Tag Archives: Music

Girls, Fun & A Real Job

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Well, hi there! It’s good to be back with some exciting news.

We’re delighted to announce a digital release of the single “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, our cover of the Cyndi Lauper classic. It’s going to be ace! We’ve had so much fun recording it, and it’ll be great to finally give you guys some new music. Watch this space for more news about the release…

In the meantime, we’re pleased to be hitting the road again this November for the Real Job Tour — so named because of the following conversation, which occurs with hilarious frequency:

A: What do you do?

B: I’m a musician.

C: Yes, but what’s your REAL JOB?

The tour kicks off in London at the wonderful Daylight Music, at Union Chapel in Highbury. You can join the Facebook event here, and check out the other gigs we’re playing around the country on our gigs listings.

You’ll be hearing more from us very soon!

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Cain (live in rehearsal)

Hi peoples!

It’s been quite a while since we gave you news of Some Things Run Wild, our upcoming album. So we thought it was time to give you a taster.

Here is a recording of Herons! performing “Cain” live in rehearsal, at Studio One, Brunel Goods Shed in Stroud. It was recorded with the help of Kevin Howlett from Long Train Ride.

It’s only a rough recording of a loud song in a small room, but we hope you like it. And it features Ben doing an impression of will.i.am — of course. Enjoy!

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Cogito Ergo Sum

by Ben Kritikos

Being a musician is a funny thing: it’s one part playing music, one part relentless admin and one part heavy lifting. If you’re anything like me, the first and last of these is not a problem; if you’re anything like me, the middle one is a panic-inducing stress-fest akin to going to the dentist when you know there’s definitely something really wrong in your mouth.

That said, it’s always good to learn new skills. There’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end to confront those things about yourself that you’d rather relegate to the dark corners of your psyche, where you keep memories of all the kebabs you’ve eaten at 4am while staggering down a rainy, vomit-strewn street. Or that time you walked nearly the whole way across town with your fly undone while wearing those boxers with the broken button, wondering why every passerby seemed to be staring at your crotch. The brain cupboard under the brain stairs, basically.

I hate being a salesman (I once had a telesales job at a carpet cleaners). The only thing I hate more than being a salesman is being a self-salesman. But every musician is a self-salesman: YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO ME PLEASE LISTEN TO ME is the underlying message. A horrible little parasite of a man inside my heart, who feeds on weird black tendrils of self-loathing, frequently confronts me with the question, “Why would anybody want to listen to you?”

So the big, bear-hugging woman in my heart, who looks a lot like Kathy Bates and feeds on tea and lovely cakes made by my friends, takes the tough love line, and says between mouthfuls of Victoria sponge: “Shut up and get on with it”.

Poet, novelist and dreadful misogynist Charles Bukowski famously quipped, “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” While this isn’t altogether untrue, it’s not useful.

So many truths are useless. It’s like our Tom says, translating Descartes’ cogito ergo sum: believe in yourself and your dreams will come true. The moral of the story is: BUY CDs AT OUR GIGS. Just kidding. But seriously, do.

 

Ben is currently on tour around the UK. Check out the tour dates here.

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Herons! Gipsy Tour 2013

This January, our Ben is giving up the comforts of home and hitting the road for a solo tour of the country. He’ll be driving all over the UK in his car, which is called Yoko – a dented old Nissan Almera painted like a gypsy caravan (courtesy of the talented art students of Stroud College).

As part of the Herons! Gipsy Tour, Ben will be playing a plethora of venues and pubs across the UK, as well as front room gigs: small concerts in people’s homes.* The aim is to make friends, share Herons!’ music with a new audience, and earn enough to get Ben to the next place. It’s a tour that relies on the kindness of strangers. The tour kicks off on Boxing Day at our favourite watering hole, the Prince Albert in Stroud.

In the meantime, Ben is spending time in Dublin with old friends, and doing a bit of gigging. You can catch him playing guitar with the amazing Aoife Mc on Saturday at No. 63 Merrion Square (home of the Royal Society of Antiquaries), and also doing a small acoustic set at the Monday Echo at the International Bar on … you guessed it — Monday!

The Herons! Gipsy Tour is getting bigger and busier every day, so do check out our gigs listings or like us on Facebook to keep up to date. Bye for now!

