A bientot, FranKo
Coming down to it, it’s hard to express how I feel about the FranKo situation right now. A bientot is French for ‘see you later’ (roughly). I think. Because I hope we will see them again later.
Yesterday, I floated the idea of setting a date in 2 years time to do a one-off gig again, no matter where they are or what they are doing.
Is that smart? Or would it be just for me?
Fans (some fans) can be fickle, and whilst there’s no harm in that, it would be rubbish to arrange that and play to no-one!
They loosely said that they’d see where they were in a year’s time, and make a decision from there. That doesn’t mean they won’t work together in the meantime, of course. It feels like there is unfinished business, after all.
I intend to keep a record of their continuing exploits online, because every one of them is worth keeping up with, in my opinion - and maybe people other than me will feel the same.
So watch this space. If you want.
Thanks to these guys, I got to go to NYC, Thailand and tour up and down our fair country, meeting great people and playing great shows. I’m sure we may have played a stinker of a show here and there, but that’s of little consequence now :)
I am fiercely proud of their output and their musicianship. Of their camaraderie and sense of fair play. Of their skill. To say I will miss FranKo doesn’t cover it. How they didn’t get picked up by some major label early on I will never know.
Songs the caliber of ‘Run’, ‘10 Feet’ and ‘Speak Up’… There was some true originality in there, and large swathes of music lovers don’t even know these songs exist. What was your favourite? I always loved ‘Change Your Life’, though they hardly ever played it live.
On a different tack, I think we made some enemies at the end, which is a shame. When music projects come to a halt, there are all sorts of political reasons why you don’t announce it. And you get painted into a corner when quizzed on it, but still can’t say. The band got some haters for that, but it was a decision taken behind the scenes and I should take the blame for that, not FranKo.
I don’t have to explain the reasons behind that decision: it’s private. But it was done with the best of intentions. At the end of the day, it’s just music, right?
No, that’s horseshit. For me, music IS life, or at least the soundtrack to our lives, but politics is different again.
For anyone still annoyed, stay mad at me, but leave the lads out of it. I’m sorry for any upset caused.
FranKo are all still great friends, and I believe they will be so for life. That should have been obvious to any of the lovely people who came out to say goodbye at these last 3 shows.
Is it goodbye? I have no idea. Never say never.
I was just a cog in the FranKo machine, but I still want to personally thank everyone who supported the lads and myself for the last few years.
In particular, all the fans who turned up and made the mere fact of this band a possibility. Every one of you. You know who you are. And the extra special ones who went the extra mile and ran the street teams and spread the FranKo gospel… Well, you were simply amazing. How much love is that? Just awesome…
The bands who we toured with. Remember Elliot Minor? 2009? Wow. Long time ago! Huge thanks to Dave Giles, who championed us every chance he got, and generously shared his spotlight. What a gent.
Our families. Good grief, where do I start there? Frank, Amanda, Chris, Kate, the other Kate, Karen, Mark, Sue, and of course Ian, were never anything other than stalwart friends and supporters of the cause.
And Beau! Beausephalus J Poynts III, and Sharon and Gary. Thank you all so much.
The Ws in Nottingham - watch out, we have you on film! Thank you thank you thank you - you are the most generous and incredible of kind people.
Anyone who ever fed us or put us up… Thank you!!!
Hang on, did I win an Oscar earlier? Pretty sure I didn’t. This sounds like a protracted acceptance speech. They never sound sincere! But this is.
My life would be a very different shape without FranKo, but theirs, and mine, would be utterly different again without the boys at CMC. Frank and Chris have done more for FranKo and I than words can express, but I’m having a stab at it here.
Hugely talented and generous individuals both, they made every aspect of the journey possible, so if you ever enjoyed a tune or a show that FranKo did, you ultimately have them to thank, too.
And so what now? I’m on a train home. I wonder whether you’ll be reading this on a smartphone or a computer…
If you’re here, you’re interested. If you read this far, you’re very interested. The FranKo story may not be over, but this chapter is.
‘The best things in life come to those who wait…’ sang Tommy. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Richard, Chris, Richard and Tommy. And I’m sure the best is yet to come, for all of them… Watch this space…
The shows in May
So, here I am, taking to Tumblr to talk about the 3 shows next month with FranKo.
Don’t know what songs they are going to be playing yet, but I know it’s going to be emotional… if only for me!
But… who knows what will happen after these shows? I don’t know if FranKo read my posts on here (in fact, I don’t think they do!) but I’m hoping that playing together again will re-kindle something, and that they’ll end the ‘break’ sooner rather than later. Though I have to accept it could also lead to a permanent break
When bands take a break, people often speculate that there has been a falling out, or personality clash. Not in this case. And if I went on the Facebook page shouting that fact from the top of my voice, I think it would only serve to confirm that speculation.
But as this page is a bit more private, and more about my take on things rather than a more corporate, FranKo-centric organ, I’d like to make it explicit that they guys are all still fine with each other.
Why the break, then? Well, originally, it was intended simply as a writing and recording hiatus. The re-invention. To come back with an undeniable body of work (a new album) that would be beholden to no-one, including me.
I think to an extent what the public saw of FranKo was a somewhat watered-down version of what they wanted to be. Guided by me, amongst others. At heart, they were always more left-field. And certainly, what was being written after the initial break was RADICALLY different from what had gone before…. and then other opportunities, and other experiences and other distractions came their way. And slowly took over.. in truth, I’m not quite sure when exactly the train became de-railed, as it were.
