Saturday, 21 April 2012

They split. They reformed. Sometimes that works great. Other times...

Revisiting the good old days isn't always the best of ideas. But sometimes it works beyond everyone's wildest dreams. It just depends on what you may be looking for. 

Sometimes people do it for fun and memories; sometimes, there’s unfinished business. Sometimes it’s just the right thing to do, at the right time. And sometimes the results are just not what you might expect.

And it’s never the same. 

This post covers two bands who have split and reformed. One's Punk, one's Folk. And, before you ask - yes, they do have a lot in common.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

2012 season preview: The Songwriters Cafe

All photos courtesy of Richard Shakespeare
On Thursday 3rd May, the 2012 season of the Songwriter’s Café gets underway, with live performances from a secret Birmingham venue, streamed online from this web address to a vocal and appreciative world wide audience. 

The webcasts go live, weekly, at 8.30pm UK time (that's 3.30pm ET), from Thursday May 3rd until 26th July. 

And to mark this, this blog post comes with audio! I’m interviewing the two hosts of Songwriter’s Café, and it’s fitting that you should listen to them, because they’re both fantastic talkers; I could listen to them all day. Paul Murphy is the live host of Songwriter’s Café, and Valeria Rispo is the online host. Paul dreamed up the idea and engages and enchants the live audience; Valeria interprets and clarifies for the world wide online listenership. Songwriters Cafe is a fantastic, magical thing, and I’m delighted to be involved in a small way. The online community that gathers around the SWC live event is pretty magical too, and you get something equally unique and magical, but different, by logging on. It's in three parts

In part 1, Paul Murphy looks back with me at a few of the highlights from the 2011 season. 
In part 2, Paul talks us though the origins of the Songwriter’s café in the 90s. There's also some a vintage performances from the old days,  highlights from 2011.

In part 3, Valeria discusses her role as online host, and Paul looks back to the end of the first, 90s version of the Songwriters Cafe, and, for very good reasons,  there's a track from Paul Murphy’s 2012 solo album, ‘The Glen'
This isn’t – quite – a public event. You have to be invited to join the audience. And once invited, the terms are specific: that you will listen, properly, to singer-songwriters, practising and developing their craft in front of a sympathetic audience. If you want to chat through someone’s songs, you’ll be told, nicely but firmly, to shut up.  
Mahalia making only her second-ever live performance in 2011
The range of performers is huge, from new and highly promising to vastly experienced. They sing for their supper, literally, and every evening brings surprises. The line-up is not announced ahead of time. Paul and Valeria could tell you who’s playing come May 3… but then they’d have to kill you. 
Paul Murphy introduces Friends Of The Stars
This might sound severe. It’s not. It’s simply a great way to provide the kind of receptive environment that songwriters crave, and need, to develop as artists. It takes place weekly throughout the summer months, while the weather is kind and the days are long, in a unique performance space.  
Online host Valeria Rispo
I was lucky enough to attend several times last year. Each time I was  enthralled and surprised. I also felt a keen sense of privilege at being a part of something really lovely and collective. 

Once I’ve posted the third audio clip, we will have a one-hour documentary, and as always with documentaries on this blog, the full documentary is available, free of charge to any station, anywhere, that wishes to run it. The audio clips can also be found on Paul’s Songwriters Café pages as well. 

The Songwriter's Cafe is streamed live though the SWC website at 8.30 pm UK time (3.30pm ET), Thursdays from May 3rd, thoughout the summer. 

You'll find the Songwriter's Cafe site here

Details of Paul's 'The Glen' 2012 CD are

There is also a preview page, updated daily, featuring some of the artists appearing at Songwriter's Cafe 2012.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Toy Hearts: Family. Tradition. Attitude. Experimentation. High Heels. Don’t Mess.

Hannah              Stewart                Sophia           
Birmingham has brilliant musical dynasties. Many of today’s brightest are the children of 70s veterans; they grew up absorbing music, tech skills and more from their parents, almost by osmosis. 

Fabulous talent can emerge from this kind of music-intensive family environment, and that’s a great thing. But that doesn’t mean that, even if you’ve got the music nailed, the path is any smoother. 

Promo work: flyers and posters ready for mailing at THHQ
On a hot Spring afternoon, Toy Hearts are hard at it, doing promotion, prepping the latest mail-out, marketing, answering emails and booking gigs. That’s Sophia and Hannah Johnson, who run the band. Their father, Stewart, who also plays in the band, isn’t working quite so hard – but then he’s just engineered their next album. Hard work it certainly is. Four albums, constant touring, developing and self-managing over six years is a lot of work, most of it an uphill slog.

