Monday, December 11, 2006

An update, by the way, for those of you wondering if there might be any new music forthcoming as a result of my recent Berlin relocation. Well, I have been playing saxophone recently with a couple of noisy young men called Das Huhn (see link to My Space site opposite) as well as creating loopy industrial stuff with my industrial buddy Storfan Sender (will try to put something online as soon as possible) and have been playing tasteful folk music with my old friend Mark Mulholland (see link).

Also, an official Love Substitutes website will be arriving soon. Just as soon as I can get my finger out of my arse and buy some server space.
It' time to start organising some new Love Substitutes activity. We're planning some shows in February, so if you'd like to book us, or have any suggestions, you know what to do. The Bookings link is now up to date. I realise I forgot to update it when I changed email address a few months ago. My apologies to anyone who's been trying to get in touch.

I also lost several contacts in a major computer malfunction, so if anyone could remind me of details of venues that were interested but where we have yet to play I'd be most grateful. There were venues in Lille and Tourcoing that I'd be particularly keen to resume contact with.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Things rarely happen with The Love Substitutes since my Berlin move, but we did at least manage a few gigs the week before last. The Heaven Hotel Night at the Brakkegrond in Amsterdam was going along just swimmingly with fine sets by the Trouve Sextet (except there were only four of them), and Tip Toe Topic were joyous too. Unfortunately the Love Substitutes were as dismal as we've ever been (after a fine start), which is perhapsa to be expected after such a long lay off. Happily the shows in Brussels and Breda were considerably better and more like it and life-affirming or something.

There was some discussion of gigs in Belgium, Holland and (for a change)Germany for next spring, as well as a possible recording session in Berlin at the same time (April looks best). Will have more to report in a couple of weeks - returning to Belgium to produce the Pox record during the first two weeks of November and we'll doubtless knock Love Substitutes plans int at least slightly more concrete shape while we're at it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Don't forget, Love Substitutes gigs coming up:

Monday 2nd October (20.30) - Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakkegrond, Amsterdam: Heaven Hotel Night featuring The Love Substitutes, Tip Toe Topic and Rudy Trouvè solo.

Thursday 5th October (20.30/21.00?) - Kultuurkaffee, VUB, Brussels (free entry) (Please note: show is advertised in some places as starting at 10. We will actually be on stage at 9.30 sharp, so I assume doors will be 8.30 or 9)

Friday 6th October (21.00) - Mezz, Breda (with guests Sleeping Dog)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Following the recent takeover of MySpace by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp,I have decided to cancel the MySpace accounts for The Love Substitutes, I Hate Camera and Pox, with immediate effect. This is an entirely personal and unilateral decision, which has not been discussed with any of the members of The Love Substitutes, I Hate Camera or Pox, and therefore does not necessarily reflect the opinions and principles of any or all of my esteemed colleagues. Although I should fucking hope it does.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Oh, and another thing - to every reviewer who has found "More Songs..." too experimental. Stop being so lame-assed. It isn't anywhere near experimental enough. Pop music must be stopped.
Lots of different sorts of gigs been going on lately - the Pox show at the Pekfabriek was underwhelming - not terrible or anything - just a difficult room, acoustically speaking, with a whopping delay coming back from the opposite wall, which made it difficult to play with any kind of rhythmic togetherness. Also, it was about as well attended as a Partick Thistle match.

What else? The Love Subs gig at Petrol was rubbish, frankly. More terrible acoustics, and some pretty shoddy playing too. Must shake off the rust. Actually, I think we did shake off the rust at the ensuing shows in Utrecht and Amsterdam, even if the turn-out for the latter was disappointing.

