Tag Archives: live looping

The halfway point of LOCKDOWN SIEBEN

Well, it’s five months since what started as ‘make a little video of a couple of songs’ turned into a project that aims to make 100 videos (55 so far), 10 albums reworking the best of my back catalogue (Volume 6 release this Friday, with the concert in the evening), re-learn 105 songs (92 so far), and make 105 index cards!

Friday sees the release of Volume 6, and just over the halfway point, I guess. I made a video of what’s happened so far:

It’s been amazing, demanding, and intense throughout, made brilliant by your support and enthusiasm. Despite 2020 absolutely falling apart at the start of the year, for all of us, this really has sustained me, and been an island of sanity. An odd but fitting way to celebrate the 20th year of doing my Sieben project. A weird and wonderful unification of my work past and present has taken place, in part led my the army that is Kev, (my kevlar 5 string violin) but for the most part, by you ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward immensely to another five months of giving it my best to entertain you and amuse you. And give you a little island of sanity, too, hopefully.

Matt Howden- Sept 2020

2020 VISION CDs, US TIME SPECIAL concert, Ogham music stands

Hi all, hope life in Lockdown, stuck at home, stuck at home working (me) or god forbid leaving the house and working, is treating you okay!

Some news, then…

2020 VISION CDs have arrived and are now for sale in my shop. If you’d prefer to order from Bandcamp (you get the files too) I’ll be adding it there in a day or so- please feel free to do so, if Bandcamp is more convenient. Also remember you can bank transfer or paypal to me if you don’t like shoddy looking home-made WordPress sites like mine! (I do the best I can!) If you have bought the digital but want the CD, feel free to guilt-free downloading of some LOCKDOWN SIEBEN material as recompense ๐Ÿ™‚

I shall be online each Friday EVERY week, it seems, for LOCKDOWN SIEBEN live in concert – with all the gang, Kev, The Upstairs Hoover, Apple, Amber and Ogham Stand. This week Surprise Frenchman pops in for a visit! What will happen next in the ongoing saga at Sieben Towers? Probably a gig, with a touch of added silliness. And the warm and lovely vibe you’re all bringing to these online ๐Ÿ™‚ All this stuff is archived regularly on my Youtube channel.

To that end, I’ve started a Facebook group called LOCKDOWN SIEBEN which you are most welcome to come and join, should you wish. It’s lovely to see the pics from your end, chat, get requests, interactions ๐Ÿ™‚

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN VOLUME 1 & 2 are now on my Bandcamp, Pay What You Like. I’ve been busy learning things that take my fancy, material old and new, for this- and to vary the live concerts as much as is humanly possible. At the minute I’ve managed to learn, map, and loop 51 Sieben songs and 7 covers. And have 22 older songs yet to re-learn. So LOCKDOWN SIEBEN may well be an eight-album CD boxset when all this is over. I’m just looking into that now.

Thank you all so much for your generosity: of spirit, with your mails, interactions with myself and each other at and around the concerts; and financially, purchasing the albums online or physical, over-paying, simply leaving a tip – it is most appreciated.

Finally, there will be a US TIME SPECIAL concert on Saturday/Sunday 21st June, as well as the normal (ha ha, normal!) Friday concert. For everyone, of course, but to accommodate the different time zone, or those of you who are near me, but are night-birds! It’ll be Sunday, 1am GMT. And all my neighbours will be asleep ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll add it to my gig list after the weekend.

Hope to see you on a Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚

Matt

 

The LOCKDOWN SIEBEN SERIES

Hi all ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, what started as a quick online video of a couple of Sieben songs has swelled slightly!

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN now sees a LIVE ONLINE CONCERT each Friday, 8PM GMT, from Sieben Central (my home studio), and is evolving into something of a soap opera, featuring The Upstairs Hoover, George the cat, Kev, and Amber’s antics. (coming soon- Garden Cam featuring my first remote-but-in-person audience member). Catch it on my SIEBEN Facebook LIVE tab.

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN VIDEOS can be seen on my VIDEO tab, or on my YOUTUBE channel. There are currently 19 – 14 individual videos of songs, and the five live concerts that have taken place under Lockdown.

