Let's Get Away From It All and Roads Leading Everywhere are now out on the Vivid Sound Corporation label in Japan. An added bonus for CD buyers is the availability of various Friends goodies such as badges, posters, leaflets and postcards dating back to the original UK releases. For more information go to www.vividsound.co.jp. And for more information on Friends giveaways go to the Vivid Sound blog.
Big news for Friends and fans in Japan. The band's first three albums, Let's Get Away From It All, Roads Leading Everywhere and Songs Without Tears, and the singles compilation Single Friends, are released in Japan on the Vivid Sound Corporation in the next couple of months. The first two albums will be out on 17 February, the latter two on 17 March. For more information go to www.vividsound.co.jp. More news nearer release date.
Friends played at Indietracks in Derbyshire last month, and there's a wealth of photos, video and comments from the Festival on various websites. There's a video of Friends playing This Is The Start on www.youtube.com. Over 4,000 Indietracks photos are on www.flickr.com. And there's a video compilation at www.indietracksblog.blogspot.com (scroll to 28 July).
Friends' slot at the Indietracks festival in Derbyshire is confirmed as 3pm on Saturday 25 July. The band play a warm-up show on Friday 24 July at the Buffalo Bar, 259 Upper Street, Islington, London N1, with The Specific Heats, Countryside and The Understudies. Friends are onstage at 10pm.
Friends song You'll Never See That Summertime Again is track 1 on disc 1 of the Indietracks double CD released on Make Do And Mend Records. The compilation features a mouth-watering 44 tracks by bands playing the festival on 24-26 July.
After several weeks' delay the Southbeach single Walking Out is now downloadable from all leading downloads stores. Although it's been available on the Summerhouse website since its release, encoding problems in the distribution process meant that it had to be resubmitted and re-released. It's now out again, this time in perfect form!
Friends will play at the Indietracks festival in Derbyshire on Saturday 25 July. The festival is held on five stages over three days on a heritage railway site outside Ripley, and Friends will appear in a late afternoon slot (exact time to be confirmed). One-day and weekend tickets are available as well as camping facilities. For more information about the festival go to www.indietracks.co.uk
Following the release of the Friends compilation Single Friends and the Whirlpool Guest House retrospective Rough Digs, there are new interviews about the albums and the Summerhouse label. William Jones of Friends is interviewed about Summerhouse in the German online magazine Crazewire at www.crazewire.de (there's an English translation on our website) and Whirlpool Guest House's Carl Green talks to Tommy Gunnarsson about the band and his new incarnation as Head Of Light Entertainment in the Penny Black magazine at www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk
They're out! The Friends singles compilation Single Friends and Whirlpool Guest House retrospective Rough Digs are out on Monday 1 December, along with the new download-only four-track Southbeach single Walking Out and new download versions of 4,000,000 Telephones' early French Girls single and the Skinner single Lucille. All are available from the Summerhouse online shop and/or downloads store, and from all leading downloads retailers.
A collection of all six Friends singles totalling 20 tracks and a compilation of Whirlpool Guest House's entire output will be released on Monday 1 December. Single Friends charts the band's career since their formation and first single It's Getting Louder in 1986 to the present day. Rough Digs is the story of Whirlpool Guest House, one of the first three bands on the label at its start, and includes their single The Changing Face, album Pictures On The Pavement, and four previously unreleased songs, a total of 16 tracks.
Whirlpool Guest House song The Plumber's Daughter, the opening track from their 1989 album Pictures On The Pavement, has been selected for inclusion on the next Sound Of Leamington Spa compilation from German label Firestation. The album should be out early in the New Year. For further information please contact http://www.firestation-records.de or email firstname.lastname@example.org
4,000,000 Telephones' first single French Girls and Skinner's single Lucille will be available as downloads from early December. The two releases have only ever been available on vinyl, and still are. This will the first time they have been available in digital form. French Girls, from 1987, comprises four tracks from the first Telephones' line-up and showcases the band at their creative and commercial peak.
