Sammy Soapbox Volume 3 – 2012 new music

Woo, website is complete, new banners! I’m the only one that probably cares! woo!

We’re excited at Club Smith towers because we’re getting another album mix through, when you’re mixing a recording and you’re doing it remotely you have these periods of time where you’re just waiting for the changes you asked to be made to recordings to come through. It’s better than us breathing down the mixers’ neck for hours while they are done, but when you’re waiting it’s PURGATORY.  We’re going in to the studio to finalise everything this week. Exciting.  We do not yet know how we will release this yet…one thing at a time I guess…one expensive and confusing thing at a time…

Anyway, enough about me, ok just a little more about me…last year about this time I had the gumption to try and identify some new music for 2011 I thought would become awesome.  I’ve learnt that was an arrogant and presumptuous move, but I’m going to do it again because I’m quite frankly well into my own opinions and when I’m alone in the house on a Sunday doing nothing it seems acceptable that the virtual world can appropriate the idea in my head that these opinions should be shared with all.  It’s your fault internet.

Please note…most of this is Leeds centric as it’s where I live…

Stalking Horse

SKH LP sampler by Stalking Horse

The world needs Stalking Horse, I’m entirely convinced that their album needs to come out this year.  It’s a guy who used to be in a Leeds band called This et al who recorded a really really awesome album then split up.  They were very good live.  Anyway the singer has a new thing, and it’s called Stalking Horse and sounds a bit like In Rainbows by Radiohead had it been more 60′s girl group.  It’s true. The album has a wicked track called 99 stairs which I can’t find recorded on the internet,  but I found it live…so you can hear it HERE.

Ellen and the Escapades

This lot have been doing loads of stuff like playing Glastonbury and what not, but I think their album is coming out this year.  It’s overly nice folk.  It’s so nice I feel like volunteering for a soup kitchen every time I hear it. Once it’s finished I return to being completely self-concerned of course. Perfect.  I think what makes it stand out a bit is the vocals of the lead singer, which I think sounds a bit like when you pick up a shell at the seaside and put to your ear. Perhaps she records vocals through a really good shell, or perhaps she’s just a great singer…I love the mystery?

This video is by our friends “B-side” who have done numerous great videos for Club Smith.

Ellen and the Escapades – This Ace I’ve Burned from (b-side) on Vimeo.

 Sam Airey – The Blackout

This guy occasionally plays footie with me on a Monday night, he’s outrageously tricky, but on the old guitar he’s a bit more laid back.  I think, though I’ve not actually asked, that he might have his album out this year.  He got his first Radio 1 daytime play this week which is really awesome, and recently a youtube video got something like a million views after youtube playlisted it. All deservedly so…this song is my favourite, it shows off his voice, which I think sounds like it is made out of wood.  I hope to provide more absurd descriptions of voices later on in this post.


The Blackout by samairey

Alvin Purple

I’m appearing to be indulging in serious nepotism of sorts now, as this is a band we’ve played with in York a couple of times, and they have another video by B-side, and this song used the same producer as us, so basically I have no imagination? Well I think it’s good, the chorus feels pretty strong but I can’t quite warm to the voice/delivery yet, though I like the little bit of distortion on it.

Paul Thomas Saunders

Yes I did actually point this guy out a year ago.  However he’s just multiplying his awesomeness. I think he’s now signed to a major label which I assume means everyone will get exposed to him more.  Sounds kind of smutty but I think that’s good.  Here is my favourite song off his second EP release:
 Paul Thomas Saunders – Good Time Rags And Requiems by Paul Thomas Saunders

Owen Richards / Owen Brinley

Please retain these names in your mind. Confusing, because there are two, not sure which one he’ll go by this time.  He is the former singer of Grammatics, a horribly under-exposed band from Leeds.  He’s recording an album and the producer (who was one of ours) let me hear a bit of one song and it sounds a bit like a male Bjork or something. Massive statement of the post number 2 there. Anyway I think he’s some kind of musical genius he just needs to find his stride, let’s hope this happens this year. Here’s a track from his old band:
Grammatics – Broken Wing by James Kenosha

It’s probably the most poppy thing by Grammatics, the album they did was AWESOME. Grower.  PERSONAL FACT: This particular song attached itself to me like a limpet for the month following the death of my mother.  I’ve probably got a wildly affected opinion of it, but I’m hugely thankful for it as it seemed to speak to me personally without actually being in anyway related to me…I had assumed it was about missing a huge chunk of yourself in some way, and listening to it helped make me feel less than completely alone…isn’t it bloody lovely when songs do that?