Toy Hearts operate in a very tricky and sometimes unforgiving area. Family bands aren’t uncommon in Folk music in the UK, and even more so in Country and associated genres in the US. But it just so happens that followers of those genres in the UK are not always, shall we say, the most open to new and experimental approaches. Genre-bending works a treat in Rock, Jazz and Urban fields…  but you mess with ‘traditional’ genres at your peril. To negotiate those landmines, Toy Hearts have developed tougher skins. They're now battle-hardened, and perfectly happy to go eye to eye and toe to toe. 

Marketing yourselves as a bluegrass-western swing-country band, in a home territory which doesn’t really get this music, can’t be easy.
Hannah: I don’t think it would be anything any of us would have chosen to go into – such small, niche genres – especially as young people. People have expectations of a down-homey, check-shirt, dungarees type look, and we definitely don’t have that. That’s made it difficult in a way. People see us and then don’t expect us to be able to play our instruments well, or think we’re going to play pop music. 
Fact is, Toy Hearts can really play. Sophia Johnson is an ace guitar player, and Stuart has excelled on dobro, lap steel, banjo and other exotica for well over thirty years. Hannah is a great singer and a seriously good mandolin player with it. 

With what you play – bluegrass, country and western swing - you have to be ironclad; bullet-proof, especially when you take your act to the US…
Sophia: Actually, I disagree! I think where you have to be bullet-proof is here. We go to America, and people are lovely to us. In this country, we’re told we shouldn’t be writing our own songs; or we should only be playing Bill Monroe music from the period when Flatt and Scruggs were in the band… Don’t you go down the Chris Thile  route! Who wants to win a Grammy and sell out concert halls all over the world? 
You’re kidding… 
Stewart: No, that’s a typical set of English attitudes! In America, they’re just fantastic. We’ve never had anyone in America pick us up on what we do, or try to tell us what we should be doing in the genre – unlike in England. 
But England doesn’t own the genre
Stewart: The people who are into bluegrass in Britain are a very closed community.  Those are the people who criticise us. When we put this music in front of people who’ve never heard it before, they just seem to get it. The actual bluegrass/country community in this country… unless they can have some kind of ownership over it, they just want to criticise what we do.
On the other hand… because you can play really well, and Hannah and Sophia have that sisterly harmony thing going on, doesn’t that get you acceptance?
Sophia: We have more success going into rock gigs and converting people who’s never head this stuff before, than in the UK bluegrass scene. The festivals don’t book us. 
We in the UK tend to consume and re-interpret big chunks of American culture, and put these chunks in boxes which have nothing to do with how the music emerged in the first place. People dressing up at country gigs…
Sophia: The Americans would be horrified at what goes on here. Nobody dresses up at US Bluegrass festivals in America! 
Stewart: We did a UK tour with Robert Joe Vandygriff. He’s from Texas. One of the first gigs was full of people, all dressed up... wearing guns. Robbie Joe got really uneasy.  We had to reassure him. If anybody walks in to a bar in Texas with a gun strapped on, everybody hits the deck! We had to explain to him that these are people living a fantasy, which they probably got from cowboy films rather than music.  And of course, this sort of thing puts young people off. Nobody in his right mind would want to go to a gig where he might see his uncle dressed as Wild Bill Hickok…
The band is unusual. A Father and Daughters combo 
Sophia: This was never, in any way, Dad making Hannah and I join his band. Of course he influenced us; we heard all this stuff we really liked; bluegrass was one of those things. When got to be 14-ish or so, we started to see all these Bluegrass gigs over at this Bluegrass club in Kenilworth, ad we fell in love with it.  We wanted to be in a band. And we told Dad.  
So, not Svengali territory…
Stewart: No, not at all. I mean, I would come home, and I’d hear Bob Wills coming out of one bedroom and Hank Williams out of the other, and I’d think: Those are my CDs; will I ever get them back?  The first gig that we did together… I was playing with some people at the Ceol Castle in Moseley, and they all dropped out. So I asked Sophia and Hannah them if they wanted to sit in. An ad-hoc arrangement. That became a regular one night a week residence. 
When did things move forward… seriously? Now you’re slick, tough and road-hardened. I watched you waltz on stage at Moseley Folk last year, without a sound-check, and knock the crowd dead. How did you get to that place?
Hannah:  That’s really hard. I don’t think there is a specific point when we could look and say, yep, we’re there. I don’t think we’re there! We still think we’re not good enough, and there’s work to be done; and we probably always will. All we’ve ever tried to do is to be the best we can be and be on top of our game. That’s helped us.  Constant gigging, constant practising… I’m not saying it’s made us good – but it has made us really tight – and people do notice. A lot of bands don’t do that.
