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Early Autumn Newsletter 2017
The website has been a little neglected during recent times, I know.
Paul Wilkinson, Steve Dix and I have discussed this. My own opinion, is
that although a lot of the action has gone onto ArseBook.. which is fun,
it may not be perfect, I've found it a good platform for an irregular
blog, a place to mount tracks, pics and vids and a quick way of filling
people in with breaking news. It's great but there are still things bothering
me about it. 1) It excludes people who aren't FB members. 2) I don't like
the idea of it being my chief or only platform.
RECORDS: Well the really big news is that CapturedTracks are licensing the Greatest Living Englishman album from Cherry Red who own it. The lovely Pamela doyenne at CT Central says a release date in mid-late January is likely. I'm really pleased about this, because we've been getting loads of enquiries about it. Whether I like it or not, despite my Godfather of Lo-Fi status etc etc, many people think that GLE is my best album., so I'm not gonna fight that. A lot of people think that Skylarking is XTC's best, but as a fond fan I'd definitely argue with that. There are several others more dear to me.
As for my Lo Fi Musical. STAR CAFE Captured Tracks have been delivered
the master now. As it comes to 18 tracks (plus possible extras!) Mike,
the grand Wazir at CT reckons it'll be coming out as a download / CD.
The Spring Newsletter (2017 Pt 2)
Worth mentioning too, that on Sat May 27th I'm doing my one man show at the Congregational Church. It's an afternoon show. Wivenhoe High Street. Doors open 2.30. Show runs from 3.00pm till 5.00.
The very next afternoon on Sun 28th May, I'm special guest at Jonno Cassons' Warm and Toasty Club. Colchester Arts Centre, whioch is a type of centre in Colchester for the arts. You know what to do.
Oooh and ghastly but not beastly. There'll be a number of cassette offers and stuff coming up soon. For now, however, those who want cassettes of old Cleaners, Trolleys and Lizards: I found a few handfuls of Burger Records repro cassettes. Exactly the same as the originals, on better quality cassettes, same covers (taken from masters). Check out Cleaners from Venus Bandcamp. Burger only ever pressed 250 of each cassette, so if that's your thing get them, while we have them.
The Newell's Early 2017 Newellsletter
Harissa to you all!
Not much in the way of gig news, although between May 20th and June 30th, there will be a number of Literature and Music Festivals which I'll be doing with The Hosepipe Band. News on them nearer the time. Speaking of which, The Green Children by the Hosepipe Band and myself, recorded and produced by Nelson, also in the band is now out on CD. It really is bloody good. Check this link out, or have a sneaky listen on Bandcamp, if you don't believe me. Hand printed and hand bound books, each with an original James Doods print are available from Jardine Press
Remember The Stray Trolleys? My pre - Cleaners from Venus power-pop band? Well the big story of last autumn was of engineer from that era, David Hoser, turning up the orginal masters from all the Barricades and Angels sessions! As a result, Captured Tracks Records of Brooklyn will be releasing the polished up, (remastered by Josh Bonati) results on 20th Jan. Wow! Copious sleeve notes will be included, along with photos from (1980) that we didn't even know existed and well...I was just so excited that I had to sit down in the medical room for 10 minutes and have a spoonful of Coffee Mate while a woman watched over me.
In late April (ish) this year, Captured Tracks will also be releasing You've Never Had It So Good a curated Best of the Cleaners from Venus 1981-1990. for people who may have been wavering on the brink of acually buying something but were daunted by exactly where to start with Cap Tracks' now 15-album catalogue (Can you believe that?)
As of a few minutes ago, Martin Newell is no longer a Re Releases Artiste for the US label. I now join Mac Demarco, Wild Nothing and other luminaries as a solo artiste on Captured Tracks' Current Artiste Roster. So look out for Teatime Assortment Part 2 in the autumn. No I haven't put it together, yet.
Meanwhile, back in Blighty, Soft Bodies Records continue to steward all the newer Cleaners from Venus stuff in its original form, as well as quite a few oddities and one-offs They are becoming one of the UK's more interesting electro and experimental outlets, with just a hint of gothery in there. So Do check them out.
This brings me to the really exciting news, for 2017. Thanks to John at Soft Bodies I am finally back at work on the long-neglected second part of my rock memoir, This Little Ziggy. It may well be called Shelter From The Norm unless we call it something else. This volume will cover 1976 to 1990, basically the adventures of the Cleaners from Venus. The publishers are a very modern bunch of literary buccaneers called UNBOUND. You may have heard of them. They're famous for their crowdfunding exploits. You'll be getting regular bulletins on this from now on. Keep an eye out.
Lastly: The New Album. This is actually an Indie Rock musical I'm working on. Indie-Rella if you like. I have the story, the plot, four finished songs, another four under construction and at least a further dozen planned. Even if this project never makes the stage, it will definitely be the next album. An album of songs based round one story. It's closer to the Kinks Arthur than The Who's Tommy. They're the only clues I'm giving away at present. I hope to have it finished ready for the autumn.
But that's enough for now. Tonight we ride!
Summer Newellsletter 2016
Festival of Ideas/ Friday 7th October / The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds. 7.39 pm onwards with Ross Sutherland and Youngish Luke Wright.
Christmas with Johnny, Martin, Ross and Youngish Luke Wright 17th December, Colchester Tarts Centre/ usual drill.