Southbeach is back on Summerhouse and will be releasing a third single after an abortive move to the Harlem Trax label. The four-track single, Walking Out, will be our first download-only release, and features four tracks in a range of dance styles, following on from Hotel De Paris and The White Single Walking Out will be released in late November/early December.
The acoustic version of Friends - William Jones (voice/guitar), Martin Parker (percussion) and Edwin Pearson (double bass) play at the Cobden Club, West London, on Wednesday 26 March. Friends will play a short set at 9.30pm. Venue address is the Cobden Club, 170 Kensal Road (near Trellick Towers), London W10. Nearest tube is Westbourne Park.
Summerhouse is now distributed by NDN Distribution, based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. All our new releases this year and the entire back catalogue are available in shops and, if not on the shelves, can be ordered by retailers via NDN.
As well as through our new downloads store (see August news) you can now buy most of our catalogue through all the major downloads stores. These include iTunes, Napster, emusic, TuneTribe, Musicnet, HMV, Yahoo Music, Virgin Digital, Metro Tunes, MSN, Rhapsody, Sony Connect and 3; and in Europe: Netmusik, Bilka, Uziing.com, Prefueled, Payland, Jubii, Spray and Inaphone; and in the USA and Asia: Sanity and Walmart.
Friends singer and songwriter William Jones is interviewed for the third time in Pennyblackmusic, the online magazine. The interview with journalist Sarah Johnson covers the band's return to playing live, writing and recording the new album Spangleland, and memories of some extremely dodgy early gigs. Go to http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk.
With Spangleland now well and truly out, Friends are moving ahead with finishing and releasing their next 'very acoustic' album The Zen House in the first half of next year. Featuring very heavily stripped-down and minimally arranged songs, recording is nearly complete and the album will be mixed early in the New Year.
Summerhouse's new downloads store is now open. Most of the catalogue is available either as individual tracks or complete singles and albums, encoded at 320kbps in MP3 format. There are generous-length clips for all tracks, and individual songs all sell at 79p. Click here to go straight to the downloads store.
Friends return to London's Spitz on Sunday 9 September following their appearance there as part of the Summerhouse label night in May. On an all-day bill with Bitter Springs, Hey Negrita, Rothko, Saint Joan, Kelman and Joe Gideon, Friends will be onstage at 6.30pm. The event is promoted by Pennyblackmusic and is their last show at the Spitz before the venue closes permanently. For more information go to http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk
Summerhouse releases are available once again in shops in the UK following a new distribution deal with Active Media and THE. New releases by Showstar and Friends, the Rumblefish singles compilation 1234 and 4,000,000 Telephones' self-titled debut album can now all be bought or ordered from retailers as easily as buying them online from us or from mail order companies. All other back catalogue items are still available only from existing sources, including our online shop.
New signing the brilliant Belgian band Showstar made their UK debut at the Spitz, London, on Saturday 12 May. A storming set from the band made an immediate impact and plans are in hand to bring the band back to the UK for more dates in the autumn.
4,000,000 Telephones, in their second appearance since reforming for the re-release of their original 1985 album, captured all the wildness and anarchy of their best recordings, and won over a whole new audience who missed them first time round. Friends premiered songs from their new album Spangleland, in a set mixing old favourites and material from their last two albums, and Jeremy Paige of Rumblefish played a short set of acoustic treatments of some of the band's indie hits.
Spangleland, the ninth album by Friends, is released on Tuesday 8 May, five days before the band play at a special Summerhouse night at the Spitz, London, headlined by new signing Showstar, and featuring 4,000,000 Telephones and ex-Rumblefish singer Jeremy Paige.
Spangleland comprises ten new songs, which see the band reaching out in several new musical directions, while still retaining the classic Friends guitar-based sound. The full track listing is Juliet, Happy New Year, Missing Person, Give Me Back My Life, Time To Move On, Natural History, Constantly, Twice Around, Spangleland and Turn The Sun On Me. Generally longer than usual for the band, the songs' lyrical content ranges widely, from nature worship to a fantasy dreamland, from second chances to imaginary relationships. The band will be talking about the songs on their MySpace blog nearer the release date.
