonky.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Back In Salem.

If the Art Brut twitter feed is to be believed, I spent all day yesterday looking at pictures of dogs dressed as people whilst Black Francis wrote the record.

This is not true.

I spent all day locked behind some patio doors shouting for your entertainment

I'm even trying to sing a little bit. It is going very well, at this rate we will end up with a double album by christmas.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Back In Salem.

I intend to write every day no matter how boring it is.

Yesterday we did lots of this

And if your interested, it turns out an SM57 after lots of trying of other mic's is probably the best one to use.

It was great to see Black Francis and Jason again, hard to believe its been two years since we recorded Art Brut VS Satan. I can't wait to start shouting all over this record. Hooray.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Back In Salem- The Journey So Far.

Art Brut are back in Salem recording our new album with Black Francis.

Actually we haven't started yet. I've just woken up on the first day refreshed and ready to go. It was a long journey to get here and I slept for most of it.

The five of us headed out on two separate airplanes. Mike and Fred went via San Fransico to Portland and Ian, Jasper and I got to Portland via New York on Delta. This isn't because we needed space from each other or anything, just because we are all flying back at different times.

It seems it was training day at Heathrow and we were the test subjects. I'm guessing we were the first people the security person we spoke too had ever had too clear. He had some questions I'd never heard before.

"Where did you pack your clothes?"


"How did you get to the airport?"

After he had gone to his supervisor to make sure we were ok to go, he came back over with a few more questions. The first was

"Do you ever make videos?"

Which I thought was a weird one, and made me slightly worried that he had seen THIS and wasn't going to let me fly. Then he asked

"Do you ever use professional actors?"

To which we lied and said yes (the real answer being no we cant afford them). Then it all became clear when he said.

"Because I'm only working here till I get back on my feet acting wise, I mean I've been in an episode of Spooks and in the backround of Torchwood and I even did an advert"

Then his final question.

"Can I send you a head shot?"

I gave him Jasper's email address.

Then we got on the plane and flew with Delta's really grumpy old lady cabin staff across the atlantic, trying to make them smile or at least be civil to us, with no success.

We had to change in New York and get on another plane to Portland. As I sat in my new seat a friendly American (you know the sort) asked me if I was allergic to cats. I thought it was a pretty unusual conversation starter but he had a cat with him under his seat. Apparently it costs nearly twice as much to fly a cat as it does to fly a person. I explained to him how cheap cats are to replace but apparently that was a bit cold of me. That didn't stop him talking so I suggested that next time he fly he shave the cat and dress it up as a baby as I think they travel free. Then to his relief the stewardess made me change seats.

I spent the entire flight asleep with my head sliding around on the seat listening to Bob Dylan and dreaming that I was rocking out. Which was embarrassing both in the real world as my head kept colliding into people and also in the dream world as I was actually listening to a lot of slow songs like Lenny Bruce and the people at the gig in the dream kept telling me stop dancing as I was ruining their experience. So I woke doubly embarrassed.

When we got off the plane, we immediately bumped into Mike and Fred who had arrived at exactly the same time. Although they looked a lot fresher than us.

We grabbed our stuff and our friend Jason picked us up to take us to our other friend Charles Normal's house where we are staying and is AMAZING. Then I slept some more, sadly I didn't return to the Bob Dylan concert to apologize for my behaviour.

We're just heading off to the studio now. See you later.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Art Goblins.

My first band from when I was 17 The Art Goblins got back together for John Peel Day. My friend Adie Nunn filmed the whole thing here it is in three parts

If you are interested the set list is;

1)Fuck Rock Let's Art
3)Are You Afraid Of The Art?

-------Climb Into And Then Escape From Sack-----

4)I Wanna Be Johnny Dean
6)Fuck The MSP
8)A Special Cover For John Peel Day

I said it would be the last show. I've changed my mind though as it was too much fun.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Some Things For Sale.

Since I put the link up for the Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now T-shirts. I've had a few emails from people who are having trouble buying them in the countries where they live so I have decided to set up this little shop

If you live in the UK it is still better to get your T-Shirts from HERE though as it will be easier and they have a larger range than me

In this little shop we have the Green T-shirt in Large and Medium they cost £20 each which includes postage and they look like this

We also have the limited edition screen prints (only about 15 left) you can only buy these here and they cost £15 including postage and they look like this.

and finally we also have this postcard painting from from the Acoustic Lakeside festival it is in acrylic on two canvasses costs £35 including postage and looks like this. (I will personalize it for the person who buys it)

I'm the shopkeeper so email me at

Friday, 20 August 2010

I Believe In Magic.

I designed a T-Shirt for Soundscreen design. They are limited to 72. You can buy them HERE.

I don't mind if you don't believe in magic. I should also admit that Dyan helped out (quite a lot) with my face on the T-Shirt.

Oh and there is a bio of who I am HERE

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler Alert! are a mysterious group of people that write songs about superheroes. They are a band definitely not made up of mild-mannered Dyan Valdes, Keith TOTP and Eddie Argos, even though they sound like they might be.

Eddie is far too busy writing the next Art Brut album to be writing songs exclusively about Superheroes

Dyan is too busy planning The Blood Arm's forthcoming European tour (In November)

and Keith is busy getting his own album ready for release.

So like I said it's definitely not us.

