Posts Tagged ‘Bob Dylan’

Fun on 2 farms

July 7, 2010

Hey guys,

In a few days we’re off to Canterbury to play at ‘Lounge On The Farm’ festival. It’s going to be a great weekend with some amazing bands playing. And the headliners aren’t bad either; Toots and The Maytals and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas!

For those of you going we’re playing a few sets, lucky you!

Friday – 2:15pm @ Sheep Dip Stage

Friday – 8:00pm @ Strummerville Campfire Sessions

Sunday – 11:00pm @ Strummerville Campfire Sessions

Going to be immense. and I hear there is a hog roast which can only mean one thing…I’m going to eat some of it! yessss.

I went to The Hop Farm festival the other day to see Bob Dylan. He was amazing and spent the whole show grinning, something he appears to do only very rarely.

He was wearing a pink shirt and wide brimmed hat. There was a guy in front of me wearing a boater hat and I was getting really annoyed with him because I couldn’t see a thing. I nearly said something to him but then I realised I too was wearing a boater hat. I took mine off and moved somewhere else. Laura Marling was fantastic, and our recording engineer Matt Ingram was playing drums for her, which was an added surprise. Mumford and Sons bored me slightly. Seasick Steve was pretty good and really got the crowd on his side. Here endeth my review.

In other news we’re looking to confirm another tour in September with Strummerville. It will be filmed for a channel 4 documentary so that’s all very exciting.We are %90 confirmed to play this year’s Secret Garden Party. There are also rumors of us possibly going to New York in October to play the CMJ music festival.

But until then, we’ll see you in a field in Kent. can’t wait.

Gaoler’s X


New Tunes/Nigella…

June 22, 2010

Just had a great writing session in our rehearsal room in Shoreditch. Very productive, getting 5 songs pretty much finished.

They are: Everything is Blue, Sex In A Citadel, About My Friend and two others without names yet! One of these we wrote around a riff i’d had bubbling away at the back of my brain for months. Sounds a bit Chris Isaak. Quite dark and very simple, exciting stuff.

The next gig is a low key solo show, just me with my guitar, Nigella. It’s with Tom Williams and the Boat and a couple of other excellent supports. It’s at the very little Betsey Trotwood on the 1st July, in Farringdon so there’ll  be a great atmosphere, making for a sweeet show. So come!!! Keep an ear out for new tunes at this one….

Then it’s Lounge on the Farm, and we can’t wait! If you’re there, come and say hello and we can party. it’s going to be excellent, plus there’s some amazing bands playing too-rather like the Hop Farm Festival which i’m going to in only a few days…i’m counting down the days! PLaying, there’s Ray Davies, Seasick Steve, and some guy called Bob.


Gaoler’s x

Scheming, Planning, Making Lists.

March 1, 2010


Have had a pretty good week. On wednesday i went to see Fionn Regan at Komedia in Brighton. He played a brilliant set, with his new songs going down very well indeed. He didn’t speak much (last time the highlight for me was his strange, but humourous ramblings at the mic), perhaps he’s doing the whole Bob Dylan cool and moody thing. Still was a fantastic night, although the less said about me and my friends’ ‘afterparty’ the better.

Thursday was a blur, Friday, as ben mentioned in his blog earlier, we went to stringfellows. Not quite sure how/why they let me in. I was wearing Reebok workouts (good shoes, but really?) and a jumper with red wine all down the left sleeve. Saturday we played a set for Nick who runs bar mondo in Dartford. Twas a strange one, with the crowd only getting into it towards the end. Perhaps we should have played around with the order of the set a bit more. But, we all enjoyed ourselves and the entertainment afterwards was superb. Burlesque dancers, a guy with a ball, and jugglers, amongst others. There should be some videos creeping onto Youtube from this, so i’ll post the link when I can. Happy Birthday Nick!

Heard they’re going to get rid of BBC 6 music…if this happens, it’ll be a massive shame. Not just because they’ve played us a few times, but because it truly is the best radio station out there at the moment. Credible whilst still being entertaining. If it’s to do with funding, then can’t they just get rid of BBC 3? It’s utter drivel for the most part, or at least decommission ‘Coming of Age’, which is everything that’s wrong with the world in one programme.

