Friday, December 30, 2011

On Robert Elms' BBC London show, Jan 3

We are very excited to announce that we will be appearing on the excellent Robert Elms BBC Radio London show on Tuesday, January 3rd. Tune in from 2pm to 94.9FM on Tuesday or listen online here to hear us play a song live in session and then have a chat with Robert. We've been listening to Robert for years and discovering all kinds of great new music on his shows, so it's a real honour to be invited along to take part in one. Hope you can take a few minutes out from what you are doing to listen in. We will also be most grateful if you could text or email the show if you enjoy our live session.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

GreenGab PR and Hear This! to promote LP

The hearty crew at GreenGab PR and Hear This! have come on board the good ship Feathers to promote the launch of our Liberation LP early next year. GreenGab has worked with the pick of the best up and coming singer-songwriters such as Jon Allen, Megan Henwood (BBC Young Folk Award winner 2009) and Ruarri Joseph, as well as household names like Ruby Turner and the late, great Solomon Burke. Hear This! brings a world of experience to the deck, counting Jill Scott, Black Country Communion, Soweto Kinch, Bootsy Collins and Herbie Hancock among the artists they have promoted to radio. We are really looking forward to what the next few months have in store for us working with Gaby, Jay and Chris and we'd like to say a big, big thank you to them for getting involved and believing in our music. We will shortly be announcing details of our album release plans.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wagon with 6 Music's Chris Hawkins - Feb 2

We have more details on the show we are doing for Chris Hawkins from BBC 6 Music on Thursday, February 2nd at the Old Queen's Head in Angel. It's shaping up to be an amazing night and we are most grateful to Chris for asking us to take part. Chris will be hosting the evening which includes sets from us, The Tricks, Coastal Cities and Louise Golbey. The Tricks are signed to Johnny Depp's Unison Music label and have been listed in the Red Pages Hot 100 2012 and Louise has been getting airplay from Trevor Nelson on BBC Radio 1Xtra and recently supported jazz guitar legend George Benson, so we are in pretty good company. Doors open at 7pm and the whole night is free entry. It's a great chance to see some of 2012's hotly-tipped acts without breaking the bank. The Old Queen's Head is one of our favourite small venues in London. It's always got a great vibe and we've never seen a bad night of music there. Get it in your diaries and we hope to see you there. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Smoke Feathers on Dodgy's advent calendar

Dodgy have very kindly given us a special guest spot on their 2011 advent calendar today, with a link to three free downloads and our mailing list. We have supported Dodgy on their recent autumn/winter UK tour and are hoping to get back out on the road with them next year in support of their stunning new album, Stand Upright In A Cool Place. Our advent gift includes a free link to download Liberation Theology, our cover of Big Star's epic The Ballad Of El Goodo and Tropical Rain, a live favourite we recently recorded for Miles Hunt's excellent Shared project. To enjoy the treats of  Dodgy's advent calendar, which includes other free music and giveaways in aid of Cancer Research, simply go here and sign up for the updates. Keep an eye out for our very own Christmas present to you, coming very soon to a blog near you. To help get you in the festive mood, here's a free song and a link to our mailing list so you can keep up to date with all the latest Smoke Feathers news.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Green Note show with Tom Moriarty - Jan 18

We have confirmed our first show of the new year with the excellent singer-songwriter Tom Moriarty at Camden's Green Note on Wednesday, January 18th. Tom is a fascinating artist who gave up a career working in the City of London to become a protest singer. His music reflects the times we are living in and we are proud to be sharing the same stage with him. Tom's latest single, Smile If You Wanna Get High, has just been playlisted on BBC Radio 2, so you may already be familiar with his work. The Green Note is one of the finest, small music venues in London and a great place to relax and check out new music. Here's the event page on Green Note's website and you can buy tickets for £6 pounds in advance from this link. Doors open at 7pm and the music kicks off at around 9pm. Hope you can make it down.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Headlining the Camden Barfly on Dec 7

