Ok, so here we finally are. 10 months on from the last recording and mixing sessions, the 5th album by STFES is ready to leave the nest and a date of the 10th of November has been set for pushing our baby off the branch in the hope that it flies. Once again our most splendid label (Vacilando 68) are releasing our efforts on vinyl (with download) and download. In the intervening months between completion and release, the talented and esteemed photographer Rikard Osterlund fashioned some striking images of the band on metal plates using a Victorian wet-plate camera, which were very much in keeping with the lyrical themes of an album appropriately entitled Scowl. He did such a cracking job that we asked him to put the artwork together for us, coupled to a swirling aquatic inner sleeve image from the also marvelous Joseph Wise (from the bands Frau Pouch and Punching Swans). We always feel the artwork should reflect the music and the chaps have done a bang up job of doing just that.

And what of the music? Well, as ever, it's a departure from our last release (the eponymous LP), in part due to the departure of Rob Shepherd from the band, (although he still cam and played on some of the album after the fact). This galvanised the core of the band into a harder sounding unit. But the harder times we find ourselves living in have done much the same and we feel the music reflects that too. We recorded way too many songs for a vinyl release and a follow-up EP of offcuts is planned, with very interesting dub remixes of all the tracks by The Closer We Are To Dying (aka Terry Lane) accompanying.This will be a download only release.

On the 10th of November there will be a show. An album launch, a musical review, a live album recording, a release party and all the dancing horses, (I may have lied about the last, but the rest is true). And at Sun Pier House, Medway Street, Chatham, starting at 8pm, we will commence. There will be live remixing of Medway music by the aforementioned The Closer We Are To Dying, which will start at 8 and continue between the other acts. There will be support slots from Punching Swans (featuring the aforementioned Joe Wise) and our chums from the far flung reaches of Colchester, Ghosts of Men. Then there will be an extended performance from ourselves in a review format: we will be inviting guests who appear on the album to get up with us and perform one of their own songs with us as the backing band (Booker T and The MGs style), before staying on to perform the songs they feature on on our album. To this end Rachel Lowerie, Rastko (featuring Rob Shepherd, but we couldn't have Rob without Arf now could we) and Dave Read will also feature. And because he's so enthusiastic and has a cracking voice, Stuart Blakeledge from the Sweetchunks Band is coming along to do a duet too. All of this is being recorded for posterity and potential future release. 

That is the news. How've you been?


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