Gigs and new album
We may have given people the impression tnat we've been hibernating, far from it. We've recorded most of our second album and played some great gigs. The upcoming album has been recorded at Rock of London, again with Mr Steve Honest at the desk and we are nearly ready to start mixing. The line up has been fixed for a while with Sian (trumpet) and Steve (Accordion) joining and Ailie (vocals) and Andy (Fiddle) rejoining for the odd gig and bit of recording.
Change Here And Yet More Arrivals On Platform 2
It has been far from quiet on Peppercorn Farm. Harvestime is a busy time of the year - so Andy and Mark have been harvesting really hard. Ailie's settling down to marriedness and we've been being a bit creative. The songs for the new album (with a working title of Hunting Deer With Accordions, although I'm sure that'll be inclined to change over a couple of pints sometime), are all written and we're on with the laborious joys of reordivating it all down. I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that they all cover a bit of love and death, jealously and betrayal, addictions and twistedness - peppercornbliss ! We've got to extend a tremendously warm welcome to Michael, who has come on board on banjo, he's cutting the mustard mighty well. We're missing Jerry, but he has taken to a bit of solo banjoage and that's good. Paul keeps turning up from Preston with a large rucksack, his bodhran and tales of woe to inspire any country songwriter. So it's a heads-down couple of months harvesting all these songs and dressing them up all nice. It isn't all hard work though, we're playing the The Caernarvon Castle, Camden on the 21st December for our Nevermind The Baubles ! End of year and Xmas Gig which should be fun. We'll keep you posted in our usual haphazard fashion. See you all in December !
Arrivals, departures and summer gigs
So the summer gigs have been completed, the last of which saw us playing the Troubadour Club with another line-up change, Chris taking care of vocal duties for the evening as Ailie was struck down with a virus. We also had a great time performing at The Acoustic Festival Of Britain, failing miserably to drink our body weight in free beer,dodging the rain and appearing as an eight-piece band on stage! Sadly it was the last time Jerry performed with us, as he has decided to leave the good ship PCR and go solo, adios amigos and life moves on. If you see a pink taxi driving round london with a banjo on the passenger seat, that's Jerry. We're already looking at replacing Jerry and Mick during the coming months. The good news is that Paul, a Bodrhan player from Preston with an uncanny resemblance to Jimmy Sommerville, has been filling the drumming stool recently and Barry is back from Coventry to play, well any instrument we give him really. The MySpace site is getting back to normal after it mysteriously 'died' on us and is busier than ever. Onwards and upwards then. Chris has got an itch, not the type that requires medication, but a desire to get back into the studio and record some of the new songs we've been tinkering with during the summer. so for the next few months we're looking at new songs, new band members, recording, a bass player with a new baby boy and Ailie getting married to the very tall Andy. (we're sure he's using stilts).
There is the possibility of a few gigs around christmas time, we'll see how it goes, watch this space.
Early May 2006
Where do I start - Life's busy. Very busy.
Mick the Merciless has settled in fine, and we're all getting used to his occasional grumpiness (must be an age thing). Our MySpace site is going frantic. Apparently we've got over 1200 friends (although I'm sure most of these wouldn?t lend me a tenner). We?ve played some good venues and had a bit of fun on the way - particularly enjoyed the Bull and Gate. We?ve got a few festivals coming up over the Summer. We're all looking forward to the Belvoir Folk Weekend on the 20th May - where we're playing twice, firstly at 14.50 in the Ballroom and then again in the Old Servants Hall at 16.10 ? which should be a bit of fun. We've also somehow ended up on the lineup for the Acoustic Festival Of Britain at Nantwich on the 29th/30th July sharing the billing with the Stranglers, Hayseed Dixie, that bloke who sang a bit with Dr Hook, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel and even the late Elkie Brooks (although I think she might still be alive) ? I don't think it's quite as glamorous as it sounds - I also don't think they could have got a smaller font to put our name in on the poster without supplying microscopes (we're at the bottom left hand corner in red !). Should you want to come along Tickets are available here. We're also on at the Wanstead Festival and have a few other tricks up our sleeve too.
In the meantime the diary is swelling with more gig dates, a few weddings and child deliveries are planned for the rest of the year and we're also looking at hitting the songwriting book towards the end of the Summer.
All things considered we couldn?t really be busier if we tried.
Mid March 2006
How the moths - sorry - months fly by. We're into what can only be described as a busy time. After much soul searching, extensive interveiws psycometric testing and a quick check on the sex offenders register we've finally adopted a new drummer - Mick Peppercorn. We'd like you all to welcome him on board. He brings with him stacks of off the wall ideas, a sensitive touch with the sticks (and a sensitive touch to chocolate fingers) and he also happily boosts the average age of the band just higher than my own age, for which I applaud him. He has fitted in very well immediately on Peppercorn farm and has moved into Martins room, which has been lying empty since he was deported.
Cigarettes, Gin & Dead Dogs seems to have been well received and is of course available to buy here and there. We've got a veritable raft of gigs, affectionately called the Dead Dogs Tour, coming up - see the live page - and even a couple of festivals lined up for the Summer. If you turn up to any of the live dates you might also be treated to some special live appearances of one or other of the Peppercornrent family. Subject to them getting out of jail for a bit.
In the meantime the songwriting continues and towards May we should have a few new songs and even a couple of Jerrys babies on board. We're all looking at recording the next set in July, when we're expecting Mark to get grounded for the month.
We're also helping out a couple of very dear friends who have set up an open mic night on alternate Thursdays at Leyton Orient Supporters Club - called, cunningly enough, Late On Thursdays . So if you accidentally turn up down there you may well see a Peppercorn set or perhaps some very rare non-Peppercorn covers.