Our last full band show of the year is going to be a headline slot at the Camden Barfly on Wednesday, December 7. Please come down and help us celebrate what has been a truly blessed year for us. Playing six times at Glastonbury, getting championed by Radio 2's Janice Long, hitting the road with Dodgy, touring the Virgin Islands with the incredible John Blood, getting two tracks on Miles Hunt's Shared 2 compilation and finally finishing our album Liberation at the wonderful Vale Studios, ready for official release early next year... It's been one to remember. We are now in full flow getting everything ready for our album launch and a whole load of shows next year, with some very exciting plans in the pipeline which we will be revealing in the coming days and weeks. Tickets for the Barfly show are five pounds in advance and can be bought here. Hope to see you there, with feathers on. We are on stage at 10pm.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Supporting Dodgy in St Albans on Dec 2

We will be supporting Dodgy on Friday night at The Horn in St Albans - our second support slot with them in the last few weeks. Our bass player Stu has been playing with Dodgy across the UK throughout the autumn and winter as they showcase material from their new album Stand Upright In A Cool Place and wheel out some of their older hits such Good Enough and Staying Out For The Summer. It's been great getting the chance to meet Nigel, Math and Andy - they really are a lovely bunch and it's so exciting to see them back with a new record. Their new material is more than worth the wait. Cracking songwriting and a beautiful sound. Take our advice and get to one of these shows for a full, live preview before their album is released next year. Needless to say, we are stoked to be opening the night for them again. We will be playing tracks from our own forthcoming album, Liberation, in  our first gig on home soil since the Virgin Islands tour, so come down and join us if you are in the area. Tickets cost 15 pounds and can be bought here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Midnight Mango agency now booking for us

We are very excited to announce that the Midnight Mango live music production company has taken us on for live bookings. MM's Zac Peters was kind enough to drive all the way up from the south west to see us play with Dodgy in London in October and we all got on great, so we're really looking forward to a long, fun and fruitful partnership with MM. Zac, who also works with the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury, the Great Escape and SXSW,  is booking a UK tour for us in early 2012 which will coincide with the official launch of our album, Liberation. If you want to book the band for a show, you can get in touch with Zac on +44 (0)7837 681905 or via email here. MM look after a load of wonderful bands and artists including Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds, The Selecter and Neville Staple of The Specials and also book events with the likes of Dodgy, Lau, Chris Wood and Ruarri Joseph. Onwards and upwards, people...

Friday, November 11, 2011

First festival booked for 2012: Lakefest

It feels like the festival season has only just finished, but we are already booked in for another weekend of madness at the start of next summer and looking to book up plenty more slots to make up for the absence of Glastonbury in 2012. So, on Saturday May 19, we'll be heading to Gloucestershire to play at the picturesque Lakefest alongside the likes of The Levellers, Reef, Dodgy and Miles and Erica from The Wonder Stuff. The festival takes place at the Croft Farm Waterpark in Bredons Hardwick near Tewkesbury. Camping tickets for the weekend are priced at £79 for adults and £49 for children aged 11 to 15. More details can be found here.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

British Virgin Islands tour with John Blood, supporting John Legend and UB40

Smoke Feathers will be heading out to the beautiful British Virgin Islands at the end of November with our good friend John Blood for a very special mini-tour, including a prime time slot supporting U.S. soul star John Legend and UB40's Ali Campbell at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the BVI National Parks Trust. We are going to be playing a variety of stripped-back acoustic and full band gigs across the islands between November 19th and November 27th, with charity fundraisers for Sailability and the BVI Special Olympics team and guest spots at some of the best venues in the territories including Leverick Bay Resort and Marina and Captain Mulligan's. The tour builds up to an all-day Smoke Feathers beach party at Big D's in the top surfers' resort of Josiah's Bay on November 27th. Here's the agenda:

19 Nov - Captain Mulligan's, Tortola
20 Nov - BVI Special Olympics Fundraiser, Fat Virgin Cafe, Virgin Gorda 
20 Nov - Leverick Bay Resort and Marina, Virgin Gorda
23 Nov - Sailability Fundraiser, The Boat House, Tortola
26 Nov - w/John Legend & Ali Campbell, National Parks Trust Concert
27 Nov - Smoke Feathers On The Beach, Big D's, Josiah's Bay, Tortola

With Stu away playing bass for Dodgy on their UK tour, the mightily talented singer-songwriter John Blood has kindly stepped in to fill his shoes for the BVI trip. Alongside material from our forthcoming debut album Liberation and a load of other Feathers favourites, we have managed to persuade John to play some of his finest works in a first of its kind Feathers-Blood mash-up. A camera crew and photographer will be following us around out there to record our adventures, so stay tuned for updates.

