Recently the Punch House Band has been a bit like a duck. “Like a what?” you say and we reply, (almost defiantly), a duck, because like the aforementioned aquatic bird, there’s not been much going on up top but it’s busy, busy, busy below the waterline. We haven’t played in public for a while and we’re sorry that the Facebook page has been left unmolested for some time but stuff has been happening, the fruit of which you’ll begin to see over the next few months.
Last year the Punch House Band made our official live debut at the Norwich Beer Festival and we’re delighted to say we will be appearing again this year on Friday the 27th October, (first half of the evening session). It was such a great gig last year that we’re really looking forward to this return date where we will be unveiling some new songs as well as bringing out all the old faves. If you’re there come up and say hi, we’d love to see you.
We have one other gig before the festive season sweeps us up in a tsunami of goodwill and overindulgence and it’s going to be a good ‘un because we’re teaming with some mates of ours, Rose Lodge Crossing, to put on a double-header at The Blueberry Music House on November the 11th. The Crossing, (as they’re almost never referred to), are mates of ours who play classic seventies rock with a real leaning towards the “west coast sound” of Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and others as well as songs by Wings, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. d is Those of you who might be familiar with Tim Lane’s previous bands will recognize them as former members of Ubermodo, the southern blues and country rock band he was with a few years ago. Billed as “Two For the Price of None” the evening will kick off around 8.30 (rock ’n’ roll time) anabsolutely free entry!
In other news, we’ve just finished recording our debut mini album, (or e.p. Depending on your point of view). We’ve still got to mix it, think of a title and design a cover but it should all be done in the next few weeks and we’ll be previewing it right here before officially launching it early next year at a special gig, the details of which are so hush-hush that even we don’t know them yet. We actually recorded all the backing tracks back in June on one of the hottest days of the year. Chris Bond of Seaplane Studios is based in a top-secret underground bunker on the North Norfolk coast but for the purposes of this session he came to Norwich to capture the PHB sound. We used the excellent Plug Studios which are very well-appointed indeed but live recording doesn’t go well with the low growl of air-conditioning units so we had to switch them off. Needless to say it was all a bit sweaty but this impacted not one bit on the quality of either the playing or the recording and we managed to get six tracks down; Bedlam Boys, Hole in the Ground, The Bricks of Burston, The Ghost of Allan Smethurst, Big Sky in the East and Back to the Dirt all of which have now had the vocals added although we’re not at liberty to divulge the actual location for this part of the recording. But let it be recorded that the Punch House Band thinks Chris Bond is awesome and should have some kind of medal for his services.
As you’ll see below, all the Punch House boys have been quite busy doing non-Punch House stuff but, and at this point we refer you back to the duck thing at the beginning of this blog, rehearsals and writing are still going on and we are, if not actually sick with excitement, quietly stoked about the new stuff we’ve got for you. There’s a poaching song inspired by the book “I Walked by Night” and a couple of dark folk tales, as well as some other numbers. We’re also looking forward to a much busier 2018 simply because we have the all-important demo that is such an essential part of getting gigs. Of course, if you know a venue where you think we might go down favorably please feel free to mention us to your contacts and get them to look at our website.
The Punch House Band’s most recent gig was at Jurnet’s Bar in Norwich back in June since when any number of non-PHB things have been going on. As many of you already know, Tim, Richard and Leighton originally met as members of the Crude Apache Theatre Company, and the Punch House Band was conceived when all three of them were in Singing the Postman, a play by Jo Edye about Allan Smethurst, the Singing Postman. They are still very active in the company and August saw all three of them taking part in Crude Apache’s revival of Peter Bellamy’s Ballad Opera The Transports, an outdoor revival of a show they did a few years ago at Dragon Hall in Norwich. PHB fans will be aware that one of our most popular numbers is “The ballad of Norwich Gaol” which comes from this show.
A number of songs in our set, namely “The bricks of Burston” “A bit of the white stuff” and “Back to the dirt” were originally composed by Tim Lane for the Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company. Tim co-wrote their play The Poisoners’ Pact and has written songs and been sound designer for many of their shows. This year he co-wrote and was sound designer for Anglian Mist the company’s major production for 2017. The show (a cold war spy thriller) made its premiere in June with an immersive theatre experience in the disused military installation on Orford Ness in Suffolk where the play is set. Currently the show is touring the Eastern Region and is taking up a lot of his time.
Leighton, who can act a bit (colossal understatement!), is currently rehearsing for his lead role appearance in Dial M For Murder at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich. The show runs from 17 to 25 November and you should go and and see it–he’s very good! Tim will also be appearing at the Maddermarket as Mrs Slighcarp in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, their Christmas show which runs from 16 to 31 December.
Back to music, although PHB have only a couple of gigs upcoming in this busy theatre period, you can see our bassist George live with both his other bands. They need the support, come on, support your live music! George plays with experimental improv band–there are tunes!–hymn (trumpet, loops, percussion & noise effects, bass), and with Joey Herzfeld Trio (voice & accordion/keys, trumpet, bass). All original music. More information here.
- October 21: hymn + Tolerance Manoeuvres, York Tavern, Norwich
- October 22: hymn + Tolerance Manoeuvres, West Norfolk Radio, live, recording
- October 26: Joey Herzfeld Trio, Owl Sanctuary, Norwich
- November 24: Joey Herzfeld Trio, Jurnet’s Bar, Norwich.
So that’s the Punch House bar gossip for now, we hope we’ll see you soon!