Update October 14

It’s been a bit of a quiet spell, to say the least, these last few months and I’m writing this the day before my first gig since June.

I have been recording though, albeit a lot more slowly than I anticipated/intended. Once this album (or ep) has been done and dusted, I may well think about getting hold of some recording stuff and trying to record more regularly, albeit from home. Hopefully that will be more productive.

Also planning to push myself a bit more once I have the album to plug things a bit. The main decision now is whether to put out an album, including the ‘heavier’ stuff that I don’t really play any more, release it as an ep/mini album with just my current set (approx 30 mins), or to hold fire until I’ve written a couple more things to add to it for a full album. May well go with the latter and stick the heavier tracks on Bandcamp to download free.

My sound seems to veering towards a more quieter one these days with a slightly more minimalist feel .. probably equally as popular :).

And with that, I guess I should stop writing this and start practising for the gig tomorrow.

Recording (half) Day 1

Started recording at JT Soar today .. Or rather shifted a lot of amps around to eliminate hiss and hum.

Took a bit to get going and not an overly productive day but it now feels ready to roll with some proper recording the next time, which should be in a couple of week’s time.

Listening back, some tunes may get a bit of additional stuff added to give it a bit more depth but that will be after the basic recording is finished.

And here’s Phil at the desk

Phil at JT Soar

Shifting Sands

So far, this year has been a bit all over the place, musically speaking.

I was even tempted for a while to abandon Thin Raft and follow a more experimental route using a new name.

A few recordings have been done and will continue and will be released in some format, but the interesting thing is how even these tracks have got a bit of Thin Raft in them.

What I’ve discovered in doing this is how useful they are to get new ideas for Thin Raft songs so I’ll be ‘borrowing some of the best bits and hopefully building some new songs around them ….

Have also been working on Ripe for the Burning .. making it less fussy.

Soon be time for that Thin Raft album!

Setting the raft adrift?

This year has been quiet for gigs .. just one so far (and another cancelled after another band had to pull out). It’s kind of frustrating as I’m not a great one for hours of practising alone.

There are still plans to put our some sort of release soon .. possibly cassette and download but, these aside, not a lot is happening.

So … I’ve been thinking that, as well as Thin Raft, I’m going to try to do some improvised recordings .. make it up as I go along (ie how to get out of multiple cock ups).

I’ve just bought a small zoom recorder for this purpose and figure that I can probably record most stuff at home, or possible, for louder ones, in a practice space.

Plan is to put out cassettes in limited quantities along with unlimited downloads. I figure that, once I’ve got going, I’ll be able to put one out every two or three months or so.

The recording aspect should be fine (even if no one listens) …. Improvising live though is likely to provide a number of crap the pants moments …. but that’s the fun part … isn’t it?

and here’s my first (badly recorded) attempt

2015 gigs

Thought it might be interested to keep a list of bands seen in 2015. So here we go; tiny ‘just because they were there’ bands not included:

1st to last

Colossloth
Kay Hill
J.Mascis
The Madeline Rust
David Birchall + Javier Saso
Nick Jonah Davis + Jo Cormack
Rattle
Richard Dawson
Don McGreevy & Rogier Smal
Black Spirituals
Earth
Monotony
Grey Frequencies
Haress
Enablers
Kogumaza
Tape Noise
Bir
Sauna Youth
Paddy Steer
Scratch Electric (Adrian Utley)
Father Murphy
Woven Skull
Sophie Cooper
Core of the Coalman
Malik & Langley
The Sons of Rest
Mesa of the Lost Women featuring Junko

So Far and Beyond

2014

Well 2014 has been ok … a few gigs here and there which, generally speaking, have got better as I’ve gone along so that’s a good thing.

Slight negatives are perhaps that a lot of the gigs have been at places where there was never a cat in hell’s chance that anyone would like my music but still good experience.

Only recording session didn’t entirely pan out either but you live and learn.

