Belated happy Hallowe'en!
Well, has the endless wait been worth it?
The album has been out a fortnight in Europe and a week in the US and has garnered all kinds of remarkable press, from the utterly brilliant to the shit and insane. I love it. The circus starts again. At least on the front of it it seems that again we have divided peoples opinions. Love/hate, loathe/adore, suckle/chastise us; it's all so deliciously Catholic.
Firstly let me apologise for the slight delay people have had to endure for the limited edition box-set, I know it's not cool, but the production was held up by all kinds of issues, so all I can do is to offer you my sincerest regret.
And a test tube full of my love juice.
Also, the limited edition T-shirt does what it says on the tin, it is solely limited to the special edition box-set. Our merchandising company AMP mistakenly put it on our site for sale last week, but have since, on our request, taken it down and fed it to bone-crushing lobsters.
Well, what the Devil has been happening in the Cradle camp of late? What tall stories have I to tell?
I think I left you last time on that edge of a precipice, namely the end of my blog. Since then we have had solid press to undertake, mostly from the comfort of our own homes, other times in the big smoke we call London. One such press day at the Peaceville offices culminated in a rooftop party aboard the Sanctum rock'n'roll hotel, where black canopies, free booze and journalists mingled in perfect free-roamin' harmony.
Then there was the MTV appearance in Berlin, Germany, which started at the ungodly hour of 3.00am in a hire car driven madly by Dave, who 'accidentally' opened the rear windows every time I drifted off to sleep (crushed as I was twixt the door and our luggage), causing my face to be practically sucked out as through an opened air lock. Steve our tour manager (the plucky Scot) came with us too, a bit like a wee big boy's chaperone, making sure none of us wandered off by mistake or indeed, had a decent night's sleep. And Martin drove his drum-kit in a truck all the way from his home in the Czech republic to meet us there.
Actually I think he's still driving!
The day itself was a long one. Rehearsals were a good four hours away from the actual performance and we endured it wearing heavy make-up, being stalked and snapped by the legendary paparazzi Thomas Clausen and eating tons of bratwurst, spinach and chewy sweets. Still it was a really unique experience and the people at the station were very accommodating indeed, especially as we were demoing Blackstar amps, cranked up loud in the green room, for nigh on an hour.
Later, with the rest of the band on their merry way back to England, Paul and I undertook a signing session in a shopping mall and then, having recouped for an hour in our exceedingly posh hotel, made our way to The Last Cathedral night-spot for a release party, drinks and a meet-and-greet with competition winners late into the night.
The next morning was a blur to the station to catch a train to the next signing session in Hamburg, which was a much bigger affair, affording us precious little time to catch our breath or chug back beers before heading back to good ol' Blighty later that afternoon.
My weekend was far from over as the next day, being All Hallow's Eve, was my wedding anniversary -my wife and I staying overnight in London to see the scariest onstage performance I've ever seen in 'Ghost Stories', a fantastic throwback to the days of Amicus and the portmanteau horror movie, showing nightly at the Duke Of York theatre in Covent Garden. It's that good everyone who goes to see it are sworn to secrecy after the performance.
It was really well executed and downright scary to boot.
And since the turn of the month we've seen fireworks, both literal and those I let off on Guy Fawkes Night; there have been hundreds of interviews to lots of weird and wonderful places; the album has been released on four continents; massive touring plans are afoot for next year; ace new merchandise has been designed and approved; the revamped website has been test-driven by thousands, and the forthcoming COF orchestral album (entitled 'Midnight In The Labyrinth') I briefly mentioned sometime before, has been re-visited, with a studio date of December the 5th set for big choirs to be added to the haunting melee. All songs will be fully orchestrated akin to a horror movie soundtrack (think Danny Elfman, John Williams, Christopher Young etc) and are comprised solely of tracks from our first four releases ( a la Principle, Vempire, Dusk and Cruelty), 'Funeral In Carpathia' being my favourite conversion thus far.
But more on this in my next blog...
On another topic, I have been reading some of the stems on the band site and am indebted to a handful of regulars who keep the conversations and comments fresh and exciting, topical and unbiased. Laura (of course), Hellhound, Electronegative, Christine, Kevin Hall, Strapping Young Noodlemantra to name but a smattering.
But I have also read some of the most absolutely tripe and nonsense here as well.
Everything from me not writing Cradle's lyrics before Midian, to Stuart Anstis writing Dusk, to Paul being the 'anticrad', and every possible bad mix of the album one can imagine.… the guitars are non-existent, the bass isn't there/is too loud, the keyboards are basic, the vocals are spastic, the drums are pink etc, etc. Some of it is truly, wonderfully hilarious.
So on this topic here's a few ideas for discussions of my own…
Pick a Cradle setlist for next year's Summer festival haul.
Vote for art from 'Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa' that you'd most like to see on a shirt.
What's your favourite t-shirt design from Cradle's wizened history?
Vote for COF's next video venture. Which track do you want to see indulged?
Anyhoo, in the meantime, keep the flame alight my funereal lovelies and once again thank-you to everybody who attended the album signings in Berlin and Hamburg. I could eat you all up!
-formally Count Backwerdz.