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30/03/11

The charmingly named site 'Slicing Up Eyeballs' have a new interview with Paddy, revealing still more details behind the making of Let's Change the World With Music.  They also appear to be giving away copies of the US edition, if you can get here before April 8th.  Thanks to John Austin for flagging this up.


21/03/11

Sorry about the gap between news posts this time, Sprouters - I was waiting for a piece of news that did not arrive.  Worse, I lost the file I keep to remind me what to put in each post, so if you sent me something for the site in the last couple of months, please get in touch again.

One thing I didn't forget was that John Birch, writer of the only existing book on the Sprouts, has given it to all of you to download (link now deleted at author's request).  He also reports that he has some spare copies of the only existing songbook on the Sprouts, for guitar and piano - if you want one, you only have to drop him an email.  He also sent in this photo of some authentic Prefab badges - not bad huh?


06/02/11

Quite a digest today.  First things first... don't forget about the competition I mentioned in my last post.  You still have till the 21st Feb to enter, and I reckon you're in with a very good chance of winning one of those signed CDs.

Next: a slew of articles from a generous contributor named Jim Farmer.  Interviews with Paddy, by Sylvie Simmons in 'Creem' magazine in 1986 (here), by Karen Schoemer in 1988 (here), and a review of Jordan: The Comeback by Ira Robbins from 'Entertainment' in October 1990 (here.)  He has also provided the picture from the latter review in jpg form, and one of him and Paddy at Shepherd's Bush Empire in 2000 for the 'images' page - big thanks to Jim for all this material.

There is also a brand new interview with Paddy, circa February 4th 2011, online at the Huffington Post (scroll past the Bruce Cockburn info to find it, unless you're a Bruce fan!)  Thanks to ronchito for alerting us to that piece.

Then there are some videos on YouTube I haven't seen before - The Golden Calf on 'The Hippodrome Show', and a double header, Cars & Girls / Hey Manhattan.  Anyone with further information on these videos is invited to come forward and get in touch.

Have you heard of a man named Burton Cummings?  He was in a band called 'The Guess Who'.  Rock Smith found him blogging (entirely in capitals) on the subject of Paddy and the Sprouts, which he has filed under 'philosophy'.  Worth a read perhaps.

And finally...something I expect to be mentioning a lot more in future...John Birch, writer of the only existing book on the Sprouts is in the advanced stages of producing an updated sequel.  He wanted me to give out his email address, and encourage 'inquiries of any nature.'  We all wish him very the best of luck.


19/01/11

Today I have details of another chance to win a signed copy of the US release of Let's Change the World with Music.  Those good souls at Tompkins Square have given me a press release with the facts:

Prefab Sprout's North American label, Tompkins Square, is looking for fans to sign up as 'street team' members and spread the word about the new album!

All you need to do is print the attached flyer and post in at least ten high traffic, high profile areas (please DO NOT post where you might get a summons, like a stop sign, etc.) Then take some pictures and post them on Flickr. Send a link to info@tompkinssquare.com. See if local record stores and clubs and coffeehouses will help you out.

The label will select the ten best jobs, and the winners will receive a CD signed by Paddy McAloon!  Run dates: 18th Jan - 21st Feb. Winners announced on prefabsprout.net on March 1st.

There you have it, get cracking!  That's not all, either; our regular hero bisonrav persuaded a blogger to upload a previously unheard Sprout bootleg, from Kings Collge, London, on the 28th January 1984.  It can be downloaded in full from the above link.

Forum member rivermoving spotted this previously unseen interview on YouTube, originally from the unfortunately named childrens' programme 'Get Fresh' in 1988.  And finally, a gentleman named Porky Prime Cut (please get some proper names boys) found this brilliant, cheery version of the Steve McQueen cover, with a few more examples of the art here.


22/12/10

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all you fine Sprout fans! Unless you don't celebrate Christmas, in which case Happy Holidays...unless you follow the Chinese calendar, in which case, Happy New Year for February 3rd.  You get the idea.

Martin McAloon asked me to draw your attention to a short piece he's written about Captain Beefheart, a.k.a. Don Van Vliet, who sadly died earlier this week.  'Hope you like it / liked him - he wrote some great stuff,' was Martin's comment, and I was too embarrassed to say that I had heard of him, but never been tempted to listen.  Still time to put that right!

