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End of June

What the hell happened to the May Blog?- answer – I took a month off

June was very fun indeed. First we played the show in Airfield which ended up being something very beautiful. We now only play in bay windows in grand rooms that look out over farmlands. It was the sweatiest show of our ‘career’ and The Ambience Affair lads played a great set.

Next up was our show opening for ‘The Middle East’. This was a whole bag of fun (ta fin), the band were oh so lovely to us from the second they arrived. Played to some new visual trickery that Slipdraft cooked up (talented shits that they are). We got up and joined TME for a song of theirs we’d never even heard before- 12 bodies on the stage, ace times. Afterwards had a good few pints with a lovely group of friends and showed them aussies how we roll (and paul drew a moustache on his face and the words ‘baby spice’ on his stomach). Dunno why.

Last up: we were invited to go to Galway to film for an upcoming music show on TG4. After some mild bus confusion we got there and basked at our swanky hotel (they gave us all triple rooms?!). Had a unplanned binge in the roisin dubh which ended with all of us on the beach: elis reenacting the beach level from ‘streets of rage’ and paul (nude) reenacting the opening scene of terminator 2. We learn that the choice of adult films in the rooms consists of ‘field of teens’ (costner spoof?) and ‘mucky mums’. Thankfully we didnt partake. Filmed two songs from the album which you will see later in the year. The make-up lady informs us they have cctv on the beach….ermmm.

All this activity has gotten us hungry for touring which we are currently sorting. Oh yes

but for now you can look forward to this (well we are looking forward to it)

http://www.kilkennyarts.ie/events/details/halves/

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End of April

we are on holidays/exams.

exciting.

Til next month folks – new shows to be announced.

For now- Cover Versions which are nice.

To start off any successful stint in North America it is key to be fully rehearsed and prepped. Another plan is to fall off a bin and land via a railing as Elis did a mere 4 days before our flights to Austin. Cue a series of hospital visits/panics/concerns/phonecalls. My oh my (he’s fine now by the way, got a wee bit of surgery). Our dear friends 3epkano thankfully don’t mind us poaching their drummer James for the trip- so lllaasssttt minute rehearsals involving re-learning of the songs, then it’s Dublin Airport.

Wednesday:
We fly first to Chicago and get greeted by an American dressed as a leprechaun as we disembark the plane – it was of course St. Patricks day. We have many hours to kill until our flight to Austin, so the very first port of call is to get a photo with the Japanese Army (they also were lads on tour). American Airlines very kindly dont rape us on baggage costs, but then do delay our biggest bit of equipment by a day – saved us getting a taxi with it I guess. Speaking of taxis: Myself (brian), Paul and James get the most hiphop taxi driver who plays us some insane music which covers the topics of both rimming and pre-rimming inspection. Arrive at our hotel in Austin and we attempt to find beer for about 10 minutes then give up.

Thursday:
Start our day with a trip to the Denny’s, which is a stone’s throw from our hotel (which is quite fancy for a band of our scruffy demeanour). Our breakfasts arrive which of course are insane in size – learn not to order ‘grits’ again as they look like a bathroom tile. We take a very sunny walk down to the convention centre and learnt this is where we get free stuff – most importantly free beer. It begins.

First show of this trip (well I say ‘show’ but…) was a wee slot in a rather scenic TGI fridays which overlooked the famous bat bridge. This show consisted of Tim and a laptop with either Paul, Frankie or myself getting up to do some ‘solidarity brother’ glock. We miss the thousands of bats flying up from the bridge out the window as this happens during Tim’s Portishead cover. We then eat in said eatery and get a bit drunk and decide to go and bring the gear to the hotel so we can go party. Outside I (jokingly) dare Paul to ask two guys who were in a pickup truck for a lift back to our hotel. Paul drops the ‘We’re Irish we’ve never seen one of these‘, and happy days – they agree. So Paul, Frankie, James & Myself jump in the open back part with boyish/drunken glee and begin our journey. The first 10 minutes were us giggling away at being driven through the great city of Austin, open-aired (and also highly illegal), “Lads on tour!” etc. Then we see the driver is passing our hotel. Oh.

