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25 April, 2010

Paul Simpson: Man In A Burning Anorak Vols. 1 and 2

Just a note to let you know that if you head over to The Wild Swans' own website you can purchase two download-only collections of recordings by Paul Simpson.

Man In A Burning Anorak Vol. 1 This was originally available a few years back and comprises studio recordings, demos and curios from various stages of Mr Simpson's storied career.

Man In A Burning Anorak Vol. 2 This is the long-lost, never-completed and certainly never-before-released Paul Simpson solo album, originally entitled The Wickedest Man In The World (whence the track which became the Wild Swans 'b' side of that name), recording at Henry Priestman's Gossamer Dome studio on Anglesey in late summer 2004 with former Wild Swan Ged Quinn on keyboards and Nick Halliwell of The Granite Shore on guitar. Although never completed this is one of those rare cases of a "great lost album" that's actually worth the wait/its weight in gold dust.

Albums are available for a very reasonable £4.99 each, all proceeds will go towards completing the Wild Swans album (and we're reliably informed that it's in the final furlong now...)

03 April, 2010

Forthcoming releases

Over the last few months things may have seemed quiet but I can assure you that behind the scenes it's been anything but. We have a number of projects now approaching fruition so here's a little preview:

IO7DA005 - Jonathan Beckett: She's A Vampire digital EP
This will be a digital download-only EP, three songs, led off by the stunning title track, which really is one hell of a song. Paul Simpson brought Jonathan to our attention because the second song on the EP, 1989, references The Wild Swans. The EP is completed by Between Two Worlds. Full release will be in June but we'll be pre-releasing it via the Occultation shop in May.

RHEA7DA006 - The Granite Shore: Flood of fortune 7" vinyl single
Following on from their debut, Tomorrow morning, 3 a.m., which we released last year, this one is also vast albeit in a very different way. It's a huge, huge pop record, 3 minutes and 40 seconds of grandeur, featuring full (real) string and brass sections and a lyric full of marvels. Release: early June.

[Catalogue no. TBC] - The Distractions: Black Velvet digital EP
Another digital EP, this time from one of Manchester's greatest pop groups. You'll know their classic Factory single Time Goes By So Slow and we hope to be releasing a compilation featuring that and their other earlier recordings later in the year. In the meantime we're putting out 3 tracks recorded by a reformed version of the band featuring both singer Mike Finney (one of THE great pop voices) and guitarist/songwriter Steve Perrin from 1995. Many fans who've heard it feel that lead track Black Velvet is among the finest work they ever recorded and the EP will also feature a new version of Still It Doesn't Ring, which appeared on their 1980 album Nobody's Perfect, plus If You Were Mine, featuring a truly astonishing vocal performance by Mr Finney. Release: summer 2010.

Although the formats are strictly as stated above, there is a possibility that we may have a limited quantity of promo CDs of one or more of these releases and, as we know that some of you like these, we'll try to make some available, keep an eye on the website for details.

Before you ask, work on the Wild Swans album continues apace - you would not believe the amount of work that's going into this. Some snippets of rough mixes from a couple of songs have been posted on the band's MySpace page just to keep you going. We'll be gearing up to release this classic the moment Mr Simpson can be persuaded that his work is done. It's going to be well worth the wait, from what we've heard of it so far.

There are a number of other projects in the pipeline but we'll let you know about those as and when... More details will follow over the next few weeks.