Thursday, February 14, 2013

The west coast, N.W.A and Babiez

Looked like we disappeared for a while there, didn't it?

'fraid not dudes - we're still alive, well, and one baby heavier than the last time we spoke...

Thats right! Along with recording our second album, road tripping, eating taco's and listening to N.W.A, we also welcomed into the world a tiny hooflet courtesy of our guitarist Blazey and his beautiful girlfriend Lottie Grey. With a cute lil face and a soul fresh from the ether this new kid on the block is already rad due to her parents rad credentials picked up during their stint at the University of Life.



So here's the album update:

During the month of November we travelled to Los Angeles and entered into four weeks of 16 hour days in the studio with producer Phillip Broussard Jr and engineer Adam 'Flaccid Mohawk' Fuller. The result being a collection of songs well tracked by the Hooves and their tanned hide taco bellies.

Photo by Dav Shiel
This however, does not an album make, and there is still plenty of work to be done before the record is ready for ears, so I will be heading back to the USA in a matter of days to begin work on adding decorations to our album tree.
We'll let you know when it's ready nearer the time..

For now though you can see pictures from our travels on such global netjerking sights as:

Instagram

www.instagram.com/bethjhoughton
www.instagram.com/calumtheh0ward
www.instagram.com/davshiel

You can also find pictures and updates of our antics here:

Our Tumblr:
www.bjh.tumblr.com

Our photo blog:
www.bjhytcn.tumblr.com

Dav's personal Tumblr page, featuring beautiful photo's pooped out of his nice old Konica Rangefinder camera:
www.davidoffthehoof.tumblr.com

Beth x


Thursday, December 6, 2012

I've arrived back from Los Angeles.  I already miss it REALLY badly.

If I said LA (judging by the places I saw) was a vibrant city full of beautiful people and ideas, driven by
creativity, open mindedness, and a love of life, that would be an understatement.  And you'd probably
slap me gently across the face.  Maybe you'd do that anyway, I don't know.

Anyway, just before I left, Dav and I
drove to Joshua Tree national park in
the desert.  It's the most dreamlike,
surreal landscape I have ever seen,
and from the top of one of the hills
you can see the San Andreas fault,
Mexico and Colorado.  It was, as some people might say sometimes, chuffing luscious.






<======This is it








Meanwhile, back in Newcastle we've been hit by a severe weather warning.  It's a strange transition to say the least.

Time to pack away the sunglasses and dust off the sledge (actually I'll need to get one first before I can dust it off)...

Keep safe and warm.  If you're already in a safe and warm place, then I guess you could eat some fruit or something.  If you don't have any fruit, then I can't help you.









Calum      

x




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A few pics

The sun is almost setting on my time here in the city of Los Angeles, soon I will be back home again, and this will all be just a memory.
A view from outside our house here in Hollywood, I took it the first day we got here, it still looks the same today, although I think the cars may be different.
Blazey drew this for a guy we met who works on the tv show"Adventure Time" It's quite good isn't it?


Friday, November 16, 2012

LIVING & LEARNING...




'Even if it is involuntary and unconscious, going over passages mentally in this way is a crucial tool for all performers, and the imagination of playing can be almost as efficacious as the physical actuality.'  

Oliver Sacks (from Musicophilia)

Immersing ourselves in the creation of this album has so far been an incredible and eye opening experience. The amount we are learning is as joyful as making the music itself, from the simplest of things like obvious tricks to re-stringing a guitar that we've somehow never considered, to the shared wisdom of our producer/engineer and his trusty sidekick (Phillip Broussard Jr & Adam Fuller), and the definition of new words such as 'efficacious' (successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective).

To anyone who ever has the opportunity or desire to undertake a similar adventure, make it happen. Seriously, do.

Blaz X

P.S. when removing snapped strings, rather than waste precious minutes trying to worm the twisted, spiky, finger-stabbing end of the offending string through the bridge, simply cut that bit off first. Why did we never think of this?!?