Summerhouse has signed the brilliant Belgian band Showstar and will be releasing their second album <.> (pronounced 'Dot') in the UK in May. <.> features ten classic hard-edged pop songs, with bittersweet vocals, scything guitars and glorious melodies. Produced by Gareth Parton (Futureheads, The Rakes, Placebo, Go! Team and many others), <.> continues the Summerhouse tradition of bringing great pop to a wider audience.
Showstar headline a Summerhouse night at the Spitz in London on Saturday 12 May, with 4,000,000 Telephones, Friends and Jeremy Paige (ex Rumblefish) also playing. Tickets will be available in advance from Summerhouse.
Friends first live performance for 14 years took place on Friday 23 February when the band played a half-hour set consisting of After All, The River Flows, Beautiful To Me, Far And Away, Someotherwhere, Day By Night and You'll Never See That Summertime Again. Re-enthused by the live experience, Friends are planning more over the next few months, including an appearance at a Summerhouse label night in London in May or June.
Friends play live as a full band for the first time since 1993 when they play at the Wilmington, 69 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1 on Friday 23 February. The band are onstage at 10pm and tickets are £6 or £5 with a flier available from Summerhouse at email@example.com
4,000,000 Telephones are now on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/4000000telephones
4,000,000 Telephones' debut album was re-released on CD on Monday 13 November nearly 20 years after it was last available. The band reunited for an astonishing launch gig in Lincoln the previous Saturday, where they performed the album and the French Girls single. Playing together for the first time since 1987 the Telephones delivered a storming set to a large and appreciative audience.
A video of the band performing French Girls on German TV during their 1986 tour is now on YouTube.
Friends singer William Jones completed his fourth marathon in New York City on Sunday 5 November. Running in support of the charity Get Kids Going! he achieved a personal best time of 4 hours 27 minutes.
Friends are now on MySpace with a small but growing number of, er, friends. Four songs are available - You'll Never See That Summertime Again, The River Flows, Far And Away and Beautiful To Me. Go to http://www.myspace.com/friendsuk
4,000,000 Telephones are planning a one-off reunion gig in their home town Lincoln to celebrate the re-release of their debut album 21 years after it was recorded. The album has been remastered by Jack Rabelais with a booklet including previously unseen photography and lyrics designed by Malcolm Tent. The band are also launching their own website http://www.4000000telephones.com to coincide with the release.
Friends are putting together an album of rarities, all previously unreleased material, including remixes, studio demos, alternative and acoustic versions of songs, live performances and a radio interview. The album is being compiled at Fairview for release in 2007.
The new recording of Friends classic You'll Never See That Summertime Again is now out as a CD single, with This Is The Start, Into The Sun, and an acoustic version of Beautiful To Me also included. The song and arrangement remain unchanged, and the band reckon it's the performance and production they always wanted to deliver, bringing out the best in the track from the 1989 album Roads Leading Everywhere. This Is The Start and Into The Sun appear on Beautiful You and Folk Songs respectively, while Beautiful To Me was recorded in a single take by William Jones in an acoustic session in London in 2002.
Friends were back in the studio earlier this month, recording their next album for release early next year. Ten songs were recorded, with finishing touches and mixing to be completed this autumn and next January.
More tracks are finished for the Friends acoustic album The Zen House. The album, which will be released next year after the next CD by the full band, contains some of the most minimal and stripped-down material the band have ever produced. A few songs feature bass, keyboards and drums or percussion, while many are based around acoustic guitar and voice. The album represents another step in the direction of Folk Songs, although the band see the acoustic albums as a variation from their regular style rather than a permanent change of direction.
The Rumblefish singles compilation 1234: The Early Singles is now ready and is set for release in July.
Plans are being made to release the original, self-titled 4,000,000 Telephones LP. The album, originally released on the band's own label Bunker, predated the Telephones' signing to Summerhosue, and has been unavailable for the last 20 years. The album built a large following for the band, who toured in Germany and the UK and were tipped as one of the bands most likely to break through to more widespread success in a turn-of-the-year round up in Melody Maker in early 1986. The album features the line-up which went on to release the single French Girls on Summerhouse before splitting up. A November release date is scheduled.