You can always tell a band that works that way. It shines from the stage. 
Sophia: Dad always said to us that from day one, you need to get out and gig. Give yourself permission to not be that great for the first year or two, and to really work at it. There are so many musicians that I know who really great musicians – in their bedrooms. They cannot get on stage and perform. Part of learning to do this is that we were made to get up and perform. Play a song a million times in your bedroom – fine. Perform that song once on stage and you learn far more about it.
The album isn't officially out until late May; the rough mixes that Toy Hearts kindly let me hear me when we did the interview are very promising indeed; bearing in mind last week's post about local bands scoring national airplay, I would not be in the least surprised to hear their new material daytimes at Radio 2. Here's a video from last year, where Hannah went over the top with the kohl... 
So, the new album…
Sophia: ... is called ‘Whiskey’. We recorded most of it right here, in this house, and then we sent all the files to Nashville for mixing by Ben Surratt. We wanted to have a go at doing it our own way, so we weren’t clock watching. Another big factor in the album, bluegrass apart, is our big love for Western Swing. We’ve been to Austin, Texas about four times, and one of our favourite bands over there is the Hot Club of Cowtown, who really inspired us. A couple of years ago, Dad bought his triple-neck steel guitar, and I bought my 1958 Gibson Arch-top. And then we said… right! These have to work their way in. 
It’s the first album which is half covers, half original material. Two Bob Wills songs, a Bessie Smith song, a Ronnie Self rockabilly song, a Wayne Hancock song. And it’s the first album that has drums on it – courtesy of Dean Beresford, Richard Hawley’s drummer. We added fiddle in Nashville. 
Weird feeling doing all your tracks, and sending it all over to someone to mix – someone you trust, but still, they’re your babies, aren’t they?
Hannah : It’s a good thing, but… ooooh – when you’ve spent so long writing and crafting them, and getting so involved with them… it’s actually a relief. We became really ground down by the whole process with previous albums. You live with the tracks and the mixes and the remixes for soooo long. I guess the key to it all is trust.   
In terms of basic kit, how did this work?
Stewart: We wanted a total live rhythm track – no tracking on the core of the band. We put the drums in one bedroom… the double bass in another, I had Sophie playing rhythm guitar in that room over there (up the hall), and Hanna singing live guide vocals in here (the kitchen).  I recorded on to my computer in the front room, with industry-standard software… but I used vintage mics – some vintage Neumann U87s, with valve pre-amps. The only problem was running cabling all over the place, and closing doors and wrapping people up in duvets… and it’s worked! 

Marketing the band is critical…You take that one on head-on.
Hannah: I’ve never understood why, playing the music we do, that we can’t have a commercial image. That doesn’t wash with me. We want to get a certain look – to be true to who we are as young women, and how that relates to our music. 
That’s crystallised over the past couple of years…
Hannah: We’re in an industry dominated by men. I’m five foot two, and I do feel more empowered when I’m on everyone’s level!
Sophia: We’ve always dressed up. The Bluegrass bands that we really loved made an effort. Sometimes they got it horribly wrong – all the band are wearing putrid yellow shirts… but at least they all matched!
You’ve amped this up several notches over the past couple of years. . You’re a lot more made up, the heels are higher…
Sophia: We live in a visual world. Our music is good enough if we get people to the gigs, but you’ve got to pique the interest. And that gets us to newer audiences.
Is there a danger that you’re going to be dismissed as two cute girlies?
Sophia: We are continually dismissed as two cute girlies. But you’ve only got to come to our shows and watch us play. 
In a lot of the photos, you (Sophia and Hanna) are upfront… Stewart, you’re in back.
Stewart: It’s important that they see what the front of the band is. The girls are the front of the band. I don’t see my role as a very visual one for publicity purposes. But I am wearing a cowboy hat on the new shots…  After all, they formed the band; the asked me to be in it. Actually they said I’d better be in the band 'cos I’m the only banjo player we know…. 
And you’re doing all the PR right now
Sophia: Not just the PR. Hannah and I joke that our second instruments are our laptops. You can’t not. It takes too bloody long, but it absolutely has to be done. There is no manager to this band – everything that has to be done, it’s done by us. 
Helluva workload…
Sophia: Eventually we’ll get a manager - but it has to be someone we trust. 

