Awake, Not Drifting

Here’s our first EP, Awake, Not Drifting!

Awake, Not Drifting by GetFrank

I’m still wondering how we should release it so it’s currently set to stream online. If you have 79p spare and would like to help reimburse recording costs then you can grab Vacant from our amazingtunes.com profile page.

My friend and very talented illustrator/graphic designer/musician/legend Brendan Kearney has kindly offered to help us out with the artwork for the EP. You can see his artwork for his band Broken Boat over on their myspace. It’s all rather lovely! Hopefully I’ll pop some stuff on here soon – the stuff he’s done so far looks amazing. The illustration below is quite similar to what he’s working on.

If you think you’d like a CD copy then please let me know – I think it would be quite nice to create some hard copies. Maybe we’ll do one of those ‘official EP launch’ things… Our first gig is Thursday 25th November so please do come check us out in the flesh. I’m hoping we’ll get offered some support slots – if you’d like to book us then just email me; frankiepromotes@gmail.com.

Hope you like it!

The perfect LBLD?

I’ve always dreamed of finding that ‘perfect Little Black Dress’

I thought I found it for a mere £9.99 in H&M today but when I got to the dressing room it just didn’t fit right.

I had places to be so had to leave the strapless, shiny black pleated bargain behind with the shop assistants. Feeling down I moved to leave the shop but stopped in my tracks near the exit… By Jupiter! I had found it!

It was wrinkly, not in my size and made of fake leather! I had to buy a size up but it means it will be perfect for casual winter layering (for the Amazing Radio office) whilst not being a too tight and ‘fetish’ looking. Once off the hanger and on my body the wrinkles disappeared and gave an almost smooth look.

Faux leather dress, £14.99, white shirt both by H&M

Faux leather dress, £14.99, white shirt both by H&M

It’s the perfect day-to-night dress too. Here I toughen it up a little with my Peacocks grey hiking boots.

Boots £20 by Peacocks

I quite like it with my red heels too; there’s plenty a pair of shoes that would work with this dress which is why I adore it so.

I have a gig with The Union Choir in support of The Winter Hill Transmission’s single launch next Friday (19th November) and I’m not sure if I should wear this or the Primark dress below…

Dress £15, by Primark

The flash of my camera has made the underskirt of this dress look a lot shinier than it actually is. It reminds me of a Peacocks dress I saw in a magazine (but it’s a lot nicer in the lace detailing department and £8 cheaper.) I have to wear it with a belt because the empire line design into the full skirt is so unflattering I was tempted to take it back. The swift addition of the belt made me have a sudden change of heart.

I think that the leather look dress might be better for The Union Choir gig, and the crochet dress for my first Get Frank gig on the 25th November – but again, I’m not sure.

Help me out? Which one for which occasion?!

Anchors and flowers

I’m having a bad face and hair day today…

There are some reasons why this is extremely bad timing, but I won’t bore you with those.

I seem to be having a great run of bad luck recently – like the world has said to me “right, we’ll let you record with Get Frank after two and a half years of desperately trying to organise something, but we’re going to have to compromise on everything else.”

For example, last Saturday morning at approximately 2am (I went to bed before 11pm in the hope of being ‘refreshed’ for my Halloween gig with The Union Choir), I woke up with severe stomach ache which was followed by vomiting etc… I got food poisoning on the morning of the night of the gig I’d been looking forward to for six weeks! And I’d missed the previous gig with tonsillitis. Wonders never cease.

Top by Gap £7.99, Shoes by H&M £14.99, Capri pants £19.99 by Zara, Bag £16.99 by Interacionale

Yes, in this picture I look distinctly unhappy with the universe. I’ve decided to try and cheer myself up by wearing red heels in the daytime. I’m not standing very well here and something distinctly nappyish is going on with the trousers… I attempted to iron them. (It’s not my strong point, ironing.) The trousers are a bit big on my legs but they’re one of the best fits I can find. I really love the Gap t-shirt though. Gap t-shirts are the best quality I’ve found on the high street, with a nice comfy fit.

