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April, Track 10, Eurospin

by on May 17, 2010

This was truely one of the most heartwarming things we’ve done…  Yet another of the the magical, wonderful, impossible, crazy things that are only possible because of the wonderful friends and fans around us.

Come Dine With Us - By 3B Media

For those who don’t know we turned our crypt studio into a French restaurant for the evening, served a 3 course french meal to 70 people, acted as waiters for the evening, played live as people ate, tuned 50 wine bottles which then became the bassline (blows) and rhythm section (chinks) for the song and recorded the song live with the (now drunk) crowd blowing, clanking, banging and singing along. Still can’t believe it actually worked!

It’s the last track on the album and the last blog in this series. Eurospin, again, came from a load of demos that Rich, Si and I did last June. It was pretty throw away at the time – Si on pump organ, me on my Casio (with Casio waltz beat) and Rich playing a Spongebob Squarepants ukulele  which was absolutely untuneable. It had something about it though and kept making it through the culls… We kept describing it as “French Supermarket music” and when I exported that really rough demo I named it Eurospin as that’s the supermarket my mum goes to when she’s on holiday. (It’s actually like an Italian Co-op but we ain’t about the borders in this band…)

When we came to listen through the demos James, commented that the track sounded like the sort of thing you would hear in French Bistro…and out of tiny acorns do eating and recording experiences grow! James’ comment sowed the seed that was nurtured and grown by the band and (mostly!) Ben Denison and became the wonderful Come Dine With Us event that we hosted in the Crypt on March 27th. We always had the plan to record it live and drink wine and eat cheese and make it a really fun recording but the whole idea just escalated and escalated to become the whole Come Dine With Us experience…

Here’s the NSFW version of the invitation ditty we recorded on one mic so we could sell tickets via bandcamp. This is the first time we tried to bleep out “that f*cking glockenspiel” and missed the cuss word… very funny…

The documentary video at the top of this post gives an idea of the level of work that was put in by other people to make this all happen and none of it would have occurred without the enthusiasm of the mighty and utterly irrepressible Ben Denison. Half over excited puppy, half fiendish social media genius without his energy it would never have happened.

Our awesome "Bistro Le Crypt" sign - C/O JiffyJen

So G’bless you, G’bless your amazing mum who cooked amazing food for 70 people with no running water and no kitchen, G’bless James Hamiliton for tuning all the wine bottles and somehow getting the crowd to make it work (when it all came together it was a truely magical moment), G’bless The Team, without whom, none of this would have so seamlessly hung together – in fact, it would have been an unmitigated disaster, G’bless Jen Booth who made our fantastic Bistro le Crypt  sign (we tweeted, she came and saved our sign-less asses0, and to all our amazing guests who came and who joined in so wholeheartedly… thank you. It was one of those events that really defines what we do… Being with people, doing amazing things and creating magic from nothing. There was so much joy and happiness in the room that night…

We really didn’t know if it would work at all; it was so precarious. So many things could have gone wrong and it just came together. We only wrote the “hold your chin up high” end section a few days before… come the morning of the gig/meal we’d never played it as a band, we had no way of checking if the recording would work, if the wine bottle orchestra would work (and come out on the recording) but it somehow all came together. There was some editing as the bottle clinks were in every mic so we had no separation. We had to edit the song part to the parts where the chinks were in time and it when that just happened to come together in terms of the band performances it was a really magical moment too.

On the album version it fades out at the end to the sound of the brass band marching out of the church door and off around the church… That’s us that is. As the brass band fades out the last sounds on the album are birdsong and then in the far distance a police siren and I guess that for me that is what “April” is about. Trying to do great things, appreciating the wonderful things around us and doing all these things despite the fact that quite often life is in fact a shithouse.

Eurospin is not my favourite song on the album but it’s kinda my favourite bit on the album. Watch the amazing video below. You got to love the amazement on our faces that it’s working and the fact that the crowd just make it look so easy…

Oh, and James Hamilton = AMAZING.