No point in pretending I’m not a thousand miles behind everyone else on this, but I only discovered it this weekend, and apparently the UK release is this year…it’s a really incredible song and video…


This guy’s new album should be out on Bella Union (fleet foxes) label this year…not got any links to the music, but keep an eye out it will be Saaaweeet. Check out his previous super hit below:

Lone Wolf – Keep Your Eyes On The Road from Bella Union on Vimeo.

Sammy Soapbox –> volume 2 <— The abuse scale

So our gig dates are increasing, we’ve added a Leeds gig, and we’re just sorting out some supports.  We’re stoked as it’s at the Brudenell Social Club (and free entry!) and we’ve never headlined this place but it’s basically the greatest place in Leeds really.  Great viewing platform for audience, cheap beers, and a wicked atmosphere.  I would say I go there all the time but I’m all talk and no trousers…I spend most of my time in the house thinking about whether I should change my email signature by two letters, or whether I should take my breadmaker to work so the office smells nice, or whether I should be exercising.  When I exercise I think only of what I should be doing with my life other than exercise.  I have been to the Brudenell loads though and some of my favourite gigs were Cribsmas  (the cribs played each of their 3 albums they had done on 3 nights at Christmas), and Wild Beasts launching their 3rd album.  The latter of the two caused at least 45 minutes of complete silence in my mind, no reverberating monotony as usual.   You should go watch them if you’re bonkers.

Anyway I thought it time to talk crap on our blog again. The last time gave me a vague release, as I pressed ‘publish’ on wordpress it felt as if steam was rising from my cranium.   Then I immediately spent some quality time studying my email signature.

Last night three quarters of Club Smith were at the pub and we started discussing terms of abuse, as in what holds weight?  What is the value of each abuse, and when can you drop the C-bomb, if ever?  Following on from the discussion I have decided to design ‘The abuse scale”.  In short this means that you can understand my level of distaste at you should we meet and I spit out the following terms, I’ve knocked out some letters fearing that some people may not be able to read at work (this is just CHARMING isn’t it)…


The Abuse Scale


W**ker: This is a fairly soft term, used for someone I do not know, that has perhaps caused me some discomfort or inconvenience unfairly.  Like someone who cuts you up in a car when you’re having a bad day.   You probably don’t do stuff like this all the time, it doesn’t always reflect on your character, and I’m usually placid about these things but I’m having a bad day so you’re a w**ker.


D**khead: This is someone who carries out a one off action as above but somehow I judge it as “most likely” due to a failed personality rather than a one off action due to an environmental factor.  This judgement is usually sparked by some kind of emotional turmoil within me, perhaps jealousy…for example I get cut up in a car when I’m having a bad day and the driver is driving an executive car.  That driver is a d**khead.


F**cker: Rarely used because of it’s coarseness, this is mainly a term used in jealousy, with a hint of endearment.  Someone who has achieved something that you would have thought undeserving somehow but not because of luck.  When someone falls into this tricky little crevice in your perception they must become a F**cker.  e.g.  ‘In his playing days Alan Shearer could be a whiney F**cker to refs but a vital player’.


Idiot: This is someone who acts impulsively and foolishly, says stupid things without self-awareness, but probably not due to lack of intelligence, more because of a character flaw that in itself possibly alludes to some kind of charm.  I would like to think I fall into this category, because I’m often an idiot but usually I maintain a healthy level of friendship with most people…but I’m probably a D*ck in saying this (see below).