Now you may be harumphing " Not many gigs." The truth is that
there may well be more to come, but I don't yet have confirmations.
The Stray Trolleys My first ever d.i.y cassette album (1980) is currently being remastered, polished, fitted for a strapless, backless prom gown and shoved right back out onto the dancefloor by Captured Tracks! We think it may be coming out on all formats in late autumn/ early winter. but for sure it's coming out. The best thing of all is that I got in touch with Dave Hoser in whose studio we recorded it and he found us some First generation digitised masters! So it's going to sound the best it ever did. As well as the original 13 tracks there's a brilliantly-restored extra track : Mrs Killer. Oh And Dave found us a lot of monochrome pics as well. I'm really excited about this one.
Those wacky boys at Burger Records of Ca. meanwhile, have about 250 of the repro Stray Trolleys cassettes, by the way, for cassette purists. But when they're gone, they';re gone.
So that's three albums out, all probably before Christmas.
The next project is A Mule TV Christmas Special, which I'm scripting and storyboarding right now. Filming starts at the end of this month. There'll be all your favourite characters Old Mr Mule, Prof Janine Tempest, Klaus Barbidol, Ted Jarvis, Bernard Ogg-Vorbis and more...
This is a lot of stuff. So what with records and filming and everything else, there will be few gigs and books for a while. But more news soon.
So for now, I wish you all Gjetost!
Martin the Newell
EXCELLENT **** 90 Minute Inteview and Muisic With Tythe Music on SohoRadio*****
The New Oddcasts.
NEW Podcast for February 2016 enjoy!
NEW Podcast for March 1st 2016 enjoy!
Not Quite Spring Yet, Newsletter
IN AUGUST...Captured Tracks of Brooklyn with be bringing
OVER IN CASSETTE WORLD meanwhile. Those loveable oxide recidvists at Burger will be bringing out small ( 250) cassette runs of (blimey) Stray Trolleys, Return to Bohemia and I think, the aforementioned 9 track Brotherhood of Lizards cassette with its original sleeve.
SOFT BODIES RECORDS will, natcho, be having first dibs
on the new Cleaners, when it's done. I imagine we'll aim it at late summer/early
autumn. Johnny tells me that all Newell related ear-ections continue to
stick up tumescently well in the monthly sales graphs. You should check
Soft Bodies out on their website, by the way, they're doing some pretty
interesting things. Jodie and Melody, aka Petunia Liebling McPumpkin (giggity!)
having made my Denmark Street vid last year have now made another one
with Bill Mumy. It's pretty good too. Link below.
Hosepipe Band August 11 Broadstairs
Now let's have those Newell solo gigs so far.
EYE EYE CAPTAIN (1)
AYE AYE CAPTAIN (2)
............................................................................................................................................................Martin the Newell
Happy Newell Year.
LINKS YOU NEED
ROSE OF THE LANES from Soft Bodies Records
"All summer he'd been scouring the countryside around
the crash scene for the broken components of what had once been The Martin
Newell. Now, on this slightly chilly morning, he stood there surveying
his handiwork. He regarded the battered wings, the bullet-scarred ailerons,
and its newly-repaired struts as one of the engineers shouted "Contact!"
The propellor seemed to hesitate for a second before rotating and gathering
revs as the engine sputtered reluctantly into life. He watched it taxi
down the airfield, lurching uncertainly as it gathered speed, finally
taking off like a wounded pigeon. As it climbed slowly but steadily upwards,
a few shards of sunlight broke through the mist, revealing, in all its
Videos and Films
Soft Bodies have produced a vi among vids of Denmark St. It's already up. Ms Yvette Paxinos, a go-ahead vivacious young Aussie director and her crew have been working for some weeks on what may yet be the definitive documentary of me and life. We've shot about 10 minutes so far, she reckons. There'll be a trailer some time before Christmas we hope.
LIVE: Music-Sunday 27th September 2015 ....Brighton...
A Golden Afternoon style show. We're spoiling you.
WEBSITE EXCLUSIVE OFFER
(Please email Martin at martin at martinewell.co.uk to say you've paid. He will send you the download link. If link to paypal fails, please email Martin.)
thought I'd take a gentle stroll along old Colchester's dark side...”
SIX SUNDAY WALKS with author MARTIN NEWELL
June 14 +28th July 12 + 26th Aug 9 +30th
From Firstsite Gallery 10 am-11.30 am
Bookings £5.00: email@example.com
or Tel 01206- 577067
Because history isn't always just history. Sometimes it's psychogeography...
When I woke up, she was standing over by the louvre window in a black silk
gown. The gown gave up trying to cling to her skinny form and slid off her,
curling up at her feet like a sleeping cat. “Considering how brilliant
you were onstage last night,” she said, “You were pretty average
in the sack.” I looked at her, like she was cup of tea which I hadn't
quite finished. “Look here, who exactly are you, Lady?” She laughed
mockingly. “You really don't know yet? “ She lit a cigar, blew an
expert smoke ring towards the lightshade and spat . “Why, I'm....
......................................................................................................................................................The Summer Newsletter!
Okay then, fist things first..or rather first things fist.
Recording Matters :- Out in about five minutes. Teatime Assortment by Martin Newell. Out on Brooklyn's own Captured Tracks label Double album, 24 tracks culled from the last four albums. All formats. Look it up on the intertent...it's already being mentioned big time.
