Author Archives: Matt Howden

All things Kev

So, as you may have heard me ‘banging on about’ on social media, and in person, I have a new violin. He’s called Kev. Rest assured my original violin and I have been through significant counselling, and many honest talks. 1,700 gigs under my belt with only ever my original acoustic violin, so its a bit of a change. Especially as Kev also has five strings, is made of Kevlar, and I’ve changed my looper to accommodate some other changes. Gulp. Pleased to report that I’m over the moon with Kev, who I bought from his lovely makers Bridge Violins, in Sleaford, Lincs. They were very happy to tweak Kev to my bespoke wishes, which turned out to be keeping it exactly as they had designed it.

It all sounds much more like it does in my head, when looped and layered, now. I am so excited about getting out there live with Kev, and capturing all the new sounds I can create with new songs, on the next album. Already planning that in my head, but holding off until I have the looper and new violin sound sorted live. It seems I can remember more songs, for live, and perform more per show with the new set up, which is also a bonus.

Secret and not-so-secret gigs have already taken place in Sheffield and The Lakes, and next up is Lobau (DE), Lisbon (PT) and Bonn (DE), to show off Kev and my new groovy sound! Last up in the year is my “Kev’s First Christmas” (Sieben Secret Santa yearly show) to round off the year. I play two sets, I give you crap presents, I host it like a cheap gameshow host on speed. What’s not to like? Tickets on sale for that shortly from my shop 🙂

Matt – October 2019

 

 

Introducing the new band member of SIEBEN

This will be a real new development in the Sieben sound, believe me.

See for yourself, if you’re in the area, as you are cordially invited to my

FREE SECRET GIG TO LAUNCH ‘KEV’ new band member of SIEBEN- my new kevlar five-string electric violin, new looper (*now with added loopiness and vocal mic).

He needs a first road test. You are invited 🙂
Sunday 22nd September – 4-6pm – The Dorothy Pax, Canal Basin, Sheffield.
STRAPLINE FOR THE EVENT: “DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU!”

Kickstart vinyl off in the post to you!

I’ve sent out all the Kickstart vinyls, they are on their way to you 🙂

The original woodcuts are now all sold out. I’m getting a different design sorted, for any of you who’d still like a Kickstart woodcut with Empire Seeds! Be careful what you grow.

Got lovely gigs under my belt this year, and more of the same in the next few months, including Louth, Cumbria, Manchester, Bonn and Lobau in Germany, and a Lisbon date to be announced soon.

And something new is forming in my mind, I can feel it.

You’ll be the first to know 🙂

Thanks for your interest, as always,

Matt – August 2019

vinyl apologies!

Hi all! Many vinyl apologies for those of you who ordered it. Good news is its on its way to being finished, as the machine is now being tested ready to cut copies once more. I shall email each and every one of you as soon as I’ve posted your copy. Thanks for your patience- and hope you are at least enjoying the Extended Digital EP already 🙂

Tramlines in Sheffield was brilliant- so many great gigs throughout the city- and was really feeling the love at my two gigs, which were immense. Thanks to everyone who came to those, and especially those of you who travelled some distance – impressive and much appreciated! Next week, Germany and a mini-farm-much-fun-festival, the week after in the company of Rosa Crux at their delightful festival in Northern France.

After that I’m in Louth at The Priory, and very much looking forward to playing and staying there. Which will bring me to September and a gig in Cumbria for Barry The Astonishing himself… I’m also looking for concerts for the night before/after, in the area, so if anyone near Preston/Clitheroe/Lancs/Cumbria has any suggestions, or better still wants to book myself and Andy Whitehouse then drop me a line 🙂

Have a lovely summer.

Matt Howden – July 2019

vinyl apologies!

Dear all, my sincerest apologies that the Kickstart vinyl will be delayed. As Jon started the first lathe-cut of the single, his lathe started playing up! He’s currently waiting on a replacement. Estimated send-out time is now the start of August. I am currently writing addresses on envelopes, and the little extras are bagged and ready to go. I will keep you informed, but my apologies once more 🙂

Hopefully each of you who ordered the vinyl now all have your download code for the Kickstart Extended EP? (My apologies, Vincent, you were on a separate list 😉 And those of you who were in the video, too? And those of you who purchased the woodcut? 😉

If anyone can’t fathom how to get their download, let me know and I will send you the files! And if you’ve downloaded before all 9 tracks were added, you can simply download again and get all the tracks. I was just waiting on getting the remixes back- all in, now- and all wonderful. 3 young up-and-coming producers have given it their own take on tracks from the Kickstart EP. I like Bandcamp for many reasons, both as an artist and a punter. One major reason being I can download a full-bandwidth version of any album I’ve bought, for listening in my studio, and download another, mp3 version, for listening on my mp3 player whilst travelling or walking to work.

And those of you who have pre-ordered the digital EP should already have 2 tracks, but will get all 9 when I “release the pre-release” tomorrow afternoon 😉 Of course I shall yell and proclaim ” Release The Pre-Release” as I press the button!

