Archive for November, 2009

Hello Webland!!

I know- we haven’t even done the Flo shows yet (DON’T FORGET), and we’ve got to get over the Turkey trots and regretful intercourse (of all kinds) that Xmas/NY will bring. but we thought we’d give you a heads up.

BBC Radio’s own Huw Stephens, in an act that is equal parts far sightedness, Bravery, and sheer insanity, has booked us for his ‘Happy Huw Year 2010!’ Tour. Us, Islet and Swanton Bombs are playing, he’s spinning the plates (and wheels of justice- see how fast the bastards turn!!!)

Dates for the ‘Happy Huw Year!’ Tour are;

Fri Jan 22; 60 Million Postcards, Bournemouth; with Frankie & the Heartstrings, Swanton Bombs + Islet, and Huw Stephens djing. Free entry!

Sat Jan 23; Start The Bus, Bristol; Frankie and the Heartstrings, Swanton Bombs + Islet, and Huw Stephens DJing. Free Entry!

Sun Jan 24 - Lock Tavern, London; Frankie and the Heartstrings, Swanton Bombs + Islet, Huw Stephens and guest DJ’s; Free Entry!

I’ve had one of the weirdest nights of my life in Bournemouth. it involved four simultaneous flat tyres, radio stations that only played church bells, Cold water taps that ran hot, and a haunted wardrobe. So i’m expecting “Paranormal Activity” levels of weirditude this time around, people. Don’t let me down.

See you down the front

P. F&THSxxxxxx

This didnt happen to your band!

Several weeks ago I seemingly had a bout of ‘yes’ tourettes. Now, I am admittedly a caustic cunt but encompassing this fact and indeed milking it makes me basically a nice guy. This is why I find myself in a dark cold club asking dumb fucking pole dancers about Marxism via a public address system for my own amusement.
So, irony number 1 hit me like well schooled street criminal upon my entry to Sunderland’s Independent night joint and Grill. The evening is a fundraiser for Oxfam. And what better way to prevent the good people of Africa becoming an exploited nation than to exploit our own marginalised fraternity of amoeba lobed pole dolly’s. I’m not suggesting for a moment that everyone to master this particular discipline is cognitively challenged, that simply would not do and I don’t believe that. I am suggesting that the particular troupe of lovelies (it was fine in the 70’s) had the mental capacity of half a Paul Dannan. The following are genuine questions I put to our whirling pole dervishes after there inevitable gyrations to some Kings of Leon album track or some such.

Dave Heartstring “What’s best, Bovril or fighting?”
Kerry “I enjoyed e’self t’neet like!”
Dave Heartstring “Thanks for that Kerry”

Its at this point that I have realise that I can say whatever it is I please as the listening function of these creatures is instantly disabled when arching there back towards a room full of morons. I’m quite the anthropologist this evening.

Next up Catherine. Already Kerry seems less than impressed with Catherine’s ninja like soft porn ability. The crowd accept her and she is dumb and triumphant.

Dave Heartstring “In any Marxist society the prolariat is inevitably the worker bee for the capitalist bourgeoisie…discuss?”

Catherine “eh?”

Dave Heartstring “Thank you Catherine”

Now things turn weird. When I first entered the venue and stumbled into the “changing Area”, I became entrenched in a deep life affirming discourse with the sisters thick regarding one of this evening’s contestant. Kerry had raised suspicions’ regarding the sexuality of one of the contestants. Reading between some cunningly disguised lines laid out by Kerry I deciphered that Kerry had strong suspicions’ that Natasha was packing a cock in her thong. I announce Natasha onto the stage. It seems Kerry is quite the Colombo of the pole dancing world. Natasha has an Adams apple; large brick layers hands, a widow’s peak, biceps like Lou Ferringo and IT IS BLATANENTLY AND UDENIABLY A MAN YOU FUCKING DUMB CUNT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Turns out that Natasha is a Stirling chap and looks somewhere between 80’s icon Marilyn and Iggy Pop.

Dave Heartstring “What’s it like being on tour with the Stooges?”

Natasha “?????????????”

There were several others. Lisa Louis and especially Skye were good enough to be so desensitised to life in general that I could mock them like unfortunate kids. Ah Skye, such a perfect bikini line but with an incomplete mind.

Dave Heartstring “Is retard an acceptable term in today’s society?”

Skye “Yes, I think it is”

I hung around to get drunk on Raspberry cider and grab a quick snap with Natasha.

Meanwhile Frankie is stamping. But I got the transvestites; although imp not so sure they got me.