Out in Mid September. Rose of the Lanes on Soft Bodies Records (not listed yet)
This is a brand new album So new, in fact, that I'm just recording the last bits of it. It will be in about mid September. It's a hell of a collection of nearly all new stuff.
I am also the English Entry for the EurNoVision. This is the alternative Eurovision Song Contest. The song is also called Rose of the Lanes
Soft Bodies are bringing out the entire collection with all manner of alternative Eurovision entrants, which, let me tell you, are way better than the complete set of horse-apples we were presented with for the real Eurovision – the mugs.
If you are in search of original versions of the four albums which made this past five years, which include, English Electric, In Chimp World, The Late District and
Return to Bohemia... They are available in their original d.i.y. Form for download only
It seems at present that my entire and considerably large collection of music is now mostly being made available in some form or other. Please note, this does not mean that I personally have it. If you really get stuck, and it's not in the Online Shoppe, ask on the messageboard. Ageing Ted, Chespo, Disko Joe or someone is bound to know.
Paul, Nina, and I are all at work redecorating the loft conversion at the moment, so we may not be able to get to the phone in time.
GIG NEWS:- The really big news is of course The Golden Afternoon Weekend on Saturday September 19 at the Church of St Giles-in-the-Fields, Denmark St. in London's West End
Then again on Sunday September 20th it's at Colchester Arts Center Colchester as usual. So that's a whole weekend, cakes, tea and me. The London gig was set up and masterminded by bespoke London promoters Upset The Rhythm www.upsettherhythm.co.uk My first major London gig for long years and only a stone's thrown from Tin Pan Alley, where the Cleaners recorded much of our 80s stuff. I've re-recorded my old song Denmark Street in its honour. It'll be on the new album.
HOSEPIPE NEWS :- There are two Hosepipe Band (see last newsletter) gigs in Suffolk in August. One will be on the Pioneer Boat at Ipswich Docks Aug 16th. The other will be at the big Folk East Festival on Sunday August 23rd. At Glemham Hall Suffolk. More details nearer the time. We're recording the Song of the Waterlily project and now Black Shuck too.
JUNE this just in. I'm doing a two-set solo show at Wivenhoe Bookshop in the backroom, Fri June 26 starts about 7.00pm. Mix of spoken word and song. This is a special for Independent Bookshop Week...and Sue Finn, who now runs the joint, needed a safe pair of hands. She booked me instead. There's only room for about 30 people. Very intimate you see. Don't worry I have a big can of Brut deodorant. Ring 01026-824050 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
JULY These been in for ages... The Minories. Fri 17th July East Hill Colchester. Lovely old building. Again, a mix of spoken word and song from me.
Holt Literature Festival, Norfolk. Mon 20th July John Cooper Clarke and your correspondent here doing what we do best; spitting poetry and telling dodgy gags. This is well posh. Done it two or three times now.
Right then. Album to finish. A new book to start. (winds up alarm clock
xxxMwah! It's been great.
See you on the message board!
The Spring Newsletter
Welcome to 2015 or whatever we're calling it this year. Plenty going on, energy and fitness levels all good, firing on all cylinders, back in the saddle, and not too much medical garbage coming up (it says here).
Let's get the recording news done, first. Captured Tracks of Brooklyn will, at some point during this spring, release Teatime Assortment , or “Why ddin't we release the demos?” It comes out under my name, rather than Cleaners from Venus. It consists of 24 tracks from the last four albums with a couple of extras bunged in.
I think at present, the idea is to re-release the repackaged Brotherhood of Lizards album, including the 8 or 9 tracks from the first Lizards tape, at the same time. They have the masters and remasters of all selections, and the artwork. They don't have mine and Nel's notes for the Lizard discs yet.
There may, therefore, have been a re-scheduling, At time of writing, I can't tell you but the release date I've been given is April 14th. Cap Tracks and I will also be extending the license for all the early Cleaners editions, which will now be permanently available. There are other good things in the pipeline not yet concrete-ised.
Over in Blighty, meanewhile, SOFT BODIES Records will be handling the album which I'm working on right now. Its working title is The Best of Billy Fuhrer I'm only a few tracks in but it's going well, as Paulette Webbard will tell you. Soft Bodies have actually been the surprise of last year.
Bloggage will by now have told you that I've shelved the Eurovision plans for now. Johnny at Soft Bodies, however, tells me that I'm the UK's entry for the Alternative Eurovision with Rose of the Lanes . They are handling the album which is a strange but wonderful coincidence. If there's an event, it will either be in Paris or Berlin. I may not go. But don't completely rule it out. If you want to see my rival competitors , check out my Dutch counterpart, by googling anything by Harry Merry. He makes Wild Man Fischer look like a chartered surveyor.
For the first time in a number of years, I'll be doing a new book with James Dodds for Jardine Press, our first collaboration in for about 7 years, I think it must be. Like Black Shuck, which is still selling steadily, we'll be doing the old East Anglian legend, The Green Children. We hope to release it this autumn.
I'm planning more gigs this year, locally at first. I'll be doing a showcase at The Bull in Colchester on 21st May. This is to generate interest in my also doing future Living Room gigs! If you can get 20 or more people, at about £10 a head within a 10 or 15 mile ride from my home. And if you have a big enough living room, shed or whatever, you can book me for a Live In Your Living Room performance of songs, poems and yarns.
