Monday, 21 December 2009

Monday, 23 November 2009

EY'S MEMORY LOSS

I've received a number of emails over the past few weeks asking about EY and the main question is why don't NK get mentioned anymore. I've discussed this with a few people but after the latest email I thought I would finally write this post.

It was down to EY that many of you reading this found NK and for that I am grateful. We had a glowing review from Rob Windle (Orac) when 53 D N came out and we began to chat regularly and meet-up to discuss electro things.

As we were putting the finishing touches to WIRED: I spoke to Rob about advertising on his site and we agreed upon a fee of £130 per month for an ad to appear on the EY site, these were to run over three months. Previously we had spent a similar amount with Google adwords and Facebook advertising which really helped push the sales of our first album. At that point Rob wasn't selling any kind of advertising on his site and all of the various banners and links were there for free.

When Rob heard WIRED: for the first time he asked if it could be the first EY release. Rob suggested that instead of paying for the ads he would get a split of sales originating from his site in return for promotion, I was happy with this. He asked for the money to be paid upfront as an advance, I paid him in a couple of instalments even though at that point we hadn't actually sold any copies.

The advert went live on the site in April and there were a few mentions of WIRED: within the blog. As soon as we started to sell copies of WIRED: Rob was emailing regularly asking for an update on sales and did I have an estimate of how much he would be getting. I did say to him that I had already paid him in advance but still he kept asking the question.

In June following an EY site update I noticed our ad had disappeared from the site, I was about to head off on holiday so didn't really have a chance to question this. Rob had said that the ad could run all the way up until the Kajagoogoo tour so I was a little confused about this.

Returning back from holiday I had a few more emails from him asking when he'd be getting more money from me. At that point I asked the question about why the ad had disappeared. I started to question the relationship and asked what had EY done to help promote WIRED? Apart from a few mentions there had not been a review of the album and very few mentions. Little Boots, La Roux & Marsheaux all had fairly prominent exposure on the site at this point but of course none of these artists paid for that.

A label is supposed to support an artist by promoting it at every opportunity, this didn't really happen. At the album launch which was an EY event, all Rob really did was book the venue. I did all of the promotion and even ended up paying the other artists, I also gave Rob a split of ticket sales and our merchandise.

It became apparent that Rob was only interested in getting money from me, as a last ditch attempt from him he promised a glowing review of WIRED: and after that would I send him some money? Of course the review never came and within a week, all mentions of Northern Kind disappeared from the site as if we had never existed.

It's a shame because I thought of Rob as a mate, obviously we shared a love of the same music and both felt an EY label was a good idea. I'm not sure what changed his opinion of me and NK, I feel pretty stupid now though especially as I have the EY logo plastered on the WIRED: sleeve and CD.

We learn and move on...


Matt

PS Snippets of the demos with Sarah's vocals will be on the Forum this week, been having some Mac problems but a new shiny machine is heading my way.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

NORMAL SERVICE WILL RESUME

OMG - I have never been so busy in my entire life. I suppose I can't complain with the state of our economy and with so many people being out of work. Nonetheless I have been busy, and that has meant the music has suffered. SInce our great weekend three weeks putting vocals to the first tracks of #3 I literally haven't been anywhere near the studio. I would have hoped to have at least a track finished by now.

Meeting Limahl tomorrow for a catch-up. Then as of this weekend normal routine will resume and I will be cracking on with the music.

I also have a pressing remix to complete and we might even stick a freebie track out before Christmas, perhaps a cover of something?!?!

Turrah for now.

Matt

P.S WIRED: is now out on Spotify, so time to kiss those iTunes royalties and CD's sales goodbye.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

THE LAST THREE

Swansea.

First we had the morning after, urgh! The breakfast at the Premier Inn just about hit the blood stream as I started to drive back but I didn't get that much sleep. Fortunately the drive to Leicester is less than 30 minutes.

My mum had stayed over to look after our daughter and for some strange reason I had said that I would cook Sunday lunch. Once home I had about 2 1/2 hours to do the lunch and get ready for the drive to Swansea. I think the food did the trick as I started to feel much better.

The drive to Swansea was hideously long but we arrived on time, the venue, Sin City was a real dump and a vert apt name, The first thing I noticed was the smell and how sticky the floors were. The Goo sound guys had set my gear up so we had a quick sound check. Paul and Andy the promoters were there and were quite apologetic about how few people were going to be there.

We went on at 8pm and I actually got a few boos only because they thought we were Kajagoogoo as we walked on. They soon warmed to us though, especially after Sarah announced it's quality not quantity that counts, that got a few laughs.

We shared a dressing room with the Kaja guys so had a few laughs at the shapes Steve was throwing, obviously his tartan trousers were giving him punk legs. Brian the manager is quite a serious guy but the guys were managing to get him smiling as they were pretending to be Diva's. Nick asked him to take the set list down but as he reached for it Nick said "oh dear I've dropped it" when he bent down Nick lifted his kilt so poor old Brian got to witness the same as me from the previous night.

We left pretty early after the show and decided to get some food, we drove around Swansea centre for half an hour looking for somewhere suitable. We had both imagined eating nice fish 'n' chips at the seaside but it appears Swansea isn't really that sort of place.

Music kept me awake on the drive back, Sarah discovered some new music Rex The Dogs album - 'The Rex the Dog Show' so this was blasted through my cars system.

London

As already well hinted at, this was a skin of your teeth moment.

I'm pretty good with check lists and I was already to go, I'd texted Sarah and said pick you up at 3pm, she replied make it 3.30. So I'd got myself ready to go for 3pm and sat on the sofa and decided to check my emails with a bit of time to spare. At 3.20 I set off to get Sarah. An hour and twenty minutes later we were at Watford when for some reason it dawned on me my laptop was still at home. Looking at the clock it was 4.50pm, I did a quick turn around at the next junction and started to head back to Leicester. We called Brian the manager to tell him our dilemma, he didn't sound too pleased but that was because all of the the Goo gear was stuck in a broken down van on the other side of London. I called Zoë to see if she could grab my laptop and meet us on route, we managed to meet her at junction 20, only one junction away from Leicester but it still saved us a precious 30 minutes.

The drive back to London was frantic and we made it to the venue at 7.45pm (we were on at 8.00pm) The Kajagoogoo guys gave us a cheers and we were helped in Wout / Ben and the promoter Paul. The stage set-up was even more buttock clenching as my Apex keyboard stand decided to jam so that meant stick a few bits on the floor. I don't think a pre-gig drive and set-up has ever gone so badly.

Sarah's first glimpse of the stage and venue was when she walked on, but still the set went OK and we got a good reception. A big thanks to Ben for selling the merchandise, we did quite well.

There was a small party afterwards for guests and we met a couple of friends of Limahl who really liked the set, they worked for Gaydar radio and will be playing some of our tracks.

Southampton

Everything was checked at least ten times before we set off today, never making that mistake again.

We arrived on time for 5pm and had a quick look around the venue. We decided to stay and get ready at the venue rather than heading back to the hotel. Again we shared a dressing room with the Kaja guys which was good being the last night.

Tonight had to be the night that my remote starting of the set didn't work, it had worked perfectly for every other show but decided to fail on the last night, in-fact it was actually the master volume that had been turned down which was odd. Sarah put this down to a spooky experience as her mobile had also lost it's charge!

Sarah was pretty nervous as her dad was in attendance tonight, the first time he'd ever seen her perform. But the set went well and as always it was over far too soon.

