Thursday, 16 January 2014

Recording update




Hello!

The initial recording session for my new album is now complete. It was intense but really enjoyable due to working with such great musicians and of course, Luke who engineered the sessions at Tilehouse Studios

The tracks we worked on are:

1. Anne - a dedication to Anne Frank (here's the acoustic demo). 
2. Fever - a dark, quite heavy track (an early live version here).
3. Destiny - this has a lovely, quite funky change in it! (here's a live acoustic version).
4. Que Sera - a delicate little gem is all I can say.
5. Ghost Hunter - another dark track, inspired by Derren Brown. This one is full of surprises...
6. Third Movement - an older track which now is full band. Here's the official video to the acoustic version.
7. Travelling Man - inspired by a tour of Europe with guitarist Jon which started this whole blog off as you can see.

Other tracks which may or may not grace the final album may or may not include: Let It Go, Dark Passenger, 5476 Miles, Stepping Up, Dancing. 

Here's a little 90 second video of the session to give you a tiny taster! 




The tracks are being mixed by Luke right now, I think they're really quite special and I'm excited to release them to the world. 

Huge thanks to Tali Trow, Jon Bretman, Pat Kenneally, Dave Holland, Luke Oldfield, Chris Preswell and not forgetting Gemma Corker for the amazing catering.

I'll leave now with some more photos for your delectation (click to make big).

Much love,

Nigel. X















Wednesday, 16 October 2013

New recordings, acting and a bit of both.

NEW ALBUM

I'm very pleased to announce I'll be recording my first proper solo album at Tilehouse Studios in January with a group of some of the best session musicians in the country. 

Here's a little sample of what we've done already (this one recorded at Bowerman Studios) and yes, it contains real harp, violin and cello.



There are live videos for 'Fever' and 'Travelling Man' both of which will appear on the album if you fancy other, very different tasters!

You can still currently download my acoustic album, 'Third Movement' for free from here. It'll be deleted at the end of the year, so get it while you can. 

MUSIC VIDEOS

I'm featured in the new Rizzle Kicks music video 'Skip to the Good Bit' which samples the famous EMF song. Here it is:



 Earlier this year I was also lucky enough to feature in the music video to 'Footsteps' from The Jar Family which you can see here. They're a great band, well worth checking out. 

My penchant for making low-fi music videos for The Foxes album tracks continue with this latest offering for "Sweet Little Wonder".  It features all of us in the bath, which will both delight and shock in (un)equal measure.



Other humbly home made videos include:

The Sad Thing.

Get Me. 

Send Me Nothing. 

Country Low.

No Reply (made by my brother Terry).

Candlestick director Chris Presswell who helped with filming this also made a very special little stop-motion/layered video test called 'Nigel Gets What He Deserves' which is both spiritually correct and rather amusing.

Chris was also responsible for taking the photo of me which was featured in the final episode of one of my all time favourite TV comedies, The IT Crowd on Channel 4. 




To quote Chris himself: "The episode is currently available on 4oD."


THE FILM

The new feature film I'm in, Candlestick, is 'a stylish Hitchcock style thriller'. The production team have just finished recording the score with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (which provided the music to such films as The Sixth Sense, District 9 and Mullholland Drive) and it'll be out in 2014. 

Follow the Candlestick facebook page for exclusive photos and regular updates. 

 

THE ADVERTS

Never one to turn down the chance to wear a bright green full body jumpsuit, I'm the 'game head' in this Stride advert for Gumulon. I also have a beard in this, which I quite like.



Using my geeky acting side to its extreme, I play Francis in this comedy viral ad. It's fine, I want to hit myself quite a bit in this too. 

video

Do check out the out-takes video too. 

AND FINALLY....

Thank you to everyone who came to see me in Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens at the Leicester Square Theatre this summer, directed by Stuart Saint. It was glittery, challenging and a lot of fun. 



Until next time....

Much love, 

Nigel. 

