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An end to The Albion Band

Posted by blair

Monday 6th January 2014.

 

Blair Dunlop has today announced an end to ongoing work of the current line up of The Albion Band in order to focus on his rapidly developing solo career.

 

A letter from Blair:

 

 

Dear Albion Band supporters

 

After much soul searching I’ve made the decision to call time on the work of the current incarnation of The Albion Band. We’ve had two years of great times, meeting fans old and new, defying some critics and playing some great shows along the way.

 

The pressures of an ever-increasing solo schedule along with the planned launch of a new solo album in May 2014 creates challenges in prioritising the group for the foreseeable future. This, alongside the numerous other projects on which fellow band members are working, means that the new-year seems a good opportunity to draw a line under one phase and look forward to new horizons.

 

We all remain friends and will undoubtedly work together in various capacities in the future. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the rest of the band, and an honour to add to the great history of The Albion Band.

 

In the meantime thank you for all of your support and here’s to the future.

 

Thanks,

 

Blair x

Adieu to ’13

Posted by blair

So the advent calendars are springing open and a surfeit of chestnuts, in our household at least, are roasting on the open fire. ‘An Albion Christmas’ are out on the road and I have a cold (as per). As a relative humbug-er I seem to prefer to look back on the year closing, than look forward to Christmas itself. In any case, I imagine the ‘non-xmas’ Albion Band website blog is the last place any sane person would visit for their fix of festive cheer! So looking back, it’s been a sweet year all things considered.

Thanks to all who came out to our Autumn, city tour. It was great to see so many familiar and new faces. We had the great pleasure of testing some new material on you (you guinea pigs) and the response was great. The time we spent writing/drinking in the deepest recesses of Devon in August gave birth to a number of tunes and to have such a great response to them was lovely to see! The festival season was probably my favourite in recent memory. We had a blast at Sidmouth, Bunkfest, Lyme Regis & Wimborne to name just a few. The weather was class, the beer was cold and the people danced. What more could a folk rock band want? Winding back a little further, the BBC Folk Awards saw Kat nominated for best duo with Jamie Roberts and I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Horizon award (presumably given to the most consistently horizontal performer on the scene). Ba-dum-tshh

We are all going to spend a sizeable chunk of next year concentrating on our various other bands/projects, but no sooner had we blocked out next year, that we marked in another stint of writing/jamming/general capers for early January! I’m sure it will give birth to another song or three. So we say adieu to a cracking ’13 with promises to keep you updated on plans for ’14. Thanks to all who got involved on our ‘Black Friday’ CD sale bonanza (masterminded by the ever-effervescent Mr Tim Yates). We sold loads of CDs and EPs and hopefully filled one or two stockings! Have a lovely Christmas from all at Albion HQ, see you next year B x   I would also like to congratulate my pa, the father of the Albions, on being awarded the Gold Badge by EFDSS last week In our eyes, richly deserved

Devon and beyond

Posted by blair

So Autumn is officially upon us, and with that comes the usual fallout from festival season. Obviously there are the standard trivialities: Checking all pedals/patch cables still work; Cleaning mud-caked Hunters (other, less overpriced wellington boots are available), but they go hand in hand with the customary considerations of Autumn work, promoting gigs and generally getting used to playing in venues with running water again. A good portion of my gear has been resigned to the ‘send to Tim’ (bass player and resident electrician extraordinaire) pile, through general festival wear and tear but I know I speak on behalf of the band when I say it was a top summer this year.

The last week of July saw us convene at Ben and his lovely lady Naomi’s place down in Devon. Amazing views, good food and a lot of tunes, it was the perfect way to get our heads in gear for the upcoming festivals and also write and arrange some material for the next record! I suppose we were doing our own ‘Liege & Lief’ or ‘Big Pink’, and it proved to be very fruitful. An amazing week and I’m sure we’ll be going back over the next few months to get together some more material and eat more of Tim’s chili jam (and drink none of his and Tom’s home brew #Horror).

The week ended with an sweet set at Sidmouth Folk Week, where we bedded in a new song myself and Gav wrote. There were many people jumping up and down. It was good. Last week we played the Wallingford BunkFest, a free music, dance and beer festival in Oxfordshire. Props to the promoters and organisers for making it such a great event. Quality of acts and infrastructure (and beer) were astonishing considering it’s free to the public. Wallingford, you have a wee gem, long may the festival continue! The next day we headed down to Lyme Regis for the Lyme Regis Folk Fest. Another great bill with Jackie Oates’ band and Ducie. Pete and Tom valiantly stepped in to take charge of sound when unforeseen issues arose, so shout out to them technical maestros… Also, big shout out to Kat for driving me on those gigs, aided by a playlist including: Alannah Myles, Jackson Browne, Sarah Jarosz and (as per) Shawn Colvin. ‘murica.