After the Goo set we had a good old drink and chat with the guys and they invited us to play with them in December. We've also had offers from Nick and Steve to play guitar and bass on our next album so you never know we may have those guys on stage with us in the future.

I had been quite sceptical as to how much I would enjoy the tour but I have to say I had a great time. What was also good was meeting lots of new people that gave us some great feedback and comments and more importantly bought out CDs.

Roll on Bedsitland.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

THE LAST TWO

London
 
There's one golden rule, when you rely on your laptop for the whole, entire gig and that is 'don't forget your laptop'.
So guess what happened...?  The laptop was left snuggling up on Matt's sofa at home, thinking it had got the night off, while we merrily drove all the way to London...sans laptop.
OH DEAR!   Wonderful, slow-motion moment of realisation when this 'slight hiccup' dawned on Matt.  His hand went to his head, and an animal-like groan came rumbling over to the passenger seat....and so we turned around and drove all the way back home.
Luckily, Matt's wife Zoe came to our rescue meeting us on route with the laptop.  This saved us precious minutes so that we made it back to O2 Academy by the skin of our teeth (I had to get ready in the car!!)  Such a bizarre experience for me - I literally got to our dressing room, changed into my costume and walked out on stage.  I had no idea where my mic was, what the venue was like, how it would sound or how many people were there!  Just walked out, to be met by hundreds of people looking at me and hoped for the best! Hahaha...good job I've got nerves of steel (!)
There must have been something in the air, because the Kaj had also had a bit of a 'mare, with their equipment being stuck in Hackney and Jez having taxi-traumas.
Anyway the gig was great, although a bit of a haze.  We sold loads of merch (thanks Ben!) and had some amazing feedback, media interest and suggestions for future gigs. Thank GAWD we made it.
 
Southampton
 
The Brook was a nice venue - friendly staff and (thankfully) a straight-forward and relaxed get-in.
Again, a bit of a family affair for me with Daddy coming to watch!  He hadn't seen me sing in public since I was about 9 years old,  Think he was impressed ;) 
This was my favourite performance of the tour, nice sound, great crowd and Spider-Dan shooting video...oh I do love poncing around in front of cameras!
Chatting to the owner's girlfriend after the show, and this venue is apparently haunted :)  Some interesting spookiness did happen; The battery on my phone completely drained whilst at the The Brook, and this never happens.  The battery on Dan's camera also mysteriously drained, and we had the only occurrence of Matt's remote iphone starting system not working.  In actual fact, this DID work but somehow the volume on the laptop, which was set up on stage, had been turned right down?!  Spooooooooky.  Send in Most Haunted (pleeease!)
We partied with the Kaj after the show, to celebrate a successful end to our tour,  We all got a bit squiffy etc. I'm sure at one point Stewart walked in looking a bit smashed and smoking a cheroot (!)  I had a really interesting conversation with Nick, about dysfunctional families, meditation, addiction - all light-hearted stuff haha, but very cool.  Meanwhile Jez was doing a brilliant human-fruitbowl impression and I enjoyed sipping beer and nibbling on his succulent grapes.
Think we got back to the hotel at about 3am - I got the big bed HURRAY!
Really chuffed as we've been invited to play with them again at their Xmas show at "The Stables' near Milton Keynes on December 16.  Looks like a great theatre venue, owned by Cleo Laine. I will finally get to perform Tears and Tinsel which we've performed live only once before.  The boys have suggested me dressing as Santa's helper - but I'm opting for the Dame Edna Christmas tree outfit with extra-shiny baubles.
 
A big thank you to NKers (old and new), Kajagoogoo, Brian Coles, all the crew and friends and family who came to cheer us on.  Sarah X
    
 
 
 

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

ROUND THREE, PART TWO

The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham - Saturday 25th

So on to Nottingham and a date I'd been looking forward to for ages. Our friends from Wales had decided to make a night of it as it also coincided with a Birthday. Before that however Zoë, Mai, Robin, Jenny (birthday girl) & Paul decided to have a day at Eden spa in Staffordshire. I had an email from Brian the manager saying the times at the venue had changed and were much earlier which ruled me out from spending the day with them.

As Nottingham is relatively close Sarah decided to make her own way to the venue. I got there for 3.30pm and found the crew were waiting for The Goo to come and sound check. Sarah had said that she would get there just before we were due on so we would skip our run through, the sound guys pretty much know our set-up by now and we are fairly easy to mix. I went for a walk around the centre and got something to eat at Wagamamas, Chili Squid Mmmm.

I checked into the Premier Inn which is a short walk from The Rescue Rooms and returned to the venue, the guys had arrived and were finishing their sound check. I had time to set my gear up and do a quick check, I'm really glad I did as the audio was glitching from my laptop, after rebooting the problem was still apparent so at that point I started to sweat. The only option was to reload all of the audio tracks from my external drive and start again. This would also mean recreating some of the instrument tracks that I play as I'd been changing the sounds to give them a little more presence as they were getting lost in the mix. Most sounds on the album are EQ'd and treated using my SSL Duende, unfortunately however this causes a thing called latency that Logic normally compensates for. It's never an issue whilst mixing but when you play a sound live using this kind of processing you get a very noticeable delay. Therefore I have to tweak the sounds to help them cut through the mix. You can't really tell until you listen to the whole track at volume so I've been making changes as we've been going along.

I got a call from Sarah and Zoë who were both on route to the venue but abruptly said sorry I can't talk and put the phone down, fortunately the back-up fixed the problem. I don't know what caused it so it's something I've been keeping an eye on since.

The backstage area at The Rescue Rooms was literally a corridor with a few chairs in, this was to be shared by us and The Goo. We chatted for a bit and I was showing the guys how I remote started our set. 7.30 soon came and we went on stage. I could see Limahl and a few of the other guys watching our set but as always it was over far too soon.

The night for me really began then and I have to say I was a little worse for wear by the end of it. Limahl didn't fancy going out to meet people but he said to bring a few people back stage to say hello. As always the other Kaja guys came out to meet people. Mai was doing a great job selling merchandise for us so I decided to go back stage and sit down for a while. On entering I witnessed something that will haunt me for a long time. Nick Beggs grinning, sitting with kilt lifted up and his cock and balls inside a see through plastic cup, a small one at that! Nice!

The sound guys were taking my gear to Swansea so that left me trying to sober up and gather my wife and friends so we could head back to the hotel. This took a while and after a few drunken messages from Zoë we finally met them all. Walking into the hotel bar a couple pointed and said you're the keyboard player from Northern Kind, we then had a nice chat with Steve and Madison before heading upstairs to carry on celebrating Jenny's birthday in our room. At 5am we finally went to bed and the rest is just horrible :-(

Monday, 28 September 2009

TOUR SO FAR

Norwich
..gets the prize for best dressing room, free booze, water, tea and coffee (although no kettle?!)  Luckily Kaja Steve came to my rescue and lent me a kettle AND extra milk from their dressing room.   This was the last place that we had our own dressing room, all the other nights we've been sharing with the Kaj.  A few more funny tales to tell as a result ;)
This was a cool gig, as my family were there.  It was also a trip down memory lane, as I performed at The Waterfront when I was 18 years old in my first band 'Red Ink'.  I lived in Cromer at the time, studying A-levels in North Walsham.  I was feeling a bit under-the-weather at Norwich (and Wolverhampton) so it was especially nice to see some friendly faces including Paul, Tony and Wout.
Enjoyed it, and Wout took some wicked photos - have a look on our forum if you haven't already.
 
