A final farewell to MSTU, and another impending farewell

Our Casket Letters reunion weekend is over, and that’s that for Monkey Swallows the Universe! We had the best time and we were really touched by how many people came out to see us play those songs one last time on Friday at Sheffield City Hall and at Indietracks Festival yesterday (where we were hastily moved to the indoor stage at the last minute due to torrential rain!).


Thanks to Greg Povey, Anya Portus and Steve Vickers for these pics. You can see some more photos and a couple of video clips from Friday over on my Facebook page.

We are down to the very last few MSTU albums – get them here while they last!

I’ve got one more (solo) gig coming up before I go into some kind of retirement (having a baby / going back to uni part-time – there’s not going to be much time for music in the foreseeable future!) so please come and see me if you can on 23rd August at Gulliver’s in Manchester, supporting the incredible Laura Gibson.

I’ve also reduced some prices in my bandcamp store.

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MSTU Scrapbook Volume II

Ahead of our last EVER (we mean it this time) Monkey Swallows the Universe gigs at the end of this month, I’ve been going through the nostalgia files from mid-2006 to our last gigs in Feb 2008. Take a look over here.

At the launch of The Casket Letters, Aug 2007. By Lucy Davies

We’re playing our second album, The Casket Letters, in full at Sheffield City Hall Ballroom on Fri 28th July. Tickets here.

And a set of our favourites at Indietracks Festival, Derbyshire, on Sun 30th July.

Reviews for The Casket Letters from 2007:
“Bloodline is reminiscent of Stereolab’s Ping Pong, but MSTU’s heart still lies with stripped-down folk, Nat Johnson’s gorgeous vocals draped over acoustic guitars, cello and violin. The band are ghostly on Gravestones and giddy on Matterhoney’s waltzing pop, but it’s their maturity and restraint that impresses.” – The Guardian ****

“In the wrong hands this could be all too saccharine, but singer Nat Johnson has a voice that can do withering as well as whimsical…proof there’s more than one primate-monickered South Yorkshire outfit worth listening to.” – NME

“Beneath the cosy wool can lurk some nasty, if always softly spoken, surprises. This Sheffield band’s lovely second album abounds with these, wrapping Nat Johnson’s at times vaguely Smiths-like melodies and beautiful, Tracey Thornesque voice in lovely, lilting folk-pop.” – The Times

“On their ravishing second album, you can’t help but think The Beautiful South – but there’s no doubt this lot are way cooler.” – The Sun

“Aimed at fans of The Decemberists, this would be equally satisfying to fans of The Beautiful South. And that’s more of a compliment than it sounds.” – Independent on Sunday

Support at City Hall comes from The Perfect English Weather, aka Simon and Wendy from The Popguns:
The Perfect English Weather are Simon and Wendy Pickles, a duo from Brighton taking a break between Popguns records to create a slightly more reflective and partly acoustic collection of songs on their new album, Isobar Blues. The subject matter covers the usual concerns of wet afternoons imprisoned in seaside cafes, conversations with cats, and weekend adventures to cancelled Morrissey concerts. Inspired by the unjaded love of a great pop song, the result is grown up music for those who still prefer a karaoke party to a dinner party!

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Laura Gibson!

Overjoyed to be supporting one of my absolute faves, Laura Gibson, in Manchester this August!

I’ve been a fan for years, since I first heard this song:

And last year’s Empire Builder was my favourite album of 2016.

Get tickets here

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Certain Death


Digital only single available on Bandcamp
Coming soon to iTunes (vid coming soon too!)

You are a singularity
Vote on June 8th
Vote for kindness
Vote for empathy
Please don’t vote Tory

50% of all sales to the People’s Assembly


Do you know any floating voters / Tory voters in marginal seats? Do you have a Conservative-voting Grandma who likes her grandchildren and embroidery but for some reason thinks Theresa May is great? Perhaps you know a floating voter who is so twee they might actually be swayed by a small piece of embroidery?
Email me their address and I will anonymously post one of these to their house.

NB this isn’t a ‘merch’ thing so please don’t ask for one for yourself. I’m asking for people’s help with this as we’re safe from Tories here in Sheffield (hurray!) so it would be great to hear from people in marginal seats. I am a total amateur embroiderist embroiderer whatever so if my sub-par stitching upsets your gran don’t say I didn’t warn you.

‘Certain Death’ recorded by Alan Smyth at 2fly Studios, Sheffield, mastered by Dean Honer
Nat Johnson – vocals, guitar; Oliver Allchin – saw, percussion; Hannah Cartledge – vocals, flute, accordion; Katherine Jackson – vocals; Chris Loftus – bass; Neil Piper – drums

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