Friday, October 28, 2011

DJ On The Weekend on BBC Radio 2

The wonderful Radio 2 DJ Janice Long came to see us play at the 12 Bar Club last night in London. It's the second time she has come out to one of our gigs in the last few months and she gave us a great shout out on her show afterwards, saying our set was "absolutely brilliant". Janice also played one of the songs from our forthcoming Liberation album - DJ On The Weekend - and said some very kind words about the band. You can listen back to her show here. We hope she might play a few more tracks from the album soon. Fingers crossed. Thanks so much to Janice for supporting us and a big thank you also to those who came down to see us play at this very old haunt of ours - it was great to be back there after so long. If you haven't been to the 12 Bar before, you should. It's one of London's oldest venues and is an experience like no other. After our set, we all ended up in a nearby pub where drummer Paul held court with some very wise words on his great passion in life - wine. Georgian wine, Croatian wine, all kinds of wine. Paul knows each and every one of them intimately. We have been thinking about exploiting Paul's skills by starting a Smoke Feathers range of wines, although the chances of there ever being anything left over to sell are probably pretty slim. Guess we could just sell the bottles... Don't forget you can still download all three tracks from our debut single Liberation Theology for free by 'liking' our Facebook BandPage. Our next gig is a big one - supporting the mighty Dodgy at The Peel in Kingston on Saturday, October 29. We are on stage at 8pm.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Download Liberation Theology single for free

OK folks, we don't have long to go before we start revealing some exciting news about the release of our album, Liberation. But while it all gets thrashed out, and in the run up to the launch, we have decided to give away all three tracks from our debut single Liberation Theology to anyone who signs up to our official Facebook page. Just follow this link and click the 'like' button on the BandPage. You can then download the single mix of Liberation Theology from the music player below the main picture. You can also get hold of the dub mix of the title track, featuring Nicaraguan revolutionary poet Ernesto Cardenal, and a copy of To Begin, To End for free from the same player - both songs featured on the B side to the single. Please share the page and this post with your friends and help us spread the word. We hope you enjoy the music. If you have any problems getting the tracks, drop us an email here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wagon with Chris Hawkins from 6 Music

We have been asked to play at the first Wagon event of 2012, hosted and curated by BBC 6 Music DJ Chris Hawkins. These awesome nights are renowned for showcasing up and coming bands so it's a real privilege to be a part of it. The gig takes place on Thursday, February 2nd upstairs at the excellent Old Queen's Head in Islington. More details to follow, but needless to say we are pretty excited about this one so stick it in the diary. Thanks for asking to play, Chris! If you can't wait until February, check out our Shows page for our next few gigs. One show not to miss is on Thursday, October 27 at the cosy 12 Bar Club just off Denmark Street.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Supporting Dodgy on Oct 29 in Kingston

We are very pleased to announce that we'll be supporting Dodgy at The Peel in Kingston, south west London on Saturday, October 29. Dodgy are currently touring the UK to promote their stunning new album Stand Upright In A Cool Place with our very own Stu Thoy on bass guitar. Stu has been making a bit of a name for himself on the tour, signing autographs and even picking up a new nickname - The Fugitive. You can read all about their adventures on Dodgy's blog here. As well as playing the new album in its entirety, Dodgy have been treating audiences to some of their classic hits including Good Enough, In A Room and Staying Out For The Summer. It's a great honour for us to share the same stage as these guys so please come down and show some support as we start to build up some pressure for the launch of our own album, Liberation.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Stu plays bass for Dodgy on UK tour

Our very own Stu Thoy is touring the UK, playing bass with one of Britain's favourite bands Dodgy this autumn, as they play material from their long-anticipated fifth studio album. The album is called Stand Upright In A Cool Place, and from what we've heard it's a great recording full of classic Dodgy hooks and rich, darker moments too. You may remember them for hits like Staying Out For The Summer, In A Room, Good Enough and Lovebirds, but we have a feeling you are going to love them just as much, if not more, for this album. Check their website for dates and get into the return of Dodgy before it gets too hectic!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Smoke Feathers on BBC London Introducing

