Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Back from tour...

Hey all,

So it seems we’re back from tour. Despite having spent a ridiculous amount of time together yesterday saw us all just meet up again for no particular reason other than to share a few drinks. How cute:

Personally, I had a slightly less confortable return home as I arrived back after our 12hour journey to find that 3 of the members of Foals had left a 6-foot bath sitting in the middle of my bedroom. good one. ive already planned my revenge; it involves some bricks, some cement and a wasps nest. see yer laterz jimmy...

Anyway, tour was great; I think the best yet. We visited some amazing places, ate some great food and made a whole bunch of new friends. Most of the shows were busy and really fun so thank you to everyone to came to see us. Sickly isn’t it.

Hugo displayed particular heroics throughout by successfully playing 14 shows without us having finalised lyrics for many of the songs. We call it “yogurting”, and Hugo is now a master. Well, except for the occasional Freudian slip that was bellowed out to a few crowds, the details of which I won’t mention. He also wore a full length wizard outfit on some nights and is now considered to be quite the enigma in certain parts of Eastern Europe. Waving his drumstick wand at audience members before unleashing its power all over a cowbell during some lengthy percussion breakdowns seems to have confirmed his mysticism and was certainly enjoyable to watch from behind my drum kit. Between this, Jody’s ever increasing onstage wanderings, my brand new 2Pac T-shirt and Sam excitedly inviting the audiences to “have a pop” on our new material it seems we’ve made a little Jonquil-shaped dent in the European consciousness.

On top of this we are all now experts on Polish history and have learnt that most of what we were taught in English schools about the Second World War was complete bullshit. Or at least that whole sense of Allied heroics that in actual fact just left a country as amazing as Poland to rot under Soviet rule. Anyway, our driver Dawid was quite a prophet and we all thank him for helping us out so much. Believe me, he preaches the truth:

As mentioned before Sam has a problem with nature. In his case its known as "Bark-Psychosis". Here is a video docuementing the infliction with regard to a German tree. deal with it:

Ben’s attempts to send the rest of us insane with a continual barrage of ever evolving in-jokes almost worked; Jody, being particularly affected, sort refuge in a stolen pillow from ‘The People’s Hotel of Galileo' that now has his profile permanently imprinted in it. A bit like the Turin Shroud but more Welsh. If Ben attempts to say anything along the lines of “Museum breath”, “Paul Pots” or “meeting a bear that shits itself” to you then edge slowly away from him, keeping the image of that evil psychiatrist from the new batman films firmly in mind.

anyway, some photos have been salvaged from the wreckage of my personal belongings and the rest will be posted shortly. For now though enjoy this last little video taken all the way back on the first day in Lille. One day tweak. oh my god.

Im off now to put the finishing touches to the herb garden that we've made out of the bath that appeared in my bedroom. Those wasps are angry Jimmy. real angry.

speak soon,

Friday, 25 September 2009

taken in brno two nights ago

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Tour Blog #2

This is going to be a quick one. We should be leaving Brno any minute now, but we are busy nursing mild hangovers and not looking forward to getting in the newly dvd-less van. All should be ok, though. We are going to Prague after all!

So to start from where kit left off, we had a show in Zilina, a small city in the northern mountains of Slovakia. The venue was a kind of arts-centre with a gallery and venue all housed in an ex-train station. I say ex, but its actually still a train station, with intermittant trains stopping to let one, or two, people off. We keep thinking that one train will be full of punters, all waving Jonquil banners, and screaming and screaming. This does not happen. However, it is still a great show. Lots of dancing and enthusiasam. This is what we like.

Vienna has to be one of the most beutiful cities i've ever seen, and we see a great deal of it, firstly as the promoter suggests we park the van in an obscure quarter of the city which is neither near the restaurant we will be eating in, nor the venue we will be playing in. So, a 15 minute walk turns into a 30 minute journey incorporating tram and metro. Good food, good show (terrible support band)... we all conclude that vienna might be one of the shows that we forget actually happened.

So now we are in Fleda in Brno; a hostel, bar, cafe, club and venue all-in-one. Kind of ideal, as we play a gig, party in the basement club, and sleep in the upstairs hostel.