Wolverhampton
Vertigo alert!!  This was the highest stage I've ever seen.  As we walked on Kaj were sound-checking, and they looked like the band from the Muppets (although I'm not sure why, as I don't think the Muppets had a particularly high stage?)  Funny the things that come to mind...
A bit of a negative vibe about this one.  Grumpy staff, and they also put us on much earlier than advertised.  Subsequently, people missed a lot of our set.  Quite a few people commented that they only caught the last two tracks, and wanted to see more.  Loads of people have been surprised at how good we are - for a 'support act', brilliant feedback and collecting new fans along the way.
 
Nottingham
This was brilliant - and nice and close to home as well.  The 'Rescue Rooms' was a significant venue for me, as it was seeing Sam Brown perform here a few years back that inspired me to start singing and making music again after a 3 year break.
Matt's family and friends were here, as well as more loyal NKers cheering us on and modelling our iconic custard yellow t-shirts :)  Makes our fans easy to spot!  There was a lot of whooping and cheering, so much FUN!  I have some weird things happen during our sets.  This night my bra strap pinged off during 'Automatic' (last night in Swansea I got cramp in my leg, was tempted to take my shoes off).  Still the show must go on, haaha.
Had a nice chat with Mooger, Wout, Rob and co - was nice to catch up and we discussed going to the upcoming Marsheaux gig.  Again, lots of amazing compliments and plenty of merch sold (Nice one Mai!)  Lots of dressing room antics as we were all in together for this one - a bizarre but not unpleasant request from Nick as he laid on the floor and asked me to walk on his bare back in my five inch heels!!  I was too worried about puncturing him, so I ducked out.  Can you imagine the headlines? 'Nick Beggs in Nott's stiletto horror!' Was funny tho.
Had a near disaster when my costume bag split and my belongings fell out all over the place.  Jez saved the day, by lending me his Morrissons carrier bag...Rock n Roll.
Made my way home early-ish, on my way to the car park a lady was asking me where Limahl was.  She thought I was his make-up artist.
 
Swansea
Prize for the stickiest floor.  EW!
Not really much else to say about this one - a small but enthusiastic audience.  LONG journey, but enjoyed dipping into some great music on the way back.  Rexx the Dog, The Smiths, Benny Benassi, LCD Soundsystem M.I.A and Kings of Leon made the 120 mph drive home even more exciting.

Next stop London O2 Academy....Sarah x

ROUND THREE, PART ONE

To summarize the last three gigs I would say.

Shit, Brilliant, OK

Obviously we're a support act so the crowd is never gaurenteed to be on your side, they've come to see Kajagoogoo so why should they be subjected to a poxy warm-up act? That's what I normally think and I'm guilty of skipping many support bands over the years. In general however we've gone down really well and the evidence has been in CD sales and the great feedback.

Wolverhampton Friday 25th September - The Robin 2, don't know what The Robin 1 must have been like if MK2 is an improvement.

So Wolverhampton on Friday, we arrived on time at 5pm so catch the guys in the middle of their sound check. The venue (Robin 2) was an odd looking place on the outskirts of town. Although not a club it reminded me of the place from Phoenix Nights, just because of the people working there seemed to revolve their lives around the venue.

The Kaja guys said they had missed us the previous night as the support in Sheffield were quite a rocky outfit so thought they didn't really fit with their audience. It's a shame about Sheffield and to make things worse Steve the Kaja merchandise guy said they had done really well that night. :-(

The humper/sound monkey (I hope he reads this, if he can read) at the venue who can only be described as a C**T, with a thick black country accent he must typify why people from that region are unfortunately considered to be thick just from the sound of their voices. He was sitting at the front of house sound desk with Steve the Kaja sound engineer and I simply asked him which door I could bring my gear through. "Yowl hav ta wait 'til these fuckers r finished before yow cun dow that", I think my reply was "Pardon" in my poshest voice just to make him sound even more thick.

At all of the other venues we have played at, the in-house guys have been great and couldn't be more helpful. As I was unloading my gear Sarah was talking to this cock and he said to her "we owwnly iver git haz beens heerya", well that's what she thought he said.

We were on at 8pm so I had about an hour to kill, I decided I wanted a curry and I headed off to a small balti house over the road. It only had two tables and essentially a take-away but the food was really nice. Walking back into the venue I was greeted by Dan who we had met in Liverpool. He's a big Kajagoogoo fan and he said he'd looked at our site and obviously listened to the tracks.

Our dressing room that night was literally at the back of the stage and basically just a corridor. Limahl said he wanted to catch our set tonight as they weren't going back to the hotel. In the end I think a few of the Kaja guys watched us from the side of the stage, fortunately I didn't see them as it would have put me off slightly. For us and Kajagoogoo probably the largest crowd yet.

I've really enjoyed watching Kajagoogoo and love the sound they get. However The Robin 2 had a peaked ceiling which does something weird to the sound and the stage is pretty high and almost a self contained box. I think the best sound so far was in Norwich.

I captured video of the guys from the side of the stage whilst Sarah was eating her pack-lunch to demonstrate the contrast of the so called "Rock n roll" life. I really hope the video footage comes together, not really had a chance yet to see it all.

We had an average night with merchandise but then a further encounter with "the cock" happened. As I was unloading Brian the Kaja tour manager stopped for a quick passing chat. Just as he did we hear "are yow cunts gowing t hurrey up, ive gotta a howm to gow to", which I actually suspect is a dingy grotty bedsit for him to go and self harm in.

Part two coming soon...

Friday, 25 September 2009

NORWICH

The next three dates are back to back so I thought I would do a mini update for just the Norwich show.

So we set off for Norwich, I could see that the map was giving me the A14 route so I ignore that and continued driving towards the A47, at almost every single junction the voice prompt kept saying make a U-turn where possible, after an hour of doing this I was getting pretty annoyed. I was clearly on the A47 heading towards our destination so why didn't it realise, stupid TomTom.

We arrived bang on time at 5pm, the venue had "humpers" technical term for people who lift things but I carried my own stuff in, Sarah filmed me.

Stuart came and said hello and we had a quick chat about normal life in between shows. The dressing room was nice with a fridge stocked full of beer and soft drinks. Limahl was running late so we watched the guys play a couple of tracks with Nick singing. The sound guys suggested I set-up so we could sound check quickly once Kaja had finished. The stage was pretty big compared to the previous shows with a decent sound and lighting system.

I headed off to meet Wout who had traveled up from London for the gig, we went to a nice place for a Pie & Pint. On the way back to the venue we bumped into Paul & Tony who were admiring a new bridge?

Arriving back our dressing room had filled with Sarahs family who were enjoying the free beer. By 7.50pm the venue was filling up I had my usual pre-gig panic of getting my iPhone to talk to the peer to peer wireless network to remote start the set. So far no problems, we have synchronised our watches with the sound guys. 8pm on the dot the front of house music went down and the intro to On & On began. I then swiftly turn my phone off as not to hit a button my mistake.

We tweaked the set ever so slightly, (I won't spoil it for people seeing the next few shows) the replacement track went down really well and Sarah managed to get the crowd clapping in the middle 8. My jacket is fairly tight so I thought it best not to join in fear of ripping a sleeve. The lighting was particularly good especially in Into The Blue where they gave us a shimmering underwater effect. For some reason I added new notes to the end of the track, I became absorbed in the moment I guess, Sarah gave me the evil stare.