We are going to be a featured act in this week's London Introducing on the marvellous Gary Crowley show on BBC London 94.9FM. Gary will be playing our music between 7.30 and 8pm on Saturday night, so please tune in and have yourself a listen. P.S. We are also playing at the Camden Barfly on Saturday, on stage at 10pm. So, once the radio show is finished, you can come down and listen to the real thing! Hope to see you there.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Last stages of finishing Liberation LP

We have finally come to the last stages of completing our album, Liberation. The 11-track LP has been recorded with the amazingly patient and talented Chris D'Adda at Vale Studios in Worcestershire over the last couple of years. We have put the finishing touches to a few tracks and the album will be mastered this week by Tim Debney at Fluid Mastering and then sent off to the printers for mass production. As you can imagine, we are very excited about the prospect of having a document of our musical adventures over the last few years. We've had some amazing experiences and look forward to many more to come! We'll be releasing the album properly in the New Year but will be making advance copies available to anyone who wants one before then. Stay tuned! And we have a lot more surprises to come. Peace.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Janice Long "really, really enjoyed" our set

We were lucky enough to have the wonderful Radio 2 DJ Janice Long along to our show at The Elgin in Notting Hill this week. As you know, Janice is one of the true gems in radio - championing great new bands and interesting acts that you haven't heard of yet. She is also a lovely lady! The world really needs more people like her. She has supported loads of previously unknown, but amazing, artists including an old mutual acquaintance of ours - the immensely talented singer-songwriter Vijay Kishore. It was great to talk with her at the Elgin about Vijay's incredible voice and presence before we took to the stage. We also got to enjoy songs from Tom Moriarty and Robinson - two other acts to keep an eye out for. Later that night, Janice gave us a shout out on her Radio 2 show, saying she "really, really enjoyed" our set. Hopefully, we might see her at another gig soon. Thanks Janice!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Live footage from Glastonbury 2011

We embarked on our first band trip to the Glastonbury festival in June this year and were lucky enough to play six shows across the site over the weekend. It was an amazing experience and we were grateful to have a few friends there with us there to record some of it. We will never forget what a great weekend it was and what a privilege it was to be part one of the world's greatest arts festivals. It's a real blessing to have a record of it too, so thank you to those who filmed for us - you know who you are! We are going to be posting live footage of our final gig of the weekend, Sunday's barnstorming set at the Tadpole Stage in the magical Green Futures field, over the next few days. The first video is a song called Freedom To Choose. Hope you like it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Let love inspire our response to the riots

