18 December, 2009
14 November, 2009
08 November, 2009
07 November, 2009
We realise this has been an expensive month for Wild Swans fans what with the release of the new single and the gig in Liverpool but surely you've been saving up over the last twenty years? If so then there is now a small but highly select range of WS merchandise available over in the Wild Swans Shop on the band's own website. This includes t-shirts, autographed posters from the July gigs and badges.
Everything is of the highest quality and very reasonably-priced. Boarding passes for the deck concert marking the launching of the good ship Liquid Mercury (may God bless her and all who sail her dead cat-bestrewn waters) are still available at the same place, although they are selling quickly, so we're reliably informed by WS HQ.
We've just received the last bits of the Liquid Mercury jigsaw puzzle so we've started making up advance orders. We're hoping to post a few today (Saturday) and then more on Monday and on through the week until they've all gone. As far as possible the first orders placed will be the first to be posted. Please be patient though, as we've had huge demand for this one and we've also got a whole host of combinations (7"s with promo CDs, with 10"s, etc.) so it might take us a few days to get all of the orders out. Still, the good news is that the threatened UK postal strike has been put on hold and so, once the initial backlog caused by the one-off industrial action over the last fortnight has been cleared postal services ought to be back to what passes for normal.
If you've ordered already you will receive an e-mail from us to let you know that your order has been posted.
Can I also offer one final reminder that PayPal, in particular, usually only give us the address to which the card used to pay for the transaction is registered. So if you want your order posting anywhere else you must send us an e-mail with the delivery address, otherwise chances are we won't know and will post it to the address we receive with your order. If you've already ordered I'd suggest you do this quickly...
OK then... We're very pleased with the way Liquid Mercury has come out, the singles look, feel and sound fabulous - we do hope you'll agree.
30 October, 2009
Do remember that we're also doing special prices on our previous two singles so if you missed them or if you only got one of them now's a good time to complete your Occultation collection. Do e-mail us if there's a combination you're interested in that's not shown on the Vinyl Shop page - we couldn't fit everything in without making the page ridiculously long.
Finally we'd really like to thank all the people who've supported us by taking yet another leap of faith and buying this new WS single without hearing it. We really don't think anyone's going to be at all disappointed.
To mark the release of their new single, Liquid Mercury b/w The Wickedest Man In The World (Occultation DIONE7D9003), The Wild Swans have announced that they will be returning to Liverpool's Static Gallery on 11th December 2009. Given that they sold out two nights back in July and that everyone who was privileged to witness those performances agreed that they were an utter triumph, we expect tickets to sell out very quickly indeed.
Tickets are on sale now on the Wild Swans own website here. Seriously, if you saw the shows in July you'll know what kind of a treat you're in for. If you didn't then you really will not want to miss out. Static is a wonderful venue and allows the Swans to create an atmosphere all of their own. Last time this was a village fête kind of ambience although no doubt it'll be something different in December.
25 October, 2009
We expect the LM vinyl to be delivered to us during the first week of November, if there are no unforeseen delays and we'll then begin posting them out as quickly as we can and early orders will go first.
All orders direct from us do, as usual, come with free high-quality (320kbps) MP3 files which we'll send out as soon as we've processed your order. We do this as quickly as we can but please be patient as we've been swamped this weekend.
Finally, please, please, pretty please... If you want your records delivering to an address other than the one to which your card or PayPal account is registered you need to send us an e-mail telling us this. PayPal, in particular, usually only give us the registered address, so that's where we'll send things unless you tell us otherwise.
OK, now you've read that, the Occultation Shop is here.
17 October, 2009
02 October, 2009
10 September, 2009
More news on this to follow as soon as we get it.
25 July, 2009
Last night the Wild Swans performed the second of their two historic shows at Static Gallery in Liverpool. If Thursday was an unbelievably emotional occasion, then last night was extraordinary in a different way. The band were, if anything, even tighter than the previous night, brimming with confidence, and tore through their set as through driven by the furies. Again, there were too many highlights to pick them all out, but a special mention has to go to the current single, English Electric Lightning performed with the whole audience singing (quite literally) from the same hymn-sheet.
24 July, 2009
Last night at the Static Gallery in Liverpool The Wild Swans played an absolutely stunning set to a packed house. Opening with Bible Dreams and then a storming Archangels both from the Bringing Home The Ashes album, they swaggered through a set that held the audience rapt throughout, covering all stages of the band's illustrious (albeit somewhat wayward) career, from both sides of the classic Zoo debut single, The Revolutionary Spirit/God Forbid through to both sides of the current Occultation 10" English Electric Lightning/The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years and taking in material from the two late 80s Sire albums. From a personal point of view it was the stately majesty of No Bleeding that gave me goosebumps but there were too many high points to mention them all. This is a band at the very top of its game. After ending the set with the grandeur of Rev Spirit the band returned augmented by Will Sergeant, in a three-pronged guitar attack, to tear their way through Melting Blue Delicious, Bringing Home The Ashes and a rousing Tangerine Temple.
