An education

Tonight was an excellent ending to what was an otherwise terrible morning and a forgettable afternoon. The order of the day was late trains, rude people and the general feeling that the banal paraphernalia floating around a typical working day is usually to be tolerated, but that it will occasionally rear its head and bite you in the behind. In short, it was a massive waste of time.

That is until jumping on the 55 and making my way out to kinda-Walthamstow way to see P and F. F is a friend and former colleague, while her boyfriend P is a shit-hot composer and musician who had kindly agreed to lend us some beautiful condenser mics in our quest to record drums for our new songs and have them sound vaguely passable, perhaps even GOOD.

What this turned into was really eye-opening, as P advised me on some different recording techniques and the endless possibilities available simply through sampling isolated sounds and turning them into something completely different altogether. It was simultaneously humbling and ridiculously exciting, like being a kid again in an expansive sweetshop of endlessly filled shelves, except with P’s home studio as the shop and a panoply of effects as the brightly coloured confectionery sitting in jars - once too high to reach, but now firmly within grasp.

Aided by a few bottles of ale and the largest home-baked choc chip cookie you’ll ever see, it was a reminder that spending time in the company of those who share the same interests and passions as you will always be one of the most gratifying aspects of life. That, and the fact that you should never stop learning.

You can check out a taster of what P does here.

Definitely not a New Year’s resolution

Hello world.

Sorry we’ve not been in touch that much recently..

We’re still here though, and are working on lots of fun new Dear Leaders things. They’re going to be the best yet, by some quite considerable way. We’re going to be busier than we’ve ever been, and it’s fucking great.

Think of it not so much as a New Year’s resolution, more just the nagging realisation that we’ve not had all that much to show for our few short years on this Earth. Think of it not so much as a desire to get rich, famous and bloated (that just doesn’t happen anymore, folks), but more that there’s great things to be said about making music for the sake of making music and sharing it with people, $$$ not being the primary concern. And finally, think of it not as something to do in your spare time, but realise that being in a band with your best friends, and doing it all you can with it, is the most fun you can have.

Like a strangely poignant reminder of how quickly things get packaged up, consumed and then spat out on to the scrap heap, I stumbled across this blast from the past in the shops the other day. Although having said that, apparently that Dane Bowers guy went on to build himself a successful career on the telly…

image

Strange huh? I bet The Other Guys Out Of Another Level would have a few stories to tell about the importance of enjoying the music-making while it lasts.

See you all soon.

Love

DL x

#3
Saturday 4 May - May Day at the Manor, Catwalk Place, London
Artwork by Katy Christianson

The next edition of our Gig Poster project with Bristol illustrator Katy Christianson - this was a brilliant early summer’s evening at the warehouses just off the Seven Sisters Road

A few days in the life

It’s Sunday night and we’re convalescing back at home, tired and ready to start catching up on those zzzs.. What was meant to be a nod to a close friend’s excellently written Scandinavian travel diary (morkel.tumblr.com, since you ask) has now turned into a sort of outpouring of thoughts on our own much shorter travels and what has been a relatively busy week for the band. We’ve played a couple of shows in a handful of days between London and Bristol, which in itself is hardly the most taxing of touring schedules, but for us is actually pretty good going (!) and a reminder of why we do this.

Nothing quite matches the feeling of getting on that stage with your friends and launching into a set of songs that you’ve finely crafted together over numerous hours together in your basement. It doesn’t matter that the crowd might be small, varying between excited/interested/disinterested/loudly ignorant of what you’re doing, only that you’re up there, determined not to fuck up, and to enjoy the moment for as long as possible before your short time is over. Saturday’s outdoor gig at Bristol Harbour Festival was just like this, a transient crowd of people passing by and relaxing in the stripey deck chairs laid out in front of the stage, almost certainly not there to see us specially, but nonetheless vaguely interested and therefore worth every minute sat on the M4 in a stuffy Megabus coach.

What had started out as a bright, warm day quickly turned as the skies became increasingly dark during the set. A matter of minutes after the last note of Dead Arms, the skies opened and a deluge came down as our soundman Kev quickly rushed forward to move his monitors and power supply back from the edge of the stage. We might not be giving up the day job just yet, but still, we’re pretty lucky.

#2
Saturday 2 April - Start The Bus, Bristol
Artwork by Katy Christianson

#1
Saturday 16 February - The Stags Head, Hoxton, London
Artwork by Katy Christianson

Poster Project 2013

The 2013 Poster Project is a collaboration between Dear Leaders and illustrator Katy Christianson. The project is partly a design challenge - to design a poster for every single Dear Leaders show in a calendar year.

The posters will be commemorative rather than for promotion, and will be released after every show. But the project is also intended to create a unique visual record of all the venues, towns and bands that have been part of a year for a young, independent band in 2013.

We’re going to be launching a new collaborative gig poster project with Bristol illustrator Katy Christianson very soon. Stay tuned