Ok, so this is a bit late. I’m sorry about that, but at least we do still maintain a Factory Records esque plan to everything we do. Anyhow, by the time you read this, you may have heard, we’ve got a second single, it’s by Mowbird. They’re from Wrexham, and really quite lovely.
We found them upstairs in Buffalo Bar, in Cardiff at Swn Festival 2011. It’s taken a long time to get to this point (as you can see). The single is called Happy Active Horse Organ (backed with Carousel), and is on translucent green vinyl, and taken from the bands forthcoming album, Islander on Shape Records. The graphical wonder that is Daniel Orton has transformed his designs once more, this time for the bright green colour!
It sounds like this (play very loud) :
The band release their forthcoming lp, Islander on Shape Records in mid Feb and will tour the following dates :
7th – Cardiff, Album launch, Four Bars, Dempseys
17th – Manchester, Fuel
18th – Sheffield, The Redhouse
20th – Nottingham, JT Soars
21st – Carmarthen, Tangled Parrot
22nd – Newport, Le Pub
23rd – Bristol, Cafe Kino
24th – London, The Old Blue Last
25th – Brighton, The Prince Albert
26th – Wrexham, The Commercial
We’ll be out with the band from Feb 17 to Feb 22 to gang press you into buying the single, and the band will sell it on our behalf in London / Brighton / Bristol. but hurry quick, over 120 have already been sold via Bandcamp. You can buy your copy here :
I set out to write a chronological time line of all the Gallops gigs I’ve been to. Only I quickly realised it’d make for a very boring, long, dragged out entry (and theres been maybe 20 gigs). And well frankly….no-one needs that! (my written English isnt brilliant at the best of times). So instead, heres kind of a short synopsis of why they became important or at least to Popty-Ping.
It took me a while to get Gallops, and even longer to fall in love with them, but fall in love we all did eventually. To be honest, the first time I saw them couldn’t have been much worse. In the dank, dark, basement of Sumo, Leicester eons ago back in Dec 2009, surrounded by people, ex girlfriends and WWAAYYY too much beer, escalated in bleakness by that horrible venue. All I remember was being really drunk and the PA being awful, they supported Minnaars I think. The second time, five months later showed much more promise, a packed Wrexham Central with Polly Mackey’s pleasure principle (am I the only one to smirk at that band name?). Anyhow, they rattled the tin shed roof with a home town show (though more importantly I met the beautiful Lara Catrin at the bar).
The third was just three days later in Bangor for Radio 1. The head of live events snuck us in past a giant entry queue. Upstairs at Rascals was packed to the rafters, and even Greg James was enthralled enough to watch the band rather than the multitudes of young girls that surrounded him. We stayed up drinking till 2am and I crashed in Walton’s Bangor hotel room, finding myself three hours late for work in the morning (AND turning up in last nights clothes).
After that, it all got both more fun and more frequent. We once picked up Brad and took him to Manchester (Adam claimed his headlight didnt work and could I drive? – he strung that excuse out for nearly a year). We saw them deafen a half full Roadhouse.
At some point there was a fringe festival gig one summer night in Llangollen. The audience was little more than us & YNiwl as Miami Spider echo’d round the giant hall. I met Ian Hughes** at that Pavilion gig, as yet again the tired Golf was filled with people and we decamped to the Commercial till the early hours.
After that the nights begin to blur. There was one in the Night and Day, another in Central and even an extra special pre Japan one in South Central where they played everythinng seemingly twice as fast and four times as loud. Etched in my brain was the time we tried every blag possible to get into the Swn 2011 show at Dempseys, but the entry queue sneaked all the way down Womanby street, and the bouncers were having none of it. (Hughes later climbed a fence into Clwb to be chased by bouncers once more).
I’m FUCKING excited about this….shouted Mike Devoy when they first announced a date in Telfords, and he was right to be. As they broke into ‘ G is for Jaile’ Phil and I nearly perfected that bob dance*** move at each other with its brilliance. Afterwards, Brad teased us playing one newly finished album on his phone by the canal.
Three months later and in possibly the wettest, muddiest festival field you ever did see, they played 2000 Trees. Moz has a photo showing the tent bursting to the rear walls, irrespective of the valhallah of rain and mud slinging outside (and maybe everyone seeking some respite from the torrential summer precipitation of 2012). I just remember the ground turned to soup, and from that moment I hope a field just outside Cheltenham remains the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing the Battle of the Somme. The Wrexham quarter attempted to draw parallels closer. Farquar raved endlessly backstage at their success. Afterwards they had to drive back three times to pick all their kit up before departing to China. Later that night I (in)famously fell face first in said mud. Badgers Bottom….so much to answer for.
2000 Trees 2012 :
Following their return from the land of the rising sun, they dj’d for Golden Fable at their album lunch with Shy in the beautiful St Giles church (which meant we all got to befriend the amazing Tim & Rebecca GF). Well…..Brad taught himself to dj because all the others had double booked themselves and buggered off to Bestival. I discovered Beak that night, whilst we all bought £1 glasses of wine from the WI. Later the Wrexham lot all took us all ((including Al Farqhar) to Jockeyoake directly after to witness Gemma storm through the Northern Soul classics.
