FM, shortwave, and online alternative music station Radio Marabu have quietly championed “Elevation” to the #1 slot on their playlist (“meistgespielten Tracks“), and on December 10th, DJ Marcel Fischer marked the occasion with an interview with Ming on his “Neue Musik” programme Gitarre X (listen to the edit below, or the full show here).  Vielen dank to Marcel and our wonderful European listeners…and watch this space for a full album feature of Endurance on Radio Marabu in 2019.

 

We’d like to give a warm and belatedly public welcome to Jamie Varley, who will be depping for Thure on those occasions when Thure is in Denmark, and who will be a valued fifth band member/jack-of-all-trades when Thure is here. Jamie’s first gig with Project Blackbird will be at More Coffee Co in Melton Mowbray on November 10th, and all five of us will be playing at The Musician Pub in Leicester on November 18th.

Over the past few months Jamie has stepped forward fearlessly and with incredible generosity, offering his time, good humour, promotional energy, and talent. We are honoured and grateful!

And while we’re at it…let’s give a little love to Styx, who has been there since the beginning but was unlucky enough not to be at the Borderline gig where we snapped our home page photo. One of these days, we’ll get a shot with all of us together. In the meantime, our drummer does exist:

Enormous thanks to the prolific and talented Neil March, whose song-by-song review in his Trust-the-Doc blog calls Endurancea masterpiece of musical invention and cleverly crafted Pop of an intelligent, calm and yet emotionally affecting kind. Evidence beyond all reasonable doubt that Project Blackbird are a band the world needs to know about.”

We’re delighted and honoured to announce Project Blackbird’s debut on the BBC: since Tom Robinson chose “Elevation” as one of his “Fresh Faves” last week, he also included it on his Introducing Mixtape, which was broadcast in the wee hours of this morning (October 1st, 2018).  A podcast of the hour-long show is available for UK listeners to stream or download for the next 28 days.

Our track wraps up the session, but please do listen to the whole hour if you have the chance.  It features an excellent, varied array of artists and songs, all of whom deserve a wider listenership.

We were blown away to find out that “Elevation” made Fresh On the Net’s “Fresh Faves” last weekend: a batch of great songs, whittled down from approximately 200 to 25 by selected moderators, and then from 25 to 10 by listeners’ votes.  The quality of this group is, if we do say so ourselves, exceptional.  We were honoured to be selected.  You can find Fresh Faves 296 here, where you can listen to all the songs and read a review of each track by Chris Ingram; and you can also read what some voters had to say on the Listening Post.

The intro to Project Blackbird’s Elevation kicks off with a lonely lamenting trumpet and is then infused with kicking drums. There is a then a chunky wedge of synths (reminiscent of Elbow’s opening to Grounds for Divorce) allowing us to slip and slide into this modern protest song. ‘Rise we will, Rise, we will rise’, ‘You will never forget that moment, that morning when you mistook the buds of magnolias for hundreds of sleeping doves about to take flight’. Yet again I am pleased with some delightfully powerful and evocative imagery at play in this band’s songwriting. You can be sure with absolute clarity you can listen as I did with my eyes closed and you are transposed into the image completely.

“Add a dash of funky guitar, a slice of acidic politics and an ambition to raise perception and awareness and you may be closing in on the band’s recipe for success. If the rest of their debut album is anywhere near as good it’ll be a banger, and I don’t mean any old butchers snag. Oh no, I mean a handcrafted beast, served on the best mash, with the richest jus and a side of mustard so strong your nostrils flare with pleasure as your ears pop and your mind twists with pleasure at a tune so lovingly crafted.” (Chris Ingram, 24.09.18)

Special thanks to Uwe “Balou” Bartsch, a.k.a. The Starved Peasant, for his unwavering support, and a review that radiates love and appreciation.

We would like to acknowledge the very sad and untimely passing of our friend Joycelyn ‘Bebberley’ Harris. Jon and Thure were lucky enough to play with her in various band incarnations respectively, including The Pressure Tenants, Uptown Ska Collective, and Joycelyn and the Dots; and we were honoured to have her as a guest vocalist on two tracks on Endurance. She had a voice and spirit that soared, and lifted those around her.

If you’d like to know more about the talented young Catalonian photographer who took the striking photo, “Wilderness”, that adorns the cover of our album, then please go to Helena Aguilar Mayans’ website.

We are indebted to her vision and are grateful that she agreed to share it with us.

Quotes, paraphrases, and inspiration are courtesy of Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 26th 2016.  “When they go low / We go high“.

Welcome to the new website dedicated to Project Blackbird. Keep up to date with all our news here, and enjoy the journey….