The London Folk & Roots Festival * Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express
+ Curse Of Lono
Entry Requirements: 14+ (UNDER 16S TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT)
Chuck Prophet returns to the UK for four shows this November with the Mission Express after his most successful tour ever this last February with sell out shows across the UK. His lastest album BOBBY FULLER DIED FOR YOUR SINS (Yep Roc) also had some of the best press and media attention with 4 stars everywhere plus an appearance on the Andrew Marr BBC TV show. "chiming Fender guitars, Dylan-meets-the-Stones song forms and everywhere ageless rock'n'roll" MOJO **** "a real tonic, a reminder how potent and straightforward melodic pop/rock can be" Record Collector **** "Quite an achievement" Q **** "master guitarist and accomplished songwriter is on top form" Independent **** "his very best work...the streetwise air of a more bitter and sardonic Tom Petty" Daily Express **** "high quality, musically and lyrically...go an buy what is a very special record" Americana 9/10 "the West Coast energy of Tom Petty" **** UNCUT "every track on this masterfully sculpted set courses with life-affirming pop-rock passion" Classic Rock 7/10
Chuck describes ‘BOBBY FULLER…” as “California Noir.” He says, “the state has always represented the Golden Dream, and it’s the tension between romance and reality that lurks underneath the surface in all noir films and paperbacks, and that connects these songs. Doomed love, inconsolable loneliness, rags to riches to rags again, and fast-paced violence are always on the menu on the Left Coast.” Who is Bobby Fuller? He’s the star of the ultimate Rock and Roll Babylon feel-bad story.
The title track came out of an obsession Prophet shares with co-conspirator klipschutz. Prophet explains, “One day we were sitting in my so-called office South of Market listening to LPs, when out of frustration –I picked up a guitar and shouted, ‘I hear that record crackle, the needle skips and jumps!’ and klipschutz shot back, ‘“Bobby Fuller died for your sins!’” One thing led to another, and ten months later he found himself at the legendary Hyde St. Studios in the heart of the Tenderloin where he first recorded before his days in Green on Red “slaving over a hot two-inch tape machine, cutting tracks with Brad Jones, Paul Q. Kolderie, and Matt Winegar riding herd.” And pumping it all into the echo chamber. No computer in sight and two-inch tape boxes stacked up to the ceiling.
Prophet realizes that the title track makes a heavy claim, and laughs at the suggestion it might shine new light on the mystery long surrounding Bobby Fuller’s early demise. Fuller, who migrated from El Paso to L.A. in the early 1960s, has been described as “a greaser in a world of Beach Boy bangs and Beatle boots, hopelessly out of step with the times.” Found dead in his car at the age of 23, to a devoted coterie of fans, old and new, he’ll always remain the skinny guy singing “I Fought the Law,” on countless teen dance TV shows, and radio playlists. Ruled a suicide, his death has haunted investigators (and biographers Miriam Linna and Randall Fuller) since 1966. “Some resolution would be nice,” Prophet says, “but I run a band, not a Cold Case squad.” The Mission Express, Prophet’s band, which includes his wife Stephanie Finch, provided the backing. “Talented, difficult people who all played their hearts out. You can hear it,” he says. And recording at Hyde Street – walking distance from his apartment – was a homecoming of sorts. “I did my first session there, in high school no less,” says Prophet. He even dragged out his ’64 Stratocaster, a guitar that Jonathan Richman said sounds, “like gasoline in the sand, like a motorcycle at a hot dog stand.” Over 10 solo albums under his belt and many more with his former band, Green on Red whom first played on British shores back in the mid 1980s.
Prophet says, “there’s a serious Link Wray jones that you might not hear in here too. But it’s there. Guitars and drums. Rock and roll. I just haven’t found anything that hits me the same way. That two guitar, bass and drums feeling.”
With titles such as “Bad Year for Rock and Roll,” “Post-War Cinematic Dead Man Blues,” “We Got Up and Played, and, “If I Was Connie Britton,” Prophet allows that, “there just might be some songs on this one. John Murry, who is never at a loss for words, says the goal is to make a record you can be proud and unsure of at the same time. Naked and belligerent, but sweetly so… I can’t improve on that.”
“Bad Year for Rock and Roll” is a timely homage to rock greats lost last year, Prophet name-checking David Bowie in the opening lines: “The Thin White Duke took a final bow / there’s one more star in the heavens now…I’m all dressed up in a mohair suit / watching Peter Sellers thinking of you.”
The album closes with the blistering “Alex Nieto,” which Prophet calls “my first protest song. I know you’ve listened to me rant about Twitter and how I believe San Francisco is under siege by techie man-children and billionaires.” But still, he never dreamed he’d be in the middle of a culture war with real bodies. Born and raised in the City, Alex Nieto was on his way to work as a security guard when he ended up with 59 bullets in and around him, all fired by the police. There’s a lot more to the story, and the details are available to anyone who wants to know. The song is a two-chord homage to a good man who should still be alive. Just one more sign of the apocalypse.
The London Folk & Roots Festival * Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express
CURSE OF LONO ‘SEVERED’
THE DEBUT ALBUM PRODUCED BY OLI BAYSTON (BOXED IN) RELEASED APRIL 7 ON SUBMARINE CAT RECORDS
Acclaimed new London five-piece Curse Of Lono released their debut album ‘Severed’ on April 7th. A sumptuously cinematic record that combines harmony-laden Americana with driving, gothic alt-rock, ‘Severed’ was produced at Gun Factory studio by Oli Bayston (Boxed In). The album follows Curse Of Lono’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut EP, released last October, which also formed the soundtrack to ‘Saturday Night’, a short film of inter-connected music videos directed by Alex Walker. The film recently won Best Music Video at the LA Independent Film Awards, the London Independent Film Awards and Feel The Reel International Film Festival in Glasgow and has made the official selection at the International Music Video Underground in LA and the Sunlight International Film Festival in Moscow.