The songs were certainly not mixed by Micky Strickson nor were they recorded at Dean St Studios. DC Comics in no way endorses these songs, although the revenue earned from them will be spent on DC Comics (and maybe some wine), so what goes around comes around.

Their first EP which contains songs about Booster Gold, Blue Beetle and Batman is available from the Indelicates record label Corporate Records. Which I wrote about before HERE.

Buy the songs HERE

They can be contacted through

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


I don’t know if you remember me writing about Acoustic Lakeside festival last year but its HERE. Art Brut introduced the festival to the drinking game Buffalo. It’s a game in which if you have your drink in your right hand when someone yells ‘Buffalo’ it means you have to finish it. It seems we might have created a monster.

I returned to Acoustic Lakeside this year with Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now. The festival has gone Buffalo mad. Absoloutely everybody I met with no exception was drinking with their left hands.

Possibly because they had puts signs up everywhere warning people the game was in progress.

At one point I was watching a band and switched my glass to my right hand to applaud. Immediately some young girls appeared out of the shadows and shouted Buffalo at me. This happened to me about three times. The man you can see pointing at the 'Attention Buffalo' sign is the king of Buffalo'ing he got Ian three times with pints of wine. I'd show you a photo but Ian would not appreciate it.

I truly love the Lakeside festival. I wish I could have had more time there. The whole event just feels like a brilliant party. Along with Indietracks its my favourite festival to play. The brilliant atmosphere brings out the best in the bands that play too. Lakeside and Indietracks were both my favourite EWITFR...N shows of the year.

I've made some Buffalo themed postcards for Lakeside. They come as a pair and cost £38 (including postage) One canvas is the front of the postcard, the other is the back, which I fill in. They are made of acrylic paint and 100% cotton canvas (5 x7") They look less expressionist than the photo. I only have a camera on my phone

I will be writing Buffalo on the postcard so don't open it with a drink in your right hand.

Contact me at

Monday, 2 August 2010

Indietracks Postcard

Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now played Indietracks last week. Indietracks is a brilliant festival, one of my favourites and the line up this year was great. I’m just gutted we couldn’t stay the whole weekend. I’m especially sad about missing The Pooh Sticks reunion, as well as M.J Hibbert and Shrag

We did get to see Veronica Falls and Allo Darlin, though, who were both brilliant.

Indietracks is definitely the most ‘Indie’ festival in the world. Before we played I was lying in the grass being nosey and listening to the conversations different groups of people were having around me. To prove my point: one conversation was about sending off for 7-inch records from the back of the Melody Maker and having to get your mum to sign the cheque, and another was about Jad Fair’s album that he recorded with Teenage Fanclub. It was nice. I felt at home and wanted to join in with both conversations.

I think the show went very well. I definitely enjoyed it. Ironically (as I hate them) my favourite part of our set is when we break into a little bit of a U2 song. I especially enjoyed doing that in front of a load of fans of indiepop. Here is a snippet of video from it.

Although we had to leave almost immediately after we played, I still managed to blag both the new Wimpy Milkshake and the new Shrag album. Both are brilliant and I think are out later this month. You should definitely buy them when they are released.

I’ve made some postcards for Indietracks. Each postcard set is on two 5x7” canvases. One canvas is the front of the postcard, and the other is the back. I fill in the back with what happened that day. It costs £35 for the set.

Thats quite a shaky photo of the painting as I only have a camera on my phone.

Contact me at

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


I played in the poetry tent at Latitude last week.

It was the first time I've been camping in about ten years. I think it was Ian and Dyan's first go at camping in a while too.

We all bought the cheapest tents we could possibly find: £20 from Argos (the shop not me). Unfortunately they were all NME endorsed tents. They came with the NME logo on them and a picture of a guitar. Which was fine for Ian but when I tried to swap mine for one that had a picture of a microphone on it they looked at me like I was mad.

I just presumed everybody going would be as cheap as us and have bought the same cheap tent. I even brought some ribbon along to tie too mine so I would be able to identify it from the thousands of other NME tents I imagined would be at the festival.

When we got there it turned out that we were the only people attempting to sleep in what was basically a shit wendy house. No need for the ribbon.

I'd been asked to play the poetry tent by Luke Wright who is a brilliant poet who wrote this blog about embarrassing himself introducing Art Brut a while back.

I'd said yes to playing the poetry tent without really thinking it through. My vanity said yes before I'd had a chance to stop it. I'd been flattered that someone had thought I was capable of playing a poetry tent.

As Latitude got closer though I bottled it and decided to bring a band with me: (p)Art Brut. Ian from Art Brut and Dyan from EWITFR...N and The Blood Arm. We were supposed to have rehearsed all the week before but then I suddenly got sick, so only managed to squeeze two practices in before we got there. We spent the entire day before we played rehearsing behind the Poetry tent, which must have pissed the actual poets off. Wendy Cope seemed especially nonplussed that she hadn't brought her guitarist with her.

Anyhow in the end I think it went quite well. As a concession to it being a poetry tent, I dressed a bit like Phil Juppitus, as that is how I imagine all poets dress. And as I had been sick all week I did the entire set sober, which was a bit strange for me but fun nonetheless. After we played I suddenly felt much better. Perhaps my debilitating sickness had just been a case of stage fright. Serves me right for thinking I was a poet.