(If you download April from Bandcamp you also get a load of wonderful photos from the evening by the rather talented and wonderful 3B Media guys who also did the videos… like everything we do it’s as free as you want it to be…)

A "3B Media" & ScottishPenguin Mashup

There’s a special enjoyment that comes from making art with new people, and we believe in involving those who join us on our musical journey, those bars of angels who march on through with us. Moreover, we believe it’s now part of the music industries landscape, and it feels like we’re galvanising our fanbase as we go. The buzz online before this event was quite staggering. The hashtag #comedinewithus was used to promote the event before and after the big day and by not only including our fans in our event, but also on the album, they have been our PR team throughout the launch of the album and throughout our recent April tour. Every day there have been people from all over the country, and beyond, plugging our album on Twitter, Facebook and in their blogs, even (rather brilliantly) bastardising the 3B Media pics from the night.

Another success from our point of view was again due to making some art; we also appear to be living in the future now as we know people who own lasers and keep them in their garage. We bought some lazy susans, had them etched with a record, and stylus arm and silent auctioned them off on the night. They are rather amazing, and if we ever get any more done, I’m buying one, but for now, this video will have to suffice.

This one off event paid for the pressing of “April”. Yes we called in all the favours, and nobody got paid, but as Mick Jagger has recently been explaining, apart from a wee blip, this is how music has always been. The event made a profit in its own right, the lazy susans made a profit, Culture Vulture featured a blog on the event and we even got a mention on 6Music for the event and the youtube fan videos are still springing up from the event. In terms of enjoyment, creating art, being sustainable, making a profit, strengthening our relationship with fans, creating a digital/online footprint and giving the band the heart and the momentum to carry on, we consider Come Dine With Us to be one of our greatest successes.

Oh… and one last thing… Ben emailed the track and videos to Eurospin HQ in Italy… their rather charming response:

From: <Emmanuelle@>
Date: Fri, May 7, 2010 at 4:56 PM
Subject: Rif: Your Song
To: bendenison@

Hi,

I have received your e-mail and let my colleagues hear your songs. We all have appreciate very much either the sound, the rhythm and the voice, besides the title of the last song of your album of course.

Thank you, guys! I wish you personally a great success, hoping to see you soon on the stage.

Best regards,

Emmanuelle Dellanotte
*****************************************
- Ufficio Marketing -
Eurospin Italia Spa

It’s all good.

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22 Comments
  1. Ha! I always wondered why it was called Eurospin! I came up with all these elaborate theories in my head, and it’s actually the name of a supermarket. Genius! One question though, are there deliberate Guns ‘n’ Roses references in there? “I’ll be there in November Rain, I’ll be there when Sweet Child comes again”.

    • SocialSimon permalink

      They are deliberate! I don’t know why… they just came out and it seemed like they should be there. Patience, ‘In the Ring, November Rain, Sweet Child. GNR were a massive part growing up for us!

  2. Quick addition – those of you who attended CDWU may be interested to know that you’ve been on Tom Robinson introducing on BBC6 Music this week.
    It’s the Sunday show up at http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/tom_robinsons_introducing/ or the link direct to the iPlayer is http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/b0089jhs/Sunday/console/ if you prefer. It’s at 1hr 40 mins and 30 seconds.

  3. MrFurrball permalink

    What an amazing night that was!!! Copious amounts of wine drunk, food eaten, wine bottles blown and eggs shaken! I have to wonder if there is anything Hope and Social cannot pull off!?!?

    Here is a small clip of @TJamesHamilton realising that all his efforts may not be in vain! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC2XTrptuQQ

  4. daveglynis permalink

    Fantastic night, highlight of 2010 so far. Even better than H&S at Glasto and Be The Architect night!!!
    Well done all concerned!!

  5. This was amazing from start to finish. My overriding memories:

    1. Ben sending my starters out early, then telling me he panicked, apologising and running away to hide behind his mum
    2. Gary being a terrible, terrible waiter and getting numerous complaints from his table.
    3. Being staggered by how awesome the kitchen staff were, despite Ben’s attempts to ruin everything at every given opportunity
    4. Thinking how brilliant it was to see Roo looking so well
    5. Sousaphone having to be broken down to get to the other side of the room
    6. Sharing a look of total shock with Ben as James (my new hero by the way) managed to pull order out of, let’s be honest, total bloody chaos with the wine bottles
    7. The look on Jame’s face when he realised it had worked
    8. The look on the bands face throughout
    9. Ben’s mum feeling guilty about me constantly filling her wine glass because she ‘hadn’t paid for it’ despite ‘paying for it’ a million times over. And then seeing her fall asleep on the sofa at the back of the room
    10. Learning to play the accordian and standing too far form the mic for anyone else to appreciate my natural abilities

    Friends. Smiles. Sousaphone. Laughter. Ace.

