Tuesday 25 September 2012

The Defenestration of St Martin

First off, apologies - I haven't blogged much lately. Or, in fact, done anything much online, anywhere. What can I say, it's been a busy month. A busy month in which I've often not had ready access to that there Internet. But, like Arnie (and this is just about the only way in which I could ever say that) I'm back. Luckily with something very important to write about too.

Regular readers of this blog will know of my love for Nineties indie band Gene. Indeed, such is my love for them that if you gave me a choice between Gene and The Smiths for a reunion gig (Gene called time in 2004) I would have a properly hard time choosing. Partly that's because Gene are one of those few bands who, musically, never put a foot wrong. There is something good about every note of their recorded output. And that in turn is, in a very large part, down to vocalist, lyricist and songwriter Martin Rossiter.

Following the demise of Gene, Martin kept himself to himself by and large. Yes, he sang a bit with a few bands, but there was no solo album. He didn't do a Morrissey, which might have come as a shock to many, given how often Rozza was compared to Mozza (I have even read somewhere this "proof" that Gene were never more than Smiths copyists: the B-side of This Charming Man was a track called Jeane. I know - QED, right?). But last year Martin returned to the stage - also like Arnie, he was back.

Showcasing piano-led material akin to the more introspective end of the Gene spectrum, Martin played a number of very well received gigs during 2011 and early 2012. I was lucky enough to see two of these, and was immediately struck by the emotional power of his new songs. And whilst I could listen to these songs courtesy of poorly-recorded audience videos on YouTube, what I really wanted was a new album. Luckily, I was far from alone.

I say luckily because Martin is without a record deal in the conventional sense, But, thanks to PledgeMusic, he's been able to fund his album by getting people like me to effectively pay in advance. I, and lots of others, jumped at the chance and Martin found himself in the wonderful position of raising all the money he needed for the album to go ahead in just 24 hours. Yes, that's how many Gene fans there still are out there. As a result, The Defenstration of St Martin will be released on the 26th of November.

How to end this post then? Well, of course I'm going to end with a YouTube embed of a new song from Martin. But first I must point you at Martin's PledgeMusic project because of course you can (and should) still pledge to buy the album. You can also pledge for all manner of other goodies too (live EP downloads, t-shirts, that kind of thing), plus you get access to exclusive content. If you ever had any interest in Gene at all, it's worth it. Also worth it is following Martin on Twitter. He gets particularly (and entertainingly) squirly during Question Time. Now, enough from me, here's the aforementioned YouTube embed: Martin rehearsing I Want To Choose When I Sleep Alone.

And as a bonus, another preview from the forthcoming album: No One Left To Blame. Now go and pledge!