There are gigs coming up in July. Colchester Minories on 17th July, Holt Literature Festival Norfolk with John Cooper Clarke Mon 21st July 20th. The Golden Afternoon is at Colchester Arts Centre on 20th September.
THE HOSEPIPE BAND
Nel and I are joining forces again for live work later this year as part of the 1993 established Hosepipe Band. A venerable East Anglian folk band in fine English tradition they have written music for my poem The Song of the Waterlily which won me a national prize in 2003. To bulk up the show we'll also be doing Black Shuck. I'm kind of becoming an honorary member of this respected five-piece in order to read my works in tandem with their music, which, incidentally, is rather good. So for this special project, the folk fraternity have finally got me. Gigs to be announced later this year. May God have mercy on my soul. Take him down.
RETURN TO BOHEMIA by The Cleaners From Venus is out now online to download as 320kbps MP3
12 new tracks from the psychedelic gardener himself. Click the image below to buy.Brand new May 2014.
A fanfare of elephants and a roll of carpets please, as staggering sideways onto the stage, still trying to get the lipstick off his forehead, comes a small familiar figure dressed in red trousers and a russet brown kaftan...
The Autumn Newell's Letter
Alright, alright, calm down, will you? First let's get the gigging news out of the way first, because there's not much of it.
There are two poetry gigs. One is at William Loveless Hall in Wivenhoe Sunday October 12th
This will be me and Youngish Luke Wright on a double-header.
Similarly, Christmas Poetry is at Colchester Arts Centre, Sat. 20th December
This one features, me Young Luke, Brave Ross Sutherland and (natcho) Sir John Cooper Clarke.
Eye Eye. Three weeks after what I hope was my third and final retinal surgery, I realise that this business - death and eye trouble - has taken up nearly two years of my life, severely curtailing my live appearances and boosting my musical creativity. Primarily, this has made me realise that although literary activities are still cooking, it is music, particularly the writing and recording of it which is on the front burner at present. That's what's lighting the bell-tent at the moment, anyway.
Records and Downloads.
At time of writing, I'm in talks with Captured Tracks for a longer term relationship with them. Without giving too much away, we've got on very well together, this past three years and both seek to carry on working together. One thing that is happening is that CT will become custodians and purveyors of the old Cleaners DIY catalogue. This means that about 12 of the old and previously hard-to-get albums, released as boxed sets will soon be permanently available in their remastered form. We're aslo looking at doing the same thing with the Brotherhood of Lizards stuff.
More when I know more...and more yet to come ( he whsipered mysteriously)
I should also say another really great thing to happen this year, has been the hook up, with Soft Bodies Records of London, Englandshire . As well as doing a sterling job on promoting and servicing what's now being called my best new record for years, Return to Bohemia, the label has a rather interesting roll call of acts and have turned me onto at least two artistes whom I find very interesting. One of these is Quimper (check out 'Feline' ) and Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin who for some reason, I've developed an admiration bordering upon the unhealthy. Check out 'Green Glow' on YouTube. This woman makes the Wizard of Oz look like the Shipping Forecast.
You know, when I said I wanted to have a go at the Eurovision Song Contest? I was only half joking. It's actually really hard to get any info out of anyone who has anything to do with it. (BBC) Don't worry though, I'm still on it. And if they won't let me in, I intend to be a global embarrassment to the BBC and the whole shebang until I become either dead or bored. I've phoned the Beeb. I've written to them. I've been in contact with the PRS. Switzerland's next!
The lovely Lorraine Bowen, in her strictest Head of Music tones has told me that I should get some of my best jazz and piano tunes and record them unadorned with just the Steinway grand piano at Colchester Arts Centre. This stopped me briefly in my tracks. I am taking this seriously and I hope, that sometime next spring, with Lorraine as musical director, I will do this. Her suggested title is New Jazz Standards.
Yep. Having done my medical stuff, and returned from my secret pilgrimage to Flanders, I now intend to do nothing but songwriting, recording and writing. I've already started work on it.
Nuff said. In the wake of much renewed interest and acclaim for Cleaners from Venus material old and new, I have had many enquiries about the possibility of doing more gigs, attending events etc etc. I am neither physically nor mentally inclinesd to do such work. I don't need to be any richer or better known. Nor do I want to go into any big studios, or go on TV or meet any celebs , I just want to make nice little records. I'm happuier that way. .
There will of course be another series of Mule TV later in the season. The team at mule
hope you've enjoyed what we've done so far. Naturally we want to keep it DIY, like all the records.
Happy inspired amateurism...It's the only thing I know.
I'm also hoping to write and record a new episode of Brian the Lion this year.
So for the time being, stay tuned.
Pictures from this years Golden Afternoon courtesy of Ashley Powell and Mark Van Leuwen
The Early Summer News
It's summer, the sun's nearly been out a couple of times, it must be time for a newsletter. Okay, then, quite a lot of stuff to get through here. As regular massage-board contributors will know, it's been a bit of a year for me what with all the illness and death. Well, touch wood, the eye's getting better, the energy's back and we think that Mr Reaper has moved out of Planet Newell for the time being at least.
Old Albums Dept.