As is customary, the album release has been accompanied by the usual flurry of reviews and, as usual, the bad ones have offerred me the most pleasure. Having had the honour of being the first band ever to get a bad review in the RifRaf, we have gone one step further by becoming the first band actively hated by the RifRaf, in a kind of vendetta way. Fantastic. I consider this a real achievement. And for the record - that guitar riff in "You Seem..." is mine. Ephi did the little classical guitar licky overdubby thing. Not that I care to take credit or anything... Also, as well as reviews, I took the liberty of ending my no-interviews-policy, feeling that sufficient time had passed since my DEUs exit to avoid the curse of interviewers-who-only-want-to-talk-about-DeUs. For the most part this went well, but then came Gazet Van Antwerpen, which managed to take an article which was ostensibly about The Love Substitutes and turn it into an article about DEuS. Jesus wept. Is there nothing else to talk about in this silly little country? It makes me ill.

For the rest, the solo shows have gone surprisingly well, and are presenting opportunities to escape rock. I really thought nobody would care for thirty minute sets of uninterrupted bleeping and droning but have been life-affirmingly surprised by peoples' willingness to actually shut up and listen. Thank you. Said opportunities will be explored further over the next couple of years, and quite possibly beyond.

And thank you Chantal too, for inviting me to do these shows. Chantal has been a star.

Last Monday night in Den Bosch, Teuk Henri joined in too. Which was grand. He really is a lovely guitarist. We improvised together a little bit. And music happened. Which was also grand. And which made the show worthwhile - a show that we had been feeling seriously dubious about before it commenced (the audience just didn't seem like the bleeps and drones types - but then they never do).

And the Donkey Diva gig in the Kinky Star was probably our best yet. And a very warm and enthusiastic audience too.

Next up: Pox in Kapellen on Sunday afternoon (Vijver Podium, 15:40). See you there, perhaps.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It has been a while, hasn't it. Not terribly much to report re The Love Substitutes, except of course that the album is out and that another show has been added at Cafe Pakhuis Wilhelmina in Amsterdam on Thurday 22nd June.

Pox live work has commenced - 2 shows down - the first at Zaal Belgie in Hasselt a tentative, forgettable affair, the second at Libertad in Leuven altogether better and more in the spirit (as is customary at Libertad). We also found the time to record a track with Peter Van de Veire at Yellow Tape in Ghent for the sampler album from Andrew Bennett's new label, Jezus Factory. We've also contributed an i-H8 Camera track to a sampler album related to the upcoming Burg Herzberg festival.

Recorded some guitar parts for the forthcoming Monokiri album, which was fun - also at Yellow Tape.

I've managed to get my hands on some more i-H8 Camera gig recordings and intend to change the songs available for download at MySpace every week or two. So check it out, gluttons for punishment.

Next up - Pox at the Pekfabriek on Saturday night (doors 21.00, us onstage 22.00). Also appearing - I Love Sarah and Inkata. As well as DJ sets from Dave Schroyen and Aldo Struyf.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A week of frantic gig-going last week, some of which was great (Midaircondo) and some less so (The Reverend Horton Heat - What planet are these people on?). Our own (I Hate Camera) show at Den Drempel has to go down as the worst ever. Unbearable volume that made actually creating any music impossible. There's more to improvisation than making a racket you know. Not much more, just more.

Also, two afternoons last week were spent doing interviews, allegedly to "promote" our new album. Whatever that means. It's been a long time. And a surprisingly painless experience.

Feedback from the My Space sites has been encouraging. Should have done that ages ago. Oh, and another thing - Watch With Motherfucker have begun recording an album. Don't hold your breaths.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

So, another few gigs down. And all quite successful. The Donkey Diva show at the Plaza Real was posssibly the best yet. And the two latest i-H8 Camera shows were jolly fun too. The Molens in Leuven was about as well organised as you're ever likely to here us. And the Scheldapen show was not at all bad either. A good turn-out - which was surprising, as we had expected no-one, there being about 4 other interesting gigs in Antwerp on the same night. And I managed to survuive it despite being in the most excruciating pain. Thought I had broken a rib or something, but it's better now, so Christ knows what that was.

Oh, by the way, Teuk and Tip Toe Topic were great. Chantal was supposed to do a song with Teuk but got stuck in a train in Roosendaal and disappeared. Shame.