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN VOLUMES 1-7 are now underway; LIVE ALBUMS, with sets matching the live concerts. They’re live and raw, and possibly the best versions of the songs I’ve ever produced. Who’d have thought just plugging in and playing would sound best? Doh. That’s twenty five years and thousands of hours of studio time put to shame in the space of seven weeks. Hey ho, couldn’t have got here without them, though ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re all initially on my Sieben BANDCAMP, but will go on to iTunes etc shortly. But they’ll always be ‘pay what you like’ on my Bandcamp. So do, even if that’s just downloading it for free. Times are hard in many cases, and my aim is to entertain you, and myself, during lockdown and beyond. This isn’t going away for a while yet, and neither am I ๐Ÿ˜‰ This may eventually go to a 7 CD boxset, as some of you asked for that. Just the small matter of getting 2020 VISION on CD before that, and getting enough sold to make it possible ๐Ÿ˜‰ But your generosity with merch purchases post-concert have been incredibly heart-warming (and useful!), with people using the LS albums as a tip jar, a concert ticket, or paying even more than an album would cost- all most generous, and very much appreciated.

VOLUME 1 IS OUT NOW! VOLUME 2 releases this Friday: https://sieben.bandcamp.com/

So, feel free to download my LS VOLUMES, and I hope to see you at my online concerts on Friday. This week the set is chosen by you- there’s a poll on the fb event page, so feel free to chip and hear the songs you’d most like to hear ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep well, all,

Matt – June 2020

 

2nd online concert- lock that Sieben down!

Hi all- second online concert streaming from facebook Live tomorrow – you don’t have to have an account with Facebook to watch, as it’s from a PAGE- the Sieben page, naturally ๐Ÿ˜‰

https://www.facebook.com/TheMightySieben/live/ย 

I’m posting each concert, and a live recording each day on my Youtube page. Feel free to Subscribe to me there, and share the videos, if you wish. It all helps this relatively unknown artist ๐Ÿ™‚ Been enjoying doing these, learning some broadcast skills, and hopefully lightening people’s lockdown a little ๐Ÿ™‚

Next Friday sees the launch of Kickstart The Empire and 2020 VISION via iTunes, and 250 other main digital shops. It’ll be on Spotify etc from then, too. But those of you who buy it from my Bandcamp get an extra gift, and personal service ๐Ÿ˜‰ Who knows, I may even play an online concert that day, too…

Keep well, all,

Matt – May 2020

 

Friday’s the day!

Hi all, hope lockdown is treating you all okay. Lots to tell. And Friday really is the day! For me, at least:

2020 VISION releases on Friday, exclusively on my Bandcamp – two weeks before official world-wide digital release, when it’ll be on all major platforms, and Spotify etc. The Bandcamp-first thing gives me a little better share of the sale, so helps to recoup costs of making the album –ย  but feel free to buy from anywhere. And if you’re on my mailing list and can’t afford the album (for whatever reason) you simply have to send me a mail and I will send you the album for free. I WOULD RATHER YOU HAVE IT THAN NOT ๐Ÿ™‚

Also on Friday, I play my first online gig- be sure to tune in ๐Ÿ˜‰ Its on my Sieben page over at that there Facebook Live. Link is here, and you can set a reminder to start watching, should you wish. It’ll be 8pm UK (GMT) time, and 9pm in CET time. I’ll be at home, in my socks and playing and singing live for you.

I’m hoping 2020 VISION will eventually make it to CD, but just can’t afford to pay out for manufacture currently. I had all sorts of physical release plans, including limited edition 2x 10″ clear vinyl copies with leather sleeves…Oh, and on the 15th May, Kickstart the Empire will also release world-wide, so be on all major platforms.

I’ve also started to create a series of videos from home, playing live called LOCKDOWN SIEBEN. You’ll find them on my Youtube channel, and here’s the first test one. You’ll also find the wonderful new video made by Joao Paulo Simoes from Frontier Media, here. So kind of him to make me this fabulous video.

Hopefully see some you on Friday ๐Ÿ™‚ keep well, and hope you enjoy my LOCKDOWN SIEBEN sessions. I’m planning to do quite a few online gigs now I’ve sorted a good sound, so look out for them on Youtube. Or email me and request one, I’ll beam into your house and come and play for you. You have to buy my new album, though ๐Ÿ˜‰

Matt

You wait patiently for one apocalypse, then two come along at once…

Unprecedented times. With that in mind, and all my European dates wiped off the map for the next few months and with who knows what disruption later in the year, I’ve had to change some plans.