P.S. I found this: 'Hit or Miss' by Odetta Holmes. It's great. 
P.P.S. You can still find me dj'ing Death2Disco every week at Notting Hill Arts Club. I book the bands too, feel free to make suggestions. 
P.P.P.S. Real or not, this video has completely cured me. 
P.P.P.P.S. Pub quiz? 
  • While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance.” Oscar Wilde.

     

    "I got tiger blood, man. My brain...fires in a way that is - I don't know, maybe not from this particular terrestrial realm."  Charlie Sheen.

While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/o/oscarwilde396809.html#UEb1bOcoMw6rsC5A.99

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

All good things...

Today in 1969, The Beatles' last public performance took place, on the roof of Apple Records in London. 

With that in mind...


 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

It's oh so quiet....

.....quiet that is unless you've got our début album (or more especially, our early singles) cranked up to 11. Which is one louder. Speaking of which, did you read our review in Q Magazine?! 





THOUGHTFUL WORDS ALERT.

Things have been undeniably quiet on The Foxes front of late - after all the effort and excitement of releasing 'Last of Many' a little break to breathe and relax was much needed. It goes without saying, though I'm going to say it anyway, that financing, recording and releasing music to the kind of standard we want is an incredible amount of (highly rewarding) effort. It's much regrettable that we didn't get anywhere near the kind of industry support we thought we would for the album and I still feel personally that, with the right push and support, it could have been far more successful and have had a greater reach than it has.  
Our stark refusal to follow trends, add keyboards, wear skinny jeans and so forth has undoubtedly contributed to this situation - but then, we've always just done what we wanted and made the music we've wanted to make. Hence, we are extremely proud of what we've done and are happy that we continue to gain new listeners and fans through word of mouth and people simply enjoying the music. 

I'll be honest - I don't know if/when we're going to play or record again as The Foxes. We're still friends and see and play together all the time as our money-making covers playing side project, "The Hound Dogs" - the set up which funded EVERYTHING we did together and every note of music you can hear which includes the words "The Foxes".


One thing I WILL be doing is continuing to make music videos for the tracks from the album, the next one being 'Sweet Little Wonder' - a live version of which you can watch here!

So, what's everyone in the band up to while not doing The Foxes? 

* First off, huge congratulations to our drummer, Steve, who recently got engaged to the very lovely Tania. They really are the most lovely couple.

* Among other things our bassist Alex has been running some amazingly successful pub quizzes which he writes from scratch - and I've even been helping out doing quiz master duties 
so will be at The Cock Tavern in Fulham every Sunday from 7.30pm if you want to pop down!

* Our guitarist Jon has been busy doing advanced computery stuff making phone apps as well as working on getting a degree (he's been coming first in everything so far - clever cloggs!)

* As for me - I'm currently performing in a new West End musical called "Toxic Bankers" - which runs at the Leicester Square Theatre until 14th April when we'll be going on tour, including Manchester. We've had loads of great reviews including The Telegraph, The Stage, and this BBC report! We even got a mention in the New York Times yesterday.

I'll also be recording a lot of exciting new music this summer - and most recently made a music video to "Third Movement" which you can watch by clicking here and download for FREE by clicking here!

I'm going to leave you by posting all our music videos below - simply because I'm biased and think that they're great and deserve to be seen. Have a flick through!! Don't forget they're all on iTunes and other (better) music sites if you like them.




TRAUMA TOWN (first single)



First up we've got "Trauma Town" - filmed at The Borderline just off Charing Cross Road in London and also, without permission, on the London Underground. I wrote the song about the small minority of people who make everyone else's life a nightmare in public, especially on public transport. Including zombies. There's behind the scenes footage here.



 BILL HICKS (second single)


Next up we have "Bill Hicks" - a song dedicated to the great great comedian who died far before his time. I wrote to Bill's family who were 100% supporting of the song and video and whom I've been fortunate enough to meet several times. If you look on the Youtube for this you'll see more hits and more abuse than for anything else we've ever done. People have actually wished death on us for dedicating a song to one of our heroes. It's quite funny really, in a sad sad way.