At time of writing, Captured Tracks, purveyors of fine sounds from Brooklyn, USA are just about to release the 3rd and final Boxed Set of Cleaners from Venus archives. They, with my help I had a bit of extra time while I was recuperating have really pushed the boat out on this one. There are 4 (count 'em) discs, copious liner notes and a few other surprise goodies thrown in. This tackles the Cleaners from about 1986 Living With Vicky Grey right up until and including the demoes for the Greatest Living Englishman album. My Back Wages (and beyond) contains all manner of groovy delights.
This may be the last project for now, with Captured Tracks. I don't know. Whatever, does happen in the future, Cleaners from Venus fans and I owe the whole Cap Tracks team a huge round of applause the brilliant job they've done on reservicing this music of ours. Thanks to Mike, Ryan, Rian, Hannah, Hillary, Joel and anyone I've left out (I'm on a new computer and I don't have my memory aides)
Over at Burger Records in Californ-eye-ae, those two crazy boys, Sean Borhman and Lee Rickard are becoming famous. They've gradually won the friendship of all sorts of industry figures and have now come to the attention of the New York Times. Huge piece there was in there the other day about them. Congratulations, Sean and Lee. You bloody deserve it. Naturally they'll be bringing out the new Cleaners album Return to Bohemia on .yes, cassette.
New Albums Department
Regular reapers (sorry, that should have read 'readers') will know that Return To Bohemia is one of the few good things to have emerged from the darkness of this past year. It's about as good a collection of tunes as I've come up with in recent years.
Here's the big news, though: the album will be released officially in
about July by an English indie label Soft Bodies This is a small London
label who'll be masterminding the downloads, doing a special small run
of actual CDs and handling the PR. Not only that, but we'll be making
a video! I've always shied away from vids in the past but this one will
be (natcho) on a diy budget, wacky and fun. So we will be giving the new
album a bit more of a push than others this past few years.
The enforced cutting back on live dates and other away from home jobs this past year has meant that I've been doing much songwriting. My songwriting pecs and abs are pretty ripped , I believe they call it, right now. So I'm staying on a rolling programme of writing and recording this summer. I've been pitching at people in the jazz world lately, too. Paula Webmistress, who will verify this, has had an exclusive preview of one particular song, recorded in Sinatra's old studio (Capitol B) by Richard Shelton with some of Sinatra's old sidemen. But there will be more, we think and for one or two other artistes. Nuff said for now. As for new songs I have got some absolute pearls hiding in the piano and intend to spend the summer winkling them out of there.
Visual and Fimic Department (new!)
One upcoming project will be our new video diary. We're running a bit late, while Ms Lazell is learning the camera and setting up various things, but I'm hoping to be bringing you a weekly video diary on YouTube. It'll be geared towards songwriting and my own view and history of the popular song. I'm also planning an assault on the Eurovision next year.
If I don't get in, I plan to hold my own Eurovision contest and actually be all of the entrants. Don't let's rule out dresses, wigs etc . I won't be doing any beards, however.
I'll be letting you know about this soon. We hope to be up and running sometime in mid June.
GIGS I am mostly not doing gigs at the moment. I have my hands full with other stuff...but I have agreed to do two nights at the Edinburgh Festival in mid August and there will be a Golden Afternoon on 14th September. Guest star is the lovely Lorraine Bowen because.... well, she was just so perfect last year and everybody loved her.
Return to Bohemia can for the time being be purchased as a download right here on this site. If the DONATE button doesn't work, e-mail email@example.com
and I'll send you a download address and a paypal address.
That's it for now. I've got stuff to write. Best to you all. Xx
Half Term News.
You'll all be pleased to know that I've been constantly recording and writing music since the New Year. I'm building up quite a collection of tracks, and if nothing interupts me, you can probably expect at least,some sort of a download album. I'm looking at late March I intend to call this project Songs For Europe. Those of you who know me of old, will know what a big fan I am of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Only accidents, timing and certain obstacles have in the past, stopped me actually submitting a song for it.
I have a very big plan for the next year or eighteen months. I intend, one way or another to attempt to submit a song for the Eurovision. I will start keeping a blog / diary on it soon. Ms Lazell will within the next few weeks be keeping a film diary of it. I wish to do my own personal tribute to the competition, which will end up as a book (terrestrial and online) and possibly as a film too. Helping me with research for this will be a popular TV director, a former Eurovision winner, a former Euro session man, and more to be announced. Since the project will also involve me writing letters and e-mails, for the time being, we can call this entire project The Eurovision Letters. I have also been in constant contact with another Euro fan, former Mighty Plod guitarist, Bachelor Johnny Cool, now a respectable media studies boffin in the west of England. Whether we can do anything useful together is still under question but it's been great being in touch with him. Expect all manner of shennnanigans very soon.
A by product of all this nonsense will be a constant stream of new music. This will only be held up when I have my next eye operation.
The Cleaners from Venus - Boxed set number 3. Is due for release by Captured Tracks on 27th May. Thought I'd put that one in there for you.
Captain Sensible! My esteemed colleague will by 60 on 24th April this year. I'm in touch with him again, too. There's a major Damned gig coming up in London at the Kentish Town Forum on that date.
The Winter Newsletter Sorta
Hello Listeners Everywhere
First....that gigging news in full.
