Tag Archives: Goodnight Lenin

@MoseleyFolk Festival Headliners Goodnight Lenin to release debut single on Static Caravan @sttccrvn

by Charlotte Payne

Birmingham boys Goodnight Lenin have only been at it a year or so but they caught the eye of the Moseley Folk team back in December after releasing a YouTube video of a simple acoustic performance in which they sat perched on the counter tops of their kitchen. In the last eight months or so they have supported a host of top folk and not so folk acts including First Aid Kit, Features and Darwin Deez.

On the 6th August they will be releasing their debut single ‘Crook in the Creek’ on local label Static Caravan. 500 limited edition 7 inch singles will be available featuring beautiful folk artwork by Clare Rojas and it will also be available to download via iTunes.

'Crook in The Creek' out 6th August

Liam and Matt from the band were kind enough to answer a few questions and here are the answers we got:

First things first, what’s the reasoning behind the name Goodnight Lenin? What’s the association with the film ‘Goodbye Lenin’?

Liam – “We did not want to be another generic ‘The’ band. The band loves the film, its imagery, and the mise-en-scene. We were slightly worried about the communist connotations of ‘Lenin’ but we don’t think people have taken too much notice of that really.”

When you’re on stage you often talk about your love of travel (or John does at least); how come you have all ended up back in Birmingham?

Matt – “It’s not a case of ending up back in Birmingham. We’ve chosen to be here. We have a lot of pride in our hometown and are determined to play our part in putting Birmingham back on the map, in the musical sense.”

If you could fly off tomorrow where would you go, and why?

Matt – “South America is a place we would jump at the chance to visit. It would be an unforgettable experience to tour there, taking in the major capitals like Bogota, Rio, Buenos Aires, Santiago etc but also getting off the beaten track and exploring places like Cartagena and Mendoza. There’s something mesmerising about the continent and the people.”

What music did you grow up listening to and how has this influenced your sound?

Liam – “We grew up listening to a lot of 60’s music, mainly through our parents with the likes of The Beatles, The Faces, Hollies, The Zombies, and Simon and Garfunkel. I also think 90’s Brit guitar music was still fresh when we were young and if it wasn’t for Noel Gallagher I personally would not have picked up a guitar.”

If you could cover any song, what would it be, and why?

Matt – “There are a whole range of songs we would love to cover but above all else ‘Changing of the Guards’ by Dylan is a track we always seem to be drawn to whether it be rehearsing in the lock up or driving to a gig listening to music. At over six minutes long it would be audacious to say the least but if we could nail it, it would be spectacular. That or B*Witched’s ‘C’est La Vie’. It’s a toughy.”

Are there any other bands or records you’ve encountered recently that you think people should know about?

Liam – “As well as Bob Dylan’s 70’s live bootlegs such as ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’, we’re big fans of First Aid Kit with their fantastic harmonies, The Crookes from Sheffield, and a bit closer to home the likes of Boat To Row. Spoken word artist Jodi Ann Bickley is also someone we have a lot of respect for and are very excited to see her and Boat To Row at our debut single launch on August 6th (at The Hare and Hounds).

“Yes that’s a plug!”

Over the rest of the year what are you looking forward to most?

Liam – “It has to be our festival dates. The big one is obviously headlining the Lunar Stage at Moseley Folk Festival before Donovan – it’s something we’ve been working towards for a long time now and it’s personally very rewarding for us to be playing before someone who has had a  massive influence on our music. We can’t wait to see him live. It will also be a nice moment for our family and friends who have got behind us from the outset so they can see how their support has helped us progress. Other festivals we’re really looking forward to are Bestival on the Isle of Wight and Shambala.”

Why should people listen to you if they haven’t already?

Matt – “Because Stone Cold said so.”

What was your favourite toy as a child?

Liam – “I had the Bat Mobile which was the dog’s bollocks. You could fire rockets out of it. Amazing.”

What TV programme do you wish they still made or aired?

Matt – “‘Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?’ purely for the theme tune. Superb.”

If you could travel back in time and meet yourself what would you talk about or do?

Matt – “I think I’d most likely try and come up with some elaborate criminal master plan that involves me always having a stone cold alibi elsewhere. I’d plunder millions. On an unrelated note, the question for some reason reminds me of Bernard’s Watch, the ITV children’s programme where Bernard finds a stopwatch at the end of a rainbow that can stop time. I always detested the little clown as he used it for purely boring purposes like sleeping in late on school days or at his most extreme cheating on an exam. I’d like to think if I had Bernard’s watch I would pillage and steal till my heart was content. Probably wouldn’t make parentally friendly children’s telly mind.”

“I think Hermione Granger had a similar device that was vastly superior to Bernard’s.”

Do you have a lucky charm? If so, what is it?

Liam – “John Joe’s shirt. Whenever he wears it we seem to play well. He always wears it.

Which fictional character would you like to have in the band, and why?

Matt – “Prince… What, Prince is real????”

As it’s festival season, if you had your own festival who would headline, and why?