For what it's worth, we want to send our thoughts and prayers to those who have lost loved ones this week, those who have lost their livelihoods and those who are injured. It's been a depressing and shocking week. I hope it will inspire positive change in all of us, rather than a more repressive, divided, unfair and violent society, which is what I fear will arise from these ashes. On Monday night, I was dispatched to Peckham to report on the riots and looting that had just started to flare again across London. I walked nervously towards the town centre through increasingly uneasy streets. Everyone was, sensibly, going the other way. I could smell burning, like the air was on fire. People were boarding up windows. Sirens... And then the noise. Peckham was exploding. Youths ripping a neighbourhood to shreds, jeering as rocks, fireworks and bottles span through the air and shops were ransacked, buses on fire, buildings smouldering, thieves kicking the shit out of glass fronts and marching off with televisions and clothes to cheers and applause. There was wild anger - as well as some kind of mangled organisation - amongst the adventure. Menace. Chaos. The worst of humanity. The outnumbered police tried to charge small pockets of the mob, but gradually backed off and just let the madness unfold. It was difficult to keep safe, one camera crew got mugged, a photographer had to flee after getting spotted. He tried to joke about it but these were serious times. I kept my notepad and phone out of sight and did my best to blend into the crowd of morbid spectators who were half-cowering in the shadows. Eventually, having filed short reports to the office, I peeled away, exhausted by what I had seen and heard, the memory of a panic-stricken young man repeating as I got on a train at New Cross Gate - he was petrified that it wouldn't stop. That this was just the beginning. I was worried about that too. I still am. I'm a political and economics correspondent in my non-musical life these days and the last time I saw anything comparable with this was in South America, where I was working as a hard news reporter in Guyana. Britain is certainly not Guyana and the riots there were far more overtly political in nature, but there was a similar backdrop - deep inequality, corruption and greed, a depressed economy, hopelessness, joblessness and bad relations between the poor and the police. I'd love to report that even those riots forced politicians and society to learn lessons and to make Guyana a fairer place for all. I can't give you that happy ending. If anything, from what I hear, things have just got worse for the downtrodden and crime is on the increase. This week's unrest may not have been as obviously political but we dismiss it at our peril. The mob may not be fighting for the most basic of freedoms or democratic rights, but that does not mean there was not a desperate voice screaming at us from behind the gangs, the ballerinas and the flames. In post-recession Britain, there is an increasingly visible divide between the haves and the have-nots. One set of rules for the bankers, pop and sport stars and politicians and another set of rules for the ghetto. But also a flood of less obvious flaws in the system that make it harder for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds to get ahead in life, while the wealthier in society often take their opportunities for granted and even lecture from afar those who fail to break through the endless glass ceilings. Poverty breeds crime. Inequality breeds violence. Do not listen to those who will tell you otherwise. Putting this all down to a lack of a backbone or discipline and bad parenting is as unhelpful as it is heartless. Strong arm tactics and talking tough will not work. There are deep, deep problems in the way we live our lives and the way our society functions. When society breaks down like this, we must all take a good look at ourselves and our values, as well as government policies and our economic structures. Our children, even those who run riot, are a reflection of their society, a reflection of us. Moments like this offer us a chance to change things for the better. We must try to seize it before it is too late.

It was not only the awful events we have seen that have made this a week for condemnation and some serious reflection. The riot of foolish and hot-headed responses that have flooded newspapers, the airwaves and social networking sites has also been haunting me. I've been ashamed to see even my own peers spitting bile devoid of reason, love and wisdom. If we are seriously interested in making life in Britain better, safer and fairer for everyone as well as ourselves, we need to look beyond the necessary punishment of those guilty of the thuggery and criminality of the past week and ask difficult questions about what is going on out there to make this happen and what can be done about it. That's not easy, because it ultimately will mean we all have to make a change. Society must recalibrate its values, root out prejudices and vested interests and reorder its priorities. There is, let's face it, sadly little appetite for that. Asking questions about the social, political and economic context in which events occur is not the activity of apologists, it is the activity of the intelligent. Unrest, no matter how it manifests itself, is always in some way an expression of deeper social problems, tensions and frustration. We should be worried that our government and some in our communities want us to believe that this unrest was the exception to that rule. Do not be fooled. Britain, like many other countries, is a nation still deeply divided by race and wealth. This has been brewing for years and it will bubble over again unless we all show a willingness to make society fairer. What can us small fry do? Demand change. Demand better from our government. We need serious, sustained and open-minded solutions to inner-city deprivation, not token gestures, heavier policing and cuts to youth services and education benefits. There is of course much for the communities themselves to do, but they need help - and the right kind of help. We need a greater willingness to let go of some of our own privileges so that others can rise. A fairer playing field. A chance. We are either a nation of brothers and sisters or a wasteland of strangers and rivals. Fixing this is possible, if we want to fix it. We have come so far, why leave so many behind us? It will only come back to bite us. Let's take this opportunity to change our own lives for the better. To do the little we can to change the bigger picture. If money, fear or greed is in anyway your god, upgrade it to kindness. Reflect, don't lash out. Reach out, don't build walls around you. Love, don't fear. Give, don't hoard. If there is someone you know going astray, place a steady hand on their shoulder. Talk to the kids, hear their grievances, don't cross the street. Forgive, don't seek vengeance. Set an example. Be brave. Love spreads. If governments and corporations continue to refuse to take responsibility, if they refuse to accept there are deep flaws within their long-term economic policies and the way they selectively manage our communities, if our millionaire ministers don't want to see that there are obviously simple and cheap ways to make the situation better, we can still all act. Each of us. Don't let the lessons from this week fade unheeded. Don't be the lynch mob. Be part of the solution. Love is a powerful force. Be a force in your community. Be love, and peace will follow. Speak out for love. We urgently need more voices. Maintain high pressure. Organise.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Where does our name come from?

