Martin Rossiter, one time frontman with dont-call-them-a-Britpop-band Gene, was one of the more outspoken of the crop of indie singers back in the late 1990s. Faintly camp, slightly waspish and very funny, he poured all of that into his songs, along with a gloriously rich voice, inspiring a dedicated, near fanatical fanbase, selling a million (a million!) records and filling the Albert Hall. Then the indie bubble burst, Gene were dropped by Polydor (who would go on to release an unsanctioned Gene greatest hits album so half-arsed that they misspelt the bands' names on the sleeve), limped across the millennium finish line with the well-received but under-selling Libertine album and promptly split up before they could become a nostalgia band. Martin Rossiter, it seemed, vanished off the face of the earth.
But like long-forgotten 90’s cartoon star Alfred J. Kwak says, you can never keep a good duck down. This month Martin Rossiter returns with a new album, The Defenestration of St Martin; a beautiful record of melodramatic, witty torch songs performed almost entirely as naked voice and piano, self released and funded through crowd-sourcing site Pledge. We ventured to a Brighton boozer on a windy Autumn afternoon to talk reunions, record company politics, expectations and slipping through the cracks of the music industry.
So, apologies if any of these questions are a little obvious, they seemed to be quite a lot of obvious things to ask...
Well if they are I shall ignore them.. you’ll be aiming for Slough and I’ll be in Delhi...
The first one is ‘Where have you been?’
To fill in the gaps, at the tail end of Gene we weren’t really earning any money. We’d sold a couple of bucket fulls of records, we’d been dropped by a major label and decided to essentially self release. It’s interesting, I’m quite good friends with Justin Welch, who was the drummer in Elastica, and we were talking about how when we were young and fat we got paid. We had our agents and are accountants and what have you, and the end result for me as one quarter of the band is I’d get into my account... I think it started at £600 a month, and went up to the heady heights of £1000 a month. This was after money put aside for tax, and there’d be other money from PRS and publishing and such, but that was our basic income. And then one day we had a meeting with our manager and it just stopped. I should have been paying more attention really. Contrary to popular belief I actually wanted to be in Aerosmith, and I didn’t really pay attention to that side of things. It went from ‘this is my job, this is how I make my living, and buy shoes and feed my children’ and literally overnight that ended. We ploughed on together for another year. Our last album, Libertine was in places a very good album, certainly the most consistent record we made, but frankly no-one was interested. The chimes of the bells of the year 2000 came in, and suddenly we were very old hat. There was talk of another record, and I found I couldn’t commit to it. I called a meeting and and told them ‘I can’t do this anymore’, it was literally a case of feeding my kids, or making a record. By then I had a job and I’d started working, it takes a year to make an album so... I ended the band. To be honest, not the love of music, but the love of making music had drained from me.
You had been working fairly intensively for the best part of a decade...
Fairly intensively, but it’s not a real job is it? I’ve had, and indeed I have, real jobs, from being a security guard to teaching and lots of things in between. "Removal man" was very entertaining. But yes, the industry as you’ll be more than well aware has a habit of sullying and tarnishing - it can take a lovely copper sculpture and throw shit on it. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. But I slowly found myself being lulled back into writing songs, and they were very beautiful, the songs I was writing. So for five years I bored everybody to the point of wanting to stab themselves in the spleen with the fact I was going to make a record, and eventually tired myself out and made one.
What came first, the idea of a stripped back album, or writing songs and deciding that was the best way to represent them?
It was after the first two songs. I sat down at a piano and I wrote ‘My Heart’s Designed For Pumping Blood’ and ‘Sing It Loud’, and after those two what I realised very quickly that the discipline of writing on one instrument was improving my songwriting no end. If I were an academic I’d write a paper called ‘The Great Indie Con’, of which occasionally, and I stress only occasionally, I have been part. It’s the great illusion of depth. It’s happened since the late 60s, certainly in the 80s and 90s ‘indie music’ writers, to put it bluntly, would occasionally throw a long word in so that the listener would never question the meaning of a song, and the art would be surrounded in mystery. But dig beneath the topsoil and you find that the vast majority of people writing songs in that idiom were conning people, because the songs meant nothing at all. They were literally rhyming, but as if they were referencing a dictionary, creating the illusion that the song had meaning and the listener was too stupid to get it, and I wanted to do the very opposite with these songs. The first thing I noticed improving was my ability as a lyricist. I was determined to take those great writers that I love, and the great songs that I love, and that can be ‘Love Me Tender’, or a Simon and Garfunkel song, or Carole King, and try and emulate the arrow sharp economy they have in their writing. That’s what I tried to do with this, and the process of doing this as just piano and voice helped to do that. So after those first two songs I took the decision that I’d try and write a whole album just for piano and voice. I wanted to get better as a writer.