22 July, 2009
20 July, 2009
Just a reminder that the historic Wild Swans shows at Static Gallery in Liverpool are at the end of this week. We'll be travelling up to Liverpool for the event tomorrow (Tuesday 21st July 2009) so please note that any orders received this week will be despatched on our return next week. There are a very small number of tickets left, at least, I know there are a few for the Thursday night, I think the Friday is either sold out or on the brink of it. So if you're hoping to come do avoid disappointment... This is going to be really special stuff.
04 July, 2009
There is an extensive interview with Paul Simpson of The Wild Swans in the latest Liverpool Confidential, which can be read here. In it Paul talks about preparing for the forthcoming two shows at Static Gallery, which are now less than three weeks away. If you're thinking of going but haven't yet booked your tickets then seriously, don't hang around; the last we heard from the Wild Swans camp was that the Friday night was fairly close to selling out – and that was before this interview in a publication with a huge circulation was published. There are still tickets left for the Thursday night, I believe but again, you'd be strongly advised to book now rather than wait. These are the only two currently scheduled performances by the band, although there are rumours of perhaps one more UK show plus one Paris show around Christmas – however we must stress that these latter aren't confirmed.
After these shows The Wild Swans will be heading into the studio to continue work on the forthcoming The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years which we (i.e. Occultation Recordings) hope to release later this year.
In other news, also relating to the events (and they will most definitely be events) at Static, there was a piece on Rebecca Joy Sharp, who will also be making a special guest appearance on 23rd and 24th July, in the Liverpool Daily Post the other day, which you can read by clicking here.
We've had quite a few enquiries about merchandising for these events so... First of all we must stress that these shows are being organised by The Wild Swans, not by Occultation (although we wouldn't miss them for the world, of course) and so we're not the ones arranging this side of things. However the information we've been given is that there will be a range of high-quality merchandise on sale on both nights. There will be t-shirts, button badges, we heard some mention of posters and there's also now talk of printed matter in the form of an account by Cmdr Simpson of his thoughts on and preparations for these, his first performances as a vocalist in two decades. Oh and he swears that he won't be wearing the jodhpurs he was threatening to sport which, by all accounts, is good news for all concerned. If there is any merchandise remaining after the shows then it'll be made available on a strictly first-come, first-served basis online and we'll try and get some for the Occultation Shop. However we can't make any promises, if we do have any then quantities will be very limited.
We'll keep you posted if there's any more news about the event over the next fortnight or so. Not long to wait now...
10 June, 2009
BBC Radio Merseyside reviewed The Wild Swans' English Electric Lightning as part of Spencer Leigh's Juke Box Jury on his On The Beat show on Saturday 6th July. The verdict can be heard at link http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0038kqt/On_the_Beat_06_06_2009 (The review is in the final half hour of the show – link will be live until Saturday 13th June)
One of the 'Jury' was photographer and friend of The Wild Swans, Francesco Mellina. His excellent exhibition of photographs entitled "Sound and Vision" is on at the National Museum's Liverpool Conservation Centre until 31st August 2009. The exhibition includes an early photo of The Wild Swans from 1981 and is well worth a visit.
09 June, 2009
The Wild Swans have just announced that they'll be joined at their two special events in Liverpool on 23rd and 24th July 2009 by former Echo and the Bunnymen bassist Les Pattinson. This ends some (admittedly fairly wild) speculation as to who will be holding down those low notes. Also performing a set at the events will be harpist Rebecca Joy Sharp.
31 May, 2009
Just a quick update on the two nights that The Wild Swans are playing in Liverpool at the end of July (see previous news item below). Tickets have been selling at an exceedingly brisk pace and we're told that quite a lot of people are coming on both nights. A few people have been asking us about merchandise and, although these events aren't being organised by Occultation but by The Wild Swans camp themselves, we enquired and were told that there are plans for at least some items, although as always the emphasis will be on quality rather than quantity. So there should be t-shirts, a selection of badges, possibly posters and perhaps – just perhaps – there might be something exclusive and extremely limited made exclusively for these events. Then naturally copies of both Occultation singles will be available and there'll hopefully be an opportunity for anyone who wants to get their copies signed by other members of the band to gain satisfaction in this respect.
