Fosca’s Last Photos

I’ll write a proper entry when I’m back from the last Night Shift of the week. Till then, here’s a couple of photos from last night’s Last Fosca Gig taken by Jennifer Denitto.

I do like this blurry Francis Bacon type number. Scarily beautiful, or beautifully scary, or both:

Here’s a more realistic rendering of me, Charley S and Kate D. Kate is playing my cherry red Gibson SG. It’s a left handed model strung backwards, because I originally learned to play by borrowing my brother’s normal right-handed instrument, and just turning it upside down. I never learned to play the proper way. Kate’s a right-handed player, so she’s turned my guitar upside down in order to play the strings the right way up. Confused and proud at every level.


A Bad Freddie For A Happy Charley

A last reminder: I’m playing my last ever UK gig with Fosca this Saturday. Line up is myself, Rachel Stevenson, Charley Stone, Kate Dornan and Tom Edwards.

Here’s the details:

Date: Sat Dec 13th
Venue: Bar Academy, 16 Parkfield St, N1 Centre, Islington, London.
Tube: Angel
Club night: Feeling Gloomy
Doors: 8.30pm.
Fosca onstage: 10.15pm-10.55pm.
Admission: £6 on the door.

We’ll also be selling copies of the new 7″ single, ‘The Man I’m Not Today’. It’s been given a nice review by Alternative Ulster magazine here.


Any news on when the single will be available in digital format?

If you order the vinyl online, you should be emailed a code to download the two songs as free MP3s. I see But Is It Art haven’t released a stand-alone digital version yet, but presumably it’ll happen soon.

Thanks for writing your inspiring and great diary. It always makes me smile and it helps me improve my English at the same time… By the way: will you ever perform in The Netherlands?

I’m retiring from indiepop stages for now, but am still keen to perform doing something or other. Maybe something along spoken word lines, or readings, or talks.  I’m going to get voice lessons first, though.


Mon and Weds this week: rehearsing with Fosca as a five piece. On Monday we use Fortress Studios in Old Street, which has a fantastic room – large, clean, sensible, civilised, everything works. Not too blokey, not too Rock. Even better, there’s a secret bar tucked away upstairs, dimly lit with friendly bohemian types loafing about. If I ever need to book a rehearsal room again, this will be the one.

Weds evening is Bona Fide Studios in Curtain Road. A bit more of a return to the typical rehearsal room set up: graffiti on the walls, battered equipment. But it all works okay – Kate Dornan takes sound engineer duties for both rehearsals, for which relief I’m much thankful.

The five-piece Fosca line-up sounds fantastic, with Tom playing Thin Lizzy-type guitar harmonies against Charley’s lead guitar, though I’m careful to respectfully request Not Too Much Rock, Please.

Charley is exhausted and miserable at the start of the Weds session, but cheers up when my mic stand comes apart and I strut around with half a stand a la Freddie Mercury. I even badly attempt that ‘Day-oh!’ improv from Queen At Live Aid purely to please her, much to my own utter crushing embarrassment. Still, it makes Charley happy, which makes me happy.

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In Berlin

Am in the Cafe Royal venue in Berlin, having soundchecked very quietly indeed. Something about not annoying the neighbours. Just went to the toilets only to be confronted with a huge poster of my face – the gig’s advert.

In the brief hour to ourselves, Boy H and I went to look at the Brandenburg Gate, and the recent holocaust memorials nearby: Jewish (the enormous maze of stone blocks that shifts and changes as you walk inside), and homosexual (a single cube screening a looped film of two men kissing).

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Once More Unto The Soundcheck

(The Blockquote button in WordPress is really very awkward to use. I just want to indent a paragraph so it looks like a quote from an email. But highlighting the text and pressing the button just chews up the entire entry, moving bits of text all over the place. Italics seem to be a less anxiety-inducing option. Any advice from WordPress users out there?.)

From the mail box:

Dear Mr Edwards, regarding the new single… can we have MP3 versions of the new songs too? I have dutifully ordered the single, but it would be nice to round off my ipod’s fosca playlist with the new songs.

I’m told the songs will also be available to download via iTunes and KlickTrack, from December 5th.

I’ve also suggested to the record label that they provide free mp3 versions to those who buy the vinyl. They say it’s not as easy to automate on the website as it might sound, but that they’re looking into it. Something to do with getting a password…

Oh, and the vinyl is limited to 300 copies.