So Looking ahead we have a run of 4 dates available to see here http://www.thealbionband.com/dates/ so make sure you come out to see us, we’re playing some of our favourite venues. As for our respective other spinning plates: Gav and his band are touring his critically acclaimed new album, as are Gilmore Roberts; Tim will be playing with Blackbeard’s Tea Party so make sure you check out their dates as well. I’m writing this from the studio, finishing pre production on my second solo album and I’ll also be out on tour with my trio in November. After that, no doubt we’ll be doing another Big Pink/L&L down in Devon ahead of Albium 2…

Hope you all had as good a summer as we did, see you on the road.

Ciao,

Blair

Free EPs!!

Posted by Tim

Well sort of…

While in the process of packing his house into lots of boxes so he can take it to London, Gavin discovered a long buried pile of our EP Fighting Room in his crypt/basement. Every copy of Vice of the People bought between now and Christmas will come with a free copy of Fighting Room, and you can also buy them from our shop page. Get one while you can, there won’t be any more when they’re gone!*

The first 25 orders of VotP will also come with a bonus free gift which may or may not have been found in Gavin’s basement!**

 

* Unless we find some more.

** It was.

Not even One More Day…

Posted by gavdav

So we’ve reached the end of our Autumn/Winter tour, with a spectacular finale at the Great British Folk Festival at Butlins, Skegness! Everyone has dispersed – the van is back at the rental shop, Blair is somewhere over the Atlantic, Atlanta-bound for a recording session with Rebecca & Megan of Larkin Poe, Gav is searching for cardboard boxes, Ben is hunting down the perfect amp, and the rest of us are huddled round radiators in South Yorkshire watching Flight of the Conchords (Tim) / Nirvana at Reading ’92 (Tom) / The Wizard of Oz (Katriona – ‘accidentally’ let it loop back to the beginning when it finished).

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves over the last month -  we’ve had great support acts and some very special guests at our shows. Big thanks go to the rest of the team – our tour manager & soundman Pete Ord, agent Hannah Bright and manager Simon Care – and of course to all of you who came to see us on tour!

Check out our remaining tour blog videos here , keep your eyes peeled for updates to our dates page – and remember, our albums are perfectly shaped to fit most stockings….see you next year!

Tour Blog for Spiral Earth!

Posted by Tom

Hello friends!

We’ve been making video blogs for Spiral Earth!

http://www.spiralearth.co.uk/attitude/AlbionBlogAutumn2012.asp

Episode one is already up, Episode two is on it’s way!

Tom x

Tour Dates – UPDATED!

Posted by gavdav

Hello all – the summer has been a busy one but also saw us get to play the close of Towersey which was an absolute blast. thanks to all of you for your participation and kind comments! Please note we now have a LONDON date!

We are touring in November (and into December)  – please see the dates page for information on venues and links to booking. If you are thinking of coming please book in advance – in the current climate venues are quite risk averse and chances are that if too many people wait until the night of a show and just turn up, you may find the show has already been cancelled. Poor advance ticket sales caused a couple of shows on the march tour to be moved or cancelled. You’ll also save yourself a bit of cash by booking in advance!

More news to come – we are excited about having some great support acts lined up on this tour. Keep an eye out for further info!

The Festival Season…

Posted by blair

This is a great time of year. I’ve just got back from Cambridge Folk Fest and assorted other Albions have just got back from Warwick. We have Sidmouth imminently upon us, followed by Cropredy. We are half way through the festival season with fun times had and fun times to be had. This would be a sweet summer in any case, but the fact that we’ve been busy playing in various guises just makes it that bit sweeter. Aside from the multitude of solo, duo and band appearances we’ve been making, Cropredy will see Tom and Gav playing with the Morris On Band. Fitting, then, that Tom will be sharing licks with one of our old guitarists Richard Thompson. Gav will be singing with the backing of Simon Care (ex Albion) and my old man Ashley Hutchings (Mr Albion). I’ll be getting up with the great American group Larkin Poe and maybe chip in on Fairport’s Saturday set… We’ll see. Following that comes Towersey and we’re all looking forward to doing our set as it’s a festival we’ve all loved for years. If you’re about, come and say hi!

 

Whilst we’re all buzzing off festival season – and still basking in the critical success of ‘Vice of the People’ – we’re putting the final touches on our winter tour. We’ve already put a few fresh tunes together and it’s all sounding rather #rags (that’s a very good thing). Before too long we may even be thinking about laying them down in the studio… Well watch this space!

 

I’m supporting Jools Holland tomorrow so I’m off to pack! I might just sack the guitar off and do set on a MIDI keyboard… Would be amusing if nothing else.