I'vce made pages at My Space for the Love Substitutes, Pox and i-H8 Camera. The latter two really exist so that I don't have to send out demos. The Love Substitutes one exists to let all you anal completist types hear some outtakes. The links are to the right, as usual.

And another thing - some people are reporting finding copies of "More Songs..." in Belgian record stores already. How very queer...

Monday, March 06, 2006

By the way, the Donkey Diva gig at CC Luchtbal was OK. It went down well anyway - although I must say I still find playing in this little combo nightmarishly difficult and feel completely lost, rhythmically. Still, I'll learn something from all of this, I'm sure.

i-H8 Camera will be playing Molens van Orshoven in Leuven on Wednesday 29th March.

Sleeping Dog (Chantal Acda) plus me (solo) will be playing De Nor in Heeren (NL) on Friday 2nd June and the Kinky Star in Ghent on Tuesday 13th June.

Donkey Diva will also be playing the Kinky Star on Tuesday 27th June.
Lowlands have set the release date for "More Songs About Hangovers And Sailors" for 8th May. This time we're going international, as it'll be distributed in the UK, France, Germany, Scandinavia and Canada. And they're working on the USA ansd Japan.

I will confirm some gigs very soon.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A few gigs confirmed:

Donkey Diva will be playing CC Luchtbal on Friday 3rd March, at the opening of an exhibition by photographer Rob Walbers, and at the Plaza Real, Borgerhout on Sunday 12th March.

i-H8 Camera will be playing the Undercurrent night at Cafe Den Drempel in Antwerp on Friday 14th April with three other (as yet unconfirmed) bands.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kevin has kindly made available his recording of the i-H8 Camera gig in CC Andries. That was the one with the minimalist line up of:

Mark - voice
Elko - guitar
Me - guitar
Jeroen - drums

And, if my memory serves me right, that was also the one where I threw up on stage. Listening to this rather uncompromising performance, it's not surprising.

There's a link on the right.

Monday, February 20, 2006

By the way, the new album will be called "More Songs About Hangovers and Sailors" (i.e. not "More Songs About Sailors and Hangovers", as you may have read elsewhere). It's just nicer that way, qua cadence.

It's 47 minutes long (i.e. quite short by modern standards and, irritatingly, just a little too long to fit on one side of a 90 minute tape). The track list is as follows:

1. Attus Citauqa Ortni
2. Dressed For The Sea
3. Sleep Is For Children
4. The Sad Mathrocker
5. Hate The Love Substitutes
6. Abstractions On Glass
7. Bangladesh Fashions
8. Another Bit
9. Novelty Size
10. The Tour Manager
11. Madonna Footage
12. You Seem To Have Forgotten Who I Am
13. Someone Like You
14. The Beaver Builds The Dam
15. Not Even Mutiny
16. A Modern Band Needs Its Sleep
17. November 1977
18. The Velvet Sailor (Slight Return)
19. Give The People What They Want
20. Attus Alagnam Aks
'tis done, gentle readers, 'tis done. Since Friday afternoon already. It was supposed to happen Wednesday but Rudy's back went into a state of chronic spasmosis and the final mastering session was postponed a couple of days. Which seems fairly typical considering the history of this beast.

Anyway, Uwe did a terrific job, and the results are, surprisingly, way more accessible than either of our other two releases (to my ears, at least) . Pop stardom here we come.

I'm now looking to book gigs for Pox (Mark Meyer's band, now also featuring both Rudy and myself), as well as for myself (solo) and for Donkey Diva (previously known as Emerson, Lake and Gunter, previously previously known Ward/Nagels/Frateur). Please feel free to use the Book-The-Love-Substitutes link for either of these two new, related purposes. Please do not feel free to use it for any other purpose.

On the subject of which - one slightly disappointing result of making one of one's email addresses public is the amount of mail I receive from people who think I'm some kind of one-man, free-of-charge advice shop/A&R consultancy/booking agent. For every genuine offer of a gig I get maybe five emails from strangers wanting something from me. As of now, I reserve the right to ignore/delete any such emails. Moan over.