LOVER, KILLER (third single)  

Our third single was for one of our favourite songs, "Lover, Killer" - which I wrote based on a). the character Nicola Six from the novel 'London Fields' by Martin Amis and b). beautiful and stuck up girls in and around High Street Kensington. It was filmed in my home town of Brighton on the seafront and at The Grand Hotel. Although it's just featuring yours truly, Jon was actually there for the shoot and was one of the people pouring freezing cold water on me.




GET ME (EP/album track)  


Although "Get Me" is on 'Last of Many' it was also the first track from our EP 'Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame.'  I made this video entirely from footage filmed on my phone at Sawmills Studio in Cornwall where we recorded the album. It was pieced together on Windows Movie Maker. A lot of people have said this is their favourite video as it just shows the band relaxed and having fun making music.




NO REPLY (EP/album track) 

Another track from the EP and album, "No Reply" is stop motion clay modelling made entirely by my brother, Terry Thomas at home in Somerset in his bedroom (when he was 16!). I think it's amazing, I love it. He also did a test run the year before to a b-side, "Headlock".




COUNTRY LOW (EP/album track) 

"Country Low" was made using a game I used to love playing on my Atari ST when I was little called "Space Quest". It was one of those parser games where you'd move the character with the cursor keys and type in what you wanted him to do, i.e. "look around" etc. I thought this was ideal for including lyrics, so set up my little HD camera in front of the screen and filmed it from different parts of the game. It took HOURS and HOURS to get right and probably could be more slick, but then the rough edges give it a home-made charm! 


THE SAD THING (album track) 

Challenged again to make a music video from a budget of exactly zero pounds and zero pence, I decided  for "The Sad Thing" to make use of a huge bag of candles I had at the bottom of my drawer since uni and we filmed this at our rehearsal studio, 'Survival' in North Acton without a fire extinguisher or permission. I really enjoyed making this video to one of my favourite songs from the album. It's amazing how hot it got when sitting in the middle of the candles.  I love the fact you can see the plugs in the video too.


SEND ME NOTHING (album track) 

This album track, "Send Me Nothing"  was also filmed at Survival Studios on the same day as we did "The Sad Thing". It was filmed using Steve's camera which took bursts of photos in quick succession - so I had to piece this together from literally thousands of photographs. I remember I'd read a particularly lazy review of 'Last of Many' the day I filmed the...er....smashing of the album bit with the hammer, so it not only fits the song lyrics rather well but also represents lazy music journalism where you might as well just destroy an album rather than listen to it or try to provide constructive criticism. We'd only JUST got the album delivered that day, so the first many people saw of the new album (including Alex!) was me destroying it.



I love and appreciate your comments and thoughts, as always.


Much love, 


Nigel.


P.S. discount tickets to see me in TOXIC BANKERS here!
P.P.S. I play three acoustic songs (including "Suzy" from our début album) and chat from 24.36 - straight after the Alan McGee interview on Gia's "Independent Session" show.
P.P.P.P.S. Thank you so much for reading my blog.




"But this rough magic
I here abjure; and, when I have requir'd
Some heavenly music — which even now I do, —
To work mine end upon their senses that
This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And, deeper than did ever plummet sound,
I'll drown my book."

The Tempest, Act V, Scene 1. 


Sunday, 4 December 2011

OUR ALBUM IS OUT!





 We're very proud and excited that our début album, "Last of Many" is now available! 

"Last of Many has the crucial edge needed for an indie band to stand out....The Foxes keep the album interesting with surprisingly complex tracks that provide fluidity while still seeming effortless."
Click here to read it all. 

"Last of Many is a perfect example of a group giving birth to their ultimate sound...this album is filled with upbeat yet grungy tracks that resemble a sort of roller-coaster made specifically for the ears."
Click here to read it all. 


You can download the album from:

iTunes
Amazon (UK)
CD artwork
Amazon (US)


You can buy the album in CD format (complete with the beautifully hand illustrated artwork and lyrics) from:

Rough Trade (£10.99)

Cargo Records (£9.49) 
Norman Records (independent store - £8.79) 
Tesco (£8.47)
Play.com (£7.99)

Zavvi (£7.95)

Amazon (£7.88)

Please don't forget to leave a review if you can, wherever you choose to buy the album from and tell your friends about it! 




SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RECORD SHOP! 


Independent record stores stocking "Last of Many" in the UK.

  • A & A discs, Cheshire - 01260 280 778
  • Acorn, Yeovil - 01935 425 503 - Website 
  • Action Records, Preston - 0177 2258809 - Website 
  • Andy's,  Aberystwyth - 01970 624581 - Website 
  • Badlands, Huddersfield - 01484 454054
  • Barnstorm, Dumfries - 01387 267894
  • Beatdown, Newcastle - 0191 261 8894 - Website 
  • Casbah, London - 0208 858 1964
  • Crash, Leeds - 0113 2436743 - Website 
  • Dada Records, London - 0208 747 9790
  • Derricks, Swansea - 01792 654226 - Website 
  • Diverse, Newport - 01633 259661 - Website 
  • Fives, Leigh-On-Sea - 01702 711 629
  • Gatefield Sounds, Whitstable - 01227 263 337
  • Head, Bristol - 01179 297798
  • Head Records, Leamington Spa - 01926 887 870
  • Jam, Cornwall - 01326 211 722 - Website 
  • Jumbo Records, Leeds - 0113 2455570 - Website 
  • Love Music, Glasgow - 0141 332 2099
  • Music Mania, Hanley - 01782 206 000
  • One Up, Aberdeen - 01224 642662 - Website 
  • Paradiso, Liverpool - 0151 5123 699
  • Phoenix Sounds, Devon - 01626 334 942 - Website 
  • Piccadilly Records, Manchester - 0161 839 8008 - Website 
  • Probe, Liverpool - 0151 7088815 - Website 
  • Rapture, Oxford - 01993 700 567
  • Raves From The Grave, Somerset - 01373 464 666 - Website 
  • Record Collector, Sheffield - 0114 266 8493
  • Record Corner, Surrey - 01483 422 006 - Website 
  • Record Village, Scunthorpe - 01724 851048
  • Reflex, Newcastle - 0191 2603246 - Website 
  • Resident, Brighton - 01273 606312 - Website 
  • Rise, Bristol - 01179297511
  • Rise, Swindon - Website 
  • Rise, Cheltenham - 01242 228493 - Website 
  • Rough Trade East, London - 0207 392 7788 - Website 
  • Rough Trade Talbot Rd, London - 020 7229 8541 - Website 
  • Rounder, Brighton - 01273 325440 - Website 
  • Sister Ray, London - 020 7734 3297 - Website 
  • Sound It Out, Stockton on Tees - 01642 860068 - Website 
  • Sound Knowledge, Marlborough - 01675 511 106
  • Soundclash, Norwich - 01603 761004 - Website
  • Spillers, Cardiff - 02920 224905 - Website 
  • Square Records, Wimbourne - 01202 883203
  • The Drift Record Shop, Totnes - 01803 866828 - Website
  • Wall of Sound, Huddersfield - 0845 6522822 - Website

  • With more videos in the works, here's the latest home-made video from the album - "Send Me Nothing"

      

    On behalf of all the band, I just want to say a huge THANK YOU for buying our album and supporting us!

    Much love, 

    Nigel. 

    The Foxes Twitter
    The Foxes Facebook.

    My acoustic Facebook.
    My acoustic Twitter.









    Tuesday, 25 October 2011

    First of Many....

    ....great album reviews for "Last of Many"!

    "From the early Beatles on speed wig out of Suzy all the way through to the album’s climax, the brooding meltdown of Sorry To Leave You the album’s jammed full of one classic sounding track after another......all human emotion’s on offer here folks, often wrapped up with a dash of wry wit. Musically it’s pure British pop gold."


    "The début album hands over to you almost always a rock/pop song that you've come to know so well, but can hear over and over again!! "


    Fancy getting your hands on an advance copy of the album? Fancy writing a review even if you've never written one before?! Email nigel@thefoxesband.com and tell me why you'd like to review it! Best reviews published here. 


