Murmurs

Isn’t murmur such a great word?

Life has been busy for all involved in Croydon Tourist Office. But that all changed for pretty much everyone in March of this year, where lockdown meant working from home, staying in doors, and finding new virtual ways to do things.

We were all just as busy as ever, but suddenly there was a need to be creative and if being creative meant that we needed to do everything via the Internet, then so be it.

We realised that others that we know would be just as isolated as we were, so we opened the doors to collaboration to anyone who wanted to be involved. It was like a virtual way of working that’s similar in a lot more ways than we thought to the way we used to work when stringing microphone cables around a little cafe in Paignton all those years ago.

9 years ago when Robert and Bryce wrote and recorded Three Bears, we had no idea what would lay ahead. And to be honest, we still don’t know what lies ahead. We just know that Croydon Tourist Office generate things that we never expected and certainly never things that we would come up with individually.

Over the past three months of social distancing, we have been more productive than we have been in awhile. We signed up with a distribution company so our music can now be heard in pretty much any place you can hear music and we revisited music we were working on for the second album and finally made sense of it all. In as much as we make sense of anything, that is.

And then we remembered we had this blog, which hasn’t been touched in about three years. Sorry about that. Life did pull us in other ways for a bit. We never stopped sharing ideas with each other. We just needed to wait for it to be the right now.

So, the murmurs are correct. The right time finally arrived.

Radio Show and Album 2

On a snowy Saturday morning, Bryce and Felix hosted their first radio show, which features some Croydon Tourist Office and friends. You can listen to it on the link below.

After the show, John and Bryce met up to discuss contenders for album 2.  15 new songs are in the works, including what looks like be our most epic work so far. Some of these tracks we’ve been working on for the last 5 years, so it will be great for the world to finally hear them!

In the meantime, enjoy the radioshow!

https://m.mixcloud.com/bryce-dumont/saturday-breakfast-with-felix-on-phonic-fm-110217/?play=fb&fb_action_ids=10155144426210815&fb_action_types=mixcloud%3Aupload&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B1254889581270867%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22mixcloud%3Aupload%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Events and Videos!

Hello everybody!

Things have been busy in the office lately. So busy, we haven’t posted in a little while.

So, some things have happened recently.

Following the release of our new EP, we went back and made a music video to Book Johnson, that classic track off our first record. You can watch the video in all its technicolor glory here:

In other news, there is a gig happening in Torquay, at the wonderful Blue Walnut cafe very soon! We will be opening for Project Adorno with a multimedia extravaganza in the cafe’s 24 seat cinema.

Sadly, Bryce will be in Asia for the gig, but he will be with us via satellite link. We’ve managed to set up a new internet venture with some recycled communication equipment, so we will be testing the technology out at at the event! Here’s hoping that it works…

Physical Trauma to Wash Your Waffles

At last, after many months of recording, our new EP Physical Trauma to Wash Your Waffles has been released. You can now listen to it and download it on our BandCamp page.

It contains songs that have appeared in Croydon Tourist Office live sets over the last few years like Post Office Mice and Croydon Tourist Office, as well as a selection of newly finished pieces that no one else has yet heard.

Kerchunk, featuring heavily distorted drums that Bryce recorded back in the late 90s, now has a fresh coat of Max’s guitar work, and Robert and John having a battle of nutritional value labels.

Punch it in Our Hearts started as a demo that John composed based on randomly generated lyrics that Max put together. We all added extra layers to it and it is now possibly our most epic song!

The Shoes is a poem that Bryce wrote (based on an actual pair of shoes), set to music. Robert added some backing vocals and Max and John improved it wish some guitar work.

The quirky little number ROCK!!! was made a long time ago when Bryce played some drums through an interesting sythesizer . The result was so much more than a drum track. Everyone thought it was cool, but no one knew what to do with it, until Max ran a vocal mix through an interesting little toy, and we all found the answer!
We hope you enjoy the EP. We promise not to take so long in getting the next album put together…

To listen to the new EP and the first album, have a look here:

https://croydontouristoffice.bandcamp.com/album/physical-trauma-to-wash-your-waffles

Mix and Master finished!

Just a quick update to say that our forthcoming EP is complete. 6 new recordings that we have been working on for the last 6 months or so.

All we need to do now is finish up the artwork, and it will make its appearance into the world!

The second album is also in the works. Hopefully it won’t be long before we finish those recordings off.