We were rehearsing the new single in Rooz Studios, Old Street last night, so all being well we’ll play the songs on this Extended Farewell Tour. I might actually learn the lyrics, too.

The lyrics to ‘My Diogenes Heart’ were written on a sheet of hotel notepaper earlier this year. The Crystal Plaza, Stockholm, to be precise – their logo sits prettily at the top of the page. Charley thinks I should sign it and put it up for winning in a competition. Maybe on the next Swedish tour…

Speaking of which, returning to Sweden one last time now looks like a probability. Plans are being drawn, pins stuck in calendars in early 2009… We’re looking at Stockholm and Gothenburg, obviously, but also Uppsala, Malmö, Norrköping, Linköping and Jönköping. That’s a whole lot of coping (sorry).

Dear Mr. Edwards,
I am sitting in my living room listening to “The painted side of the rocket”. An exceptional album I must say. I just want you to know that it would mean the world to me, and other Swedish Fosca fans, if you came here! Know that you do have a fan base here… And the other thing I wanted to say, is that if you really do
come here, and if you have any influence, please try and make it accessible for people under 18 too?

Hopefully we’ll be playing some sort of instore gig in Stockholm, where there won’t be any age restriction.

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Waggish Froth

Good to see Taylor Parkes is writing about music again, even if he does think ‘waggish froth’ is a bad thing.

Speaking of which, Fosca have a new single out. Just one more. It’s called ‘The Man I’m Not Today’ and comes backed with ‘My Diogenes Heart’. Available on vinyl only from the But Is It Art website.

Funny how as we’re winding up the band, we keep doing new things for the very first (and last) time. This is our first time on vinyl. We’re also playing Germany for the first time, just like we played Spain for the first time a few months ago. Then we’re performing in Islington with a five-piece line up that’s never played before and probably won’t play again: me, Rachel Stevenson, Charley Stone, Kate Dornan and Tom Edwards. It’s our last UK gig ever.


Friday December 5th: Hamburg –  Astra Stube.

Saturday December 6th: Berlin –  Cafe-Royal.

Saturday December 13th: Islington, London – Feeling Gloomy club at Bar Academy.

There’s a possibility of us extending this faltering farewell tour to include Sweden one more time in early 2009. And perhaps Finland too. And then that really WILL be it for Fosca. Best to go out while I’m still passingly pretty, in a certain light:


Sequined Vodka Tales

A Fosca London gig announcement. Oh yes!

It’s the much-threatened Fosca Farewell show. Saturday December 13th at Feeling Gloomy, Bar Academy, Islington. Stage times to come.

The line-up will a five-piece, three-guitar and two synths (plus laptop) assault: Rachel S, Kate D, Tom E, Charley S and myself.


Two DJ gigs of mine, at somewhat shorter notice.

I’m DJ-ing on Sat Sept 20th, at a plush dress-up event called The Magic Theatre. This takes place in an Art Deco ballroom in Bloomsbury. Here’s what their website says about the dress code:

“Ladies: The perfect place for all you Cinderellas and Style Queens, Pink Princesses and Leggy Latex Babes… Audrey Hepburns and Barbarellas, TV’s, Saucy Secretaries and Rock Chicks…Whether you’re a Goth Girl, Dowager, French Maid or Precocious Teen Queen, Marie Antoinette, or Marilyn Monroe, the Magic Theatre is YOUR stage. Gentlemen: Retro Glamour, Uniforms, Lounge Lizards, Gentlemen of the Cloth, Fauns, B-Movie Stars, Prince Charmings, Pirates and Dandies of all kinds…Arise, Sir Galahad, kneel before Zod, come out, come out you Peter Pans, Dick Turpins and Darcys…”

I’ll be doing two DJ sets between 8.30pm and 11.30pm. Ticket details at


I’m also putting in a brief DJ appearance at The Beautiful & Damned on Thursday 18th, at The Boogaloo (near Highgate Tube). Martin White & The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra will also be playing. The B&D isn’t ‘my’ club any more, as I’m forever correcting people, but it’s still going strong under the auspices of Miss Red and The Boogaloo team. They’ve reinvented it into a kind of cabaret / club night / music hall booth affair. It’s great to see unwitting Highgate pub goers wander in off the street, and wonder just what weird, time-hopping universe they’ve stepped into. Part Red Room in ‘Twin Peaks’, part Sapphire & Steel…

Back to the diary.