No, rest easy, this isn't going to be a trippy discussion about where names come from. You will not be forced to think about your name and its significance, although you can of course do so if you so wish. We have been asked several times over the last few months about why we are called Smoke Feathers. In truth, like all these things, it's all a bit hazy, but much inspiration for the name came from a tale we found a while back in the folklore of the first people of northern America called Raven Steals The Sun. It tells the tale of how the people of the earth came to have light, water and fire. It also explains how the raven's feathers came to be black - hence the name Smoke Feathers. The story has a few variations but here's the one we stumbled across a few years ago:

"Long ago, near the beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the Sun, Moon and Stars, of fresh water, and of fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. People lived in darkness, without fire and fresh water.
Gray Eagle had a beautiful daughter, and Raven fell in love with her. In the beginning, Raven was a snow-white bird and he pleased Gray Eagle's daughter. She invited him to her father's longhouse.
When Raven saw the Sun, Moon and stars, and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle's lodge, he knew what he had to do. He watched for his chance to seize them. He stole all of them, and a brand of fire also, and flew out of the longhouse through the smoke hole. 
As soon as Raven got outside he fastened the Sun up in the sky. It made so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. When the Sun set, he hung up the Moon and scattered the stars. By their light he flew on, carrying with him the water and the brand of fire.
He flew back over the land and dropped the water. It fell to the ground and became the source of all fresh-water streams and lakes in the world. Then Raven flew on, holding the brand of fire in his bill. The smoke from the fire blew back over his white feathers and made them black. When his bill began to burn, he dropped the firebrand. It struck rocks and hid within them. That is why, if you strike two stones together, sparks of fire fly out.
Raven's feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke from the firebrand. That is why Raven is now a black bird."

Raven Stealing The Sun by Ken Mowatt

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who is going to the Secret Garden Party?

We are dusting off the van and the official Smoke Feathers TM band tent, stocking up on Liberation Theology singles and heading up to the Secret Garden Party next weekend for our second big festival of the summer, hoping to build on the success of a string of barnstorming shows at Glastonbury. We'll be playing on the Living Room stage on Saturday 23rd July around 9.30pm so please come down and support us if you are going. We are also hearing that Bear and friends from the Vibes and Pressure crew will be there, playing on the Friday, so get in touch on Facebook or Twitter if you are coming and let's get together for some true V+P positive vibrations.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Natty's Vibes and Pressure is building

It was a true blessing to be part of Friday night's Vibes and Pressure event at Passing Clouds. Crawling in at 4.30am, after navigating London's buses and drunks from Dalston to south east London, I couldn't stop smiling and, with the sun already burning up the sky, I struggled to get to sleep. It wasn't just being able to play on the night - getting a late call to do some acoustic songs upstairs to plug the Liberation Theology single - and then to find myself with Natty and Bear leaping on djembes to give it some heavy groove. It wasn't just jumping in on the transcendental drum workshop with Ras Lawi at the start of the evening. And it wasn't just seeing a fiery, conscious and powerful Aruba Red live for the first time, or being part of a heaving crowd singing along mesmerised as Natty tore up an acoustic wig-out of the awesome Gunman. Not even reggae legend Dawn Penn on stage at 2am or Ayanna Witter-Johnson blowing it up with a cello and her incredible voice. All these things on their own would have made for a great night out for anyone who loves music. But Vibes and Pressure is something more than a guaranteed great night out. Natty has been organising these events and carefully nurturing this community for years, building a movement of like-minded souls who believe in the power of music and of coming together to learn from, and support, each other. It takes its roots from Rasta culture but has a place for everyone of peaceful persuasion and open mind. It has blossomed into something special. A place where you can watch Bob Marley's guitarist play but also where you can take part in free debate with Cord the Seeker. A place where strangers are soon friends. The V+P nights are shows where the people in the crowd (of all ages and from all walks of life) are not just fans but part of the crew. Long may it continue to grow and long may it attract new faces and inspire others. See you at the next one, people, with love in my heart. Treasure this, support these events and together let's make this movement stronger. One Love.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Free 93 Feet East gig to celebrate single