No, before you ask, we don't know exactly what the band's set-list will comprise but usually reliable sources close to the band have been hinting that, as well as a number of tracks from the forthcoming album The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years which Occultation hope to release later this year, they'll be performing a number of classics drawn both from the early Revolutionary Spirit period covered by Renascent's excellent Incandescent double CD set and from the Sire era that spawned the two superlative albums collected with 'b' sides and demos on the Korova Magnitude double a couple of years ago. We did also hear a rumour that there might be "the odd surprise" as well. Not entirely sure what that might mean...
Anyway, if there's anyone out there who's thinking of going to these very special events and hasn't yet booked their tickets then we'd very seriously advise you not to wait too long. Although we do hope that there'll be more Wild Swans performances to follow, given the kind of organisational work that's involved it's unlikely that these will be frequent. Remember, this is a band whose whole career – if you can call it that – has been about taking what Robert Frost called "the road less travelled by" so don't expect them to turn up in a tent of whatever size in a field somewhere or other any time this summer. See them now, when they're absolutely on fire, or forever grind your teeth.
21 May, 2009
Some exciting news just in from the Wild Swans camp:
The Wild Swans – Live in Liverpool Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th July 2009
The waiting is over. After a 21-year absence, The Wild Swans will play two exclusive gigs at Static Gallery, Roscoe Lane in Liverpool on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th July 2009.
Static is a small, intimate venue and as such tickets are limited to 200 for each night which will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are available for sale now at £15.00 each from:
This will be a very, very special event at which the band will showcase songs from their forthcoming album The Coldest Winter for a Hundred Years and play classics from their repertoire.
08 May, 2009
We've got to go away for a couple of days this weekend – I will take a computer with me so will check in for any orders and send out links to MP3s when I can. Back on Tuesday evening in any case and vinyl orders will be sent out next week as normal. But if you do place an order and don't get your MP3 links immediately don't worry, they will arrive.
Incidentally, we hope to have some fairly exciting Wild Swans-related news to announce before too much longer... Not allowed to say any more than that at the moment.
02 May, 2009
The new issue of MOJO magazine (no. 187, June 2009) features a piece on the Wild Swans in the "Working" section, which covers albums that are currently in various pipelines. We hope to release The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years on Occultation later this year.
There's a scan of the article on the Press page but the full text is reproduced below:
The Wild Swans
Title: The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years
Producer: The Wild Swans
Release date: TBC
Songs: Dark Times, English Electric Lightning, The Wickedest Man In The World
The Buzz: "It's my greatest regret that the original Wild Swans broke up," says Paul Simpson, creative force behind the band, whose Revolutionary Spirit was one of the great songs of early '80s Liverpool. "So this is unfinished business for me." Sticking to their incandescent, heroic sound of yore, the album's being recorded on Anglesey and at Liverpool's Parr Street studios with original keyboardist Gerard Quinn, and new members Mike Mooney and Ricky Maymi. "Up until now it's been about memory, but the political content's been upped," says Simpson. "I'm sick of music that doesn't have much emotional content."
29 April, 2009
Both Occultation singles saw their worldwide digital release via Believe this week. They're certainly available via iTunes, and eMusic in the UK and Amazon Digital in most countries (definitely the UK and the US as we've checked). Do let us know if you spot them anywhere else...
10 April, 2009
There's a nice photo of our singles here on Alistair Fitchett's ever-excellent Unpopular site and Alistair informs us that he'll also be playing the Granite Shore single, Tomorrow morning, 3 a.m. on a podcast he's working on at the moment. More details on that as soon as we get them.
09 April, 2009
Occultation Recordings are proud to announce official release dates for the first two singles.
Digital download (distributed by Believe): 26th April 2009
Both singles will be available from all the major digital retailers such as iTunes, 7digital, eMusic, Amazon Digital, etc. etc.
Physical UK release (distributed by Cargo): 18th May 2009.
In the meantime copies are only available direct from the Occultation Shop. While stocks last, all copies of the Wild Swans single purchased from us will be signed.
26 March, 2009
The latest issue of UK music magazine MOJO (Issue 186, dated May 2009) features a piece on The Wild Swans' English Electric Lightning single in "The MOJO Playlist – MOJO's Top 10. It reads as follows:
"ENGLISH ELECTRIC LIGHTNING THE WILD SWANS
Paul Simpson reconvenes Mersey post-punks The Wild Swans to epically hymn the magic and rubbish of our island home. On the flip is a moving, Proustian memoir of the Liverpool scene of the early '80s.
Find it: 10-inch single (OCCULTATION)".