Monday, November 12, 2012

As we enter the second half of our LA romp we have been blessed with a couple of days off to flounce around the city making hilarious and at the same time insightful observations like 'Isn't it funny that none of the cars have rear windscreen wipers' LOL, and 'it cracks me up that LA has literally no roundabouts' ROFL. 


Here is a photo that Beth took of me when I became so integrated with LA life that a small palm tree started growing out of my head, acting as a totally tropical aerial and transmitting the below song directly into my brain on a loop.






Here's Beth/Muscles/Captain Coriander/Clam Flaps outside the studio with some fresh threads and a lethal dose of radittude 

      


Here's Blaz/Chase/Brody/Dane/Fontane/Falcoln/Logan dropping surf bombs on tracks like Apocalypse Now. CHARLIE DON'T SURF!

                                      


Here is a photograph of Rory Gibson and Calum Howard.

                                                   

Bye
Love from Dav/Dove/Darv/Garth


x






Sunday, November 11, 2012


Calum here.  

Are you well?  If not, picture a rotund man moving at breakneck speed on a motorised bicycle, pulling a trailer with a rotund dog sitting on it.  He's a real person, and we had the pleasure of seeing him at Venice beach.  He made our day.  

We're still recording the second album in LA.  It's sounding amazing.  Being English, we're all feeling at home now it has rained and the sky has turned a nice shade of grey.  One shade of grey.

In the studio today, Blazey played an instrument which is a cross between a sitar and a guitar.  There were also several loud explosions on the roof, and the police and the fire service came.  I think everything's fine.    

Dav, Rory and myself went to the Griffiths park observatory.  It was amazing.  Inside there was a huge pendulum that swings independently of the Earth's rotation, so that it appears to be moving slowly around in a circle like a clock, but really it's not, it's the earth moving around it.  Maybe you had to be there.  Anyway, the views over Los Angeles are really cool.  If you live in LA, you probably know that, and you've probably already stopped reading and set fire to your computer.  If you're not one of those people, here's a photo:  





I'm going to eat a bowl of Reece's puffs - the best cereal in the world, made with all the sugar in the world.  Every bowl is a life-shortening experience.  

BYEBYE

Calum
x


Saturday, November 10, 2012

PINCH ME...


Like kids in a sweet shop with more money to spend than sweets to try, we've been swimming in a sea of amps and pedals trying out possible combinations to get where we want with the guitar sounds...B L I S S...I love this job.

Inspirational sounds from Lemon Pipers, Ultimate Spinach, Jefferson Airplane and a cheeky bit of Sabbath have been helping us find our way, along with a lot of coffee. And cigs. And coffee. A lot of coffee.


Through the Rat and out the Marshall,
 
Blaz x

Friday, November 9, 2012

Latest from LA

We've been here in sunny California for nearly two weeks now, I say sunny California which is true for the most part but it actualy rained yesterday!! That's something I didn't expect although it reminded us of home, thankfully the rain didn't last long and the sun was back out shining down on us again today.
We're almost half way through our recording sessions and things are going well, we haven't wanted to kill eachother yet! The songs are coming together nicely, and I can't wait to hear the finished result.

In other news, the hooves have been conversing in all manner of american accents, from the whiny valley girl, to a southern texas drawl, Queen are on the radio every day, (we are the champions mostly) I might turn into a burrito, or a hot dog.  Oh and our tipple of choice has been referred to as bum juice! It's 3 bucks a bottle and 6%, so I guess there may be some truth in the nickname.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gang-bangin' at Venice

Sunday was our first day off since we arrived in LA LA Land and as you can see from Beth's post we had a wholesome day out down at Venice.

For me the highlight was seeing my first proper gangbangers taking a sunday stroll down the boardwalk. I feel it's important to explain that there is a big difference between the english and the american definition of gang-banging. These guys were thankfully not trying to force themselves on a lone woman, instead they were just walking round looking imposingly hard. They were from the Sik Wit It Ridaz M.C (motorcycle club), here's a picture of the cuts they were all wearing (cuts are the sleeveless leather jackets that all members of an MC wear).