Wednesday evening: to Trash Palace in Wardour Street, for a club night called ‘Polari’. It includes Jamie McLeod’s exhibition of modern dandies, which in turn includes me. Always nice to swan into a club to see a large framed photograph of oneself on the wall. The club also supplies free quiche.

On this occasion, special guest Sebastian Horsley takes the mic, and prowls and provokes and reads from his book, to a packed and appreciative crowd. Including his mother. He’s in his red sequined suit and brandishes a matching sequined bottle of vodka. Well, a sequined bottle cosy.

I say hello to David Benson, Anne Pigalle, Jason Atomic and Ms Ruta, and meet Clayton Littlewood, author of the ‘Soho Stories’ column in the London Paper. The window by his writing desk (or rather,  laptop perch) looked out from the clothes shop he worked at, Dirty White Boy in Old Compton Street. A particularly good spot in London to watch people and gather (or imagine) stories: Soho media types, the famous, the homeless, the vicious queens, the prostitutes, the tourists, the tramps, the old survivors, the new blood. He’s put together a book version: ‘Dirty White Boy: Tales Of Soho’, which I’m rather looking foward to.

More details at his MySpace page, with excerpts, readings and so on:

After Polari, Mr Benson takes myself, Mr H, Mr L and his friend Ms Lois for dinner at one of the Chinese restaurants in Gerrard Street. Sebastian invites me to an orgy on Friday. I politely decline. I’ll be busy playing indiepop songs in Madrid. Many of which are about, well, not going to orgies.

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Mr Edwards ‘Chills Out’.

As proof you never know who’s reading, and that one must be careful in a public diary when naming times and places as well as names, I’ve received an email from a chap from the band Red Atlas, regarding my previous grumpy entry. They want to know if it was them I was referring to as The Most Awful Band In The History Of Humanity, playing too loudly in the rehearsal room next door:

I too was rehearsing at Audio Underground on Monday in the uncoveted 7-10pm spot. I’m hoping that the aforementioned Most Awful Band In Humanity next door were the fifty strong thrash rockers who peppered the evening with chirrupping “rock and roll”s and squawling twin guitar salvos – with the doors open yet! – and not our own resolutely British Pop Stuff.

Oh yes, it was definitely a thrash rock outfit. Or perhaps they called themselves ‘Sludge Metal’, a term I saw in a ‘Drummer Wanted’ ad on the studio noticeboard. Charming description: I’ll take two!

But I was more bemoaning the seemingly eternal rule of rehearsal room life: that the band next door will always be (a) too loud despite soundproofing, and (b) play the most unlovely sound in the world.

That said, it’s funny how even a sound you might quite like to hear leaking out through the walls – say, ‘Elizabethan Serenade’ by Eric Coates – is unfailingly rendered unpleasant by the process. Loud music from next door is just always unwelcome, regardless.

Actually, my upstairs neighbour plays loud 1920s Ivor Novello-type records, but as the recordings from that era all have zero ‘bass end’, the sound hardly makes it through the ceiling at all. Very considerate of him.

On the bus home last night, a Young Person was playing some loud music from their phone’s speaker – a recent common annoyance which I persuade myself to not mind by remembering the cassette-playing ‘Ghetto Blasters’ of the 80s. They were far, far worse. From the 90s till about two years ago, there was a gap between the ghetto blasters going out of fashion (with the switch to CDs) and the new phone variety coming in. So there’s been a whole generation of youths who actually didn’t play loud music on public transport, purely because there wasn’t a desirable gadget around at the time with which to do so. Portable CD players were just too mumsy, I suppose: one associates them with aerobics classes.

The phone music in this case was modern hip-hop, rather than ‘Elizabethan Serenade’ or Ivor Novello, disappointingly enough. Actually, I have heard Morrissey songs blaring out from an open topped sports car on the Archway Road, which I suppose is about halfway there.

Here’s ‘Elizabethan Serenade’ on YouTube. Whenever there’s a gang of angry bears at my door, demanding they come in and eat my face while delivering a credit card bill, it’s a perfect piece of music to reach for:

There. All better.