24 March, 2009
21 March, 2009
This has been quite a week...
The first two Occultation singles, The Wild Swans' English Electric Lightning and The Granite Shore's Tomorrow morning 3 a.m. arrived at Occultation HQ on Tuesday morning. We then had a marathon numbering and signing session which went on late into the night and then we started processing orders on Wednesday. We managed to get a first batch into the post on Thursday and some people in the UK received these on Friday morning – hopefully those sent to Europe and the rest of the World should start arriving very soon. We decided that, because so many people had ordered so far in advance (almost 3 weeks in some cases), we'd send all advance orders out by First Class post even though this costs us a lot more than the P&P we've charged, but we wanted to say a big "thank you" for your support.
We got a lot more orders out yesterday (20/3/09) then did several more trips to the Post Office today and the result is that we've now posted all orders placed over the first 3 days of advance ordering (up to 1st March 2009) plus quite a lot of later orders. We expect to send all remaining orders out on Monday and we'll send all advance orders First Class. We also decided to use two protective stiffeners on all orders because we didn't want to risk the possibility of records being damaged in transit. So we're doing everything we can to try and make sure that your records reach you in perfect condition.
We'd be grateful if you can let us know when you receive your orders as it's very useful to us to know how long it takes and whether posting First Class really does make a difference. Quite a lot of people have already done this and we'd like to thank them. It's been extremely pleasing to hear that so many of them are so impressed by how beautiful these records are as artefacts. We've worked extremely hard over the last few months to try and make them as gorgeous as we possibly could. As Paul Simpson of The Wild Swans noted on this blog entry on his MySpace page, we've spent an absolute fortune making these and we actually expect to make a loss on them, at least initially. We'd always wondered why so few people release records in 10" format – now we know it's because a 10" single costs considerably more to manufacture than a whole vinyl LP. But we decided we wouldn't let that put us off because... they may be expensive but they are utterly stunning and we have kept the price as low as we possibly can, especially for those of you who've supported us by buying both of our first two releases together.
Anyway, thanks again to those people who've contacted us with such kind words about the records – do let us know what you think.
For now these singles will remain available only from the Occultation Shop although there will be a full national UK release for the vinyl in a few weeks and also a full digital release via the usual channels later in April. We're already making plans for the third Occultation release, which will be another single by The Wild Swans, which we hope will be recorded in early April. Then a second Granite Shore record will follow probably in the summer and work on albums by both artists will be going on over the next few months.
We're hoping that we might get a bit of press and some radio airplay over the next few weeks. If anyone out there happens to hear either of our singles on the radio anywhere or sees anything in newspapers or magazines, we'd be grateful if you could drop us a line.
We're enormously proud of both of our first two releases, we think that English Electric Lightning is The Wild Swans' finest record since The Revolutionary Spirit in 1982 and that rarely can a group ever have come back with such a strong record. As for the 'b' side, The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years... well, it's simply an extraordinary evocation of time, place, friendship and loss. Oh and low temperature. It was very cold that year. The Granite Shore's Tomorrow morning, 3 a.m. is that rare beast, a narrative epic that works. These two records are very, very different, but they're both breathtakingly ambitious, reaching for the moons. Why settle for less?
19 March, 2009
We've now taken delivery of both Occultation singles so we're starting to process advance orders. We hope to get a few in the post today (Thursday 19th March) and then a larger number tomorrow. We'll be shipping all advance orders within the next few days but please bear with us – there are rather a lot to process and we do need to pack them all as securely as we can so that they reach you in perfect condition so we're not going to rush this. Thanks for your patience.
13 March, 2009
February 2009: Occultation Recordings are proud to announce the simultaneous release of two deluxe limited edition 10" vinyl singles with artwork by Ged Quinn.
26/2/09: Paul Simpson of The Wild Swans will be interviewed on The Pool with Dave Monks on BBC Radio Merseyside at 8-10 p.m. GMT this Sunday (1st March 2009). It should be possible to hear the programme online, click here to go to the BBC page and then choose "Listen Live" or else use the "Listen Again" service, BBC programmes are usually available for a week after broadcast.
28/2/09: the Occultation Shop is now accepting advance orders either for the two singles or for 320kbps MP3s of the tracks (these come free with initial orders for the vinyl versions). If there are any problems or questions please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read the information on the Shopfront page before purchasing.
3/3/09: We've taken significant advance orders for both singles over the last few days and all MP3s have been placed on our servers. However please note that we've had so much demand that download times may be slow at times so please be patient and keep trying... If you've not yet ordered then we'd strongly recommend not waiting too long because these 10"s aren't going to be around very long.