Can’t tell you how excited I am to play the launch of this on Thursday. (Last few tickets still left, but should be sold out on the night). Mostly because I can’t wait to unleash my new band on you! They’re students of mine, and all really ‘on it’ – no pet project, this, they are all in it because they’re really good. They absolutely ‘rock’. For the looping set after I’ve delved into my back catalogue, and re-learned how to play We Wait For Them and Donald.

Then its concerts in Norway, Tramlines in Sheffield, Germany, France, and Louth 🙂 Hope to see some of you at those. Thanks, as always, for the support with what I do.

Matt – June 2019

Video woodcut vinyl

Hello! 🙂

Plans taking shape for Kickstart The Empire!

The vinyl has sold out. Thank you all 🙂 You should all have codes, as I’ve emailed each of you. Vinyl should be with me soon, and I’ll email again to tell you its in the post. As an added bonus I’ve added an extra download code, which you are welcome to give to a friend, leave at a bus stop, give to a kind stranger, as you wish 🙂

I’m busy filling each of the baggies that come with the vinyls and woodcuts. The ‘Empire seeds’ were going to be sand, but when I filled a little baggie last night with some, its reddish-brown builder’s sand hue looked way too hardcore, too Breaking Bad and dodgy to send through the post, so I’ve opted for two different things for the vinyl and woodcuts. If you’ve ordered them you’ll find out what 😉 Both are suitable metaphors for growing an Empire…

The woodcuts are now up for sale in my shop. I was going to make it a “live shows only” thing, but have such supportive people all over who simply can’t go to shows because I don’t play near there! So, ever-grateful as I am that people indulge me with what I do, I’ve added them to my shop.

The Kickstart video is now released! SEE IT NOW! Immeasurable thanks to Adam Ryan who has made this video, and the wonderful people who showed up on a Saturday morning to act silly and dance. I’ve emailed you all with Kickstart download codes as a thank you. It’ll be on here first, shortly before I start begging you all like a weeping Instagram Influencer, to share it for me 😉

One note on the EP, sat on my Bandcamp. If you’ve bought something physical from me you should already have 6 of the nine tracks. The other 3, the remixes, are all being completed as I type. Thank you, Sidney Dawson, Charlie Eades and JG Stockton. I’ll be adding these soon, and you’ll then get all 9 next time you visit the site.

The launch for all this is in 2 weeks time, at The Dorothy Pax in Sheffield, some tickets still left. This will be the only show with the full band playing the Kickstart tracks and a full set, and once again its been an absolute pleasure to rehearse and record with some of my students: Estelle Varley on drums, Jamie Rupik on bass, fellow tutor Sean Ryan on guitar, Will Sandbach on synth, and Jake Austin on keys. They rock! These are never ‘pet projects’ (“ah, hope them young ‘uns do well, bless ’em” etc) They’re all in it because they’re good enough, and nice to be in a band with. And they certainly are.

Thanks, as always for the continued support for what I do, and indulging my musical whims. I absolutely appreciate it.

Matt – June 2019

We all need a good plunder now and then…

The Kickstart vinyl has now sold out. Thanks to all those of you who ordered. I’ve emailed most of you with your digital codes, just got the last few orders to do that on. And bags are being filled, with Empire seeds (grow your own Empire! What could go wrong?), and swarf, ready to send out with the vinyl when I get them back from the Sheffield sweat-shop 😉

The digital EP is now available for pre-order, release 27 June 2019.

Some last tickets left for the launch concert for Kickstart The Empire! here. A one-off to see me with the band that recorded the Kickstart band versions. And a one-off to see me with a band, at all 😉

Also announced on my concerts page are gigs in Louth, in Manchester, and Bonn (DE) later in the year. Looking forward to playing those 🙂

Matt

The vinyls are now available for pre-order…

Just letting you know first, as you are my faithful. There are only 60 being made, so if you want one I suggest ordering it now 🙂 They will be available around or before the 27th June. You also get a code for the extended digital Kickstart The Empire! EP and your very own 9small) bag of Empire! See my shop for details 🙂

If I’m writing the press release, it must be on its way soon…

Well, if I’ve written the first few lines, at least… PRESS RELEASE – REDROOM RECORDS – NEW SIEBEN EP

Kickstart The Empire! 

Come on, let’s kick-start an Empire, you and I!

We all need a good plunder now and then.

‘Now’ is a disaster. We want to reinstate ‘then’.

People knew their place, and irony hadn’t yet been invented.

Kickstart The Empire! Is the glorious new Sieben EP, available in three fine Empirical FORMATS: VINYL 7”, DIGITAL EP and EXTENDED DIGITAL EP. RELEASE DATE 27th June 2019…   

The rest is to be continued: There are a surprisingly large amount of details, people, dates, changes dependent on format, catalogue-number-UPC-ISRC type things to collate when making a new release. There will also be a video to support this release. Currently I’m at four pages of info and its all looking quite overwhelmingly informative.