We are headlining a free Musicborn night at 93 Feet East on Monday July 11 to celebrate the successful launch of our debut single Liberation Theology. We are on stage from 10pm, bringing an end to a month-long residency at one of London's best-known venues. We have made many new fans and discover lots of great new artists during our stay on Brick Lane and plan to go out in style, so let's make this a big one. We will be playing songs from our forthcoming Liberation LP, due out later this year, and a few newer tracks that we hope will form the backbone of the next album. The night is really to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought the single and recommended it to their friends. It's been unbelievable to get so much support for a first release. We are planning some exciting new projects for the summer and beyond, so stay tuned and spread the word.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Liberation Theology single available now

The debut single by Smoke Feathers - Liberation Theology - is now available to buy on iTunes here and Amazon here. We can also arrange to send you a CD if you visit our blog shop. The single contains a dub mix of the title track, featuring a sample of Nicaraguan revolutionary poet Ernesto Cardenal, and an acoustic version of To Begin, To End. As many of you know, we have waited a long time to release our first material and it really is a fantastic feeling to be doing so at long last. Please get behind us, buy the single and share it far and wide. We have had some great moments already in the life of this band, played some wonderful shows to some wonderful people, taken Glastonbury by storm and been lucky to stumble across an incredible studio (Vale Studios) where we recorded the album we will release later this year. We know that with your support we can make a big success of this thing. It's a grassroots mission and every ounce of positive vibration you send our way will only make us stronger. Thanks so much to everyone who has made it to a gig in past few years, listened to our tracks online or just encouraged us to believe in ourselves and work hard at what we love. Onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ernesto Cardenal on Liberation dub mix

Nicaraguan Liberation Theologian, poet and revolutionary Ernesto Cardenal has given us his blessing to sample his poem Psalm 5 on our dub mix of Liberation Theology. It's an unrivalled privilege and honour to have the approval of this inspirational man. We hope the single will raise awareness of the movement and epoch in which Ernesto played an important role. We live in cynical times but art can still be a powerful force for change. Those who know Smoke Feathers know how strongly we believe that. At its heart, Liberation Theology is a song about - and dedicated to - those who struggle against powerful, malevolent forces masquerading across the world as liberators, reformers or saviours. Our music will always reflect and support that fight. A video of Ernesto's Psalm 5 is below, please take the time to watch it. You can hear the dub mix here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Featured artist on Musicborn website

We are going to blog about our unbelievable time at Glastonbury later this week, once we have gathered up all our pictures and videos and generally come down from one of the greatest weekends of our lives. But, in the meantime, we just wanted to say that the team at Musicborn have kindly selected Smoke Feathers as the featured artist for their website launch. Thanks guys! We are in the middle of a four-week residency under the Musicborn banner at 93 Feet East so please come down and check out a gig (see our Shows link on the right for details).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

7 gigs: Glasto's hardest working band?

The masterplan for our first trip to Glastonbury has been approved and signed off by the Smoke Feathers board of trustees and it has to be said we must be in the running for the title of hardest working band at the festival! We are booked in for seven live sets across different stages from Thursday to Sunday! We have a big van! And a big tent! We will also be selling limited edition CD singles of Liberation Theology to anyone that will take one and we have lots of T shirts to give away. Please come and say Hi and watch one of our sets if you are going to be there. It would be great to see some familiar faces in the crowd. Here is the essential Smoke Feathers Glasto agenda:

Thursday 23rd June
6pm - MSF Live, The Common
10.30pm - Real Ale Bar, Acoustic Field
Friday 24th June
4.15pm - West Holts Bar
Saturday 25th June
4pm - Real Ale Bar, Acoustic Field
Sunday 26th June
3pm - Bimble Inn, The Park
7pm - West Holts Bar
10pm - Tadpole Stage, Green Futures Field

