Long Division Festival

JohnnythefirthSudden SparkBen AmbridgeBand RoomWhere I'll be playing in a bit! Amazing venue, the old Court Room! ???Town Hall
Where are all the people in Wakefield??Wakefield!A small snack before the gig... ???Waiting for burgers!! WakefieldMerch Swag ~ I'm on there, honest! ?
Wakefield !Long Division Festival 2012Who doesn't love Fanny & Bacardi??Where I'm gigging tonight! Long Division Festival

Long Division Festival 2/6/12, Wakefield, a set on Flickr.

On Saturday, I played Long Division Festival in Wakefield. I had a great day, it’s one of the best-organised events I’ve ever played. I even got a goodie bag of Lush stuff! :-O

Have a squint at some of the pics and thank you if you came to watch me play! 😀

June 3, 2012. posted by Jyoti. News.

Why I Love Greece

Across Athens

Around an hour ago, I put the kettle on after returning from a gigging trip to Greece.

Rich (my soundman) and I left for Greece last Friday. I can’t believe it’s not even been a week. We’ve packed in so much into the last five days. It feels like I’ve been away years.

Tonight, this minute, I feel completely energised and alive. The last five days have changed me, they have displaced ruts of behaviour with an impatient shove, replacing them with new experiences and new friendships. It’s 2.13am as I’m typing this but I’m still on Greek time so it’s actually 4.13am and, to be honest, I’m fucked. So… bear with me. 🙂

Terps & Tony

The major reason I went to Greece was to play two gigs. I was invited by Le Page to play with them and I was flattered that they asked me. Le Page is Antonis and Terpsichori, two lovely people I’d met at that strange attractor for lovely people, Indietracks Festival. The fact that I’d get to gig with them was a big part of why I accepted because I love their music.

They met us at Athens airport at 2am and we immediately started rambling on. And we never really stopped. Most nights, we just chatted till 4 or 5am.

Monastiraki Square

Saturday was sight-seeing time and we couldn’t have had better guides than Terps and Tony. We wandered around Athens which is currently this strange mix of ancient classical architecture, modern capitalist uniformity and layers of anti-government and anarchist graffiti. The juxtaposition of these elements is often jarring but always energising: this is a city that is obviously in turmoil, as is the rest of Greece due to the vagaries of capitalism and the uniform corruption of politicians.

Alexandros Grigoropoulos Plaque

As we walked and coffeed and caked, Terps and Tony told us about the protests in Athens, the anger of ordinary citizens at the massive fuck-up their government is making of everything and how these same people were often caught up in repressive police violence. In Greece, the role of the police force in protecting capitalism and its state is nakedly, shamelessly obvious.

Tiki Bar, Athens

On Sunday the 25th, I played at Tiki Bar, Athens with Le Page. The show went beautifully, the audience were friendly and funny, singing and clapping and dancing along to songs. And not just ‘Your Woman!’ People also came and had a natter afterwards (yaaay!). I love when that happens post-gig. That night, after the gig, we all went back to Terps’ apartment and we never actually stopped chatting at all, we talked through till when we had to catch the train. We were all just too wired and happy after the gig.

Thessaloniki dusk

We mostly dozed on the five hour train up to Thessaloniki. When we arrived, the difference between the two cities was palpable. Whereas Athens feels on the edge, alive and scrappily defiant, Thessaloniki seems more isolated from the current unrest. It also feels far more prosperous. I kept asking how you could compare the two cities: was it Glasgow versus London, Manchester versus London or Gothenburg versus Stockholm? The answer I got more than once was that it was more like Barcelona versus Madrid which I have to agree with.

That night, the 26th, we played at CooBar. Again, the gig went hugely well. The audience all seemed into both the bands, shouting and singing and I even had song requests from the very first White Town album, which kind of amazed me. Unfortunately, I tried to play a cover of Felt’s ‘Bitter End’ and I fucking murdered it. Lawrence, I apologise and hang my head in shame. 🙁

Coobar Peeps!

After the gig, we hung out in the bar and had competitions to see who could walk most convincingly like a boy (girls only) and vice versa. I now realise I simply cannot sashay, I just haven’t got the pelvis for it. Terps and her friend Chrysanthi looked so cute when they were trying to walk like tough blokes, I think my heart did pop a little bit. But as well as being silly, I had intense conversations about postmodernism, the nature of human intelligence (the old Penrose versus Turing again) and the best way our future AI overlords could wipe us human scum off the planet. Another perfect night mixing music, politics, singing and no-holds barred chats.