Moron: This is usually used plurally and very generally for people who behave like an idiot, but don’t really have a lack of self-awareness, and not done any kind of real wrong-doing…I just tend to disagree with their behaviour (because I’m an idiot).   So for example anyone who goes to a Bruno Mars concert and pays near £30 for the experience is probably a moron.


F**king Idiot: This is a level of idiot saved only for those whose lack of self-awareness is beyond normal generational levels, and in turn lack the ability to see that everything they say is completely ridiculous in it’s idiocy.  for example in Q magazine this month Jessie J was asked “What was the last time you blubbed uncontrollably to a song” To which her answer was:

“Just after I broke my foot I was in my living room and I put on Beyonce’s Save the Hero, like “If I’m not around who saves the superhero?” And it made me realise like, Sh*t, I need someone now. You give so much as an artist, you give, you give, you give.  I’ll break my foot and I’ve got fans going ‘I’ve got a tummy ache can I get a re-tweet?’ People think you go to a special hospital, get special casts and treatment.  It’s like ‘No, I’m the same as everyone else’, and that was the moment I had a proper good cry.”

I read this and thought

“You’re a F**king Idiot”

This is the same woman who mispelt her OWN lyrics on a tatoo on her leg by the way.  So perhaps I was already viewing her negatively.

What is a “special cast”?  Why can’t you get them on the NHS?!


D**k: This is the term for someone who regularly does things that cause me discomfort or inconvenience, and they do it unapologetically, blaming environmental factors such as the industry they work in, reference to the importance of “getting ahead” and competition, and a general attitude that the world revolves around their needs.   For example, the guy who was passenger with the woman who tried to overtake my old band’s van (we were  hiring it) whilst we were turning right. They crashed into it writing it off (thus leading to the owners not being able to get insured again),  he silenced the driver when she tried to apologise and then later on claimed we weren’t indicating and tried to claim damages for a “shoulder injury”.  He was a D*ck.  Unfortunately he ended up only a “jointly liable D*ck”.  Which just makes him a bigger D*ck.


The C-bomb: Well the C-bomb is a contentious one.  Some people (like Neil in the band) believe it should never be said. Most swears have gone beyond their original meaning (‘D*ck’ when used as abuse is well detached from it’s trousered beginnings in our vocabulary) but this one still cuts deep with a lot of people.   I however believe if used it should be used only once in a blue moon.  For those who obviously behave in a way that is to cause harm of which they are aware but they carry on regardless as the action is a means  to their own ends.  There are some real obvious ones for this such as tyrants, serious criminals and people involved in newspaper related phone-hacking.  However occasionally it’s  useful to describe some guy you’ve never met because basically you’re a bit of a D*ck yourself.


So, hopefully that was a useful insight for our next argument.  Which I hope never happens.  It’s very likely that in writing this, I have unknowingly brandished myself, in my own terms, a bit of an idiot, a moron and probably a D*ck…but hopefully not a F**king idiot.  Be gutted if that were the case.





FREE DOWNLOAD!!! On this is fake DIY!!!


And to add to all that we have a free download of Club Smith track “Causing Doubt” available on This is Fake DIY, the website behind the label and the magazine “DIY”.  It’s pleasing this as I read this website.  Now it will be a bit like reading a mirror.  For a little while. Weird.

You can get the download by clicking the picture below…



It’s perfect curry eating soundtrack material if you’re in Leeds…

Sammy Soapbox

Some gigs to announce very soon, but in the meantime, how about an insight into the men behind club smith. For those that don’t know, Neil is an artistic type, he absorbs and delights in cultural imagery and artistry…Lee has a fascination for society and it’s interaction with itself over time ,  Vijay is a man of exquisite taste with a keen interest in understanding social relationships and context.


