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Last night we played the last Little Fish gig. In 2013 we’re starting a new band called Candy Says.
There’s a lot to say about this, but for now here’s Juju’s outro to the book, which she read out at the gig last night, just before we played as Candy Says for the first time:
As the city hangs at my window I think of crawling between the sheets and trying to sleep. When I am sad and so nervous I can’t sleep or so in love with someone that I can’t see, I have to stop myself from pushing everything to a place where nothing matters and having heard read the story of Little Fish, here is one last thing that I want to tell you about; to tell you about my life and the way that it is, to remind you of yours. Everything that we did does matter and it is never too late or too early to learn something.
Je me suis cent fois perdu and after the long journey of Little Fish, Ben and I decided to leave the band there in the ocean, under the horizon.
We started a new band, Candy Says. I can’t read her lips all the time but she is a free spirit. Far more free than Little Fish ever was. Candy Says is our band as of 2013.
Why do this? Because I don’t want to lose faith. The good life doesn’t just come and knock at your door, you have to go out into the world and make it for yourself and I recognize myself for what I am and for the things that I hate. My actions ricochet. I never cease to be surprised by the day, constantly satisfying those little desires of nothing, the simple sensations of existing at all.
How simple. I laugh. In bed. Out loud. At my simple thoughts. And my simple thoughts are my richness and my passion for writing and performing music sticks to me like electricity. It saves me and speaks to me straight.
That is not what Little Fish now says to me, but what Candy Says.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us this far, and we hope to see you in 2013 at a Candy Says show! Have a great Christmas. xxx
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Our Christmas gig sold out in two days!
We were pretty happy with that, but apparently nobody else was – we got a lot of messages from people who hadn’t got tickets in time.
So… we’ve added an extra night on Monday 17th December and tickets are on sale now. As of Monday night there are about 30 left. The gig gets a mention in the new issue of Nightshift (fame! stardom!), so the tickets probably won’t last long.
We’ve teamed up with a lighting guy called Kester to create a great-looking show, we’ve got Andy on the sound desk (who did our sound at the Castle gig), Little Fish’s favourite artist Bekim Mala is going to be contributing some art to the evening and Miranda Ward will be reading from the new Little Fish book (which should be in print by then!). We’re very excited.
So if you’re thinking of getting a ticket, go and buy one now. If these run out there really won’t be any more.
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Tickets are on sale today for our Christmas Show at the Rotunda in Oxford, exclusively through Bandcamp.
We’ve decided to do things a little differently to a normal gig, so although there will be mince pies and mulled wine (of course), expect the unexpected. We have some friends helping out in various ways (ooh, mysterious!) and we plan to put on the best show we’ve ever done.
It’s an early start (3pm on a Sunday), so there’s time to get lunch at the Isis and wander down the towpath and/or make it to the pub afterwards for the after-party. The Rotunda is tiny. This means it will be a very intimate and wonderful gig, but it also means you’ll need to buy your ticket soon. Probably in the next 7-10 days. You have been warned. ;)
Come and join the party! It’s going to be an amazing day.
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In this silent and lonely room, I find myself looking out the window. I know the view intimately. I have seen it many times. Here. Instead of nowhere. Miles from anywhere. This isn’t the world that I live in although I have never felt more alive than now. As the rain comes to an end, daylight is going fast and the fog inside my head stops me from quite remembering reality. I’m out of touch, out of control and I want to escape before it’s too late. I want to wake up and really be here. Here. Instead of nowhere. This isn’t the world that I know and it isn’t the world that I live in, although, I have never felt more alive than now. Sitting in this silent and lonely room, I find myself looking out the window.
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“Have you had lots of lovers? Hadn’t we better pull the curtains?”
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The first time I saw Little Fish play, Juju sang and screamed until her hair was matted down with sweat, Nez banged on his drums, and Ben played the Hammond in a beat-up leather jacket.
That’s the old Little Fish, more or less, or at least the old-ish Little Fish. Friday evening was the debut of the new Little Fish, and the band’s first real outing for months. They played at the Oxford Castle as part of the 150th birthday celebration of The Oxford Times. There was champagne and warm pilsner behind the makeshift bar; Little Fish played upstairs in the old prison D-Wing, while others played downstairs in the crypt. Everyone wandered around looking a little baffled and a little hypnotised; it’s not every evening that you find yourself half-lost and half-drunk in an 11th century building, following the sounds of guitars and voices.
