Arrows is 1

This Saturday Arrows turns 1. 

That’s a sentence that at many times over the 9 years it took to make and release I honestly doubted I’d ever be able to say, so here’s a not-so-short story about its birth.

It was an absolute beast to make. 

We started writing it right off the back of releasing Open Hearts. Conscious that it’d been 3 years between A Call and Response and Open Hearts, and with what felt like little momentum left, it was an effort to quickly put out new songs, to try and ‘stay relevant.’ 

We put way too much pressure on ourselves and it definitely showed. Writing was difficult. Deathmask came quickly, we gave that its live debut at Plissken festival in Athens in 2010, but after that ideas were hard to come by, and the longer it went on the worse it got. We were frustrated with ourselves and each other, and to me a least all I wanted was to get the thing finished.

I spent hours and hours sat in front of my laptop, in my house in Northenden, trying to wrestle tiny sparks into ideas with enough substance to start working on together. I had a baby on the way and just couldn’t see how we could continue trying to write in the same way after the baby was born, so I was desperate to finish it.

We didn’t make that first baby deadline, or as it turns out a few more baby deadlines!

Three years after Open Hearts was released we were finally in a position to deliver an album to Melodic Records. We’d recorded everything ourselves, in our rehearsal room, a damp and leaky place underneath a gym in Salford. It wasn’t a good record, it was half baked at best. There were some good ideas for sure, but also a lot of rushed songs and ideas we should have discarded, and it didn’t know what it wanted to be. Thankfully, Dave at Melodic was, as he always has been, honest with us, and helped us to get some perspective on what we’d delivered. And we’re extremely grateful for that. Melodic, understandably, declined to release it.

We took some time, stepped back and reassessed, and made some important decisions.

It no longer mattered how long it took to get album 3 written, recorded and released. It had already been so long, we had a lot of important things happening in our personal lives, and we really, really, needed to start enjoying being in a band again. We also realised that the ‘first draft’ of album 3 wasn’t a complete write-off. It had taken a lot to get it to the point it was at and we knew it could be a good album. Removing the self-imposed deadlines was liberating, and whilst progress wasn’t exactly fast, it was definitely more enjoyable. Arrows (the song) was a big momentum boost too, that song came together quickly, one of those that almost writes itself, and we really needed to know that we could still do that. We rewrote old songs, again and again, wrote new songs and rewrote those too, and slowly the album properly started to form.

Another short three years on and we were in a position to start recording. We recorded in our homes, rehearsal room, and a borrowed studio (thanks Rob!)

Chris Snow, sound engineer extraordinaire, recorded the drum tracks and some guitar tracks which shaped the sound of the whole record, in a way we could never have done ourselves. We recorded in whatever free time we could find, and though progress was slow, it was progress nonetheless. At last, by mid-2016, we were done… with the recording at least… so we set about trying to find a home for Arrows.

We tried to send the record as far and wide as we could, but it had been so long since we’d done anything in the music industry we had very few contacts. We’d kept in touch with Andy Booth, our lawyer since we signed our first deal, and he was a huge help with both advice and getting the record to people, but no one was biting. I’d also sent the record to Mick Shiner. He’d signed us to his publishing label back in the early days, and he got in touch with an offer of help. He sent the record around, and whilst people liked it and were kind enough to tell us they liked it, still no one was biting. The fact people were saying nice things though was vindicating, and spurred us on.

A little while prior to this I’d seen a few posts from Ann at Deltasonic Records, they were releasing new music, so I sent a demo and Ann got in touch. She liked it and wanted to put it out!!!

Now eight years on from our last record, this news was as exciting as the first time Deltasonic had wanted to release our songs, 13 years earlier. 

We enlisted the ears of Tom Knott to mix the record. We’ve known Tom for a long time, I first encountered him as part of a math rock band in an extremely odd venue in Manchester that I can’t recall, but later as the live guitarist / trumpeter in The Earlies. We’d recorded with Tom before too and knew we were in safe hands. We even managed to persuade him to play a little trumpet on the record. He knew straight away what we were aiming for and the record was mixed by mid-2017, then mastered by the brilliant Carl Saff shortly after that.

Liam Palmer, our long suffering artwork guru, did another spectacular job with the artwork, and we were ready. We just needed to figure out how to tell everyone else that, so we did the only sensible thing, went to the pub and got drunk with Will and Alex from InHouse Press. They were up for doing the promo. InHouse Press have always done our promo, on everything we’ve ever released, and it just wouldn’t have felt right to do this one without them.