The important thing here is that I’m letting you, my mailing list faithful,  know that you’ll get ‘first dibs’ on the KIckstart vinyl 7″ single, (hand-cut, lathe-cut, cut by serfs of the Empire) if you’d like one, before it goes on general release. Only sixty copies made so it may not get to general release. (You also get the extended digital EP codes, with the vinyl, so you’ll get 8 digital tracks as well as the Double A-Side single- see, once you start explaining there’s loads to account for!) And for those of you that prefer digital these days, there’ll be a chance to pre-order that. And for those in or around Sheffield, or those that fancy a trip, the EP launch concert will be on release date, Thurs 27th June, at The Dorothy Pax venue. (Again, bespoke and intimate, so only 60 places available). The new Sieben band will play, and I will do a looping set. Details to be announced soon. I’ll leave you with the lyrics to Kickstart:

Kickstart The Empire

Give me new old days.

Those heady, Summer old ways.

Gilded history and gold rays.

People knew their place.

 

Come on, let’s do The Idiot Test…

 

Kickstart the Empire!

Come on all you good people out there.

Kickstart the Empire!

What’s wrong with all you damn people down there?

 

Heave those mighty oars!

We can row this land to brave new shores.

Heave those mighty oars!

We can make ‘then’ now great again.

Kickstart the Empire!

We all need a good plunder now and then.

Kickstart the Empire!

Free the chains of reality.

 

Kickstart the Empire!

Its all about the gigs…

Some Sieben shows coming up in various parts of the world, soon.

First up, in my hometown of Sheffield next week I have the pleasure of supporting Whispering Sons, a great new band from Brussels. They’re touting their debut album Image, which I can highly recommend. I’ve only seen them live on youtube thus far, but what I’ve seen has been striking and lovely, so expecting to be blown away by them next week. Looking forward to combining with In The Nursery to play some of their songs, and a sneaky cover, too. Great local venue too, Café Totem– intimate, close-up and personal. That’s my way of saying I may well poke you in the eye with my violin bow inadvertently whilst playing, if you’re in the audience for this. Which you should be, of course 😉

A great night of DJ-ing too: DJ-ing upstairs will be Marco Rico. For those of you local to Sheffield, I can highly recommend his Kick Up The 80’s! night on the first Friday of every month – great music, and a fab night. I’ve been several times, and looking forward to the next one in April. And downstairs will be the wondrous sounds of DJ DeAth, based in Leeds but often globe-trotting, always a fine supporter of the underground scene, and good music.

After that, in April, I’m in Antwerp, Belgium, for Black Easter Festival. This festival was inspired by Ward De Prins, music journalist, music lover, and great guy who sadly died last year. Very happy to be coming back to play this, and will be dedicating you a song, Ward.

The week after I’ll be playing a delightful concert in Friedrichshagen, Berlin, at the Eiskellar venue. Support for the evening will be by German darkfolk band Stein, and will be a pleasure to share the same bill with them once again. Always pleased to see them, especially as one of their tribe smokes an excellent fish in many innovative ways, and I will be a happy recipient, I hope, once again. Special mention to super-music-lover Andrea Nickel, who has taken supporting music she loves to new heights, and is putting on the gig herself. One of the joys of working in the underground music and arts scene is the resourceful, caring and supportive people you befriend along the way, and the energy they give to the scene. They make it all worthwhile when your bank balance is giving you a different narrative. Event page for this is here.

May 4th I’m back in Sheffield, playing the first ever Amberfest – a local festival to celebrate 20 years of women’s and girl’s football. Really heart-warming to have ex students of mine running the event, with help from current ones, and past and present students also on the bill playing the event. No way I could say ‘no’ to this. Will be a lovely day.

June, I’m in Norway, near Trondheim for Celebrata Hindrheimr 2019. This is a fabulous family-run private festival which is going to be an absolute blast. Last time I was there I spent quite a bit of time with the cows, simply listening to them munching in a barn was a sonic treat. It might have been the beer…

After that comes Scheunenmottenkiste, Germany, a secret little affair in the woods. Then France, but I can’t give you more details until its announced.

Come the summer, there will also be a new Sieben release – a digital EP (and very limited edition) lathe-cut vinyl 7” single entitled Kickstart The Empire! Details will appear here first so please sign up to my mailing list for news, if you haven’t already. There will only be 50 hand-made vinyl available in total. And then they’re gone. The digital EP will last until the end of internet, however.

 

Kickstart The Empire

Give me new old days.

Those heady, Summer old ways.

Gilded history and gold rays.

People knew their place.

 

Come on, let’s do The Idiot Test…

 

Kickstart the Empire!

Come on all you good people out there.

Kickstart the Empire!

What’s wrong with all you damn people down there?

 

Heave those mighty oars!

We can row this land to brave new shores.

Ride the froth of hope,

we can make ‘then’ now great again.

Kickstart the Empire!

We all need a good plunder now and then.

Kickstart the Empire!

Free the chains of the modern age.

Kickstart the Empire!

 

Hope to see you at a concert somewhere soon 🙂

Matt

March 2019

 

 

 

 

 

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