This month sees the twentieth anniversary of the first Friends output, a five-song studio demo recorded in February 1986 at The Studio, Gosforth., and copied and distributed the following month. The set included early versions of It's Getting Louder and Island, which were later re-recorded for the band's first single, and The End Of The Affair which later appeared on the Far And Away 12" single. Singer William Jones wasn't yet the singer but played guitar, keyboard and bass, with vocals delivered by Whirlpool Guest House's Carl Green.
Summerhouse Records has moved to The Hiltongrove Business Centre, Hatherley Mews, London E17 4QP. Our new base is in Walthamstow, North East London and replaces PO Box 34601 as our postal address. Our email address remains the same.
2006 marks the twentieth anniversary of both Summerhouse Records and the formation of Friends. We don't have the exact date of Friends' arrival in the world, but there will be plenty of celebratory occasions in the year to mark various Friends 'firsts' including the release of some of the band's previously unheard archive material.
Release date for the Rumblefish compilation album 1234: The Early Singles has been put back to the early New Year following manufacturing problems. Provisional release date is late January, although this will be confirmed when production is complete.
A possible new Southbeach single is mooted for the early New Year. Following the success of The White Single, Southbeach's second Summerhouse release, another 12" single is in the planning stage and could be out in the first couple of months of 2006.
Half the tracks from the forthcoming Friends acoustic album The Zen House are recorded but unmixed following a two-day session at Fairview this month. Mainly recorded live in the studio in single takes, the tracks feature voice and acoustic or Spanish guitar and minimal accompaniment. The album will be finished in a two-day follow-up session for release in spring 2006.
Rumblefish song Medicine, the title track of their first Summerhouse single, is to be featured on Firestation Records' next Sound of Leamington Spa compilation. Firestation's collections put the spotlight on indie classics from the 80s and 90s as well as airing neglected gems from the era. For further information please contact http://www.firestation-records.de or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracks for the new acoustic Friends are now finalised and will be recorded over four days at Fairview, Hull in the autumn. All are new material and include a radical acoustic reworking of the wall-of-noise epic Get Together from the Sundrowned album.
The Rumblefish singles compilation is scheduled for release on Monday 31 October. Including 14 songs taken from a Pink sampler albm, the band's Pink single and two Summerhouse singles, the album is entitled 1234, and the booklet includes a band history written by founder and songwriter Jeremy Paige.
Friends are working on songs for the next album featuring the full band, to be recorded early next year and released in summer 2006. Likely to feature ten new songs, titles completed so far include Juliet, Time To Move On, Goodbye Friend and Until Now.
Friends go into the studio this autumn to record The Zen House, an album of new songs with minimal, acoustic treatment. Sessions will take place at Fairview, Hull in October and November with the album scheduled for release at the end of the year.
Rumblefish rarity Solid Wood is also to feature on the band's singles compilation album. The track was never released as a single in its own right, but appeared on the Pink sampler It Sells Or It Smells, along with Wolfhounds, McCarthy and other tracks. The Rumblefish compilation is scheduled for an autumn release.
The Rumblefish compilation album will feature the band's first single for The Pink Label as well as their two Summerhouse singles. It was the single Tugboat Line which first brought the band widespread attention and critical acclaim, together with a track on a Pink sampler album, and made Rumblefish one of the late 80s bands-most-likely-to ...
Track listing for the forthcoming Friends acoustic album is nearly complete, with the band scheduled to record in late spring and early summer. The album will be even more minimal than Folk Songs, with many songs featuring just voice and acoustic or Spanish guitar. A couple of tracks date from the sessions for Late Night Early Morning and feature string quartet. Songs finalised so far are The Road, Good Morning Gorgeous, Your Will, Meaning To Write, Remember Me, Go Home, The Zen House and When You Smile. Working title for the album is The Zen House.