Keep an eye on the site - things are changing all the time - and hope to see you at one of the gigs or festivals coming up.
Cigarettes, Gin & Dead Dogs will be onsale on the website & at gigs in January.
Sincerest thanks to Steve at New Music Production, Angela, Barry, Peter, Paul, Fiona & Zoe. We truly cound not have finished all this without your help.
So to celebrate and to get some informal photos for the album cover we're all going out for beers on Thursday Night in Covent Garden.
Merry Christmas. Mine's a pint of Gin, a pack of Dunhills and a busy new year.
Early November 2005
Good god, it's been an age since we updated this. There's plenty of news - although whether some of it is actually new now is debatable.
We've been busy with the band and ironically not quite so busy. Since March we've found a couple of new friends, a burlesque show, seen some job changes - Andy has been away and we're missing Martin since he has moved to Ireland, we've had a wedding, a couple of engagements, a car crash, and unfortunately lost a couple of very important people.
One hell of a busy time by anybodys standards.......
Winding through all this, like a thin current of ice-water through a frozen stream, we have been working hard on the recording. Steve at New Music Production has been a godsend. We're very nearly finished and we're chuffed to bits with how it's sounding. The time spent has been worth every second. 'Cigarettes, Gin And Dead Dogs' will be available from the website and gigs in January. Once the year has turned it's back to rehearsals, live shows, and getting on with recording the next set of songs. Which we should be starting in March.
Late March 2005
Well now, we survived the gig at Viva Viva last night - despite the silent bass and cheesewire guitar. It's a little bit funny when we've spent ages trying to find a good drummer who can cope with brushes and work with acoustic dynamics and everything - and then the sound engineer tells him to just hit the drums harder. Ah well ! What a cracklingly, achingly good little venue - strongly recommended ! (I'm told the wine was very good too - and if the whining the following morning is anything to go by it probably is.) We've thrown up some photos of the whole affair in the bit marked 'photos' - cunningly enough.
We're looking at recording some of this kerfuffle now on one of those newfangled recordy machines with microphones and stuff and everything. We've found a jolly nice little place to do it and a jolly nice chap called Steve (honest) who'll help us. Although Ma says we got to be back on the farm for our chores each day
Those nice people at Viva Viva in Hornsey have asked us to play once again on the 16th May By which time we should have all the new songs nicely sorted and Ailie's tonsils removed (Perhaps). Looking forward to both of those.
We're looking adopt a new backing singer, as Angela is needing to take a bit of time off. If you can play an instrument too then that'd be cool. If not then that's cool as well ! If you're interested take a peek at this page here
I need to go now as the tractor needs mending after the AA man had to help me get home last night. S'later.
Late February 2005
Morning to you all from the hayloft at Peppercornrent Farm.
Missing you loads, but since you've been away we've been quite busy.
Ailie has finally mastered singing through her glass of Sandemans, which is quite a frightening prospect - I've still got stains, and the dog is still stuck to the kitchen floor.
The weather's been fine on the ranch and Mark has been out mending fences in the North field. Mark accidentally nailed himself to the windmill supports again. He spent three days up there before we found him. He has the whole family wondering how he managed to nail both his cuffs and one of his sneakers again. But you know Mark, he just looks down at his feet and says nothing. Nothing at all.
Andy and Angela's fiddles have mated over the winter - which we all said was a funny time of year for it to happen - and we're all the proud parents of a new ukulele. It's doing fine, but it does make an awful noise and keeps us from sleeping some nights. Ma Peppercorn says it will get better as it gets older. Ailie asked why Mark hadn't got better as he gets older. She got a slap on the back of the knees and sent to bed early for that one.
We had to quarantine Jerry for a couple of weeks due to a chickenpox outbreak. He didn't actually contract it himself, but I swear now that every single chicken on the farm was laying spotty eggs for two whole weeks. Ma wasn't very happy and confiscated his banjo until it all stopped. We all had to go to sleep each night to the sound of Jerry sobbing - but it's all better now.
We lost a piano player. Which was, I admit, careless. We've all promised on the family bible to be more careful in the future. Ma Peppercorn says we can't have another one yet until we've proved we can look after it properly. I think Angela left the latch on the hutch undone, but don't tell her I said that. She'll only go and bust me one again.
Me, well I've been quiet really, sort of introspective and moody - but only on the inside, on the outside I've been as happy as an ugly bug with a pair of new balls.
Oh and we found a drummer on Ebay, for only ?7.83 (including postage costs !). Martin has fitted in instantly and despite the fact he can't remember song titles (he is a drummer after all !) He is sensitive to acoustic instruments which is exactly what we needed - you don't get a volume control on drummers usually. His sense of humour fits perfectly with the contorted, cynical crookedness of the rest of the family.
So that's the lineup complete. We've got to do something with this Carnivale now.
We've been rehearsing @ the Premises in Hackney for the beginning of 2005 and we're busy deciding (read: arguing about !) how best to record the little jewels we currently have got. Hoping to have something worthwhile available within a couple of months.
We're also on with a bit of songwriting. This is definitely taking a slightly darker edge, which is fun. We've got songs about twisted relationships, absinthe murders, dead dogs and of course gin, cigarettes and mistakes. We're expanding the repertoire at a rate of knots, but they all fit in well with the Peppercornrent family sound.
Ailie & I are starting to play some open mic nights to put some mileage on these songs in front of audiences. Perhaps worth keeping an eye open for us around. As a band we've only got one gig coming up @ Viva Viva, 18 High Street, Hornsey, London N8 7PB on Tuesday 29th March 2005. Their website is www.viva-viva.co.uk . This is a low key gig to roadtest new stuff and new drummers - well one new drummer really.
Hope to see you there.