On September 28th I’ll be performing at the Crossness Engines.
I got to have a look around them the other week. I had my own little private tour by a lovely bloke called Dave.
Now I’ve performed at Kew Bridge Steam Museum and at the Markfield Beam engine, and both are impressive Victorian waterworks buildings, but Crossness is something else. Bigger, better, beautiful. If you’ve any interest in steampunk or Victoriana you need to be there.
Plus I’ll be playing and I’m great.
Here’s the link and here are the details:
“Supplement your visit with a free guided walk from the Ancient Lesnes Abbey ruins to the front door of the Pumping Station. Assemble at Abbey Wood Station by 10:45am. Startle Thamesmeaders with your fancy apparel as you promenade through!
Come and join us for
- Electrifying Tesla Coil demonstrations in the Eastern Engine Room
- Trader’s market
- Tea duelling
- Umbrella fencing
- Shark racing
- Costume appreciation
- Finest music from Tom Slatter
and a multitude of other eccentric escapades!:
The culmination of the great Metropolitan Board of Works’ epic civil engineering project devised and led by Sir Joseph Bazelgette. The Crossness Pumping Station is a lasting testament to the genius, craftmanship and foresight of the great Victorian engineers and notables. A gargantuan project that saved London from disease and decline, the benefits of which we still enjoy today.
Experience this magnificent 150 year old building with its 1,000 tons of cutting edge Victorian construction hailed in its day as a modern wonder of science and engineering. Decorated in the highest of Victorian design the architecture of the building is a feast for the eyes. The multi coloured wrought iron interior is both beautiful and practical.
A hidden gem in the hinterland of Erith & Thamesmead, it is rightfully described as the ‘Cathedral of the Marshes’. This is a rare chance to experience this beautifully restored Grade 1 building and grounds.
Enjoy our facilities: a lovely cafeteria, modern toilets, wheelchair access to the Visitor Centre and Engine House floor.
Ample parking with disabled spaces. Riverside walk. Wildlife Garden and a treasure trove of old engines.”
I’ve been doing a stock take.
Here’s what I still have available:
34 copies of Black Water EP
10 copies of Through These Veins EP
2 copies of Three Rows of Teeth
All can be found on bandcamp.
So on my next album the wonderful Jordan Brown of The Rube Goldberg Machine fame is gonna play some bass. To facilitate this, I just sent him the following:
“Imagine that you are adrift on the salt baked remains of what used to be your ship. The last fresh water ran out days ago and there’s no land in sight. You started hallucinating at some point in the last few hours. The sun has beaten and burned away what’s left of your reason, but you’re happy because you know at some point soon you will slip beneath the waves and breathe through the new gills you have grown.
Play the bassline you dream of, before you begin to swim”
So I’ve put up the Pay What You Want version of my new EP Black Water.
What’s that then?
It’s Black Water, but without the bonus track or the short story that comes with the £3.00 version.
Pay what you want? Can I get it free?
Absolutely, I would love you to get it for free, but you can pay any price you want. If you can pay great, if you can’t download it anyway.
How are you going to make money with this sort of attitude?
Well most people pay, but plenty don’t and that’s cool. I’m trying to build a sustainable long term audience of people who enjoy my music, so I want people to hear the music and enjoy it most of all.
I want if I can’t pay, what should I do?
Download it for free of course. If you enjoy it, I would appreciate if you told your friends about it. I hope you enjoy.
PS. EXTRA pay-what-you-want news.
My last EP, and The Steam Engine Murders and the Trial of Seven Bells John are both also available pay what you want. YOu have only one week left to get these however. So if you want ‘em, get downloading.
Black Water, my new EP, is out today.
You can stream it above and buy the full digital and physical versions here. A pay what you want option will be available later in the week which will allow you to download just the tracks without the short story or bonus track.
The full version comes with digital extras:
- The Murders at Ironbark, a short story that picks up several years after Seven Bells John and Coppertree last met (have you read the short story that came with Through These Veins?). It also explains what was going on at Ironbark in the title track from my second album.
- Lines Overheard at a Séance (2014): a new mix of a song from my first album Spinning the Compass. The séance in question was held to try and locate the bodies of some of Seven Bells John’s victims.
The main tracks from the EP:
Black Water. Seven Bells is thrown into the Black Water, a salt water lake near Ironbark. The near death experience and his subsequent rescue causes him to have a change of heart. Musically this one deliberately moves from creepy weirdness and 7/4 rhythms to something more melodic and steady, reflecting that change of heart. It ends with what I think of as ‘The Black Water theme’.
Nightfall. Years earlier, Seven Bells John was turned into a monster by The Harpy Dr Margoyles. Musically this one’s all drop d guitar and menacing drone notes. We all hunger for human flesh, right?
Moon in the Water. Musically sparse, this one tells of how Seven Bells is hunted and pursued.
Ghosts in my Dreams Recalling the musical material from Lines Overheard at a Séance, the last song on the EP has John finally acknowledging the ghosts that have been haunting him. This too ends with the Black Water theme.
Many thanks to Random Dent and Ash Surrey for the Bvox and percs, and to Joe Slatter for letting me use his photos.
A lovely bloke by the name of Rick Forster took some pics at a couple of my recent(ish) gigs:
Do you howl at the full moon?
Do you crave human flesh?
Nightfall is the second song from my new EP, out on July 15th. Have a listen here:
Seven Bells John is a character that has been haunting my songs for quite a while. In fact he’s obsessed me so much that he’s spilled out of songs and into short stories as well.
Who is Seven Bells John?
He’s a criminal, a murderer. He first turned up by name in the perfectly sensible song The Steam Engine Murders and the Trial of Seven Bells John, but his first appearance was in Lines overheard at a Séance on my first solo album Spinning the Compass.
The songs haven’t been released in chronological order however so here’s the low-down on which songs fit where in the saga of Seven Bells John.
Nightfall is chronologically the earliest song. It tells the story of Seven Bells John as he struggles with what Dr Margoyles and her husband did to him. Imagine running through a forest at dusk, craving meat and hating yourself for what you’ve become.
Can you hear it yet? Not until 15th July when the new EP is released.
Moon the Water
Moon the Water is a song from Seven Bells John’s point of view. Several years have passed since he escaped from Margoyles. He is once again forced to flee from his home, pursued by people who want him dead, but he does not care because he feels free. He has come to terms with what he is and knows what he must do – kill the doctor.
Lines Overheard at a Séance
Having exhausted the more orthodox methods available to him in his pursuit of Seven Bells John, Detective Coppertree turns to a medium. He and the parents of some of John’s victims ask the spirit world to help. When they ask for information on where the last bodies are buried this is what they hear in reply.
I Am Not Your Heart
“I will show you what a little vision and a surgeon’s knife can do for you”
This song is Dr Margoyle’s manifesto. She is a surgeon-artist who reshapes her patients, giving them the bodies they should have had. This song is her at her most triumphant, before the fall she suffers in the short story that comes with the EP.
During that short story ‘The Steam Engine Murders’ Coppertree has the harpy Dr Margoyles in custody. In a desperate scheme to capture his nemesis, he uses her as bait for Seven Bell’s John…
So that’s a guide to the first half of the story. Part two will turn up soon. Ish.