There are only two shows between now and end of the year. One is at Poetry Wivenhoe Thursday 12 December.It's at the British Legion Hall, The Quay/ Wivenhoe.Doors Open 7. 30. Entry is £5 The other is the annual Christmas with Johnny and Martin gigJohn Cooper Clarke and Martin the Newell Young Married Luke Wright and Brave Ross Sutherland It's all going on at Colchester Arts Centre Sat 21st December. Booking is advisable for this event. www.colchesterartscentre.com or why not ring 01206-500900 and make miaowing noises down the phone at them?
Health News. Those of you who can read will know that I've had
bit of a medical year of it in 2013.. My general health, is pretty good
now and my energy is back to pre-illness heights. That's the good news.
Alas my eye operation for a detached retina, after a lot of pain, delay
and general NHS admin kerfuffle was not a success.
This gives a me a choice of another op, with unpredictable results, impaired sight, or actual loss of sight in my left eye. Or I can walk away from it all. I have until late January next year to make a decision whether to stick or twist. I may stick.
New Album News.
Because of all the soap opera mentioned above, which has taken up or ineterfered with at least 9 months of my life, new material has been painfully slow in developing.The good news is that I do have a stack of new ideas. The bad news is that I simply haven't been able to get down and do them. I do actually have half a dozen tracks, butI'm going to have to get stuck in early next year now.
Old Album News.
Captured Tracks of Brooklyn N.Y. Will next spring release the final part of the Cleaners from Venus trilogy. There will be all sorts of goodies, notes and either unreleased or scantly released tracks. There'll also be a remastered, producer's cut of My Back Wages. More news on this as it happens.
Goodbye incidentally to Rian Fossett, the lady who persuaded me of the wisdom of working with this company. I've never looked back. Rian is taking a sabbatical, she tells me. Stay in touch Rian!
Burger Records of California are, so far as I know, still selling all sorts of our stuff on cassette and are flourishing. I haven't heard from them for a while though, so I have no further info to recount. Call in Sean, we miss you. Ray Gianchetti of Kool Kat is still selling alll newer Cleaners from Venus stuff on CD as well as other curiosities. Why not check him out e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Book The latest book The Wife of '55 my first collection of
new verses for five years, is out on Nasty Little Press and is, I am told,
doing very well.
Brian the Lion 10 This is kids' stuff for adults too. We thought we'd try you out on a download for Christmas. It's a 58 minute sonic cartoon fit for 6 years upwards. Get it now free. There'll be a small charge after New Year. If we get the take up, we may be going semi commercial with it next year. (See blog entry Brian the Lion) Watch this space.
Round up ( yee haaa!)
This has been one of my most challenging years. The battle's not quite over yet...but much of it is. I'd just like to wish all of you a merry Christmas and a preposterous new year. I'm looking forward to lots of recording next year. Stay with it, cats.
Martin was recently featured in a radio show. He gave an interesting hour long interview. You can hear it here
Newell's most mature book of verse;
a series of love-letters to England and his childhood.
Pictured from this year's Golden Afternoon.
The Late Summer Newellsbetter!
Hello, hello and hello. It's been a long time. I can only apologise for what has been a thoroughly medical summer for me. I've seen more doctors, surgeons, nurses and waiting rooms, this past four months than in the preceding 40 years. We think it's tailing off now, so, fingers crossed and on with the show.
After a summer of few gigs, I am still doing...
And don't forget the book signing at the Wivenbook Hoe Shop on Fri 27th September. Don't go on 20th because I won't be there. Not that I ever said I would in the first place. Just keeping you on your toes.
The Golden Afternoon 2013 (yaay!) This will happen on Sunday 22nd September at Colchester Arts Centre. My very very special guest is the lovely Lorraine Bowen to whom I'm turning over a fair chunk of the show. She's an old friend of mine, a brilliant songwriter a funny woman and a bloody good piano player. If you've never seen her before, the best description of her is a 'post-modern Joyce Grenfell'. Look her up on that Tube if you don't believe me.
I'll be doing a selection of my songs that day, probably a bit of spoken word and we'll also be launching my first poetry book in five (count 'em) years. It's called The Wife of '55 and is published by Nasty Little Press, which is Young Luke Wright's now well established publishing venture. Book tickets from www.colchesterartscentre.com or why not ring 01206-500900 and make slusping noises down the phone at them.
On Sunday October 13th there's a gig for Wivenhoe Words Festival. It's me and John Cooper Clarke at the William Loveless Hall in Wivenhoe - a full on spoken word evening show. John and I have never performed at Wivenhoe on the same bill before. It's gonna be grrrreaat! as Tony the Tiger probably said... or was it Ethel Merman? There are still a few tickets left ...if you ring Wivenhoe Bookshop on 01206-87845 or you can e-mail email@example.com
I'm keeping gigs to the minimum at the moment, because
they tell me that technically I'm still convalescing, after a spot of
blindness in August and a touch of death in May.
Records... You'll no doubt be rendered incontinent with rapture to learn that I'm now several tracks into this new album o' mine...which may well, if no lawyers intervene, be called Rubber Maid.
All those beautifully packaged Captured Tracks boxed Cleaners sets are doing well. There's a third set coming ut next spring. One or two major surprises there. Oh and earlier this year, before illness struck I remastered and digitised a producer's cut of The Stray Trolleys! This may well surface with Captured Tracks too, eventually.