Monday, February 13, 2006

We are nearly there. Rudy and I spent 12 hours with Uwe in Wemmel yesterday (Sunday 12th) mastering the CD and, true to the nature of this particular beast, failed to get it finished and will return to Wemmel Wednesday morning to do so. Rudy has also failed to get the artwork finished despite heroic efforts and intends to do so Wednesday night.

Anyway, we have a provisional master, which is in the computer as I write, and it's sounding pretty good to me. A few final tweaks on Wednesday and that'll be everything. The mid-March release still looks feasible.

No new live dates to confirm yet, but there should be fairly soon (i.e. within the next couple of weeks). I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Finally, after spending the last two afternoons at Bert's place, all tracks are finished and mixed and ready to go. And this despite my coming down with some Satanic bug or food poisoning or whatnot. The last 24 hours has been a shivery cold sweat of pukey piss-arsed misery.

Anyway, Rudy's going to finsh the artwork tomorrow, we'll finalise the track order Friday night and master Sunday.

You thought it would never happen, didn't you?

Friday, February 03, 2006

A very short yet productive rehearsal on Tuesday afternoon saw Death Folk Sailor come out of retirement and back into the live set. And it worked a treat at the AB on Wednesday night. Possibly the most professional Love Subs gig ever - not a lot of improvisation, just the songs, powerfully delivered (I think). It was interesting to see how reactions change within a year. The last time we played the AB club it felt like the audience were scratching their heads, thinking "What the fuck is this nonsense?". This time it felt like they were on our side and even knew (some of) the songs. Pretty much a full house too. And there was I, in a free jazz mood...

Perhaps we're becoming "popular" or "succesful" or something. "Quick, someone play something angular and atonal now! They think it's pop music...."

Nozzle Slag were excellent and reminded me sometimes of Soft Machine. Which was nice.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

And so the Love Substitutes' first and probably last incident-that-might-vaguely-be-described-as-resembling-a-tour came and went in a flurry of nervous-flyer's-liquid-sedative-of-choice and mucho sitting in a car.

Some observations:

1.Touring is exhausting, whether it be for two months or two days.
2.Onstage communication between band members disintegrates the moment a performance becomes part of a tour.
3.I miss Glasgow.
4.I don't miss London.
5.London's cultural and spiritual life would be instantly and greatly enhanced if the tube trains continued to operate through the night.
6.There are not many (or possibly any) constructive ways to deal with lack of sleep.
7.There are many destructive ways to deal with lack of sleep.
8.Trees in Northern England look like German tourists that have been hexed by a witch.

I'm sure it's useful to take the occasional tiny glimpse into life as it used to be (and how it still could have been) for just a couple of days, if only to remind oneself why one now avoids such stuff. So much distressing faffing about just to deliver two hours of music. Three days of distressing faffing, to be precise. Which is enough. It just doesn't balance out.
Proper touring won't get a look in again. Although teensy micro-tours like this one just might, if the price is right. I think we'll come back to Glasgow again later in the year. (Maybe I should discuss this with the others).

I also think I prefer it our usual way - play somewhere in Belgium or Holland and then drive home to bed. You know it makes sense. And if we stick to the Low Countries I won't piss my dad off by not inviting him to the gig (I'm sorry, I just can't play with my Dad in the room).

Anyhow - London was OK, the songs weren't great but the improvs were interesting in a disjointed, non-communicative way. 50% of the punters left half way through so they could get the last tube home (see observation 5, above). This was, initially, slightly alarming. But we understood later.

Glasgow was a hoot. Stereo's a very cosy venue and the audience were warm and supportive. (And seeing as most of them were my friends it would have been pretty bogus if they hadn't been. Warm and supportive, that is.) Elko did an heroic job with the sound too.

More observations:

It's funny how influences creep into one's music without one being aware of it. Two after-show comments from friends in Glasgow:
1.That our music is reminiscent of Brian Eno's Another Green World and
2.that our music is reminiscent of Can

I wouldn't have thought either of those things, but Another Green World and Can's Tago Mago are the two records I was listening obsessively to round about the time we started The Love Substitutes.