  6. P.S Needs more accordian

  7. ScottishPenguin permalink

    Come Dine with Us was an amazing experience, and certainly one that I will never forget. Really felt like I was there with around 70 other friends, even though I had only met about 3 of them before (not including the band!)

    The recording of ‘Eurospin’ was a suitable end to the evening. The look on everyones faces plus the smiles and the laughter when we realised that we had done it will stick in my memory!

    I look forward to the next Hope and Social event!

    S.

    P.S – Simon – We didn’t complain about Gary that much!

  8. MrFizzy permalink

    A fabulous day and a fabulous album – just loving “April”. As always the band were great fun and always seem to have some inspired musical idea or another to get fans involved. The audience “wine bottle orchestra” idea for recording Eurospin live was insanely optimistic but proved to be pure genius. So glad the fun was filmed although not keen on seeing my own fizzog.

    The creative talent that is H&S just has to be experienced by everyone who loves great music. “Come Barbeque with Us” for Summer perhaps?

  9. hannah permalink

    Indeed a truely amazing evening. I’m still in shock it all came together so beautifully. the thing h&s do so well is welcoming the fans into the (good bits) of being in the band, they do not just produce amazing music but share amazing experiences. Long live h&s. X

  10. Rhona permalink

    What a wonderful, magical evening. So glad to have been able to come, will never forget it. It speaks volumes that you can pull
    something like Come Dine With Us together with little more than the help of your friends. You’re an amazing bunch, and we had a ball, just not sure how you’re going to top it! xx

  11. steve permalink

    Great video is a top notch souvenir of a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Loved being part of the album, which is getting plenty of plays here.
    Looking forward to your next innovative venture.
    With such a growing fan base we’ll need to book early to get in.
    Keep enjoying yourselves.

  12. Noelia permalink

    It truly was the most amazing night. Keep having this overwhelming desire to show off about the fact i was there, and making lots of people very jealous, and i’m sure some of them a bit sick of me going on about how awesome the whole night was. The food was fantastic, the atmosphere was electric and the band were -as always- second to none! It really was the best night of 2010 so far. Can’t wait for the next event!

  13. Andi e permalink

    Not much I can add to the previous comments, it was a truely wondeful and unique experience. We were a little apprehensive before not knowing anybody else but it was such a lovely atmosphere and many new friends were made by the end of the evening.

    Thanks h&s!

    Ps I agree with the previous comment… Come barbeque with us???

  14. Malcy permalink

    Stunning night loved everything about it. Love the videos love my t-shirt, which i am currently wearing love my apron which i probably won’t use but i love it. just need some joy division oven gloves now…

  15. Lee permalink

    It was a fantastic evening. H&S rarely disappoint but this time they excelled.

    Looking forward to whatever comes next…

  16. Aileen permalink

    What a fantastic night and it makes me smile every time I hear the track coming on!

    It really speaks volumes that with a little help from your friends you guys can succeed at whatever you set your minds (and hearts) on! You’re a fantastic bunch and we can’t wait for the next event…! x

    PS. BBQ Malcy BBQ or else you’ll have to frame it!

  17. MrFizzy permalink

    Got our wonderful H&S T-shirt and Apron ordered from CDWU earlier this week – the little jacket on the apron is a lovely work of art and MrsFizzy has decided that her T also makes great nightwear. I’m suspicious that it’s just so that she can say she sleeps with hope and social!

  18. may and colin permalink

    We were a bit hesitant to ‘muscle in’ on our family’s favourite band ….. but! We loved every minute and all about it. Having organised many a large bbq we admired the teamwork which made everything run so smoothly. Recording the song was great, though I have to admit keeping time was beyond me! You are brilliantly sociable, Hope&Social, looking forward to ALL your future events!!
    ps the music was/is amazing, the photos and videos superb!

    • That means a great deal M&C. Glad to have you join the clan.
      ;)
      Stay close and two rings when you get in yeah?
      xR

  19. claire permalink

    Amazing stuff. So creative and I am going to use this video in my lessons to show just how people can come together and make something so beautiful. Even when life is shit sometimes creative inspiration helps, if only everyone knew this.

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