Meanwhile, big ups for Ray Gianchetti at Koolkat of Noo Joizey who's still supplying Cleaners, Brotherhood of Lizards and more on CD. And lastly but not beastly, Sean at Burger Records in Californ-i-ay who's selling everything on cassette (yes, really) as well as last year's The Late District.
Oh and guess what? Richard Shelton,jazz singer for whom I penned half an album a few years ago, is living in L.A and contacted me to tell me that he's going into Capitol Records Studio B (that's where Frank Sinatra used to record) He's doing a song of mine called Over Like the Roses. I heard the early string arrangements and it sounds bloody amazing.
Media Stuff Over at the BBC, there's been Cleaners airplay and mentions on Steve Lamacq's shows this summer and honour-a-bull mentions from Marc Riley (it says here). Online...there's a feature due soon from Aug Stone at The Quietus. There's also an interview upcoming and an online radio show with me as guest DJ from the most unusual and arty Fixe Mag. Check them out, they're defiantly different.
So for the time being, it's goodbye from
me and I'll try not to get ill again, okay.
Right...onward and sideways....
The Humdinger of a Spring Newsletter
It's been a long drawn out old winter here in the UK. Don't know what it's been like everywhere else, but there were days over here, back in late March where we felt lucky if we got to even the dizzy heights of 6 centigrade. However, I said there'd be a newsletter and here she now be.
MUSIC DEPARTMENT Spotlight
on Burger Records...Yung Sean Bohrman tells me that with a new distro
deal, they're going great guns at present. I'll let Sean fill you in,
in his own enthusiastic way.
THE BROTHERHOOD OF LIZARDS - LIZARDLAND
THE BROTHERHOOD OF LIZARDS - S/T
THE CLEANERS FROM VENUS - ENGLISH ELECTRIC
THE CLEANERS FROM VENUS - THE LATE DISTRICT is up for sale digitally at all the places below!!!
YOUR ALBUM IS AVAILABLE DIGITALLY AT...7digital,
BlackBerry Messenger Service
iTunes Digital Booklet Spec Sheet
iTunes Video Spec Sheet
Mix & Burn
Sonys Music Unlimited
VEVO Spec Sheet
Nuff said, already?
Captured Tracks of Brooklyn N.Y. meanwhile, will release the second phase of Cleaners from Venus originals on May 15th. A casual search of their site will give you some idea of the incredible amount of work the boys and girls there have put in. There will be copious sleeve notes, generous dollops of extra tracks and loads of other stuff. It really is a terrific package. Be quite excited about this now, won't you?
Ray at Koolkatmusik in Noo Joisey is still there serving up the CDS of the newer stuff and the Brotherhood. All solo stuff is still being done by Cherry Red in Englandshire including The Greatest Living Englishman and The Off White Album.
Two cheers for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the
Dark, incidentally, for releasing their new album English Electric.
I gather their people were notified that the Cleaners had used the name
3 years ago, but decided that this fact wasn't important enough for them
to change their own title. (Paul says... To be fair,
they were talking about their English Electric back in 2011).
Now, me? Before I go using a title, especially in these days of the World Wide Wibble, I generally find that a quick Google of album titles, will tell me whether anyone else has got there first. Never mind, hey. Good luck, anyway, chaps. I bear you no malice.
EXTRAS! Young and suave Devon Williams did two days filming over here on Planet Newell recently. Work went very well. You may find a rather good little Cleaners mini film surfacing in the near future. There's more. The mini film may well be part (eventually) of a much bigger film about the Cleaners from Venus and the man who they're all calling the new Sir Nartin Mule.
GIGS and LIVE DEPARTMENT
Because of ongoing, but rapidly being-solved, health problems ( see MEDICAL
DEPARTMENT) I have been beating off offers of gigs like you wouldn't believe.
So firstly, some of the stuff which I'm not doing. I'm not doing the Bowiefest at Latitude, which I was asked to do by my mate Tom at the ICA. He asked whether I would sing with the yet-to-be-named all star Bowie band.
I rather regretfully turned it down. I didn't feel quite up to that one.
Also, sorry to my friends in the US. I really did waver for a while about coming there later this year, but again, thought that the venture might do me more harm than good. They even God bless 'em offered to bring me out on a boat, I kid you not. Never...though, say 'never'. It gets harder to say no each time, but I am prey to a lot of stress, whenever travel rears its pointy old head.
For those of you who've heard that I'm doing the London Palladium, with Johhny Clarke, Luke Wright and Phill Jupitus, (intake of breath) it's true, that it's been offered...I'm even on some of the early promo literature. But..I don't know if I'm doing it yet, or not. So don't book quite yet.
Finally, sorry to my old friends in Germany for the same reasons.
Gigs which I am doing are Latitude Fri 19th July...3.30 t0 3.50pm...spoken word in the Poetry Arena, I was asked by (and I was really touched by this) Tania at Latitude herself. She even gave me an afternoon slot. How could I refuse?
Similarly, I'm at Ipswich Waterstones Bookshop in the Buttermarket, (The Mighty Plod's old stomping ground) on Sunday 5th May between 3 and 4 p.m. Reading and talking. On Saturday 25th May I'm at the Hythe, Colchester, doing a promotion of the Hythe itself. I'm also doing the Harwich Festival at the Alma on Weds 26th June. Note that these are all spoken word or poetry gigs. I'm staying away from music gigs at present apart from playing the piano and singing four self-written 'Victorian' songs of a smutty nature, for my friends at the I Hear Voices Theatre Group.