Me, I’m ravaged with OCD, impulsiveness and neuroticism. I’m the kind of person who replies to an email that requires a one word answer within 45 seconds of it being sent, with about 4 paragraphs. Obsessed with carrying out minor tasks (the smaller the better as long as I can finish them and immediately start a new pointless task) I will spend a whole evening trying to work out how to use “Facebook comments for wordpress” when I’m usually the only person who cares.  At the end of the night I will hate myself for wasting an evening, but I will definitely spend equal time the next night.  The other night I spent the whole evening trying to find methods to make my computer work faster, which seems to be hugely self-defeating in reflection.  I used to work giving debt advice, spent the whole day telling people not to worry about debt, then spend the whole evening complaining about my own debt to family and friends.


Living in this constant state of maintaining control by micro-managing your life also leads to occasional impulsive decisions, like buying a guitar on finance when unemployed or repairing an unnecessary aesthetic fault on a car to discover that the process of doing this writes the car off.  No big things, and you can almost always cover them up to appear bad luck but there is a definite influence of your bonkers disposition on how it happened in the first place.

Anyway, if you are familiar with any of these symptoms you’ll maybe understand the wave of euphoria I got when filling out the following “leavers questionnaire” for a job that went very wrong earlier this year…

Click to read


Posted it day before yesterday and it felt great. Aaaand relax.  All names obviously blocked out.

dog lovers

Ask Vijay what his album of 2010 was and he gets a really serious face and says ‘Lonewolf’ really quickly.  I tend to agree that it is well wick and pretty awesome too. So, using the amazing website that is bandcamp I can post the whole album here for you to listen to. If all the people that visit this site went and bought this album we could make Lonewolf a THOUSANDAIRE.  Better than donating to PDSA?

I’ve just realised that I can create a wolf theme to this post. What is accepted as the opposite kind of wolf to a lonewolf? A wolf gang? Funny I should say that…to myself, but in public, in a weird way…because the main support in Tuesday’s Club Smith gig where we are first on supporting the Naked and Famous are WOLF GANG. The singer is very smart, check it out…

What a smartly dressed swine. There’s kind of an Adam Ant thing going on in his face for me. Am I being mental?

The thing is, these two artists are wolf related, but they’re not really wolves are they. I could maybe believe it more if they went, perhaps half way, like saying they were “WOLF PEOPLE” or something…

What a shocking link, anyway me, Neil and Vijay went to see Wolf People last week in Leeds and they were awesome. Vijay described them as “Rifftastic”. They truly are…check them out below…

Playlist by wolfpeople

I have now run out of wolf related bands to discuss. Which is probably a good thing as trying to link them was getting embarrassing.

new stuff I like?

Well, every music website in the world is doing this at the moment, tipping bands and stuff so I’ve decided to (mainly because I can’t sleep) make a referral of some bands/artists of note. Note also, that these are my opinions only, not any of the other’s in the band (by band I mean Club Smith, I’m confusing things already):

Various Cruelties

Apparently this lot are from Leeds originally? Or lived there once? I suddenly feel somewhat isolated from the scene for not knowing soon enough. I’ll never be able to show my text on local music forums for much longer if I carry on like this. But, better late than never, this band have two AMAZING songs on their bandcamp page…and here is one you can play:

Everything just seems to work so well on that song. It feels like a classic, no?

The Naked and Famous

This is where I get derivative and lame, because various cruelties are banging about some blogs only at the moment which still makes me seem sort of on the cusp, but my next band have already been in the sound of 2011 poll for the BBC and you’ve probably heard them already…but they are WICK.

Paul Thomas Saunders

Holy crap, this guy is from Leeds too and I’ve heard lots about him but been too lazy or interested in my own reflection to pay proper attention. Look what I was missing:

Appointment in Samarra from Paul Thomas Saunders on Vimeo.

And something I don’t really like really…Brother

Some music press has been UP in ARMS about this band. I’m just confused to be honest.  If you have a listen to the song at the bottom you will notice they sound a lot like hard-fi.   It’s up to you whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.  If you remember Hard-fi put out that album that said “no cover art” on it, and in fact had no cover art.  I believe this was a statement.  Well if you like this kind of hollow cry, aimed only to inspire uncompleted theories of rebellion you can’t really grasp at and articulate …behold brother.