Hair flowers £1.99 a pair by H&M, 'Frankie necklace' bespoke by ladyluckrulesok.com

My mum gave me the cherry earring after one of her many fancy dress events (she’s a fancy dress genius, and I do not use those words lightly! She is incredible.) I only have one ear pierced so always get people being ‘helpful’ and telling me I’m missing one etc… The necklace is from Ladyluckrulesok.com. I followed the site for seven years before designer Leona Baker decided to move onto a new project. The shop was hugely successful so maybe she wanted to feel more independent again – who knows?

The light is deceptive in this picture too (thank you attic sky lighting!) My hair and face are both messy today. I appear to have developed acne at the late age of 21. The flowers are a desperate attempt to look like my hair is deliberately big and ‘fizzy’ (I hate that word but feel it’s appropriate here. Vogue may get away with it, I do not.) ‘Rah’ girls spend ages backcombing, hairspraying and boofing up their roots to get ‘just out of bed’ hair to match their uggs and jogging bottoms. Again, they and their Jack Wills jumpers are part of an exclusive club that I just don’t get.

Thank goodness I’m off to the cinema, at least!

Also, Get Frank recordings are just having final touches and changes made and will be online very soon. Our first gig in Newcastle is at the Northumberland Arms on the 25th November. Hope to see you there (details to follow.)

Behind the scenes of Awake, Not Drifting

This weekend was spent in the studio at the University of Newcastle with the rest of the Get Frank guys recording our debut EP Awake, Not Drifiting.

I realised after looking at the track listing that three out of the four tracks are connected to the theme of ‘bed’ so it seemed apt to name the EP after the line ‘When I’m awake/Not Drifting’ from one of our quirkier numbers, Next Door.

Here’s a short ‘behind the scenes’ video of us in the studio. It was shot on my Kodak Zi8 and my new Casio Exilim camera (final shot only). You can occasionally hear my voice, but I’m the one behind the camera.

We recorded the EP live with me singing guide vocals behind the screen in the control room. I then rerecorded the vocals the next day. The trickiest track was Next Door as it features a variety of tempo changes – unlike the rest of the band however, most of the vocals used in the final mix were done in one take (which can’t be said for the other tracks!) We only used a click track to record ‘1 minute 20 second wonder’ It’s Not You.

We haven’t got an order yet but the EP will feature.

1. It’s Not You

2. Bedspread

3. Next Door

4. Vacant

I think one of the biggest surprises about working with the new lineup is that Vacant (formerly known as Untitled), which was the first song I wrote as ‘Get Frank’ back in Summer 2008, has become a firm favourite to play with the band. Having a real piano (and an expert musician in Neil Andrew Smith on keys) makes a real difference to the sound. Neil and Todd Green (guitar) both have solos at the end of the track and they both sound gorgeous.

The guys with Producer Rob

There have been multiple incarnations and lineup changes of Get Frank (I still feel that core member James Chester from the last couple of Birmingham lineups is present in the form of his friend, bassist David Mabbot), and it’s quite surprising that our current group has only been together for about six weeks.

More studio pics over at http://www.facebook.com/getfrankmusic

I always feel slightly overwhelmed when I hear what other people bring to my songs. I love that feeling of realisation – when you hear the track as you imagined it, with extra flourishes (such as David Mabbot’s ‘sensual bass-line’ in Next Door that felt like the natural progression from the ‘orgasma-bass’ of former player Richie B Brookes in Brum). Our last Brummie lineup felt quite ska in nature, whereas in Newcastle we’re heading towards a more organic, acoustic jazz feel. The unmixed recordings sound chaotic, but very much alive – hopefully our producer Rob Blazey will have an idea of what to do with them!

It was always a dream to record – I don’t think it’s set in that we’ve done it yet!

Now we need to find some Newcastle based gigs…

Leather bum

Apparently it was all about winter shorts on the front row of the recent ‘fashion month’ which got me wondering… what makes a pair of shorts ‘wintery’?

The Observer’s weekend magazine solved it for me quite quickly just this Sunday as I read their article on dressing for one’s age. Accompanying the article was a page of high street picks (by catagory, i.e boots.) Apparently, as a 21 year old it is my destiny to wear black leather shorts throughout winter (and pay a hefty sum for the privilege).