For full gig details, check the gigs page on the Toy Hearts website

Monday, 2 April 2012

March/April 2012 Airplay

Last Month saw a really pleasing burst of radio activity at national level for West Midlands acts. Time for a few facts and figures. 

Impressive music is emerging from the West Midlands. Some of it is starting to get equally impressive recognition at National radio. 

This is a big deal. Scoring airplay at Radio 2, the country's most listened-to station, even in off-peak shows, means more than scoring airplay on any other station in the country. It means that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people, will have heard your song, and that it will have been presented, sympathetically, to an unusually receptive audience. It's a great trick if you can pull it off, and it is definitely not easy - just ask anyone who's tried. 

Local acts are breaking out. When you gather it all together, it begins to look good: we're talking about millions of listens at national level. Of course, I have no way to ensure that this info is comprehensive; there's probably a lot more to celebrate.

Star performers in March:

The Musgraves: Last of Me single, with 6 plays in the past month at BBC Radio 2

Also shining brightly: 

Destroyers: Hole in the Universe single. Transition Records 
Mike Harding Show, BBC Radio 2, 28 March
It’s also worth noting that the Destroyers logged two sell-out shows last week to alarmingly enthusiastic crowds in Birmingham and London. And if you play the video, do note the comment, from Taysidethistles, up near the top.

Urban Folk Quartet: Jaleo Bus/Up In The Air. Taken from 'Off Beaten Tracks' CD 
Mike Harding Show,
BBC Radio 2, 28 March

Dan Whitehouse: My Heart Doesn’t Age, It Just Gets Older single, Tiger Dan records.
Alex Lester, 21 March; Steve Lamacq, 3 March, BBC Radio 2; also playlisted at Q Radio (National Digital)   

  Sam Redmore: Is This Love Remix 
Craig Charles, BBC 6 Music, 17 March.

Thanks to the excellent Compare My Radio website, we also know that
Ruby Turner scored more play at BBC Radio 2 with Lord I Thank You - thank you for the update comment, PF - in March. 

Nightingales: Best of British Luck / The Burster, new CD tracks
Marc Riley, BBC 6 Music: 8th/13th/19th/22nd/28th March

Chris Tye and Wes Finch 
Honourable mentions in Guardian reader playlist, 21 March

So, so far, so good, but I've almost certainly missed some stuff out. Researching this in detail is time-consuming; getting play details out of all the key specialist shows isn't the easiest thing in the world. If you're not on the above list, and you’ve scored some national play, please drop me a note so that I can update the post. 

There are some interesting issues to consider: 

How did these guys score national airplay? 

In particular, what steps did each act take to bring their work to national exposure? 

There are a number of routes, but it’s heartening to note that national DJs are going out of their way to explore new music from the West Midlands. 

Now, this can’t be the whole picture, and it goes without saying that Kerrang, BBC Introducing at WM, CWR, Hereford and Worcester, Shropshire and Stoke are all playing their part, as are WCR-FM, Bridge FM, Scratch Radio and other community operations. And, as I have repeatedly suggested, judicious local plays for the right local artists can bring unique benefits to both station and artist.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Friends of the Stars and Misty’s Big Adventure: Two bands who take the long - very long - view

Grandmaster Gareth                     Craig Hamilton
Music-making for the joy of it first, and business second.  Running record companies. 

Wait a minute. Record companies?

The  20th century ways are well and truly gone. You don’t work in recording studios the same way  - see this post - you don’t promote the same way, you don’t get paid the same way - now, it’s even worse. Record labels are having a catastrophic time; sales have collapsed in the face of torrent sites.

And yet, and yet. There’s at least three bijou record labels operating out of Birmingham, two of them featured in this post,  that may just have escaped your notice.  The third – Spritely Records – has been known to issue a jar of chutney as a release, complete with Catalogue number – and another has issued packets of, er, fried chicken seasoning.

