My old pal Mark (the founding member of The Happy Soul), an old flame from my Manchester student days, has been playing music around Manchester for years; he’s literally been doing it as long as i’ve known him. When i had a bigger ego & thought to make a go of hammering out a few tunes on a stage, Mark invited me to play a couple of gigs with him, he is a kind soul. i had read the Tao Te Ching too much & the granulation of my ego meant the close of that chapter.
However, i remember, with fondness, Mark coming round my flat very often to drink wine, talk & sing songs (if i remember correctly, i think we even wrote a couple of daft songs together). Often, we’d just stroll around Manchester together talking & talking, & waving to glum people on buses. It was a happy time.
Some years back, Mark formed a band with some not-too-shoddy musicians & has gotten around to releasing a 2nd album, Big Wow. Though i haven’t heard it (as it isn’t being released till May 30th), i am expecting tight melodies, with vocal harmonies to rival the Beach Boys; simple songs, perhaps with some influence from Sam Cooke, which appeal to a wide audience; songs everybody can relate too. Mark leans toward vocal importance, meticulous melodies dominate his songs; his idols are usually singers
The band are currently trying to harvest pre-publication sales through Pledgemusic; this is not some Kickstarter type deal. This is exactly the same as Indie presses do for chapbooks.
You can listen to tracks from their first album A White Dot on a Black Triangle first to get a taste (i highly recommend you do, i recall Mark writing many of these songs & playing them for me), then if you feel encouraged enough, head over to secure yourself a copy of Big Wow. which will be released on May 30th.
If the album in its solid form is out your price range, a download will set you back a meagre 7 English pounds.
This is the future for musicians. Labels have informed the musical narrative for a long time, & some haven’t done too bad by us, but they have also, naturally, held back a great deal. The Internet has enabled musicians to take some control over their career, i personally think this is an exciting time for music.