Tag Archives: Matt Howden

LOCKDOWN SIEBEN coming to an end? ;)

48 weeks, 13 albums, 50 concerts, 82 videos, 122 songs, and an immeasurable pleasure to have made LOCKDOWN SIEBEN for you all.

Friday 2nd April is concert 50, VOLUME 10 Night, and the final concert of LS.

But as always, I aim to give no less than all, so there may be a little extra. And seems a shame to not ‘see the year out’? 😉

“Boxset is coming!” says Kev, menacingly 😉 I’m hoping that I’ll have it up on the site in the next week or so.

See you Friday!

Matt – March 2021

Lockdown Sieben building to a climax!

Hi all 🙂 Next week is Volume 9 Night- as you know, the album releases on Bandcamp in the morning, and I play it live for you online on Facebook in the evening 😀 (remember you don’t need to be on fb, or log in, to watch- and I add them to youtube the day after, too) After that, I’m aiming to bring LS to its climax! Next week’s show will be songs from Forbid The Sun’s Escape, and The Lion & the Hook albums played live (and updated!) for you. Obviously, the night will called Forbid The Hook’s Escape Helpline 😉

Volume 10 will happen on the 2nd of April, 11 months after I started online, thanks to all your lovelinesses 🙂

It’s been a glorious Sieben-Boot-Camp workout for me, throughout! I’ve always aimed to push and develop what I do, concert by concert, certainly album by album – but this has been under the microscope of your wonderful gaze, and you’ll have seen the new Sieben sound developing before your eyes more recently live. I feel set up nicely for writing the next Sieben. And it’s nicely the other way round to usual, for me, too: Normally, I’d have the content and ideas and go searching a new sound. Bootcamp training has set me up with a whole new wealth of sounds and sound sources, and new grooves I want to explore with new Sieben music. I can feel a whole new skin shedding. LS has enabled me to meld Pastoral Howden with Angry Howden, now it’s time to push on to Future Howden? That’s my plan, at least – to try and channel this into the last concerts of LS so that there’s still a (hopefully) very special climax to it all 🙂

This Wednesday, 3rd of March, Kev and I make our DJ debut, at 16.32UK time, here: https://beachyheadradio.com/listen/ 

After that I’ll wrangle it on to my Mixcloud 😃 I guess some of my song choices may surprise you 😉

The box set is being manufactured. I’ll keep you all updated about its release. Shouldn’t be long, now. I still have Lockdown The Covers and 2020 VISION CDs to sell to break even, too 😉

Keep well, all!

Matt – Feb 2021

Winter Solstice Special Live Album

My Winter Solstice Special Live (digital) Album is now on sale exclusively from my Bandcamp 🙂 You can watch the concert in its entirety on my Youtube Channel.

Must admit there was an extra tension in the air 😉 Not least because I was conscious that my weekly fun moments of ‘nope, no sodding clue how that bit goes’ wouldn’t translate too well to a full-blown two-hour culmination of a year’s work’ album. It’s pretty ‘chunky’ anyway, and Kev caps it off with his own hymn. Then there are a couple of virtual encores. Plus, all the usual inane and bizarre chat, without all the dim pauses and bending down to tweak the looper 😉

 

Thanks all, for your immense support throughout LOCKDOWN SIEBEN.

I’m straight back on it in the New Year, with Concert 38 – Hello Mellow 21? Friday at 8 on my Sieben Facebook LIVE page, each week until you’ve had enough, or we’re allowed to do it in real-life again 😉

Matt – 22nd Dec 2020

2020 IN BRIEF…

2020 IN BRIEF: Album release planned, festivals, tour dates booked. Covid cometh. ALL GONE. Teach online, work out broadcasting.First gig online. Scramble to master the sound, struggle to operate cameras, lights. Rehearse, record, learn songs, teach, sleep, repeat weekly. DIY. Lovely Church of Sieben est.2020. 36 gigs in a row. Build each week to Friday. Papier Mache something. Often a moon, sometime a Big Kev. ‘Record some songs’ becomes ’10 CD retrospective career so far re-write Boxset’. 2020 VISION releases digitally, then CD, vinyl. Cat T shirts. Kev, George, Amber, Big Kev, Not So Big Kev, Mel, The Upstairs Hoover, The Old One, Stand, and Jonaton Monotron form ensemble. Sieben covers album. Sieben all-covers gig. 14 Sieben albums performed live in concert. 67 LS videos made – Lockdown a strange beast! Live Solstice album culmination. LS 2020 ENDS… (except two videos which release 24.12 and 25.12 😉 )

Expect the Grateful Dead (Gruntled Dead?) version of Sieben with concert 37 tomorrow night, as I indulge in a two-hour special and bask in the reflection of The Ginger One’s glory. Culminates with a virtual ‘Who’s Been Digging In The Garden, George?’ and a hymn that Kev’s written for us all as a message of hope for 2021 😉 I finish off the year with this live album concert, Winter Solstice Special, and as always try to top the previous show. This time more so than ever 😉

