There’s Tentacles Between Our Worlds

I was planning a rarities & unreleased songs release, but when I looked through what I had I realised there was quite a lot of stuff floating around on tapes, CDs and MP3s that have never seen the light of day. So what I’m going to do instead is release 8 tracks every month for 8 months which (frantically pressing calculator buttons) gives you, dear listener, 64 tracks. And what’s more, it’s all gonna be free – initially anyway.

So, ‘Octopus’ – for that is the name I have decided upon – will be an audio retrospective of my recorded work over the last decade, under my own name, pseudonyms, side-projects and collaborations, bringing together music from sold-out limited edition releases, album outtakes, demos, live versions, soundtrack work, BBC sessions and cover versions. All eight releases feature previously unreleased material. Stylistically impossible to pin down ‘Octopus’ issues forth Ivor Cutler-style harmonium dirges, acoustic guitar/vocal visions, pulsing analogue electronics, laptop prog, spooky instrumentals, glassy-eyed drones, piano torch songs and more.

The Octopus Project will commence on the 8th day of the 8th month this year.

New film: Live @ Cecil Sharp House, London.

Cecil Sharp House, North London.

Cecil Sharp House, North London.

In September 2010 myself and my best friend Gareth Davies took a trip to London to play at the ‘Ghosts From The Basement’ all-day event organised by Weekend Beatnik, Rif Mountain & The English Folk Dance and Song Society. This was a celebration of cult folk record label The Village Thing which was founded in 1970, 40 years previously. Artists I am a big fan of were playing, for example Wizz Jones, Dave Evans and Mark Fry, so I was delighted to be able to do this.

Apparently these films have been online for about a year, but I have only just found out about them thanks to Steven Collins of The Owl Service.

So, here’s me with Gareth and Steven playing Lillian, I Love You:

And I sing on the second song here (Willy O’Winsbury), with my buddies The Owl Service. I appear like the shopkeeper in Mr Benn at 5:17.

There must be more film out there (all the songs I did were filmed) but this is all I can see so far.

Bursting out of nowhere

The new LP ‘Nature Recordings’ is out.

Vinyl only – 150 hand-numbered copies from The Great Pop Supplement (GPS63). Guest appearances by The Owl Service’s Steven Collins and P.G. Six. Artwork by Dom Martin. Contains ‘The Man Who Invented Himself’, ‘Lillian, I Love You’, ‘Dawn Rain / Grissom Aloft’, ‘The Archaeologist’ over side 1, and ‘The Eighth Tower’ (parts i-iv) over side 2.

It’s available for pre-order now from Rough Trade, Piccadilly Records, Norman Records, Heyday Mail-order, Rhythm Online, Boa Melody Bar, Phonica Records, Tormentosa and others – or direct from me. Email if you want one – they’re a tenner each (BUY).

Adam Leonard: Thoughts Upon Application

In a future rock and roll hall of anonymity, he will be a byword for quiet and tidy exploration … striding across the symbolic alien conifers – myopically planted by an eco-quango to reduce creative erosion and soften the artistic landscape – of nu-folk, modern acoustica, progressive electronics, post punk prose and popular sonics. He does not “take in” his surroundings, nor feel compelled to compose poetry and assemble music by some unseen elemental urge – his approach is experimental, inquisitive, probing. He is a social vivisectionist at the height of his powers. Fair play.

These works are the latest batch of results from an ongoing examination into the human psyche; into ‘the soul’, if that’s what gets you through the night, honey. But cast your dream-catchers and crystal healing methodology manuals aside; the imaginary emporium of Adam Leonard’s mind is more of an industrial trade counter than a new age boutique. You can queue up and pass your scribbled note of the heart’s desires to the vendor, dressed in Arkwrightian brown overalls, who will scurry off into a labyrinthine maze of dump bins and steel shelving for your dreams and fantasies. Inevitably something will be out of stock, but never fear – come back next week and A B Leonard and Co will have it in. On the counter are some thoughts on death, marked up at £3.99 with a florescent star. Impulse emotion vending. Do you want a VAT receipt for that, mate?

For Adam I have prepared the following poem:

Under the clock – the AC clock –
to the left of the bins;
Across from the charity collector and the instant salvation,
but opposite the gents – quite clean for a gents –
and next to the scales,
beside the bucket of Grade II listed rainwater …
I am temporarily alone in good company.

I hope that you enjoy this record as much as I enjoyed being edited out of it.

Gareth Davies.