It has been roughly 18 months since the last post. I thought I’d cracked it but I had a lot more work on studio to sort. Also had some medical issues and some band issues. No one can say I haven’t tried to keep a band together but it just doesn’t seem to work. I don’t think it is anyone’s fault. It is just a lot harder later in life. People have other commitments.
So English Thorn has been on hiatus for a while whilst I follow some lifetime goals with playing. Namely playing with my Dad who is 70 this year, as crazy as he is, he is still my Da. Also playing bass in a beatles band, which has been the happiest thing I’ve ever done musically. Saying all that I never close doors and burn bridges. Everything I’ve ever done is still open and only on hiatus. So hopefully there will be another fairly heavy English Thorn album released probably in 2021, even if it still just me.
In the meantime I have been writing and recording, as I just have to. As previously mentioned some of my lighter stuff will be released solo. I will begin to release it in the next few days.
To follow my solo efforts visit. www.badgemack.com
Bursting at the seams with tunes. Happy happy joy joy.
It’s been a slog. The studio is nearly ready so recording will start soon.
So what is going down in chinatown?
It is no secret to those who know me that I love lots of music. My favourite writers range from Joni Mitchell to Chuck Schuldiner and beyond. Therefore I write in that range; if the Beatles, Queen and Led Zeppelin can do it, why can’t English Thorn?
Well it seems we can’t. The lighter stuff seems to water down the heavy and the heavy stuff is too out there for the melodic end. English Thorn was always meant to be a heavy rock band.
It seems the music is fighting to go in two directions rather than one all encompassing thing. So it seems right to keep some of the lighter bluesy folky elements separate and release them as a solo project.
This allows ET to be fairly heavy, which is what I think people expect. I may be right I may be wrong but this is part of the journey that is music I spose.
So the next English Thorn offering will be consistently heavy rock.
The really, really heavy stuff will hopefully be released by our metal band Kontora(https://youtu.be/LieKeL-FYYs), if we can get it together after so much time.
The lighter stuff I will release under my school nickname of Badge. I started playing as Badge and most people I grew up with still know me as Badge, even the teachers called me it, my brother still calls me it. Musically, I have come full circle, for many reasons this will be the last thing I do creatively.
It has been a while coming but all brick and structural work for the studio is now complete. A LOT of hard work, sweat and powertools have brought us to this point. Now that bit is out of the way it should come together swiftly. Looking this week into an extraction/ air supply system, hopefully bought tomorrow morning. All soundproofing has been researched and the final layouts and designs have been decided. Most of this should happen around the week of the 24th. Exciting stuff. Just Sayin….
Thanks to everyone who came to our Lancaster and Southport gigs. We had a blast. Hot and sweaty small hours of morning, if you were there you are a true rock fan.
We should be playing the Lomax pretty soon but the date is being switched around at mo so keep eyes peeled. Otherwise there is a little break on the cards live wise. We don’t really gig that heavily so catch us when you can(next gig announced soon).
The next couple of months should be spent on recording, the list of songs to get through is ridiculous. With the attempted remixes it seems to slowing to crawl…and we need to move forward. Especially with the flak from people who actually like the sound of the earlier stuff. Maybe a full albums worth is a little ambitious in the circumstances. Maybe baby steps are needed. Singles? or a few EP’s to build up to an album release? When the studio is finished we can crack on till our hearts content but in the meantime it feels right to have at least something fresh to listen to
…keep your ears peeled to the spotify playlist( there are some great rock bands on there too).
or our dedicated English Thorn one
If not I’m sure the song will be embedded in some way on our website in time.
Cheers big ears
The first tune remixed ‘One Way Street’ is back up and running. The others will be added as when they are finished. The Spotify page isn’t going to feature all songs recorded. Just a decent snapshot, the ‘Primal Cuts’. Trying to speed things up a little as my song tally is becoming unmanageable. I have a list(I am sad that way) of songs I have written. Not counting collaborations I have now 107. Of about which 25 or so have been recorded so far. Gotta get a move on. Our best work I can say with confidence is definitely ahead of us.
As previously mentioned the available songs will be removed and updated versions reintroduced. Our Spotify page is now offline for the time being. This is all gearing up for the new album which has some killer tunes on it, and a killer sound. Really gear man!!
Well folks it’s been a while coming but the new album has almost taken on a solid shape. The songs just need to be fleshed out. By hook or by crook it shall arrive this year. What is more…we have a title ‘Bread and Circuses’. Political? Us? …never. Google it before the X Factor comes on and the Dominos arrives. DIY is the new punk.
