It has been many months since I last posted on here, not
because of how quiet things have been, but because we have all been so busy.
2015 has been a great year for ex-members of Saloon, with Alison, Matt and
myself all having released well received records this year.
But any success is always tempered by a degree of sadness,
as we think about the friends and family we have loved and lost on our travels;
none more so than at this time in November, when we remember Mike and his wife
Sara who are no longer with us.
A few weeks ago Paul from Track and Field sent me a copy of
a letter from his archives. It was the letter that Mike sent to Track and Field
as an introduction to Saloon; at the time we badly wanted to play their club
because it was so damned cool and we were sick of playing terrible gigs every
time we came to London. Little did we know that Track and Field had already
seen us when we supported Stereolab and couldn’t really see the point in
Saloon. Still, the letter must have made a difference, as within the next few
years we went on to play countless Track and Field shows and release three
albums with them. Anyway here is the letter for you to enjoy.
It has been a busy few weeks. My new album has been out for over a month now and I have still not officially announced the release on here. I tried writing a lengthy blog post about it, but just can't find the time to finish it, so here is the quick version.
So you know, the album is out in the shops, called RODNEY CROMWELL 'Age of Anxiety' released on the Happy Robots label on CD and digitally:
It has been favourably compared to early-OMD, Giorgio Moroder and Krafwerk (I think in terms of its sound rather than its cultural impact). The record has had really good airplay, with plays on the Gideon Coe show on BBC 6 Music, multiple plays on several Radio 3 in Spain and on loads of synthpop shows and other radio shows (all of whom I will thank again properly at a later date). Oh and somehow two songs are on heavy rotation on Croydon FM. So muchos respect there.
Thanks to everyone who has played, bought and said nice things about it. It has been very much appreciated! I will write some more about it I'm sure. Oh and feel free to follow Happy Robots on the Facebook. You can hear it on Spotify too, although obviously we would prefer you to buy it.
What else to report:
Alison's band 'The Left Outsides' have a new album 'The Shape of Things to Come' out on 8th May which itself is getting some great airplay. Follow all their news too on Facebook. I've not heard it yet but I'm sure it will be really good.
Matt I know is in the studio at the moment with The Leaf Library working on their new album. And both The Leaf Library and Rodney Cromwell will be appearing at the Indietracks festival this 24-26th
July. It's the first announced gig for Rodney Cromwell so many thanks in advance to Indietracks for taking a punt and booking me.
On the Saloon front, I've renewed the Soundcloud subscription so all the old stuff is available again. Gideon Coe played two songs from the first Peel Session last night (that is the 16th April 2015). Gideon has played that session several times so many thanks for that Gid.
Lastly I've been emailing a chap James who was in the band Postalowa who we played with once in Norwich. As well as having a great Mixcloud show Tall Ships Radio Club, he has a band Broads who Saloon fans may be interested in. Our chat also enabled me to find the details on the 2003 gig in Norfolk which I've added to the Saloon timeline. As keeper of the archives and master of the data this stuff matters OK.
Our friends and former label mates Kicker, with whom Saloon played countless gigs, have finally gone and got themselves a Soundcloud. Their great singles album is up there already.
Their 'Get Rid of Him / Turning Left' single still is one of my favourite 7"'s, which I still spin on the rare occasions when I can get the wife and kids out of the living room.
Other 'news' I have done a bit of work on the various Happy Robots websites - the full Happy Robots back catalogue is now available from our Bandcamp, there has been a fair bit of activity on our Facebook, we have a label Soundcloud that includes unheard before rarities and we have a new YouTube (because I lost the password to the old one.) We don't have a Twitter as the last one was compromised by Russian hackers. I can't really be arsed with twitter anyway.
It has been a while since our last update. The reason being,
well we have been rather busy.
2015 has been dubbed the year of the Saloon comeback!
Ex-members of Saloon have, we hope, three new records out this year, so Loonatics start
saving your pennies…(please)….here is the news so far....
Age of Anxiety
The album that I have been tinkering with for about for several
years is finally finished. It is very much an extension of sonic area explored with
Arthur & Martha (it features Alice / Martha on a couple of tracks too). It
is an album of ten songs propelled by hissy analog synths, cheap vocoders, toy
instruments, crackly samples, bass riffery and – errr - more analog synths.
Although the title is a nod to 80's electro (Age of Chance
and/or Age of Consent by Bronski Beat) its themes are those of love, loss, grief,
paranoia, euphoria in our modern post millennial world of over connection and tribulation
That sounds quite ominous - it’s really just a silly indie disco record.
I’m releasing it under the Rodney Cromwell name – which is a
moniker I used once before, during the Saloon days, when I recoded a song
Radaghast the Brown for a Lord of the Rings tribute album on Bearos. It is to
be released on CD / digital download on 9th March 2015 and distributed by the good people at
Cargo Records. The lovely cover was designed by ‘our Matt’. And it will be the
first release in five years on the Happy Robots label; hopefully – if we break even – we will be able to put out some more releases (by other bands) in the near future! …oh and
you will be able to buy it on our website
as well as in the shops and on iTunes.
THE LEAF LIBRARY
(Matt and Co)
Second album time! We’re halfway through recording another
album at Studio Klank in north London – it’s a lovely place, and they’ve even
let us build a little shrine on the wall above the mixing desk (the full Happy
Robots back catalogue to the first person to name them all...).
It’s all shaping up nicely thanks with tons of guitars, a
bit of synth and some piano, lots of drones, some pedal steel and a ride cymbal
orchestra all recorded so far. It’ll hopefully feature contributions from some
of our mates too including members of The Clientele / Amor de Dias, The Drink,
The Left Outsides and Singing Adams. And horns! There are definitely going to
be some horns on there too.
The album is called ‘Daylight Versions’ and is inspired by
(variously) the sea, commuting, the Suffolk coast, Walthamstow marshes and
death. It’ll be out on vinyl via Where It’s At Is Where You Are some point this
year. Happy listening.
That’s all for now. Hopefully more soon. Do get in touch if you need to
know any more.