Still no pictures due to an 'incident' in Berlin, so here is a picture of Brno... imagine us all stading lofty and suave in the foreground:


Monday, 21 September 2009

Tour Blog #1

So, we have been lacklustre with the blog, to say the least. We are eight days in to tour, sitting in the hotel in Zilina, Slovakia, a country that is new to all of us (nearly). We'll give you the rest of the story in the next couple of days. This, however, will give you a little taster of the first few days:

-robin got into a car with a child of baccus who drove surprisingly well.
-all got baked in lush daylight-main-street-shop-window-euphoria.
-kit had friendly smile exchanged with tattooed dutch man in next door car, only noticing him fingering the big black switch blade afterwards.
-fuzzy wuzzy was a bear but fuzzy wuzzy had no hair so fuzzy wuzzy wasnt fuzzy was he?
-everyone woops in drum breakdowns; try it.
-beautiful grey cat named 'chateau neuf', sat on kits lap. didnt come to bed though. jumped out of window.
-cat in polish is kot.
-Dawid in polish is "puszczac kaczki".
-birthday ben. got chocolate coins + chocolate milk + chocolate cake...
-haircut crazy-razor-happy-happy-go-go-hugo; not much hair left. looks like a disolusioned monk.
-its monk time.
-that wizard outfit. sticks.
-supermarket fun times. sam=pate. kit=chorizo. hugo=endless cous-cous-cous-cous-cous-cous-cous-cous.
-heavy Leffe.
-nazi surfers must die.
-new 'whyangle?' stage formation is a winner.
-joni mitchell
-jody is still alive by the good grace of parma ham.
-3 day tweek. speaks volumes; prose?

ok, so that was the first three days, sorry for the lack of clarity. lots has happened since then however. Berlin happened infact. a great show with a soundman called stephan that called us consistently on our traffic-filled journey asking us ridiculous questions such as "do your toms go from a high one to a low one?". Hugo combated the on-setting 'teak' caused by stephan's bizarre panicky voice emanating from the phone by tactfully holding it at arms length for the majority of the conversation...the night turned out to be great and then turned rather dark, but in a good way. To sum things up; robin, jake and myself were standing in the venue's courtyard, feeling already particularly horrified at the night's proceedings...we noticed the powerful pitter patter of someone relieving them-self out of a third story window; a moment later sam's demonic grin glared back at us, eyes glazed we realised he was sleeping and sure enough he has absolutely no recollection. Despite this Sam isn't exactly ashamed of the events in Berlin, and now i think about it perhaps that grin was less demonic and more self-congratulatory.
We woke up in a showerless band flat and within an hour half of our number had thrown up, including our driver David. Continuing in this fashion throughout the day he managed quite heroically to fill much of the hard shoulder of Polish roads with all the debauchery Berlin was able to squeeze into his stomach. Simultaneously Sam threw a boulder at a tree and Ben called it "Bark-Psychosis". I bought a pellet gun and shot it at Sam's nipples. Robin and Ben gave up their dignity to the addictive power of championship manager. David Attenborough told us to take better care of the polar bears...and none of us noticed the warning light on the van meaning we ran out of petrol and spent an interesting hour standing next to a swamp 20 kilometres from our destination. Sam wore a florescent safety jacket; with shorts.

The first show in Poland was amazing. we all got hungry afterwards though and some of the standard-less members of the band mentioned "Mcdonalds". We were all saved however by Dawid traipsing us around all of his favourite yet continuously closed restaurants untill we put a 'fishburger' in our faces and all enjoyed saying "Helios fish-grill". boring.
Warsaw was great. lots of pretty girls dancing, lots of cherry vodka, a broken bass string and a club afterwards that projected 70's hardcore porn all over our drunken faces. less boring.
Krakow was a doner kebap pizza for hugo and a lovely but energy-less show. We slept in a Kenya themed hotel room. A KENYA THEMED HOTEL ROOM. Give me a fucking break. We all slept well though, apart from Sam, who is worried its because it wasn't drunk. He's also worried/excited that there are bears in polish woods. Dawid probably thinks he's being racist. He's not, he just a sleeping window pisser.
Today we played in a 'converted train station' though a train arrived on the platform just before we went on stage and I'm shore someone that got off it came to the show. Slovakia has their drink driving problem sorted. everyone started watching the show seated and by the end the whole room was dancing. We had the pieces of a manikin spread across the stage. we drank beer with cinnamon in it and wished another train would arrive. It didnt, so we came back to our sweet hotel and wrote this blog. Sam's eyeing up our waste hight widow as i write this.

I'll do my best to update this very shortly, and maybe have some photos too...oh wait, no, all my belongings we're incinerated in Berlin. deal with it.

speak soon,

Saturday, 12 September 2009

pillow quest

pillow quest is a new Jonquil song. Its up on our myspace: www.mysace.com/jonquiluk

If this song was a picture it would probably look like this.