2015

So, what’s the plans for 2015?

Well there are two gigs already sorted in Jan, one in a different venue but again, probably neither really ‘my audience’. So that’s aim number one, to play more ‘appropriate’ places and also places away from Nottingham too. That said I’m pretty happy to play almost anywhere.

Apart from that, probably the next task is to get a bigger amp .. it’s a balance between power and size though which means that a Fender Twin Deluxe Reverb is probably a no. Current favourite is a Fender Princeton 65 but we’ll see.

Once that’s done then, with some new material, it’s time to do a proper recording somewhere .. possibly JT Soar .. not sure yet. Hopefully a proper lp will get me more gigs and things will start to roll.

Music wise, hopefully there’ll be more ‘abstract’ stuff for want of a better word but that will come or not.

All this plus additional childcare responsibilities .. could be an interesting year ahead!!!

Review – Alley Cafe – Aug 2014

My first actual review … link is at http://shutteronline.co.uk/live-review-thin-raft-lord-fairbank-daysleeper/ but in case that page vanishes, here’s the cut n paste.

As tonight’s headliner, Thin Raft sets up; it’s initially unclear what form of sonic entertainment is going to be unleashed. As a man alone with an electric guitar, will it be Billy Bragg-esque political rabble rousing, or perhaps a Bob Dylany folk-a-thon? From the first discordant strum though, it becomes apparent that expectations, eardrums and sensitive dispositions are all in for a bit of a kicking.

The Thin Raft sound is actually akin to listening Thurston Moore’s Sonic Youth guitar parts, that have been stripped away from drums, bass and vocals, then played back at high volume. These spidery, skittish creations probably wouldn’t go down well if played on a long car journey with the in-laws, but they more than entertain and enjoyably mystify in the gig attending context.

It’s clear, that when it comes to this type of drone rock/minimalist noise experimentalism, Thin Raft is in a league of his own, but as compelling as his tunes are, I can only wonder what these jagged, skeletal compositions would sound like if they were given the flesh of lyrics and a full band. I for one would pay good money to see (and hear) that.

Smiling Under

Thought this is worth a plug … I’d posted a mention on Facebook about a sound guy turning me down and Hel from Undersmile asked me to send her a track or two so I sent the link to my first gig on Youtube and awaited the criticism which I had asked for. Thankfully she seemed to like it and said it had a Mazzy Star feel which surprised me. In fact, it’s quite interesting what influences people have noticed in my music. most of whom I would never have thought of.

To date, the following have been mentioned:

Lou Reed (circa Metal Machine Music)
Vini Reilly
Mazzy Star
Harvey Milk (the band not the gay activist!)
Link Wray (twice)

Oh well, thanks for the comments anyway Hel and glad you kinda liked it and here’s a plug for you in return, not that anyone reads these blogs :)

First ever gig

Well, that’s the first gig over with .. decided to say little and squeeze an extra song in. Went ok but pretty nervous and a few cock ups in the set but not too worried about that.

Polite applause from a polite audience but not one that would ever come and see me.

Did get one good comment from a guy who writes for Left Lion so that’s positive!

Really enjoyed your set Charlie. Vini Reilly meets Metal Music Machine era Lou Reed. Great stuff!”

Anyway .. planning another gig in the not too far off future and if you missed last night (I know you did!), here’s the last number of the gig. The rest will be uploaded in the near future.

I think I need a hat … I look like a Mekon!

 

Not a ‘rip off’ .. just continuum!!

I’ve recently been working on this song which was hastily recorded as my neighbour was in upsatirs so it’s very rough.

I popped a tweet on twitter with an apology to Dylan Carlson for ripping off the opening riff (which I did). He responded with the following:

“its not ‘rippin off’ its just the continuum that is music, no one ‘invented’ anything drc”

I was thinking of changing the opening riff but I guess that gives me the green light …. it’s not as though I’m going to become famous anyway :)