Making videos, making videos, making videos.
Having catalogued hundreds of clips of the FranKo blighters.
There is a method to this madness, y’hear?
Gah, I hope so. My eyes have gone squarer than usual this week…
Just about to head off to Chelmsford to stay with Ricky and do a stock-take before an early morning start for that Redfest malarkey.
The show we are playing at Hyde Park for BT London Live on 8th Aug? Just found out Nik Kershaw is playing, too. Songwriting hero of mine: http://www.nikkershaw.net/ Definitely want to try to catch him live again. The last time I saw him was (shudder) 1985, Wembley Stadium, Live Aid. We both had more hair and teeth then.
And another thing! Spotify!
Last week, Spotify went on holiday for me. Suddenly, the option to check out any and everything through one platform was removed.
I panged, sure. Enough to upgrade to premium? Apparantly not, as I didn’t take the plunge.
I know that everyone is moving towards streaming - all the pundits and gurus tell us that that is the way things are going to go. And I know that cds are dead. Or dying at least.
It’s at times like this that I like to remember when Sting was on the South Bank Show. And this was years ago (1996, I think). He was asked by Melvyn Bragg about the new media that were available to discover music and culture. Sting said he preferred it when there were only 3 channels on TV (BBC 1 & 2, & ITV).
“There’s too much choice now,” he said. “It was better before.”
I remember thinking he was being curmudgeonly. But now everyone can have a go. Anyone. Yes, the internet levelled the playing field. Everyone has ACCESS to the world. And now the prospects of finding wonderful music is limited. Especially as everyone is shouting and screaming and baying for attention. And most of it is dross. It just is. Not everyone can be exceptional. I can decide to be an astronaut, but it doesn’t mean that I’ll be a good one, or that I have the ability to be one at all. But I could buy a spacesuit, build a rocket. That doesn’t make me an astronaut.
Who is to be the arbiter of what should succeed? Or even who DESERVES to succeed? Those with passion, those with talent, those with the power to communicate, to entertain, to thrill, to excel. To win, to beat everyone else.
And do those things come easy?
Of course not. And they shouldn’t.
It’s a numbers game. Write, write, write. Play, play, play. Craft. Sweat. Rip it up and start again. Do the right thing, not the easy thing.
Spotify did come back to me. Must’ve been a glitch. But Spotify doesn’t even have everything I want, anyway. It’s got gaps.
We know what we want. Spead the gospel. FranKo, and those like them, need evangelists. Are we up to it?
New FranKo show
It’s out there, finally:
FranKo are playing at Hyde Park on 8th August, on the BT Vision stage. It’s a FREE show, so please come along! Here’s a link to some info:
The stage time is 1pm.
Olympic fever about to grip the nation (and the world), nice to be asked to be a part of it.
For anyone coming along to see us on 21st - have just been told that we have a proposed stage time of 1.45pm
Thursday, and I sit down with Tommy in his Clapham pad and we work through a host of ideas for the new FranKo material. There are all sorts of shapes it could take, and Tommy is bristling with creativity on the matter. “Interview me now,” he says, “so we can share some plans.” So I get the iPhone out and ask him a load of stuff. Will edit that together so it gives a flavour. Could be some new snippets of demos in there, too.
Lunch, and Tommy introduces me to the wonder that is Bodean’s burnt ends and pulled pork. Yum doesn’t cover it! We continue free-wheeling over BBQ chicken and root beer and life’s so good when it tastes like this. Music, camaraderie, crazy stunts, concept albums and coleslaw.
Unexpectedly, FranKo may be about to add a live date in August, too. Will let you know as soon as it is confirmed, pretty excited by it. Even though the prep for it looks like it’s gonna be a pain in the backside.
There’s another new track on it’s way, too. Tommy gives it a spin. “It’s not finished,” he enthuses. “But what do you think?”
I’ve never seen him this confident, and he has every right to feel this way. Another jawdropper, provisionally titled ‘Hold On’. I spy a new style emerging. Killer riff, terrific lyrics and a swagger hitherto unrealised.
Said it before, will again. Exciting times.
The dialogue has begun
Sounds portentous, doesn’t it?
Or pretentious, or Porter-entious. Ha.
Sent out newsletter number 2 tonight. If you aren’t on the new mailing list yet, but would like to be, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add ya.
The newsletter invites participation, and a forum for discussion and ideas and all things FranKo.
But more importantly, it invites debate, enthusiasm, communication, passion.
After the special people in my life, music is the most important thing to me. I know I’m not alone.
When I was a kid growing up, my sister used to drive me nuts playing records in every bit of downtime she had. I swore blind I would never waste my life like that. Gods, it annoyed me. And then, without me even being aware of it, the music snuck up on me and got me in a grip more robust and tenacious than anything she has ever experienced.
I’m grateful she annoyed the crap out of me; without exception she liked bands that wrote and played their own material. I never heard any of the production line nonsense coming from her stereo.
And I have never considered any of my thousands of hours of listening (happy or otherwise) a waste of time. You have to listen to it all to know what is good and to learn what you like.
I like FranKo. I think they’re exceptional. You do, too, or you won’t have read this far.
If we think they’re this good, others will. We just have to get it out there. I started in earnest today. About 20 people have answered today’s newsletter email already. That’s 20 people who care enough to make the effort. Who want to reach out.
It’s great! It’s possible! It’s all out there to be won.
Adele is still selling thousands of copies of ‘21’ in the USA every week. Why? Because people are still only just finding out about her. They hear about it from their friends. She’s been all over the TV and radio for months and months, so it’s not that. It’s word of mouth, from a trusted source.
Can we do that for FranKo?
Can we do ‘digital word of mouth’? That’s more than plopping a link on a Facebook timeline. A pleasure shared is a pleasure enhanced.
Discuss. (And mention FranKo!)