Having just finished the new Sieben album 2020 VISION, I’d planned to sit back for a bit, send it off to manufacture, get CD copies back, send them to press, all in time for European dates and tour with a September release. With things they way they are, I’ve decided to push the album release forward to May 1st. No point it being upstaged by an actual apocalypse, I guess.

I’m planning on adding it to my Bandcamp, and then Spotify, iTunes etc if I can make the deadline. Some videos are in commission already.

I know this is of little consequence with what’s going on in the world currently, but to me its my livelihood and sanity! So, I will carry on. With us all possibly in self-isolation for the foreseeable future, I thought I’d add the album as “pay what you like” – so if you have no money you can still have the full album. (*NOTE: I tried this, but it wouldn’t let me do this with pre-orders, so will be offering free download codes to those with no money – simply email me if that’s any of you ๐Ÿ™‚ ) And I have you as a captive audience! Had planned to do CDs, but for now this will have to suffice. Without the gigs I have no money to make the CDs

Keep well out (in) there, and see you on the other side. My ray of hope is that many people may question the nature of the modern way of living our lives, the rat race, the pace, the “endless more” of the society we inhabit. Or they may talk about loo roll. Either way, I’m going to try and add some content online when I can, in an effort to keep people’s spirits up. 2020 VISION may be my most apocalyptic work, but its upbeat and chirpy, irreverent and bouncy – we’re not counting the lyrics, here, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Keep well and be nice,

Matt – March 2020

2020 Vision

Happy New Year, all! And congratulations on making it to a date that’s straight from a Dystopian sci-fi novel. Not unlike the current world we find ourselves in. To that end, I’m working on my next Sieben album. It’ll be called 2020 Vision, so I’d better get on and finish it ready for release in 2020. September is the plan, along with a Live DVD that I’ll be recording somewhere intimate in my hometown of Sheffield. Never released a live DVD before, and as 2020 sees 20 years of me doing Sieben, it seemed somehow appropriate. The DVD recording may possibly be 2 concerts on consecutive nights, with a small audience in somewhere special. More details when I’ve got something concrete to tell.

I’m excited to have a lot of gigs booked already for 2020, including a tour support for Goethes Erben on their German tour. Lovely of them to ask me along ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll also be playing other concerts in Germany, so around 12 booked already. And Slovakia for the first time, as well as Portugal, Austria and France once again. Those that are confirmed are already on my concerts page.

2020 Vision will be on CD, woodcut, and possibly vinyl. Collectors editions may include specs through which you can see the apocalypse. Simply pop them on and look around, there are no lenses in them. And that’s kind of the vibe of the album, really ๐Ÿ˜‰

Really looking forward to getting out there on the road, armed with Kev the Kevlar violin, and showing you my new sounds. Wishing you all a lovely 2020, and hope to catch up with you at some point in the year ๐Ÿ™‚

Matt – Jan 2020

 

Kickstart vinyl off in the post to you!

I’ve sent out all the Kickstart vinyls, they are on their way to you ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a lovely summer.

Matt Howden – July 2019

Its all about the gigsโ€ฆ

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. Theyโ€™re touting their debut album Image, which I can highly recommend. Iโ€™ve only seen them live on youtube thus far, but what Iโ€™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, Cafรฉ Totem– intimate, close-up and personal. Thatโ€™s my way of saying I may well poke you in the eye with my violin bow inadvertently whilst playing, if youโ€™re in the audience for this. Which you should be, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 80โ€™s! night on the first Friday of every month โ€“ 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, Iโ€™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 Iโ€™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 Iโ€™m back in Sheffield, playing the first ever Amberfest โ€“ a local festival to celebrate 20 years of womenโ€™s and girlโ€™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 โ€˜noโ€™ to this. Will be a lovely day.

June, Iโ€™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 beerโ€ฆ

After that comes Scheunenmottenkiste, Germany, a secret little affair in the woods. Then France, but I canโ€™t give you more details until its announced.

Come the summer, there will also be a new Sieben release โ€“ a digital EP (and very limited edition) lathe-cut vinyl 7โ€ 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, letโ€™s do The Idiot Test…

 

Kickstart the Empire!

Come on all you good people out there.

Kickstart the Empire!

Whatโ€™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 โ€˜thenโ€™ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Matt

March 2019

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