In one final twist, a final attempt to scupper this album, the universe saw fit to place a spec dust/fluff/something on the stamper for the first run of the lovely blue vinyl. We listened to the first 30 seconds of all 500 copies, and an awful ‘clunk’, loud enough to kick me in the chest every time, was present on almost all of them. Thankfully Republic of Music, who were distributing the album with Deltasonic, were great and quickly ordered a repressing.

Arrows was released on April 6th 2018.

We owe a huge thanks to many, many people, without whom we would never have released this album. It was the most challenging thing we’ve ever done as a band, and we’re eternally grateful to everyone that helped, supported, worked with us, put up with us, and gave us advice. 

We’ll be celebrating its first birthday at The Soup Kitchen in Manchester on May 18th, come join us.

Lee

You Are Not Alone Festival

We’re playing the You Are Not Alone Festival on the 30th of March, raising money for the brilliant Manchester-based mental health charity, Manchester Mind.

Click here for tickets. £10 allows entry to any of the three venues. We’re playing at Jimmy’s at 7:30pm.

Popic x Maps

Years ago we did a remix swap with the excellent Maps (James Chapman) on one of our favourite tracks, Start Something, and he repaid us with an absolutely mint remix of Holy Funk from A Call And Response. Once we’d sorted our heads out and finished Arrows, we though we’d see if he fancied a crack at any of the album, and the result is a version of Popic that we think deserves it’s own release.

Popic (Maps Remix) is out now on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, etc. The lush full version (before we tried a cheeky edit to turn it into a four minute pop song) is available only on our Bandcamp page for streaming and high-res audio download.

The video was shot by Rick Bebbington during Iceland’s worst summer on record.

Streaming links:

Autumn Office Playlist

A few songs from the bands supporting us at the upcoming gigs and some others that have been bouncing around our earphones and speakers.

 


Autumn Shows

We’re playing a few more gigs before the end of the year, starting in Chester this Friday. Come and get drunk with us.

Support is from these ace bands, so get in early:

Ennio the Little Brother

Purple Heart Parade

The Holy Orders

Bandcamp & Update

New stuff available now on Bandcamp. Download a bundle of all of our records for £18, and buy a t-shirt/vinyl/digital bundle of Arrows for £30. Open Hearts is now available too. Includes unlimited streaming on the Bandcamp app.

We also have some No Chords t-shirts and a very limited amount of Open Hearts t-shirts for sale (includes a download of either Arrows or Open Hearts in MP3, FLAC, AAC, etc).

https://thelongcut.bandcamp.com

We’re working on a few things for summer and later in the year, keep checking our social media accounts…

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April/May Gigs

We’ll be playing a few gigs over April/May in support of Arrows. Come and see us! Click on the dates below the poster for ticket links.

 

28th April, Are You Listening? Festival, Reading
4th May – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
5th May – Sound City, Liverpool
6th May – Stereo, Glasgow
10th May – The Lexington, London
19th May – MAI 68, Chester

Our third album Arrows is out now, check the posts below for streaming/download/vinyl links.

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Arrows – Out Now

Our third record is finally out! You can listen to and buy Arrows through the link below.

http://hyperurl.co/LongcutArrows

 

 

The vinyl edition of Arrows will be available on the 27th of April. Order it now from these fine record shops.

https://thelongcut.bandcamp.com

https://deltasonic.tmstor.es

https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/counter/product.php?pid=120005

https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/artist/the-longcut

https://www.normanrecords.com/records/169129-the-longcut-arrows

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Vinyl

We’re gutted to have to let you know that due to unforeseen circumstances, Friday’s planned vinyl release of Arrows is having to be delayed by three weeks until 27th April.

Anyone who has pre-ordered the vinyl via our Bandcamp page will be contacted individually by email with further details, and we have been assured that contact will be made for any pre-orders through other outlets.

The album will still be released via streaming and download as planned this Friday 6th April, and a digital copy will be available for download or streaming for anyone who has ordered the vinyl through Bandcamp. Enjoy!

New Single – Arrows

The title track from our new album is out now, follow the link below to The 405 to listen.

https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/the-longcut-make-continue-their-comeback-with-the-insistent-art-rock-arrows-405-premiere-152

Pre-order our third album Arrows (out April 6th) on limited edition transparent blue vinyl here:

https://deltasonic.tmstor.es

https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/counter/product.php?pid=120005

https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/artist/the-longcut

https://www.normanrecords.com/records/169129-the-longcut-arrows

https://thelongcut.bandcamp.com

Upcoming shows

No gigs booked at the moment.

Follow @The_Longcut on twitter.