Friends will release a new recording of their classic song You'll Never See That Summertime Again later this year. The song, which appeared on the band's second album Roads Leading Everywhere, has never been available as a single, and yet has received the most radio play of any Friends song. The band have long wished to re-record it in the same arrangement, but with better performance and production, and the CD single should be out in late summer 2005. It will be backed by three other songs, including an acoustic version of Beautiful To Me.
Plans are in hand for a compilation album of Rumblefish's two singles and some non-Summerhouse early Rumblefish material. The proposed album would be released in 2005 and would be the first time this material has been available on CD. After leaving Summerhouse the band moved to East West releasing the album Rumblefish then, as Low Art Thrill, an album on Island, before splitting up.
Friends are working towards two new albums and an archive album of rarities and alternative versions of recorded songs. The two new albums will be recorded next year and will appear in 2005 and 2006. First will be a largely acoustic album in the style of Folk Songs. An album featuring the full band will be recorded in late 2005 and will be released in 2006. The rarities album will include live performances, demo versions of songs, remixes and possibly live radio broadcasts and interview. More information on content and release dates in the New Year.
Friends' first album Let's Get Away From It All is available again on CD. Originally released on vinyl in 1988, it was subsequently remade as a CD, then licensed to Vinyl Japan for a vinyl-only re-release. Now back again after a couple of years out of print, it is the band's most popular album and the definitive sound of early Friends. Go to How To Order for more details
Dance producer/DJ/writer Southbeach has signed to DJ Steve Lawler's label Harlem Trax after two singles with Summerhouse. After outstanding reviews for the two 12" singles it was inevitable that Southbeach would be picked up by a specialist dance label, and the first new releases on Harlem Trax should be out in the New Year.
Friends singer and songwriter William Jones is interviewed again in the Pennyblackmusic online magazine, talking about the band's new album Late Night Early Morning. Pennyblackmusic also carries a review of the album by Tommy Gunnarsson. Go to http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk. Late Night Early Morning is also reviewed in the online Tasty Fanzine at http://www.tastyfanzine.org.uk
Friends are currently in rehearsal for a series of live dates in the autumn, promoting new album Late Night Early Morning. Dates are being lined up now, and will be announced in the next month.
Late Night Early Morning was released on 14 June. The album can be bought in shops, from various online websites and direct from Summerhouse. Go to How To Order for more details
The new Friends album is entitled Late Night Early Morning, and is released on Monday 14 June. Eleven songs right in the same groove as Beautiful You, the music displays the whole range of the band's style from the pure pop of opener After All to the sonic weirdness of the final Slow Dissolve, with Beatlish string arrangements and lots of guitars along the way. More news in next month's update, together with details of how to buy Late Night Early Morning.
Preparing for the release of their new album, Friends are in rehearsal for a series of live dates to promote the release, their first live performances as a full band for many years. Meanwhile, singer/songwriter William Jones completed his first London Marathon on Sunday 18 April in 4 hours 36 minutes.
The new Friends album is now scheduled for a June release. The original release date of January was postponed as Summerhouse was looking for a new distribution deal for the CD.
The third and final part of the Penny Black online magazine's interview with Friends singer William Jones is now on the Penny Black website. Part 3 looks at the formation of the Summerhouse label, favourite artists, and what makes a great song. Go to http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk
The second Friends single, Far And Away, from 1987, is now available on CD. The four-track single, previously only available on 12", is an early Friends classic. The title track and Burning Bridges featured on the Let's Get Away From It All in re-recorded versions, but the band always felt that the single offered the better recording of the songs. Go to How To Order for more details.
The second part of the Penny Black online magazine's interview with Friends singer William Jones is now on the Penny Black website. Part 2 looks at the production of Friends' records and the development of their style, favourite songs, and Friends' place in the current music scene. Go to http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk
The new Friends album, the band's eighth, is scheduled for a New Year release. The album sees Friends regulars William Jones, Martin Parker, Richard Buckton and Jon Kirby joined by new singer Melanie Harrold, trumpeter Tom Tait, and Al Wood on soprano saxophone. A string quartet features on two songs as well as two more which will be held back for a later release.