In other news, come to this:

Runs in Blood Down Palace Walls

February 12, 2010

We played a chilled out acoustic gig last night for Adam Masterson‘s new acoustic night, ‘The Gold Bug Club’ at The Boogaloo in Highgate. I (John) was feeling pretty tired so was glad of the sit-down! Met up with a producer (Paul Tippler) who we’re hoping to record with in the future. He’s recorded some great bands including this lot:

Finally got most of my uni work done this week, so have felt like a free agent. Not much else to do around where I live, so I’ve taken to going to Bluewater shopping centre, primarily just to people watch. You get some amazing people in there. There’s the good-looking trendy people with their perfectly ripped jeans, exquisitely ‘messy’ hair and their luminous girlfriends, the stereotypical John Lewis customers with their trench coats and shiny shoes, the obligatory chavs in groups of twenty to thirty that you walk past with your head down…

There was a massive queue outside the surfer type shop ‘Hollister’, which for some reason, angered me. I think I made my disdain known in my facial expressions, and the fact that I was taking photos as i walked past. If I can work out how to get photos on here from my phone I’ll put them up. It’s not even good in there; it’s so dark you don’t know what colour the clothes are that you’re buying, and it’s done up to look like a surf-shack out of something like 90210. But it just looks a bit ropey to me. Maybe that’s why it’s so dark in there…

Here’s a pretty good video of Bob Dylan singing at the White House the other day. He’s still got it – still tells it how it is…

There’s still some physical copies (not many) left of our debut E.P available for £3, and if you haven’t got one, get one! Cheesy grin, sparkling tooth, wink.

Check out our myspace for our next few gigs. We have one at 229 Great Portland St. for Rocklands which should be great. It’s a big venue so come along and help make it a top night! The facebook invite is here.

The word ‘visionary’ is all too often used and reminds me of Garth Marenghi somewhat (“author, dream weaver, visionary, plus actor”) but William Blake truly is one. Aside from his incredibly complex yet entertaining poetry, he was involved in nearly every creative endeavour around. He used to print his own poems, engrave, paint, and incite the odd riot. Here’s an incredible painting by Blake that could easily have been painted yesterday. I like it:

Au revoir,



Take a Drag or Two interview

January 16, 2010

Here’s a recent interview we did for a French webzine called ‘Take a drag or two’. thanks to Jessyka.

What about the name ? It’s unusual to take your name from a children’s book, is it your child’s soul that comes out from it ?

John. Children are free from cynicism and fear; everything is an adventure when you’re a kid. It’s that sense of escapism from those baggages of adulthood, that the Gaoler’s Daughter alludes to.

Alfie. I wouldn’t necessarily class Wind in the Willows as solely a book for children, it has been read and loved by children and adults for over 100 years.

The character ‘the Gaoler’s Daughter’ (from where we take our name), is the key to the toads escape and she holds a definite place in my heart, she is a symbol for escapism and for hope.

There is also a definite similarity between us (John, Alex, Ben and myself),and the four heroes (Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad), in the sense that we combine our skills and personalities to reach a common goal.

Ben. I agree with what Alfie said. Music and Literature can influence each other. That seems perfectly natural to me.

Last month you supported Babyshambles on their UK tour, was it a great experience ?

John. It was great to get out of London and play to lots of new faces. Playing the bigger venues definitely brings out the best in bands. Plus we got free food!

Ben. We played with Pete last year at The Studio in Liverpool’s launch party. We also have a long history with the Babyshambles boys; Alex and I were in ‘Littl’ans’ who used to support them and even recorded a song with Pete.

Alfie’s old band ‘Larrikin Love’ supported ‘Babyshambles’ at Mont Matre in Paris too.

I also played drums and percussion on Adam Ficek’s ‘Roses, Kings, Castles’ – ‘Apples And Engines’ EP and on his forthcoming album.

Everything seems to happen really fast for you : your debut EP, the tour with Babyshambles and soon the release of your second EP. Is it hard for you or just pleasant ?

