Tag Archives: Charlie Clark

The astrid story so far….

The Isle of Lewis

The Isle of Lewis

Find yourself on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides and you’ll find the deep roots of a band called astrid. It started in 1990 when an 11-year-old boy called Willie Campbell met a 10-year-old boy called Charlie Clark and they bonded over a shared fanaticism of comic books, movies and music. Soon after, the pair began to experiment with playing various instruments in barns, garages and sheds throughout the island their only audience the flora, fauna and possibly livestock of the Isle of Lewis.

Astrid-Play-Dead-Album-S-403580

Four years later Willie moved to Glasgow and Charlie started playing cover songs on the local bar circuit with school chum and bassist Gareth Russell this duos audience had grown to include people.

Following Willie’s lead in 1996, Charlie and Gareth moved to Glasgow and formed astrid with drummer Gary Thom. A mutual love of 60’s pop, psychedelia and tight harmonies brought Willie into astrid and their lineup and sound were finally realized.

ASTRID

ASTRID

In the beginning the boys of astrid spent their days writing songs and working flower stalls. At night they donned their finest charity shop threads to play astrid’s complete catalogue of seven songs at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, The 13th Note and Nice & Sleazy’s. Stop by the Halt Bar on Woodlands Rd. any Saturday afternoon and the boys of astrid could likely be found playing the open stage or spending their giros at the bar, even more likely, doing both. It was here Stevie Jackson from Belle & Sebastian heard astrid and asked the boys along for the first UK Belle & Sebastian tour. astrid accepted; their audience was quickly becoming their fans.

Belle & Sebastian

Belle & Sebastian

It was on this tour after a show at The Union Chapel in London that the boys of astrid met managers and founders of Fantastic Plastic Records, Darrin and Julie Robson. astrid signed to Fantastic Plastic in 1998 and all was right with the world.

Edwyn Collins

Edwyn Collins

Produced by Scottish Indie legend Edwyn Collins, astrid’s debut album, ‘Strange Weather Lately’ would go on to sell 10,000 copies and solidify astrid as 1999’s darlings of radio as they garnered support from the likes of John Peel, Steve Lamaq and Mark and Lard. The aforementioned setting in motion tours and shows in 2000 with acts from The Go-Betweens, Ben Lee and Sean Lennon to Lou Barlow, The Pernice Brothers and fellow indie circuit players, Snow Patrol.

THE REINDEER SECTION

THE REINDEER SECTION

In 2001 Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody asked astrid (with then drummer Neil Payne) to join and ultimately become the core band for his Scottish indie supergroup, The Reindeer Section. Among others, the ambitious project included members of Arab Strap, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, The Vaselines and Idlewild. Spanning a three year period, The Section went on to release two albums and toured frequently, including a rather memorable trip to Japan for Summer Sonic 2003.

astrid 2002

astrid 2002

astrid released nine singles, three albums and three EPs before disbanding in 2004.

Willie and Charlie remained friends throughout the years. They still shared a fanaticism of comic books, movies and music and never lost their mutual love of 60’s pop, psychedelia and tight harmonies, but they stopped making music together. Willie made his home and family in Lewis while Charlie did the same in Los Angeles.

July 2015, Willie Campbell and Charlie Clark met on the Isle of Lewis and took a stroll along the beach in Gress, the two men fell into a chat about the idea of writing a few songs together. Four months later the pair found themselves in a studio in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles recording the fourth astrid album ‘Fall, Stand, Dance’.

Fueled with the same buoyant energy that made astrid such an endearing live band, ‘Fall, Stand, Dance’ radiates the familiar pop sensibilities, irresistible melodies and soulful harmonies of astrid’s early days infused with a more mature and robust songwriting style; their audience, stronger than ever.

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

‘Fall, Stand, Dance’ will be released Spring 2017.

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Broken Arrow Xmas LA Show

Broken Arrow will be playing our final show of the year on December 9th at Harvard & Stone with our friends Bullet & Snowfox and special guest from the UK, Paul Freeman. This will be our Xmas Party for fans, friends and family and good way to wrap up the year after spending most of it on our record.

