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And the results are in! Here are the five oh so lucky winners of  ‘A Prize Every Time - The Greatest Bits’ signed CD. Well done - our people will be in touch with your people and you’ll get it in the post ahead of next Monday’s release date. How lovely. For those not on the pic, chin up http://bit.ly/VcQueM

And the results are in! Here are the five oh so lucky winners of
‘A Prize Every Time - The Greatest Bits’ signed CD.
Well done - our people will be in touch with your people and you’ll get it in the post ahead of next Monday’s release date. How lovely.
For those not on the pic, chin up http://bit.ly/VcQueM

Nice of Julian Cope to give us a mention (‘epic’!!) in his new novel ‘One Three One’ - not sure about Arthur Tadgell, where is he now??

Nice of Julian Cope to give us a mention (‘epic’!!) in his new novel ‘One Three One’ - not sure about Arthur Tadgell, where is he now??

'alcoholism and suicide' Rock on Tony.
First song of ‘The Invisible Ray’ album launch at The Yorkshire House, Lancaster. October 2013.
with Rob Daniels (drums, vocals), Darren Leadsom (bass, vocals) & Marc Nellis (electric guitar).

Selected audio-visual bits of The Greatest Bits

A rare shot of the full Low Country band last year at Oxjam Lancaster - we hope to play together again later this year, always fun.

A rare shot of the full Low Country band last year at Oxjam Lancaster - we hope to play together again later this year, always fun.

The monster song recorded live.
Thanks to Chris Thornley and Sally Naden @ BBC Radio Lancs.
Feb 2011

Win a signed copy of our new 22 track album via Twitter - last few days!

thelowcountriesmusic:

This week, the tragic musings on the origins of track 10 from ‘A Prize Every Time - The Greatest Bits’

A Friend Worth The Name

The first line I carried in my head for many years. It popped into my pill addled head one dark morning as I walked my usual walk from tram 8 through the small park…

thelowcountriesmusic:

Saved (track 18 from our ‘Greatest Bits )

So I lived with Els in her third floor, one bedroom apartment on the corner of ‘Long’ & ‘Short’ Altar Street respectively, close to the centre of Antwerp in the bohemian district known as Zurenborg. It was a small place…

Backstory #3 - ‘A Friend Worth The Name’

This week, the tragic musings on the origins of track 10 from ‘A Prize Every Time - The Greatest Bits’

A Friend Worth The Name

The first line I carried in my head for many years. It popped into my pill addled head one dark morning as I walked my usual walk from tram 8 through the small park to my work at Hoboken City Hall.  I wasn’t a happy bunny at the time.   As I traipsed the winding path by the turtle infested ponds my head felt particularly woozy and light, fuzzy and strange.  My legs became heavy and a cold sweat swept over me. The drugs weren’t working, they just made me worse. 

the monsters are close, so I double my dose

There it was - I know a great line when I hear it so I mentally filed it away as I struggled simply to walk to my work - the trees towering down, sucking out the light, the sour-faced turtles gathering and rising from the water, the air heavy and thick.  Fucking commute.

I’d felt friendless and miserable in Antwerp for many months, a lonely boy in a strange crowded City. It got to a point where I couldn’t leave the house so my doctor prescribed therapy and lots of pills – I never in fact doubled my dose as the pills made me feel terrible.  Ultimately I gradually weaned myself off the pills but the line remained at the back of my brain. 

The same year we decided, for the sake of my health (amongst other considerations), to move back to the UK and my hometown of Lancaster.  Through our young kids and our music we soon settled into a satisfying routine of playgroups/gigs and consequently met a new crowd of parents/musicians.  One of these was - let’s call him ‘Seraphinus’ who, it turned out, was in both camps – a parent and a musician.  We hit it off straight away and within months, bemoaning Lancaster’s lack of a decent Open Mic, we’d decided to start our own - The Gregson Open Mic.   Seraphinus also joined The Low Countries on, let’s say, bouzouki (amongst other instruments) and, together with Els, a very good time was had by all.  We became very good friends and laughed a lot.  Els and I felt fortunate meeting Seraphinus and his family – it felt natural and for life. Effortless real and sublime in fact.

Well, it wasn’t. Seraphinus slowly and inextricably cut us out of his life, by stealth rather than actual communication.  He made it harder and harder to arrange rehearsals and simply stopped turning up to the Gregson Open Mic nights.  The final year I organized on my own.  This broke my heart of course. I attempted to talk to Seraphinus about it how I’d had problems in the past with friendships (or lack of) – all to no avail.  He’d dumped us both without really telling us and then pretended nothing had changed. What really hurt, and still does, is that nobody else seemed to notice, or care -even his (then) wife. What to do? Write a song of course.

A passage from Jerome K Jerome’s excellent book ‘Three Men in a Boat’ describes several simple ways to live a good and happy life.  Apart from ample drink (‘for thirst is a dangerous thing..’) - one of these is ‘a friend worth the name’ – a line that caught my eye and of course immediately connected with my thinking.  Again, I wrote the song as a catharsis and to help me grieve for my ex-friend.   It hit me hard.  Some solace came in old Universal films (don’t ask) in the company of Karloff, Rathbone and Bruce.  So I had the first line, the films (with the fitting Karloff line ‘alone bad, friend good’) and the title, connected by this gaping friend-shaped hole in my heart; the rest came pretty quickly.  Els sang a gorgeous harmony and melodious glock.  We premiered it at the Gregson Open Mic in 2010 (it’s on Youtube, here in fact http://youtu.be/9cKc7UVUqzc) and I remember choking up at the ‘like Ollie knew Stan’ line.  It was a hard song to sing, it always felt raw and too soon.  I’m glad we did, it’s still one of our favourites.  We’ve since performed it live on BBC Radio and even to an audience with Seraphinus in it – that was a tough one. I don’t think he connected, but who knows?

I recently heard the song helped someone get through a tough time in their lives which makes my heart sing.  

Order our ‘Greatest Bits’ here

Next up: part 2 of  ‘Saved’