What goes around comes around, I suppose.

OK, news:
1. Tom at Lowlands has asked, nay ordered us to have the new album mastered by mid-February so he can release it mid-March. Both of these things will certainly happen.
2. I met Christian Pierre at a little reception at EMI this evening and he informs me the Deus tour schedule is more or less completely in place until the end of May. He'll furnish me with full details tomorrow. This is good news for us because I'll know precisely when Mauro is available for the next four months and can therefore get on with the business of booking shows. If you want us, you know what to do.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Wednesday 4th January we finally mixed a Mauro-sung acoustic song called Novelty Size that's been in progress for longer than anyone thought possible. We also made a few cunning edits and manipulations and this beast is almost complete.

Saturday Rudy and I threw a couple of vocal ideas at one last remaining acoustic piece, but I'm not convinced and reckon that'll require another afternoon. Afterwards we headed to the new Wonderbar for a short but very well recieved set at Alison and Martin's Wedding Party. And a top wheeze was had by all. Favourite moment - their entry. They hadn't even noticed we were in the room when we started up Summer of Mars - their faces were priceless.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another gig confirmed:

Wednesday 1st February - AB Club, Brussels (double bill with Nozzle Slag)

Friday, December 16, 2005

A few copies of the new vinyl arrived at the weekend - I haven't had the chance to listen to it yet because my record player is currently without functioning stylus and this hasn't been a good week for shopping. Cover's nice and shiny though.

Next week will be the first period of Love Substitutes activity for a while. Everyone's free, for once. So, we'll finish the recording and mixing of two leftover acoustic songs, decide on a track order for the new CD, with a view to mastering ASAP, and start work on a couple of freely downloadable collages of odds 'n' sods - a live one and a studio one.

I don't know if the Velvet Sailor is in the shops yet (if it's not it surely will be very soon) but Heyme certainly has a few copies for sale.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Another show confirmed:

Friday 20th January - Stereo, Glasgow

Monday, November 28, 2005

Aldwin from Serpentine Records has made a recording of the i-H8 Camera show at CC Luchtbal available for download (see links). You'll have to register first with the website to access it, but it is free at least.
On Friday 18th November, the vinyl was mastered by Paul at Foon in Lier, where, progtastically, Yes's Going For The One and various Rick Wakeman albums were mastered. The EP is due for release mid-December. A frighteningly noisy and amusical i-H8 Camera gig managed to take place in the Wonder Bar on Friday the 25th, despite freakish blizzard conditions outside. Many thanks to all those brave/insane enough to venture out.

i-H8 Camera was, on this occasion:
Rudy - vocal
Mark - vocal
Jeroen - drums
Me - Farfisa organ and guitar synthesizer
Teuk Henri - guitar
Elko - guitar
Pascal - toys and keyboards

Monday, November 14, 2005

Rudy and I will be mastering the vinyl EP on Friday the 18th. Things should only take a couple more weeks after that. Currently busy trying to arrange gigs in January - one confirmed so far: the Watershed, London on Thursday 19th January.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

By the way, Kevin has kindly posted some downloadables of the Emerson, Lake and Gunter gig at Glamour Is Undead. There's a link on the right. The less said about the Witzli Poetzli gig the better.
A couple of things to report re: The Love Substitutes. We've decided on a track order for a vinyl EP (about 23 minutes of music) which we'll get mastered and manufactured and all that just as quick as we can. It'll hopefully be available within the next 4 weeks or so.

Track order:

Side 1:
1. The Velvet Sailor

Side 2:
1. Golden Boy Meets Himself
2. Pop Trivia
3. Sincere

A full length album wil be realesed in January, round about which time, we'll hopefully be doing a small UK tour. I'm working on it. Watch this space.