Bullet & Snowfox

Bullet & Snowfox

We’re really happy with how the record sounds so far and will be playing most of the songs from it as well as a new song we recently got together in rehearsal called ‘Love Like This’.

It’s been a minute since updating what’s been going on with BA on this site since recording the new astrid album. Broken Arrow was still very active since we announced the astrid reunion. Brandi and I went out to Joshua Tree with photographer and director Nitin Vadukul and shot all the artwork for our debut and also shot a video for future single ‘Promises’.

Last month saw us play H&S with Lauren Ruth Ward, Marc With Love and Jeremy Pinnell and the 55’s. This was a really awesome night and our first show with Matt LaRocca on guitar as Pablo has been working on the new Snow Patrol album.

Our management is working on some exciting things for next year and we should have some news about the record by early 2016. We hope to see some of you at Harvard & Stone, Dec 9th. Happy Holidays!

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Release News

MJ12_Devils Pulpit_Digital Cover

‘The Devil’s Pulpit’ will be released digitally June 26th on Manimal Vinyl. The MJ12 and I will follow that with another release the following month, ‘Sleepwalking’ and 7″ vinyl of both tracks will hit the stores shortly after that.

Photography by Sharlene Durfey

Photography by Sharlene Durfey

You can pre-order the single on itunes by clicking itunes pre-order.

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mj-12

CHARLIE CLARK and THE MAJESTIC 12 IMG_7442

The Majestic 12, formed in 1947 by an executive order by U.S. President Harry S.Truman to facilitate recovery, investigation of alien spacecraft and the development of sonic soundscapes for the masses. Charlie Clark and The Majestic 12 are led by Scottish indie veteran and cat whisperer, Charlie Clark (Astrid, Reindeer Section)

Charlie Clark by Sharlene Durfey

Charlie Clark by Sharlene Durfey

with drummer/singer and undefeated national pie eating champion, Dash Hutton (HAIM)

Dash Hutton by Sharlene Durfey

Dash Hutton by Sharlene Durfey

and bassist/producer and wicker duck enthusiast, Eric McCann (The New Amsterdams).

Eric McCann by Sharlene Durfey

Eric McCann by Sharlene Durfey

Charlie Clark and The Majestic 12 will release their debut single, The Devil’s Pulpit/Sleepwalking on Manimal Vinyl June 26th 2015.

MJ12_Devils Pulpit_Digital Cover

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A Majestic Month in Los Angeles

Sugarplum Fairies 1998 record Flake

Sugarplum Fairies 1998 record Flake

January seemed to come and pass in a flash for me this year. After a fairly uneventful (due to sickness) but restful holiday period the New Year got going immediately with a recording session with Sugarplum Fairies (1/4). This record is sounding so incredible and I feel very lucky to have collaborated with Silvia Ryder on our song ‘Bonnie Brae’ which will feature on the album. I’ll post more news about this album as soon as I know where it’s at, though I believe the recording parts are nearly done!

Trevor from Tall Tales

Trevor from Tall Tales

Next up was having a wee cameo in the new Tall Tales and the Silver Lining video for their single “Something To Believe In” from their forthcoming album “Tightropes” which drops Feb 24th on Other Music/Fat Possum records. These boys are dear friends and one of my favorite LA bands right now. This record sounds so beautiful so please check out Tall Tales and fall in love!

Just before Christmas I started working with the Manimal Group who are now managing me, to be specific, a wonderful Scots girl by the name of Lou Marron-Paige is now looking after all my music stuff. I’m super excited about this and have been a big fan of all things Manimal for a long time. I work with several of their label artists at Harvard & Stone where I book and it’s an awesome team of creative people to work with. Exciting times ahead!

