I remember very clearly the night the night that I first met Camila. My band, the Darlings, were playing a show at the Brixton Windmill. We had only played a show or two before this one, and I remember so clearly how the nerves meant I couldn’t look up once during the show. How I couldn’t remember the chords to songs I had written, how I couldn’t hear myself, and how I was too afraid to talk to anyone afterwards.
Camila and Thorsten came up to me after the show, and said how much they loved my song Emily. It was the first song I’d written, and even then I think I felt embarrassed by it. They said they had started a little label and they wanted to release it on a handmade 3-inch CD-R. Their enthusiasm was evident, but I wasn’t sure what it meant to have a record label release a song.
It didn’t take too long to see that Camila and Thor were the good guys, and that what they wanted to do was beautiful. We excitedly put together 120 photographs that Nik had taken over the previous year, each CD was to have a different photo on the sleeve. We called it the Photo EP because we had no idea what else to call it.
With family and friends buying our little record, it didn’t take too long for it to sell out, and we felt very proud. It was my first experience of making a record.
Over the years Camila has released some very beautiful records, with love, care and devotion. She’s been an enthusiastic audience member too. No matter how still the crowd, Camila can be found down the front, dancing. It was always such a treat to see her at a show.
It’s nice to call time on things when it feels right. I’m sad WeePOP is closing, but very proud to have been a part of something that was beautiful. I am so thankful to Camila for giving me the first chance to see my songs on a sleeve, and I’ll always hope to see her dancing at shows.
As a band, we have been fortunate enough to tour with some wonderful people, in both strange and beautiful places. I have a collection of these memories stored for moments when I need them. On the whole touring, like any kind of travelling, is a joyful experience full of both the mundane and the magical, then the mundane becomes magical once you’re home and back in the 9-5. It’s made for sentimental romantics like us.
Last year we toured twice with the Wave Pictures, one of my favourite bands before I met them, and with familiarity and closeness my admiration for them has only grown. We had 5 weeks in America in Spring, just after our album Europe and their album Long Black Cars had been released, and another 2 weeks in Spain in the Autumn. The first tour they opened for us, the second tour we opened for them, and we’d often end the shows playing together. They have a way of making you feel like you’ve known them since you were children. If I see the boys in Allo Darlin’ as my brothers, I see the Wave Pictures as our cousins. The ones who have a pool that you swam in every afternoon after school, who get a little too drunk at your wedding and end up sliding across the dance floor on their bellies.
When we were in America, Dave was writing a lot in his notebook during the long drives. He turned those words into songs, and those songs now make up their new double album City Forgiveness, which was released yesterday. Paul plays a lot of guitar and piano on the album, and I am having fun trying to work out which is Paul imitating Dave or the real Dave. I can tell when Paul sounds like Paul though. I think Bill and Mike both contributed to the album too, although I’m not quite sure what ended up on the final version.
It is an ambitious and thrilling and emotional record, and I am proud to have even the tiniest association with it. You can buy the record from Moshi Moshi and you definitely should.
Hi! Our Ramsgate show on 30 October is now sold out, but there are still some tickets left for the other shows. In Manchester we are now playing with Songs for Walter
Also, in Italy next month Elizabeth will be playing some solo acoustic shoes with Ola from Making Marks playing solo too. They’ll be playing in Roma, Padova, Scafati and Milano together.
Howdy! We are looking forward to playing a couple of UK shows at the end of October, before we get back in the studio to record some more songs for our new album.
We’ll be playing:
28 Oct – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
29 Oct – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
30 Oct – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate
31 Oct – Islington Assembly Hall, London
We will also be recording another radio session for BBC 6 Music with Marc Riley in Manchester the night of our show there, so make sure you tune in!
Tickets for the shows are listed on our shows page, with the exception of Ramsgate. Once we have those ticket details we will post them.
Hopefully see you at one of the shows,
Hello! Sorry for neglecting these posts in recent times. We’ve actually been in the studio during the summer, recording another album at Soup Studios. We’re working in bits and pieces, as is our way. We stop and think about things, then try something different, then keep working, then stop and think about things a little again. It’s going incredibly well. At the moment we are thinking of calling this album We Come from the Same Place. It seems to encapsulate everything that’s been going on around these parts for the last 8 months or so. Anyway! It will be a long time until it comes out, as seems to be the way. But we have learned to be patient with these things.
Tomorrow we are heading to the End of the Road festival. We think that we might be playing to our biggest audience ever, which is exciting/terrifying. We are working out the setlist this afternoon, and doing some last minute rehearsal. We can’t wait, really.
On Tuesday Elizabeth recorded four songs with Darren Hayman at his home, and she has posted the songs up on bandcamp. The EP is called Optimism, and features songs written on piano and guitar, and was recorded completely live. You can listen and download the EP here.
We have also got some new shows coming up in the UK in October. We will be stopping in Leeds, Manchester and London. The details are all over on our shows page. We are doing another Marc Riley session around that time too.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Our London Compass shows go on sale today. We’re playing a show in every corner of this fair city of ours, in preparation for recording our new album in the summer. We’ll be playing four venues we’ve never played before – an ancient church, a jazz venue, a classic South London boozer and a converted Victorian WC in West London. It will be only our second time playing in West London. Crazy!
We’ve got some great support lined up too – the magnificent Haiku Salut and exciting upstarts Flowers. As well as some very special guests too big to announce. We’ll mostly be playing songs that we will be recording for the new album, but of course we’ll include some old songs too. TIcket links are up on the shows page.
Hope to see you there.
Oh my, I have been rubbish at updating this website, haven’t I? Sorry folks. Well we have been busy working on new songs, and perhaps you’ll be pleased to know that we are planning to record our new album this summer in London once again at Soup Studios. We are also planning four London shows to road test the new tunes. We will of course let you know where and when, but the idea is one in each corner of London, and the shows will be small.
In the meantime, we have the odd festival appearance coming up. We are headlining Wales Goes Pop in March and also the Now We Are! Weekender in West Brom, both in the Spring. We will also be playing some festivals in Spain, some of which have been announced and are listed on the shows page. There will be other festival appearances too, which will all be announced in due time.
We had a great time in Manchester last week playing a session for Marc Riley, where we premiered a new song “Bright Eyes”, featuring Paul singing too! That session is still up on iPlayer, if you wanted to have a listen. It’s pretty rocking!
That’s all that’s going on for now, I will try to be better at updating this website. We are going to build a new one soon, and hopefully that will makes things easier for everyone. We are better on Twitter.