Friday, 11 September 2009

tour appoaching...

13.09 Lille - La Malterie
14.09 Tilburg - Incubate Fesitval
15.09 Liege - L'Escalier
16.09 Mannheim - Alte Feuerwache
17.09 Berlin - Schokoladen
18.09 Wroclaw - Jazz Klub Rura
19.09 Warsaw - Cafe Kluturalna
20.09 Krakow - Klub Re
21.09 Zilina - Stanica
22.09 Vienna - Rhiz
23.09 Brno - Fleda
24.09 Prague - 007
25.09 Dresden - Ost-Pol
26.09 Luxembourg - D:Qliq

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Old Tour Photos...

Hey all,

so, we played our tour warm up show last night in London. It went pretty well. i dropped a drum on my toe, we forgot our merch and the others drove back to Oxford to find they'd been locked out of the house. Smooth.

Anyway, we leave for tour across Europe on Sunday so i thought id give you a small selection of photos from our last european tour. lets hope we have as good a time and i am able to extend my collection of photos of policemen's backsides to a near publishable quantity. enjoy.

One of my favourite books on Queer Film Theory is entitled 'Working like a Homosexual' im thinking of sending that photo to the publisher for the cover of the second edition.
Here's Sam attempting to to make the cover of the next 'Those Less Fortunate Than Yourself Go To DisneyLand' pamphlet. Donnations made payable to Jonquil's bank account. we've got to get him through school somehow:

Heres Robin appearing vibrant in all his sunblushed glory; totally on top of things:

...and then not so sunblushed or glorious:

Hardware slug:

The sculpture had balls aswell as breasts.

Some photos that dont need annoying one line explanations:

And my personal favourite. Hugo never looked so scared when he woke up:

Anyway, a new song should be up on our myspace in the next few days. we've locked hugo away with a toffee apple from the fair and told him he has to finnish mixing the tracks before tour.

speak soon,


Sunday, 6 September 2009

Studio video diary #3

Jonquil studio video diary #3 (Day five)

Ok, over dub day. As a result it seems some of us have lost our minds. I feel boggled. Spending a whole day (and night) hitting a broken cello and watching the rest of my band gladly spiral into some strange subterranean reality where it’s ok to communicate via duck quacks has been slightly disconcerting. Here’s the video documenting us spending too much time with each other. I hope you enjoy.

Speak soon,

p.s. the outfit Jody’s wearing half way through went on an outing with him all the way to the counter of the local shop before he remembered he was wearing it. Just consider the shop keeper’s thought process when faced with such an awesome entity.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Jonquil recording diary + video

Hey all,

Ok, so another song tracked and another little video to tell you all about it. This third song totally had the potential to undo us last night. Complicated rhythms, loads of cuts, having to hit the snare exactly in the middle and not knowing any change-overs without the vocals (Sam had to nod ferociously at me every third second). However, we got it eventually and when listening back to our final take a cheer erupted from the six of us as the last chord rung out. Pretty cute. That’s never happened before. I’m slightly worried we’re turning into a bunch of savages; You know, expressing emotion and all that.

Despite the slightly more pressured atmosphere we still managed to completely compromise our growing sense of professionalism by embarking on a full band version of Postman Pat half way through a take. Graeme ventured in to the live room after a decent five minutes of us exploring the well known ditty and told us simply “I don’t know how to deal with that”. At wits end I fear. I was surprised at the quality of the rendition but you can decide for yourself by watching the video. You can also see Hugo delivering a few priceless sentences. Halfway through he says “cotton-bud” not “condom”, I promise.

Anyway, just a few more days to go before this turns into a tour blog; more tracking tonight and then over dubs and vocals over the weekend. For now though I’m going to go tend to the beast. She needs a quick Hoover and there’s some free wall space that’s begging for a few evil eyes…

New video + photos tomorrow.

Speak soon,


Thursday, 3 September 2009

Jonquil studio video diary #1

Hey all,

Here is a short video of us at work in the studio. The camera ran out of memory pretty quickly so my pickings were slim. Probably shouldn’t have got so engrossed in Sam’s dancing. Robin doesn’t get much of a look in so instead let’s all think of him whenever there’s an evil eye. He’d appreciate that.

There’ll be another video to follow after tonight I’m sure. Hope you enjoy.