A brief encounter with a man in electric blue leisure wear

Id never been recognised for anything id been proud of, so imagine my surprise at being “Heartstringed” in Ashbrooke Stores, on Sunday, About 10.30 am, near the Rustlers Burgers. I didn’t buy one. But drug addled caustic readers of Blighty, this is Sunderland and we do things differently here. Now, when they make Frankie and the Heartstrings the movie the following scene would be played out in The Cotswolds. The sound of leather on Willow, the comforting clinking of fine porcelain tea cups and the pithy banter resonating from a brilliant white pavilion. A young Dave Harper (Played by Garry Wilmot) would amble towards the Pimms booth looking to quench his high summer penchant for refreshment. The bartender (played by Billy Childish) raises an eyebrow, never furrowed, just a curious acutely aimed glance.

Bartender “Aren’t you Dave “Pearl” Harper?”

Me “Why, yes I am, maybe you know my Father Winthorpe?”

Bartender “Not at all, I heard you on the gramophone on the Sabbath, I must say I preferred the flip side”

Me “Then we have established common ground Bartender, I bid you god day”

I’d turn on my spats and then, click my heels as a delightful miss; parasol in hand glances unmistakably my way.

But this is FUCKING Sunderland darling and this is the reality of my first spotted moment. Im not played by Garry Wilmot and the chap in Ashbooke Stores is almost certainly not Billy Childish. I enter the convenience outlet upon a quest. A quest for Coke Zero, Marmite Crisps and a copy of the Observer (This is a lie; I bought the News of the World. Less tits in there, right Thatcher?). I get a double/triple take from a chap wearing an electric blue track suit, very clean trainers and sporting a beard that I am less than happy with. If you are going to sport facial hair, have some fucking pride. Unkempt facial foliage s tant amount to rolling a cheap sausage in pubes. Anyway, the chap approaches with no air of caution, maybe he wants a Rustlers Chicken Burger, maybe he wants to hurt me. Both offend me as much as the other.

Blue Tracksuit Bad Beard Man “Ere, yeh In Frankie and the Heart Attacks?”

Me “er, actually, no im in…………yes, yes Im in Frankie and the Heart Attacks”

Blue Tracksuit Bad Beard Man “Our lass heard yehs on the radio like”

Me “Really! Wow, cool isn’t it”

At this point the chap/social commentator has almost left Ashbrooke Stores and has relinquished caustic eye contact.

Blue Tracksuit Bad Beard Man “Mebee’s for you it is, I fucking hate music!”

Me “Bye then”

I can’t say id want it any other way. The chap didn’t have to say anything, but he did and I understand why it has to be like that around these parts. It makes a fuck of a lot more sense than some trust fund hippy milking your prostate on Shoreditch High Street whilst sourcing the perfect frappacino. The chap had an honesty that had been ingrained upon him. Not one thought given to how he handles his approach. So man in electric blue tracksuit, I thank you for your honesty, bluntness and integrity. I thank you from the heart of my bottom.

Saturday night Sudays boring

I’m not totally convinced we have done ourselves any favours yesterday if I am perfectly honest. We spend a lot of time explaining to commoners that we are not the twee, doily chewing crotched damp fops as we have been portrayed. I imagine the best way to combat that is for three fifths of team String to be sat in Heaton Perk drinking Chai Lattes and splitting cup cakes. I almost did some sick in my mouth when I thought about it. The café itself has recently won awards as it appears to be the first slurpery to have been successfully transplanted from Shoreditch to the North East without turning to coal and beef dripping whilst in transit from dahn sarth. The staff are paid to pay you no mind and fling you large chipped vats of surly soup. Like I said, we don’t do ourselves any favours. The place has been made up of a menagerie of I Love Lucy sets and the trendy parts of IKEA, juxtapose that with around 2 laptops per person and enough knitwear to keep Noel Edmonds in vogue for 8 score years and 2 and you have a techno textile nightmare.
But its Sunday morning now and I am happy. I’m happy I have Tom Waits to keep me company and a flutter in my heart as we meet later to make ore music. Maybe it’s the Mark E Smith principle if keeping the hired staff on their toes. Keeping them mentally taught in order to optimize performance. Maybe it’s just a nervous disposition. Whatever it is its stimulating, because you never no what will happen when we all meet. Sometimes it is the best time, the only thing you need, a fix of what is right and justified. Other times we just stand and argue, probably because someone burned toast or loved ones were not as loving as they expected. Both have their function, and both are necessary.
This week has been up and down like a bride’s nighty. We get played on the wireless a lot, it’s beautiful but I worry I may be becoming too accustomed to it. I want it to be the first time every time but that’s wishful thinking. We also learned that people are as we expected. Until we have permission to open everyone’s chest cavity and check for swinging bricks then im afraid there is no way of establishing smiling tigers from your friends. Choose your own adventure books were great when you were a kid, but creating your own as an adult results in loss of privileges. But we’ll make it, we always do.