Commercially Inviable Records are the chicken seasoning merchants, and the album that goes with it – Faith’s Meat Kiosk – is due out at the end of April. Craig Hamilton runs the label and plays in Friends of the Stars… who are, of course, released on the label. 

You run a record label. And it’s 2012. Can I, politely, ask – what on earth possessed you to do this?
"We finished an album in 2007. Self-releasing and self-promotion on the internet had taken off in a big way. So I set up the label, in name only, to give that release a boost. I didn’t think any more about it than that, until people I know – and some who I didn’t know – got in touch with me, asking if the label would be interested in their material. James Summerfield, who’s a friend of mine, gave me his third album, and I put that out. Simon Fox did the same, and we released his album as World of Fox. By the end of the year, I’d put out about five albums."
Here's one of two tasters from the album: 'Railroad Towns': 

Tell me something about costs………?
"Initially I made the same mistake most small labels make – pressed up 1000 copies of Friends of the Stars, and another 1000 of James Summerfield’s album. I still have several copies of both albums at home… And I realised that wasn’t a sustainable way of doing things, having laid out the best part of £1500 for each album. The money does come back, but in a trickle…"
A trickle of bits and pieces, scruffy fivers at gigs….?
"Yes. And if it comes in in cash, it fritters away…"
How the hell do you keep track of all this stuff? Does it not take more time than it’s worth?
"Well, recently, I’ve reduced the size of the release. I now press and print the CDs myself. I’ve released more EPs, and they come in limited editions with hand-coloured sleeves. That makes the run more collectible.  I did a limited edition single release with Fields of Ypres – he’s a lovely folk guy from Wolverhampton. That sold out - 50 CDs at four pounds each - and actually turned a small profit after we split the proceeds. The artist has been paid, which is important to me, and the money that came back into the label paid for materials, and the funds are now sitting in the Commercially Inviable pot."
It’s lovely to turn a profit on a 50 EP sale, but… that means you’ve taken even more of the process in-house: the recording the publicising, and now the manufacturing…
"If I factored in my time, I would probably cry a little bit! But having done all this work, the next recording – the Friends Of The Stars album, 'Faith's Meat Kiosk' - will be the 23rd release on the label, and I’m now building up a catalogue of stuff. There’s about 150 or 160 songs on the label. And in terms of digital revenues, that’s starting to tick along on a monthly basis."
Does a physical release stimulate online sales?
"Yeah. I want the record, I’m that kind of person. Others like the downloads. It’s nice to be able to say that I’ve sold out, and getting a sell-out is good promotion." 
And here's another Faith's Meat Kiosk track - 'Wagons'

Craig, it must take as much time to manage a 100 unit run as a 1000 unit run. This can’t be cost-effective!
"It’s a labour of love. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it. All of the artists – people I really like - have been really chuffed to have had a record released, even if it’s on a really small record label. .The other side of things is that as an artist, I’m really interested in the business side of things, how the nuts and bolts work…the other thing is that if an artist moves on to bigger and better things - and one of my artists may just be about to do that – that I’ll always be the label that first recorded that artists. And it will drive people back to my label." 
It's worth noting that, among those early artists who first had an outing on Commercially Inviable, you'll find the excellent Gurdan Thomas

Friends of the Stars go back a long, long way. Two John Peel sessions under their belt in previous incarnations.  Two name changes. Members rotating in and out… and the members now live in three separate cities. 
"We all still want to play together, we all still believe in what we’re doing. Over the last couple of years, we’ve worked out our way of recording. The second album is finished, and about to be released – but we’ve also completed material for the third, and we’re working on a fourth. The plan is to release a record a year." 
How does distance recording work?
"I’m in Birmingham, and Campbell is in Glasgow. Rachel, the bass player and the drummer are also in Birmingham, so the basic rhythm section is on one place.  The problem we’ve had in the past is - which is why it’s taken twelve years to release two records  - is that you wind up with something like a snare being very slightly late, and it’s very very tricky to fix and still make it sound like a live record.  
Folk For Free, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 2011
"Now, rather than record drums live, we use a digital midi signal, so when we do put everything else back on top, it’s a simple matter to move something if it’s not right. There’ll be a session in Birmingham; then it goes up to Campbell in Glasgow; then it comes back down, and so on. Everybody has an input, and we’ve all been working so long that we can be honest with each other."
What about the band – after twelve years? Are you going to step up a gear?
"Having put all this time and effort in… We’re doing it for the love of it, but we want something to show for it.  We’d be happy to do five or six gigs a year and to put out a record that appealed to between five hundred and five thousand people a year. We’ve be happy with that. And after that, as music fans, the beautiful thing about the internet is – once it’s out there, it’s out there. It’s now really important for us to compile and present our body of work." 