Monday, June 20, 2011

Free Glastonbury warm up at 93 Feet East

We are going to be playing a stripped back set in the front bar of 93 Feet East tonight to help warm up for our first trip to Glastonbury. Our good friend John Blood will also be playing in the main hall, bringing some most powerful Caribbean vibes to lift you up and help you float through the week. He really is a star and someone you wouldn't want to miss. Did we mention it's free to get in? Please come down and wish us good luck for Glasto! Music gets rolling from 8pm...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One week to go to: Liberation Theology

Peep! Peep! People, it's getting hectic at Smoke Feathers HQ! We have a mere one week to go until the release of our first single Liberation Theology on June 22. Matters are now reaching a high frequency of pressurised urgence. Please help us to promote the launch by sharing this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and listening to the track on our Soundcloud page. Any support you can give us by getting the word out there would be absolutely amazing. Thanks to everyone who has helped out so far - you are wonderful, vibed up people! This is a grassroots thing and your word of mouth will help us find a wider audience for our music and break on through to the other side. The single coincides with our first appearances at Glastonbury and comes with two hot B sides - a trippy dub mix of the main track and a live acoustic version of  To Begin, To End - all recorded at the amazing Vale Studios in Worcestershire. It will be available on iTunes and Amazon in mp3 format from June 22 and also as a limited edition run of 500 CDs. Thanks again for all your support!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

B sides mastered at Fluid Mastering

We have now mastered the B sides for the Liberation Theology single with the assistance of the hyper-sensitive (and priceless) ears of Tim Debney at Fluid Mastering. Thanks Tim! Masters and artwork are at the printers, going through the complex and exacting Smoke Feathers production process in time for next week's release. Being at the forefront of all the latest technology developments in music, we would love to employ this shadowy, new-fangled contraption soon -- maybe for a vinyl EP of Liberation Theology remixes?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Liberation Theology on Break London radio

Tune in to the excellent Break London radio on Monday June 13 to hear our single Liberation Theology get its first airplay. The song has been selected as the station's "Out Of The Blue" track on Callum Hale's show between 12 and 2pm. So click on to the site at lunchtime to listen in and send a comment to their Contacts page to show your support for Smoke Feathers!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shared 2 compilation LP with Miles Hunt

We have contributed two tracks to the Shared 2 compilation album, the brainchild of Miles Hunt from the Wonder Stuff. Miles produced both of our songs - Tropical Rain and Six Years - which drummer man Paul recorded during sessions in south London. The version of live favourite Tropical Rain is a stripped back, chilled take while Six Years, an older, darker song, features some mind-blowing strings played and arranged by Erica Nockalls. You can hear both tracks here. The compilation also features some very cool music from Miles and Erica, Boo Hewerdine, Jim Bob from Carter USM fame, Dan Donnelly, Damien Dempsey, Brentlee, The Daughters and Ian Prowse from Pele and Amsterdam. As you can imagine, the album is packed with great music from some better known songwriters as well as imspiring material from breakthrough artists. If you are interested in beautifully-crafted songs and discovering something new, it's an essential purchase. You can buy the album here or pick up individual tracks from iTunes and Amazon. A Shared festival is on the cards later this year, so stay tuned!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Recording B sides at Vale Studios

Stu and Matt are up at the awe-inspiring Vale Studios in Worcestershire to lay down a couple of B sides for the Liberation Theology single. We are producing a psychedelic dub mix of Liberation and an acoustic version of To Begin, To End. We have had to deploy the demon Scully (below) to elevate the full frequency of vibes to maximum levels and, of course, maintain the highest of pressure at all times.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

93 Feet East residency this summer

We have been booked for a four-date residency at 93 Feet East on Brick Lane this summer with the wonderful crew from MusicBorn. The first show, our official warm-up for Glastonbury, is going to be a three-piece experience in the front bar on Monday, June 20 (on stage 9.15pm). The final gig will be full band fireworks in the main hall on July 11. Details of these free shows lie to your right (unless you are reading this upside down).

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Liberation Theology single on sale June 22

We are excited to announce the release of our debut single, Liberation Theology, on June 22 ahead of our first trip to Glastonbury Festival. You can hear the song by clicking here. The track and two B-sides will be on sale via iTunes and Amazon. We will also be producing a limited 500 run of CD collector's edition singles (more on that to follow). Spread the word!