A last-minute cancellation meant that Jon, Alan, and I were pulled in to perform at the first ever Fresh on the Net Live festival in North London, jointly hosted by Jackson’s Lane Arts Centre and The Boogaloo, and curated and organised by the wonderful Neil March (Fresh on the Net, Trust the Doc, Demerara Records, Environmental Sound Foundation). Here’s BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Tom Robinson to tell you more:

OOOOOOH! Did Tom Robinson just call us “extraordinary”??? Yes, I believe he did!

Neil sums up the event beautifully in his blog post (here), and we were delighted to note in the “Comments” that paulfcook, volunteer-on-the-day and the innovative musician behind gems such as “Blues Man”, cited us as one of his two favourite acts of the festival. Paul also took some cool photos:

And in a bit of post-modernism, here are some other photos courtesy of ExileFM Sunday Brunch presenter Martin Haskell, who recently gave away one of our CDs as a listener prize, travelled all the way up from Kent just to see us, and is pictured with his phone camera above (we’re hoping Elvis would approve):

 

We’re really pleased to have made it onto Trust The Doc’s, a.k.a. Neil March, latest playlist.  Neil writes, “The Trust The Doc New Music Playlist is a Spotify playlist that is played between the live acts at Demerara Records live events including #VanishingPoint @ The Ivy House. Its purpose is to mix a lesser number of current tracks by established artists with a greater number by the kinds of new and emerging artists written about in Trust The Doc and supported by Fresh on the Net.

I should add that Neil is a staunch supporter of ProjB who reviewed “Same Heart” in T-T-D Edition 27 on 31st May.  We’ll be attending Vanishing Point at The Ivy House as a three-piece on 5th December 2019.

Here is the inspiring playlist for 20th June at Cafe 1001 and 4th July at The Ivy House:

TRUST THE DOC NEW MUSIC PLAYLIST: JUNE 2019
Vanishing Twin: Magician’s Success
Ladytron: Paper Highways
The Happy Somethings: Stuck let go
Callow Youth: Wake up
Young Braves: Sleep if off
Bug Teeth: Moth (Jasmine’s Song)
Hinako Omori: Voyage
Yxungtarzaan: Paradise
Lost Raven: Step Back
Sharon Van Etten: Your Shadow
Courtney Barnett: Everybody here hates you
Cloth: Old Bear
Morning Myth: Heart’s Cry
Hollie Findlay: Late Night Memories
Dream Wife: Hey Heartbreaker
Anna Calvi: As a man
Project Blackbird: Same Heart
Fragile Creatures: Falling
The Hannah Barberas: I like you in blue
Desmerelda: This Time
Wild Horse: LISTEN! Stop messing around
Man Eat GrassL Doggone fool’s paradise
Fistymuffs: Time
Kongo Dia Ntotila: Kongo
Rosie Tee: Chambers
The Dekkkoes: Leaving Jim behind
SUDS: Into May
Foundlings: Caught up on you
Superorganism: Something for your M.I.N.D
Gang of Four: Paper Thin
The Cinematic Orchestra/Roots Manuva: A caged bird/Imitations of Life
Pi Ja Ma: I Oh I

Thank you to TGC Music Reviews for their excellent recent review of the album Endurance.  One notable quote to pull out and place in the display cabinet is “a bit like Enigma, but not sh*t, and fronted by Sade“…but that pithy soundbite isn’t necessarily representative of the tone of the piece.  I’ve tried unsuccessfully to leave an appreciative comment on the blogspot; if I had been able to it would have read something like this: “Thank you for such a genuine and beautiful review.  It’s gratifying that you have listened with ears, mind, and heart, and that what we were trying to do has spoken (or sung) to you.  Feedback like that makes it all worthwhile.”

The future is bright and casts a guitar-shaped shadow.  Welcome, Alan Roberts….

 

It is with real sadness and great love that we’re announcing the April 7th, 2019 gig at The Musician as Thure’s final stage appearance with Project Blackbird. After five years and two albums of shared music-making, he has decided to refocus his energies and considerable talents on other endeavours. Ming, Jon, Styx, and Jamie will continue on the path Thure has helped forge, with a new guitarist whom we’ll introduce in due course. In the meantime, we’ll reflect upon the wonderful partnership we’ve had with Thure, look forward to cheering on his next adventures, and treasure the ongoing friendship. As Semisonic said it best, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end“.

Peace and fortitude x

I can’t think of a more generous opportunity for a band than having its full-length album played in its entirety on the radio, with each track punctuated by commentary from one of the band’s members. Which is exactly what our musikalische Freunde von Radio Marabu have offered us with their “TrackByTrack Albumspecial” featuring Endurance, first broadcast online on February 17th, 2019 and available to listen to for a limited time via podcast. (The mp3 files are too large to post here, but please contact us if you’ve missed the boat.) A very big thank you to Marcel Fischer and Anett Schilling, and to my bandmates for tolerating the inevitable (and somewhat seat-of-the-pants) focus on vocals and lyrics.

Thank you to Amelia Vandergast, whose review of “Elevation” on the A&R Factory blog describes the track as an “alchemic attack on ignorance and bigotry….leaving you with the sense that you’ve just stumbled across the artist we never knew we needed“.  As I write, The Specials’ album Encore is #1 in the UK charts, and Brandi Carlile is up for six Grammys.  It’s good to know that music with a socio-political core and conscience is alive and kicking in these troubling times, and that by picking up our instruments and raising our voices we can be a small part of the movement to speak truth to power.

In trying to promote our own work, we’ve had the pleasure and privilege of discovering like-minded platforms such as the Lost on Radio Spotify Playlist and Lost on Radio Podcasts presented by Mark Knight of Right Chord Music. Knight describes Lost on Radio as “a weekly showcase of incredible new, undiscovered, and under appreciated music from around the world….[that] aims to showcase incredible artists that have been overlooked by radio, or pushed to the late night fringes“.  He isn’t afraid to play tracks that are 6’19”, so it was a delight to hear the full version of “Same Heart” on Episode 254, complete with a very complimentary “red wine” reference.  You can listen below, but check out other Lost on Radio podcasts, and the entire playlist, on Spotify.

“Same Heart” was also recently featured on Broadtube Music Channel.

 

Turtle Tempo is a music discovery webzine and events promoter based in South East London that “prides itself on being fully committed to giving exceptional independent & alternative music artists the recognition that they deserve“.  Annie Rew Shaw’s excellent interview with us was published on February 6th, 2019:

Hailing from all across the globe, Project Blackbird is an international collective of musicians from equally diverse backgrounds and experiences….[who] have just released their debut LP Endurance – an immersive and thought-provoking record intertwining carefully-crafted musicianship with emotive lyricism and themes.

I had a chat to the band to learn more about the project and what drove them to create Endurance

Check out the full interview here.

 

A nicely positive review from Gareth Thompson in the January/February 2019 edition of RnR Magazine , which doesn’t tend to review independent releases.  “More a creative than commercial act“?  We’ll take that anytime, thank you very much!  But, credit where credit is due: the “two others” are the equally indispensable Thure Gade Johansen (co-songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire) and Styx (bearded meister of beats).