There's been no little I Hate/i-H8 Camera activity lately - last Friday (28th October) we opened for Italian jazzcore trio Zu at CC Luchtbal, in Anwerp. As is unfortunately customary in Luchtbal, nobody attended, apart from the few Usual Suspects/insane people we've come to know and cherish. The line up for Friday's show was:

Rudy Trouve - guitar and voice
Elko Blijweert - small guitar
Pascal Deweze - Toys, synthesizers and voice
Jeroen Stevens - drums
Simon Lenski - cello
Craig Ward - guitar and voice

The following evening (Saturday 29th October) I Love Sarah were supposed to be playing the Anti-Fascist Festival at CC Andries in Antwerp, but for some lame reason best known to himself, Rutger cancelled, and a spontaneous i-H8C (of sorts, why not) was assembled as a last minute replacement, and a grand old free-punk time was had by all (during which I fulfilled a lifelong rock ambition by vomiting on stage). This incarnation was:

Mark Meyers - voice
Elko - guitar
Craig - guitar
Jeroen - drums

For the rest, Watch With Motherfucker (or WWMF as we'll undoubtedly become known) have commenced rehearsing. WWMF was born on Friday 21st October, 2005 - 6 days overdue - and is Elko, Jeroen, Bert and myself. Watch this space.

Monday, September 19, 2005

This'll be the last post for a while, as the Love Substitutes enter a period of sustained grazing while Mauro tackles the nightmare that is touring with Deus. Good Luck, buddy.

The penultimate show at the Wonderfestival was a bit of a stinker - my pedals breaking down immediately before the show - couldn't locate the source of the problem and played the gig pedalless - which for me is like playing with a hand tied behind my back. Spent most of the show standing behind my amp so as not to be associated with the rubbish sounds I was making.

I soon resolved never to play at (or be involved in any way with) a festival again. They are categorically the wrong environment in which to nurture worthwhile music. This I have known for a long time.

The gig at Merleyn in Nijmegen a week or so later was considerably better - the evening closing with probably the best Shanty ever, while rained mashed down torrentially outside. Very appropriate.

Been listening to Todd Rundgren lately (Something/Anything?, A Wizard A True Star and Todd) in a strangely obsessive way (by which I mean I haven't listened to anything else for about three weeks). I haven't listened to music in that way since I was a teenager. What can this mean, gentle readers?

In the absence of anything Love Substitutesish to do in the foreseeable future, and in order to facilitate the coming-to-be of a certain music that's been flying around somewhere behind my bonce lately, I've invited Jeroen Stevens and Elko Blijweert to form a new band, to begin rehearsing early October. Happily they're up for it. We don't have a bass player yet and are thinking of auditioning. We need someone with great technique and an anarchic attitude - no fusiony noodlers please. Availability is important too - must be available to rehearse at least once a week, and gig once a week too. If you'd like to give it a crack, or think you know someone who might be appropriate, please send me an email (using the above Book The Love Subs link).

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A couple of days after the the last post, Mauro was instructed/requested to come up with a vocal part for the remaining acoustic song - he deposited a hard drive at Bert's, so Bert could transfer all the necessaries for Mauro to be able to work at home, only for Bert to find the hard drive was full. So much fannying about ensued. Still awaiting results. The three completed tracks were mixed a week or so later - two of which ("November 1977", an Eno-esque instrumental, and "You Seem To Have Forgotten Who I Am", a miserable, sarcastic affair) were painless affairs, the other ("Dressed For The Sea") considerably more difficult, requiring several hours and a total rethink halfway. Friday 29th july we played the Wonder Bar, to an audience comprised entirely of musicians (or so it seemed). Not bad at all, considering we hadn't rehearsed for about six months.

