Without Feathers: It’s REAL


See, we’re on Facebook and everything! See/hear for yourself:

I am VERY excited about this. Of course I am, I’m getting to make music with two of my favourite musicians and good friends, Emma Kupa & Rory McVicar. Happy Nat.

The Newcastle gig is in some kind of tower in the city walls which I’ve never been in before, that’s pretty exciting too. And Norwich sees us in the appropriately named Birdcage. Figurehead Chris’ new band Public School Battalion will be supporting in Sheffield – they’ve got a new demo out to download here.

And if anyone was wondering about the name, I borrowed it from Woody Allen (via Emily Dickinson – “Hope is the thing with feathers”).

“G-g-g-g-ghost?” “No, play it in F!”

YESTERDAY: I’m in the studio and I’ve been trying to record the guitar and vocal of this five minute + song in one perfect (read acceptable) take. It’s just not quite coming together. I go into the control room with producer Dave to listen back to how it’s sounding, trying to get why it’s not working out.

I go back for another take but – hang on – my capo is still on the second fret but now it’s pushed right back towards the first fret instead of being clamped up near the third. How’d that happen? I put it back in its place on the second fret. Another take. It’s still not good enough.

Lunch break.

Time for another take, but hey – my capo’s moved again! It’s back near the first fret! Maybe ‘someone’ is trying to tell me something. Without telling Dave, I move it to the first fret. Another take.

That’s the one.

I tell Dave what’s happened. We think maybe it was because of the way it was hanging on the guitar stand, so we put it back where it was and leave it awhile but the capo doesn’t move. There’s clearly only one explanation…

Thanks, Studio Ghost!


I feel obliged to repeat my friend Graham’s ‘Ouija (fret)board’ joke: “Don’t tell me – the chord progression was Eb, F, Bb, Eb, and the capo was moved down a fret?” (If you get this, well done)

I’d also like to thank Neil here, who kindly came to the studio last night with no notice to play on a rather complicated song he’d never heard before because for some reason I had presumed I could drum. Not only that, but that I could drum well enough to record it. Because obviously, if I can do something in my head, I can do it in real life. Always the dreamer, eh?

Figureheads news: New track and Live at the Lantern

The Figureheads stuff I mentioned previously has arrived!

Firstly, you can get a brand new track, ‘No Connections’ here. You can pay as little or as much as you like.

Secondly, if you missed our gig at the Lantern Theatre, you can now watch it* here.

I recommend a gin and tonic to accompany your viewing.

I’ve also been interviewed recently by Backseat Mafia and I’ve added a solo show with the wonderful Neil McSweeney to my gig listings>>

Nat Johnson and the Figureheads, 2012.

*well, a great deal of it anyway. It has been edited to spare you any songs with sound issues/incompetence through drunkenness.