The best gig? Swn 2012, upstairs in the larger Cardiff O’Neils. We turned up two bands early to make sure we got in. It was blisteringly loud, I lasted 3 songs at the front before retiring to the back for the sake of my ears (see Mum, I can still be sensible) , meanwhile seemingly everyone we know and / or recognise had turned up to watch (Mowbird, PINS, Whiskas, all the Wrexham lot, all of Shy and the Fight, Phil & Jen, Lara, Dan Bearcroft, Lamacq, Huw S & John, Shell Zenner, Samoans, Joanna Gruesome) in bewildered awe – Supposedly someone bypassed a capacity limit to squeeze everyone in. Of course, perched on a stool on the back wall to get a decent look, it predictably gave way to leave drunken Andy in a graceless mound on the floor, while Stephens and Lamacq looked on in amusement. The next day Whyte & Huckridge had to hang round till late afternoon, waiting for someone to sober up and drive home, and so they watched Mowbird and Shy play, which meant a lot if I’m honest – finally people other than our direct friends took notice. That weekend pretty much broke all of us. A photo exists of Jen collapsed in a service station Burger King on the return journey. Catrin snored all the way home, laid across the back seat of my car whilst we had to pull over in Hereford for Chris to be sick.
I should have realised something was wrong when Hucky asked on Facebook if anyone wanted to buy a nearly new European Tom Tom. Didnt even twig why as I replied with ‘Wont you need that again shortly’. And the next morning the answer. They’ve called it a day. Bah. It’s really quite rubbish to be honest.
(In hindsight in should be said - I’m really glad their last gig in this neck of the woods was for Adam and Crackling VInyl a couple of months ago, it was the opening / home date of their last UK tour. I’ve got a mint Panaramio of the packed Telfords dancefloor)
An awful lot of fun, new friends and brilliant moments arose from Gallops gigs since 2010, enough to warrant me writing this spiel (a particularly rare occurence). But then…maybe not everything is bad news. After all, they’re all planning something new, so thats potentially 4 new bands to go and watch, and well….we at Popty are going to one day need to release something by someone other than Shy and the Fight, and so we’ll look on (hopeful) with baited breath.
Now……..if only we could persuade Mark to fill the space left by Jackson, it’s nearly a year since Shy lost it’s electronica wizard and his box of toys to London. And now of course theres the best drummer in North Wales with only one band to play in……
*Should you ever go to a gig in Bangor, North Wales. Dont park your car in the lower part of town when all the venues are in the upper part of town. its a fucking steep climb between the two, especially after a beer.
**Ian Hughes used to have a theory Paul Maurice secretly played Age of Empires on that laptop. This will make no sense to anyone apart from Hughes.
*** Is it just me or do Post Rock bands all do the same kind of crouch / bob squat dance move. Kind of like Mr Motivator circa 1993? (and squat….and up….and squat….and up).
NB : Jeff Noon, cult mancunian author was a notable underground hero when I was a student. His first and most acclaimed novel Vurt is re-printed this week and highly recommended.
Right we haven’t yet built the gigs page, but that’s no real excuse for not telling you. Everyone’s in action currently in April, or soon about to be. so dates for all three bands are currently as follows :
Sex Hands :
April 19 : Manchester : Fuel, Withington : MC Scenewipes – Icecapades – With Slowcoaches & DMC : Free Entry. See here :
May 24 : Liverpool : Shipping Forecast – With Three Blind Wolves & Gabriel Kelley
July 6 : Leicester : Cookie Jar – Crumble in the Jungle – With Hey Sholay & Daydream Club. £8 advance.
And if you’ve made it to the end of that….Spiritualized ended their Coachella set last night with a very very rare play of their finest ever track. First time it’s appeared in a live set list in 15 years. It was this :
hello, so we have a new website. theres a new bandcamp being sorted. and then finally…….
PING002 : Mowbird / Sex Hands split
We’re putting another 7″ out. this time a split between Mowbird and Sex Hands. It’s finally nearly there. It’ll be quite something. and we think possibly blue vinyl this time. But theres more on that to come soon (once Dan figures out how to make two sets of microwave cooking instructions look great on the back of the vinyl sleeve).
PING003 : Shy and the Fight – To The Birds Fell
Shy have been back in the studio. They’ve got 5 tracks in the bag. It’s all mixed, mastered, done, finit, sorted. They’ll be beginning to roll it out live soon with a host of support slots around the place. This one is a cd release we think, with digital downloads also if all goes to plan. It’ll still have a popty twist to the artwork, and the cd’s will be hand finished and numbered. (consider this an artwork HINT Orton).
More in a bit.
PS. Live gig news coming shortly for all the bands, xx
PPS. latest current listening : Blaenavon. The 7″ is pretty mint :