    MUSIC VIDEO NEWS.


    The newest music video for our album is for "The Sad Thing" and is up now:



    This was filmed at Survival Studios in North Acton, without telling them about the incredible fire hazard we were going to undertake, using my little hand held digital camera (Panasonic HM-TA1 the geeks!) and I then edited the footage together using Windows Movie Maker - which isn't the most ideal program for this sort of thing, but hey ho....

    Award winning...

    I'm thrilled to tell you that the video to 'No Reply' has won a top award at the Digital Arts Festival in Somerset - with judges including part of the team who made the famous "Wallace and Gromit" animated shows, Terry Thomas came first place with the video to 'No Reply'...which was...

    ..."for his older brother's band, The Foxes, and was a technical achievement, lip synching a claymation puppet's lips and guitar strumming to the soundtrack. Terry painstakingly captured every frame with a webcam and used various other software to scrub each image to look its best."

    Read the full award details here. 

    The next music video...

    I'm working on is for 'Send Me Nothing' - a great up-beat track written by our guitarist Jon which you're going to LOVE. It'll be ready in a week or so because without wishing to spoil anything, I'm making it by sifting through over 1,700 photographs taken at the same session we filmed 'The Sad Thing' - but here's a sneak photographic preview...(click on the pictures for the big versions)





    U.S. podcast first!

    Fancy hearing the unreleased first track, 'Suzy' off our début album? It's ready to hear on this "Best of British" podcast from North America about 15 mins in. Click here to listen now.

    I've just seen that 'Run' is also featured on their latest podcast! It's at 13 mins 29 seconds in. Click here to listen now.


    And finally....

    * I'm playing an acoustic set this Saturday (29th October) at The Vesbar in Shepherd's Bush for the Shepherd's Bush Oxjam Takeover. I'm on stage at about 8.30pm and will be in full zombie gear - so come down, it's all for a great cause with over 40 live acts across six local venues.

    * I can't believe the Steps album go to number 1 in the UK album charts!! Nor can I believe that I actually quite like Noel Gallagher's latest single (let's keep this between you and I, ok?)

    * I did a little photo shoot with Rich Newman just down the road from where I live in Wandsworth. Check it out here. 

    * We'll be featuring the amazing artist Owain Thomas (no relation!) on the next blog - as well as doing the artwork for our last EP and forthcoming album, he painted the piece or the right for the album booklet, based on this photo by Tina Sheikh from Magic Photography.

    * Our big album launch party plans will be announced soon!

    Much love, 


    P.S. My solo album 'Third Movement'  had this rather lovely review.
    P.P.S. There'll be a music video to 'Third Movement' very soon, made by Fry Films - the same lovely people who made the 'Bill Hicks' and 'Lover, Killer' videos.
    P.P.P.S. I want to make a new  Facebook account and the name will be 'Nobody' so when I see stupid rubbish people post, I can Like it. And it will say 'Nobody Likes This'.


    Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality . Wake up and live!” - Bob Marley.


    "I'd like to know what all the strange ones know."- Supergrass. 

     

     





    Monday, 5 September 2011

    "Last of Many" - our debut album!

    The Foxes are very proud and excited to announce that our début album, "Last of Many" will be released on December 5th 2011 on our own record label, Room 10 and distributed by Cargo Records. It was produced and mixed by John Cornfield and recorded at Sawmills Studios, Cornwall.



    A lot of people have asked about the track-listing for the album, so here it is:

    1. Suzy. 
    2. Something About You.
    3. Run. 
    4. Out of Service. 
    5. Sweet Little Wonder. 
    6. Send Me Nothing. 
    9. Too Little, Too Late. 
    10. Country Low (album version).
    11. The Sad Thing.
    12. Meet and Wine.
    13. Waiting for the Storm. 
    14. Sorry to Leave You. 


    Thank you to everyone who has helped us get this far on our own - we really appreciate it. If you're wondering about how we did it and what we've gone through, have a read of our official biography.