It reminded me in places of John Lennon’s solo work, in the best possible way, as you say, that arrow sharp take, “I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m sorry that I made you cry...”
You’ve quoted probably the best Lennon song there. Absolutely. That and ‘Woman’ as well, which is an astonishing piece of writing. I’m not a great John Lennon fan if I’m honest, but what those songs understand is the emotional importance of writing melody. Writing lyrics is not the same as writing poetry, because you have this other thing with it, that is doing at any given moment a proportion of the emotional job that needs to be done. That combination of words and melody and everything they sit upon, it seems to me he really understood the mechanics of that, of songwriting. It’s simple but it comes in and strangles your heart.
I was trying to think of another artist who has made such a stripped back record...
The first two Billy Bragg albums? I’m not fit to clean his shoes frankly, as a writer he’s unsurpassed by anybody of the last thirty years, without exception. Again referencing those great songs, something like ‘Levi Stubbs Tears’, which opens with the line “with the money from the accident she bought herself a mobile home so at least she could get some enjoyment out of being alone”. I look at people like Chris Martin and think ‘you’re from some lesser planet, yet you try and create the illusion that your songs have as much meaning as that’ and they do not. They do not. They don’t deserve to be on the same continent.
It’s a surprisingly witty record as well...
Mine or Billy Bragg’s?
Well yours, but there’s a through line of wit between both. Something like ‘I Must Be Jesus’ and the line “and I mean that literally”...
There is a truth in camp, and there is a truth in humour. Sometimes. I understand that there are certain narratives about me that if I wanted to put in a song, need to be done in a certain way. And you know, I was a depressed child, but I also understand that trying to talk about that in a straight way would inevitably be mawkish, and I have no desire to do that. So I find you can find the truth in the humour.
Is it a thematically linked record, lyrically?
Not completely - but there are links, yes. It’s an imperfectly formed cobweb if you look at it like that. There are snapshots of my personal story that are linked only in the sense that I wanted to write about them. I’d say 8 out of 10 songs are autobiographical, so in a sense the theme is me.
Which are the ones that aren’t autobiographical?
Oh, that would be telling... My diction is excellent, you should have no problem deciphering the words. Liz Fraser I am not.
Looking at the way you’ve released, through pledge music, essentially self releasing - was that out of choice or necessity? Were there labels interested?
Oh, nobody gave a shit. This is the interesting thing when people release on Pledge - I understand that it’s largely because the industry isn’t interested. 90% of the time. And that’s no value judgment on their music. I think I’ve made a really beautiful album, but the truth is I’m 42, I’ve not made an album in a very long time and the last one I made didn’t sell very well. Let’s not try and pull the acrylic over people's eyes, that’s just the reality of it. If anyone was to use industry interest as a barometer of quality their clearly an idiot anyway. There were a couple of labels interested, but nothing concrete and it was a case of ‘I want to release this record’. There is this option, and that’s the way I’m going to do it. There were labels that picked up the phone and had a listen, but decided against it, and more fool them.
After your wilderness years...
...they didn’t feel like wilderness years. Curiously I don’t view my life through the prism of making records, but I understand your point. Go on..
...unless your were literally in a wilderness?
You mean on some sort of tundra on the outskirts of Uzbekistan? No.
...Were you expecting to find a fanbase still waiting for you?
There were unquestionably some people who really loved Gene and through social networks and such over the last couple of years I’ve been able to become linked to them. The numbers go up ten or fifteen people a day, and coming from a family of statisticians I have an inbuilt interest in numbers, and that’s a steady increase, but I do have to look back and think ‘well, we sold out the Albert Hall’, that’s 5,000 people. That’s a lot of people. There are more people out there- or maybe they were fly by night, or maybe they’re dead? Maybe they listened to too many Gene records? I always thought prozac should be given out with every CD.
The dying days of Britpop proved to be literally true in many cases...