Latitude was a brilliant festival. I hope I get to perform in an inappropriate tent again next year. Perhaps I could appear in the literary tent without having written a book or maybe I can do whatever that weird stilt walking thing into the lake was. Or perhaps I'll just buy a ticket.

I think the two best things I saw were Paul Heaton in the Word Tent and Belle And Sebastian on the main stage. Both were incredible. I had to leave early Sunday so unfortunately missed my mate Jim Bob reading from his book in the Literary Arena. I have read it though and it's brilliant. Go and buy it.

I made three postcards for Latitude but have sold them all sorry.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Five Children’s Books You Should Read.

Here is another one of those top 5's I wrote for something else. But am now putting up here.

This one is about children's books

I still read children’s books. It is a little embarrassing, but whenever I’m in a charity shop (or “thrift store” to you Americans), I can’t help heading over to the children’s book section and searching for a Three Investigator or Famous Five book I may have missed out on. Don’t get me wrong, I can read. It’s not that I’ve not got past a certain reading level, it’s just that there is something very satisfying about zooming through a book in (at the very most) a couple of hours. Here are my top 5 favourite children’s books.

5) Archers Goon by Diana Wynne Jones. I first found out about this book as a child from the BBC adaptation that was on at tea-time. I missed the final couple of episodes and couldn’t stop wondering how it turned out. More than a decade later Chris Chinchilla (Art Brut’s original guitarist) lent me his battered copy. I read it as a twenty-something and still thought it was brilliant. I don’t want to tell you the plot as it will spoil it, but you should go seek it out.

4) The Diamond Brothers series by Antony Horowitz. I love this series of books about a dimwitted private detective and his smart-mouthed younger brother. I love puns and wordplay, and these books are full of them. How can you resist a series of books whose titles are all plays on the titles of other famous films and novels? The Falcon’s Maltesers, The Blurred Man, The French Confection, The Geek Who Stole Christmas and South By South East. I’m eagerly awaiting the new novel The Radius Of The Lost Shark.

3) The Three Investigator series by various authors. I’ve loved The Three Investigators since I borrowed The Mystery Of The Haunted Castle from the library when I was seven. What is there not to love about a junior detective agency which has its secret headquarters in a junk yard in Rocky Beach, California? The early books all had a foreword written by Alfred Hitchcock who the trio would always go and visit to tell him about a solved case in the final chapter of the book. When I was growing up, Jupiter Jones was my hero. He still is a bit. In the books he is described as “stocky.” I used to overeat to be just like him (which I also still do a bit).

2) The William Brown series by Richmal Crompton.William is a mischievous schoolboy whose heart is generally in the right place, but he often gets into trouble anyway. And because so many of these books were written over a period of nearly fifty years (1921-1970), with William and his friends remaining the same age, they have also become a fascinating look at how a small village life in England changed over that period. Don’t read them for that reason though, read them because they are hysterically funny.

1) Raging Robots And Unruly Uncles by Margret Mahy. I was given this as a birthday present when I was very young. It has a complicated plot about a family of brothers whose father is trying to educate them to be evil villains, and their cousin Prudence whose father is trying to turn her into a prim and proper lady. It involves a magic doll, an evil robot and a Library/Garden/TV Repair/Bus Service/ Parrot Aviary/ Fortunetelling business. Read this book, if only for the last paragraph. It is one of my favorite paragraphs ever written.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Indie Tracks Postcard.

I've made a couple of postcards for Indie Tracks. Here they are on my desk.

I'll be selling them with our Merch at Indie Tracks.

They are £35 for a set. The set includes either the Indie Tracks logo or a scene from Indie Tracks.

Each set comes with the picture on one canvas and the postcard back on another. I fill in the postcard part with what happened that day.

I can make some more if needs be. But only if you are going to Indie Tracks or really really want to be there.

If your interested you can email me at

Monday, 12 July 2010

Latitude Postcard.

Latitude Postcard.

I've been making Postcards as Merchandise for the last couple of Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now shows. For reasons I go into here.

I'm playing Latitude this weekend. In the Poetry Arena. I think I'm on at about Midnight on Friday. Im playing re-workings of Art Brut and EWITFR...N songs with Ian on acoustic guitar and Dyan on the Piano. I cant wait.

Anyhow I've also decided to make postcards for all the festivals I'm playing at this summer. This is what the one for Latitude looks like. I'm making three of them. They come as a set on two pieces of canvas (5x7") and are painted in acrylic. I fill in the blank part of the postcard with what happened that day. They are £35 for the set of two.

I can be contacted at

See you there. X

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Top 5 Thursday. Food I Miss When I'm In The US

I have been writing a series of Top 5 lists for a website. We were going to put one up every week. I'm writing something else for them instead now though. So I have a stockpile of these that I'm going to put up on my own blog(s) every Thursday

Here is the first one.

Top 5 Delicious things from the UK that I miss when I’m in the US.

My girlfriend lives in Los Angeles so I spend a lot of time there. America has a lot of very tasty food. I love the fact that it’s OK to eat cakes for breakfast and their eggs are for some reason a lot tastier than the ones we have at home. There are some foods I really miss when I’m there, though.

5) Yorkshire Puddings.