In the Guardian, 9/12/10, some British celebrities were asked to identify their 'musical obsessions.'  Poet Simon Armitage named Steve McQueen, explaining himself as follows:

I was on the dole, listening to post-punk. Normally, I wouldn't have listened to anything with such a silky production, but Prefab Sprout's indie background made them credible. Steve McQueen was almost a guilty pleasure. I had my first car, a hand-me-down Lada. Driving it was like being behind a ship's wheel, but this album sounded great on the cassette player. I think of it as a flawless album: witty and ornate lyricism in a pop format. Every song sounds better than the last; there's that sense of incremental brilliance. It's very close-miked; it feels like he's singing to you. I think Paddy McAloon always wanted to sound like Gershwin or something, and this was just as far in that direction as I wanted him to go. I saw an interview with him last year, and he had a big beard and a boating jacket. I didn't recognise him at all.

You can read the full article here if you so wish.  Thanks to Kev Tinsley for pointing it out.

Two other festive treats: Joakim Milder has uploaded the first track from his forthcoming Sprout covers album onto MySpace, for you to investigate (it's 'Couldn't Bear to Be Special', in a jazz instrumental style), and a chap called Gordon has written an excellent Sprout-related article on his sci-fi blog.  That's a full lid for 2010 - hope all this will keep you going till I return.


04/12/10

A small update today.  A few people asked if I would post the first names of the three lucky fans who won the CDs, for the sake of history - they were Mick from Ireland, Steve from the USA, and Lucano from Croatia.  A great international selection!

News arising: Chris directed me to a recent interview with Neil, mainly about his new recording studio, and Simon Frank linked me to a song he'd recorded called: 'Please Paddy Sing' (no prizes for guessing what it might be about!)  You can listen to it here.


24/11/10

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition - three winners have been chosen and notified, hopefully you were one of the lucky ones.  To remove the temptation of doing anything underhand, I carried out the draw on a third-party draw site; you can check everything was done legitimately here.  Again, thanks for entering; if you didn't win, my commiserations - hopefully this won't be the last competition I do!


09/11/10

(Readers of the archive take note: the competition detailed below closed on the 23rd November 2010)

Some big news today.  As mentioned above, we have some signed CDs to give away in a competition, which is being run in conjunction with the good people at Tompkins Square records, who released Let's Change the World with Music in the USA late last month.  To promote this, they arranged several interviews with Paddy; a Q&A with Stars' Torquil Campbell, as posted previously, and two new ones this weekend - on PopMatters, conducted by Russ Slater (thanks to Russ himself and Gene for sending me the link), and on the A.V. Club, conducted by Noel Murray (thanks to Phil, Ketil and Chris for telling me about that one.)

Why do I mention these articles?  Tompkins Square have sent me a a short quiz, for which you will need to consult the interviews (and possibly their page for the album here.)  Once you have the answers, email them to me (jamie@prefabsprout.net), with the subject line 'Sprouts Competition', and the winners will be chosen at random.  You have till noon, GMT, on Tuesday 23rd November.  Here are the questions:

1) The US version of 'Let's Change The World With Music' on Tompkins Square differs from the European version in that it is housed in a ____________ instead of a plastic jewel case.

2) Stars' Torquil Campbell is a huge fan. Which other prominent Canadian band was he also a member of ?

3) In Torquil's Q&A, Paddy reveals that his three favorite songs by other people are :  ___________________________

4) What was the North American release date for Tompkins Square's version of the album ?

5) Who interviewed Paddy for Onion A/V Club ?

Best of luck with those!  And of course you'd be upset if I didn't upload the magazine scans and photos I promised a couple of weeks back - you'll find the pictures in a new section in the gallery, they were found and scanned for me by Alison McKelvie, who it seems was around the band in the 1980s (sorry Alison, I lost your email with the exact details, please get back in touch!)  And the magazine scans were sent in by Martin Boorman; they come from 'Blitz' Issue 34, May 1985, and can be seen here - brilliant stuff!  I'm hoping to put together a proper 'press' section for all these articles before the year is out; I've only just realised we need one.


27/10/10

Let's Change The World With Music was released in the U.S. yesterday - if you missed my last news post, you can check it out on Amazon.com.  Forum member ronchito found a few reviews, from The Onion, AllMusic, and ESD Music - if you see any more (of a decent length and tone) drop me an email.  He also dug up this great interview between Torquil Campbell (of 'Stars') and his hero.

Stefan Westman identified a previously unheard version of 'Faron Young' in Kevin Kline's new film The Extra Man.  Research later proved it was an edit of the 2007 acoustic version, but still, possibly worth some attention.

