Despite the lack of social media evidence, we’re still very much getting on with things here at Wilberforce towers. That’s not to say we haven’t had hurdles to, erm, hurdle.
The wonderful Factory St Studios in Bradford, where Rob had had his own mini studio, unfortunately had to close, which was a huge shame for the management and staff and left us without our own little sanctuary just when we’d set it up perfectly! Luckily we got the bass and drums down for a bunch of new songs before we had to leave.
Also, and even more sadly, there have been some personal circumstances which have really hit us hard. Even though the situation puts things in perspective, it also hasn’t derailed us completely, and we’re chomping at the bit to get our next album fully recorded so the mixing process can begin.
It won’t be another 5 years til the new album is out – that’s guaranteed. And in the meantime, you can still download all our albums on a pay what you feel like basis from Bandcamp. Please, as always, spread the word about our songs and we’ll deliver a sparkly fresh new batch as soon as we can!
And what have we done?
Quite a bit actually; recently we’ve been recording new songs for a new album that is coming along a bit quicker than the last couple – we’ve got 12 new songs written and demoed. This is mainly due to me finally getting a proper band together with Max on bass guitar, Rob on guitar (and production duties) and Carl playing and programming drums.
Of course this year we also released “Black Sky Thinking” (thanks again to Ray at Kool Kat for the US release!) which had some amazing reviews and has two “Album of the Year” awards from UK music blogs- Ian at Gig Soup and Across the Universal .
Songs from the album were played on stations across the USA, UK and Europe with BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson (Yep, the one who had hits with ‘2,4,6,8 Motorway’ and ‘Glad to be Gay’ saying; “Possibly my favourite record of the entire week; whatever you’re doing , if humanly possible, stop doing it, close your eyes and marvel at Skin by Captain Wilberforce…. It packs an entire album’s worth of ideas into a single 3 minute song without once missing a groove.”
We even did a few gigs including The Cavern – Liverpool, Gullivers – Manchester, Actress and Bishop – Birmingham, Factory St – Bradford as well as The Brudenell, The 360 Club and the main stage of the Kirkstall Festival in Leeds. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us, bought a t-shirt and downloaded the albums!
Look forward to seeing you again in the new year!
360 Club, Leeds
While we’ve been quiet on the social media front for a bit, we’ve actually been doing things in the real world:
We’ve got two upcoming gigs in Leeds and Manchester to formally announce on
Sunday 12th November at Gullivers, Manchester
– A night of music in aid of Just Talk About It, a charity aimed at supporting young people and enabling them to talk about mental health freely and without judgement. More Info & Tickets (£5.50 advance)
Friday 24th November at the 360 Club (The Library), Leeds
– (£6 on the door. £4.50 advance by contacting us by email / Facebook)
At both gigs we’ll be headlining at around 10pm.
Also and even more excitingly, we’ve demoed an entire new album’s worth of songs over the last few weeks and will be beginning the proper recordings next month. Not wanting to get to cocky, but they’re sounding like some of the best things we’ve done and they may even be ready before 2023.
Some great gig news to share – we’ve been invited to play Kirkstall Festival this year – Saturday 8th July! It’s probably the closest festival to where we live, right next to the river Aire, by the the 12th century Kirkstall Abbey and we’re really excited to have been asked!
As always it’s free to enter (although we recommend buying a programme on entry for £2 which helps to support the organisers) and last year 25,000 people attended over the day!
We’ll be on the main stage at around 1:30pm with an hour long set.
Fingers crossed for a beautiful, sunshiny day!
You can find out more about the other events, stalls and parking here.
A quick reminder – we’re playing the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool on Monday 22nd May at 9pm and the Cavern Club opposite at 11pm (that’s tomorrow!). Both are free entry and there are loads of other bands on at both venues all evening!
We won’t be wearing leathers but we will be playing 2 different sets, so it’s worth staying around to catch both.
Here’s a link to the festival line up …and here’s the Facebook event page.
Hope to see you there!
Overwhelmingly positive reviews so far from the UK, USA and Europe:
“Possibly my favourite record of the entire week; whatever you’re doing , if humanly possible, stop doing it, close your eyes and marvel at Skin by Captain Wilberforce” – Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music
“Timeless, inventive and peerless songcraft” – Across the Universal
“If there is any justice in the world, this album will be massive” – I Don’t Hear a Single
“…In an alternative reality, [Simon Bristoll] would be the one with million-selling albums to his name” – Fatea Magazine
“Highly Recommended” – Powerpopaholic
“An absolute listening pleasure” – Tracks Magazine (Switzerland)
“Chock full of great melodies, ample hooks and compelling lyrics, Captain Wilberforce’s ‘Black Sky Thinking’ is a wonder to hear” – Powerpop News
“…Massive dollops of edgy melodic guitar rock” – Power of Pop
“There is little doubt that upon the arrival of the album the world will be a better place for its adornment” – Emerging Indie Bands
We’ve had a fantastic response from online radio here, in Spain and in the USA. This is on top of the plays we’ve had on the brilliant 6 Music here in the UK. We’d like to say thanks to everyone at the following stations for their support:
BBC 6 Music
Snap, Crackle, POP! Oregon University
Pure Pop Radio
The Music Authority
This Is Rock’n’Roll Radio
Radio Free Americana
Thanks to everyone who came to the launch at the Brudenell yesterday, we loved playing in the main room (having been promoted from the games room, possibly for good behaviour!).
Shatner kicked off the evening in style with a rambunctious 45 minutes of hook and riff heavy pop before we came on and did our thang. We couldn’t have done this without the help of Will, standing in for our convalescing drummer, Carl.
Will – everyone was so impressed with your drumming, especially Max, Rob and me! Big thanks!
One request – if you were there and had any footage / photos – please can you share them with us? We’ve already had this from the youtube superstar guitar tutor Andy Crowley who just happened to be at the gig! If you like it, then ‘like’ it!
At the Brudenell Social Club, Doors 7:45pm, £4 includes a download of the new album!
9:45pm – 10:45pm – CaptainWilberforce
8:45pm – 9:30pm – Shatner
Need more persuasion? Read the Powerpop News review of Black Sky Thinking.
Get yourselves to KoolKat Musik right now and you’ll soon be in possession of the album in that most compact of formats, the CD. They look pretty good (imho) with artwork from our multi-talented guitarist / producer / design guru Rob and yours truly. And of course, you get a bonus 5 track CD of songs from acoustic radio sessions, including our cover of ‘Blue’ by the Jayhawks for Dermot O’Leary’s BBC Radio 2 show.