You are the music, while the music lasts – T.S.Eliot
I originally started Amongst the Pigeons as a joke back in 2004. It was a name I created to chat on a music forum and soon after that I started making songs. They were not very serious and looking back on it, most of them were rather awful (hence why you will never be able to download the first ever ATP EP) but in 2005 one of them was played on Radio One by Rob Da Bank. After that I started thinking maybe I am actually onto something here.
I went away and spent a few years working on a load of different tracks which ended up becoming my first full length album; ‘Music to brush your teeth to’. The album was released in 2009 and got really good reviews. I was actually reading some of them the other day and had forgotten how well received it was.
Making that album was fun, 90% of it was made on trains, planes, in hotel rooms and in pub bedrooms. I was lucky enough to record a track with Frank Turner just before he released his second album ‘Love, Ire and Song’. We recorded the vocals in a pub bedroom before one of his gigs.
I also managed to rope in some of my friends to add vocals, spoken word and instruments onto the album.
The following year I released a follow up EP called ‘Repeat to fade’ which had 6 new tracks on it and shortly after that I had a major back operation. During the recovery from that I made another new EP imaginatively titled ‘Flat on me back’.
It was also around this time that I started to create the ATP:LIVE show and in the autumn of that year I started taking my sounds out on the road.
Throughout 2011 I split my time between doing live shows and working on the second album. I finished mixing it just before Christmas that year and it was released in Spring 2012.
For this album I got to record with Chris T-T. One Sunday morning he popped over to ‘BeatShedStudio’ and wrote and recorded the lyrics and vocals on a track called ‘Empties’ – It was brilliant to see him magic up words and melody and get everything recorded in a couple of hours.
‘Get Amongst It’ gained a lot of great reviews and really got ATP noticed, the singles from the album all picked up national airplay and I spent that summer doing a load of festivals and taking the live show to as many places as I could.
2013 was a bit more of a quiet year. I started the year with a new EP called ‘Ornithophobia’ which means ‘fear of birds’. I kind of rushed the release of that EP which I now regret as it was largely overlooked by a lot of people.
I then spent the rest of the year working on a lot of new tracks with a view of them becoming the third album. I released a single in the summer and in the autumn of that year released a new track which had Ben Marwood on vocals.
I continued to do a few gigs here and there but by this time I was starting to get fed up of people thinking that all I did was press a button and nothing else.
The ATP:LIVE show was something I worked hard on, I spent a long time breaking down the tracks and working out how I could play them live. I always wanted to expand the live show so there was more than just me on stage, but that never happened. Instead the beats were triggered from a sampler, but I played all the other parts live. I found that as an electronic act, people did not really know where to place me, I saw myself as being no different to a solo singer-songwriter with a guitar on stage, but no one else seemed to get that.
So – that brings me to last year; 2014. At the start of the year I released a new record called ‘Cocktail Party Syndrome’, I really love the songs on this. I think it’s probably the best set of songs which define the sound of ATP. Over the years I never really knew how to describe my music, it was electro, but different to a lot of other artists and I really believe it is quite unique.
This is something that I am really proud of, but a lot of people tended to (mind the pun) pigeon-hole my music and not give it a chance. If you listen back to my records, they are all quite eclectic and varied, I would even go so far as to say some of them are just pure pop songs, albeit with some rather frantic and bizarre beats under the bonnet.
At the end of 2014 I released what will be my final ATP record. An EP called ‘Close my eyes’; a collection of songs I was working on alongside the ‘CPS’ record and I guess the two of them together would have been the makings of the third ATP album.
So in a nutshell that is the brief history of Amongst the Pigeons, it’s been fun, I got to work with some great people, and I feel I have learnt a lot.
I released two full length albums and seven EPs, with a grand total of 65 tracks. I managed to play at some incredible events like The Great Escape, Blissfields, The Secret Garden Party and Glastonbury.
The last 5 years in particular have been really busy and it now feels like the right time to move on from ATP to pastures new. I may revisit ATP again in the future, it’s impossible to say. Bands are always ‘splitting up’ and reforming. I see this as an indefinite hiatus.
I have already started working on new music, I am going to take my time with it, I want to spend a little while ‘finding myself’ again, enjoying trying out new sounds and recording techniques, not having any boundaries and when it’s ready – releasing it for everyone to hear.
I think it’s safe to say there will be a slight ATP essence to what comes next, those who know me from years back will remember I used to be a singer-songwriter, doing gigs with an acoustic guitar. In my head (at the moment) I see the next project as a combination of the two.
I have a name for my next musical venture but I am keeping that to myself for now and I doubt there will be any new music released until Summer 2016 at the earliest.
All that’s left is for me to say a MASSIVE THANKS to anyone who came to a show, listened to my music, purchased a release or helped me along the way.
For one last time : Peace and Feathers xxx