EP Coming Soon…

Six new songs have been recorded. We just have the finishing touches to add, and a new EP will be released!

We are working on setting up some dates and an exciting idea for a new event, while also working on recording some new songs for what will be the second album.

How are you doing?

Croydon Tourist Office live at the Spinning Wheel (VIDEO)

 

Spinning Wheel – 07/06/2016The Croydon Tourist Office performing Post Office Mice and Punch it in Our Hearts at The Spinning Wheel Inn with one missing band member – and a rhythm section who had no idea who we were, had never heard any of our music, and were rather bewildered by the whole experience.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcroydontouristoffice%2Fvideos%2F1181067911927494%2F&width=500&show_text=false&height=281&appId

Work In Progress

Hello readers and visitors of this blog (we really should come up with a collective noun for Croydon Tourist Office Supporters…) Bryce here again.

Epicentre Nights came out nearly two years ago.  Since our last performance at the Bike Shed Theatre for the Spokes Amaze gig supporting performance poet Tony Walsh, Croydon Tourist Office mostly took some time off.

We have thrown each other some ideas over that time, but we all had other things going on.  Recently, the wheels have been turning again and there are quite a few recordings in the works.

Our plan right now is to release a 4 or 5 song EP over the summer as we continue to work on the other recordings that will go on the second album.

Studio recordings of fan favourites like Post Office Mice and Croydon Tourist Office (the song) are likely to appear on the EP, as well as a few that you’ve never heard before.

For those of you reading this blog, we would like to do something special for you!

As you know, we have written so many things over the years that we have sometimes asked the audience to give us a topic, and we will play a song on that topic from our back catalogue of ideas.  It’s always a lucky coincidence when this happens. Like, when two members of the audience called out at our first gig for a song about mice and for a song about the post office, and we already happened to have a song called Post Office Mice ready to go.

So…  Add a comment below (or on our Facebook page or Twitter) about a topic you would like to see Croydon Tourist Office address at on our next album, and we will have a look through our archives.

We look forward to your requests.

Origin Stories

Hey everyone! Bryce here.  If you are reading this, I guess that means you’re interested in Croydon Tourist Office and want to know more.

I moved England from California in 2003 and moved to Devon as soon as I could.  Looking around for musicians in the area, I was told to check out the jam nights.  Having been in many bands in California where jamming was an important aspect to writing music, I thought I would check it out.  Quickly I discovered that most jam nights tended to be a group of musicians coming together to play covers of 80s songs.

This was not the sort of jam night I was used to, so as soon as I could, I started hosting evenings for musicians where the purpose was to create new music.  This music could turn into new material for bands or singer-songwriters, or music that might only last for the moment.  Having recorded music since I was 12, I made it a point in these sessions to always record them so the music, no matter how fleeting, would always be archived.

I met Robert Garnham at the Blue Walnut in Torquay while performing some of my spoken word material.  Seeing Robert perform, I knew there was a connection.

In 2010, I opened my own venue: the Epicentre Book Cafe.  It was a vegetarian cafe, second hand bookshop, and performing arts venue.  We ran workshops, open mic nights, events, artist meetups and more.  On the 14th of June, 2011 I relaunched the music nights at Epicentre, micing up the cafe and inviting musicians. Robert arrived and the sessions began, recording late into the night and capturing many original compositions.

I met John Samuel at an Epicentre Artist Meetup meeting. He was brought along by our mutual friend Maddo Painting, who I had met at an open mic night some years before.  I met Max Coulson one day when he turned up to one of Epicentre’s open mic nights and wowed us all with his combination of punk, hip-hop, and surreal stand-up comedy.

John began collaborating with Robert and they debuted the song ‘It Wasn’t Magic’ at one of Epicentre’s open mic nights. The are many of these collaborations which will be available on forth-coming releases.

At one music night, John, Robert, and Max were all there. Suddenly, everything that we had been doing with the music nights so far all jelled. It made sense that the four of us were a unit.  That night Robert regaled us with a story about a visit to Croydon, and the name of the collective came to us.  There was no question we were Croydon Tourist Office.

Between 2011 and 2014, we wrote many tracks, performed a few gigs, and then realised that we had recorded enough tracks that worked together to put out our first album.

Epicentre closed down in the summer of 2013, and as all recordings were made at the venue, so we decided to name the album Epicentre Nights in tribute.  There are many more recordings in the archives and even more in the works, so it won’t be long before we release more recordings upon the world.

Stay tuned.