    Any press/bloggers who would like to review the album and receive our press pack, please email nigel@thefoxesband.com 

    I'll leave you with our latest home-made video to "Country Low":




    Much love, 


    The Foxes. 

    P.S. Click for The Foxes Twitter and Facebook pages. 
    P.P.S. Tour details will follow over the coming weeks. 

     

    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Videos, festivals and being drawn by strangers...

    I'm going to start with the official video to "Country Low" - made in my very amateur but wistfully creative capacity using my HD camera and a 1987 adventure game called "Space Quest II" (which I played on my Atari St when I was a wee nipper) - if you've not seen it already I'd say it's well worth your time and the song's a cracker to boot ;-)



    Please support us by buying a copy of the song from iTunes, play.com, amazon - but if you just want to listen, all our music is on Spotify


    We had a great time on the Isle of Wight playing with The Fun Lovin' Criminals at 'Legends in the Park' - I would have also seen Chesney Hawkes play earlier in the day, but I was eating at the time, and in music you have to have priorities ;-) 

    You can view several live videos of the show, including songs from our forthcoming brand new album by clicking here.

    STOP THIEF!!

    Sadly this was the last time Jon and Alex played with their respective instruments (seen left) because a couple of days after this gig we had our van broken in to and about half of our
    gear (thousands and thousands of pounds worth) was stolen. 

    Of course that doesn't cover the sentimental value of an instrument which has been with you throughout your entire career, covering all your gigs and tours, recordings etc :-(

    The only reason my own electric guitar wasn't taken was because it was at Chandlers Guitars being re-fretted - suddenly that £240 repair cost doesn't seem as bad.

    Watch these beautiful instruments (and band members) in action one last time in the video below of 'Send Me Nothing' - which will feature on the new album.


    There are also rather ace live recordings of 'The Sad Thing' and 'No Reply'.


    RANDOM FINDING MYSELF....

    While randomly googling Knightsbridge (as you do), I came across a drawing that someone had made of me while I was busking at Knightsbridge Tube Station. A good likeness, would you say?!


    THE FOXES DÉBUT ALBUM.

    One thing I've learned being in the music industry is that EVERYTHING takes at least three times as long to do as you first thought...especially when you're doing it yourself. I can, however, tell you this:

    1. We've got a name for the album.
    2. We've got the front cover artwork through. It's awesome. 
    3. The next blog WILL be an album release date announcement - or I'll get someone to video me running naked round and round the flats where I live. Promise.


    IN OTHER NEWS:

    * Did I mention we played a gig with Newtown Faulkner? What a nice guy! 


    * I might be singing in an advert for the Olympics.  

    * Did you read our fabulous new biography?! CLICK HERE IMMEDIATELY IF NOT.

    * Jon and I played an acoustic show at The Bedford in Balham for 'The Busking Project' - there's a version of 'Third Movement' on my new youtube page here.

    * You can download my entire acoustic album for free by clicking here. It contains several versions of songs later recorded on the new Foxes album. Did I mention you could get it for free?!

    * One of the songs from that album, 'Stepping Up' is featured on the brand new 'Sourmash Mixtape Vol. 1: The Walls are Not Listening' which you can also download for free - well worth it, there are some great tracks on there.
     
    That's all for now!

    Much love, 

    Nigel. 
    The Foxes. 


    P.S. I update both The Foxes twitter and my own twitter page. I am fairly amusing. 
    P.P.S. For goodness sake, download my album for free! 
    P.P.P.S. Thanks for your blog comments - they make me warm inside and I always read and reply. 
    P.PP.S. This blog was written to the sound of CD 1 of the new deluxe version of "The Sophtware Slump" by Granddaddy. It's a great album. 


    'Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.' Mary Manin Morrissey.

    'The receptionist at the second interview was way hotter than the first one, but the pay on offer isn't as good. Life is full of tough choices.' Hereward Swallow. *



    * This is an exciting new feature of the blog where I take, without their permission, a Facebook status update from one of my friends and post it here as a traditional quote. The first to feature is Hereward, a talented musician and a great bloke. He asks an important question here - so which job would YOU go for? (I think the answer is basically gender dependent...)