Also the previous two albums are getting a spit and polish with heavier guitars…oh yes!! Over and out.
We have now left the 18th century and decided to produce some band clobber. You may adorn yourselves in glory with the things of the shop.
Work has now started on a permanent studio facility which will serve as English Thorn’s base of operations. The brickwork is in need of some alteration but it is still more than suitable for writing, rehearsing and recording. Although a few months away from completion still, the studio means we can increase our output massively. Currently we are releasing an album every two years this could change to one per year with numerous releases in between. Exciting times.
We are excited to announce the arrival of our fourth member James Gee on Bass. We have played with Jim before and can bear witness to his phenomenal power and skill. This truly will get the band firing on all cylinders. The first gig we are aiming for is Macclesfield on the 26th of August. It will take a few shows for full cohesion but it should be better from the off with more guitar work adding extra layers.
Looking forward to it already.
Rok Box 17 king street 3rd september. Spreading our wings!!
Just maybe…just maybe………………
The Lancaster gig date has been changed from the 4th to the 18th of June!! Just to annoy all you sinners!!
Cheers to radio legend Chris Currie of Wirral radio for playing us his rock show. We had a great time listening!! Listen Here!
Many thanks to Frank Carroll for mentioning us in this months Buz magazine. The Buz magazine is an integral part of the live scene on the Wirral and keeps the music flowing. Frank mentioned us as one of his favourite bands. Muchos Gracias!!
Cracking gig at The Pub in Lancaster Friday 11th March. Many thanks to Debbi for putting us on. Honing the set nicely. See you later in the year.
Andy Celebrates his birthday by rocking out at the Nag’s Head. A great rock venue. Many thanks to Steve for putting us on. See you later in the year!
Although there is already five albums worth of material for us. Song ideas have been coming thick and fast recently. The amorphous mass of ideas have crystalised into something tangible and the embryonic formation of a new album is upon us. The studio should be fired back up in order to plough the mountains of material. It’s gonna be a while though, maybe even early next year. The demons need to be exorcised. Carrying on from the previous two albums this will be a lot heavier and darker than the previous. Also as with previous efforts the working title will be Ganymede(Written in Stone-Europa, Sleepwalk Into Oblivion-io). In the meantime it’s back to the gigging!!
We had a ball on Sunday in Wallasey at Stanley’s Cask. A cosy affair but we blew the walls out. A high energy affair indeed. Cheers for the great reaction………..and mystery photographer who were you?
Many thanks to everyone who turned out for this gig. It’s still early days for our live sound and we’re short of at least one guitarist but we still managed to have a great time. The audience had a blast and so did we. Special thanks to Jimmy for putting us on giving THREE extra dates this year. Looking forward to them already!!
We had fun playing at the Bierkeller on sunday. The audience we’re appreciative and in high spirits…and we’re just warming up the engines!! Cheers
Keep an eye out for more gigs soon.
It has taken an age. Glaciers have moved quicker than us. But…..we are now ready to rock. Playing songs from our first two albums and some tunes by bands that have shaped who we are as musicians. We will be playing local shows asap….it’s gonna be emotional! Keep your ear to the ground!
It would be understating to say finding a bass player has been a stick in the spokes. After many many permutations it now seems the solution must be to change tack. Vocalist and guitarist Andy will now take on the bass role. This will allow the band play at least some shows in a reduced capacity as a three piece until a permanent suitable guitarist or bassist is found. Initial rehearsal went swimmingly and things should now quickly fall into place….
New album ‘Sleepwalk Into Oblivion’ digital release out now on iTunes, amazon and bandcamp. Bandcamp pricing is band controlled so is cheaper and there is a choice of high definition file types too. Enjoy!!
The new album is done. Lots of graft in the studio, enjoyable but hard and time consuming work.
In the new model industry virtual releases can’t really have a ‘release date’ as such. Leaks are an issue for big artists but for small artists such as English Thorn without coordinated teams the deadline can be counterproductive to the creative process. So flexibility is key in the new way forward.
Trying before you buy is a must to most consumers and it’s natural and sensible for music lovers as well. Where radio once primed listeners for album releases, streaming is the modern equivalent for small artists(radio is obviously alive but an inflexible industry). Album releases maybe becoming less relevant in the present day streaming environment but physical media is still needed by bands in the real world.