Actually, it’s not just the Yorkshire pudding I miss; it’s the entire roast dinner. In the UK, it is tradition on a Sunday to have roast beef, pork or chicken with roast potatoes and other assorted roast vegetables. It’s a bit like what Americans have for Thanksgiving, but we have it every Sunday. My favourite bit is the Yorkshire pudding. Yorkshire pudding is made of batter and left in the oven to rise whilst you roast your meats. On the plate, you use it to soak up all the gravy. It is pretty tasty. I recently ate in a ‘British’ restaurant in Palm Springs and they served it with a salad. A bit weird, but I wolfed it down anyway (sans gravy) to satiate my craving.

4) Vimto

Vimto is a cordial that you mix with water to make a delicious fruity drink. They don’t really have cordials at all in America, let alone Vimto. This is odd, considering that Americans add sugar to absolutely everything, so you’d think they’d like the option to be able to add a sugary mix to water. Somebody recently brought me 7 bottles of Vimto to one of our shows. I did them all in one day.

3) Bread

All bread in America is terrible. I don’t know what they do to it. Its either filled with sugar and additives, or if it’s the healthy option, it seems to be made out of sawdust, seeds and bits of old twine. I really miss a nice medium sliced loaf of white bread when I’m in America

2) Bacon.

I always forget that American bacon is different than UK bacon. I order it in cafes, and when it turns up all petrified, crispy and inedible I always wish I’d ordered something else. Bacon in the UK is sort of like Canadian bacon but longer and more delicious

1) Cadbury’s Chocolate.

Most of the chocolate you get in America is disgusting. The absolute worst is Hershey’s. Hershey’s Kisses look like old dog poo that’s not been picked up by the owner and left to dry in the sun and probably tastes even worse than that. I would rather eat poo. When I’m in America I really miss Cadbury’s chocolate, especially the recently reissued Whispa Golds - a bubbly chocolate filled with caramel. Seemingly reissued just to fuck with the fact I'm supposed to be on a diet.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Lyric Free-Cycle

There is a thing called free-cycle in which people put items they no longer want on to the internet in case other people would like them and then if other people do want them those people can come round that first persons house and collect them of that person for free.

Thats not a very good description but you get the idea.

I've been writing lyrics all day. This involves me going through my phone and looking at all the ideas I've had, funny little rhyming couplets and what not. I threw a lot of them away as I was clearly mental and or drunk when I saved them into my phone

for example

"This Kanye West, Taylor Swift thing. Looks as real as proffessional wrestling"

being just one that I've thrown away. (EWITFR...N were going to write a song about the MTV Awards).

As I was banging my head on my desk earlier trying to think of lyrics. I thought it would be nice if there was a writing version of Free-cycle. Im sure someones got the lyrics I need somewhere and I may have the lyrics they are after saved in my phone.

I was going to start it and call it 'Lyric Free-Cycle' but I think half the fun of writing lyrics is chasing down that elusive rhyme. Also I think it might cause a problem with my publisher.

So I've decided not to start it. You can if you like but dont send me the link as I think it will spoil my fun.

Friday, 2 July 2010

EWITFR...N Live on Geekweek

About a month ago Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now were live on

I've only just figured out how to find the archived shows. So here it is.

I should probably tell you that this is after Ian had gone back to the UK. So it's Nathaniel from the Blood Arm stepping in. Although he has stepped in so many times now I'd say he is actually a member of EWITFR...N wether he wants to be or not.

I should also let you know that when we got to the venue we found out the PA didn't work. So had to rework our set and perform it without a P.A. or any amplification for the instruments or my voice. Luckily we are incredibly talented so you probably cant tell that there is anything wrong

Thanks to Geekweek for having us. It was a lot of fun.


Monday, 28 June 2010

European Festivals.

Hello. Im playing at some festivals over the summer with a few different bands.

I'm doing one with Art Brut, a few with Everybody Was In The French Resistance..Now and a couple just as myself.

The ones just as myself will be sort of poetry events. Although I'll have Dyan and Ian playing acoustic guitar and piano with me. I'll be doing different songs from all different bands. Some EWITFR...N, some reworked Art Brut maybe a Glam Chops song and some Art Goblins. I haven't decided yet. I've also been writing some new songs, well lyrics, that might not fit on the next Art Brut record so maybe some of them too.

Anyhow here are the dates

We played Indie Tracks and Acoustic Lakeside last year and they were great. I wrote about them Here and Here.

People have been emailing me asking about Art Brut and what's going on. We're busy busy busy writing our 4th Album.

Hopefully see you at the festivals.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Postcards from EWITFR...N! - US Tour

I was painting postcards for every show of the US tour here is an example of some of them.

I ran out out of time and canvas though, about half way around America.

Now I'm home I'm already making some postcards for the shows that I didn't have time to on the road. I've already sold a few of them. But if you were at a show where there wasn't a postcard or if you really wanted to be at a show and couldn't make it and want to buy a postcard. Im now selling them from here.

Just email me at

The postcards come on two stretched cotton 5 x 7" canvases (one for what would be the front of the postcard and one for what would the back). They are painted with acrylic paints and cost $50. I'll pay the postage as it is my fault that they weren't ready in time for the shows.

Monday, 31 May 2010

EWITFR...N! End of the tour.

I always intend to write a tour diary every day when I'm on tour. In the same way I intended to make a postcard for every show.

I bit off a bit more than I could chew this time though. So here are the edited highlights. I still intend to finish all the paintings I started too

I’ve traveled through nearly all of America since the last time I wrote.