Tuesday, we trained it back to Athens. We’d booked a carriage and so we were free to play music (on my doody iPod amp) and talk shit. And, believe me, much music was exchanged and much shit discussed. Some surprise revelations about who enjoys fucking monkeys shocked and impressed us all. You would *never* suspect!

The Community Park

That night, Terps, Tony, Rich and I spent hours wandering round Athens after a particularly tasty load of Goody burgers. We ended up sat in a park that was entirely constructed by the local community in ????????. Apparently, the land was earmarked for yet another car park (there are many car parks in Athens, sprouting up in the empty spaces left when buildings are demolished). Instead, the local people fought the authorities and made a park that is both useful and full of fun. Of course, the police regularly hassle people using the park. *sigh*

Back to the apartment and more chat. We covered transitions of meaning over time in language, the sociolinguistics of gender in Greece versus the UK, indiepop and, of course, love. Always love.

Through The Window

Yesterday, we had a final lunch outing with Tony and Terps before we all headed to the airport. Even then, the time flew by because we continued to just talk and talk and talk over coffee and treats. So often, I feel like I’m boring people when I’m talking to them because, basically, I’m a massive geek and fascinated by pretty much everything. So I love to talk about Hugh Everett or Robert Mapplethorpe or the etymology of the word ‘quim.’ As I’m rambling, I’ll see the person I’m talking to begin to look bored and their attention wander. Inevitably, that will make me feel intensely lonely.

That feeling never happened once in the past few days. I ranted and raved, I had chats, discussions and out-and-out arguments. But through it all, the people I met engaged with me. As my music is basically me, I include the gigs in this: I felt a real sense of dialogue when I played. That is sadly rare.

Old And New

Today, I’m missing Tony, Terps and all the other lovely people that I met over there. I do love Derby but sometimes I feel so isolated here because that I can’t talk about what fascinates me. But, being more positive, 2012 is my year of pushing myself as hard as I can, of taking risks (which is why I went to Athens in the first place) and already it’s brought me this marvellous experience and people I would be proud to call my friends. If I’ve had such a fantastic time by taking a risk, this simply means I have to take more risks and be braver. After all, wonder is worth pursuing.

Leaning

The interactions I’ve had in the last few days, the things I’ve seen and the stories I’ve heard have made me re-consider so much of my life. I really am a different person now, I simply have to try and work out who that person is.

Thank you Terpsichore, thank you Antonis and thank you Greece!

April 20, 2012. posted by Jyoti. News.

Monopole on iTunes!

My new album is now on iTunes! Click here!

Or, if you prefer CD, click here. Perhaps you’re anti-iTunes? Then try my Bandcamp. 🙂

I’m very proud of ‘Monopole.’ It was a huge struggle to get it finished, through separation/divorce, horrible family illnesses and all the subsequent fall-out those events entail.

But now it’s done and my baby is out there in the world. Please take care of it and give it hugs. 🙂

November 16, 2011. posted by Jyoti. Music, News.

New Video – Invisible Elastic

Here’s another track from my new album, ‘Monopole,’ (you can buy it here). My friend Laura is starring in it and she did a wonderful job following my tyrannical direction. “CRY NOW! TEARS! I WANT TEARS, WOMAN!”

Enjoy! 🙂

October 20, 2011. posted by Jyoti. Music, News, Videos.

White Town – Monopole

My new album, ‘Monopole,’ is now available to listen (and maybe buy!) on Bandcamp! 😀

October 13, 2011. posted by Jyoti. Music, News.

NEW WHITE TOWN ALBUM!

New White Town album, front!New White Town album, CD!New White Town album, back!New White Town album!

New White Town Album!, a set on Flickr.

Well, I’ve just got 1,000 copies of my new album, the fifth one I’ve made, delivered. Feeling quite emotional.

It’s called ‘Monopole’ and I’m very proud of it. It was made in very difficult times, which you’ll know if you read this blog regularly.

I can tell you ~ there is no better job in existence than being a musician! ?

October 11, 2011. posted by Jyoti. News.

Busy Bee – New White Town Singles

I’ve been mad busy the last couple of weeks, mastering album tracks and also making pop vids. It’s been hectic!

For this album, I’m planning to release a vid for every track on the album. It’s partly because people only seem to share YouTube links for music now and partly because I want to push myself further as a film-maker and this is an excellent way to do it.