So ‘Sleepwalk Into Oblivion’ will be made available for streaming and purchase electronically via bandcamp and iTunes as was the first album ‘Written In Stone’ and the physical release may be crowdfunded on Pledgemusic. Both physical albums will be available from the band at gigs. We are currently awaiting word from the cover artist on completion of the front cover but this will sorted in the next few days. So keep a look out for the new 13 song album on iTunes and Bandcamp over the next fortnight.
This weekend is steeped in pure studio. The finishing touches are going down. Some extra vocals, few tweaks and mixing. It’s taken longer than expected but these things cannot be rushed. Good good news.
Live we’re gearing up for some pretty special times. The tunes now sounding powerful, tight and the dynamics are coming through. Keep watching this space!
Early stages of rehearsals going well. If all stays on course hopefully we can get some photos and videos shot and support ‘Sleepwalk’ album. As usual the album gets put farther back. Time permitting it will be out very soon. Watch this space for a Pledgemusic campaign.
A few more tunes coming to fruition for ‘Sleepwalk’ on Bandcamp. These are the latest but maybe not final mixes. Take a sneak peak https://englishthorn.bandcamp.com/album/sleepwalk-into-oblivion-2
A new bassist stepped up to the mark last night at rehearsal. Hopefully the full band can start hitting full stride soon. The video for Throw Away The key is to be taken down from You Tube as an alternative version of the song, which has been coming together over the past few months, is really starting to shine. The old version isn’t really where English Thorn’s head is at the moment. Whether the old video will see light of day again is unclear but the latest version will appear at some point.
English Thorn has been accepted by Pledgemusic. This is exciting news as it opens the door to the possibility of physical merchandise, tours, videos and a host of other avenues bands with industry backers are party to. Gets the fans involved in the music. It even presents the ultimate goal of spending more time on the music than is currently possible.
River of Gold is now up and ready for streaming on the website. Hopefully another couple over next three days.
Been busy in the studio and the second track from the new album is now ready and will be available online this week. It is truer to English Thorn than the first album. Keep your eyes peeled for Sleepwalk Into Oblivion. All songs for the album are now recorded and just need overdubs, mixing and mastering.
A new tune came to the fore today. Cycle Of Pain is quite a heavy track. Quite excited about it…maybe enough to add it to this album, the style really suits the other tracks on it.
Breast cancer charity gig Rock For Ribbons was played last night. Really enjoyed it. Played it solo as the band is yet to hit it’s stride. It was set up in the memory of dear friend Teresa Bradshaw who passed away last year. It is a fitting celebration as she loved her rock music. Went down well. There is some mobile phone footage on the video page. Next one should be a full band affair. Here’s to the next gig!!!
Here is a link to a charity song written for Teresa. It is unavailable anywhere now except here. It is upsetting if you have recently lost somebody so please be advised, although it may give you some comfort. If it helps fantastic. https://soundcloud.com/private-charity-song/taken-too-soon/s-Uc7du
Had a tune come to me whilst working on the middle 8 for Tower Of Strength. Unusual rhythm for English Thorn but it’s pretty cool. Been working on the title ‘Sleepwalk Into Oblivion’ for a few weeks and it all fell together really. So the album title track is born. Quite a few heavyish tracks on here, strangely after concentrating on some acoustic tracks for a while. May have to add acoustic based Love Shine Down to album to add a little light and shade.
Spent the whole week in the studio bringing the songs to life for the next album. The track ‘Tower of Strength’ starts with a very tricky heel/toe single bass drum pattern which took me a few hours to master, but after that steady progress was made. There are now ten which may still expand slightly to eleven or twelve. I’ve been busy recruiting for live work with hope for future collaboration. Now just seeking the final piece or member in the jigsaw. Hopefully we can have some focus on live work soon. In fact that will be the main focus after the second album arrives as we’ll have more than enough material for a two hour show will a few choice Led Zeppelin, early Queen and maybe a Deep Purple tune thrown in for good measure. Bring it On!!!
Second Album Tracklisting has changed from initial predictions. It now stands as:
Mutiny On The High Seas, River Of Gold, Top Of The Mountain, One Way Street, Tower Of Strength, Shoot You Down, Love Shine Down, Black Cadillac, Voices, Devil Gotta Hold On Your Soul
The first physical album arrives in the post
In the studio today to put guitars down for River Of Gold. New tune coming to the boil also called Top Of The Mountain…absolute stormer in my humble opinion lol. So exciting. Have put ear to the ground for musicians to play a charity event happening soon. It is a breast cancer event set up after a close friend died recently so I’d really like to do it. We can hope…
Excited about finding an avenue for physical distribution. This means all album releases will have a physical CD from now on. Written In Stone Should be available before October.