Well now I wish I’d said that. Could you do it in my voice?
If a major had come along, one of the big dinosaur labels and said “we love this, we’ll put it out”, would you embrace that? Or are you enjoying the freedom of doing it yourself?
If it were a one album deal I’d potentially... it’d be nice to have a little bit more muscle behind the marketing of the record. I want people to hear it. That’s why things like this [interview] are important, and major labels do have that power. On the flipside, they’re run by deviants, in the main. Moral vacuums in mid-priced suits.
Is there a difference between people running labels now and 15 years ago?
Yes. I think they’re probably worse now... when we signed to Polydor in '95, I think it was, at the tail end of the reign of a guy called Jimmy Devilin, I only met him once or twice so I can’t judge him as a person, but I got the feeling he was the last of the old school music industry. In the 70s, record companies would take more risks, they’d sign a David Bowie. These days a record company would never touch a Bowie with a barge pole. They think they have, and that’s called Mika. But it’s not. We’d been signed to Polydor for six months or so, and he left and Lucian Grange, who now rules the world I believe, took over, and it was like a stereotypical story you’d see on a bad Channel 5 version of a band, of us sat with Lucian Grange playing him the demos of songs from our second album and him shouting at us ‘where’s the hits?’ It’s such a cliche, but it’s really disheartening when it happens. So to answer your question, would I sign to a major? Probably not. I’d love to sign to a small indie with a wealthy benefactor, I love the romance of a small label, signing things they love, having their huge success and carrying on signing things they love and going bankrupt. The tidal nature of indie records. But no. Nobody cared.
What did it feel like going back to performing. It had been seven years since you’d last sang?
Oh, it was completely natural, of course. That was easy. I enjoy it very much. The interesting thing about the shows thus far, and there’s been only nine or ten I think, is that I was guilty of this assumption that I as I got older I’d be playing to this audience of sophisticates, of cous cous eating Guardian readers, people who know how to pronounce ‘quinoa’, I did a couple of seated shows, the second was the Bloomsbury theatre in London, then the third gig was the Deaf Institute in Manchester and that was a standing show, and it was as riotous as the old Gene gigs. An hour and a half of piano and voice with people jumping up and down. It had that swirling sense of exuberation. So now I’m only doing standing shows.
Are you playing Gene songs?
I do three or four. In the main I’m not proud of all of them, and I won’t name names as I don’t want to defecate on the memories of people's favourite Gene songs, but there are some I remain immensely proud of. It tends to be the ones that are lyrically better, and I’ve reworked those for piano and voice, and they’re very celebrated. The one thing that scared me about playing live was that I didn’t want it to be nostalgic. I didn’t want it to be Bowie in Tin Machine with everyone going ‘shut the fuck up and play ‘Life On Mars’, and it’s testament to the quality of the songs and testament to the good ears of a lot of the fans that they’ve taken to all the new songs and are developing favourites. The barometer of noise for the announcement of songs on stage is as high for ‘Drop Anchor’ as it is for ‘Speak to Me Someone’ already, and it’s not even out. So thank God. Because I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be Butlins. I have to move forward. I couldn’t just be a fading Polaroid of what I used to be.
It must be tempting to do ‘Fighting Fit’ or ‘Olympian’ and know you can get the audience instantly onside?
But you can’t, when you’re stood on stage you notice people’s attention wavering. It would a case of me doing ‘Olympian’ and people thinking ‘okay, it’s probably two new songs before ‘Speak to me Someone’. It would be death by a thousand orders at the bar. It would be appalling, I couldn’t do that. But that really hasn’t been the case, and that’s lovely. I’m sure now would be a very apt time to reform Gene, but I would rather eat my own penis. Fried. With shallots.
Interestingly the height of Britpop reunions is when the Bluetones, for example, have split up.
Hmm. Well. I’m trying to be on best behaviour here... but... I don’t have a problem with any band who’ve kept together and kept working on new material and making a living out of art... what I do have a problem with is the monetization of nostalgia. For instance Dodgy have reformed recently but the first thing they did was make a new record. That I have no criticism of at all. But what I do object to are the paper thin excuses so many people have of turning what was held precious by their fans into cash cows. I find that obscene. It’s the worst kind of laissez-faire economics in the music industry, it’s anti-music. Anti-art. A pestilence on your houses.