Since then Love Subs activity has been quiet - a couple of gig opportunities we had to pass up because Bert wasn't available, although the rest of us took the opportunity to resurrect I Hate Camera (or should it be i-H8 Camera?) for some improvisational indulgence/research in his absence. The first of these was in support of the Sweet Hips at JH Jokot in Niel on Saturday 13th August, and was a blast (so were the Sweet Hips, although I was responsible for doing their FOH sound, at which I failed miserably, having just deafened myself with a ludicrously loud i-H8 C set - they had also made some new friends at the Wonder Bar the previous evening). The second was at Jackyland in Schoten and was less memorable (mysteriously my amp died no uncertain death mid-set, only to spring back to life a couple of days later). Thanks to Mark, Elko, Jeroen and Pascal.

Yesterday attempted to salvage a couple of dubious mixes at Rudy's gaff. Bert managed to engender some small miracles.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Yesterday Bert and I finished off one more of the acoustic songs. That's three down, one (or two, maybe) to go. Rudy's been busying himself trying out home manipulations on some of the more dubious tracks, and we'll all be convening at Bert's tomorrow with a view to finally laying this beast to rest. Attempts to book gigs have been less than successful, which is a pain. Much personal time and effort over the last couple of months has resulted in a pathetic three (as in 3, count them) gigs currently booked:

Wonder Bar, Antwerp - Friday 29th July
Wonderfestival, Antwerp - Friday 2nd September
Merleyn, Nijmegen - Saturday 10th September

NB. The first of those three is THIS FRIDAY. Free entry.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Many congratulations to Rudy and Sigrid. Romy Isobel Manou Trouve came into the world on the 6th July. Welcome aboard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Only 2 Love Subs gigs booked at this moment:

Wonderfestival, Antwerp - Friday September 2nd.
Merleyn, Nijmegen - Saturday September 10th.

Hopefully there'll be more to report soon.
We could have been called "Farmers with Televisions".
A perfectly good gig last Friday (24th June) in support of, first, Vandal X then Girls Against Boys. Very hot. And not for the first time the band took the stage and began playing while I was otherwise distracted (upstairs in the dressing room exchanging my summer scandals for a pair of more effect-pedals-friendly sneakers). Batteries in my digital delay ran out in the middle of the second last song, which made for some interesting interestingnesses.

GVSB still know how to do it, although I suspect Scott has taken to dying his hair.

One of these days the acoustic songs will be basking in their completeness.

Friday, May 27, 2005

An uncharacteristic week of spectacular underachievement! We had intended to finish off the acoustic pieces this week - Bert having a week with nothing-else-to-do for the first time in living memory. And what did we achieve - absolutely nothing. What with a combination of fine weather, Rudy being completely knackered and Mauro finding himself catching up with the rest of his life during his first Deus-activity-free week in ages (I refuse to further acknowledge typeface conceits), every day just kind of got abandoned. We did, however, manage a pathetic one-hour rehearsal last night (Thursday) with a view to airing a few of the new songs for the first time today, at the Wonderfestival press conference - which we did. Yes, you missed it - 4 or 5 new songs - performed at noon, on the hottest day of the year. And a bit shambolic it was too - but not too bad, considering how dismal last night's rehearsal had been.

After our little lunchtime turn, we had a look at our collective summer agenda, with a view towards booking gigs. Slightly depressingly, there's very little free space in which we'll be able to play - the last week in July, the last week in August and the first two weeks in September - that's about it really. We'll just have to fill those weeks up, I suppose.

Now, something I've been meaning to do since I started keeping this blog. Last year, from, I think, March until December or thereabouts, I actually kept a daily journal, for the first time in my life. Daily turned out to be a bit more than my slacker heart could be bothered with, which is why it got sidetracked to make way for this. This way I don't have to rework and detail every aspect of my personal life (imagine doing that for the benefit of one's cult band's followers) - I merely make an entry if the Love Substitutes have been doing anything.

