Here’s Tom recording some guitar parts for our new EP. (It’ll sound better we promise)
This is a video of a new song from our gig last night at the Essex International Jamboree. We were playing to 7,000 Scouts and Guides in a field on a massive stage. So much fun!
Here’s the second set of photos from “LFF Presents… Heart Strings”. Featuring Light Falls Forward, Eek N’Grr and Bleeding Heart Narrative. We’d like to say thanks to everyone who came down and made it such a great night. Keep your eyes peeled as we’re going to be announcing our next night soon!
Here are the first set of photos from “LFF Presents…. Heart Strings”. They feature Eek N’Grr, Sea Stacks and Light Falls Forward performing their sets on the night.
After the success of our first charity show - Light Up The Night - LFF Presents an evening of all things strings to raise money for The British Heart Foundation!
Featuring three live bands with strings at their heart; Sea Stacks, Light Falls Forward and Bleeding Heart Narrative will envelop, enthrall and entertain you.
We have also lined up an exclusive live puppet show created especially for this event - it has never been performed before and it will never be performed again! Who knows, you might end up more involved than you imagined….
The event is being held at the City and Art Music Project in Old Street. Tickets are £6 on the door, £5 in advance and £1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the charity.
Advanced tickets are available from www.wegottickets.com/LFF.
Sea Stacks - This is the creation of Davy Berryman. Combining orchestral instrumentations to create wind and string-strafed indie music that takes influence from Jonsi/Sigur Rós and Sufjan Stevens, amongst others.
Light Falls Forward - is a London based band that is the creation of Charlie Evans and Naomi Paget. They are a refreshing blend of Acoustic Folk and Indie, with melodic harmonies and storytelling lyrics. People who have caught their live shows have likened them to Belle & Sebastian, Beth Orton, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Nick Drake. For this night they will playing as an eight piece with electric guitar, drums and string quartet. It promises to be quite a show!
Bleeding Heart Narrative - Bleeding Heart Narrative are a London sextet who weave together beautiful sounds with a haunting intensity. As interested in textures and orchestration as they are with rhythm and melody, theirs is a distinctive and captivating style that never settles on a single genre or approach. In creating their own music, Bleeding Heart Narrative incorporate their more abstract influences into traditional song structures, applying pop sensibilities to them as they go. You might hear the shimmer of Tortoise or Steve Reich built into a song that could be played on an Arcade Fire-sized stage, or pick out a Battle-esque repetition in a Mogwai-sized crescendo - but it’ll always be Bleeding Heart Narrative you’re listening to.
Doors are at 8pm.
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We’re very happy to announce our first tour of Europe! We will be playing in Belgium, Amsterdam, Germany and France from 8th April to 18th April. We’ll be playing in the following venues:
09th April - Trefpunt - Ghent, Belgium
10th April - Jet Lounge - Amsterdam, Netherlands
13th April - Folk Club - Bonn, Germany
16th April - Moonlight Cafe - Lille, France
17th April - Au Petit Bonheur La Chance - Paris, France
If you are in those areas or know someone who is, please spread the word and come and join us - it should be great fun!
Today is the last day of 2011 and what an amazing year it has been - this time last year Light Falls Forward didn’t even exist! It was exactly this time in 2011 that Charlie and I decided to have a go at songwriting together and see if it worked, and it did! We had both been gigging with other bands and writing parts and harmonies for them but we wanted to see if we could write our own songs, so we sat down last Christmas and wrote an EP of 5 songs that we put out on Soundcloud in February called Four Seasons and a Day. One of those songs, Rise Above It, has stood the test of time and made it through to our studio EP that we are releasing next month with the addition of drums.
We started gigging in Spring as a duo called C&Nome (pronounced Sea Anemone) at acoustic nights across London, playing at The Phoenix, 93 Feet East, The Luxe, Notting Hill Arts Club and lots of other lovely venues. We also kept writing and went away on a few songwriting weekends to Whitstable and Dungeness, recording new material at home and putting it up on Soundcloud.