I’d imagine the type of Gene fans who have stuck with you this long are a pretty discerning bunch, so it’s not a huge surprise the new material is well received?
They’re certainly the type of people who look a little deeper. I’m trying to phrase this in a way that actually reflects what I feel... I think it’s about sentiment as opposed to sentimentality. I think a lot of those people are those that form a genuine emotional connection with music. They’re not people that cry at a ‘Neighbours’ wedding scene. Does that make sense?
It does. I remember going to the Blur renunion show in Hyde Park a few years back and being taken aback by how boozy and laddy the audience was. I’d forgotten that their fanbase and Oasis’ was basically the same people at one point. It was a nostalgia crowd and that element was awful...
I think there’s a generation of people whose neurons were fused into a certain shape by Loaded magazine and the Gallaghers. We’ll see old peoples homes in thirty years with people trying to emulate their haircuts and replicate John Waynes’ gaite, but slightly saggier. I found that period of time really quite disturbing, because having grown up in the 80s and becoming so interested in politics in my mid to late to teens, to find the 90s rejecting, and rejecting in a fashionable way the strides that had been made by the feminist movement, the LGBT community, and rejecting the strides that had been made in race relations. That whole period of time. If you think about Loaded magazine - it’s the boozed up patriarchy, it’s clearly hideously sexist but also the way it used homosexuality as titillation for men. I might be wrong, but I don’t recall ever seeing a black face on the cover of that magazine, and that culture and those magazines that walked hand in hand with that sort of individualistic, boozy, laddie culture, with the worst side of football - and I love football - it made misogyny and prejudice fashionable. Looking back at it with fifteen years retrospect it was a very dangerous time. We’re still seeing the effects of it.
Presumably that was your audience too though? A song like ‘Fighting Fit’ would have sat quite comfortably on one of those Shine compilations next to ‘Roll With It’ and Shed Seven?
But that was through no fault of our own. We realised very quickly that there was absolutely nothing we could do about that. We were a British four-piece white male guitar band, how on earth could we possibly avoid being pulled onto that train? What was quite interesting is that, if you showed a dissenting voice you were seen as a quirky anomaly worth a little investigation by the press, but nothing more. Because everyone knows Oasis sell papers.
You could write for that audience though... you presumably still can?
I don’t really write songs for any demographic.
But you’ve got a knack for an everyman anthem and a sing-a-long chorus’ too...
And there’s nothing wrong with that. Noel Gallagher has a marvellous ear for a sing-a-long melody. And yes, I can write a soaring melody, but what I would hope is that the fans that have stuck by it don’t just appreciate it on that first-point-of-contact level. I’m rare in even how I listen to music - I can’t like a record with a bad lyric, I find it impossible. What I need to get from it is the feeling that the person who has written that has something they are trying to achieve, whether it’s a story they’re conveying very simply to experimenting with the artform. What I don’t want is people using experimentation with the art form to cover bad writing, like walking through the snow with a twig brush behind you to cover your footprints.
Can you think of any who’s doing it well?
The best lyrics at the moment are in quote-unquote ‘pop’ songs, because at least they meet criteria number one, which is to make sense. And that’s all they tend to do. I do hear good records. Rarely. Connor from Villagers needs to be heard more. I probably played their first album more than any record in the last five years. I’d love to sit with him and ask him about the words. I think he’s more Dylan Thomas than Dylan from the Magic Roundabout. I think the James Blake album is astonishing. I don’t find it a very easy listen, but you do get the impression that he has put an enormous amount of thought and craft, god I sound like Alan Hanson, but it sounds like one of those records that might progress music a little bit forward. Although he’s clearly like me a middle class boy, and the affectation of dropping his consonants annoys me.
It surprised me how good that album was, bearing in mind the way it was marketed-
Yes, there was this nonsense that he was the future of dubstep, and that seems far too small a box to put him in. He’s far more eclectic and wide.
Are you on top of genres and movements?
I don’t need to keep on top of it, we haven’t talked about this because it’s a little dull, but I’ve been teaching music for eight years to 16, 17, 18, 19 year olds, so they tell me. I have 200 ears to the ground.
Since you’re now a teacher are you interested in making performing and recording your living again? Is this something you’re just doing as a side to the rest of your life?