 

Have a top summer peeps, Blair

Sunshine on a rainy day

Posted by Tom

Time for a long awaited update from Albion Towers…

I’ve not posted since mid way through our March tour so I figured it was about time I pulled my finger out and got everyone up to date!

We all had such a great time on the March tour. Thanks so much to all of you who came to the shows and bought records. We met some great people who said some really lovely things. It’s such a strange thing when people come up to us and regale us with stories of the previous incarnations of the band. It’s great to hear stories that maybe some of the previous guys wouldn’t have told us! Keep them coming ;)

After spending April regrouping and getting back in touch with reality a bit, it was time to head down to sunny Norfolk for Cromer Folk on The Pier. We had a really great time with our pals in Little Johnny England, Edward II, Home Service and all the other people we bumped into. Word on the grapevine is there might be some interesting stuff brewing for next year at Cromer so keep an eye here, on Facebook, and on Cromer’s Website.

Straight from Cromer we were back up to Sheffield to deposit Blair off on the Sandy Denny tour before we arrived at our “home from home” of Shepley Spring festival. I had a strange phone call on the thursday afternoon from Matt Crum (of The QP and Sciorr Staged) asking me if I could “come to Shepley early as Elkie Brooks has cancelled”. I was slightly perturbed by this as I have little knowledge of Elikie’s Music and, even though I ‘ll try my best after a beer or two, I can’t sing like a girl. Turned out they just wanted some people to play tunes to entertain the slightly disgruntled villagers so we hopped in the car and obliged. Gavin performed with His family, The Davenports, Tim and Ben performed with their Sciorr Staged show (as well as having a good go at running the bar on the last night!!) and Katriona managed to wake us up nearly every morning with the cow-costumed Frumptarn Guggenband. Nikki and Mac put on such a great weekend and we had such a great time playing on the same bill as The Shee, Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin and The Treacherous Orchestra.Strangely, the last time I played at Shepley was with Innes from Treacherous Orchestra when we were in the Park Bench Social Club together. Some very odd clothes swapping occurred later after out gig. This mainly involved playing “How many jackets can we fit on a Banjo player”.

After Shepley came Gate to Southwell. Katriona was off playing with Jamie but the rest of us were there in our various guises. Gav, Ashley, Simon Care, Guy Fletcher and I had a great time playing the Morris On Show with Stefan Care, Witchmen and Pecsaetan Morris dancing. Blair played a great Solo set before us and Tim’s band, The QP, opened the concert. Gav jumped in the car and shot off to Chippenham (Tim went to Chester then Chippenham then back to Southwell I think?!?) and I rushed over to the Ceilidh venue to play with Glorystrokes. The QP played a Ceilidh on the last day followed by The Sciorr Show that I engineered. It was fun to watch and hear Tim and Ben playing from behind the Mixer instead of the Drums for a change!

The weekend after Southwell was supposed to be our gig at Hever Castle in Kent but, for reasons unknown to us, it was cancelled by the promoter. Sorry to anyone that bought tickets and were let down. We’re hoping to come back to the area later in the year.

We didn’t let the Hever Castle gig get us down as we had a great show to play at The Half Moon Putney that we were really excited about! Great venue with lovely staff and a great crowd. We had a brilliant (if a little hot) night there. Our first “Rock pub” gig with this lineup and I think we really settled into that vibe. Just the kind of shows we want to play in the future!

After staying the night at Katriona’s parents’ house (complete with obligatory trip to Coda Music!) we headed home but not before depositing Ben at BeachBreak festival to play Ceilidhs for excitable students with the Ship Band.

So now here we are, up to date. Dates are creeping in for our November Tour. We’re hoping to announce the majority of them next week. Keep an eye out here and on Facebook for updates!

 

 

The Knebworth/Stevenage interlude…

Posted by Tom

So we’ve had an excellent few days in the company of Byron and Jensine listening to old records, eating Veggie lasagne, walking to Knebworth House (surprisingly rock and roll place; Wayne Manor, Sonisphere, etc) and visiting excellent music stores. We got a bit over excited and bough lots of FX pedals. Blair even bought a Lap Steel!!! Look out Megan Lovell! He’s spent the last few days playing it through Byron’s old electric mistress pedal in order that he may learn the ways of Mr David Lindley. I was most pleased as it meant that we had to listen to A LOT of Lindley and Jackson Browne albums so that Blair bight practice.

The sun has been shining for most of the time so it’s been thoroughly pleasant. The audiences and staff at Worthing, Harpenden, Wellingborough and Stevenage have all been wonderful. Off we trot to Tunbridge Wells now. Looking forward to it!

 

T xxx