Liam – “We would take Bob Dylan and his band from the ’75 ‘Desire’ period. Truly amazing. Neil Young would support and Chris Moyles would compere the festival but only so he could be hung, drawn, and quartered on stage post Dylan’s performance.”

You can catch Goodnight Lenin’s Official Single Launch Party at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath, Birmingham on Friday 6th August. Support will be provided by Boat to Row, The Young Runaways and Jodi Ann Bickley. This is Moseley Folk Festival’s Lunar Society offering for August and so advance tickets can be purchased for £5.00 + booking fee from here.


Win 2 Tickets to see First Aid Kit, Goodnight Lenin and Mr. Bones & The Dreamers

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit play The Hare and Hounds on Thursday 15th July and the kind hearted souls at Birmingham Promoters (in association with Miss Perry) have given Blue Whale Studios two tickets to give away so a couple of  you lovely readers can get in gratis. Plus Goodnight Lenin and Mr Bones and the Dreamers are supporting, completing a very tasty line up indeed.

In the comment box below just tell us what the nastiest accident you’ve had that required medical attention and the person with the most toe curlingly gruesome experience, will get themselves two tickets to help them through the traumatic ordeal.

If, like me, you’re an unlucky sod and don’t win the coveted prize, tickets are £5 via the cheaplist, just email carlo@birminghampromoters.com with your full name.

Good luck!

Review: Tom Peel / Greg Bird / Goodnight Lenin / James Rea / The Traps @SpeechFewapy presents.. Record Store Day

On Saturday Speech Fewapy Records staged an in-store acoustic gig in Swordfish Records on Temple Row in Birmingham city centre to celebrate Record Store Day.

As some of the city’s top musical talent gathered outside the shop front, tuning acoustics in the lunchtime sun, an expectant crowd was gathering in the narrow aisles of Swordfish Records.

The Traps at Record Store Day

With the sun outside putting everyone in the mood to celebrate, proceedings got underway after a brief ‘Hey how are you’ with The Traps (Speech Fewapy’s founding fathers) kicking off the performances with a stripped down version of last single ‘The Honey Drip’. Still available for free download at www.the-traps.com. Packed full of summertime promise and harmonies that soared above the world jazz aisle, it was great start to a line up that promised much.

Whooping duly greeted the songs closing chords and with that up stepped Speech Fewapy’s Dan to introduce the next act, James Rea. Like a duck to water James embraced the limelight immediately wasting no time to start joking with the crowd as the opening progression of ‘Bound to Hit the Big Time’ rang out. The quick witted observational humour of James’ lyrics brought a wry smile to the faces of those assembled and it was all in all an accomplished performance full of personality and rounded off by the most conveniently timed string break he could possibly have wished for happening on the very last chord of the song.

Next up were Goodnight Lenin with ‘Ebb and Flow’. Their well crafted, delicious harmonies prompted all in attendance to cock their heads to one side and listen in contented silence as a stirring perfomance unfolded in front of them. A well positioned poster of Dylan (looking a bit like a muskateer) on the wall seemed to overlook each act as if casting an eye of approval in the direction of all who stepped up to the ball.

The fantastic Greg Bird was next up and exciting times are afoot for his new project Flamingo Flame with his debut EP ‘Shruburbia’ landing April 26th available to all courtesy of Speech Fewapy Records. To get a crafty preview of the EP it is now streaming live at www.speechfewapy.com

Greg gave ‘Cherry Choke’ its first live outing, an exclusive for Record Store Day that didn’t disappoint, great song writing can’t wait to get hold of the EP.

There’s no better show stealer than he who comes armed, and strapped into a tape decvice that looks like C3PO’s internal organs. Ladies and mentalmen I give you Tom Peel. Writhing and gyrating to a fucked up riff Jack White would be proud of, Tom captivated the crowd, making them smile and ‘get down’ all at once finishing to a rousing applause.

As we ventured back out into the harsh light of day it was the sunshine in my heart that burned strongest, it had felt good to celebrate a record shop that stands as haven from the chain store dominance of our city centre.

Favourite days celebrated days annually. In 3rd place, Christmas. 2nd Easter. 1st Record Store Day!


Support Record Store Day with @SpeechFewapy at Swordfish Records

Speech Fewapy Presents… RECORD STORE DAY

The Traps, Greg Bird & Flamingo Flame, Goodnight Lenin, Tom Peel and James Rea
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Swordfish Records, Temple Street, Birmingham

The strapping young lads from Speech Fewapy Records will be hosting a special, unique, exclusive, one off, never to be repeated again anywhere in the Universe ever acoustic session this Saturday 17th April at Swordfish Records to celebrate Record Store Day.

Five of some of the best Brum based acts will perform a song each between the narrow aisles of the distinctly smelly Swordfish Records.

The Line up features:

The Traps

Greg Bird & Flamingo Flame

Greg Bird

‘I am The Garden’ by Greg Bird & Flamingo Flame

Goodnight Lenin

Tom Peel

Tom Peel

Dutdadadutdadadut (one about the phone) – Tom Peel

James Rea

Along with the live performances, Speech Fewapy Records will be selling an exclusive compilation of songs by all the day’s featured artists of which all proceeds will be split 50 / 50 between Speech Fewapy and Swordfish.