Friends singer and songwriter William Jones is interviewed in Sweden by Tommy Gunnarsson for Penny Black's online magazine. Part 1 of a lengthy interview covers the band's origins, influences, and subject-matter for Friends lyrics. Go to http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk
The CD remake of the first Friends single It's Getting Louder is now available. The two-song CD single is on sale now at £2.50, the same price as the former vinyl version. Go to How To Order for more details.
Friends record their next album at Fairview in Hull next month. The album will be the band's eighth, and will include eleven songs. Plans for an earlier single have been revised, and a single will follow the album in the New Year.
The reissue of the first Friends 7" single It's Getting Louder in CD is set for Monday 1 September. The CD features the original two tracks only and the original single artwork, and sells at £2.50. Go to How To Order for more details. The remake of 12" single Far And Away is set to follow in October.
Friends' new album will be recorded in September for an autumn release. Featuring ten new songs, the album will be preceded by a CD single including four songs not appearing on the album. Like the last four Friends albums, it will be produced by John Spence and recorded at Fairview in Hull.
CD versions of the first two Friends singles will be available within the next month. It's Getting Louder was released in 1986 and has only ever been available on vinyl, although a re-recorded version of the song was included on the album Let's Get Away From It. B-side Island is only available on the single. The 7" single has finally sold out, and will reappear as a two-track, budget-priced CD single only.
Far And Away is still available on vinyl, and will now be remade as a standard four-track CD single. Both singles will include the original songs only, with the singles' sleeve designs. Actual release dates will be posted on the website as soon as they are confirmed, or if you want us to contact you, email us at email@example.com to tell us you want to join the Summerhouse email list.
Demo versions of the next Southbeach single have been recorded by writer/producer Pete Maude for summer release. Expect three or four more powerful dance tracks in the style of debut single Hotel de Paris, with the possible addition of vocals.
Friends are now well into rehearsals for their next album and single. The album, so far untitled, will contain ten new songs, including After All, Dark Side, Two Strong Arms, and Slow Dissolve. Expect a few stylistic and instrumental surprises, with the return of a string quartet for one or more songs, otherwise the same line-up as recorded Beautiful You.
DJ Mag reviews Hotel de Paris by Southbeach: "Summerhouse Records delivers a fine little EP package with four excellent tracks from Southbeach. As the name suggests, they're upbeat numbers that really kick off in a very special way. The cut du jour has to be 'Hotel De Paris' though, as rising electro melodies get the thing going until the filters cut in and take the whole thing up a gear. A vaguely trancey breakdown is saved at the last gasp with a solid bassline, but all in all, it's a hooky, happy quartet from Summerhouse. Worth a tree-climb for." (Nick Bates)
New year plans for Summerhouse include the release of a new Friends album and single, the reissue of the first two Friends singles on CD, and further 12" singles from Southbeach. Friends are currently working on new songs for recording in July with an autumn release scheduled for their eighth album. A four-track CD single will precede this, with a late summer/early autumn release. The band will then undertake a series of live dates to promote the new releases.
Further singles from Southbeach are in preparation, with a likely summer release scheduled for the follow-up to Hotel de Paris.
The first single by new signing Southbeach is released on Monday 9 December. The music is a totally new direction for Summerhouse, featuring a range of contemporary dance styles. The new 12" is headed by Hotel de Paris, a powerful Progressive Trance number, with driving bass and an insistent melodic riff. The four tracks are characterised by strong rhythmic features, intricate changes, and a very immediate sense of melody. All are purely instrumental, except Enjoy which features a repeated vocal phrase.
There's plenty more where Hotel de Paris came from, as Southbeach built up a big backlog of unreleased material before signing to Summerhouse, and is already working on new material for future singles. Could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Summerhouse Records has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Native/Pinnacle, which means that the label's CDs and records should once again be available through UK shops. Although Summerhouse releases have been generally available outside the UK for many years, within the UK they have only been accessible via mail order and direct from the label. The new deal starts with the release of the first Southbeach single next month, and will include all new Friends and Southbeach releases, and possibly some Friends back catalogue.