Dash with Haim

Dash with Haim

After all this it was back to the studio for me where I did a session at Grandma’s Dojo Studio (1/23) with Eric Mcann (Feel Something Producer) and Dash Hutton from Haim. This is for a 7″ release I have planned in the next couple months. The Devils Pulpit/Sleepwalking 7″ will come out under the name ‘Charlie Clark and the Majestic 12’. These songs were a bit too the left for Broken Arrow and a bit too happy for my next solo EP so I wanted to have total fun with this project and pretty much just make up a band for this release. We had a total blast doing these songs and I’m working on them again tomorrow (2/3) at Sugarplum Fairies HQ with producer Eric McCann. More news on that as we go along.

Now, onto Broken Arrow.

We were back in the studio recording some more backing tracks for our forthcoming record (1/24) then went in with Producer Pablo (Snow Patrol) to finish off the song ‘Promises’ (1/26). Brandi and I are so pleased with how this song turned out and can’t wait to share it with y’all. We team up again with director Paul Orehovec this week to start a 4 day shoot for Warning Signs/Promises so this whole week will be spent putting everything and everyone together for this shoot. It’s our biggest production to date since working with Mr Orehovec so we’re looking forward to seeing the results!!

Citywalk_02

I’m really happy to announce that ‘Grateful’ from my “Feel Something” EP just got picked up for City Walk on KCET and will feature on Episode 4 which airs locally on February 3 on KCET and a few days later nationally on Direct TV and Dish Network.

A very big thank you from Brandi and I to Kevin Bronson from Buzzbands LA for spinning ‘Warning Signs’ on his show on KCSN. This is the first radio play we’ve had for Broken Arrow.

The Vaselines

The Vaselines

After a month in the studio and booking/working with 36 different LA bands for Harvard & Stone this January it was time to get a night out and catch up with some old friends. The Vaselines were in town last Wednesday night (1/28) for the last night of their US tour. The Scots were out in full force at The Roxy for this amazing show and we, kind of, had a works night out with Brandi, Pablo, myself and my wife showing the guys round LA afterwards. Always a pleasure seeing these lovely peeps!

Eric McCann and I getting down to business

Eric McCann and I getting down to business

Finally, whilst Brandi and I are shooting the Broken Arrow video/s Eric McCann will be starting work this week tracking bass and drums for “Lemon, Water & Ginger” my next solo EP. This is a lot more cinematic than the last and will feature a whole host of guests this time round, I think nearly 20 or so! My good buddy Joel Patterson (David J/Mark Gardener) is playing drums on this one and hopefully the boys will get wrapped up for me coming in next week and putting down all my parts before the revolving door open for the other guests. More news at the end of Feb…..

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Tales From The Canyon

Last week Brandi and I went to finish tracking the last of the ‘Broken Arrow’ single with Paul Wilson at his place in Laurel Canyon. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve lived in this city, I still get chills when I think about the history and stories from certain parts of LA. Whether it’s the neighborhoods Bukowski used to roll in or places where some of my favorite movies were shot. Laurel Canyon is certainly the most rich in musical history and the energy there is tangible. It’s a pretty wonderful environment to be creative in and I guess that’s why it still remains such a popular place for artists and musicians. It was a nice way to finish up these recordings which were spread out over 4 different studios.

We spent a fair amount of time working on ‘Warning Signs’ which is Brandi’s nod to some of the records that have influenced her songwriting over the years. When I was recording my backing vocals on this song I couldn’t help but thinking that the track has a very delicate, authentic 70’s feel to it so I’m really excited about sharing this record once we fix a release date. Her vocal on this song is heartbreaking, just beautiful.

‘Danger Signals’ is the flip side of this single and was the first song Brandi and I got together after promotion of my solo EP wrapped last year. It was fairly obvious when we played this song with a full band that it was time to start a band and move away from the singer/songwriter thing.

Paul Wilson & Eric McCann

Paul Wilson & Eric McCann

Eric McCann plays hypnotic bass on this song mixed with Paul Wilson’s angular, 90’s style guitars and so far that mix is working a treat for us. We’re spending the next few weeks putting a plan together for this release and as soon as we have details I’ll post them on this site.