I am sitting in my living room, I have a diet coke to my left, and I have a pepper grinder and some suit swatches to my right. Martha by Tom Waits is playing.

NME gan for the Heartstrings in a big way


Come see the nice stuff they have written! Laugh at our penmanship! wonder what will happen next! it’s ALLL GOOD, people…

F&THS xxx000xxx000

Estate of play

Well, the customary thing to do would be to grace you with a retrospective look at yesterdays happenings would it not. But that wouldn’t do. Sure, so we got played by Jo Whiley…yeah, Zane Lowe dropped dat shid……what’s that, the press are chomping on your Herbert; freakin A they are. The way I look at is that between us and David Ginola, we’re worth it. But enough of this frivolous poppycock. I think the greatest thing for myself is watching Frankie’s reactions to all this. The guy is a vibrating ball of face, hair, enthusiasm. Combine that with a suspected Ritalin habit and you do end up with a rather bemusing little creature. Imagine a furby with a double shot Americana inside it and rueful ambivalence towards the greyer aspects of life.
It’s harder to tell with Michael. Michael is the other pretty one by the way. There’s a fine line between autism and genius and Michael has been playing hopscotch with that line for as long as ive known him. I would sell my signed Norman Collier Photo (and I do have one) to see Michael be a pop star, for no other reason than he would make a brilliant pop star, all shiny and daft, like a foily footie sticker.
Peter, ah Peter, an enigma wrapped in a problem and coated in dog shit to make a rather complicated scotch egg of a man. He’s an honest little mite; you got to give the chap props for that. Many say a genius, ive not heard them, but apparently that’s what they say. He’s something of a rudder on this silly ship (I say ship; it’s more like a knackered pedalo). I doubt that ive ever wanted to hug someone and shake them at the same time before. Pete is there to be admired like one of those minging vases with a built in capacity for logic I could only dream of.
And then there’s Den. He’s at his mams.

Dave “Pearl” Harper

An open letter to Heartstrings and the people of Leeds Village

Yes, well that’s all very well Mr Francis but there are fundamental and practical elements to be discussed.

Points for discussion….

1. What sandwiches should I make? I understand that my Chorizo, Goats Cheese and Beetroot Chutney Baguette is now an established work of genius. Although my Char grilled Chicken with Tarragon Mayo remains an undiscovered gem, a bit like when d’kids hear The Cult for the first time.

2. I hear we may be popping into Fuji Hero for a steaming bowl of delicious Ramen. Has anyone spared a thought for Dennis? The poor fella has just got his head around Hummus. He’s never going to understand this (note to self, bring pop, crisps and Ritalin for Dennis).

3. Dealing with the local culture. Can anyone tell me if everyone is like Chris Moyles in Leeds? I imagine this is technically impossible. I’m not sure if I could handle playful reworkings of popular chart hits with ironic lyrical content for more than say 5 minutes.

As you were

Davestring X

My first post …….

So i now have the internet installed at work for the purpose of listing some of my nice clothing items online to try and reach my ever distant targets set by the powers that be at Oxfam…..

but instead i find myself on my lunch break writing my first entry for the blog section on our sexy new website…

So in a week that the Heartstrings enjoyed national radio play from not just Huw Stephens on Radio 1 but also the legend that is Steve Lamaq over on 6 music. We were also featured in national press in the way of NME “everyones talking about” and a lovley suprise mention in the Guardian today.

As ever with us its a week of contrasts that saw Dennis unblocking his shit pipes in his back yard, Mike pulling out over £100 for his clutch to be repaired on his Renult Scenic we use for gigs (its fit for sats trip to Leeds), Dave is still Job Hunting after learning he is been made redundant, Petes Wirlwizter has finally died and is awaiting specialist treatment and I , well apart from having a bit of a knee injury that has prevented me jogging the last few days, ive had an ok week.

So were all really looking forward to our visit to Leeds on Saturday night and so are a possy of Mackems that are making the hour and a half jounney south to see us in action, we are very grateful for there support.

Peace and love

Frankie x