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Recording Diary #2 Wednesday 2nd September 2009

Hey all,

The studio has become all consuming. It swallowed seven healthy, happy, vibrant young adults about a week ago and is currently digesting them into vague shapes that scuttle around; tripping over cables, relentlessly pressing solo buttons and crushing Heineken cans with surprising efficiency. We all know recycling is the key to any successful recording session. Got to give something back with all the power we’re draining from the national grid. We’d be N-Power's most valued customers if we ever paid a bill.
With last night came our second session of tracking and things are still going swimmingly. The second of four tracks has been successfully captured forever. Well, providing our hard disk recorder doesn’t blow up or Graeme manages to execute his ever-looming plan to lock us in the live room, under the pretence of doing a take, as he strips the control room of all its worth and goes to ground somewhere in east Oxford; whistling a medley of all the unwritten Jonquil songs that will never come to fruition.
Last night we all arrived attempting to hold serious expressions on our faces in anticipation of a few serious hours of work ahead of us. This soon fell apart however as Hugo bounded into the studio drunk and very hyper earnestly claiming he was “in the zone” and “feeling the vibe”. The ‘vibe’ we all soon realised consisted of the pitch shifter on his Nord Stage finally achieving full band-member status and had more to say than the rest of us put together. No-one cared much though seeing as the track is sounding so good and is destined to make at least a few toes tap along during the upcoming tour. I’m considering tactfully slipping in the words ‘dance’ and ‘floor’ into the lyrics for this one, so you can see our intentions. The priority now, however, is to get Hugo sober for the next session. Although I quite liked him being “in the zone”. I’ll do a round email to the guys and we’ll decide if we want to pool together some cash to put towards a Hugo intoxication kitty and keep the good times rolling. I’ll let you know how that goes…unless a video of him flipping a slice of cheese from his forehead into his mouth surfaces then that’ll pretty much tell you all you need to know. Fingers crossed.

Speak soon,


p.s. the first studio video diary is nearly ready to go up. Maybe later today. For now though you can enjoy these photos… (Play spot the pitch shifter. Clues: it’s orange and Hugo’s always touching it.)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Recording Diary #1: Tuesday 1st September 2009.

Hey all,

The first track of our session saw the light of some sort of existence last night. Second take…we’re all feeling pretty pro about that. Vocal-less at the moment but Hugo will be taking care of that small issue in the next few days I’m sure.
The scaffolding of stands that support the nine mics surrounding my kit (three on the bass drum alone) makes me feel like I’m an extra in Minority Report. We keep finding Graeme (Youm) hiding inside the sonic tent we’ve erected out from the bass drum. It’s just when things get a bit too much for him. Perhaps Jody filling all his spare time by playing heavily delayed renditions of ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ and Hugo’s incessant use of his keyboard’s pitch shifter between takes is having a slight effect on Graeme’s sanity. He’s a total hero for agreeing to help engineer the recording for us, and despite moments of paralysing confusion when staring at the plethora of knobs on our new mixer, he seems to be enjoying himself. He’s even sprouting his own set of EQ dials on the back of his head. The optimum settings to me seem to be a touch of ‘Belfast Work Ethic’, a healthy amount of ‘Drum Sound Favouritism’ and the ‘Panic’ dial taken right down to zero. After a couple of hours in the control room yesterday he looked up at me forlornly and said simply; “I need to smoke something”. We responded sensitively by maxing out the ‘Get the fuck back to work for no personal reward’ dial and carried him swiftly back to fester amongst the knotting XLR’s and decaying effects pedals that line his nest.
Track titles are becoming a problem. At the moment each song seems to be referred to by us singing its opening few bars of melody. For the less vocally gifted members of the band this leads to some confusion and whole conversations are being conducted by humming a seemingly indiscernible pattern of notes back and forth until a collective “oh, you mean that one” rings out and we’ve all forgotten whatever point we had to make in the first place.
Having said all this, things are progressing really well. We’re on schedule to finish the recordings before going on tour across Europe on the 13th and we should have a track up on the Myspace and some studio videos appearing for you shortly…but first allow me a few quick thankyou’s:

-Russ (Hreda): for lending us his sweet mics.
-Andrew (Andrew Mears) Mears: for helping sort out the space and smashing a sink off the wall in the process, claming; “It’s my bad, but it’s not my fault”.
-Jake: for beginning his Jonquil rockumentary yesterday entitled Sweet Child of Mine and a BOSS DD5.
-Josep: who, having been the Jonquil mascot for the last month and the total sum of our Spanish fan base, left for Romania today. I watched him leave through floods of tears before promptly returning to the studio to reposition the ‘Moon-Gel’ on my floor-tom and remove Graeme from the sonic bass drum tent. It fucks with the sound when he’s in there.

Speak soon,

P.s. new blog and videos will be with you tomorrow.