Well, for the last month I’ve probably been working til midnight on these things. Last night I was working until 4.15am and then was up at half past eight with my children, I was up scoring something. Would I love to do this as a living again? Of course! Yes! I want people to go out and buy the record in their hundreds and thousands, and I know that’s a pipe dream because people don’t buy records, I know it’s a generation thing, and most artists tend to appeal to people of their age, I understand that. I certainly don’t buy as many records as I used to. When I was 18 I would spend every spare hour scouring the shelves of Our Price. Of course I’d like to make a living from this record. I think the record’s astonishing...
I think it’s hands down the best set of songs you’ve written...
Thank you. I challenge you to name a better collection of songs released by anyone in the last two years. That was the aim, I knew I needed to come back with something brilliant. I’ve been writing music for 30 years and if I am not making a record that I consider to be my favourite record in the world then I’m failing in my craft. I should be able to write a record that personally I love more than any other. I can’t think of another I like as much, I don’t think that’s an arrogant thing, I think it’s me finally being pretty good at what I want to achieve. It drives me insane, I want to break peoples noses when I hear people say they don’t listen to their own songs. Why would you make it then? I remember Ian Brown saying he was the best singer in the world to much derision, and I totally support him in that, I think you need that.
It strikes me as a very cinematic album. And this isn’t in any way criticism because last year they used The Smiths, but there’s things on here that could be on the better class of John Lewis advert...
There’s a couple of things about that phenomenon. One is that publishing companies, for years, made most of their income from ‘mechanical royalties’ (records and CD’s) and it was only two years ago that it was overtaken by ‘syncronisation royalties’ as the main income stream. I understand the importance of that. But I won’t budge on my morals on such things. Years ago, in the band, I vetoed several Gene songs being put on some quite high profile adverts because I morally didn’t agree with the product. One was perfume, one was a car advert and I didn’t want to be part of that particularly industry. That’s why, going back to Blur, that I’m astonished and shocked that they haven’t pulled ‘The Universal’ from that British Gas advert. It’s an absolute disgrace to be supporting a company that’s SO deeply morally bankrupt. None of them need any money, that’s clearly obvious, and to be well aware that they’re being used to sell something that’s deeply damaging to society, from an environmental point of view, from the point of view of people paying the bills. All energy companies are abhorrent, of course, but British Gas are the most abhorrent. I’m astonished. And nobody seems to challenge them on this. You’d read 70s NME and pop and politics would walk hand in hand, and no-one seems to care anymore that a band who were seen as credible and a bit left-thinking are doing this. I’m absolutely astonished. It sickens to my core.
Considering their drummer wanted to be a Labour MP...
I know! Dave Rowntree, pull your socks up. Sort it out.
So that’s a ‘no’ on the advert then?
Although, listen, if there’s a lovely piece of art that someone wants to put my music too, I’d be more than happy for that. That can be quite charming. I think the lack of thought that can go into music to accompany visuals is shocking. The worst perpetrators is ‘Homes Under the Hammer’, if they have a guest on who had a degree in chemistry a song with the word ‘chemistry’ comes in, they’re arguing about when they’ll finish the building job, so ‘What A Difference A Day Makes’ comes in. There’s a certain humour I suppose. The programming of music is incredibly lazy.
This is one of the obvious questions... the title of the record. It’s a great title, I just wondered what your thinking behind it was?
Oh come on. You’re clearly an intelligent man. Clearly. Come on. Talk me through it... I’ll make noises if you’re warm or cold. I know that you know.
Well you’re suffering, there’s pain and acceptance. You canonise yourself... you could swap ‘defenestration’ for ‘crucifixion’... unless it’s literal, where you literally thrown out of a window?
Well it’s canonising myself, and then throwing that canonised version out of the window. I’m sort of loathe to over-explain. It took a while. I actually... no I won’t demystify the process. Well... There’s a degree of self mockery, calling myself St Martin, that’s clear. I looked at about 800 words with the suffix ‘tion’- ‘vexation’, ‘admiration’... it evokes those 15th century paintings of saints. It’s pompous and self mocking at the same time. But I’m pompous and self mocking, ‘I Must Be Jesus’ is pompous and self mocking. I find a lot of truth on that line between pomposity and self deprecation.
You finish a piano/voice record with 30 seconds of a full rock band, where did that come from?