Alex. Very pleasant.

Ben. It may seem quick if you have only just heard of us but for us it’s been a long road already. We love it hard though and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I believe that each band should ‘earn their dues’ and earn the respect of their peers regardless of what the individuals in that band have achieved before.

What are your projects after the release of your second EP ‘Alchemy’ ?

John. Maybe get a tour together around Europe too, after the next release

Ben. Yeah, we’ll just keep working on more of the same. We are writing new songs and planning to record soon. We’re also booking and playing as many gigs as we can. We really want to keep the momentum going.

You all come from different bands that are representative of London scene but it sounds pretty different from what we ever heard from you. Was it what you expected with this new band ?

Ben. The thing about this band is that it started as a Sunday afternoon ‘Jam session’ in Camberwell. We never had any agenda or rules. We played ‘Drum n’ Bass’ grooves, South African grooves and even some Country and Western tunes! Whatever we felt like.

After a while though it became obvious to us that we had actually created a ‘band’ sound that was ours. We still live by the ‘no rules’ spirit but we’ve played together so much now that whatever style of music we attempt to play, it sounds like us.

I feel sorry for bands that are confined to the style and image that they have created for themselves from their conception. It must be very hard to live like that. Music is and always should be free and easy. Do what you feel, not what you think is cool!

John. I agree with Ben. We never sat down at the start and said ‘what do we want to sound like’, our sound just evolved naturally, which I believe is the best way to go about things. Otherwise I think you risk sounding contrived and could end up a parody of how you started out.

Let’s talk about From Russia With Love, where comes the idea to talk about Alexander Litvinyenko from?

John. Well it’s just such a fascinating story. It sounds like a James Bond film plot, but it actually happened. For some reason the whole situation really struck a chord and angered me, and the fact that nobody has been held accountable is a travesty.

What was the best gig you ever played ? the worst ?

John. I enjoyed Nottingham Rock City because the crowd watched us with open minds, and had a lot of energy that we could feed off. The venue was perfect too, like a kind of ‘Shakespearian’ theatre with two tiers, giving it a really intimate feel.

Perhaps the worst was when we played the Luxe in Spitalfields. We had a nightmare just getting there. Driving all around London trying to get bass amps and various other bits of equipment; and then our van got a puncture. We played to about ten people in the end, so it was probably not worth the hassle!

Ben. Yeah, that was a trial that night at Luxe. Birmingham O2 Academy was great for me because my eldest brother saw me play for the first time ever. I was really nervous playing in front of him.

Alex. Nottingham Rock City was great!

My worst was definitely that gig at Nambucca in Holloway road when my mandolin had gone really out of tune and it sounded awful. I was trying to drunkenly tune it whilst playing. The gig was recorded on video camera and every time I see it I cringe. We had some great nights at Nambucca but that gig was a nightmare for me.

What are the bands you currently enjoy ?

Alex. I’m enjoying us. I always love listening to Ian Dury or The Fall.

Alfie. Bands I am currently enjoying are Fiction and Filthy Boy.

Ben. I’m working my way through the 6 X CD Miles Davis Quintet Box-set at the moment. It’s great. Tony Williams is my favourite drummer ever! Even when he was only 17! New bands I love are Babe Shadow, Fiction, Is Tropical, Rum Shebeen, Savants…

John. Really into John Martyn at the moment, but locally I’m loving ‘Filthy Boy’, ‘Tom Williams and the Boat’, and the ‘Smoke Fairies’.

Our webzine is called ‘Take A Drag Or Two’, if you could take a drag or two on the cigarette of someone famous, who would it be?

John. Audrey Hepburn just so I could look all demure with that cigarette holder. Failing that, Bob Dylan.

Alfie. I’d take a drag or two with Snoop Dogg (for obvious reasons), and it has always been a dream of mine to record with him.

Ben. I always wondered what one of those huge Bob Marley coned spliffs taste like, They look as though they would be really harsh on the throat. I reckon I could only manage to ‘take a drag or two’ before my throat seizes up.