They each had their names embroidered on their cuts. There was SIK, FLIRT, DUB, STRESS, and ICE to name a few. I followed them for a bit to see if they were going to get embroiled in some 'Sons of Anarchy' style mischief but all they did was buy some water. 

Anyway, back to work we go ho ho.

Barack to the Future!

Love Dav
x







Sunday, November 4, 2012

On our day off we went to Venice Beach....

Today we decided to spend our day off at Venice Beach. On our way out of the city we stopped at a gas station to fill up. We couldn't figure out the pay system so asked the guy at the pump next to us. After coming to check out our situation he heard our accents and said 'Oh. You're foreigners' in a disappointed tone before asking 'what are you Australian or something?'.



Rory demonstrates how well endowed he is. Blazey agrees.



In a plastic surgery experiment we grew a small Calum in a Petri dish and had him grafted onto Dav's shoulder. We're all pretty happy with the results.



Rory telling us about the sand in his pants




Guess who's feet



I have nothing to say about this picture apart from HOW MUCH DOES RORY'S HOOF TATTOO LOOK LIKE THE FRED PERRY LOGO. In the words of our friend Edwin's mother, "OGM"



This view made Dav cry. He's pretty delicate.


As the sun set we decided to follow it. I watched the guys just keep walking until their heads disappeared beneath the waves. I'll miss them.

Love, Beth x


Saturday, November 3, 2012

NORMAN'S RARE GUITARS



T'other day we had the pleasure of visiting Norm's rare guitar shop, a short drive away, courtesy of Phillip up the ol' freeway................holy pap the place is amazing. Jizztastic. Wall to wall to ceiling to floor filled with wooden, stringed temptations. At one point Rory and I had to leave for 5 mins to get over the fact we didn't have a spare 10 grand to wax on vintage beasts...

We did, however, have a mission to complete. As we were unable to bring our own trusty steeds with us on the flight it made more sense to buy suitable axes rather than hire them in for the month. Beth treated herself to a limited edition spangly gold number, and I'll be shredding on Phillip's walnut(s)..both tele' deluxes aaaaah yeah...

We also got caught up in the filming of a pilot for a documentary about said incredible axe store, re-enacting our choosings, tryouts and purchase for the cameras...it turned out one of the guys working has family in West Jesmond, just round the corner from where we live in Newcastle. His cousins even went to the same school as Rory....'tis small, small world int it...

Oh yeah an for anyone interested, Norm's provided all the guitars for Spinal Tap, and the t-shirts you see in the film...we were lucky enough to get some 'swag' tshirts and a cap for ourselves too, kind chaps yes indeed.

check 'em oot... www.normansrareguitars.com

love from Blazey x

UPDATE from LA LA LAND


Hello.

I'm the newest hoof.  I play keyboards and my name is Calum.  They are two facts I carry with me at all times.  All the others I am in the process of forgetting.  Eventually I will be a burned out husk of a man, with only these two pieces of knowledge in my brain.  But hopefully I'll own a rocking chair. 

Anyway, here are some UPDATES...

- We are currently in Los Angeles

- We are recording the second album in an amazing studio with some amazing people, it's sounding amazing and we are all really excited about it.

- Yesterday I had a romantic stroll with Dav along the pier at Santa Monica, where we met some talking parrots.  One of them said "hello?" and the other said "whaaaat?".  The conversation went on endlessly.   

- We also met a pelican trying to stab a seagull (don't worry, the Pelican lacked the dexterity to pick up the knife, and the gull didn't seem to notice).  

- We went to Venice.  As we were both hungry, we thought it might be fitting to eat something.  We spotted a place called Thomas' Chilli Burgers, which claimed to be 'world famous'.  In retrospect, this should have put us off.  Anyway, it didn't and we bought two.  It was as if they got a burger, made it cry, and ran it over with a truck.  Really bad.  Sort of spoiled the romantic atmosphere.  

- It's ok though, we also discovered a new fruit - it's a cross between a plum and an apricot.  Its called a plumcot.  It's delicious.  