We played in St Paul with our friend Raven whose band were brilliant. Whenever we play in the twin cities I inevitably get into a conversation about both the Replacements and the Hold Steady . This time was no exception and I ended up speaking to a guy who was convinced that his home address is going to be mentioned on the next Hold Steady album as it is literally the only place in the Minneapolis/St Paul area that Craig Finn has not put in a song yet.

After Minneapolis we played. Madison, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto with our friends Team Band. They were brilliant you can hear them HERE

It was nice to be back in Chicago with a different band. Art Brut played in Chicago so much last year it was beginning to feel like we were a local band. Chicago is a very generous place. Whenever I play in Chicago I get given some amazing presents . This time I got given a Replacements DVD, a Scotland Yard Gospel Choir album and a tin of exotic Vimto.

Vimto is my favourite drink (besides booze). I’d never seen this sort though.

It was just a delicious as normal Vimto.

I treat Vimto like a live giving medicine. I had intended to save the Vimto till the end of the tour but I felt so bad from all the booze the day after Chicago that I drank it the second I woke up. In my mind Brandon who gave me the Vimto probably saved my life.

We also played a few shows with The Grates who were great you can hear them HERE.

We played Philadelphia with the Grates. In Philedlphia we stayed in the most terrifying hotel I’ve ever been too. For days people had been warning us about it. I still wasn’t prepared though. It was the Motel 6 by the stadium. The lobby was full of people who looked like Dog The Bounty Hunter. We parked our van in a spot where a van had clearly just been broken into. Using the theory that lightening wouldn’t strike twice. When I was loading the guitars into the hotel some people in the lift asked me what sort of guns they were I couldn’t tell if they were joking not. We got the sense that something pretty shady was going on on the 15th floor. The next day Ian and I kind of regretted Not going up for a nosey about. The Rolling Stones definitely would have.

In New York we had a cartoon of ourseleves appear in The New Yorker

and I had a reunion of sorts with all the bands I'd played with when Art Brut did our 5 nights sold out residency at The Mercury Lounge last summer. We played with Murder Mystery, Phil And The Osophers and Les Sans Culloutes again and I bumped into Jeffery Lewis (pretty much completing the set) in the street when I was looking for a nice cake.

Finally there is a cat that has the same name as me that I met on Twitter. When we played in DC its's owner handed me this Postcard it had made of itself.

It is going up on my bedroom wall as soon as I get home to the UK.

I cant really remember much else of what happened. It was a pretty intense tour.

I started off making postcards for every show now I'm back in LA I'm going to finish the process. If you were at a show where I wasn't selling a postcard because I'd run out of time/canvas. You can email me at and I'll sell you one. They are $50 dollars each. I'll pay postage as it's my fault I didn't have them in time.

Friday, 7 May 2010

EWITFR....N North Dakota, Montana, Glasgow

The day after waking up in Great Falls was nearly exactly the same day again. Another thirteen hour drive although this time to a hotel in Jamestown. It felt a bit like the film Groundhog Day. And just like the film Groundhog Day, we learnt a lesson by repeating our day again. This time we bought food earlier in the day that we could heat up at the hotel.

Absolutely nothing happened on our drive to Jamestown. But I did see an amazing travel programme just before I left the hotel. It was trying to convince Americans what a lovely holiday destination Glasgow is.

I love Glasgow, but the programme wasn’t really selling it to me. It began with the presenter explaining that there were no special monuments or historical places of interest to go to in Glasgow, and it did this by showing clips of all the interesting places and beautiful monuments of Edinburgh whilst the voice over said,

“There are none of these things in Glasgow. It is an industrial city”

Next, the presenter was in a large shopping center explaining how it was one of the biggest shopping centers in Europe and how people came from all over Europe just to go shopping there. Then she added the disclaimer:

“Not for Americans though, the exchange rate is terrible, everything is VERY expensive here.”

So after clarifying that there were no places of historic interest or beauty, and that the shops were incredibly expensive for Americans, the presenter got into a taxi and asked the taxi driver her to take her to a well-known Glaswegian landmark. He told her that there weren’t any. Next she asked him what was the biggest change to Glasgow he had seen in his lifetime. He said,

“Well, the biggest difference for me is that it’s cleaner now, when I was growing up everything was covered in a thick layer of black soot.”

So to recap: Glasgow has no famous monuments, places of historic interest or beauty, it is very expensive and the biggest improvement it has had in the last 40 years is that it is no longer covered in soot.

I think if I had been in charge of that programme I would have framed it a bit differently. The presenter was very happy with her free hotel room, but that was about it. I would have just shown thirty minutes of amazing music: Belle and Sebastian, The Yummy Fur, Bis, Franz Ferdinand, 1990s, Ureausi Yatsura, Sons and Daughters, We Are The Physics etc. The commentary between the songs would be my voice saying,

“There has never been a bad band from Glasgow, the people here are brilliant. Go to Glasgow and have lots of fun, especially now that it is not covered in soot.”

I think that would have worked better.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

EWITFR...N Seattle and Great Falls

The show after Kennewick was Seattle. Nothing unusual or funny happened. It was just a gig in a bar with some people who seemed to enjoy it. We played with a band called the Tea Cozies. I really liked them. We swapped records with them. Theirs sounds a little bit like Elastica. Have a listen.