After having said all that about moving away from the singer/songwriter thing I’ll be playing a solo show (very rare for me these days) at Malo in Silverlake, this Wednesday night (09/10). I’ll be playing with my buddies Rodney Eastman and Michael Miller. This is a free show so if you’re around please come and grab a taco or two with us. This event starts at 8.30pm. It’s always an intimate, cosy vibe at Malo so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be playing 3 new songs which I have written for my next solo record, some older songs and maybe a Matthew Teardrop cover or two.

Deejay Sean Patrick and I have been busy recently putting together some great line ups and events for our Monday nights at Harvard & Stone. This coming Monday (9/8) we have Lou Barlow playing solo and Joel Jerome and his Babies on Acid. All our events are free and this is a special solo show as Lou is away with Sebadoh pretty much the rest of the year so let’s send him off in style!

Then in October (10/6) we are having Mark Gardener (Ride) come visit us and play a mix of old and new songs. It’s been a few years since I saw Mark so I’m looking forward to seeing him and hearing his new material.

I’m also happy to announce that Harvard & Stone has been nominated in 7 categories in the “Best of LA” LA Weekly Readers Poll. We were nominated in the following categories BEST BAR FOR PEOPLE WATCHING, BEST BAR WITH LIVE MUSIC, BEST BARTENDER, JILL WEBSTER, BEST HAPPY HOUR, BEST MUSIC VENUE, BEST WHISKEY BAR, BEST MODERN COCKTAIL BAR and Sean Patrick is also down for best DJ too! If you feel up to it and would like to vote for us in any of the categories just click here and follow the instructions. To keep up to date on the shows I’m booking at Harvard & Stone just go direct to their website and check out the calender.

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God Speed & Silver Linings

HS LOGO

I’ve really been neglecting my blogging duties as of late for many reasons but the main one being that I’ve been working a lot more at Harvard & Stone lately, so apologies to anyone who might even have noticed that! I’m now booking 3 nights a week at this quality LA bar/music venue and I’m getting to see, hear and work with so many great new bands and also some well seasoned scenesters. The whole “World Cup” thing has passed me by completely. I have noticed though, this last few weeks, when people hear my accent the first question they ask is “who are you rooting for?” and in all honesty I’ve been more excited about the latest pictures of Kevin Smith crying on the set on Star Wars Episode VII or having Tashaki Miyaki come play at H&S at the end of this month to care about football! Admittedly, I’m a terrible Scotsman I don’t drink (anymore) or like football. I do however enjoy a good black pudding but that’s pretty hard to find in LA.

Last week was the official launch party for the release of ‘God Speed & Silver Linings’ by Sugarplum Fairies out on Starfish Records now. This is my record of the year so far next to ‘Lost in the Dream’ by The War on Drugs. The album was produced by Marlon Rabenreither (Gold Star, Lael Neale), mixed by Todd Burke (Belle & Sebastian, Ben Harper) and features guest performances by me and RT Valine. Silvia Ryder, who pretty much is SPF, is an old friend and I’m so happy she asked me to be involved in this project as the full record is really something quite special indeed. Silvia’s vocal on this record has developed so much since it’s predecessor and to quote ‘American Songwriter Magazine’ sounds like Nico on a double date with Leonard Cohen! There’s a whole range of different styles on this record ranging from Americana to Jazz yet it’s solidly cohesive sounding and held together perfectly by Marlon Rabenreither’s beautiful production. You can purchase this record from all good online record stores.

So, an update on Broken Arrow. We recently finished our run of shows at The Hotel Cafe and have started to record our first two singles which we hope to have finished by August. We really did have such a great time during the residency and thank you everyone who came down to support us.

Tommy Schobel

Tommy Schobel

We had a new line up for these shows including Tommy Schobel (who played with Brandi in The Fox Must Pay) on drums and Paul Wilson from Snow Patrol on guitar. Paul’s out here in LA right now and though we shared many adventures in the past I’d not seen him in years so it’s been great catching up not to mention playing music together. Paul and Tommy did such a great job so thanks from Eric, Brandi and myself for helping us out.