All too soon the set was over. People were waiting for use to sign the CD's they had purchased and as always we got some great feedback. One guy said "I always expect support bands to be shit, but you were OK" and asked me to sign his ticket. Once signed he then asked "What's you name?", "Matt" I replied, "Well that doesn't say Matt". I didn't really know what to say then.

Once the Goo set finished a few more people came up to say Hi, followed by the Kaja guys to sign autographs and get their pictures taken. Sarah's family got a shot with Limahl.

Once the venue was empty we had a chat with the guys who were asking why we weren't playing in Sheffield, I agreed it's a shame but hey we still have FIVE shows left.

I'm really looking forward to Nottingham, my friend Mai keeps emailing me saying she's looking forward to it more than Christmas :-)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

TOUR DIARY PART 1

Liverpool O2 Academy - Thursday 17th September

We're filming the tour to put together a little documentary and will be also using clips that people have managed to capture. So far we have played in Liverpool and Glasgow and the footage we have is mainly from the journey and our rubbish regional accents as we approach each city.

As we're on a tight budget we're staying at cheap chain hotels, I must say Travel Lodge leaves a lot to be desired! There's no point being rock'n'roll and wrecking the room, you wouldn't be able to tell. We learnt that Kajagoogoo were also booked into Travel Lodges so that made us feel slightly better.

Arriving at the O2 Liverpool Academy Thursday evening we were greeted by eager Goo fans waiting for autographs, they got excited when we pulled up to unload as we're in a fairly smart car but then looked completely disinterested when they realised we weren't in-fact anything to do with Kajagoogoo. As we entered the venue Nick Beggs came straight up and said "Hello, you must be the kind northern people", then insisted in helping us unload the rest of gear into the venue with the rest of the band. They were waiting for Limahl to arrive to finish their sound check, they couldn't have be more apologetic about keeping us waiting, normally we just have a line check so being able to do any kind of sound check is a bonus.

Limahl soon arrived and their sound check began. I haven't seen Limahl for about 15 years and although I knew him pretty well I wasn't sure if he would remember me. As they were leaving the stage with us waiting to go on he said "I know you, it's Matt isn't it?" so then we had a recap of the last 15 years and a quick chat about NK. Originally he's from Wigan so the Liverpool gig was local for his family, he said he was disappearing after the gig rather than traveling with the band but we'd have a proper catch-up at some point.

Brian the tour manager issued us with our back stage passes and Andy the promoter gave us a tour of the venue. From dressing room to backstage it's about a five minute walk and what seemed like a labyrinth. We decided to open with the original On & On intro from the first album, that meant a good 60 seconds of track without requiring me to play a note, so I came up with a way of remote starting the set with a simple iPhone application called Novation AutoMap. This connects to the WiFi connection on my laptop and controls the Logic software and allows me to start out set backstage.

Just before our set I bumped into Dyl and John, John is the guy who has set-up the NK forum so we managed to have a quick chat before we had to dash back to the dressing room and find our way to the back of the stage.. Our set went OK, sound wasn't particularly loud through the monitors on stage and Sarah felt a little disconnected from the audience. I played a few bum notes and ended 'Into The Blue' a little prematurely but know one seemed to notice :-)

After, we had a long chat with both John & Dyl whilst Kajagoogoo played, a few people came up to us to say they enjoyed the set and we signed & sold CD's. After the Kaja show Nick, Stuart, Steve & Jez came out to sign autographs whilst Limahl went off to meet up with his family. Andy & Dave the promoters came over to say they enjoyed the set, they also promote for Howard Jones, their company is called Hide & Seek to an obvious reference there.

I was pretty hungry after the gig but the best we could find was a Mc Donalds, Sarah is a bit of a health food freak but made do with a Fillet of Fish.

We shared a room at the Travel Lodge, I won the toss for the big double so Sarah had to make do with the sofa bed, I'm such a gentleman! It was Sarah's idea to toss a coin though.

Glasgow The Ferry - Friday 18th September

As compensation for the sofa bed I said Sarah could have the big bath towel, to get her own back she used my towel to stand on, nice.

Having never eaten in a Little Chef I said I would like to have a good breakfast to see me through the long drive to Glasgow. Surprisingly it was really nice and not at all greasy. The drive took about 3 1/2 hours passing by some of Great Britians most dramatic scenery, Sarah did a little video interview as I was driving. We arrived at The Ferry venue at 3pm. The Goo guys had also just arrived so I helped them unload their gear and inspected the venue. As the name would suggest it's floating on a permanent mooring on the banks of The River Clyde in the heart of Glasgow, just down from the S.E.C.C.

We talked to the guys about the joys of Travel Lodges as they were about to leave to find their hotel, we decided to have a scout for some food and managed to see the Kaja guys at Harry Ramsdens, when it comes to food I'm a bit of a snob so we decided to skip that plaice :-)

We unloaded our fairly modest gear into the venue and I managed to drop my Ultimate Support stand and break one of it's tiers. Fortunately I was able to sit the laptop on my rackmount case.

We watched Kajagoogoo sound check and they performed a couple of new tracks that I'm not familiar with, they sounded great out front. Time was precious tonight so I only managed to get a line check which was fine as the guys had digital desks and were able to recall the set-up from the previous night.

We were shown our dressing room / cabin below deck and I decided to get changed and head for the bar. The Ferry had sold tickets that included a meal before the show, so the tables were now occupied mostly by groups of women in their early forties who were obviously original Kajagoogoo fans. Having to wear my Kaja back stage pass meant I got stares from people as I walked through the bar / restaurant. Jer (Afront) and his mate Paul arrived just after 7pm so we had a drink before disappearing again to get ready. I'd missed the door to the stage and by that time the Kaja guys had gone off to get ready. We decided to make our approach to the stage through the crowd which turned out to be a bad mistake, remote starting the set meant I had a quick dash to make the first note of On & On fortunately I made it.

The atmosphere was great and it was good to see a few yellow NK T-shirts in the audience. After the Goo set we hung around to sign some autographs and a couple of nice lady Kaja fans asked me to go and get Limahl from the backstage area. I duly did as they asked but as a compromise he said bring them back here in twos, so for the next 30 minutes he spent signing stuff and posing for photographs. Jer made me laugh out loud when someone asked for a shot of me and Sarah with Stuart the Kaja keyboard player, Northern Goo (a new hybrid band) as he shouted out loud. We then sat back stage and met Brad Snelling the man behind Retrofest, he invited us to play in 2008 however we didn't manage to meet him at the time.

We then said our goodbyes and began the long 5 hour journey back to Leicester, we decided to drive back rather than accepting Jer's kind offer of a place to stay for the night. I really wanted to wake up in my own bed plus I'd promised my wife I'd spend some time with her and our daughter.

Next stop Norwich - Wednesday 23rd.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

GLASGOW

OOoooh!  It gets better and better :) The gig was at The Ferry, a floating venue (!) which was slightly disconcerting in 5 inch heels, wobble.  Nah, it's actually very steady and doesn't feel like you're on the water at all...pretty cool place.
 
A bigger audience for us this time, and they were totally up for a Friday night shin-dig which was fab!!  A great reception once again, met loads of lovely people - including Jer aka Afront of http://pansentient.com/.  More fab vids, including some groovy after-show snippets, thanks for that! These are on the forum also.
 
