One Year Ago

A year ago today Doves performed for the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Good memories.

Of course the previous evening the band played their first gig in almost a decade at the Parr Hall in Warrington as pictured above. Folks came from far and wide to attend both shows. I kid you not, I met folks from the US, Canada, Australia & New Zealand who traveled to the UK for these shows.

A year on, as our lives are put on hold in an effort to keep everyone safe, it seems a bit trivial to be thinking about future shows and new music. But it is something to look forward to.

W.H. Lung

A bit late to the party with this one, but if your like me and are in need of some new music to fill the time. Check out this album by the brilliant Manchester band W.H. Lung. Give the track above a listen, you won’t regret it! Released last year and was voted the album of the year by Piccadilly Records.

Credit goes to bandcamp’s music Friday! Here’s some new albums well worth checking out.

Katie Gately – Loom

Six Organs of Admittance – Companion Rises

Slum of Legs – Slum of Legs

Sarah Louise – Earth and Its Contents

Bitchin Bajas – Bajas Fresh (2017)

The Trades Club

Unsurprisingly, the Heavenly 30 weekend at Hebden Bridge has been cancelled. The statement released today offers some hope that Doves, Cherry Ghost & Baxter Dury may be able to reschedule. Read the statement for full details.

Mastering Photos

Doves take flight?
Audiophile Doves

A couple of pics from Jez who’s spent the day at Metropolis (London) mastering the new Doves record. Doves are no strangers to Metropolis as the first two Doves albums were of course mastered there. Another step closer..

Mixing Kingdom of Rust

If you’ve been following Doves on social media you’ll know that album number 5 has been completed and is now being compiled ready to be mastered soon.

It’s a good time to share this Sound on Sound article from 2009 on how Doves work on putting an album together and what goes on with the mixing, mastering and beyond. No doubt things has changed since then and technology has moved on, but it does give some idea of what goes on.

Rumor has it Dan Austin has been involved again, so you can read his words how it all works…

Enter superstar mixer Michael Brauer (featured in SOS’s Inside Track feature, in the November 2008 issue of the magazine: see /sos/nov08/articles/itbrauer.htm). “The guy’s a mixing legend,” says Jez. “He’s just one of these mixers that can seem to get different styles of songs nailed. So he was perfect for our album.”

“It was important to get a fresh pair of ears on it,” says Dan. “What he does is very clear mixes — everything’s there in its place. I love the mixes on the record, I think they’re great. But it wasn’t always easy to get there. There were a couple of recalls going on.”

Austin also points out that — taking into consideration the amount of honing the tracks had undergone — the files that he and the band sent to Brauer were already embedded with a lot of the effect and automation information. “If you just put the track up with the faders in a line at zero, it would not resemble the song at all. So he just took it further. His vocal sounds are just fantastic — that’s what he’s really strong at. Just getting the vocal sitting in the track.”

Instead of travelling to New York to attend the mix sessions, Doves and Austin took the progressive move of communicating with Brauer via Skype, using a program called Nicecast, designed for on‑line radio streaming. “What he’d do is send us WAVs via YouSendIt, and we’d send email comments back,” Dan explains. “That would happen two or three times. So maybe by the time we got the third WAV, we’d be really close. He’d send me a Nicecast link, which would open up in my iTunes as a stream, and then basically his output from his desk in New York fired down that and I would pump it out of my M Box.

“We’d got him on another laptop on iChat so we could see him and talk to him and then we gent through the tweaks. There’s about a five‑second delay on it, but it’s 192kbps MP3 compression, so it sounds pretty good — enough to do changes like that. Then he’d send us the full‑rate WAV and we’d listen to that. It was a fantastic way of working.”

“This was the first time we’d ever done it and we loved it,” Jez enthuses. “Here we were in Frank Bough III, mixing live from New York. It was amazing. We’d work on it with him for an hour, tops, and it’d be done.”

To read the full article, including a fascinating insight into how 10:03 was mixed visit Sound on Sound.

Some Cities at 15

A few weeks ago, February 21st to be precise Some Cities turned 15 years old! The album reached number one on the UK album chart selling almost 60k copies. Doves toured the arse off the album playing all over the UK, Europe, North America (several times), Australia & Japan.

Doves started the sessions for Some Cities in 2003 working with producer William Orbit in Rosemount Ireland. This didn’t work out so the band returned to the UK and enlisted the help of Ben Hillier who went onto co-produce the album with the band. The album was recorded across the UK but most famously at Fort Augustus Abbey where the band recorded Ambition using the acoustics as a instrument which stands out as one of Doves most iconic moments. See the pictures below.

Black & White Town was Doves first digital download, released in December of 2004. This was soon followed by a trio of warm up gigs in late December where they played London, Wolverhampton & Blackpool. The Blackpool gig is regarded among fans as one of Doves great gigs.

Black & White Town was released on 2 CD singles & vinyl in February 2005. Two more singles followed, Snowden & Sky Starts Falling. These singles included some great b-sides, 45, At The Tower, Son of a Builder and perhaps one of the more obscure Doves tracks, Black Circus of Prague which was given its own promo release on 7″ vinyl and is worth tracking down!

Doves completed the Some Cities cycle with a live EP release Some Cities Live which is a digital only album released in April 2006. For more waffle on how the album was made and some comments from Jimi at the time, this Irish Times article is a good read.

Here’s a few snaps I managed to dig up including some hand written lyrics for Walk in Fire. A fan favourite which surprisingly has never been performed live to date. Maybe one for the future..

Album Update

White Flowers – Night Drive

The new single from White Flowers, co-produced by Jez Williams. Here’s the press blurb:

On the third floor of an abandoned textile mill to the north of Preston, a wave of strange musical beauty is blossoming. Brought up on the sounds of 80s Manchester though too young to have experienced it first hand, White Flowers, made up of Katie Drew and Joey Cobb, make gloriously gothic dreampop that’s as ambiguous as it is beautiful and exciting.

On 15th January 2020, the duo release Night Drive the first track from their debut double A-sided single Tough Love Records which also features the track Portra.

Having begun life as scraps of ideas on a laptop, the songs were carefully crafted by the pair, before Williams got on board.

‘At times, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you’re so involved in the song,’ Drew noted. ‘Jez was great at drawing out the most important aspects. A lot of the songs are first takes – recorded at home in a very lo-fi way, but Jez gave us confidence. He made us realise that the rawness and the accidents are where the magic is. As fans of Doves, we’ve always admired the soundscapes and sampling techniques that they use, so it was a privilege to work with him. 

Released on February 14, 2020. You can order the track & vinyl on Bandcamp.

Sub Sub Gems

There’s been quite the response to Andy’s recent Fiver on the Door interview, which focused mainly on Sub Sub. Plenty has been written about the two Sub Sub albums. Here’s a few things you may have missed, starting with the EPIC Space Face vs Double J’s Bless the Funk mash up which you’ll need to view on youtube..


Fiver on the Door

Andy was recently interviewed for the Soho Radio show Fiver on the Door. Listen to Andy discussing his early memories of the club culture in Manchester and the impact it had on him and Sub Sub. 

Its a cracking interview, a great insight into how it all started for Andy and Sub Sub. There is some Doves discussion towards the end, including a nice update on how the new Doves album is coming along!

 

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