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Brandi and I also did a little run of promotion to help with these shows including a 2 hour interview with 5 songs live for Suicide Girls Radio. This was definitely a new one for me as these straight talking ladies gave me a radio experience I’ll never forget! It’s certainly not the BBC but hey, that’s not a bad thing! If you would like to hear acoustic versions of some of our new songs or better still watch me sweat profusely for 2 hours you can watch it here! The whole thing was filmed so I’m definitely looking forward to my Mum and Dad hearing me share about my extensive knowledge of uncircumcised penises.

Brandi & I will be returning to The Hotel Cafe as a duo on July 24th opening for Fred Page from the UK.

Once we get our record finished we will be announcing more dates and release news. In the meantime Brandi and I are continuing to write some more new material together. Keep checking this site for updates on Broken Arrow.

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Broken Arrow: Hotel Cafe Residency June 11th

Broken Arrow_hotel cafe_june11

It’s just after noon on the 15th of May, it’s 100 degrees outside (so I’m not leaving the house today) and it’s the day after the first Hotel Cafe Residency show for Broken Arrow. It was such a great night, Lou Barlow was magnificent as were Gold Star and Tara Fox not to mention the fact we were pretty happy with how we performed also. We were a little nervous as Brandi and I had just finished writing 5 of these songs 2 weeks ago in our little cave in Silverlake. It all turned out fine in the end. Take a look at my post for the May 28th show at Hotel Cafe which is followed by an Indie 103 session on the May 29th. I am now super excited to announce the line up for our final show on June 11th.

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

I first met Ben Lee when I was a young whipper snapper playing in a band called ‘astrid’. Our first European tour was with Ben when he released his ‘Breathing Tornados’ album in 1998. It was a pretty amazing tour and that record was never off the tour bus for a long time after that. A few years ago, after I moved to LA, I met Ben at my regular Yoga class (yes, this is very LA) and it was really nice to reconnect with him after all these years! He is an incredible talent and a true gentleman so we are all really excited about Ben jumping on the bill for the big Hotel Cafe Finale!

Jason Keary

Jason Keary

Jason Keary is a songwriter from Nashville. His self produced “Another Bird Here Has Flown” EP came out last year and was mixed by Clay Jones (Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello and Counting Crows). Jason contacted me earlier this year and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. I’m really looking forward to finally meeting him and hearing the songs I love from his EP. We will also be doing a song together so that’ll be fun too!

Skin & Bones is a folk/blues duo with hints of alt country and bluegrass. This cocktail of genres makes for an explosive live performance. I was recently turned on to these young lads by Silvia Ryder from Sugarplum Fairies and I loved what I heard. The duo consists of Taylor Borsuk and Peter Blackwelder. I recently had them come play at my Monday night at Harvard & Stone and they blew the room away! Really looking forward to seeing Skin & Bones play again!

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Broken Arrow: Hotel Cafe Residency May 28th

I’ve been having a rare old time these past few weeks collaborating on other projects for 2014. I recently recorded with my friend Silvia Ryder from Sugarplum Fairies and we did a cover of ‘Moment of Fame’ originally by Son Of The Velvet Rat. The song is going to be featured on the new Sugarplum Fairies long player, ‘Godspeed & Silver Linings’ due for release May 27th. The song was premiered on BBC Radio 1 Scotland by my old friend Roddy Hart last week. I’m so happy with how this collaboration turned out and you can listen to the track here. Silvia and I are talking about working on more material later this year so I look forward to that when it happens.

Sugarplum Fairies

Sugarplum Fairies

The Second night of the residency at Hotel Cafe (May 28th) is now confirmed and I’m pleased to announce our guests for this date…..