I decided that if destiny had started making my style choices, I might as well have some kind of influence on how things panned out (without completely ruining what fate had previously decreed via the pages of OM Magazine.) Thus I headed to Zara, where I had seen these shorts on a previous trip.

 

Top £16 by Topshop, Shorts £29.99 by Zara

 

So yes, apologies for the dim photo, but my ‘twist’ on fate was to choose brown shorts (some might say the colour of ‘Leatherface’ from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but that kind of felt relevant due to Halloween being on the cards!) I’ve tucked the slubby breton Topshop top into the shorts in the above pic, although it’s quite short and deliberately oversized which means it particularly goes with slim cut cigarette trousers (I’ve yet to find the perfect pair…sigh).

 

Shirt £7.99 by H&M, Scarf £3 by Primark, Boots £25 by Peacocks

 

Aside from shorts being very much in vogue with the fashion editors at Paris fashion week, they were reportedly worn with bare legs (eek!)

 

 

Vintage jacket from Cancer Research (customised with Tiger Balm logo applique)

 

Ok so there’s a lot of brown in the last outfit, (and it’s not even shade-of-the-moment-camel-shock-horror!), but I do love this jacket. I got it four years ago at a Cancer Research charity shop in Maidstone from their ‘retro rail’. I took out the shoulder pads and stitched on a Tiger Balm appliqued logo that I’d rescued from a hemp tee that had gone wrong in the wash. I might wear this more as a winter-to-spring get up, although time will tell what the seasons will bring weather-wise! On a more realistic side of things I believe I’ll be teaming this shorts up with a creamy opaque pair of tights and these boots, or roughing things up with some tall, woolly tights and my canvas boots (with the bouncy rubber heel that I pray people never notice.)

On a slightly different ‘style’ note I need to find something to wear for a band photo shoot with the new Get Frank lineup – ideas much appreciated!

We’ll be heading into the studio at the end of next week to record our first EP – we’ve made light work of my back catalogue and are ready to go. There’s more of a freeform improvisational feel to some of the tracks and I’m very excited to finally get some proper recordings circulating (I’ve never had any at all so these will be the first). We’re looking for gigs in and around Newcastle too so ideas are again very welcome!



Turn up. Trade in. Help Out.

I admit that I feel like a bit of a thief, what with stealing the following from the Amazing Radio blog! But it’s pretty cool news, and hopefully will get more people listening to DAB digital radio. All digital radios come with FM recievers (some AM too if you’re that way inclined) and there are some great quality stations available such as BBC Radio 6 Music and of course, my new employers Amazing Radio.

So Spread the word… and get listening!

Radio Amnesty – Because you’re worth it

Friday, May 21st, 2010 | Kevin Read | Blog

You’ll hear some ads on Amazing Radio from tomorrow. We’ve not carried ads since our Amazing Christmas campaign but this is another great initiative designed to get you a cheaper DAB radio whilst opening up a world of opportunities to children in South Africa.

Radio Amnesty 

The lovely people at getdigitalradio.com are offering an amnesty on your poor old radio. The plan is simple, you trade in your old radio and get a discount on a snazzy new DAB radio from one of a host of retailers. For more information on the amnesty and how it works, head on over to http://www.getdigitalradio.com/digital-radios/radio-amnesty where you’ll also find details of how the scheme will help the Children’s Radio Foundation and UNICEF in Southern Africa.

You’re a sister and let me introduce mine.

Really excited about the You’re A Sister gig we’re playing for Oxjam on April 16th. It’s being held in support of Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet campaign. Entry is a donation of £3 or more… bargainous! You can find out about more of the acts by following the previous link. We’re playing with brilliant poet and compere Jodi Ann Bickley, my most fabulously heeled/voiced friend Stav and The Electrilickers, folk star Abie Budgen and of course, the lady fronted Che. We’ll also be entertained by the Atta Girl DJs – I’m particularly looking forward to their female records, particularly as Atta Girl’s Claire is a regular in the CIB shop, which is where I spend my Sundays.

