July Skies will perform at Café Oto, Dalston, London on Saturday 4 June 2016. This will be a 50 minute set in support of Darren Hayman’s Thankful Villages band.
Rocket Girl have pressed the first July Skies album Dreaming of Spires (2001) as a 180gm vinyl LP version.
We had a blast in Rimini! Thanks to all who came, old and new friends, especially Simone, Elisa and Massimo for making it all happen. 24 hours that will never be forgotten. We long to return…….
Epic45 have just released Weathered which is a CD album of reworked tracks from their 2010 LP Weathering. The track I provided vocals, lyrics and clarinet on has been reworked by The Toy Library:
Where’s the boy I used to be, where’s the girl I used to know
Vox Pop is the final release on Make Mine Music featuring many artists across a 13 track compilation. It is now available to stream with a free WAV download and limited CD available from the 16 January 2012.
There are two July Skies contributions on the album. The first is Requiem For A Village, a collaboration between July Skies and epic45, recorded one Sunday evening in Wheaton Aston, 2003. Rob, Ben and I built up guitar and bass parts and I laid down a sketch vocal take with the intention that we could record it again at some point. We gigged the track at The Spitz in London and at the Pop Revo Festival in Denmark as a closing track to the July Skies set. Between then and now, the vocals never were re-recorded, the master tracks got lost (presumably deleted) but a rough mix survived on CDR. We felt that the final MMM release was a good opportunity to dust down the track some eight years later. With a final flurry of recording and mixing by Ben in November and December 2011, at 8.41 minutes in length, Requiem For A Village is now complete. We feel it is a fitting track to end MMM070 marking the closure of Make Mine Music.
There is also a July Skies demo of a song recorded to a cassette in 1998 titled London Girl. It’s about a year in after starting to play guitar when all I had was a cassette recorder to capture ideas. With a bit of improvising I managed to create a primitive two track system by playing the cassette back to another recorder whilst laying down electric guitar on top. This is the sound of very early July Skies as songs started to evolve. It was an exciting time, practising and recording between bedroom and garage. The garage sessions were always much more experimental with the ability to turn up the amp and experiment. The joy of opening the garage door in the summer and playing to the world passing outside.
The cassette kept rolling, capturing ideas and early tracks (Southern Orchards, Swallows and Swifts, Frozen Artic Ice Floes, Wiltshire Skyline, etc). I sent out the occasional track at the end of mix tapes to indie/shoegaze friends made on the Internet as we traded CD/tapes. Listening back, London Girl is definitely influenced by a little known band called Orange Cake Mix, which is a solo project by Jim Rao. It’s worth tracking down his releases Another Orange World, Silver Lining Underwater and Lovecloud and Secret Tape if you like lo-fi experimental pop. He made some lovely lovely music which certainly inspired me at the time. I wonder what he is doing now…..
So there you go, MM070, its over.
Towards 2012 and the release of the A Day In The Country LP
A version of a track from the future long play ep Playgrounds Of The City which was recorded in 2003 and 2004.