The first single by new Summerhouse signing Southbeach is scheduled for release in early December. The four-track 12" single is the first of a series of four by dance producer/writer/DJ Pete Maude. Main track is a progressive trance number entitled Hotel de Paris. Other tracks are Distorts, Transition and Enjoy.
Friends' seventh studio album, Beautiful You, is released on Monday 23 September. The group's first album since 1995's Folk Songs is a return to the full band sound after that acoustic set, and is classic Friends - 13 songs of trumpet-led, guitar-driven, classic pop. With a line-up almost identical to their last three albums, the songs explore some familiar Friends themes, whilst developing new sounds and new lyrical concerns.
William Jones and Martin Parker of Friends said: "We think this is our best work. As always with our records, there are a couple of songs that sound like nothing we've done before, as well as some which take our existing style further. After all this time we thought we'd end up using some of our huge backlog of songs, but most of the album was written in the last year." Friends are planning live dates in the UK during the autumn to promote the new release and the Best Of Friends compilation.
William Jones and Martin Parker of Friends have played their first live date in six years at central London's Kashmir Club. Playing a short set of new material they used the date as a warm-up for further acoustic and band shows this autumn.
Friends' first release since Folk Songs comes out on Monday 29 July. The 4-track CD single Special You features two songs from the band's forthcoming album, a previously unreleased song Downstream, and an acoustic version of early favourite Every Summer, performed by singer/guitarist William Jones. Special You and Village In My Mind are included as a taster for new album Beautiful You, scheduled for release in September, and feature two contrasting sides of the band's music, with the pure pop and classic chorus of the title track, and the wistful, dreamy acoustic style of Village In My Mind.
The new Friends album was recorded last month for release this summer. The album was recorded and mixed in 11 days at Fairview Studios, Hull, where the band have recorded their last three albums. The 13 songs mark a continuation and development of the band's pure pop style, with a few suprises! The album, entitled Beautiful You, includes some of the band's best work to date, and features the line-up that's been together for the last few albums, with the return of original bass player Edwin Pearson - William Jones, Martin Parker, Richard Buckton, Jon Kirby, Al Wood and Katherine Dow Blyton.
The album will be preceded by a sampler CD single next month containing two songs from Beautiful You and two other unreleased tracks. More news of release dates of both album and single in early July.
Best Of Friends is released on Monday 27 May, and is available from Summerhouse from that date. Price is £12, and postage/packing and payment details are the same as for all the label's other releases (see the 'How To Order' section of this website). Track listing is: Day By Night, That's The One, Were We Really There?, Lies Lies Lies, Over And Over, Let's Get Away From It All, Hey Jo, Many Places, The First Day Of Spring, That Faraway Look, Everyone Knows, Far And Away, Butterfly Man, Thinking Of You, Every Summer, Everywhere, and You'll Never See That Summertime Again. The selection spans the band's history up to the Folk Songs album, and comes with a 12-page booklet chronicling the Friends story and including many unpublished photos.
For the band, William Jones and Martin Parker said: "The choice of songs was difficult, and we wanted to represent as much of our range of styles as possible, as well as including something from most of our releases. We've mainly gone for those songs which have been the most popular, and got the most positive reactions, rather than our own personal favourites, and we think the finished album is a good summary of ten years of our history. And we hope the Very Best is still to come!"
The release date for Best Of Friends, the 17-track compilation album charting the band's career to date, is Monday 27 May. All work on the compilation is complete, and the finished article should look and sound excellent. The band are currently in the final stages of rehearsal for their next studio album, scheduled for release later this summer.
The Friends compilation album is now in production and will be released in May. Release date to be announced shortly. The album contains 17 songs from throughout the band's career. All tracks are from existing albums and singles, and the package contains a comprehensive history of the band by founder member William Jones, with an introduction by former Factory artist Graham Fitkin. Live dates are being lined up for the summer, both for the full band and the acoustic version of Friends.
Recording dates for the new Friends studio album are booked for May, for July release. The CD-only album will contain 12 tracks. Six new Friends songs are already written so far this year, two of which will appear on the new album. The band have a backlog of 32 songs, which means that another two studio albums (one full band and one acoustic) are already written!