Matt and I made a point of watching the Kaj set more closely this time, really great.  A very talented group of people, which is obviously why they soon found fame in the 80's.  Had a few drinkies after the show :) well...you have to 'unwind' daahlings.
Looking forward to Norwich now, whilst enjoying a lovely rest in between - will write more next week X
 
 
 

LIVERPOOL

A fab first night, quite a 'gentle' crowd which was a nice way to ease into the gigs and channel those first night nerves!
Met the Kaja's - really friendly and and helped us unload our gear, ded sweet.
I tell you what - they're bloody good as well!  Very talented musicians and they're gig is a lot of fun.  I asked Nick what he was wearing for the show and he wouldn't tell me, though he said his costume was hand-finished by Boy George and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin - it didn't disappoint, sparkly skull and cross bones!!!  Rock on!
Kaj and their fans gave us a warm welcome.
 
Finally got to meet John & Dyl who set up the NK forum recently :) Lovely fellas, and would have liked to chat more but kind of got swept into meeting and greeting, selling merch and signing stuff (can't complain!!) They took some great photos and vid, which you can check out on the forum (link below).
 
All in all, a memorable first night - thanks to everyone who came xx
 
 

Saturday, 12 September 2009

BEEB INTERVIEW

Thanks for all the messages from people listening in this morning. This is the interview grabbed from the BBC iPlayer

http://www.northernkind.net/mp3s/BBC_Interview.mp3

Thanks

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

RADIO FORUM TOUR

This coming Saturday 12th we will be talking live on air about our forthcoming support with Kajagoogoo and all things NK. We will be joining Chris Baxter on his show at 11am. Tune in to the live internet streaming here http://www.bbc.co.uk/leicester/local_radio/

Next week will see the launch of our official forum, you will be able to get a couple of free remixes of Crash by Parralox and Oblique by registering. This is the link to the Forum however registration is currently locked.

As you will hopefully know our support tour with Kajagoogoo kicks off next week in Liverpool, Can't wait and hope to see you there.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

CANCELLED GIG

Unfortunately we are having to cancel our performance at The Festival of Sins this Saturday (8th August) due to illness.

Apologies to the organisers and people who were hoping to see us.

Thanks

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

WHAT DO YOU WANNA HEAR?

Our support tour with Kajagoogoo is fast approaching. Many of the audience won't have actually heard of us so we'd like to know what YOU think are our strongest songs to play live and that will hopefully impress.

We have a half hour set so that's around 7 songs. Answers not on a postcard so email us here (or make a comment on here)

Thanks

Sunday, 19 July 2009

CLOBBER

Yesterday I met with Mark from Disorder who will be making clothes for our forthcoming tour, some very cool stuff. As I walked into his shop WIRED: was playing which made me smile as it doesn't happen very often.

Really enjoying the new single "First Train Home" by Imogen Heap and looking forward to her album. Never really liked her previous material but followed her video blogs and obviously feel drawn to buy her album.

Matt

Thursday, 16 July 2009

NEW SITE

Over the past few days we have been adding content to our new website. It's a much simpler site built with an OpenSource CMS called Indexhibit. We have incorporated this blog feed along with the online store, so hopefully it ties all our various sites together.

Have a look here

Obviously if you are viewing this within the new site you've already seen it :-)

Matt

Thursday, 9 July 2009

POST HOLIDAY

Well I'm back into the routine of not being on holiday - So this includes not drinking beer from 10 in the morning and drinking sensible stuff like decaf coffee, I must say it takes some getting use to.

It's been a real slog coming round from holiday mode and I have to shamefully say that no music work actually took place. On the first day I set-up my humble little keyboard an laptop with the best of intentions to write some cool tunes. Alcohol, turning 40, catering commitments became my priority so the music suffered I'm afraid.

I'm now in the mode of getting fit for our tour with Kajagoogoo, so the minute I stop drinking and realise I'm never gonna be 30 something again I'm sure the tunes will start flowing.

I plan to keep a select few up-to-date with the musical progress of NK #3 so if I don't talk about it much on here or twitter, don't worry too much, we will be busy beavering away in the background. I'm not gonna commit to a date for the next album but lets say it will be sometime in 2010.

Mattx

Friday, 26 June 2009

MJ

I felt it was my duty, as someone who lives for music, to say thank you to Michael Jackson for his awesome tunes. I've grown up with MJ and had the privilege of seeing him live in Sheffield a few years back.  I'm so glad I got to see him perform some of the Jackson 5 classics :)
 
"If you enter this world knowing you are loved & you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with."
 
-- Michael Jackson
 
 

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

WIRED: RELEASE REVIEW

 
Hope Matt's enjoying sunny Spain, while I slave away with blog-writing.......mump.
 
Still, he's too old to care now.

TOTP

Well.......number 1 over at music nonstop with the Electronically Yours Vol 1 CD.  Nice one us, and all our fellow electro supastars :) :)  extended remix of 'On and On' is on disk 2.

AND at number 7, the Orbital Electro Vol 1 CD which includes 'Into the Blue'

Click here for more details and to order - soz, no BOGOF available ;) 

http://www.musicnonstop.co.uk/product-view.php?productid=22378 

What an awesome achievement for us, EY and all of the other acts (Parralox, Client, Marsheaux etc. etc.)  A good day for electronic music, YEAH!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

RECYCLING

I met an old college friend last week in my trip to Bucharest, we wrote a few songs together whilst at college and he was able to find an cassette of three of these.

I played one of the songs to Sarah last night, it's a track called 'Grey Cloud'. Although I was only 16/17 when it was written I think it still sounds pretty good. Sarah also discovered some of her old material so we have decided to use this as a starting point with album #3.

Friday, 29 May 2009

MAY ROUND UP & HURTS

Weather has been great for the past few todays and to make it even better I came across a new band formed from the ashes of Daggers called HURTS. This is their track Wonderful Life, I love it and can't stop watching the video. The dancing reminds of something from the Tears for Fears 'Mad World' video.



Also really enjoying the new IAMX album "Kingdom of Welcome Addiction"

So what has been happened in our little world?

I've started assembling a collection of sounds for new material plus buying a few new bits of gear. I'm disappearing for a few weeks at the end of June to our Spanish retreat. I have bought the KORG nano key, a tiny USB keyboard so I'm planning to write some new things whilst away. I'm sure the views will inspire something but the alcohol might impede any good ideas, we'll see.

Obviously we don't have the innconvience of having to tour for a year to promote our album so we can get back into writing again. However we don't want to continue where WIRED: left off as we want there to be a distinct evolution in our style.

The next release is currently named NK#3, not sure if this will be an album or EP, depends on what it sounds like, how long it takes to complete and if it's any good of course.

We heard the remix for Crash by Parralox today and it's pretty cool, this will go with the great remix of Crash that Oblique have also done along with our extended version. More news on this soon.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

MEGALOMANIAC...

... I'm not but I did think this was a really great review of WIRED:

How is Northern Kind like an origami flower? Both unfold with exquisite beauty and grace. Like a blossoming flower, Northern Kind's music exhibits an effortlessness and naturalness that evokes feelings of awe. Imagine Vince Clarke's technical wizardry infused with feminine intuition. Northern Kind has an uncanny knack for synths. They bring such an attentive, sensitive touch to their keyboard work that one imagines them wearing velvet gloves in the studio. If you love lush soundscapes coupled with intricate programming, you'll be in shimmering heaven. The vocals are also stunning. Imagine the tonal purity of Annie Lennox, the forcefulness of Sinead O'Connor, and the sultriness of Billie Ray Martin. The big question is whether Northern Kind's new album "Wired:" is a worthy follow-up to "Fifty Three Degrees." Do the new songs compare with the brilliance of such powerhouses as "On & On," "The Other Side," "You Belong," and "Seen the Light"? The answer is simple: just listen to the sublimely baroque melodies of "Automatic," the sumptuous production of "Pop," and the instantly catchy hooks of "Pleasurely That Machine." Northern Kind are still virtuosos. They're an A in my book.