Jeff Liberty of the band 'Miracle Heartache' sent in a cover version of 'Appetite', which he suggested I could upload to the site - you can download it here (right click, 'save as').

Bertrand Vanryssel found some videos on a French website that we haven't seen before - they are perhaps most notable for containing yet another variation on facial hair for Paddy, and you can see them here (then click the thumbnails.)

Forum member rock smith found a remix of 'Wild Horses' (entitled 'Extra Time') by a DJ called Star Slinger, which I actually thought was pretty good - you can listen to that here.  Thanks to everyone who sent stuff in recently, I have a couple of magazine scans and a set of previously-unseen photos coming up soon.


13/10/10

Thanks to Josh and Steve for letting me know that Let's Change The World With Music is about to be officially released in the USA, on Tompkins Square Records.  It's due out on the 26th; there's a short article about it here, and previously frustrated US readers may wish to consult the listing on Amazon.com.

It appears journalist and sometime Scritti Politti member Rhodri Marsden has been covering classic Sprout tracks and sticking them online - doing a very nice job too.  He has produced a version of 'Don't Sing', found by forum member joulupukki, and a version of 'The World Awake' dug out by Rae.

An interesting charity project has been developing on the Sproutnet forums, involving former Sprout drummer Mick Salmon, the ever dynamic bisonrav, and a wedding.  Well worth a look (and possibly some money), you can read more here.

Rock Smith dug up another TV performance of 'Cars & Girls', which you can view with a click here.  Also tonight, I discovered bisonrav has a YouTube channel full of Sprout goodies - items previously unreported here include a performance of 'Goodbye Lucille #1' from the Old Grey Whistle Test (here), an interview with Martin and Wendy on the 'Wide Awake Club' (here), 'Golden Calf' on the 'Hippodrome Show' (here), 'Appetite' on 'Bliss' (here), 'When Love Breaks Down' on 'Wogan' (here), and five new TV interviews with Paddy.  If that's not enough to keep you going for a while, I don't know what is.


19/09/10

A couple of points arising: Kate Walsh has released a new album of covers, one of which is a very decent version of the Sprouts' 'When Love Breaks Down.'  The album can be found on amazon here, and (as rock smith kindly pointed out) you can hear the song here.

Stuart Eggleston went to a museum in Sunderland, to see an exhibition on the 'North East Music Scene', and noticed a small exhibit about the Sprouts and Kitchenware.  It has closed now, but he sent me a couple of pictures: this one, and this one, a letter from a journalist named Julie Burchill who was most impressed by the band (except their name.)

A gentleman named Chris found this video that former Sprouts drummer Neil Conti has been heavily involved with; in fact he plays drums and bass on the song, and was involved in production.  There are a few more tracks here.  And a last thing for now - this article, originally posted by Jeremy, has been attracting some interest on the forums for its passionate defence of The Gunman and Other Stories.  Not topical perhaps, but a brilliant read.

As ever, if you are sitting on any interesting Sprout-related trivia or media, get it emailed in - our operators are ready and waiting to take your mails!


31/07/10

Very quiet on the Sprout front at present, readers.  However, today I would like to bring your attention to this new bootleg recording, found for me by bisonrav (who else!), originally in the attic of a music blogger with excellent taste - except when listening to Wendy's soundcheck (see story on link.)  Get it while you can!


07/05/10

It's been a while, Sprouters - but if I have been slightly snowed under with some other commitments, the Sprout world has been as busy as ever.  Perhaps the best news is a charity project which the mysterious 'bisonrav' (hailed as 'Sprout fan of the year' by some) has spearheaded, supporting the work of The Sage, Gateshead, which 'bison' says is 'literally changing the world with music.'  Wendy and Martin are linked to The Sage, and anecdotal evidence has Wendy shedding a tear when the first donation was presented.  All the information you need is in the first post here.

I've got the usual hoard of interviews and articles to upload, but not today I'm afraid.  I just want to pass on the following crucial bit of news - Joakim Milder has confirmed his album of 'jazz instrumental' Sprout covers, working title 'Quoted Out of Context', with the tracklist being:

1. Couldn't Bear to be Special
2. Doo-wop in Harlem
3. Anne Marie
4. I Trawl the Megahertz
5. Dragons
6. Andromeda Heights
7. Nightingales
8. God Watch Over You
9. Jesse James (Symphony and Bolero)
10. Pearly Gates

He has this to say: Some of the interpretations are quite faithful to the original versions and some are quite massively reworked, but always with love and care…  Anyway, I’m happy with the result, and I’ll let you have a taste when mixing is completed, probably by mid June.