Here’s a nice picture…. use for twitter/facebook profiles if you’re feeling supportive (please!)

So, to celebrate all things sister-hoody, I wanted to introduce you to the current line up of Get Frank.

First up, we have Mr James Chester on acoustic guitar. James is former Uni Rock Soc president and the longest serving musician of the group (alongside myself.) He joined after Nick Mannix had to leave to spend more time studying rocks and stuff. James accompanies me on many a journey to many a random venue. We have played in the wind, the rain and sometimes even indoors! We played outside New Street’s tourist info centre for Artsfest and hopefully we will continue playing for the foreseeable future. James loves a bit of Ska and Rage Against the Machine so often we like to slip in the odd RATM reference (ie. HUOGH! or similiar sounds…)

Next up, the genius that is Eve Hunt on drums. Eve has helped revolutionise the Get Frank sound. Suddenly we’re tighter, more upbeat and practices are even more fun. Eve keeps things light, punchy and pacey. And she doesn’t know how good she is, so if you ever see her at one of our gigs then please do tell her! She also copes mightily well to keep the boys in check, particularly as I have an odd appreciation for putting pauses in so many of my songs and it could otherwise be hard to keep up all together!

Then we have Miss Desiree Benson on glock and keyboards. Now I know I’m guilty of going up to Dezzie in practices and telling her to play something just once but she works it out anyway, because she’s awesome like that. I’m going to start writing more stuff specifically for keys so we can start showing her off a bit more! She’s also a darned skilled stylist and I very much need her in my life to dress me for gigs. Oh, and a great Burnfm DJ too!

The latest member to join our lineup is tallest member Richard B Brookes (or Richie B Brookes for short.) Richie brings with him a love of ska and nineties hitmakers Babybird – so much so that he spent the last weekend stalking them (he calls it ‘going to two gigs in a row’) We would do a cover of ‘You’re Gorgeous’ but it’s only a ‘feminist song’ when its sung by a man… maybe.

In fact you are more than welcome to interview the above without me. As I’ve only really been interviewed once and I forgot to ask for everyone’s names to be published in the article, nor did I ask for Kate Hindley’s wonderful artwork to be credited.

So yes, any questions for the band please ask away!

We’re playing a free gig at the Bulls Head, Mosley tomorrow at 8pm with a fantastic lineup including A Bull, Greatest Hits and Boat to Row so please do come along!

Frankie x

I could have died.

Sorry to use shock tactics to get your attention! It’s not a lie – but it does require a long winded story [disguised as a review!]

Last night I popped over to Digbeth’s Rainbow for a night of sober fundraising recklessness. The University of Birmingham’s Oxfam Outreach society were holding their annual Rainbox charity event (I believe this may be a national thing – although I’m afraid I’ve not researched properly – I’m on a bit of a tight schedule atm.) £3 on the door, cakes for a donation. Bands. Brilliant!

First up on the bill was gifted singer Bethan Court, who used to sing for a band called The Harbour Lights who have unfortunately now disbanded. This may, however, be a plus for Bethan as it will give her a chance to experiment with younger, edgier material. Last night she performed a range of covers including Emmy The Great’s First Love and Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees. There is a fabulous ethereal quality to Bethan’s voice – it’s depth of tone lulls one into a sense of security which didn’t quite fit with the latter two songs, particularly when performed in such a musically sound way . I would love to see her perform material that she herself has written or has been written for her so that she can explore the content of the songs truthfully. That, in time, will guarantee a more affecting performance. I hope that she finds a band to work with soon, because I really want to see her perform again.

