Swiss Guards- Shameless Self Promotion

I always feel a bit bashful about doing this, because it is shameless self promotion, but mainly because you lot have such well developed critical faculties, are faultless judges of good music and might regard my humble musical offerings as, well, a bit shit- but here we go.

Swiss Guards, the band formed by myself and Mr HSD in 1997, have released a new e.p. of songs found in the Swiss Guards vault. Recorded about five years ago and gathering dust on a hard drive ever since, the Locusts And Honey e.p. can be bought for £2 from Bandcamp. I can’t really review my own work in any real sense but there are two guitar based songs- Melancholic Streak and Stalactite Rock- and two electronic songs- Locusts And Honey and Heart Beating. I’d like to think they are worth fifty pence each and that you might find something to enjoy. I’m saying no more than that.

Excitingly though we are to be played on the radio tonight. Yes, tonight. On the radio. Moorlands Radio (103.7fm), serving the Staffordshire moorlands area have a show on at 9.00pm called Left Of Centre hosted by Gary Wilcox, playing stuff from the left of centre, the nether regions, the left of the dial. I am actually quite excited. You can listen here.

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First Man On The Moon

Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, died today aged 82. I feel oddly moved by this somehow. I also worked out that he was nearly 40 when he made his small step/giant step, which in a world which puts youth above all else seems significant.

Several years ago my own band recorded a humble tribute to the moonwalkers.

Moonwalker Blues

Swiss Guards

I’m not really Swiss. Let me explain.

A couple of friends in the real world have asked me recently why I haven’t done this post and my only answer is ‘it’s not why I started Bagging Area’, followed by ‘just not got round to it really’. Maybe there’s a bit more to it than that so here we go. This post does make me a little nervous.

I’m not really Swiss. Since 1997 or ’98 I’ve sporadically made music as part of a band called Swiss Guards. Given that we’ve been going for fourteen or fifteen years there hasn’t been more than a couple of months of action in total, partly due to geographical distances, and partly lack of time, family, work, real life. In that time we’ve released two albums, got a third one almost done and played four gigs. One of which was two songs at a band member’s wedding. The first album (Once the Process) came out on actual compact disc, with a barcode and everything, on a small record label called Captive, based in Leicester. Mainly me and my compadre H, it’s homemade and a bit of a hotch potch. The second album (One Thing After Another) was better recorded, with other musicians (Dan, Andy, Alan), had more fully realised songs but was only released digitally. Our total sales are probably somewhere near three figures. We did sell downloads to individuals on both coasts of the US though, so I think that counts as ‘cracking the States’. The story of Swiss Guards is possibly another blog entirely- as in a totally different blogsite- so I won’t bore you with it here. I’d be happy to give all the songs away for free via the internet. You can go to Bandcamp here if you like. In fact at a gig a couple of years back I realised you can’t even give it away for free, when someone responded to my ‘do you want cd of our album for free?’ with ‘no, not really ta.’ ‘Go on, it’s free’. ‘No’.

Two currently unreleased songs for you to download. Feel free to be polite, rude, constructively critical, or to just ignore the whole post and hope normal service is resumed soon. For the record, I do the vocals (and some guitar, though anything you can hear on the songs and is any good is definitely H). Excitingly, these may not even be the finished versions of these songs- real Swiss Guards rarities for you.

This one has guitars.

Melancholic Streak

This one is more electronic.

Heart Beating