And if that’s not enough, Speech Fewapy will be running a competition using the Foursquare social media application. ‘Check in’ at Swordfish Records and ’shout out’ “YOU NEED SPEECH FEWAPY” to win a Speech Fewapy t-shirt and trucker cap.

Entry is free and kicks off at 1pm and will be a short 20-25 minute event so get down early!

Here’s the Facebook event to find out more.

Bookmark and Share

‘You can play folk music even if you get off the 61 bus at The Dingle pub’ – Interview with Goodnight Lenin

With only a few gigs under their belt, Goodnight Lenin are already the talk of Brum Town with their folky west-coast harmonies earning them the headline Lunar Stage slot at this year’s Moseley Folk Festival.

The Northfield five piece were the first band to come in to Blue Whale to film and record live tracks for our In The Belly sessions which, along with their performances filmed in kitchens across the city, have got them a fair bit of notice online. To see how the lads were getting on, we fired over a few questions via email and this is what they threw back:

Your Youtube videos have got a lot of people talking already although your still a relatively new band. Do you think video will soon take over Myspace and other such streaming sites to elevate bands to wider audiences and will we see our first unsigned band break via Youtube soon?

Sammy: “Maybe a band will break on the back of youtube but for the band hearing the music is more important than people seeing us frolic around. The videos are nice, but for us it was about hearing the music played live more than seeing us in person.
“It’s a good medium for something a bit different but ultimately it is about the songs themselves, not the videos that may accompany them. The original videos on Youtube were for the benefit of the band but the response we have had off them has been hard to fathom.”

Northfield is not really renowned for it’s leafy, pastoral folk music, is your music an intentional escapism from the city / surburbia?
Conway: “For us the sound is not an escape from our surroundings, there is beauty if you squint your eyes in the place from time to time. I would count where we come from as part of the inspiration for the band. With age we have come to the realisation that it is far too easy to write about the grim background and barbarity of the residents, instead the fact that creativity can blossom in so many from similar places to Northfield is part of why we want to write. We played the always-brilliant Coffee and Cake Club last month with Jodi Ann Bickley, a spoken word artist from Moseley. For us she defined what is brilliant about Birmingham; originality, craft and a love of her art. She was amazing so check her out if you can.”
“The band focuses heavily upon lyrical content within our songs, we have no drum loops or synths to hide behind, so as artists we live and die by our lyrical craft. We try to embrace history and literature as well as our own experiences when we search for inspiration.

“Without getting into a social rant, I feel that surroundings do not define the person, it is 2010 and you do not have to die in the hole you were born in. You can play folk music or write poetry, even if you get off the 61 bus at The Dingle pub to get home from work.”

What are your plans for 2010?

McCreedy: “We are hoping 2010 is going to be a prosperous year for us. We are just about to go into the studio and record our first single, which will be released through the brilliant Static Caravan label later in 2010.  We are also playing a lot of festivals in the summer. We are lucky enough to have been asked to headline the Lunar stage at Moseley Folk Festival and have a few more festival dates to be announced.

“Individually our plans are as follows:
Sherlock is going to learn to dance in time with music
Fell is going to learn to tie a Windsor knot
Sammy is going to kick his lucozade habit
Conway is going to Haiti with Dec, as in ‘Ant and ……’
McCreedy is playing the lead role in a West End musical.”

Are there any other dictators that you’d like to bid a farewell to?

Sherlock: “What an inspired question choice and one that has created great divison in the Goodnight Lenin camp. We’ve discussed them all – Hitler, Mao, Pinochet, Pol Pot, Castro and Princess Di to name but a few. Ultimately it boils down to just two rogues:

1. Colonel Gaddafi:

Chris Kamara

“Gaddafi’s rubbery exterior and comical hat infuriates us all. Further, his attempts at recreating a Chris Kamara-esque moustache over the years is laughable and downright insulting to Chris himself. As the great man would declare, “It’s unbelievable Jeff!”. It’s high time the UN gave this clown his marching orders.

Colonel Gadaffi

2. Robert Mugabe: Ever since we saw Robert Mugabe driving down the Bristol Rd in a Toyota Yaris we’ve all had an instant dislike for the man (if only it had been a Prius the troubles may have been avoided). At least Gaddafi’s first name is Colonel – it commands respect. Bobby Mug on the other is about as run of the mill as they come.

Robert Mugabe

“After due consideration it appears we have but one choice – Bobby has to go. His failure to cultivate an imposing name renders him an insufficient dictator in our eyes (“Robert is going to get you” doesn’t quite have the same threatening ring to it as Adolf or Fidel). For this reason, and this reason alone, Goodnight Lenin would like to bid a fond farewell to old Bobby and consign him to the wasteland of history…

Bookmark and Share

3 days for the price of 2 at Blue Whale Studios

Blue Whale TV. feat Goodnight Lenin – ‘Ragged Schools’

Bookmark and Share

BlueWhaleTV – Ebb & Flow by Goodnight Lenin

Bookmark and Share