They must be waiting for the correct turn (as we were now bombing on the interstate) they must be?!. 5 confused minutes pass, then the fear creeps in…..where are we going?? “Ok…if they turn left here we’re not getting raped”. “James you bang on the window..go on”. It was getting darker as we were very much leaving the city and we were still going full speed. Just before we could put our “if this truck stops we fucking run” plan into motion they pull into a hotel. This is the problem with franchising folks…it leads to 15 minutes of rape fear. We said ‘The Double Tree Hotel by the Denny’s” – they kindly drove us, albeit to the wrong one. Safe as. They drove us back to our actual hotel, the whole while laughing at us thinking they were the cast of deliverance. End up going drinking with them in the hotel bar…funny thing is the driver was a rep from fender, nice bloke. Lads on Tour.

Friday:
Next morning we wake at an ungodly hour and stroll into town to play our first proper show in B.D. Reily’s on 6th – its the MFI showcase gig. Frankie unleashes his hairy ‘V’. We get a nice Irish breakfast in there and see lots of familiar pale Irish faces. Given the frantic change-over times we decide to play only 2 songs which went pretty well save for me clocking Frankie square in the face with the headstock of my guitar. Sorry Frankie.
Catch Conor/Villagers set which is wonderful, the megaloud Butterfly Explosion and the wonderful Lost Brothers. We then leave as Paul dances to/for the Dirty Epics over their shoulders while holding their CD. Next show that day was the 18th floor of the Austin Hilton. Amazing, amazing view and scenery from the stage but not many folk in the crowd. Ah well, time to get drunk so. Four Jaegerbombs in ten minutes to kick it off then down to the artists bar for millions of drinking. Impersonations of Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 lead to Paul getting topless (this will be a reoccurring theme). I steal a tiny Texas flag for no real reason. Back on the streets, and myself and topless Paul go for some arrogant street dancing. The lads go home and myself and two butterfly exploders decide to get on a random schoolbus full of strangers which is going to some party (you think I would have learned something from the pickup truck!). Drive 40 minutes outside of Austin City to the countryside where a hiphop producer called Mr Starcity greets us. Hrmmm. He lives in a mansion and has a cool converted barn. Drink some more and play/lose pool to some nice women. 6am…Time for bed methinks.

Saturday:
The sun has gone in, its cold, so cold. Go to Denny’s for a heartattack breakfast. Load up the gear and get kinda lost whilst trying to find our venue. Today’s show is an unofficial SXSW party at the Austin City Limits in a place called ‘The Hole In The Wall’. If you ever go to Austin, visit this place. The barman Dennis (beard, dungarees, cowboy hat) welcomes us with free drinks (a double whiskey for James) and turns out to be a lovely bloke “ehhh my irish friends!“. It’s great when the barman gets drunk at lunchtime. Bad weather delays our set which isn’t a bad thing as we get our ‘hair of the dog’ on with the jaegerfriends. We get invited to a taping of Austin City Limits across the street and myself and Frankie get as far as the studio door before being summoned back for soundcheck. The show goes well (though for the opener ‘enemies’ my fingers were numb so there was no playing for me in verse 2). Paul ends the set as winner in the volume war. Get food next door in a burger place. Tim’s cup smells funny, he informs an employee, cut to the employee handing Tim a variety of cups for smelling. Smell the cup. Stay in HITW for some more beers then decide some modest ‘last night in Austin’ drinks on 6th would be fun. Since the artist bar wasn’t opening for an hour we went into a few places for some jaeger (went to ‘coyote ugly’, which was surreal in its own way). Meet up with Conor boy in the Artist’s place and abandon all plans for a sensible night and drink like cheap irish bastards. Paul gets topless (again). In this area there is a video booth to record messages and email them to people so this was the perfect place to debut the halves/villagers collaboration we’ve been keeping so secret.  Whitney Houston’s ‘The Bodyguard’, Macy Gray’s ‘I tryyyy and sayyy goodbyyye and I chookkke’, and of course 2Unlimited. Go to bed. Wake up at ridiculous-o-clock and go to the airport. Funtimes in Austin. Thanks to James for his trans-atlantic drumming and drinking, Edel for standing in on some vocals/melodica, and the folks at MFI.

End of February

how fast are these months flying by?

rehearsals are going swimmingly after a seriously rusty few weeks. new songs sound plausable and we’ve added new instruments to the fold. yadayada. i think we’ve now figured out the 4th new rendition of ‘tony hart’s revenge theme’ (methinks the final one). feel weird about that title now he’s gone…sad that. dublin folk should get their bones over to this: http://bit.ly/aNXfF6 as it’ll be fun, enclosed fun at that.

people should join all the groups to petition the closure of bbc’s 6 music, that would be very bad (what will adam & joe do?! I need that podcast for me sanity!)

less than three weeks until we teach the americas how to rock out. we have 4 shows in texas all of which are in highly unusual places (18th floor of a hotel, block party, irish bar and a well known food chain associated which a day of the week).