This surreal setting, though, turned out to be appropriate. The new Little Fish’s new sound is … different. They promised it would be, and they delivered on their promise. If you don’t know Little Fish, this won’t mean anything to you. Even if you do know Little Fish, this still won’t really mean anything to you; it’s like trying to convey the colour red by saying it’s not-blue.
But different is the best word I can find for Little Fish. I’m not a music writer in the conventional sense, and I’m not very good at coming up with those comparisons that reviewers seem so good at dropping into their pieces. I don’t know what unique and mind-bending combination of opera singers and 70s pop stars Little Fish sound like. They sound like toes tapping, heads bobbing. They sound like something you can’t sit still to. At a certain point they sound like the audience, all singing together, guided by Juju:
I just don’t know where I come from.
I just don’t know where I can be found.
The Farfisa is prominent, as is the percussion. New fish Mike is a particularly sympathetic drummer, eliciting not just a rhythm but a whole complex set of feelings from his instrument. The other new fish, Elise, is captivating on vocals and percussion. She and Juju wear matching owl-themed t-shirts, their hair secured by headbands. Ben and Mike wear turtlenecks and black-rimmed glasses. The new songs are peppered with French. It’s hard for me to picture this band playing upstairs in the dull, sweaty O2 (though only, I suspect, because I haven’t yet seen it); easier to see them as extras in some dreamy, grainy black-and-white film.
This new Little Fish isn’t, of course, disrespectful to the old Little Fish. It’s a re-imagining of things, an adjustment based on the evolution of Juju’s vision, but they haven’t forgotten where they come from. In fact some of their older songs work even better now than they did before - Lord’s Mistake, for instance, fits the new lineup perfectly.
But more importantly, there’s a playfulness in what Little Fish are doing. They’re playing music. Everyone on stage is good at what they do, but they’re all also having fun, and they’re not afraid to show it. At one point Juju produces a violin and pulls the bow carelessly but effectively across the strings, looking wild-eyed and unpredictable. She dances and pouts and performs, looking more like an actress than an angry rock star. There’s nuance in her expressions and her movements. She still lets loose the occasional bone-rattling scream, but there’s generally more depth to the way she interacts with her bandmates and her audience. And all four members of the band smile at various moments, as if to say: We’re not taking ourselves too seriously. You’re allowed to laugh and relax and shake your shoulders. You’re allowed to share the joke and stamp your feet and sing along.
The gig was days ago now; my boyfriend and I are still humming the chorus to Favourite Flavour. Little Fish are doing something more interesting, and more complicated, than anything they’ve done before, and I think this is a good thing. Welcome to the inside of Juju’s head; don’t forget to leave the door open behind you.
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I stepped out with my new Little Fish line up on Friday night in my beloved home town of Oxford. I was super nervous as everything that I am doing now feels like quite a big departure from what people may have come to know and love. Despite my fears, I think the show went well. It was a sold out show, with 250 people squashed into an old dormitory in Prison Block B at Oxford Castle. It was very heart warming to see so many familiar faces, fish fans of the past, present and future.
I am super proud of the new band and really believe in the new sound that Ben and I have created in our Little Spinney Garage Studio. This is a little video that someone must have filmed on their mobile phone that I found of a new song Understand The Night. Enjoy. Lots more to come. X Juju
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Spotted this in the Oxford Times yesterday. Looks like this gig next week is going to be a stormer.
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One of the little side projects Juju and I have been working on with some friends this year is an art zine called GENE. It’s taken us since Christmas to get it together (we were a bit busy putting a new band together, touring China and having a baby), and we just launched it this week.
It’s a small run (50 copies) and it’s beautiful. Juju and I stitched them all by hand. I knew all that Paper Club craftwork would come in handy. You’ll know most of the people involved: Nick Gill letterpressed the covers and wrote a short story (he played musical saw with us at the Barfly last year), Daley Walton drew an amazing graphic novel-style story (he also drew the artwork for The Netherworld), Miranda Ward wrote a piece (she’s also just finished writing the Little Fish book), Juju wrote a poem, a story and a manifesto, and I orchestrated some 12-second songs.
You can see more photos and find out all about it over at the new GENE website. Thanks to those of you who spotted it on Twitter and bought it already!
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