The problem is they say they have opinions and stuff but we never get to hear them…they might be stated in the NME feature on the band this week so I might be being unfair. I would love to hear what they think about the changes to welfare.  I’m particularly upset with the 10% cut to housing benefit for people on job seekers allowance for over a year (what about the people made redundant in their 50s who may struggle to retrain for a start?)…maybe brother have strong opinions on the idealistic nature of the spending cuts.  Or maybe they just have strong opinions that no-one has any opinions.  I am too upset by this state of attitudinal flux we live in day to day.  Yes I looked up that word on the internet. I’m trying to appear cleverer than the laddish band that’s getting all the attention, leave me be.

Anyway, song’s pretty catchy innit…catchy and complete gibberish…

Darling Buds of May by BROTHERslough


Excellent search terms

Ah, christmas is over for another year. I made a bumper feast.  I’m genuinely impressed with myself. more than usual. this is what I done…aw yeah…

got some serious chub to lose now. we have a “special project” we’re working on which basically means I have to lose about a stone or two in 6 weeks. more on that another day…

…important note, we were going to play the opening of a new venue with Get Cape Wear Cape Fly in Preston in January, but that’s not happening now so if you’ve seen it listed it’s not anymore…hopefully the problems will get sorted and we’ll do it later on in the year.

I obsess about stats and very often look at our website stats. the best thing about it is that it shows you the search terms people put in before finding our website…here are my favourites from 2010…

“why wasnt anything done to prepare for the snow in leeds”

“greenpark apartments marmaris”

“hey what can possibly go wrong?!!”

“waiting at the station or im late for work a vital presentation”

“leeds homeless”

“ban and you say”

“leeds are going up going up leeds are going up song”

“if you keep your leeds band on”

“what does heat do at leeds festival”

“where can i get a leather band in leeds”

“bo selecta sayings”


“escorts in leeds under £100″

“do you have to get on a guest list for any night clubs in leeds”

“jerk off club”

This is why the internet confuses me.  I completely understand how you can type “Jerk off club” and end up on our website, but “greenpark apartments marmaris”?  “Leeds homeless”? “bo selecta sayings”?

Happy new year! Thanks to anyone who came to a gig or bought a cd in 2010, or told people about us, or just generally been nice.  Sam

Mr first ever snowman

Today I was trapped at home due to the pretty amazing level of snow in the UK at the moment.
The solitude is basically making my mind lose it’s foundations.  So I decided to build a friend, my first ever snowman.  It’s amazing I’ve never built one before.

Unfortunately I have a very small attention span so basically Mr Snowman is kind of a mound with a carrot and some coal.  But he’s a great guy nevertheless.

mr snowman

me and mr snowman

yes I took two pictures of me with mr snowman

I can also confirm it’s not sledging weather yet. The snow is too deep. I know this because I went sledging ON MY OWN. It turned out to be just sitting on a sledge on a hill on my own.  It’s very hard to create a track on your own, it might have taken me about 14 hours so I decided to give it up.  let’s hope I can make it to the TSU gigs this week to let off some steam.


Lyrics / Free downloads etc

I was just updating the lyrics on the members area (we’ve changed all our songs by the way…better now though) and realised I don’t tell anyone about them…

You can download free older recordings we’ve done and read our lyrics at our members section.  It’s password protected but to gain access you just join our mailing list on the page (or on the right of our page here)…easy! We don’t over-do the mailouts and tell you about when we change pants or order new phones (I’m getting a nokia c7! eeeeeeee), try to keep it useful band information only.

In other news we have our new recordings being mastered on Wednesday this week by Tim Young at Metropolis (he did Elbow’s seldom seen kid)…mastering is like the final cherry on the audio cake…it’s already been fully baked to perfection by Will Jackson (Produced) and James Kenosha (Mixed) who are both illustrious producers is the region of Leeds and beyond.