Here’s the first one (excluding ‘Cut Out My Heart‘ which I made last year):

‘Missing Her Again’ is a track I wrote way back in 1987. I decided to re-visit it for this album as it seems to fit my life again in lots of ways, sadly. I recorded a version way back then and it’s funny listening to my voice with a different, younger timbre.

And here’s the one I stuck up yesterday:

This song is a year old and it comes out of a similar place to ‘Missing Her Again’ in that it’s a love song written about someone who isn’t around any more. Here’s a more detailed explanation from a Facebook exchange I had:

shes

And I filmed another vid with my friend Laura on Tuesday. I’ve got a little production line going! 🙂

August 18, 2011. posted by Jyoti. Music, News, Videos.

New Single And Video – She’s A Lot Like You

And here’s another single from the new album! It’s 50p from here!

August 17, 2011. posted by Jyoti. Music, News, Videos.

Another Sunny Night Gig, DJing and Parisness

Outdoor Pano 1

Last weekend, from Friday to Monday, I was in Paris! I went over to play a gig for the thoroughly lovely Another Sunny Night peeps. While I was there, I also DJed at Planète Mars, an awesome bar that you should check out if you’re ever in Paris.

I went over with Robbie, who was doing the sound and iPod wrangling. We managed to fit the music around eating an enormous amount of the tastiest food ever and a spot of sightseeing. But let’s do this properly, I’m getting a bit previous!

Planete Mars DJing - 1

Well, Friday night was the DJing. The bar was absolutely rammed and I played a suitably poptastic set. I did play loads of new tunes but there were more classics than before, albeit my slightly idiosyncratic definition of classic (The Sylvers, The Theme From Robinson Crusoe). The vibe in the bar was awesome and Hakim, the super-genial owner, plied me with some crazy cordials. Never had cucumber cordial before, puzzlingly good.

Gigging At L'international - 42

Then on Saturday, it was the gig. I was first on and a little nervous as the last gig I played, The Hangover Lounge one, had been emotionally difficult. But I think I held things together better on Saturday and the crowd seemed to love it. I got loads of positive comments afterwards and people even bought records!

Gigging At L'international - 23

Then I watched the other two bands, The Starlets and Panama, both rocking in different ways. The Starlets were, ironically, quite Brel: each song a vignette and musically quite theatrical and flourishy. All in a good way – I loved them!

Gigging At L'international - 29

Then the last band, Panama, who were more indierocking rockness. They’ve got really catchy songs and very much reminded me of early Ric Menck bands, whether that’s Choo Choo Train or Bag-O-Shells. A bit of Lemonheads in there too, I reckon. Made me want to form a rocking band again and stamp on some pedals. Dude.

The Note I Left For François On A Setlist

Then on Sunday, I made a pilgrimage to François Truffaut’s grave. He’s been my favourite director for decades and I couldn’t miss the chance to pay my respects to his memory. I left the message you see in the pic above. White Town really couldn’t exist without Truffaut, I’ve stolen so much from him in terms of emotional explicitness and lack of wankiness.

Monday, we came home. Yeah.

Reflecting on the weekend, it reminded me that after I first played Mattias Jansson’s Cosy Den, in 2005, I posted about wanting to meet people I had something in common with, people I actually wanted to work with who were decent and genuine and into music. You know ~ not Tories.

Well, little by little, that’s happening. The first person who emailed me way back then was Ian Watson from HDIF and the man is a stick of rock with ‘GOOD EGG’ written all the way through. London Popfest, Indietracks, Hangover Lounge… I’ve been very picky about who I’ve worked with and I think it’s paid-off in that I haven’t had a horrendous gig experience due to trusting NME-ish indie chancers.

Add to that list: Another Sunny Night. Emilie, Clémence & Joanny took care of us, organised the gig and DJing faultlessly (despite most of them being severely inebriated) and we got paid. Of course, I still lost money overall but that’s international gigging. (Well, unless you’re Gaga, I guess?) The ASN massive fed, watered and generally held our hands through the weekend, checking we were okay and running about making everything perfect. So, we had a great time, the other bands had a great time and the audience… well, they definitely had a great time.

So, thank you ASN, thank you Paris and, of course, thank you François Truffaut.

May 19, 2011. posted by Jyoti. News.

White Town On Bandcamp

I’ve finally set up a White Town Bandcamp page so peeps can buy directly from me! So far, there’s only one release on it: a special, Bandcamp-exclusive ‘Cut Out My Heart’ EP that includes this video:

So, have a click, have a listen and, if you decide to buy it, thank you! 🙂

May 12, 2011. posted by Jyoti. News.

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