--Craig Conley, author of ONE-LETTER WORDS: A DICTIONARY (HarperCollins)
http://www.OneLetterWords.com

Clearly a man of many words, I think I will ask him to write our future press releases.

Anticipation of DM at the O2.

It would appear that Dave Gahan's condition is more severe than what we are led to believe. Cancer whilst obviously serious is probably not the reason which some of the rumors suggest, Why? Well insurance companies that underwrite tours of such magnitude require very thorough medical examinations to be undertaken. I'm sure the screening process would catch anything as serious as cancer.

What I can piece together from a couple of sources is that it's more likely Dave appears to have slipped back into his old ways. This is something personally I hope is true more than any other rumor that is circulating. Why? because this is something that he can naturally and quickly recover from with help and support.

Whatever the reason I really hope they get it back together again soon.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

EY5 PICS

Some of the pics from our album launch @ EY5. Thanks to everyone who made it we had a great time.





Wednesday, 13 May 2009

CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG

Our UK tour support slot is with Kajagoogoo. The band have reformed in their original line-up with Limahl.

Kajagoogoo were one of the first bands I ever saw and I have been a huge fan of their White Feathers album since first hearing it in 1983.

I met and briefly worked with Limahl in the early nineties when he was recording his "Love is blind" album and now we have been invited to join them on their reunion tour.

Dates in September are:

17th o2 Academy, Liverpool
18th The Ferry, Glasgow
22nd Campus Academy, Sunderland
23rd The Waterfront, Norwich
25th The Robin, Wolverhampton
26th The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
27th Sin City, Swansea
30th Islington o2 Academy, London

October

1st The Brook, Southampton

Sunday, 10 May 2009

DEMO #2

Is INTO THE BLUE

This one is quite different, one of those tracks where I hear something else and really have to de-construct the track to get there. I think this song probably took the longest to complete.

CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO

Saturday, 9 May 2009

JASMINE DOING A RMX

video

YOU DECIDE

For true interactivity the first person to respond to this post will get to choose the next demo from WIRED:

So which one would you like to hear?

Friday, 8 May 2009

DEMOS

In the process of clearing out my current machine ready for the upgrade. So over the next few weeks I thought I would share with you some of the demo's from WIRED:

Todays is Automatic, this started out not to dissimilar from the final version but some of the other demos coming are quite different.

Matt

CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

SLEEVE PICS

Some nice shots of the WIRED: CD, makes you wanna go and buy it, doesn't it?





Saturday, 25 April 2009

UK TOUR

We have been approached by a well known band to support them on a UK tour in September this year.

We aren't able to confirm the venues or the band at this stage as it hasn't been officially announced by them yet. However we are confirmed for the following dates.

September
Liverpool 17th
Glasgow 18th
Belfast 20th
Norwich 23rd
Wolverhampton 25th
Nottingham 26th
Swansea 27th
London 30th
October
Southampton 1 oct


Don't forget the WIRED: album launch at EY5 on Friday May15th, The Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch. London

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

AND THE WINNER IS...

Mr Stephen Cowig.

Steve emailed at the weekend to say he had the smiley face, so we'll be sending him an NK goody bag containing some unreleased tracks, T-Shirt, the first album, demo songs, the first compilation to feature a Northern Kind track called Bright Lights Dark Room a Depeche Mode B-Sides album, Plus a new compilation out soon on Major Records featuring Into The Blue. Major Records are Ladytron and IAMX's label in Germany, Into The Blue will feature alongside these artists tracks plus many more.

Matt

Saturday, 18 April 2009

HAVE YOU GOT A SMILEY FACE?

In one of the signed copies of our album WIRED: Sarah added a smiley face next to her name. Did you get it? If so, email us at info@northernkind.co.uk with a picture of your sleeve as proof and we'll send you a Northern Kind goody bag plus every future release FREE.

It's like a Wonka golden ticket :-)

NKx

PS We have no idea who the recipient will be as these were packaged randomly.

Monday, 13 April 2009

SHOPPING LIST

Wanting to improve the overall quality and performance of our set-up, plus adding a couple of new sound sources. This is the list of equipment that I'm looking to buy.

The first item is the audio interface used for capturing any live audio and presenting this back out for monitoring. Currently I use the MOTU 828MK3, this is fine however it's really a mid-level product that also offers onboard effects, it works well for live use but I only ever really use one of it's many input channels for Sarah's vocal. I'd like to get a good quality A/D convertor so I have been looking at the Apogee range of interfaces. The only real need for this type of device is to capture Sarah's audio from the mic we use. Although Apogee produce a wide range of products the DUET looks like it will do the job. It also integrates with Logic really well. I would consider their Ensemble product but I think it's probably overkill for our needs, my issue with the DUET is that it's a desktop product and not a rackmount but the difference in cost doesn't seem worth it.

The next thing I'd like to get is a better Mic Pre Amp, Currently I use the Focusrite ASA1 but the Liquid Channel, also from Focusrite looks great. Essentially this product will allow me to call up a number of simulated Mic Pre Amps and compressors, these are essential for getting a variety of different sounds for Sarah's vocal. We also need a Mic, our current Mic an AKG SolidTube as been on loan from a friend for a few years so I think it's time we bought our own. By far the most talked about industry standard is the Neumann U87. Not cheap but hopefully worth every penny. Choosing a Mic is something of a personal preference so I I'd like to audition at least a couple before making this decision. Neumann also make a model called the TLM103 which is based upon the capsule inside the U87, it's pretty much half the cost so I'd like to hear these two for a comparison.

I really found the Euphonix MC Control useful for giving me tactile control over the mixing stage, I'd like to expand this with the MC Mix which will function as an add on channel set for the MC Control. What I love about these products is their connectivity with Logic, you can also use them to control parameters within the AU synths I use, the interface within the MC Control re-configures to match whatever window is in focus and also if you switch apps. Great products.

Next is the real work horse of the set-up, currently I have a Mac G5 Quad which has been great however it's now a couple of generations old. I'd like to upgrade to the MacPro 8 Core machine. I nearly ordered one of these a while ago but as the album wasn't quite finished I didn't want to spend a couple of days swapping these around, plus the hassle of updating all the various bits of software. The beauty of working within the Logic environment on a Mac is that you can pretty much guarantee that the performance of the system will increase two fold every few years.

There are a couple of planned upgrades to a few of the soft synths I use, Minimonster and impOSCar, I have also looked at Reaktor 5 & Absynth. Most of my synths apart from the ones in Logic are emulations of older machines so I'm intrigued by these as they seem to offer a new take on making noises.

The MacBook pro's I use for music is in a bit of a sorry state, the screen has developed a fault which causes half of the screen to display a psychedelic pattern, looks cool but is totally unusable. There was hope that this would be covered under warranty as there are recognised issues with video cards but that's not the case with my machine. So it looks like I need to order a new MacBook too.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

WIRED: SHIPPING NEWS

Had a few messages asking where the CD is.

