Easter DJing / “A Brand New Toy”

On Saturday April 19th I’ll be back behind the decks at Paper Dress in Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London. It’s going to be another night of live music with me providing a soundtrack of all things bright and beautiful before, between and after from around 8pm until it finishes. It’s free to get in.

On Easter Sunday, April 20th, I’m paying a visit to Watford to DJ at a Northern Soul night at Chocolate, opposite the pond in the High Street. This is the building that was The Oliver pub in the 70’s, then The Artichoke in the 80’s. It’s going to be a lot of fun trying to recreate the “South Herts Symphony” Sunday Club vibe. Expect some fabulous Northern Soul sounds; some you’ll know, some you might not, all will be on vinyl.

Some of you might be aware that Paul Weller has a new single out on Record Store Day. Apparently the a-side is already available to listen to and download on iTunes, as part of the package for his new album “More Modern Classics”. Investigate “A Brand New Toy”  here; you’ll be able to hear that we had a lot of fun recording this particular tune. More details on the limited Record Store Day vinyl release can be found here.

 

 

April News

Many thanks to everyone who came to The Smugglers Return in Worthing on Friday April 5th. A splendid time was had by all, and the experiment of streaming the event live on the Web was a great success with over 400 people listening in. I’m sure I’ll be back there again soon, along with the excellent Tom Crawford who along with his partner Heather were fabulously entertaining and accommodating hosts.

I’m next DJing in London on April 19th at Paper Dress in Curtain Road, Shoreditch, and on April 20th I’ll be in Watford DJing at a Northern Soul night at Chocolate on the High Street, opposite the great big hole in the ground that might once again be a pond by the time the event happens. 

On the subject of thanking people, I’m very grateful for the amount of positive feedback shown so far for my releases on Bandcamp. The “4-14-44” EP and “Songs For A South Herts Symphony” mini-LP have regularly featured in Bandcamp’s chart of best-selling pop releases. If you haven’t investigated these recordings, you can find them here . There’ll be more material exclusively on Bandcamp throughout the year.

Physical releases of my back catalogue are slipping out of stock fast. There are no plans at the moment to re-issue any of them so once they’re gone, they’re gone! You can find them on the Acid Jazz eBay store or direct from the Acid Jazz website . 

In other news, May, June and July see me back on the road with the Paul Weller band. I’m really looking forward to being reunited with Paul, the Steves, Crofty and Ben, and the shows promise to be excellent. For news of where we’ll be playing, follow @paulwellerHQ on Twitter, or check out www.paulweller.com .

Talking of Crofty and Ben, check out the latest release from The Moons… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBZK2q8AtUg 

An email to Sajid Javid MP

I just received an email from Sajid Javid MP about the new Conservative notion that liberalizing the pensions market is just what this country needs to further inflate the property bubble and get older people spending money, as they’re the only people who seem to have any. He wanted me to sign a petition seemingly to get the government to do something that they’re going to do anyway, which seems to me a total waste of bandwidth.

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of these emails from Tory MPs. I’m utterly at a loss as to why they choose to write to me. After all, I’m not Conservative supporter. Then I remembered I took part in a survey a little while ago, where I was given the opportunity of expressing my opinion on a range of Conservative policies. This is the survey that has recently been exposed as nothing more than an attempt to compile a database.

Usually such communications would get a stiff ignoring. As anyone who knows me will probably tell you, I’d sooner piss blood than vote Conservative (and having recently had kidney stones, I know what I’m talking about). Anyway, I chose on this occasion to reply, and this is what I wrote

Dear Mr Javid,

Thank you for your email.

As I am the kind of entrepreneurial self-employed striver you identify as being key to the economic security of the country, maybe you’d like to take a look at my “pension plan”, to wit; the songs that I release as part of my career as a freelance songwriter, musician and music consultant. You will find my latest material here- http://andylewisuk.bandcamp.com/ and my back catalogue can be obtained via iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/andy-lewis/id79038214

Whilst incredibly grateful for the increase in the personal income tax allowance in the last budget, I can’t help feeling that a much more useful tax cut to people on low incomes would be a reduction in VAT. I also feel, by way of an aside, that since the only years I qualified to pay the higher rate of income tax were under a Labour government and that since the coming to power of the Coalition my actual income (as opposed to turnover) has plummeted year on year, I can’t associate your party or its policies with feeling personally better off. Still, at least I’m not on benefits so I suppose it can be said “there’s always someone worse off than yourself”- and in the words of the great Peter Cook (in the voice of Harold Macmillan) “it is the policy of the Conservative party to see that this position is maintained”.

Wishing you a pleasant evening- andy lewis

PS Did you get my email address through that survey from a few weeks’ back?

PPS Tell Grant Shapps that I STILL don’t remember him from WBGS.