The next day we began our massive drive from Seattle to Minneapolis. It takes nearly three days of solid driving. The first day we drove 670 miles, which took about 12 hours. The landscape is just mountains or wide open plains. That can do funny things to your head. We arrived in Great Falls, where we were staying, at about 11pm. The only place left open still serving food was a fast food place called Hardees. The food didn’t look particularly appetizing, but as it was all there was and we were ravenous we went for it. Hardees was supposed to shut at midnight, but as it was a Sunday, whoever was working there had decided to shut up about thirty minutes early. We could see the fucker in there sneaking around trying to hide from us as our stomachs grumbled.

I think the long drive had made us go mad as when we got back to the hotel. Dyan wrote a strongly worded email to the company and Ian and I tried to eat instant noodles that we had cooked in coffee cups in the hotel microwave. As I shoveled burning hot yet uncooked noodles into my mouth with a makeshift fork I’d fashioned out of a straw and some coffee stirrers (Ian went for using biros as chopsticks). I got angrier and angrier I had to be physically restrained from going back to the Hardees and throwing a brick through the window. It’s lucky Dyan wrote the email. If it had been me it would have ended up as a death threat and the police would probably have become involved. Actually my email would have just been a photo of me in my pants using a pen to eat noodles with ‘you have reduced me to this’ written underneath it.

I’d like to say it was the 13-hour van journey that had made me so mad and angry, but when I woke up the next day I was still livid. Luckily we didn’t have time for me to go and vent my frustration as we had another 13-hour drive ahead of us.

If there is a lesson to be learnt from this it's dont make me hungry, you wouldn't like me when I'm hungry.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

EWITFR...N Tour Diary. Portland and Kennewick

The first show after California was in Portland Oregon. We played with a band called And And And, who were pretty awesome and had perhaps one of the drunkest and most confused people I’ve ever seen playing with them.

The crowd was pretty small, apparently due to a basketball game that was happening at the same time. As I’m sure you all know, if you were to look at a Venn diagram of sports fans and fans of conceptual pop music/reply songs, there would be massive overlap in the middle. In fact, it just looks like a perfectly-drawn circle.

My postcard went to a man called I think Ryan.

We stayed with more members of Dyan’s family in Portland but barely had time to sample their hospitality, although there was just enough time to be in their bathroom when they were trying to get ready for work (sorry). We were in a rush as we had an important radio session to get to in Kennewick.

The radio session in Kennewick was one of the most fun/surreal radio sessions I’ve ever done. We had to play our songs acoustically to a small group of disinterested school children without any monitors or way of hearing what we were playing.

I don’t know if you’ve ever blindly played a song that is an historically accurate account of Nazi-occupied France to a group of school children who look like they really want to leave, but if you haven’t, I recommend you do. It is character building.

Our show in Kennewick that night was in a booze-free coffee shop. So not only was the audience sober, they were very sober. It was a quiet show again, much quieter than Portland. This was not because of a sporting event this time; it was just because they really didn’t like us.

Bill Hicks has a joke about an audience looking at him like a dog that’s just been shown a card trick. I’d like to say that about Kennewick but I don’t think that would be fair to them. Looking into the audience their faces more resembled people that had accidentally walked into an empty shop, been greeted by a friendly shopkeeper (me), and then realized there was nothing they wanted to buy. Their faces all had a polite look, but one that was hiding a frenzied plan for escape. That’s fair enough, I don’t think EWITFR…N is for everyone and I appreciate them for trying to enjoy it.

We sold one T-shirt to a man that almost looked ashamed to be buying it. I didn’t sell my postcard. I’m saving it to hopefully sell to some one who really enjoys us. I’ve written ‘wish you were here’ on it.

EWITFR...N Tour Diary.

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now are driving around America in a tiny white van playing shows. I thought I would write about it.


The tour got off to a shaky start. Ian was supposed to be coming over a week early to learn all the guitar parts but was trapped in England by the unpronounceable volcano. We ended up training Nathaniel from The Blood Arm to play the parts in case Ian didn’t arrive in time. Ian arrived the night before the first show and learnt most, of the parts the next day. So, we played our first couple of shows as a four piece. You can see some clips of our Echo show HERE.

It didn’t feel much like a tour until we left California. I pretty much live in LA now, and San Diego isn’t much of a drive, so we stayed in our own beds after the first two shows. And in San Francisco, we stayed with Dyan’s parents ate Julia Child’s coq au vin and drank their delicious wine, so it felt more like Christmas than being on tour.

Even after the show in San Francisco, we stayed with our friend Keith Boadwee and drunk a mountain of booze, but his hospitality made it feel more like a slumber party than part of a tour.

I’ve been making postcards for every show. In California they went to Janella, Mauricio, and Lee and Randy.

We also got to play with two of my favourite bands: Ezra Furman and The Harpoons in LA and Carletta Sue Kay in San Francisco.


The tour really began when we stayed in our first Motel 6, with all its cost-cutting effectiveness (tiny towels, no shampoo and no ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign being the main three). The no ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign is the cleverest cost-cutting, as it allows them to hound you out of the motel from about 8am to make room for the next load of tired and confused guests.

In the vending machine of the Motel 6, I saw a drink called Squirt. Squirt has to be the worst name for a soft drink ever. It sounds so unappetizing.

“Can I interest you in a glass of Squirt?”

“I have a jug full of Squirt in the fridge if you would like to try some?”

“I’m sorry I only have some warm Squirt to offer you, I hope this is ok?”