But when it became clear that it was, it then became a question of what to do next - and so the decision was made to officially call a halt to proceedings for now. But they all wanted to do some final shows, which have taken a while to get sorted - largely because of availability. I was a fan of this idea, as it felt right to say goodbye and thanks to everyone who has supported them for the last few years. And we wanted the shows in place before making the announcement. My decision for the most part. For most people, I guess it wasn’t a surprise, but it’s nice to have one last blast, even if it’s only 3 gigs.
I think anyone who follows me on Tumblr must be a true FranKo fan, so it seemed like the right forum for me to now witter on about it all :)
So anyway, thanks for reading, thanks for being a true fan - let’s all hope this isn’t the last we see of FranKo.
And THANK YOU from me on a personal level, too. Managing FranKo was always more than just a job to me. It was body and soul, so it’s tough to embrace what’s going on at the moment. But meeting the extended family who appreciated the music was a privilege.
It’s been a while, but it looks like there will be some new shows.
Not many, but a chance to see Tom, Rich, Chris & Ricky smash it up live.
We’ll be taking the new DVD with us to sell, and I am looking at maybe having an exclusive CD to give away for every one who buys tickets in advance…
But there will be more on all of this very soon, and hopefully tomoz…
Hoping everyone is all good :)
Been a while
What a start to the year. Shocking for me, anyway!
Too boring to go into here. Let’s just say there’s a reason I always make the following toast: ‘Health & happiness!’ Enjoy!
Things are rumbling. The DVD that we made is being set up on our MAMstore page from today, so that international fans can get their teeth into the 90 minute fix of all things FranKo just as easily as the UK ones :)
Each is a homespun production, signed and made by the band itself.
I’ll be Facebooking and Tweeting to this effect when they actually go up online later on…
But for now, hope this finds you all well…
And more FranKo news very soon now…
FranKo DVD update
I shot too early, didn’t I? That Richard reminded me of a load of lost footage. So. The contents of the DVD are (in full):
Eye of the Storm, Vienna, Love For Fame, Night Time (Vote FranKo version), Night Time
Live montages accompanying:
Eye of the Storm, I am Right, Night Time
Live acoustic films:
Lucky, Run & 3 tracks performed at Rise, Worcester
- behind the scenes of Eye of the Storm (our own stuff)
- a gallery of stills set to Free From Me
- 2 x blooper/outtakes films
- OMA thanks
- Love For fame ‘stalker’ footage
- Compilation of interviews on camera
- “Large fans” - infamous clip from UK Undiscovered interview, set to stills and clips
- Thailand footage set to new song, See You
- promo film for Silverlake
- FranKo at London Live 2012
- stills from FranKo’s 2009 trip to NYC, set to their tour intro music from that year
Hope you are all good….
Okay, so I was a bit premature there…
Rich reminded me of a wealth of other materials not included thus far.
Some great live performances and more assorted craziness. So that means even more crammed on, and ever better for the discerning FranKo fan :)
Look out for Ricky on helium, fire extinguisher percussion, trampoline redemption and many more!
And don’t forget there will be another FranKo Friday preview of one of the movies from the DVD for 3 hours from 6 - 9pm GMT. The rather rude bloopery nonsense one!
Consider yourselves warned…
My, how time marches on.
For those of you on the new FranKo mailing list, you’ll know that I have been putting together a DVD for the guys. It’s nearly ready!
It will feature the guys’ 5 promo clips, 3 new song films to live footage, 2 acoustic performances, and a host of extras, including outtakes, behind-the-scenes footage, a video to accompany new song “See You”, stills etc. and weighs in at over an hour of viewing.
I plan to make a couple of the new films available on YouTube for a couple of hours NEXT FRIDAY, so that you can have a taster of what to expect. FranKo Friday will ride again! So make a date in your diary for those.
Trusting this finds you all well….
Things the Grandchildren Should Know
I have just finished reading “Things the Grandchildren Should Know”, by Mark Oliver Everett – lead singer of eels. Small ‘e’.
I won’t trivialise the impact it had on me by picking some classy adjectives. It’s a gutshot of a book. Honest and uncompromising. Just like it’s author. Someone who has made it on his own terms, by creating unique and undeniable music – whether you love or hate it doesn’t matter.
I’ve never recommended an autobiography before, but I am now. Unfussy, undeniable and unputdownable.
Link to follow….
So we’re all agreed, then….
All you have to be is brilliant.
The infrastructure is there to allow word to spread. But it’s clear that it’ll take a while.
Unless you can partner with someone.
So, the ‘evil’ majors are on the wane, we are told, but they are still very much there for the time being. But to convince them, to get on a quicker path to exposure, to borrow their muscle and their routes to market, you still had better be undeniable.
Every time you write, it’s time to perform a balancing act of art vs. commerce. Once in a blue moon, you get the balance right, and create something popular AND credible - they are not mutually exclusive states.
But it’s a numbers game, so write and write and write.
And you’d better be talented, and you’d better have something to say, and you’d better be patient.
And then you’d better be able to communicate. Or you fail utterly.
We are brokers in emotion. You’d better make something people want.And sell it without looking like you are selling it.
Maybe even brilliant isn’t enough.
Brilliant. Better. Best.
How good are you? And how wide is your niche? It had better be in your blood, body and soul.