29/03/10

In response to news of a supposed single release, Lee Redfern has plied Kitchenware for information, and recieved the following statement:

'Sweet Gospel Music' was due to be a one track digital release, only to highlight the album, but unfortunately received no airplay therefore was pulled.

So much for that!  To offset this loss, bisonrav has tracked down a two-page spread from 'Everything Counts' magazine, Vol. 1 No. 6, Aug-Nov 1985, featuring an interview with Paddy.  It's well worth a look, and can be viewed (or downloaded) here.


21/03/10

An article appeared by Paddy in the Telegraph on Saturday 13th, discussing the occasion when he recorded with Stevie Wonder - and, thanks to the dilligent efforts of Stewart, you can see it here.  There's a great picture, and some intriguing soundbites, particularly the following:

'...we released eight albums in 17 years, but we recorded many more, some of which I've started releasing. [...]  I'm still chipping away at it, writing, recording and releasing records.'

Rather an optimistic view there!  As if to prove his point, the article ends by claiming 'Prefab Sprout's new single, 'Sweet Gospel Music', is out on Monday.'  We can presume they meant Monday 15th, but no-one has seen any sign of this single, or mention of it anywhere except in this article.  So it's another mystery!

If that has whet your 'appetite', a partial translation of a French interview with Paddy, apparently brand-new and up to date, can be read here, thanks to forum member fredster.


06/03/10

Hello Sprouters, plenty for you to get your teeth into this week.  Firstly, David Merrheim has sent in a new 12-minute audio interview with Paddy, which he recorded off French station 'Europe 2' in 1997.  It's well worth a listen, and can be downloaded here.

Ola Sjostrand sent in this report of Thomas Dolby's gig on February 28th:

Yesterday, I went to see the Thomas Dolby gig 'Circumnavigating the Flat Earth' @ the Union Chapel, Islington, London. This offered a rare opportunity to see Wendy Smith and Martin Mcaloon on stage with Thomas Dolby performing a couple of songs with him. The obvious question came up about when Paddy is planning to release anything new and Martin's response was basically not anytime soon...

Also on getting back together as the Prefab Sprout both Martin and Wendy did not think that would ever happen.  In any case both seemed to enjoy themself on stage and for me it was great to hear Wendy sing after all these years!

A typically bleak outlook for the future, but seems like a good time was had by all.  Ola also took this great picture at rehearsals, and Stewart found this picture of all the participants, which has Wendy and Martin one-in from either end.  Further pictures, collected from twitter by Rivermoving, can be seen here.

Forum member bisonrav, only a few weeks ago responsible for the new gigography, has started a project which involves remastering the live videos from the videos section.  So far he has tackled the videos from the Fleadh festival, in 2000, and you can see the improved versions of those here, here and here.

Last but not least, Tristara has struck 'so deep a chord,' and compiled some tabs for 'Earth: The Story So Far', which you can get hold of here.


24/02/10

The Sprout world has been busy.  First, you should pay a visit to the Prefab Sprout Gigography, set up by forum member bisonrav, who referred to it as his 'life's work' (and I'm not certain he was joking.)  If you have any further information about any Sprout live appearance, contact details can be found on the site.  He'd much appreciate it.

Secondly, the new videos that appeared in January have surfaced on YouTube, appearing on the mysterious (but seemingly official) channel 'prefabsprouttv'.  Check it out here, particularly the newly discovered videos for 'Don't Sing' and 'All The World Loves Lovers.' 

Forum members have noticed that some of the early 90's videos were filmed in the same session, and can be watched in a sequence, linking into one another - if you want to try it, it runs as follows: If You Don't Love Me, All The World Loves Lovers, Life of Surprises, and I Remember That.

Next, the full interview from KCRW in 1988 has emerged.  You can download it here (set some time aside, it's 48 megs, nearly an hour of chat).  A remastered version of the acoustic piano medley from that session is also available, and can be grabbed here.

Excitingly named forum member lonegroover sourced another audio interview, this one from 2003, from Richard Allinson's late night Radio 2 show, discussing 'I Trawl the Megahertz.'  Grab it here.

