Wednesday 25 May 2011

The Black Ships Release Free EP








Founding members of one of the most iconic British bands of recent times The Verve, Nick McCabe and Simon Jones today reveal the first material from new project The Black Ships. Joined in The Black Ships by Mig Schillace (Portishead / Goldfrapp) and Davide Rossi (whose string compositions have been used by the likes of The Verve, Coldplay & Goldfrapp).

The Black Ships have also announced their debut live appearance. This will take place at Kings College, London on Thursday 2nd june. Limited tickets are available from SeeTickets.

About the release, and The Black Ships, Nick McCabe had the following to say:

"You just know when things are right. The four of us met in various circumstances and each meeting was accompanied by this feeling of "we've absolutely got to do more together". And here we are. The joy of music: what does that really mean? Living and breathing it. Obsessing about detail whilst discovering the beauty in chance, and then doing what is necessary to give it life. All the peripheral activity, traditionally taken out of your hands in service of the big organisations of yore becomes a joy in service of the music. It is undoubtedly the hardest work we have collectively put into any band, but the satisfaction is already huge.

"Kurofune" was spawned/recorded in Noah's tiny "Best Kept Secret" studios in Copenhagen in one of the many feverish explorations of what we do as a unit. During the course of other work for earmarked album material, revisions and rethinks, extensions and reductions occurred at: my place in Walworth, South London, Davide's abode in Copenhagen, and Si's place in Chester.

"Rain Down On Me" was never going to make the album in it's original form, it is too much of its own man, it is only here that right and properly, it stands unmolested by the distraction of 'other songs'". "Dawn Till Dusk" exists in several versions, here, we give you a rain soaked soundscape to get lost in. "Northern Rock" is a lullaby to a fallen empire.

I mixed and did final edits over three days in May at my studio in South London and mastered it during rehearsals whilst at Si's in Chester.

This music is of and about the connections and disconnections of human life. It has its own will, and we are glad to obey it. It is a grand thing to be aboard The Black Ships. Welcome."

Saturday 7 May 2011

Ashcroft On The Best Place to Drink In New York

“When I was younger, I used to stay at the Chelsea Hotel,” says Richard Ashcroft, now 39. “You were required to have a wild time or you weren’t allowed to stay there. The corridors felt like you were in Angel Heart and William Burroughs might stumble out of a room at any moment.” Two decades have passed since the former Verve frontman first roamed those hallowed New York halls, and on “ Third Eye,” a B-side from his fourth solo album, The United Nations of Sound, Ashcroft sings about a different place entirely.

“Let me take you there, to the rarified air of the Mandarin/ I got my beer in my hand, thinking ’bout my life plans.” You’d be forgiven for assuming that Ashcroft—who wrote the ballad “ The Drugs Don’t Work” about his well-documented battle with substance abuse—was recalling a psychedelic night inside a giant piece of fruit. But then he continues: “Just sittin’ in the Mandarin, and watch ’em go in cirles/ Columbus circles.” It becomes apparent—especially if you’re a New Yorker—that Ashcroft’s Mandarin is actually the luxury hotel in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center overlooking Central Park, not a precious kind of orange. “I recommend for everybody to go and have one drink at that place,” Ashcroft says of the hotel’s bar. “I stayed there on my own, all night, and saw the sun rise over Central Park,” he says. “It’s the only manmade thing I’ve seen that feels like you’re looking at the ocean, because the concrete just stops at the edge of the park. The shadows and the way the light changes all of those buildings is absolutely incredible.”