Moving across town: here's Misty's Big Adventure: 'I See A Cloud', from the new album, Family Amusement Centre:
Sitting in the sun in King’s Heath, Misty’s Grandmaster Gareth also takes the long, long, long view…
"There’s eight of us. Has been for ten or twelve years. We started as a three-piece when we were 15. I guess the biggest fuss was around 2006 when we put out ‘Fashion Parade’ as a single. It stumbles along in a non-directional form."
Gareth’s being too modest here – ‘Fashion Parade’ is a brilliant slice of great pop… if you haven’t listened, fire it up now. More videos follow further down the post; they're well worth exploring, just to get a taste of one of the country's more unique operations. And there's a new video in the pipeline, which you might wish to participate in - read on... 
"We were signed to Sunday Best, which is Rob Da Bank's label. After that we’ve been funding our records ourselves on our own label, Grumpy Fun."
And how does that work for you? 
"Not that well in my case….We had a manager from 2004 to 2008, Matt Priest, who drums with Dodgy. He’s gone back to playing with Dodgy, so that’s handed back to me now. But for a while that worked really well for us."
So after all this time, with all this intelligent appealing pop that you send out, I would have thought you’d have built a reasonably solid following. Is that the way it is? 
"Of sorts… but it’s very cult. A lot of it’s word of mouth. We can go to Manchester or London and do well. And we have followings via the internet. There’s people listening to us in places we’ve never been to." 
Misty’s have been touring as Misty’s Little Adventure, working as a three piece, while their trumpet player has been otherwise occupied with Birmingham Opera Company. Their album - Family Amusement Centre - is out, and videos are in production as you read this - scroll down to the bottom of this post. 
"The main problem is always recording. We want it to be as good as possible, and that involves pulling a million favours. So it took us three years. We used the Guillemots’ studio – for free – and one or two others… and then I worked on it on my own…  We managed to get a 100-piece choir on it. The father of (Band members and twin sisters) Lucy and Hannah runs the Birmingham Choral Union. We managed to persuade them to sing on the album. It’s a long process…."
"When I was a teenager, a lot of the local bands I liked were the post-rock bands like Novak, Broadcast and Pram. I met them as I got older. So we’ve done stuff with Pram and broadcast… I was really lucky to be a teenager when that was going on. It got me into a lot of ignored sixties music."  
So you were watching those bands as they were wrestling with the industry?.
"We did a tour with the Zutons, which was great – we got to confuse thousands of people on that tour. What was clear was the… rigmarole… of what they were dragged into. They’d hardly played any pub gigs before they got signed. Suddenly, they were on a tour bus playing academy venues.  It seemed such a soulless vacuous experience. You can see how the drugs, and the boredom and the arguments with the others come in. So the Zutons, even though they had Valerie, covered by Amy Winehouse, even though they got sent to LA to record their album by Sony, they still got dropped.  It’s just weird seeing that happen. Dave (of the Zutons) is a brilliant songwriter, but you feel like their (new) record company is holding them back, because he has to keep delivering what they want. And at the moment what they want is another ten ‘Valeries’ from him…"
"We’ve been friends for twelve years, and we’re better friends now than we’ve ever been, while a lot of other bands have split up.  When you’re younger you think that’s exactly what you want - to get signed, to get a big deal. As you get older, you start to realise that what we’ve got is a lot better, because you can still be creative, we’re still going, and each album is an improvement on the last."
Misty's want you for their video! Over the next couple of weeks, Misty's are shooting a new video for their song 'Aggression' with director Mark Locke, who shot the video for Fashion Parade (above). Here's the pitch from Misty's: 
"This looks like being the most ambitious yet. It's set on a typical Friday night and we need extras (or essentials) based near Birmingham to come and be townies on a night out. If you're interested, please email for more information. The main night of shooting is going to be the 9th of April, but there are a few other evenings when we also need extras, including for a scene set in A & E. If you could ask friends too that would be amazing!
It's got the potential to be an incredible video, and if you think you could spare the time, we'd be really grateful."
Friends Of The Stars
Commercially Inviable Records
Misty's Big Adventure Wikipedia page