The Sound of Leamington Spa is now out, and opens with Friends classic 'You'll Never See That Summertime Again'. For further information please contact http://www.firestation-records.de or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Track listing for the new Friends album is close to being finalised, and the overall feel is most definitely POP. Titles include This Is The Start, The Avenues, Over The Hills, No Regrets, Village In My Mind, and So You Say. Likely album title is Beautiful You. Recording is planned for May, with a summer release scheduled. Most of the songs date from the last year, with the huge backlog of Friends songs since Folk Songs planned for gradual release over a number of albums, both electric and acoustic.
The Best of Friends compilation has been brought forward to precede the new Friends studio album. The Best of selection is currently being made by Jones and Parker, and a 12-page booklet is being written, containing band history and archive photos of various Friends line-ups.
New Summerhouse signing is Southbeach, the personal project of Pete Maude, bass guitarist in the early line-up of Friends which recorded Let's Get Away From It All. First release will be a four-track 12" single entitled Hotel de Paris. The title track is a powerful Progressive House number, the other three tracks covering a range of dance styles. This will be a vinyl-only release. More news about Southbeach and about what Pete Maude has been doing since the late 80s in the next update.
Summerhouse announces its first new artist signing since 1995. More news will follow next month. The new signing is a solo dance music act, and the first release will come in spring 2002. This will be the first of a series of four 12" singles throughout 2002. The signing is a completely new direction for Summerhouse, which will retain its connection with guitar-based pop/rock whilst opening up new audiences to the label through the new signing.
Plans for a Summerhouse 'best of' Friends compilation are in their very early stages. Eventual release will probably follow the next Friends studio album. With a fifteen-year history, and over 80 recorded songs, we feel that this is a good time to introduce Friends to new audiences and follow up the renewed interest in the band after Vinyl Japan's release of the first album and 'First Day Of Spring' single. The Summerhouse website (where you are now!) was officially launched on 4 June. We will be updating the website regularly, and eventually will include more information about all the bands on the label, Friends lyrics and more background details on the releases.
Let's Get Away From It All and The First Day Of Spring hit the streets (of Tokyo) at the end of this month. For anyone who doesn't have access to a Vinyl Japan shop, you can get information about how to buy from www.vinyljapan.demon.co.uk. These are vinyl-only releases, with original sleeve artwork, manufactured under license to Vinyl Japan.
One new Friends song is completely recorded. Downstream was recorded and mixed in a single day at Fairview Hull, in March, and is very different from anything by the band up until now (very minimal lyrics). May feature on new album. About twenty other new songs are now being demoed and rehearsed before being reduced to an album's-length of material. Jones and Parker also working on new acoustic set for low-key concerts in and around London later in the year.
Ex-Friends keep turning up in London. Bass player Peter Maude now working for Virgin/Our Price and producing dance music. More news about him and others later.
Friends are currently working on songs for their seventh album, which looks like being a mix of the pop/rock sound of recent albums with the acoustic sound featured on Folk Songs. None of the new songs have been played live. Songs so far include This Is The Start, Downstream, The Zen House, And Start Again, Made Of Music and Remember Me. Provisional album title is The Zen House. This will be a CD-only release, scheduled for autumn 2001. Line-up is William Jones, Martin Parker and bassist Edwin Pearson, with other Friends associates to be involved in the later stages of rehearsals. William Jones had been aiming for a twenty-year lay-off like his heroes Fagen and Becker of Steely Dan, but pressure has been brought to bear. Live things could happen in the autumn too.
Friends fans in Japan will shortly be able to get first album Let's Get Away From It All and 12" single The First Day Of Spring on vinyl again through a licensing deal with Vinyl Japan. Should be ready in summer 2001. Meanwhile Summerhouse will continue to make both of these available on CD (Let's Get Away From It All currently out of stock).
To follow in future newsletters - Where Are They Now? Friends attempt to track down the vast army of former members and update you on their subsequent fall from grace.