Forum member Fredster found a couple of Sprout performances on France's INA Archive - 'Hey Manhattan!' and 'The King of Rock 'n' Roll.'  Legendary locator Stewart found this article, from 'the Mirror' in 2001, which I enjoyed.  And that's your lot for now!


04/02/10

A short post today, with one piece of news - Tim Linnell has unearthed a 'new' video, the Sprouts performing 'Appetite' at Barcelona's Primavera Festival in 1986, which you can see here.  I did say 'performing,' not 'playing', but still worth a look.

It appears the tabs I posted in the previous update were the work of many people, Kev Tinsley reports:

'Jaime gave me the first two lines, Trist a corrected chord for line 2. I then tabbed the rest of the song. Then Brother John tidied that up with some corrections. Team effort.'

Inspiring, isn't it!


31/01/10

Some quite exciting news today, at least for anyone who can access the UK iTunes store.  This link should send you to listings for twelve Prefab Sprout videos avaliable for purchase, two of which I've never seen before - so chances are you haven't either, at least recently.  Thanks are due to Jeremy Stamps for spotting these.

For those without iTunes, or abroad, don't despair - Lee (or imarcopolo from the forums) has spotted that 'Jinski' have uploaded a new video of him/them live at the Sage, featuring the Sprouts' own Wendy.  This is on facebook, and you'll find it here.

We've had a late review for the 'Let's Change the World' reviews page, from Rachel Gilbert, during which she points out the similarity of the intro for 'Meet the New Mozart' to the Postal Service's track 'Such Great Heights.'  What do you think?  Remember though, Paddy was doing his a decade earlier!

And to round things off nicely, we have a new set of tabs for 'Love Will Find Someone For You', deduced by Kev Tinsley and brother john.  Best of luck with those!


21/01/10

A new interview has surfaced - originally posted on Fernando Higa's site in December, the original is in Spanish here, and in (slightly broken) English here.  At time of writing, this is our most recent word from Paddy, and he claims to be still working on 'Zero Attention Span', whilst adding another lost album to the ever-expanding list: 'Enter the Trumpets.'

I have a few other bits to post - Tim Linnell sent in this article from 1990, which I can't remember seeing before.  Juan Carlos linked to Thomas Dolby's describing the Sprouts' career here, parts of which I'm sure are new.  And finally, this message board post (coincidentally the 2500th topic posted) made me smile a couple of weeks ago, definitley worth a quick look.


04/01/10

Happy New Year to all Sproutnet visitors, and best of luck for the coming decade.  The noughties saw four new Sprout releases, and I think we'd all be pleased to see the next one match up...

Today I have the audio interviews I have been promising for so long; the first is from 1984, backstage in Manchester, and was provided by forum members timon and rock smith (though what roles they played is unclear.)  But it is a brilliant listen, and can be downloaded here (right click and save as, you know the score.)

From the same year is an interview from 'Greenwich Sound Radio', again passed on by rock smith, who in turn credited someone called Bob.  (People - let me have your real names, if you want a bit of decent credit!)  If you have downloaded it elsewhere, you may still want to get it from my link here, as I have edited out the songs (which you presumably already have) and cleaned it up a bit.

Our third piece is from the 25th August 1990, and was conducted by Richard Skinner, airing on BBC Radio 1.  This was another bit of teamwork, and thanks go to rivermoving and Mr Tein for their efforts.  You can download that one here.

We also have an obscure magazine interview for you, again uploaded by rock smith, from the Manchester-based fanzine 'Acrylic Daze', this edition published in 1985.  You can see it here, here, and here - look out for some particularly charming classified ads on the final page.

And a few extra notes; higher quality versions of the KCRW interview tracks ('Nightingales' and 'Wichita Lineman') have come to my attention, if you haven't grabbed them yet, see the links above.  Also, Mick Lynch emailed to report the Sprouts high placing in this 'albums of the year' poll.

If you spot any more polls, or indeed articles and interviews, please let me know.  I can't wait to see if we'll keep up the established pace of new discoveries in 2010...watch this space to find out!


11/11/09

So it's time for the long-promised 'interviews' update.  Before we get into those, however, forum member Cibachrome Blue has spotted an extremely wise post by Thomas Dolby on his website, reviewing 'Let's Change the World' and giving us some background info on the struggle to get it produced.  You can read it here.

Our first interview was sent in by Joe Costello, and comes from Q magazine, in December 1988.  As ever, it's totally different from anything we've read before, and is a fascinating insight into the time when 'Jordan' was one of the unreleased projects we could be teased about...you can read it here, here, and here.