Next up, the Miles Bradley fronted LookiMakeMusic who haven’t had a great deal of gigging experience as a group. This wasn’t, however, an issue to themselves or the audience. Miles is a witty orator rather than virtuoso singer lamenting love, breakups and Supersonic Vague/Snobs in a self effacing way. Like a less enthusiastic Eddie Argos I suppose! He’s got a very good sense of rhythm, particularly when reciting very very fast passages of lyrics – almost like a MC crossed with a slam poet. Musically the band allow themselves to vary their accompaniment between sparse and robust – the robust, collective sound being particularly effective (as one would expect.) One moment where all members sang in enthusiastic harmony was particularly impressive. More please lady and gents! One thing that did stick out was the occasional use of violin by muli-instrumentalist Caitlin Price. To me I didn’t always feel that the timbre of the violin quite fit with the rest of the music, particularly at the end of a couple of songs where it was played for a couple of phrases longer than the other instruments. This was not due to Caitlin’s abilities – she is a very capable, impressive musician. It was purely a concept that didn’t quite gel for me. The synth, however, went down a treat!

Third to take to the stage were Young Runaways, an event looked forward to by many of the event attendees. The Wolverhampton wonders burst into their set and never lost a drop of energy throughout. They produced a set of well crafted, musically interesting pop songs, with a wealth of experience clearly on their side – it’s not hard to tell why they’ve been played on Tom Robinson’s BBC6 Music introducing show… Theirs is music of the heart swelling kind – that is to say, you can stand (perhaps sway a little) and watch respectfully, or you can jig to the music joyfully – the resulting rapture is still the same. Gorgeous.

The penultimate act of the night was SDF. I can honestly say that I have no idea who they are and still don’t (as I was in the bar during their set… whoops!) Although my housemate DP reviewed them as ‘confusing.’ Basically he had no idea if they were ‘trying to be ironic as they stood in a line and danced campily.’ However DP admitted that he rather warmed to the band and others I spoke to from the audience ruddy appreciated them. If you like your electro, check them out.

The act that the audience had unanimously braying for all night was uni musicians The July Days. I’ve been a fan (and, hopefully) a friend of the band for a while so haven’t written too much on them so as to remain unbiased, however after last night I really felt that seeing them for a measly £3 donation (they have the potential to command a lot more) meant that they deserved a little more of my time (and words – if they have the potential to be worth anything.) The band always kick off with singer Reece Lipman’s introduction; ‘This song is called I Said, You Said and it goes like this.’ – which is fast becoming a bit of a trademark! The band had a generous 45 minutes onstage (which rushed by as furiously as ‘badger haired flemmy skeleton’ Sam Lewis’s mighty drumbeats.’ We were treated to classics such as ‘Babe Ruth’ and ‘Hollywood’s Future’ as well as similarly older, less played songs such as ‘Broken Lyrics’ plus newer material such as ‘Empire State’ and ‘Quirky Isn’t Working.’

I think it was halfway through ‘Babe Ruth’ when I looked over at Sam Cowley (Sir Digby himself) and realised that we both knew the words so well that we should audition to be backing singers/dancers (I have choreographed a rather fetching dance, you see.) Unfortunately, from the looks of the rest of the crowd, we’d probably have a lot of competition!

For the grand ‘Quirky Isn’t Working’ finale myself and Ms Helen ‘Shaniqua’ Shepherd (one of burnfm‘s newest DJs) took to a rather wobbly picnic table and gave it some ‘Kevin Lyttle‘ dancing. When the audience demanded an encore (and the band repeated ‘Babe Ruth’) we were joined by more jubilant dancers. This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I nearly died. The table bounced up, down, forwards, and backwards, but myself and Shep did not mind. When I did get a little scared however, we hopped off and headed to the stage in preparation for invasion…. just as the song ended. Rats!

Get Frank are playing an acoustic at the Bristol pear this Saturday so I hope some of you can join us. It’s a mere minimum £1.50  donation for entry (proceeds to the DEC Haiti earthquake appeal I believe.) Rainbox raised (at last count) a massive £700 for the Oxfam earthquake appeal so I hope we can raise a sum too!

The July days also sold a special acoustic EP for charity yesterday (an amazing £1) yesterday. Here’s mine:

Aren’t you the jealous ones?

Right I’m off to rehearsals.

Frank. x

p.s

To those of you reading on Facebook, this post, like most of my ‘notes’ originated from http://www.getfrank.co.uk, just so you know!

Kate Hindley artwork

Artwork by Kate Hindley

My friend, filmmaker Alex Buckmaster was kind enough to commission me some artwork as a birthday present.