 

I can’t thank you all enough for the wonderful journey, the fantastic travels we’ve had whilst at home in socks; for the mental and physical exercise-wheel of joy that has been LOCKDOWN SIEBEN 2020 for me 😀 A chance for me to really develop what I do, push myself, in ideal conditions. With a Kev. With you. With a new there-and-then approach. Re-connected me with my old material, integrated it all with a new sound. The ultimate As They Should Sound for me, with the better half of my back catalogue. With one major exception: No wasteful pursuit of over-cooking, over-working the mixtures making studio albums. It’s taught me a new, simpler more effective way: Pick up Kev, do it live, pedals ready to go, knowing there’s an eager audience, and as always having a real desire to expand the music I make and keep it fresh has driven me like never before. Despite Lockdown’s many downsides this has been an absolute joy, a labour of love for me to undertake, and to offer out to you. Truly a real blessing for an independent artist to have an outlet, a lovely audience that cares, and brings so much to the live concerts, and the LOCKDOWN SIEBEN Facebook group, its interactions, its friendships formed.

More to come in 2021, of course. I’ve still got to get to 100 videos, Volumes 8, 9 and 10 need doing, other albums need their own night. I wouldn’t be surprised if I see it through to a one-year cycle. I’m guessing you won’t be that surprised, either 😉

Thank you all so, so much.

Matt Howden 19 Dec 2020

Lockdown the Covers album

Guess what I found, digging in the garden this morning? My new Lockdown the Covers album! Now in my shop. In fact, ONLY in my shop. I bought a license to use other people’s songs for this CD. So it won’t be available digitally, or any other format. Just 750 of these mildly bad boys 😉

I’ve also done an ‘offer‘ whereby if you buy this and 2020 VISION CD, you get them a little cheaper.

Guaranteed NOT to get to you before Christmas! 😉

This album launches on Friday, with the online live show, concert 35, Don’t mention The ‘C’ Word.

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 🙂 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

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 🙂 ) 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? 😉

Keep well and be nice,

Matt – March 2020

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

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let the coldbloods take the stage…

Happy New Year to you! Had brilliant gigs in 2017, and hoping for more of the same this year. Not much in the way of gigs, to start this year – I’m trying to get my next album finished. I shall be in Colchester and Hannover at some point. And back to London, Croydon and Freiburg, possibly, too. Such is the beautifully odd nature of my varied gig list.

Crumbs From The Richman’s Table, my next Sieben album, is coming along nicely. I have ten tracks so far:

Crumbs / Sell Your Future / Just Be A Lot Nicer  / Forge A Better World / Sleep Our Dream / Post-Brexit Dreams Of Albion / Here Is The News / We Will Be Alright / I Will Ignore The Apocalypse / Coldbloods

Here’s a snippet of Coldbloods for you:

Coldbloods

Who let the hawks hang the higher ground? Who led the crows to circle round?

Starting to feel a little nervous now. (Don’t-let-them-near-the-switch-hey)

Who let the vipers take a hold? A slither of lies that became a road.

Can’t just be me that’s starting to feel a little nervous now.

Who let the primal shape control? Who let instinct steer the wheel?

Can’t just be me that’s starting to feel a little nervous now.

(Don’t-let-the-coldbloods-take-the-stage)

Who let the reptiles free their cage? Who let them loose on the modern age?

Who let the reptiles free their cage? Can’t just be me that’s starting to feel a little nervous now.

Still no plans for a release date. I want to write some more songs for this before its done. And properly make sure its exactly as I want it. And sit on it for a few months and try and do some proper promotion for it, for once. Though, I always say that and then when I get the copies made they start ‘burning a hole in my pocket’ and I itch to get them out there and heard.

Wishing you all the best 2018 🙂

Matt – Jan 2018

Crumbs!

Crumbs indeed. Been a while since I posted. Lots of lovely gigs so far this year, and a first time gig in Hungary, which was damn fine.

I’ve been busy working on a new Sieben album, which will be Redroom 020. Not to be released for a while yet, though, I still need to write it. Taking my time with this, whilst working my ears off endlessly. The attached snippet is from the title track of this album, which will be called Crumbs From The Rich Man’s Table. It features beautiful and sassy vocals from Sheffield’s own Zowie Lumsdale, singer with The Vain Dolls. She did it all, amazingly, in ten minutes too, leaving us loads more time to eat chicken. Playing a cave tonight, but you can see me guesting with The Cuckoo Clocks, a truly fabulous band and a pleasure to join their ‘gang’ online, tomorrow (Sat 30 Sept) at 10pm BST, here.

Off to my cave. Hope you enjoy the teaser for the new album 🙂

Matt Howden – September 2017

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