Songs For A South Herts Symphony

I have released another collection of tunes on Bandcamp. Called “Songs For A South Herts Symphony”, it’s eight pieces of music that were destined for my third album for Acid Jazz, which was sidelined in 2011. 

The full story of the album and why it was shelved I’ll save for another day. For now, have a listen to the music and if you like it, tell your friends. If you really like it, you can buy a download which you can put in your iTunes playlist or burn to a CD and enjoy anytime, anywhere.

http://andylewisuk.bandcamp.com/

 

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Physical / iTunes releases of the new EP, and more.

Sincere thanks to everyone who has had a listen to or downloaded the “4-14-44” EP. I’ve had a lot of very positive comments about it, and a good many enquiries as to whether it’ll be released on vinyl or become available on iTunes. The answer to the first question is “maybe”. I can imagine at some point a vinyl release of some, if not all, of the tunes, or their inclusion on compilation albums. As to an iTunes release, the answer is “most probably”. Many of you will have iTunes accounts; not so many of you will have heard of Bandcamp. It’s not difficult to store things you’ve downloaded from Bandcamp in your iTunes folder, though I do concede it’s a bit more of a faff than just clicking to buy from an outlet you know and trust. I’m looking into getting the tracks onto iTunes in the coming weeks, so to those of you with an iTunes account I say-“Watch this space!”

In the meantime, searching for Andy Lewis on the iTunes store throws up a host of material that you might not be familiar with. Take a look today, and you’ll discover tunes like “What Can I Say” (from the Remix EP), “Barney’s Theme” (on “The Best Of Days“), “A Good Soul In The Good Times” (on “A Good Soul In The Good Times“), “Centre Of Attention” and “Mr Camera” (on “41”) and “(Love Is) Alive In My Heart” (on “Billion Pound Project”), all of which you might enjoy.

(You’ll also see this rather peculiar-looking item… it’s nothing to do with me but I’m sure is worthy of a listen if you like trumpet-based versions of Manic Street Preachers songs, and who wouldn’t?!)

If you prefer your music in a physical format, then there’s still time (but in the case of some releases, only just) to order it from your local record store. If you no longer live near a record store, or they can’t help you for whatever reason, then buying direct from Acid Jazz’s Virtual Shop is going to do the most good in the world. Acid Jazz also have a presence on eBay (where they often list promotional items or limited edition versions that won’t generally be for sale anywhere else).

Also available from Acid Jazz is the marvellous “Soul Potential”, a compilation of contemporary soul inspired music which features a track I did with the wonderful Jess Roberts called “Turn Your Head Around” (which you can hear here). Then there’s the Red Inspectors album “Are We The Red Inspectors? Are We?”, an album that features my longest-standing (some say suffering) musical collaborators playing the grooviest, funkiest, weirdest sounds ever recorded in a front room in Watford. Check out “Spectrum Boy” and “Frankenstein’s Finger”. A second album by The Red Inspectors will be completed soon.

Talking of things in the pipeline, I’m currently working on a couple of projects that are exceedingly enjoyable. I won’t give too much away at this stage, but needless to say if you like what I’ve done in the past then you probably won’t be disappointed. I’ve also been doing a bit of remixing, and coming soon will be something I did for Lisa Stansfield- a remix of her current single “Carry On”, which you can hear a snippet of here

Last November I was honoured to play bass for the great John Howard when he played a rare UK show in London. It was recorded, and will be made available on CD soon. Pre-order a copy today

You might remember that I play bass for Spearmint. Well, they have a new album coming soon called “News From Nowhere”. In the meantime,  a host of Spearmint’s promo videos are now available on YouTube for the first time in ages. There’s some great pop to enjoy, and as the bloke in “500 Days Of Summer” points out, “It pains me we live in a world where nobody’s heard of Spearmint!” 

Even further back in the mists of time (ok, the 1990s), I was in a band called Pimlico, who released material between 1995 and 1998, some of which is available on iTunes. Pimlico never really split up, and are completing a much-delayed follow up to 1998’s “Housebound”. You can download the first completed track, “The Gutter” from Bandcamp. More news on this album follows shortly.

In the meantime, I will be DJing in various places around the Capital and the country during the coming weeks. Keep an eye on Twitter or Facebook for information.

Thank you for your continued support- and hope to see you soon!

The “4-14-44” EP

Hello everyone and a Happy New Year and Valentines Day to you all!

Last night I released an EP on Bandcamp, called “4-14-44”. It’s a collection of mostly instrumental music that was put together because I haven’t released anything under my own name since 2012 so I thought it was time to whet your appetites for more substantial musical offerings later in the year.