These are all questions I’d be disgusted to hear. I imagine Squirt to have quite a brackish taste. Ian tried some though, and told me it tastes a bit like Mountain Dew or Sierra Mist, which of course just makes Sierra Mist and Mountain Dew sound like euphemisms.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Postcards from EWITFR...N! - US Tour

I've been making Postcards for the Everybody Was In The French...Now. I wrote about why I was doing it HERE.

For the US tour I'm making a postcard (or maybe two, I haven't decided yet) for every show.

Here are the postcards for the Californian leg of the tour.

All the postcards will be made of two 12.7 x 17.7cm 100% pure cotton canvases,acrylic paint and pen.

The second part of the postcard looks like this.

I will fill it in with what has happened that day and add one of my stamps which look like this

The postcards will cost $50 and be available at the merch table.

The Californian shows are

April 23rd The Echo, LA
April 24th Casbah, San Diego
April 27th Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco

See you there Edx

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Postcards from EWITFR...N! - Paris

I've been making postcards for places that Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now have played. Here is the postcard for Paris.

Our show in Paris was supporting The Fiery Furnaces. They were awesome.

We arrived at the venue pretty early in the afternoon. With the later soundcheck I was looking forward to hanging out with all the Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now touring party in Paris. All five of us.

Chalky the tour manager let us out the van and we waited for him to come back. Turns out the nearest parking for the venue was two train stops away. Thats why I've drawn a map of the surrounding area for the postcard. I've left the directions for parking in as a kind of ironic joke.

We were worried about our name upsetting people but the gig went really well.

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now have a tradition of coming on to the same piece of music every night. That piece of music is the Marseillaise, the French national anthem . As we were supporting in Paris this worked out particularly well for us as when the audience heard the music they all automatically got to their feet, ready for the show.

This painting is sold but if you were at any other of the Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now shows and would like me to make you a postcard they come on two separate canvases cost £35 and I can be reached at

Monday, 12 April 2010

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Postcards from EWITFR...N! - Hamburg

I've been making Postcards. I made one for every date of the Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now UK tour. I don't have time to make one for every show from the European leg of the tour but am making some on request. Here is the postcard for Hamburg

I was hoping somebody was going to ask me to paint a postcard for Hamburg. It was perhaps my favourite German show and definitely one of my favourite venues.

The Prinzenbar is a very old building that used to be a cinema. Its walls already look like a painting, a flaky old yellow-ing painting. It really is beautiful. Using the power of the internet you can actually have a real look round it by clicking HERE

When we played there what struck me was the contrast of the beautiful old building and the fact it was being used as a music venue for club nights and putting on funny indie bands. It did feel a lot like we didn't belong there and that we'd snuck the PA equipment in ourselves. My over-riding memory of the night (besides it being a brilliant show) is worrying that someone might come in at any minute and chase us out. I remember walking down into the audience during Think Twice It's Not Alright and looking back over my shoulder, seeing the PA and thinking how incredibly out of place it looked.

The postcard is of a speaker against the backdrop of the faded yellow walls.

If you were at one of the European shows and would like a postcard let me know my email is

The postcards are £35 each plus postage (about £3) and when I send them to you I will fill in the back with what happened that day and add a stamp that I have made.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Postcards from EWITFR...N!

I recently made a postcard painting for every show Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now played in the UK.

They all sold pretty fast and since then I've had a few emails from people asking if I'm making any for the European tour we did.

I'm only home for about a week before I head off on the US tour. But if anyone would like a postcard from one of the European dates they can email me and let me know. I'll make it and post it up here before sending it to you. I'm still only going to make one from each venue though and only for people who were there or really really wanted to be.

The postcards are on two 4" x 6" canvases (one for the front and one for the back of the postcard) and are made with acrylic paint and sharpie pen. They cost £35 plus postage for the pair.

You can get in touch with me at

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now US tour

We're going on a massive US tour.

April 23 @ The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
April 24 @ The Casbah, San Diego, CA (EARLY SHOW)
April 27 @ Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA
April 29 @ Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR
April 30 @ Red Room Coffee and Concert House, Kennewick, WA
May 1 @ High Drive, Seattle, WA
May 4 @ Turf Club, Minneapolis, MN
May 5 @ The Frequency, Madison, WI
May 6 @ Schubas, Chicago, IL
May 7 @ Majestic Café, Detroit, MI
May 8 @ El Mocambo, Toronto, ON
May 9 @ La Sala Rossa, Montreal, OT
May 11 @ Great Scott, Boston, MA
May 12 @ Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
May 13 @ Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY
May 14 @ North Star, Philadelphia, PA
May 15 @ DC9, Washington, DC
May 16 @ Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
May 17 @ The Earl, Atlanta, GA
May 18 @ Bottletree, Birmingham, AL
May 19 @ Exit/In, Nashville, TN
May 21 @ Mangos, Houston, TX
May 22 @ Emo's Indoors, Austin, TX
May 23 @ Hayley's, Denton, TX
May 26 @ Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ

We've got Ian Catskilkin playing guitar and drums with us this time. So we're writing a response to a Mott The Hoople song just to give him a big solo.

See You there Edx

Monday, 29 March 2010


I've been painting postcards. For reasons I explain HERE on the first blog which was London. I've also painted postcards for NOTTINGHAM, NORWICH, BRISTOL, and LEEDS. They have all been sold.