Anyway, we all send our love and best wishes.  And to repeat myself, we are all veeeery excited about album 2.  It's sort of psychedelic-60's-motown-gospel-rock'n'roll-punk-pop-freakbeat-afrobeat-surf.  

It will not only knock your socks off - it will make all the socks in the world disappear instantaneously.  We're pretty confident that you'll notice that. 

Listen to good music and laugh at yourself.  

Love 
Calum
x

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LOS ANGELES & ALBUM 2!

So it's been a hell of a while since we last posted on here; but we have been super busy....

In time we will post the photo's, writings and footage from the last tour of the last record, but for now we are focusing on packing up our shit and moving to LA to record album 2.

Due to every element that was needed to make this happen coming together in the most magical way we are finally getting down to business and moving on to the next record exactly the way we wanted.

We have some wonderful people offering their services to this project to whom we are so thankful and excited to work with, we have an incredible studio ready for us to record in thanks to a friend, and all in one of the most magical places on earth (In My Humble Opinion) The City of Angels.

More on this soon....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Out of The Pool and into The Boat

We're into the last week of what is potentially our last tour of 2012, and instead of staring into the gaping chasm of aimless nothingness that is racing towards me in my peripheral vision I've been hiding in my happy place and there I found some photos of the 'Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose' recording sessions. So here they are for your perusal. PS- just kidding about the aimless nothingness bit, I'm going to take up making ladies bags in the interim.




This is producer Ben Hillier in The Pool, his studio in Bermondsey where 'Yours Truly' was recorded (the name of the studio we are recording the next album is called The Boat, hence the exceedingly chucklesome title of this post). Ben is a truly lovely man and was an expert in accidental innuendo. For example while recording group vocals he at once kindly asked 'do you want me to bring you all off at the end'. 



Here we have Beth recording vocals while hanging from a homemade swing while Matt (assistant engineer) tries to look up her dress. To avoid any risk of injury from landing on the steps below, we placed a big piece of wood on the steps that would gently roll her down to the floor and straight into the side of the control desk at great speed. 



This is the view I had from the drum aquarium overlooking the rest of the Pool. I got to play a lovely old Slingerland kit that Ben had in the studio. 


 
Here's Fin recording his violin parts with a novelty giant microphone stand making him look wee for once. Sadly Fin would later attempt to use this giant microphone stand as a sex cradle, souring a very productive day for everyone.

Hopefully there'll be some more photos up here in the near future from a different studio called The Boat. We've got our fingers and genitals crossed. So watch this space.

Love from Dav the Hoof

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

UK Tour Diary, Dublin, Ireland

We played Whelans in Dublin last night. Let me tell you, the people of Dublin walk twice as fast as the rest of the world (and the birds of London sing three times as fast) something to do with the moon I think.

The night started relatively normally. The show was fun. Then something happened and suddenly the owner of Whelans was quoting family guy with astonishing accuracy, he was having a kind of relay with himself. Later he would sing an almost identical version of sinatra's 'the lady is a tramp' into my eyes, changing the 'lady' to 'Houghton'.

Somehow I talked a man, who's name I don't remember, into tattooing a hadrosaur on my arm in the back streets of Dublin. Our Tour Manager, Ross Lewis and John from goodnight Lenin (or goodnight Kevin as their cheque from cork would suggest) came along. John cried silently when he realised we may be being driven into a dark alley to be shot.
I'm now in incredible pain. The guy did the hadrosaur and also touched up my hoof tattoo and the 'thank you' tattoo on the palm of my hand. It's fair to say I didn't think about having to play 10 consecutive shows with my right arm.



John from Goodnight Lenin and myself, Somewhere, I don't know where.


A picture Ross took of me looking like what he described as a 'waxed cadaver'


The Hadrosaur

We got back to Whelans to pick up the hooves but found only one, an incredibly drunk Blazey, in the parking lot. He was in a terrible mood because he felt somehow offended that he had not been offered a tattoo. I explained that I positively bullied the man into giving me one and that frankly I think he only gave it to me because I told him I'm related to billy the kid after he mentioned his love of cowboys.