(i’ll be keeping a diary so expect the next blog to be more entertaining than the last few months).

lads on tour.

End of January

Hello Folks,

The first month of this new decade has been pretty good- rehearsals under way with the new live band, refiguring oldies and trying to learn the new ones- going back to baby steps but we’ll get there in time for Austin. I appears we’ll be doing 3 shows over the pond but dont ask me when or where because I dont know. Irish shows are currently being booked so begin all of your irrepressible excitement now- It think we’ll be playing a few ‘alternative spaces’ as opposed to Whelan’s for a while (more info soon).

The first outsider ears have heard our unnamed record and thankfully its not dreadful so we can all take a minute to exhale. I’m rambling a bit it seems. We joined Twitter (begrudgingly) so search for halvesband (this will basically be an online archive of dumb rehearsal qoutes).  Just watched Tony Blair’s Q&A, though I’m not highly political I am confused at how civil folks can be when judging a vessel of evil. Rant. Anyways not much to report as we’re still in the boring background stages of things- we have brass now so thats exciting….it is, dont question it. Three delightful songs below for you pleasure.

‘big love’

End of December

Will keep this short {lots to do you seeee}

This is where we would do a roundup of our fantastic year- 2009 is a bulletpoint year-

Found Canada & fell in love with her

Said farewell to David for Canada

Returned to Canada to make a record…

Christmas came and went in a flash,  it was nice to have a tiny band break. The album gets mastered in a couple of days (finalfinalfinal step, rejoice). As for when its out? God only knows {though i do love some peoples optimism “so like February yeah?”). This yet-to-be-titled powerhouse will be out when finances rule in our favour. Rehearsals start back the day after mastering- dust off gear & begin playing with new folks {sans davey}. Speaking of album titles I doubt the guys will let me name it ‘Scaffolding of Sadness”…that would surely be an international winner, no? fine then.

Happy New Year Folks….2010 will hopefully be a good one for us.

{songs: husker du punk greatness, carter burwell did a lovely score for that new cohen brothers film full of harp, dont really like the dirty projectors too much but this song is lovely- she should go solo}”

End of November

November eh?

While many people took the time to hate the french we took the time to forget our soundcard when we travelled to Kilkenny to record a choir. It was kindly retrieved and we recorded the 20+ women singing in a wonderfully hushed way. Last piece of the record done. Oh happy day. So as I write this we have ten days left of mixing before we send the record back to thee mighty hotel2tango for a nice polish. Just need to name the bloody thing (“You’ve been Merrrrrdeddd!!”??  my favourite Elis quote of the month though somehow its Anglo-charm wont translate on paper I reckon). Search goes on I guess.

We’ll be traveling to Austin (TX) in March to play South By Southwest which will indeed be a fun way to kickstart our live gigging. We are also currently plotting some Irish dates but they wont be happening until we’ve figured out these new songs, haven’t a notion how to play them yet. Looking forward to getting people back in the room with some comforting volume…like a loud hug. This sadly will be sans Davey but he left us with a printed list of things he’d usually say hanging in his corner. Anyway the December blog will be a nice one (hopefully with a title and more than likely photos from the halves xmas party involving Tim asleep and Elis being offensive).

Went xmas shopping and put myself in that horrible situation where I could hear the radios playing in shops, all this intentional auto-tune and lyrics about being ‘skanky’ blah blah blah… these people need to rethink so many things that I suggest they just don’t bother leaving their houses- they can find work there as redundant internet strippers if they want. Drivel.

Below are some stills from our little movie about us making this record (the movie could indeed be called “You’ve been Merrrrrdeddd!!”)

I’ve decided I’m going to make this 3 song thing a regular feature so enjoy the below (‘Time Zone- ‘World Destruction’ is such an amazing song its taken me by surprise, hilarious video too, no need for that cape at the end)

Be good and I suppose have a merry xmas

Halves

Ps. RIP to the wonderful Giveamanakick, only got to play with them once when we were in Toronto but brilliant band and very nice gents.