After several gigs of explaining how to pronounce our name to everyone, we decided we should come up with a new name and wrote down a few lists of words that we thought summed up our sound. From that, we came up with Light Falls Forward which we both liked straight away and after running it past a few friends, we went with it.
Our good friend and amazing drummer, Ed Williams, joined us to go into the Fish Factory in September and record our debut EP, Songs and Shadows, which is being mastered at the moment. We also put together a string quartet to play on the album - Greg on cello who gave me a few cello lessons last year, Anais on viola who we had worked with as part of the Minds Ear Orchestra and two violinists (Lily and Peter) recommended to us by Davy Berryman who created Sea Stacks. They hadn’t played together before but after a couple run-throughs, they sounded like they’d been a quartet for years. They all gave up their time for free to record parts on a couple of tracks and it sounded amazing!
The real highlight of 2011 was our last gig of the year, Light Up The Night - a night that we put together where the bands played in darkness, lit by the light the audience brought, to raise money for Shelter. Light Up The Night was a huge success and we were both overwhelmed by how many people came along to make it such a wonderful night. The Slaughtered Lamb was the perfect venue and Sea Stacks and The Portraits played beautiful sets that captivated the audience. The darkness and candlelight made it even more magical - we couldn’t believe that we had created this experience, it was an incredible feeling! T-Toe finished the night with a great set that got people up and dancing, and we raised over £150 for Shelter on the night too which is amazing! It was the first “LFF presents…” night and we are planning lots more for 2012.
We’re busy songwriting again now to get material together for a second EP and trying to find the right venue for our next live music night which will take place in February. More about that coming soon but first will be our EP release in January… watch this space for news on that! Happy New Year and may 2012 be an exciting year for you all!
Here are some shots from our recent Old Queens Head Gig with Werewolf Promotions. Shot by our good friend Ken Copsey. He knows how to hold a camera!
We’re hosting a music night which is a whole new world for us and a very exciting, slightly scary one! Gigging in London is hard - too many bands competing for space and too many promoters not really doing much promoting. You play to empty rooms with other disgruntled bands and often it’s not the fun, creative experience it should be. There are some exceptions - by far the best promoter we know is Werewolf Promotions and playing any gig with them is always a great experience! But we were talking about this one night at home and decided we wanted to create a music night with a difference where the audience could feel involved in the music being created and leave having something to remember and talk about.
Our thoughts were around our name at first, Light Falls Forward… let’s do something fun with light and dark. This time of year is perfect for that and this idea led to the date choice - we wanted it to be really dark and 22nd December is the shortest and darkest day with the longest night so we thought we could celebrate that fact with a night of music in the dark. You can get dating in the dark (risky) and dining in the dark (messy) but there’s never been a music in the dark night as far as we know.
The logistics of playing in complete darkness are tricky but we then came up with the idea of asking the audience to provide the light for us, which involves them instantly in the performance and the sound. We want them to light up the night, which gave us the name for the event. They can bring torches, lanterns, bike lights, use their mobile phones, whatever light source they have. They can follow the sounds they like with their torches and light up the musicians they want to concentrate on which will give them more of a focus on the sounds created and immerse them in the gig.
We also really wanted to raise money for Shelter, a charity we both support and have worked with in the past and we thought this would be a perfect opportunity. People can have a fun night out and do something good all in one! We’re donating £1 from every ticket sold on the night and more if we sell enough tickets and we’ll have collection boxes there for people to donate more too if they want.
The next step was to find the right venue for such a night. Straight away we thought of The Slaughtered Lamb in Farringdon. It’s a lovely underground venue, small, cosy, lit by candles normally with a relaxed and warm atmosphere and I’ve always loved going to gigs there. So we phoned them up, told them about Light Up The Night and they loved the idea.
Now it was a case of finding the right music for the night - we are lucky to have several great friends who write amazing music and who we have played with in the past. First we went to Davy Berryman, who has just finished recording a debut album for his project Sea Stacks and asked if he would be involved. He loved the idea too and said yes immediately. It will be his second live gig with some of his large band (we can’t fit them all in!). Sea Stacks is an amazing orchestral project that fuses the sounds of Bon Iver, Jonsi and Sufjan Stevens among others to create beautiful songs.