Don't worry they are on the way!, there was a slight delay at the plant (1 day) but they have now been dispatched and will be with you all very soon. Obviously there maybe delay with the Easter holiday as there isn't any post on Friday or Monday.

Thanks for being patient.

Matt

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

LIVE ALBUM LAUNCH - EY5

Will be taking place on Friday 15th May @ The Queen of Hoxton, London (formally Industry).

Other artists and DJ's to be confirmed, we will have tickets available soon via our store.

Matt

MORE VOCAL NEWS

Unfortunately Sarah has now lost her voice completely so will be unable to sing at the gig on Friday, instead we have decided to completely reverse roles and I will be singing all the vocals with Sarah playing my parts on stage.

Hopefully you won't be disappointed.

Matt

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

AND ON LEAD VOCALS...

Will be me.

Well vocoded vocals and for just one track. This album has seen us swap roles with Sarah writing synth lines and me adding my voice. On the recorded album it's just on some of the parts of POP, but live I will be doing the vocoded parts on Tranquil Eyes. On first listen Sarah didn't actually notice it wasn't her voice so that's a start. Just need to learn the words now!

Our first live outing of 2009 is this Friday 03/04/09 @ a night called MOTION at SEVEN in Nottingham. We are also planning a special album launch night sometime in June, just waiting on venue confirmation. Hopefully we will be doing lots more dates.

The plant contacted me regarding WIRED: CD Production, unfortunately the designer created the sleeve in such a way the fold doesn't allow it to be machine fed, therefore these will have to be hand finished! Fortunately we were going to sign the first few hundred so that would have meant removing them from the sleeves in the first place. Hopefully this doesn't cause a delay and we are still on for delivery on the 6th. Fingers crossed.

Matt

Monday, 23 March 2009

UPDATING

OK, the main website is updated with previews of the new tracks. Some people have asked for the whole tracks to be uploaded, problem is even though the site is in Flash it is relatively easy to find the URL to the full file and therefore download them. We had this happen with the last album so sorry just previews :-)

Also updated this blogs look and feel, although I'm not entirely happy with the colour. The main album artwork uses a special Pantone florescent colour which is really difficult to represent on screen. I have held the pantone chip up to the screen and this is the closest colour but it really doesn't do it justice.

We will be starting our first video very soon and will also be having some new photo's done at the same time.

That's it for now.

Matt

Sunday, 22 March 2009

SELL SELL SELL

Our new online store is now online, you can pre-order WIRED: available to ship on 06/04/09.

We hope to be adding more merchandise soon but for now you can buy our albums and new T-Shirt.

Click HERE to visit the store

Monday, 16 March 2009

LIVE

Our first live outing for WIRED: will be at MOTION a new electronic night in Nottingham on the 3rd of April at a venue called SEVEN, Canning Circus.

Friday, 13 March 2009

WIRED: news and dates

We have the mastered album back from Simon Heyworth @ SAM he has done a great job and we are really happy with how it sounds.

Had some amazing feedback even from just a select few that have heard the album including this comment "one of the most important electronic albums" which just blew me a way, and no that wasn't my mum who said that :-), more soon on that particular person. Simon himself was really complimentary and had this to say "I'll tell you what's good about this record. Whilst it seems on the face of it to be harking back to a particular time and style, the songs are original and really well executed and, for me anyway, the album stands up on it's own." Regardless of what anyone else thinks about this new album those two comments bring a complete sense of satisfaction to me.

All being well we will have the physical album copies ready to ship on the 6th April, with the iTunes release following on the 20th April. Very soon we'll have our first NK T-Shirts, these will be available for £17 + P&P. Design below.

Final tracks in order are:

POP
PLEASURELY THAT MACHINE
ELECTRIC TO ME
AUTOMATIC
INTO THE BLUE
TRANQUIL EYES
DIRTY YOUTH
UN.TITLED
GOODBYE
CRASH
T&TEXT


Saturday, 28 February 2009

IF WIRED: WERE

03.19 AM
Jealousy
Midsummer
Rectangle
Nick Cotton
Flowering cactus
Aubergine
Earwig
Digital alarm
Liquorice
Yen
Kirsty Gallagher
Tarragon
Where the Wild Things Are
89 Degrees
Kookaburra
Chandler
All Saints
Fire
Vivienne Westwood
Indigo
Hot chocolate
Dick Dastardly
Reykjavik
Gold
Rick Stein
Mulholland Drive
1929
Lacrosse
Gemini
Mint humbug
23 years old
Mercury
Rumple Stiltskin
Green and Blacks Cherry
Darth Maul

Thursday, 26 February 2009

BOUNCED

Had a week of living with the mixes and apart from a few very minor tweaks I'm happy. Had problems getting click free final audio files from my software (Logic Pro 8) but finally managed to get clean versions this evening with a little help and advice from Gareth Jones.

Sarah is coming over tomorrow afternoon to hear the album in full from start to finish, actually this will probably be the first time for me too. Then a few celebratory drinks and food.

The artwork has been started the concept is great, we'll also be starting our very first video soon.

Mattx

Saturday, 21 February 2009

POPPED

Well I've finished mixing POP, will revisit it in the morning and make the very final tweaks. It just leaves a few tiny things to do on the rest of the tracks then we need to decide on the running order. Sarah will be coming over on Friday to hear the final version then it's off to be mastered, Phew.

Enjoying a beer and curry now plus rubbish TV, maybe watch AVP requiem on Sky movies later.

Have a great weekend.

Matt

Friday, 20 February 2009

ALMOST THERE

On the 3rd of March our 2nd album WIRED: will be leaving our studio and heading off to sleepy Devon to be mastered by Simon Heyworth.

Last weekend we re-recorded the vocals on 'POP' to make them extra punchy and I have been working this week on getting the mix right. It's an odd little track but it will be the album opener. Difficult to describe but I think it's a bit of "Art of noise" meets "The Knife" It's also the track that spawned the album title.

Oblique have provided us a remix of 'Crash' which sounds great we can hear it going down really well in the clubs in Barcelona where they DJ, we will be returning the favor and remixing their track 'Without Making Noise'. 'Crash' will be available as a digital single only available at the end of March on iTunes, it will feature a couple of remixes, the album will be available on iTunes at the end of April, with the Ltd edition physical copies available within the first two weeks of April.

You can follow NK/Me on Twitter I have also added a simple Twitter feed to this blog which you can see at the top right of this page...

Matt

Saturday, 14 February 2009

SLOT-ON HAIR

Happy Valentines Day! XOX
 
Saw a really cool exhibition by Jo Cope this week:  http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/8/view/5224/jo-cope.html
 
I have suggested that Matt and I wear slot-on hair at our first WIRED: gig. 
 
S x

Monday, 9 February 2009

Sunday, 8 February 2009

ELECTRIC TO ME 070209

I am on edge in the best way
Need to find me to find you
I see you there
So utterly lost in you
Impossibly bad it's true
 
Electric to me you are
 
I can't breathe when you're around me
Heavy and round in my chest
I can't have this
  
Gaze into the fire
You're electric
 
Look at me eat me up hot now
I know you and you know me
You can find me
 
 
 
 
Lyrics:  Sarah Heeley Feb 2009
 
 

CRASH 070209

Who is this I see before me
It must be someone else
Don't think you can restore me
I've lost my sense of self
It was quick it was easy
No one would believe me when I stand back and say
I didn't feel a thing
 
Who are you
Thought I heard a smash
Who are you
Did you see me crash
 
Torn and tattered watch me bleeding
I recognise my smile
Those eyes they look familiar
Although it's been a while
I was quick I was easy
No one would believe me when I stand back and say
I didn't feel a thing
I didn't feel anything
 
 
Lyrics: Sarah Heeley Feb 2009

Saturday, 7 February 2009

SAD & HAPPY IN EQUAL MEASURES

We finished the final vocal tweaks to the album today. Just various bits of vox that we weren't happy with and the odd "oohs & arrhs" here and there.