Victoria Williams

Victoria Williams

Victoria Williams is an American songwriter and musical legend. Brandi and I met Victoria at a house party in Yucca Valley when we all played in a mutual friends front room. I’ve seen Victoria perform several times since then and have been spellbound every time by her unique voice and incredible songwriting. She is also an absolute darling! In 2006 Victoria was ranked #89 on Paste magazine’s list of the Top 100 Living Songwriters. Although her debut album, Happy Come Home was released in 1987, Victoria was largely overlooked until artists like Soul Asylum, Lou Reed, Evan Dando, The Jayhawks and Pearl Jam recorded her songs for the 1993 Sweet Relief tribute/benefit album, the proceeds helped cover Victoria’s medical expenses in her battle against multiple sclerosis. We are very honored to have Victoria play with us at The Hotel Cafe.

Miranda Lee Richards

Miranda Lee Richards

I’m so happy to have Miranda Lee Richards come back and play with us at Hotel Cafe again. Miranda has been playing at some of my events round LA recently and playing songs form her forthcoming album which sounds absolutely incredible. Miranda got her professional start in the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and that led to her subsequent appearance in seminal documentary DIG! Miranda landed a record deal with Virgin Records, who released her debut album, The Herethereafter, in 2001. Since it’s release, Miranda has collaborated in the studio or on stage with Tricky, Tim Burgess (Charlatans), Neil Halstead (Mojave Three), Tyler Hilton, Harper Simon, the Jesus and Mary Chain and The Lovetones.

Georg Altziebler

Georg Altziebler

Georg Altziebler is the front man of Austrian starlets, Son Of The Velvet Rat. Georg has collaborated with Lucinda Williams amongst others over the years and has created a unique style and sound with SOTVR’s beautiful poetry and music. We’ve played a lot of shows together this year but Georg had to go back home to Austria recently so I was delighted when he let me know he’d be back in town for this show. Always a pleasure to share the stage with ‘The Rats’.

DJ Sean Patrick will be taking care of our ears between bands and tickets for all 3 nights are priced at $10.

The rest of my time has been spent with Brandi Emma getting a set of brand new material ready for the first show at Hotel Cafe on May 14th. Tickets went on sale this week and can be bought via The Hotel Cafe website.

I will be announcing the June 11th line up very soon.

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Broken Arrow: Hotel Cafe Residency May 14th

hotel cafe may14_final

Broken Arrow is the new project I started with Brandi Emma several months ago. The whole concept came about after promoting my solo EP from last year and we both started writing together. I am pleased to announce that we will be showcasing our new material and launching this project properly over a 3 night residency at The Hotel Cafe (May 14th, May 28th & June 11th). I will be announcing full line ups for each individual date over the coming weeks but here is a little bit about our guests for May 14th……

Lou Barlow

Lou Barlow

I grew up listening to Dinosaur JR, Sebadoh and all things Lou Barlow. When I was about 21 my old band (astrid) opened for Lou at Glasgow’s legendary Nice ‘N’ Sleazys. He did a 3 night solo residency and my friends and I set up camp in the pub for 3 days and nights! Words can’t even express how excited we all are to have Lou perform with us.

Gold Star

Gold Star

Gold Star is a new project from Marlon Rabenreither. I’ve known Marlon since I first moved to LA over 3 years ago and started booking shows around town. His other project, The Sister Ruby Band, were undoubtedly the standout act from any night I booked. His songs are old beyond his years and Gold Star have since gone on to stir up a lot of buzz in this town. We are very happy to have Marlon and his band join us during our residency.

Tara Fox

Tara Fox

I recently got introduced to the music of Tara Fox, funnily enough, through Marlon from Gold Star. I had both bands come and play my night at Harvard & Stone. Tara is an extremely talented songwriter and performer and we all look forward to seeing her with her full band at Hotel Cafe.

DJ Sean Patrick

DJ Sean Patrick

In between all these wonderful artists performing we will have DJ Sean Patrick spinning and keeping changeovers vibrant! Sean is a good friend and my co-host/resident DJ from Harvard & Stone Monday Nights. We’re all looking forward to seeing what Sean has in store for this residency and very grateful for him sharing his talents to make these nights extra special.

Keep an eye out for more news on The Hotel Cafe residency.

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