Kate Hindley is a Worcester based artist who has illustrated for Okido magazine and Girls Who Draw (a more extensive list can be found here.)

I’m rather excited as apparently more stuff is coming soon! (Check out them purple glasses and the little uke…)

Unfortunately this is a bit of a short post as I’m in the midst of Winter break essay writing, but I’ll be back soon with details about my new radio show on Amazing Radio, a new digital radio station that only plays unsigned music.

We’re also looking for a bassist for Get Frank, so if you’re interested or know anyone who might be please GET IN TOUCH, frankiepromotes@googlemail.com.

Happy new year!

More advice please?

Hello!

I haven’t updated this for ages because most of the time I’ve been working and also because I’m avoiding blogging about insider stuff at Channel 4 because I don’t want to get into trouble! Instead of blogging work stuff here I’ve been doing some writing for 4Talent’s blog and you can read my thoughts on microblogging (i.e twitter), commissioning and bumping up CVs. There’s also a bunch of contributors regularly blogging for the site on other or similar topics.

And so to the begging you all for advice/few seconds of your time bit!

  • The deposit situation

So I’ve not had a response from my old landlords about my deposit yet so I’m not sure how to take things further. The main thing is that I can’t use the cheque they gave me because it is void but they haven’t even had the grace to contact me about that. I guess I need to write another letter but I’m so busy at the moment its rather difficult. The last one was sent in my first week at C4…. I’m in my sixth week here now so its getting ridiculous. I really need my money back as I have plans for it – plus I earnt that money from acting in the last production at the MAC centre before it shut so its something I worked hard for and therefore makes me far more determined to get as much of it back as possible.

  • The slightly embarassing video situation

I made a brief, silly video for a Big Brother competition to be the voice of Big Brother for the day (I was asked to) and here it is. I basically made it verrrry quickly (hence the lack of instruments in the video and the rubbish paper messages) because I don’t get home from work until late. Anyway please watch it as if I get lots of video views I’ll also get kudos! Whooo intern kudos!

  • The EP situation

So one of the reasons I want to get as much of my deposit back as possible is that I really want to record some of my Get Frank music (as in properly with someone rather than hastily in my bedroom.) The thing is, I’m not sure which songs I should record so I thought that if I asked people via the medium of my blog and they happen to know my music, they could give me a suggestion for tracklisting. I’m probably going to record five but I’m not quite sure yet. There’s more rough ‘sketches’ of songs on my soundcloud which you are welcome to download for free (the myspace stuff should be downloadable too.)

This is a video from one of my gigs at the Hare and Hounds for Bohemian Jukebox with Ben Calvert. Its a song called ‘So Far Away’ and will most likely be one of the songs that I record. I won’t have saxophone on the recording as my sax/electric player is off to Russia and a couple of people have said that in this particular performance, the sax tends to clash with my vocals a bit too much…so perhaps I’ll stick to glock solos. I’m going to put more vids from this gig up soon – when I get them off my boyfriend!

If I have enough money after my work placement finishes (most of it goes on travel and food) I’ll possibly record more songs, it all depends on when the band is ready. Recently I’ve been offered more gigs which is lovely, but it’s also scary because I’m still dependent on my friends turning up – I need me a fanbase! So er… Get Frank street team anyone?

Get Frank songlist (some of it anyway)

  1. Vacant (untitled)
  2. So Far Away
  3. Bedspread
  4. Beat Me Down
  5. Disappointed in Me
  6. When I grow up
  7. You Don’t Like Love
  8. Stupid Beautiful
  9. Whoops
  10. Three Floors High
  11. An Arrangement
  12. By My Side
  13. Individual
  14. In My Mind
  15. Nature Boy
  16. Leaves and Crumbs
  17. Cautionary Tale
  18. Fake Joe Lean
  19. Keep in Touch
  20. It’s Not You
  21. Something More
  22. In Vain
  23. Stupid Beautiful

Thanks everyone

Frank x

(Oooh playing Artsfest on the 13th September at the Tourist info centre, 2.30pm)