One additional thing that did occur to me, though, was, thanks to the journal I kept last year, I would be able to see exactly what we had done as a band, up untill the point when this blog began. So here goes:

A brief pre-history of the Love Substitutes based on my journal:

Sunday 28th March – Diary entry: "Two Possible Band Names: Farmers with Televisions, The Love Substitutes."
Monday 17th May - Rehearsal (Mortsel)
Monday 24th May - Rehearsal (Mortsel, without Bert)
Monday 28th June - Rehearsal (Berchem, I suggest the name "The Love Substitutes", which goes down well)
Monday 5th July - Rehearsal (Berchem, “We’re really starting to play a bit now”)
Saturday 17th July- Rehearsal (Don't know where)
Monday 19th July- Rehearsal (Ditto)
Wednesday 21st July- Rehearsal (Ditto)
Thursday 22nd July - Recording session for "Meet The Love Substitutes..." (Day 1), Studio 195
Friday 23rd July - Recording session for "Meet The Love Substitutes..." (Day 2), Studio 195
Saturday 24th July - Overdub and mixing session for "Meet The Love Substitutes..." (Day 3), Studio 195
Wednesday 28th July (evening) - Mixing session for "Meet The Love Substitutes..." (Day 4), Studio 195
Thursday 29th July (evening) - Mixing session for "Meet The Love Substitutes..." (Day 5), Studio 195

And that's it. Not terribly much. Not terribly interesting either, to be honest. But maybe your an obsessive/compulsive anal completist, in which case stuff like this interests you. That's OK. I would detail when Rudy cereated the artwork and did the mastering, but I have no idea when he did that stuff because I was back in Scotland at the time, nursing a sweaty head. I can however tell you that I did speak to him on my mobile phone once while cycling back from Slammannan (A God forsaken Catholic-hating, Orange Lodge shithole in Scotland's grim M8 Corridor - I didn't know, honest. I was just testing my new bike [the cost of which my Dad halved with me, bless his hardened arteries]), with regard to such matters. That was on Wednesday 15th September, two days after my 35th birthday.

So now you know.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

My apologies, I've been a bit too distracted and busy with various other things lately to make a post here. So, to catch up - The Cafe Libertad gig in Leuven was great fun - very silly, very messy, great hospitality, warm public and excellent dinner (an enormous melt-in-the-mouth pork shank with mash and gravy) and (delicious) wine beforehand. Unfortunately Mauro and I spent about eight years driving around first the Brussels ring and then the centre of Leuven trying to unravel the central mystery of knowing-where-the-hell-one-is-in-Belgium. Always central to our work, the great mystery. (Fortunately we had a CD of live King Crimson improvs ('73-'74) to keep us entertained for the duration of that potentially traumatic experience - a fittingly deranged soundtrack). Rudy's sister was present, and an Italian chap who had, apparently, travelled all the way from Italy just for that one show.

Such dedication.

Thereafter we spent a couple of afternoons in Bert's attic, working further on the five acoustic pieces. Mauro came round and put snare and floor tom on a couple of them, and we managed a couple of vocals and some midi manipulation despite Trouve's having a post-Libertad hangover of biblical proportions. We should be able to get them finished off this coming week.

Thereafter thereafter we spent a further three days with Patrick in Studio 195 finishing off the last of the overdubs and mixing everything. The creation of this album's been much more difficult and intense than the first. The last couple of days were grumpy, miserable affairs - don't really know why - maybe because we've found ourselves making a studio album without the luxury of actually having lots of studio time - enforced on-the-spot inventiveness can be pretty draining. But I reckon we're all pretty confident it's a good album. And it's always fun afterwards to hear something that was made quickly - something that none of us really had any idea would sound like when we started. Whatever, another day's remixing the few inevitable not-very-good mixes (last Tuesday 17th) and that was that - album number 2 in the can (more or less - acoustic pieces coming soon).

A happy footnote: During the initial recording sessions for this album we felt the improvisations we had done were basically bogus - but thanks to the miracle technology that is overdubbing we've managed to turn a couple of them into proper the-lunatics-have-taken-over-the-asylum style stonkers. And there was I worrying that that side of the band might go unrepresented on this one. Nothing to fear.

We've decided that from now on I'll be taking primary responsibility for booking Love Substitutes gigs so, if you'd like us to come and play at your birthday party, barbecue, gran's funeral etc., drop me a line (see links, above right).