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Beyond The Vapours

Good day to you, wherever and whenever you might be reading this! It feels like quite a long time since I last wrote, and that's largely because... well, I've not had much to say. Today marks a swift change in that regard, and I am happy to impart a shitload of stuff.

You would be forgiven for thinking that all things Vapours has stagnated somewhat since 'The Impartial Age was released, due in no small part to most of my former collaborateurs finally, perhaps inevitably, falling victim to their ridicubusy lives and schedules. Jack, SBT, and Duncan have taken steps back from AOTV duties to pipe aboard Don't Call Me Ishmael's third album, and a fine piece of work it is, too. I saw them perform on February's Honey Box and they are a fine band, which has always been the case, however the additions to the lineup have made them truly formidable. They'll be rounding off their Saint Ishmael tour in Stoke later this year, which must be attended.

In any case, as 'The Impartial Age' has been safely delivered, I found myself in a bit of a No Man's Land, wondering what to do next. I have referred to this multiple times as my "Shit, what now?" period. As of late February, that period came to a close, although not necessarily in a way that will immediately lead to new Vapours music in the short term.


Borogoves (l-r): Jake, Kez, Mara, and me.

So at some point in February, I met up with Kez & Mara for some birthday drinks, and while chatting about both of our "Shit, what now?" phases, I strongly recommended getting some miso friends together and seeing what comes out of it. The following week, I found myself in a group chat proposing a rehearsal. We're now three rehearsals in, and sounding tasty. Hopefully it won't be too long before you're seeing more of us!


Rose&Cloud (l-r): Me, Emily Rose Galvin

So cast your minds back to January - not for too long because it was fucking awful for the most part. The Honey Box Live episode for that month was good fun, and during the proceedings, my friend Chris Wilson introduced me to his friend, Emily Galvin. We said hello, had a natter about the things that make us laugh in quiet rooms that start us laughing, and made friends pretty quickly. On February's Honey Box, Emily was interviewed about her duties as Staffordshire's Poet Laureate, what kind of projects she gets to oversee and so on. As ever, there were some heavily suppressed giggle loops about ducks, mating leopard slugs, and someone being filmed filming the Honey Box on their phone.

Emily was then invited to perform at the following Honey Box in March, at which point she asked me if I fancied arranging some music to underscore her poetry. Surrounded by music from the other bands, there was a faint fear that the spoken word might fall flat, and she felt it would be good to just change what she does slightly. I jumped at the challenge, as it's something I haven't done before, and came up with some music that Emily really liked. We performed it on Sunday 17th March, and pretty quickly decided that we really enjoyed the way we worked together, and are now in the process of expanding our repertoire (this will include some shared writing adventures), looking for gigs, and planning recordings. Having not actively & enthusiastically written in a good long while, I am delighted to notice that I have started writing again, and am excitedly thinking of ideas for the recording side of the project.

Emily & I performing at Honey Box Live, before we called ourselves Rose&Cloud.

BBC Radio Stoke interview

I found myself on BBC Radio Stoke last Monday. I was invited in for a chat on Lucas Yeoman's show and, not being 100% sure what the conversation would be about, found myself cheerily gabbing away about Borogoves, Rose&Cloud (then-unnamed), Vapours, the Stoke music scene, and even Spotify vs. Bandcamp, before giving advice to people starting out. It was a really nice, comfortable hour, and a pleasure to be asked aboard. You can listen to the episode here for the next two or three weeks, and then hopefully there'll be a way to still share it after then.

Myself and Lucas Yeoman's at BBC Stoke.

So that's all the news from Vapours Tower for now. I have songs for a new AOTV release sitting in a bag (I always have had, pretty much), and they will come soon, when I can see a way to assemble a team in a chosen location to record them. But for now, I need to re-harness my inspiration with different things while I let ideas for here simmer, gently.

Until next time,

John xx

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