*You can help! Would you be up for hosting a gig at your place – whether it’s a house, a flat, a barn or a garage? If you could get about 20 people (give or take) together who like music, then you’ve got a gig! Email heronstheband@gmail.com if you’re interested.

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Herons! featured on Folkroom Anthology

Herons! are pleased to announce that we’ve contributed to the independent London-based label Folkroom’s second anthology, which is released today. Our track “Aliens” features on this compilation, and it’s the first recording we’ve released since our debut So Long! in 2010.

We’ve had the good fortune to work with the Folkroom bunch before, having  played at their regular showcase gig at the Queen’s Head in King’s Cross. We’re really pleased to be contributing to their Anthology Two (which you can download for free here) and we’re dead pleased to be doing another London gig with them on the 15th November, at The Islington — aptly located in Islington.

Check out the Folkroom website for more info about the artists who’ve contributed. Over the next few days, you’ll be able to read some words about each track, written by the artists themselves, on the site. Oh, and for your information — “Aliens” will feature on our forthcoming album Some Things Run Wild, but the version on the Folkroom Anthology is a special recording that is only available as part of the compilation. So go ahead and download it!

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Studio One at the Brunel Goods Shed

If you’re in an independent band who play the kind of music your mother doesn’t like, and your pure genius has not yet been recompensed with millions of adoring fans throwing their money at you — then you’re probably in constant agony about where to get down to the very loud business of rehearsing.

Which is why we’ve joined up with the SVA team in Stroud and taken over a space at the newly re-opened Brunel Goods Shed. We’re using one of the former offices in this amazing old building as our music studio for rehearsing and recording.

Studio One at the Brunel Goods Shed before we moved in. And painted.

For Herons! and a small collective of other Stroud musicians, having a studio has been like manna from heaven. Situated at the Stroud train station, with no residential neighbours to disturb with our banging and hollering, Studio One (as we’ve christened it) is our musical home. We can rehearse at all hours, which makes us better musicians. We can record, which we’ve been doing — last week, in fact.

Anna and Edwin recording at Studio One

It’s been great fun, and a bit of hard work, getting Studio One into shape. It’s been totally worth it!

Me after cleaning out the dust and rubble from Studio One

Follow the goings-on at Studio One at our Facebook page

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Celebrating Bloomsday

We’re really excited to be marking Bloomsday on Saturday with a special Beatroot Rendez-Vouz event at the Prince Albert in Stroud. For those of you who are justifiably wondering, “What the hell is Bloomsday?” — well, I’ll tell you.

Bloomsday is a celebration of James Joyce’s landmark novel Ulysses. The action of the novel takes place on one day: 16 June 1904, and closely follows the movements and thoughts of its primary and peripheral characters (many of them real Dubliners) on an ordinary day in Dublin. One of these primary characters is Leopold Bloom — hence the name”Bloomsday”.  The 16th of June was, in fact, the day Joyce met his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle.

The novel caused a great uproar when it was first published, largely due to its stark depiction of the stuff of everyday life; including eating, drinking, pissing, shitting, daydreaming about sex, wanking, getting drunk and singing, getting drunk and crying, getting drunk and trying it on with the object of your desire, getting drunk and fighting in the street — namely, the things that real people do in real life.

Such offensive material was considered by the bulwarks of virtue to be obscene and damaging to society, and was therefore banned in the US and UK, until elderly men in black robes decided to acknowledge that Ulysses is a titan of modernist literature, and not just dimestore smut.

Every 16th of June since 1954, poets, authors, artists and punters who just love the book have marked Bloomsday in Dublin (and abroad) by following in the characters’ footsteps, drinking in the same pubs, eating the same sandwiches — possibly even using the same loos. Many follow the route the characters travelled in the book, between Sandymount (a seaside suburb of Dublin) and a meandering trail around the inner city.

For example, many people flock to Davey Byrne’s pub on South Anne Street at 11:30am to have a gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of burgundy — the very fare in the very same pub enjoyed by Leopold Bloom in the novel. Enthusiasts dressed in period attire will then read aloud from that chapter, often acting out the narrative.

Basically, it’s a bit of fun. I was lucky enough to be living in Dublin on the 100th anniversary of the day Ulysses takes place. It was like a much more sober — and more genuinely Irish — St Patrick’s Day. I’ve celebrated it ever since. This year, I’m chuffed that I’ll have some of my mates from Dublin here in Stroud to celebrate it with me.

Join the Facebook event here.

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