We also asked the talented T-toe to finish the night for us - he mixes a classical and performance art background with an “electro-ragga-break-hop-junglist street…” sound. His music is great fun and makes you want to get up and dance so we thought he’d be a good end to a more sit-down acoustic night. He did a re-mix of one of our songs, Here and Now, a few months ago which we loved (link) and has been writing an incredible amount of new material this year which he will share some of on 22nd.
We still needed to find the right main band for the night - a band with a similar folk/acoustic sound to us and Sea Stacks, as we wanted the night to be a line-up that audiences would want to see from start to finish. It was random coincidence that led us to The Portraits. We were playing an acoustic gig at The Phoenix and a guy came up to us afterwards saying how much he’d enjoyed it and that we sounded like a band called The Portraits. We hadn’t heard of them, so we went straight home that night to have a listen and really liked their music. We emailed them asking them if they would play on our night and they re-jigged some things to make it happen. We’re really excited to have them on the night and can’t wait to play with them.
So, now we just need the audience and their lights to make this night a success and raise as much as we can for Shelter. We’re busy taking flyers to local venues, sending a press release out to anyone we can think of and telling everyone we know, so please spread the word for us to and join us to celebrate Christmas and music and Shelter! There are also free mince pies for everyone who brings a torch with them.
We have enjoyed creating this night so much that we’ve decided to try and make it a monthly thing with different themes, interactive elements to involve the audience and of course, great live music! We were inspired by good friends of ours who run an incredible pop-up restaurant Gingerline. With every night they do, they manage to create a unique sensory experience as well as the most delicious taste combinations you’ll ever try and it’s a night that you want to tell everyone about as soon as you’ve been because it’s the most fun you’ll have going out for dinner ever! We’ve been to quite a few now and if you haven’t been, go! Tickets sell out fast so join them on Facebook to find out more.
You can buy tickets to Light Up The Night for £5 in advance from We Got Tickets or £6 on the door. We really hope to see you there!
It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and for a present Naomi bought me a five hour, one on one session with an engineer to go over the finer points of mixing and mastering. I thought I’d share what I learned in my session with you.
The morning was crisp and there was definite excitement and nervousness in the air as Naomi and I wandered down the back streets of Hoxton to the London Academy of Music Production where the lesson would take place. Naomi was accompanying me as I didn’t actually know where I was going but soon we pitched up outside the front door waiting for the tutor to arrive.
She left me there to go and have tea and cake with a photographer friend of ours whilst I toiled and had my brain mangled with new concepts and ideas. She did, however, promise a nice ale at the local booze house afterwards, so I had a reward waiting for me after all my hard work/to help my brain to recover.
So here I was, being taught how to use Pro Tools after 7 odd years of using it haphazardly and the thing I found out? I suck at Pro Tools! Seriously, I didn’t realise how little I actually knew about the platform. So it was a great experience to be able to just ask questions and have my tutor guide me through.
We started at the basics, I finally got explained to me what the key buttons that exist in the edit window do (linking and unlinking cursors and the like essentially). Then we dived into the song itself.
The first thing I was told to do was to make sure all faders are set to 0. You do this so you can see what it all sounds like to begin with, and to be honest, it sounded horrendous! Everything competing for your attention like a school classroom you’ve asked if they want to go outside and play.
Then we made sure the workflow made sense. In mixing, it seems to make the most sense to start at the back of the band and gradually work your way forward. This means starting with the drums. When sorting out your workflow it’s easiest to work from left to right so stick your drums on the left hand side of the mix screen. Then put your bass instruments, then keys/guitars/strings and finally vocals on the right. This makes sense as you work from left to right in the same way as you read a book.
Now to work on the drums. We recorded the bass drums with two mics. One to capture the low end power and one to capture the click of the beater and the more mid-range snap. So you now have to make those sit together nicely and not cancel each other out. One way to do this is to invert the phase of the mics. As I understand it, this inverts the audio wave so the positive wave becomes negative and the negative positive. The easiest way to think of this is when you invert the colours on a photo.