Probably about a week to go with the final mixes but in the main it's finished. Part of me is happy and part of me is sad. Difficult to explain really, the feeling of elation that a mammoth task is over but also sadness that I don't know if this the last time we will be recording together.

We haven't really talked about anything past the second album so I'm inclined to leave it as it is and wait until Sarah mentions the future of Northern Kind. What is certain is that we will try and play lots of live dates throughout this year.

Also Afront kindly sent me a link to the Bronski album I was after, again this is really odd because the first time I heard this was at an old friends house Stuart, my first ever real band, "Laissez fair" and that was the last time I think I saw Stuart, he jetted of to the US and is now in France. After hearing that album there were a couple of songs that really did it for me. "Do it" & "I gave you everything" Part of me wishes we would have continued down that path, who know's what would have happened??? It's funny how music connects people I wished I have listened to my instincts, Stuart was a great mate... Thanks Stu for still listening.

God I'm feeling quite melancholic, so I'm going to bed now after quite an eventful day plus I'm pretty drunk and c***d up, Nite. Hope you like the new album.

Will be listening to the Truth Dare Double Dare quite a bit now ( produced by Gareth Jones BTW, so glad to hear he's beat the cancer scare)

Mattx

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

WIRED:

WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED:
WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED:
WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED:
WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED:
WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED:
WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED:
WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED:
WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED: WIRED:
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Matt

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

ELECTRIC TO ME...

...is the final song we have recorded for the album.

I'm really enjoying working on this, could be quite a standout track and maybe a slight change in direction from the other songs. I really want to go to town on the production of this one. We have decided to re-record the vocals on POP which I think will be quite a tricky one to get right.

So nearly there and we are really excited by having it finished. Not long now.

Matt

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

MUSIC 4 $

We have been commissioned to write something "electronic and poppy" for a commercial advertising Urban Decay the cosmetics company.

Maybe this is a new direction for us, after all Mr Vince Clarke wrote the music a Smarties TV commercial back in the 80's

Finished CRASH these are Sarah's comments "LOVVA LOVVA the track though :-) Wonderful, sounds very slick and I love that Abba harmony on the verse." Nothing about all the extra bits I added!

Matt

Sunday, 25 January 2009

FINALLY SUCCUMBED

to Twitter. Link here

Sorry not much there yet but added an app to my iPhone so updates will probably start to happen regularly.

Matt

CRASH

Seems quite a prophetic title now, maybe we should write one called "Won the lottery".

Friday, 23 January 2009

SPLASHING OUT

We are coming to the final stages with the album now so the next steps are being put in place. Artwork is really important and equally as close to my heart as the music. The images below are various things that I will use to brief our designers with, these are bits of artwork I have come across recently. I'm writing a create brief for the designers and I will post that here when ready.

Some other exciting news is we have chosen our mastering engineer for this album, Simon Heyworth. Simon has been responsible for mastering some of the great electronic albums over the past 30 years including most of the Depeche Mode albums and all of the recent re-masters. He also mastered many of the OMD albums and of course Human Leagues - Dare. Simon is also credited as co-producing Tubular Bells with Mike Oldfield and was responsible for setting up the Manor House studios owned by Virgin Records. You can check out SImons company by following this link SAM

Of course both of these elements are quite an expense but I'm sure it will all be worth it.

Matt

Monday, 19 January 2009

ALBUM UPDATE

So where are we with the album?

Well we have had a last minute boost of energy and decided to work on two new tracks, this was also because I felt I wasn't really getting anywhere with two particular songs, "Where to from here?" & "Yes/No". These were two of the very first ideas I presented Sarah with this time last year.

I will give you a quick review of the songs we have.

Tranquil Eyes - Heavily influenced by Kraftwerk and Tesco, this will probably be the opener for the album. Started life as an instrumental but I played it to Sarah and she thought of some odd lyrics. Not sure if this would translate well live, it's very robotic and hypnotic.

Goodbye - Previewed on our podcast last year, I had Yazoo in mind when coming up with the idea for this, not sure it really sounds very like Yazoo anymore but I like it.

POP - Inspired by an empty tube of Pringles which I sampled Christmas 2007. The track has an Art of Noise feel to it, more "Close (to the edit)" than anything else I suppose. Also has a Depeche "Shout" style loop running through it, this was created on the ARP 2600 the same machine used to create the original DM - "Shout" loop, although mine cost and weighs much less and is a piece of software.

Automatic - Nothing in particular inspired this one, this was finished Easter time 2008 so I haven't really listened to it for ages. Has a Mel & Kim bit in the Chorus.

Dirty Youth - You already should know, although this will be a slightly different mix.

Into The Blue - You already should know.

Crash - Sarah wrote the main synth line for this one, it will probably be the catchiest ones on the album, we really like it. I suppose it's close cousins are "On & On" & "Seen the light" so yeah it's very Vince Clarke. This one is new for 2009

Pleasurely That Machine - Up tempo throbbing dance type track, haven't really done one like this before, a few people have heard this and said they like it. Slight Human League rip off for the middle 8 from "Do or Die", not a sample though.

014a - No title as yet, again another new one for 2009. Influenced by DM, perhaps a bit of "Policy of truth" was in the back of my mind when I came up with the idea. Sarah has some ideas for the lyrics and they will probably be a little bit Goldfrappy.

6 VI SIX - Ladytron inspired track, Dirty synths, throbbing synthetic drums. This one is new for 2009

So there we have it, a quick update on the songs. In total there were 15 ideas written but these have been narrowed down to 10 hopefully very different tracks. The process of elimination has been down to the general crapness of some of the songs and my lack of enthusiasm for them.

I feel really good about what we have now.

Matt

Friday, 16 January 2009

BEEB

Unfortunately the show isn't available on Listen Again, however we will be getting an audio transcript of the interview so we will post it here very soon.

Matt

Monday, 12 January 2009

PRINT

The designer of the artwork for 53 Degrees has produced two very nice canvas designs of our sleeve, you can buy them for £100 each, click here to visit his site. All proceeds go to the designer not us!

ON THE RADIO

This Friday (16th Jan) we will be interviewed live on BBC Radio Leicester by Chris Baxter, we should be on just after 3.00pm

You can listen live via the BBC website at this address.

We will be talking to Chris in general about Northern Kind and our new album.

Matt

Friday, 9 January 2009

NOOOOOOOO!!!

Microsoft finally kills music with Songsmith

This is so lame, I can't believe this actually exists, surely it's a joke?

I did laugh at the fact that the girl is clearly using a Mac with stickers on it though.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

VITAL PEICE OF EQUIPMENT

to help finish the album has been purchased.



http://www.lippiselkbag.co.uk

Monday, 5 January 2009

WHERE DID THAT GO?

Well Christmas and New Year came and went in a blur, apart from the great shows we did last year as highlighted by Sarah the only thing tat sticks our for me is... I DIDN'T FINISH THE ALBUM!

So it just leaves me to say hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year, I'm off to finish the album. Back soon.

Matt