Manchester was the last UK show of the Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now tour.

Here is the Postcard for Manchester.

I know its not very rock and roll to admit but I have a bad back. My bad back is probably due to a combination of all the jobs that I've had that have involved lifting heavy things and my (very rock and roll) lackadaisical attitude to health and safety procedures.

My bad back comes and goes. When its at its worst though I can't stand up straight, can barely walk and am in a lot of pain. It nearly ended the last Art Brut tour when, in Amsterdam, I had to be carried to hospital. Luckily they gave me lots and lots of powerful painkillers and I managed to hobble through the rest of the tour.

On the EWITFR...N tour my bad back had begun to slowly get worse. By Leeds I was worried that I was going to seize up again like I had in Amsterdam. Luckily though Dyan had been told a neat trick by her physiotherapist. Apparently if you have the sort of bad back that I get you can get a tennis ball, place it under your back in the problem area, lie on the ground and roll around forcing the ball into your back and this will help.

I was skeptical. But the promoter in Leeds had brought me a tennis ball (taken from his dog). I lied down on it and rolled around the floor. It really did help. I spent most of the day in Manchester rolling around on my back, on the tennis ball, in a three piece suit (optional) and by the time we came to play the show I was fixed.

I couldn't believe it. All the pain I've been in over the last five or six years all I'd needed to fix it was a fucking tennis ball.

Anyway the tennis ball saved the show and now I carry one everywhere I go. So I've decided to paint a tennis ball for Manchester, the final day of the UK tour and I wish I had known about their magic healing properties before.

The Manchester postcard is made of two 100% Cotton Canvases (4"x 6"), Acrylic Paint and Sharpie pen. I will fill in the back with what happened that day and add a stamp that I have also made to it. (I will post it to you in a proper envelope with real stamps though)

It is £35 plus postage. There is only one and I would prefer to sell it to someone who was at the show Manchester or really really wanted to be there You can contact me at

(I am not a Doctor. If you have a bad back. I advise you to seek a proper medical opinion)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Clever Clever Jazz

I have a pretentious Art Blog in which I'm attempting to make a painting for every song I've ever written. I sort of cheated this time and used one painting for two songs.

Those two songs are Skin Flick and Charity Shop by my old band Future And The Boy.

I think with Skin Flick I was trying to write lyrics like the Yummy Fur and Charity Shop was based around a short story I had written about a man finding all his possessions in a charity shop and then realising he was dead.

These songs are being released by Filthy Little Angel off shoot Leaving Home Records. They have pressed 200 of them and they are available HERE for £4 from April 5th (I think you can pre-order)

My pretentious art blog is HERE. It has paintings for sale and a story about my old band The Art Goblins.


I've been painting postcards. For reasons I explain HERE on the first blog which was London. I've also painted postcards for NOTTINGHAM, NORWICH and BRISTOL. They have all been sold.

Here is the Postcard for Leeds

Leeds was the fifth show of the UK tour and for this one we had Internet Forever with us instead of the Lovely Eggs. Despite Internet Forever being brilliant, I did miss the Lovely Eggs a little bit. Mainly because I'd spent most of the night before drinking and playing table football with them and wanted a rematch because I'd lost.

After our show at the Thekla we'd gone to a place called the Lanes to watch Tender Trap. Which is where I was beaten by The Lovely Eggs at table football. My friend Matt Biscuit from The Art Goblins had also come out for the evening and he beat me at bowling. Now I shouldn't have really been bowling as I had a bad back. I was full of booze though and felt invincible.

The next day waking up in the Bristol hotel room I could barely walk. I was bent double, I looked like a question mark. I was terrified that we wouldn't be able to play the show in Leeds. It took me nearly an hour to get dressed and then Dyan had to carry me out to the van. I'd suffered from a bad back like this before and knew that it usually gets worse before it gets better. Instead of sitting in one of the vans seats I lay completely flat on my back on the floor for the entire trip to Leeds.

Leeds is quite a long way from Bristol so we stopped at a service station half way for lunch.It took me ages to climb out of the van. In the end I had to slide out slowly on my back with my groin raised high in the air. I slowly inched my way out with my three piece suit riding up around my waist, swearing loudly to myself and laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. It wasn't till I'd managed to get out of the van that I noticed that in the car parked directly next to us there was a family eating sandwiches staring in at me. I'm suprised they didn't phone the police.

I thought about painting me sliding out of the van on my back for the postcard as a kind of play on the way female popstars have to learn how to get out of limousines in short dresses. The image is still too painful for me though and would look more than a little vulgar.

Anyway we got to the Brudenell Social club fine. I was suprised as it turned out to be a proper social club with tables and seating. The sort that I used to go to with my grandad. Its an amazing venue.

Luckily as I do a lot less jumping and kicking in EITFR...N then I do in Art Brut, I managed to play the show. Although with we me hanging off the microphone stand and everybody sitting down at tables it did give it a kind of cabaret feel.

From my experience with my back, I knew it was only going to get worse and was worried about the next show in Manchester. The promoter gave me something though that cured my back and saved the show in Manchester. I'll paint it for the Manchester postcard.

My Leeds postcard is made of two 4"x6" 100% cotton canvases, acrylic paint and sharpie pen. It costs £35. If you buy it I will fill the back in with pen and add a stamp that I have also made.

I will post it to you in a proper envelope though.

I can be contacted at