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25 July, 2009

Angels resurrected

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. 

We'd like to thank all the many people who helped to make these such amazing events, and also everyone who came - both nights were packed - and especially those who travelled long distances to be there.  More to follow... Right now we all need to catch our collective breath, which has been taken away.

24 July, 2009

Hark! A Triumph...

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

All tickets for tonight's show at the same venue have gone, although there might be one or two places available on the door, depending on space - if you're planning to come then we'd advise you to get their early. Apart from anything else you really shouldn't miss the captivating set by harpist Rebecca Joy Sharp, she was absolutely magical last night and I'm sure I wasn't alone in that opinion. 

Anyway... We've done it once. Now we're going to do it all again. 

22 July, 2009

Nothing, like something, happens anywhere

So said Philip Larkin and the phrase popped into my head as we were coming up England by a different route (rather than a railway line) yesterday afternoon. However it's definitely something that will be happening tomorrow and Friday nights and it won't be happening just anywhere but at the Static Gallery in Roscoe Lane, Liverpool where the Wild Swans will be performing their first live shows for over twenty years. An Occultation representative (myself) popped in to wish the band well at their rehearsal last night and was treated to the spectacular sight of the Wild Swans in full flight running through their set list. Les Pattinson has fitted in perfectly and he and drummer Steve Beswick make up one hell of a rhythm section, over the top of which comes the twin-guitar assault of Ricky Maymi and Mike Mooney, with Henry Priestman standing in for Ged Quinn on keyboards and doing an incredible job at short notice. As for Mr Simpson, P, well, he clearly knows he's got a real band behind him and is fired-up and firing on all cylinders. I can't, of course, reveal any details of the set list but I can't imagine that any Wild Swans fan could be disappointed as they're representing all the records, from the classic Zoo debut 12" all the way through to the recent - and may I say equally classic? - Occultation 10" including tracks from both Sire albums, plus a taste of what's still to come. Do not make any mistake: this isn't a nostalgia trip, this is a band at the top of its game and not to be missed. 

There are a few tickets left for tomorrow night's gig (see the link to the Wild Swans' own website further down this page) and there might be one or two (but literally no more than that) left for Friday, although they might've gone by now. So if you fancy witnessing a slice of history in both the making and the telling then this is your chance. 

After these two special events the band will be going back into the studio to do some more work on the forthcoming Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years album which we hope to release later this year, although we may well have another single for you before then. There are no plans for any more live dates before Christmas at the earliest so, seriously, don't miss this. I've seen what this new incarnation of the Wild Swans can do in a rehearsal studio, a fairly sterile environment at the best of times. Just wait until we get them onto a stage and in front of an audience. Just over 24 hours to go until we do precisely that. 

Finally we would just like to thank some of the fans who've gone above and beyond the call of duty to be here. There are a couple of people who are travelling from the United States, we had a message from someone else who's coming from Japan and another from Australia as well as a number of people from Europe and from all over the UK. Our own journey up to Merseyside took almost 8 hours for reasons to dull to go into but I feel like a lightweight compared to some of these hero(ine)s. 

We'll report on the shows once we get home early next week. Any orders for records we receive while we're away will be despatched as soon as we get back.

20 July, 2009

Almost upon us...

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

Wild Swans interview in Liverpool Confidential

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...