Been offered some decent gigs so it looks like getting the band back to full power is a must really. Also River Of Gold is going really well in the studio however pace really must pick up for releases. If ACDC can record a whole album in ten days where are we going wrong lol.
Aforementioned full album lyric video http://youtu.be/UZCH-Rmkbf8
Recorded a little you tube acoustic version of a few tunes which as I rehearse some solo material. Will record a few more over the next few weeks. Here is a little version of Written In Stone http://youtu.be/81MPzLcVBKEThe quality isn’t excellent but the vibe is just what I was after.
Also getting a little magazine interest which is all good.
A song recorded a few months back has now been made available for download. It was intended for the second album release but some songs will be released as stand alone singles beforehand. You Make Me Feel So Real is available on the audio page http://englishthorn.com/
Getting a bit of interest from some original music minded guys interested in playing with ET, always nice. Trying to rework Written In stone lyric videos to singular full album video.
New single Mutiny On The High Seas available for streaming and download today on the audio page. It is the first track from the second album. http://englishthorn.com/audio/
Acoustic rehearsals are going well. Some songs are really suited to a stripped down treatment and the melody shines through. Some need the band behind them. It is possible these tunes may be omitted or some accompaniment may be used in order to do some solo gigs.
The remix of Written In Stone is finished and will be available soon as possible. A few edits and additions here and there too. Two and a bit years in the making I am very proud of the effort but I can happily say it’s now onto the next album which should be a bit more personal. As WIS had a working title of Europa album number two Shall be called Io or io. That starts today with the intended opener Mutiny On The High Seas…….to the studio!!!! Should be on Bandcamp for a listen soon.
It has been very hard over the past few months trying to get members together from their respective projects. Financial investment has become an issue. Such is life as an independent artist. Head down crack on. So the next few songs should be One Way Street, Mutiny On The High Seas, Love Shine Down, Tower Of Strength and River Of Gold.
Now looking for a bass player. Written In Stone has been removed from Bandcamp until it is remixed. Only House Of The Mad to go which will be have a different arrangement.
Unfortunately Dave has had to leave due to family commitments. We wish him well. This will set us back trying to get ready for live dates though sadly. The search for another bass player continues!
Got some new acoustic songs coming to the boil at the moment. Love Shine Down will come to light very soon
The guys have been in the studio to rerecord Big Bad Sky to give it a punchier feel. Keep your ears to the ground. Also new song Mutiny On The High Seas is taking shape and promises to be our most epic yet. We’re enjoying the journey!!
A decision has been made to remix the album Written In Stone before it’s physical release. The remixing is underway and can be heard on Soundcloud with most of the Written In Stone album having a sonic makeover, but it will take a while yet. The remix is intended to give the album an earthier feel.The digital version out now will soon be no longer available. The back to strength band is getting tighter and more powerful with every rehearsal. The new songs are coming which gives us an indication the release of the second album may actually be later this year. Which all adds to the live show too!!
The video for Throw Away The Key is now available to view online in our video section. We’re really pleased with it, hope you enjoy it. The song was written with the video in mind. We intended to shoot more footage at a prison type location but funds and time became an issue and restricted the video to this recording studio style affair. The band members were fleeting members of English Thorn but both had other commitments.
We now have a publisher. Sentric Music based in Liverpool. A homegrown company on the way up.
We will be putting down drum tracks and bass track for Big Bad Sky today in the studio. An accompanying video will be produced over the next couple of months whilst getting out and playing some gigs.
Our intended second guitarist hasn’t come to fruition. However, the songs from second album are really taking shape. They include Big Bad Sky, Meet My Maker, You Make Me Feel So Real, River Of Gold, Throw Away The Key, Mutiny On The High Seas, Devil Has A Hold Of Your Soul, The Golden Rule and Put Up Your Dukes. Really shaping up to be powerful live punchy tunes.
We are very proud to announce that we are now featured in the April issue of Classic Rock Magazine(issue 195) out today. We have a song ‘Fire Me Up’ on the covermount CD and a posting about us on page 89. Here’s hoping it’s the first of many appearances. Many thanks to Ken at CR for contacting us.
Website back up and running! The band are just getting back on it’s feet after losing guitarist and bassist at the end of 2013. The good ship is back on course after new bassist jumped on board. Rehearsals are going well and we are writing new songs all the time. Which means album number two material is quickening into life. The new material is sounding great with a leaning towards shorter melodic punchy songs. A second guitarist is in the pipeline too which means we should be up a rocking very soon playing live in support of album Written In Stone. More news very soon.