The productions four separate episodes of Lady Breakneck, will be staged at Slackspace Colchester on Saturday 20th April and Saturday 27th April between 6p.m. and 8.p.m. Both gigs will be recorded for podcast in early May.
Huge thanks to all the medical professionals who've been running tests
on me this past few months. They include doctors GPs and surgeons
opthalmic people of all types, nurses and others at several different
clinics and hospitals. It is thanks to them
that I now know what I haven't got. If anyone ever tells you the NHS isn't working, I'm here to tell you that it blimming well, is. So there.
It's not quite over yet but it nearly is, I think. It's now down to an issue with the eyesight in one eye. But I only have two eyes in total so, I've been taking it a bit slower in the meantime,while they've been conducting more tests. Abnormal service will be resumed as soon as is probable. It's looking better everyday. Through one of my eyes at least).
LASTLY I've been working on new songs and have started new recordings. Not only that but the newly rebuilt old Cleaners from Venus 1961 Hofner V3 is working better than it ever has. Good luck to Steve Dix, who's back in contact after a bit of an absence and to Paul's eldest, 13 year old Lewis, who's just been commended for his comic book skills.
Back to you all very soon.
1) Me, J.C. C and Jeanette at my birthday bash 2) Lady
3) Hilary Lazell's illustration commemorating 150 years of Wivenhoe Railway Station.
The Late Winterblues Letter
Late hellos to everyone and huge pology-apps for the scantness of action on this site of late. Paul, Steve and I have, as you may have surmised, all been going through our various mills, ills and wills. However, as we begin to haul ourselves gradually, out of what seems to be a fairly long winter, it looks like the new year is shaping up quite lively.
WARES: I don't think that the Cleaners from Venus and my solo stuff
has ever been as widely available as it is at present and it's about to
become even more so.
Optic Nerve through Picadilly Records, have just released a very limited viny edition LP
(500 copies) of Living With Victoria Grey The Very Best of the Cleaners from Venus (the vinyl years, that is). Previously only available as a CD from Cherry Red, this is 18 tracks of the best of the mid period studio stuff including the slow version of Illya Kuryakin Looked At Me . This is a somewhat de-luxe edition, I'm told. I am also currently in early talks with Ian Allcock at Optic Nerve, to bring out( wait for it) a vinyl edition of The Late District.
I was so fired up about The Late District sessions, by the way, that in spring I intend to begin work a companion volume with a working title of The Pique District. Ha haaa
Meanwhile...Over in Brooklyn at Captured Tracks records, the release of the second 3 volumes of the cassette years looms ever closer, we're talking only a few weeks now...mid March April. On it, I warrant you, are tracks from that time three decades ago which many will never have heard before. I ain't talking broken biscuits here, but genuine buried treasure.
In Californ I. A. The Burger Boys at Burger Records now have Lizardland, The Late District and
English Electric all available as cassettes and soon, I hear, on download.
Please don't forget Ray at Koolkat in New Jersey, who's got all the stuff on CD, like English Electric,The Stopping Train, The Late District and Lizardland which is not covered by the aformentioned labels. He's waiting for your calls!
Probably nice to mention that good old Cherry Red Records are still vending most of my solo albums on CD and downloads from the period 1999 to 2007.
Don't forget, that you can still order downloads from our wn online shoppe. There's a link somewhere nearby, I think.
That pretty much covers everything I've ever done, now, doesn't it? So I'll shut up and get on with some new stuff, shall I?
BOOKS AND LITRITCHUR MATTURS: I continue my role as Poet in Res for the Sunday Express and Essex columnist at large for the East Anglian Daily Times. Young Luke Wright and his Nasty Little Press will be publishing my next poetry collection, which we haven't finalised a title for yet, but which I've started making selections for. I haven't had a new collection of poems out for what..4 or 5 years? So there's a lot to choose from. Anyway that will be coming out at some point this year, we think.
Yep! Pencils and papers ready?
14th February The Soundhouse Crouch Street, Colchester. Music. Solo spot Guitar and piano songs probably. Think I'm first on. It's what I arksed for.
February, Norwich Arts Centre.
(a sort of centre for the arts in Norwich) Poetry / Spoken Word.
8th March The Lock Tearoom, Basin Rd / Heybridge / Maldon Essex. This my poetry gig for the Essex Book Festival. I love doing tea rooms and libraries. It's the age I am.
In conclusion... Things are ticking over on Planet Newell here. I'm told that I 'rather overdid it' last year, so I'm trying to work in a calmer sort of fashion for the time being. The place is gradually waking up, however. Steve's running over the office carpet with the J Edgar and Paul's put the kettle on and is playing a bit of Jobim, while we all study the electricty bill. Wish us all well. In the meantime we'll be pottering around the site doing this and yes, some of that. Eagle-eyed readers may notice that I've been posting various items up on the blog space. Shall I carry on? Then, I hope that spring will soon come mincing into the fields and the message board will be buzzing with theories and offers.
1) Sir Nartin (pictured recently)
3) A recent gig in Wivenhoe
2) Newell's This Year's Roses No 1 Jean Marsh
MARtin the Newell
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