I wanted to point to the future. A hopeful future. I don’t really want to make another piano voice record, though I might. I have visions for music I’d like to make, I can score - I can write for brass and strings, and there’s music I’d like to make that I simply cannot afford. Some sort of approximation wouldn’t do them justice. The idea of having the full band. Essentially it’s my other band, Call Me Jolene, on the end of the record. It's to have a hint, just a hint of the sort of noise I’d to make next.
Do you pine for being the lead singer of a band again?
Not especially. I do like being in a band. I was always quite jealous of the others in Gene for how they made their noise. We’d go on long tours, and I like to drink but no-one else in the band was expected to pour alcohol over their instrument every night, so I found touring quite disciplined, because if I wasn’t the performances would suffer. I’d be the sober person on tour, and the social implications of being the one person in a group of a band and crew who are all drinking are quite obvious.
Are you touring this album much?
We’re doing five or six shows and then we’ll see next year. At the minute at the level I am with sales, I don’t really know what happens next. To do any more than that would spread things a little thinly - I don’t know how many people would show up. I’m hoping lot’s of people, but there’s always the distinct possibility that you play to 14 people and a stray lapdog in Wolverhampton.
Are you prepared for that? It seems unlikely.
Oh yes, I’ll still be marvelous. I genuinely will be.
What are your hopes for this record’?
My expectations ebb and flow from one day to the next. The worst cast scenario is that I sell 3,000 records. Which is distinctly possible.
That doesn’t sound that bad for a ‘worst case’? Or is it a case that for someone who has sold a million records 3,000 is a drop in the ocean?
That’s a very fair point. 3,000 records barely covers the cost of making records, the promotion, paying people. Manufacturing £5,000, Mechanical Royalty, £4,000, press and PR another £4/£5000, merchandise another £3000, I’m very au-fait with these figures. I understand your point, I don’t mean to seem flippant, but i don’t think 3,000 sales would allow me to make another record. And frankly I think the world would be a better place if I did. It’s one of those curious things. If for instance we were to get a phone call from Jools Holland tomorrow inviting us onto the show, you could double that figure instantly, maybe even triple it. I’ve been lucky in that so far the reviews, the main three I’ve had from Mojo, Uncut and Q have all been incredibly positive, 4 stars, and 8/10, the best reviews I’ve ever had, we’re starting to get air play- but it takes a lot of persuasion to get people to actually commit to spending money on a record. If I sold 10,000 records now I’d be absolutely delighted. Occasionally I dream it does half a million, like everybody does, of course I do. I dream the perfect storm. If I were a betting man, I’d have a punt on 5 or 6,000 which is... frankly not enough. Not in the context of last time I was making records, and frankly not for something this damn good. It’s a fine piece of art. Don’t get me wrong, I share that depression with other records where I think ‘why aren’t you idiots buying this?’ When the Redskins album came out I bought ten copies to give to people - not enough people do that.
Most people can’t afford ten copies of an album to give to their friends...
I robbed the local post office, at the risk of sounding like I’m trying to grab some working class gangster chic. The industry I was in was a completely different shade of shit to the one I’m in now. It’s amazing how many shades of shit there are. I just don’t know if I’m going to be thoroughly depressed at the end of this process or ecstatic. The latter, I hope, of course. I’ve invested everything in this. It’s five years of songwriting. It would depress me just as a music fan, and then of course there’s the personal investment. That would be horrendous.
I view the ten songs on this record as really important. I sit at home, and I play them and I think ‘if only people could hear this?’ ‘Three Points on a Compass’ especially, the feedback I’ve had from men who’ve had poor relationships with their fathers saying this is the first time in the history of pop music they’ve heard something that’s dealt with this in such an impactful way, and it resonates deeply with young men. And that needs to be heard. They should cancel Eastenders and just play that song. Glue people to their futons and turn the volume up.
Back to the syncing issue...
Not a sync. Blank screen - my song. I like Eastenders, so only for a week. With Coronation Street, a couple of weeks, Emmerdale- a year and a half.
The Defenestration of St Martin will be released on Monday 26th November in collaboration with Pledge Music.
Forthcoming live dates include:
Tue 20 - Electric Circus, Edinburgh
Wed 21 - The Open, Norwich
Thu 22 - Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
Sun 25 - Deaf Institute, Manchester
Mon 26 - Borderline, London
Tue 27 - Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
You can read more about the Pledge campaign here