Founded and fronted by Felix Bechtolsheimer, formerly the singer-guitarist in British roots pioneers Hey Negrita, Curse Of Lono formed in early 2015, though the songs on ‘Severed’ were written over a 14-year period. They range from the perky, Paul Simon-ish new single ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ to the more lugubrious ‘He Takes My Place’, the almost jazzy ‘London Rain’ and the rootsy, rhythmic ‘Send For The Whisky’. The album belongs as much to the Americana tradition and old faithfuls such as The Doors and Little Feat as it does to more modern, playful practitioners of the form such as Wilco and Beck.
Lyrically, the songs cover themes including infidelity and sexual jealousy, the death of friends, and Felix’s personal struggle with heroin addiction. “Although ‘Severed’ is a dark record in places, it is not an addiction record,” says Felix. “It’s about growing up enough to be able to share a drink with the ghosts of the past without letting them push you around.”
Following their recent sold out gigs at The Islington, Servant Jazz Quarters and Water Rats, Curse Of Lono will be performing at the following UK festivals this summer:
19th May THE GREAT ESCAPE, Brighton 3rd June CAMDEN ROCKS FESTIVAL, London 4th June WYCHWOOD FESTIVAL, Cheltenham Racecourse 9th June ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Isle Of Wight 30th June MAVERICK FESTIVAL, Suffolk 29th July STANDON CALLING, Hertfordshire 30th July Y NOT FESTIVAL, Derbyshire 10th September SC4M FESTIVAL, Winchester
Praise for CURSE OF LONO:
“If dangerous living bothers you, look away now - but for everyone else, Curse Of Lono are a new beacon of darkness.” MOJO
“The slide-fuelled romp ‘Five Miles’ and the evocative ‘London Rain’, with its ‘Riders On The Storm’-recalling Fender Rhodes vamps, are revelations, as Bechtolsheimer offers a sinewy, cinematic take on big-sky country roots rock.” UNCUT
“Exile On Main Street meets William Faulkner.” CLASSIC ROCK
"The best Shins-cum-Fleet Foxes record the world will ever hear... easily stands out as the best record of 2017. A record so brilliant and accomplished that in a fairer world, would outsell anything else on the radio today." PERFORMER MAGAZINE (US)
“Into Bon Iver? Try Curse Of Lono.” GQ MAGAZINE
“Sexy, sweaty and savage, Curse Of Lono explore the heart of darkness with unflinching accuracy.” SHINDIG!
“One of the most exciting new bands around… Mixing influences like Wilco, The Velvet Underground and The Doors, there’s no shortage of highlights and heartfelt songs on this ten-track album.”
LOUDER THAN WAR
“A remarkably coherent and well-crafted debut album that holds you rapt from start to finish.” R2 MAGAZINE
“One of the most exciting things to come out of the UK in years. There is not a weak track on the album.” NEW NOISE MAGAZINE (US)
"I can only describe this as the unwanted bastard child of the Fleet Foxes and The Shins, who spent too long in the orphanage and as a result of his unloved upbringing, has a dark and twisted outlook on life but a fierce determination to succeed. This album is infectious, it sucks you in! ...This album makes me want to hit the road and drive through the night." TNT MAGAZINE
“In a class all of its own.” MAVERICK MAGAZINE
“If you have affection for folky Americana music, and all of its often beguiling component parts, then this is the album for you... A very promising first long player for a band who deploy killer melodies and craft skillful arrangements.” VIVE LE ROCK
“A gorgeous album.” BLUES MATTERS
“They might just be the best new thing this year.” AMERICANA-UK
“(‘Severed’) pulls off the difficult task of offering a fresh take on rootsy Americana, in part thanks to its leader’s poetic lyrics (Faulkner would be proud), and in part due to a cinematic sweep that owes much to a band like Tindersticks or the recent soundtracks by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.” JIM DEROGATIS, WEBZ 91.5 CHICAGO (US)
“A grown up collection of songs that range from heartache, to sex for escape, to the darkest of humours and the general human condition.” NO DEPRESSION (US)
“Conjures up many fond memories of Neil Halstead and Mojave 3… A refreshing dose of Americana.” PASTE MAGAZINE (US)
“Perfect for night drives and existential evenings.” MAGNET MAGAZINE (US)
“A shockingly sweet debut that is equal parts Teenage Fanclub and a gothic Big Star.” INNOCENT WORDS (US)
“Hands down my new favourite band.” BLURT MAGAZINE (US)
“Utterly, utterly mesmeric.” MUSIC_NEWS.COM
“With Severed, Curse of Lono bring an edge to Americana, crafting a record that cuts into the darker aspects of life, yet somehow making them just as beautiful as the happier ones.” THE DAILY COUNTRY
“Curse Of Lono prove the future of Americana is just around the corner.” MUSIC SCRAMBLE
“Swooshes along like a plush car through wet nighttime city streets.” RECORD COLLECTOR
“Curse Of Lono create cinematic Americana filled with harmonies and eerie undertones.” GIGSLUTZ “An album that, quite simply, doesn’t have a single weak song... A rich, inviting, beautifully balanced sound that criss-crosses the Atlantic, references a range of influences, but remains steadfast in its individuality." FRUK (FOLK RADIO UK)