Back at the hotel I called Dav at around 4am to find out that he and the remaining hooves were in a studio with two girls and goodnight Lenin. Eventually they came back and in the morning I walked barefoot into the bathroom and through a puddle on the floor that we later identified as davs urine.

My arm hurts. My feet smell like piss, and we're on our way to Belfast.

UK tour diary, Cork, Ireland

So here I sit, in the dressing room of Whelans, Dublin, with four Hooves. Calum is dribbling tea into his crotch, over and over again, without learning from each previous scolding lesson. Dav is attempting and failing to connect to the Wifi and discussing his love of £3 shoes. Blazey is smoking a cigarette and wondering where to put the remnants of said cigarette, and Rory is in the other room, the walls of which are covered in paintings of naked women and we're not really sure what he's doing. We can't see one of his hands. Needs must.

Photo by Calum: Rory, myself and dav on Blazey's chest.

Last night we played a show in Cork. It was interesting. A man with Tourettes continuously shouted 'TELEVISION', 'ROAD RUNNER' and 'GEORGE MICHAEL'. I shook his hand after the show and he told me he had a broken hand, I went to let go and apologised but he just hung on in there, clasping my hand, whilst looking wildly into my eyes and proclaiming, 'Im a homosexual, I got kicked up the arse', before asking me if he was allowed to leave.

After the show our Tour Manager, Ross Lewis, ran into the dressing room with an Orgonite Dodecahedron that a guy called Colin had made me. Its made from resin, copper and crystals. This dude travels around Ireland placing these under mobile phone masts to restore the energy in those areas back to a nicer more neutral energy than that of the bad burny mobile phone vibes. He was cool. We talked about reincarnation for a bit and he told us to read the Tibetan book of living and dying.


Friday, September 14, 2012

A brief history of the past 3 weeks...

These past few weeks have been super busy for myself and the Hooves. Between planning logistics for our move to Los Angeles, we have also been demoing the next record, playing shows in Paris and Zurich, designing the cover art for the Dodecahedron Single cover, practicing for our UK tour (starting tomorrow), I have tried and failed to finish the Zine in time for tour (this is ok, it will still be released, but with this extra time I can collect more stories and accounts from touring and do a better job of the whole thing).. compiled a book of poems, tried to get rid of all my stuff. Finding a place to live (we found somewhere) all the while dealing with a mild breakdown in the face of the sudden realisation - after 22 years - that we're all going to die. This is also ok because I've replaced that now with an insatiable appetite for literature addressing reincarnation and the existence of the soul.

Tonight I have to:

Bleach my hair
finish painting 2 suits
wash my clothes
Pack everything for tour
wash
load up on vegetables

Soon Dav and Blazey will start posting on this blog as well.

But for now, check out the new T's we just got made for the UK tour... Come along to a show and pick one up for your wife, husband, child, dog, lover, president, god, microwave, pet rock or even just for yourself.... Thanks!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Want some free hand-drawn artwork by BJH & The Hooves? Here's how...

This month we go on tour in Support of our record "Your's Truly, Cellophane Nose". We being our tour in Ireland and finish in Brighton.

We'd like to offer a small hand-drawn, one of a kind picture, to every one of our audience members that brings with them some canned food or unwanted clothing. Your donations will then be taken to a homeless charity in your city. Im sure you all have a shirt or two that haven't been worn in a couple of years and similarly, that tin of Spaghetti o's that been sitting in the back of your pantry since march 1990 but still seems to be within the sell-by-date would be greatly appreciated by those who don't have a pantry to begin with. Anything you have will be received with great welcome.



Thank you in advance,

Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny.

See below for tour dates:

SEPTEMBER

Cyprus Avenue, Cork (16)

Wheelans, Dublin (17)


Black Box, Belfast (18)

Trades Club, Hebden Bridge (20)


Cockpit, Leeds (21)


Stereo, Glasgow (22)


Hartlepool, The Studio (23)


Deaf Institute, Manchester (25)


Kings College, London (26)


The Cellar, Southampton (27)


The Haunt, Brighton (28)