The next thing to do is isolate the individual drums and listen out for anything that you don’t want. You want to use a decent EQ plugin and remove any frequencies that are superfluous. So we start with the deep bass drum mic. Anything below 35-40 hz isn’t needed so you can put a high pass filter on, set it to 12/18 db/oct and move up slowly from about 30 hz until you hear the sound of the bass drum being affected. Then move it back down until the sound’s back to sounding good. This is the essence of EQing and one thing that I’d never really understood about it. You’re trying to get to the essence of the sound and cut away anything that isn’t necessary. You can then have a look at 125hz, 200hz, 300hz, 400hz, see if they sound good or bad and cut away what you dont need.
Another thing you need to know is that when you cut at lower frequencies, you can have the Q setting quite thin as people can’t hear that sort of cut at that frequency. When you move up the frequencies over 1k, you have to have the settings more broad as people’s ears are more attuned there and will notice things you do. Be gentle.
After that you can move onto the other bass drum mic which is there to add more snap and capture the beater sound and the higher bass drum frequencies. So you can cut away the lower frequencies as they’re being covered by the other mic. To do this you can set a lower ratio on the high pass filter, 6 db/oct, and move up the sounds dong the same thing. You then blend the two sounds together and find the best fit with the two of them. You’re looking for one to provide the power, low end boom and the other to provide the higher snap, punch and crack of the bass drum. Blend those two together right and it’ll sound huge!
Next we’re onto the snare drum and we mic’ed the bottom and top of the snare to get both sounds, similar to the bass drum. Again all you have to do is cut away the things you don’t need and keep the good stuff. The high pass filter can be set similar to the second bass drum mic with 6 db/oct and then move it around a bit higher up until you get to where it sounds good. Remember that the snare will have been picked up amply by the over heads and so these close mics can be used just to add detail to the sound rather than being relied upon to provide the majority of the tone. Key frequencies here are 100-250hz, 1-3khz and 5khz. They are for the body, bang and stick/rim shot sound respectively.
Following the snare, come the toms and these bad boys sit around the bass drum. Low frequencies rule here and you have to be quite the surgeon with your lower frequency cuts. This will allow all of the toms and the bass drum to sit nicely together and you need to make sure of that. Solo the drum then un-solo it to see how the tom is sitting in with the rest of the kit, then solo again, tweak and so on. It’s really about trusting your ears and allowing them to show you what’s good and what’s not. Frequencies to look at here are 220hz, 330hz and 1.2khz, try cutting the two former and boosting the latter. The first ones are for resonance and boom, the last is for stick noise.
We then moved onto the overheads. These are there to pick up the cymbals and higher kit frequencies so don’t worry about trying to hear everything through these mics. Cut the lower frequencies out with a 6 db/oct high pass filter and then find the nasty harsh sounds in the overheads and remove them. I’ve read different things about where to pan overheads, some say pan slightly wide but not extreme but we did and it’s good to have the drums spread wide over the spectrum in my opinion but that might not work for your song.
Hi hats are a strange one as some people think it’s pointless to have them recorded as they’ll be coming through the overheads. I think it’s good to have them as they can get lost and need a little definition but use them judiciously as they can quickly become fatiguing. High Pass filter set up quite high (around 1.15khz) with 12 db/oct and then cut the harshness as well.
We had a room mic as well that gives you more depth to the sound and is there purely to pick up room reflections. You can treat this like an overhead and just worry about the higher frequencies as well. High Pass Filter and cut harshness.
I suppose the key thing that I learnt at this session is that you have to listen hard to your sounds and really get to know them well. We were lucky to have a great engineer (Adam Lunn, you’re amazing!) recording us and so he got us really clear, well recorded sounds that allowed us to really dive in and monkey about with.
Hope you enjoyed this and we’ll post up the next parts in 2012! Let me know if you’ve got any EQ tips or general ideas on micing and the like.