Hello there. It would appear that we slightly neglected this website last year. In point of fact this is the first blog entry since 2017. Which is silly. Because 2018 contained some wonderful newsworthy events, including a highly memorable gig at the Rainham Oasthouse with Fightmilk, Darren Hayman (formerly of Hefner) and label mates (and just mates) Theatre Royal, which was a packed house and proved what the band could do given half the chance. We played some outdoors things and some indoors things, but mostly we spent the year trying to get our next album together.
We had two thwarted attempts to record it live to tape with vintage 1960s equipment, but the studio in question let us down. So we cut our losses and returned to Ranscombe studios in Rochester and with Jim Riley and Brendan Esmonde once again manning the knobs, we tried to record in the manner we intended, quickly and with minimal overdubs, to try and keep the live feel, the energy and the spontaneity we were aiming for from the other studio. Only then the youngest member of the band sustained a nasty back problem and all work was suspended, then tweaked, then finally reworked and seemingly endlessly remixed before it was completed. But not quickly. In fact we failed to finish inside six months. But finish we did. The energy intact.
The new albums songs, well most of them, have been in our live set for a while, but in the studio we went to town on several of the vocal arrangements. The wonderful Rachel Lowrie once again putting us all to shame and Ani Graves, who has depped for Rachel at several gigs, also joining us for some sultry vocals, backing vocals and supplying the artwork for the front cover. The album is to be called 'Implicit Narrative' and is the first stfes album to have a title track. Only its a title track in four parts, dispersed among the sequencing and connecting the song sequence into a story. Loosely a concept album if you will, but with a small 'c'. No one plays pinball. But to help or perhaps deliberately muddy the narrative so that the listener can pick their own story out or ignore it altogether, there are storyboard illustrations drawn by Kent based comic book artist Ester Mace for the inner sleeve and two narrative poems from both male and female perspectives written by two of our favourite Medway poets, Barry Fentiman Hall and Sarah Jenkin, which will also be found on the inner sleeve. A sleeve that will once again be brought to you by the Vacilando 68 label, later this year.
We will make sure we remember to post on here about that though. In the meantime we better get rehearsing. All this recording business has dulled our memories of the rest of our songs and there's only two weeks till our first festival of the summer: Cosmic Puffin in Essex, on Mersea Island just outside Colchester. A big tie-died extravaganza of space-rock, psychedelic vibes and freak flags in the sun (hopefully). And all for charity.