As you can see there has been something of a hiatus from us Ximmers (I'm kind of assuming anyone reads this drivel). Well we've got a few excuses but I won't bore you by parading them here (unless there is a great demand). Suffice it to say that we're back; we've done three gigs recently; we're looking for some more gigs; we're rehearsing; we're thinking about new material and about recording. Thank you for reading. Frank
Hello, this is Kate typing. Iíve just been to www.xim.bravehost.com for the second time. Still canít believe it but someone called Brendan is on a broccoli strike until we release a new album. Yes, really. Heís made a whole website dedicated to the cause. I just left a message on it (which at this moment hasnít yet appeared on the site) saying that weíre working on it in a relaxed manner. I also congratulated him on having the widest website Iíve ever seen, and possibly in internet history, so if you visit it and find a certain lack of content, zoom over to the right for miles and youíll find the meat. Itís worth a look, especially if you were just thinking you havenít seen anything head-scratchingly odd in a while. And donít you go getting any ideas. The thought of an army of broccoli-starved citizens conjures up horrid images of grey vitamin-deficient faces, but the more of you there are the more scared Iím going to get and thatís not a good mood in which to record an album. I think I speak for us all when I say that weíre flattered but a bit concerned. Brendan. We wonít think any less of you if you crack and eat some broccoli. We realise weíre taking ages over this second album, but itís supposed to be difficult. Iíd rather you were alive to see the results of your selfless campaign. On that sombre note, I will sign off. Thank you for listening.
It has been noted that inquiries as to when the second album is due have slowed down from the eager punter, as they've been exposed to the amazing and increasingly unbelievable range of excuses for its non-appearance that the band have. What it really comes down to though is that the advantages to being in the band are also the disadvantages. All members have a range of ideas as to suitable tunes, the best way of arranging them, instruments which should feature and which can be overdubbed, where to record, how to record, the overall 'ambience' of the thing (should there be consistency, should each track sound completely different, which tunes should segue etc.) So, we get something ready to go, then decide there's a better way to do it the following week.... As we probably have enough new stuff to fill the next two albums anyway, we are now getting on with it. We've found a way of working where there is no financial pressure on time (i.e. recording it free!) and where we feel 'comfortable' (so important to the prissy muso). The first track has gone down fine, so hopefully, its onwards and upwards - 'per ardua ad astra' (or ad Peugeot in my case). After three years though, the CD better be bloody good!!'
Hello! Nick Here! This is the first time i've been alllowed to write in the xim journal and I'm v. excited! We've had an interesting couple of months, we played at Norwich folk festival on the Sunday and it was a very chilled out gig, and we went down very well. (New tambourine playing in nicely) In February we played at Celts in the Cotswolds which was a very enjoyable weekend, except for the bit where Kate's radiator blew up and we had to get relayed all the way home, sigh. Other interesting news is that Kate has just had an operation for Carpal Tunnel syndrome and won't be playing with us for some time, but the three of us will struggle on! Paddy is still waiting for his new swish bass to turn up and Frank is still a dad and still running his cd distribution business (its very good) you can find it at www.cuberoots.com ! So ta ta for now, maybe paddy will say a few words next month! but! I don't supppose he will use as many exclamation marks as I have!!!!
Frank again: I see nobody has written anything here for a while, so I will. Well lots of water has passed under lots of bridges: Heidi was unable to stay with us full time due to RSI problems; I have another son (Fred 09/07/03); we never got around to recording that 2nd CD; Nick has a new tambourine; Paddy had his fretless bass stolen and is buying a new expensive one; we blew one of the FOH speakers and had to get some new ones; Kate is now a builder, Nick is studying to become a teacher; I have started a CD distribution and retail business. But we are still going strong, have had lots of gigs and this month we actually went and started recording. We recorded one track "Polka Road" - who knows by May we might have an entire CDs worth. This month we've played for the Norwich Time Fayre at the Norwich Arts Centre and will be playing at Norwich Folk Festival. We've had some very enthusiastic responses to our new material and have some very exciting things in the pot for the next couple of years - I'll try to keep this up-to-date every month so you can read about them.
Frank again: my hard disc died hence the absence of changes to the web site for a while. Our big news is that our friend Heidi Mahon has joined the band, adding another set of pipes, flute and whistle to the line-up. We've been working hard on arrangements and stuff for recording and even had a day in the studio!
Frank here: We've had our busiest February and quietest March ever. Kate's come back from a St Patrick's Day gig in Vilnius (Lithuania) and had some wisdom teeth out (long way to go to the dentist). Now we're working on new sets for our next CD.
I've just bought a new hurdy gurdy - an electric one! When I figure out how to use it I'll be bringing it into the line-up. I'm really excited by one of our gigs in April - The Band on the Wall in Manchester. When I was a mere youth I used to go there with my mate Peter Pojuner and listen to jazz - it was really exciting, seeing people like Zibigniev Namylovski (and others who were now doubt just as good but with less memorable names) and the fantastic "house band". I never imagined I'd ever be playing there meself. Maybe I'll meet up with some long lost Mancunian friends? Frank
We're constructing a XiM flag for Towersey. It'll be like a banner hanging from the gazebo roof so if you want a glass of Pastis, you'll be able to find us. Better add Pastis to the list now I think about it. The flute in the picture at the top of this page is of my first ever wooden flute. Last weekend it went to it's new home, with my friend Lizzie in Wales. I know it's happy and feeling wanted, Lizzie's playing it all the time, so I'm not too sad. I just didn't want it to think that it had been cast aside upon the arrival of the new one - and now I'm sure it doesn't. One day perhaps I'll be cured of this strange but strong affection for inanimate objects. Kate.
We've just got back from Aust where we played in the Church. It was a very wet weekend but loads of people turned up and we had a very good time. Even had a bat flying round over our heads during the concert. Getting ready for Towersey at the end of the month. We're doing a concert, some workshops and a dance. Towersey's a really nice festival and Kate's been going to it since she was born. Frank
Goodness me, doesn't time fly. Since last time anything was written in this journal, I've been to the Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland with Heidi, aged a year, gained several stone in weight (well you try finding a fresh un-fried vegetable that hasn't been boiled to oblivion with 8 tonnes of salt in the emerald isle), and finally received my new flute. That means that come next album, we might see an appearance from lovely lovely wooden flute and maybe whistle. Don't worry though, I'm making no attempt to include any jigs or reels in our set. There's no point trying, Paddy won't let me. Talking of whom, he's got a new toy. It's a Kaval. The rest of us haven't met it yet but from Paddy's descriptions it sounds...er...well...odd. Perhaps it might stop him talking about waterlilies for a while. That wouldn't hurt. Sorry Paddy. Only teasing, we love hearing about your pond really :-) That's all for now, Kate.
It's still June. We played at the Royal Festival Hall yesterday. A man who had been watching us from the front row came over in the interval and presented us with the following poem. (You should know that we were all seated except for Paddy).
Whoever you are - Thank you. In trying to ascertain the engineer's name from a great distance whilst thanking him from the stage, Paddy thought it was Calvin. It was actually Helmet. We didn't buy him a beer.