This has been an odd and unsettling year, one filled with losses but not without joy. I lost my father, an artist friend, and a brilliant impresario and huge influence on my younger self.
In an attempt to spread some bliss before Winter we are playing a free show in Birmingham in-between recording sessions for ‘Folklore.’ On Thursday September 10th we will be performing at the Spotted Dog, 104 Warwick Street, Digbeth, Birmingham. Joining us will be DJ Dylan and we will be onstage about 9.30PM. This is an extended set with at least one (perhaps two) special guests.
I invite you to join us.
Here is a man breathing fire…
What a very strange and unsettling Spring it has been.
My hope is that Summer brings us some joy. The Unfortunates have the following shows booked with at least 2/3 more to be announced:
Saturday June the 6th – The LUNAR festival in Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire. We perform at 1.45PM on the tent stage. Tanworth is the birthplace of Nick Drake so we will be performing a Nick Drake cover in homage.
Saturday July 4th – The Betsey Trotwood, Clerkenwell, London. Ghurbir Dhillon’s East/West night presents a night in celebration of Independence Day with ourselves and Peter Astor (Weather Prophets). 8PM.
Friday July 31st – Viracocha, 998 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA. The US version of the Unfortunates reconvenes for a ‘hometown’ show at one of our favorite places. Opening is my dear friend Larry Gallagher and a surprise appearance by another of our best pals… 8PM.
There is another CA show to be announced soon: A mystery trip of sorts.
Work continues on the follow up to ‘The Fates’ provisionally titled ‘Folklore’ – I’ll be handing the hard-drives over to Eric Drew Feldman in July so he can mercilessly molest my vision.
I hope we see you at a show this Summer? In the meantime he’s a picture of some situationists.
The documentary film-maker Albert Maysles died last week at the fine age of 88. Albert and I crossed paths 11 years ago when I was about to release my very first record – ‘Cheap Songs Tell The Truth’ under the name The Music Lovers on Le Grand Magistery Records. I decided I wanted to use a still from the Maysles Brothers documentary ‘Grey Gardens’ on the sleeve.
I approached Albert directly with my request and graciously got back to me almost immediately. He asked me to send him the songs that would be on the EP and if he liked what he heard he would allow me to use the image. Albert’s representative in New York advised me that Albert, though extremely gracious would rarely let people use stills from his films for commercial purposes. So, I sent him the songs and three weeks later Albert responded with…’ Yes, I loved the music. It’s graceful. You have my permission to use the still.’ FYI – I kept the emails.
That the great Albert Maysles would allow a wee indie band and label to use his work was a profound boon to our spirits and spurred our sense of purpose. Thank you Albert. Your generosity will not be forgotten. Thank you too for your moving, inquiring, and exquisite films.
The sleeve was designed by Matthew Jacobson. There are a few copies still available at http://www.darla.com
Last month The Unfortunates lost a dear friend and occasional collaborator: Rex Ray. Rex was known internationally for his incredible collage work, his Fillmore posters, book covers and his record sleeves for Diamanda Galas and David Bowie amongst others. He was gracious enough to design two record sleeves for me, including the original lithograph sleeve for our album ‘The Fates.’
I met Rex in the Summer of 1995 at Recycled Records on Haight Street in San Francisco. I was terribly enamored by his (admittedly moth-eaten) Sparks t-shirt of mid-70’s vintage. There started a smashing friendship.
Rex was funny, whip-smart and a great aesthete. I loved him and will miss him. His encouragement was indispensable to me in times of doubt.
‘The Fates’ by Rex Ray 2013.
A fairly busy February stretches before the Unfortunates with three performances this month:
Saturday February the 7th: The Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham. We are opening for the Major Toms my chum Owen Comaskeys group which features ex and current members of Broadcast, PWEI and UB40. We’ll be on at 9PM.
Saturday February the 14th: We will be performing an invitation only afternoon show in a village in Shropshire in celebration of the Roman pagan festival of Lupercalia (replete with wolves and blood). It starts at 3pm with the gothic-country noir of The Black Road, followed by a set of ambient (and not so ambient) guitar music from Haress. We play last at 5PM and will be premiering new songs. This show is free and open to whomever wishes to attend but we ask that you email me to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s byob but we do have a barrel.
On Wednesday February the 25th I am performing a solo acoustic performance at The Water Rats on the Grays Inn Road in London. I’m sharing the bill with my Australian friends Ollo. I imagine I’ll play at 9PM.
Also this month we return to Woodbine Studios in Leamington to record a couple more songs for the follow-up to the Fates. More news on this soon…
I will be using this page to update the ‘world’ on the joys and travails of myself: Matthew Edwards and my pop combo Matthew Edwards and the Unfortunates.