The tunes on the EP came to me as I was indulging in a brief and uncharacteristic bout of nostalgia for the Camden Town of the early 1990s. In particular, Saturday nights at The Laurel Tree when Paul Tunkin, James & Martin Karminsky, Ian Jackson and myself got away with playing all kinds of nonsense to a crowd that became more numerous and less inhibited week after week. The sounds ranged from TV theme tunes to 60’s dance classics via  passionate pop and eclectic electronica, all played on turntables that struggled to keep their needles in the grooves as the building heaved and shook under the weight of exuberant enjoyment. As befitted a night that seemed to be expanding beyond the ability of the venue to cope with it, the club became known as Blow Up. Just thinking about those dancing faces and that night bought back a host of half-remembered ideas for riffs and grooves which the technology of the day didn’t allow me to realize into finished pieces.

Camden Town has changed a lot since then, and The Laurel Tree is now a Brewdog bar, oblivious to its role in the personal histories of hundreds. However, many of the people I met during that time remain close friends, in love with life and still passionate about music. Some of them will hear this EP, and when they do I hope it makes them smile.

Rather like the “41” mini-album that I bought out in 2011, this was a project that was a lot of fun to do, and it’s been a welcome distraction from the bloody awful weather!  I’m currently producing an album which will be released by Acid Jazz records later this year, and am in collaboration with some very interesting people. More news to follow. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy listening to “4-14-44” as much I as enjoyed making it.  See you at a club night or a Paul Weller show soon.

August News

Many thanks to everyone who came to see the Paul Weller shows around the UK and on the East Coast of the USA during July. There were some truly wonderful musical moments, and I met a whole heap of lovely people on my travels. 

August is shaping up to be a busy month for me with two things happening this week. Friday 9th I’ll be DJing for the Great Big Kiss night at The Buffalo Bar, London. Expect Northern Soul, girl group sounds, Motown and a touch of 60s pop dance. Details from http://www.howdoesitfeel.co.uk/greatbigkiss.html 

Saturday 10th I will be playing a spot of cello for DB Cohen when he plays London’s 100 Club. I’ll also be DJing along with a number of others including the great Snowboy and the legendary Dean Chalkley. Details from https://www.facebook.com/events/511476578925330/?ref=2

Hope to see you at one, other or both! 

Hangover Lounge, Madame JoJos, Last Chances, Red Inspectors…

A couple of DJ sets from me to tell you about. Sunday 26th May I’m back at The Hangover Lounge, the perfect place to deal with the afternoon after the night before. Mellow and interesting music from us DJs downstairs (and some intimate acoustic performances upstairs) at The Lexington, Pentonville Road, London. Info HERE

 

And Friday 31st May I’m back at The Good Foot for what promises to be a great night! Plenty of people have already said they’re coming, and there’s room for plenty more!

 

Acid Jazz records tell me that there are literally only a couple of copies of my first album Billion Pound Project left. If you haven’t already got one, now’s the last chance to own it in any physical format. You can buy it from the Acid Jazz Ebay Store, along with other bits & pieces of my back catalogue- and the great new album Soul Potential which features a track I wrote with Jess Roberts called Turn Your Head Around

 

There will be some more new material from me later this year. In the meantime, I’ve been working with The Red Inspectors on a follow up to the highly acclaimed Are We The Red Inspectors? Are We? As we were feeling our way towards material for the new record, we did what all bands do when they need to break the ice and kick start the creative process- we mucked about! Consequently, for your listening pleasure we offer you a couple of free downloads to enjoy at your leisure- available from here 

News from Andy Lewis

There’s a new compilation album from Acid Jazz records, Soul Potential featuring a selection of great new soul tracks, including one of mine. Turn Your Head Around is a song written with the great Jess Roberts, and features her stunning voice in fine form. Other great tracks on the compilation include Magnus Carlson’s great From Now On and a lovely New Street Adventure track called Hangin’ On, Hangin’ Up. Soul Potential will be released on May 25th, but you can already pre-order it from their shop and from iTunes and Amazon (if you’re into downloads).

On May 31st, I’ll be DJing again for The Good Foot club night at Madame JoJo’s in the heart of Soho. Resident DJ Snowboy and I will be playing 60’s and early 70’s soul, funk, R&B, ska, jazz and a smattering of jump blues, rock’n’roll and latin. A friendly atmosphere and a busy dancefloor is guaranteed. We are on between 10pm and 3am, and it’s a very generous £8 on the door.

Pimlico have almost finished their new album. More news on this to follow, but if you haven’t already investigated last year’s teaser track The Gutter then pop over to Bandcamp. Some of our old material is available to download on iTunes.

The Red Inspectors have a new album in the pipeline too. The acclaimed first album Are We The Red Inspectors? Are We? is still available direct from Acid Jazz via their eBay store on both vinyl and CD, but I’m told that stocks of both are starting to run out so order soon to avoid disappointment!

I’ll be back out with the Paul Weller band in June and July, playing a series of shows around the UK and the USA. Details and tickets are available from paulweller.com.