Miranda Diboll has sent in a short but witty interview from the London Metro magazine in 1999, which you can have a browse through hereJ.P.M. Thursfield has provided a review of Jordan from the first issue of 'Vox' magazine, September 1990, viewable here, as well as a four-part interview from our old friends 'Mojo' in May 1997, revealing why Dolby didn't produce 'Andromeda', among other things.  You can see that here, here, here, and then here.

I shall leave you to ponder those for a while, and return soon with three audio interviews that I've been sitting on (metaphorically) for a good few weeks.


28/10/09

Hello again Sprout fans, sorry for neglecting the site lately - it's been a busy month!  Quite a backlog has built up since I was last on, so get yourself settled in and prepare for a long haul.

First, the Japanese release of LCTWWM had no bonus track at all, thanks to everyone who emailed in to report that.  Forum member blueroses5327 took things a stage further, writing to Sony's Japanese headquarters, who told us the bonus track 'project' was 'aborted.'  Another dream down the pan!

However, there are a couple of releases to get excited about - first there is this excellent looking release involving orchestral versions of classic pop songs, including 'Andromeda Heights.'  You can even listen to samples on the link; though no word on a worldwide release yet.  Thanks to forum member Porky for spotting this.

Also, Mark Magrs' book, set in County Durham, about a young lad who loves the Sprouts, is now out in paperback, apparently revised and updated!  For more info see this forum thread, or check it out on amazon here.

Next up, Martin (from the band) emailed in having noticed that Sondre Lerche's track 'I Cannot Let You Go' is crammed full of Sprout references.  You should be able to listen to it here, on the 'featured tracks' player.  He also reported that a key line from legendary unheard Sprout song 'Snowy Rents a Dog' is: 'The loveless lonely sometimes jog, but poor old snowy, rents a dog.'  I felt like I should pass that on.

And now, news of a live Sprout appearance!  (Almost.)  Thomas Dolby 'twittered' a report that Martin and Wendy would be 'guest stars' at his gig in London on February 28th, which has since been confirmed.  Before you all rush to book tickets, I should mention they will only be playing/singing on one song, the charmingly named 'I Scare Myself.'  Some sort of streaming will allegedly be available on the net, but we'll keep you informed.

James Fogle has recorded two brilliant versions of the Sprout song 'Dublin,' which you can hear on his myspace here, or download here and here.  Oh, and John Green sent in guitar tabs for the acoustic version of 'Appetite' and 'Music is a Princess,' which you can see by clicking the titles.  I think that's enough Sprout stuff for now - but I have seven new(ish) interviews to upload here soon, so do remember to check back.


01/10/09

Takeshi Kimi wrote in to confirm that the Japanese pressing of 'Let's Change The World With Music' will have one bonus track, and will be released on October 21st.  Also, he reports that paper-sleeve/remastered versions of the other albums will be released on the same day, and buying all of them at once will get you a specially designed box to hold them!

It's a mystery why this isn't going on anywhere else, and some older emails have cast suspicion on just how 'remastered' the Japanese versions really are, but they are still worth keeping an eye on.  Magnus Sall translated the bonus track's name as 'truck 1 tune recording schedule' - I'd love to hear your guesses on the significance of that.

A few new articles for you today as well.  Stephen Schnee has written a lengthy review for this music mag's blog, and Kenneth Walsh sent this nifty overview of the Sprouts' career, and his appreciation for them.  The press machine is still rolling on!  And finally, Lee Redfern dug up a brilliant article from Q magazine in 1997, filling in some more fascinating pieces of the Sprout story.  Your best bet is to right click here and 'save as,' it's a fairly big file.


27/09/09

One more interview has appeared, sent in and conducted by Hanspeter Kuenzler, and you can see it here.  He reckons he did it just after Arnd Zeigler finished up his, and adds that he'd 'rarely enjoyed an interview as much as this one,' and that 'it is very rare indeed to come across someone like Paddy in my job, an artist who is so generous with his time and his thoughts.'

Thanks for the many people who wrote in pointing out that the 'Wendy Solo' track was just a mono mix of the right-hand stereo, and to Jim Williams who remembered it was part of the Wendy Smith Webcorner, last updated ten years ago.

Finally, there are rumours that the Japanese release of 'LCTWWM' will have a bonus track, possibly called 'Social Engagement.'  If anyone has any more information on this, please get in touch!


23/09/09

Mick Lynch, still on chart patrol, has observed that LCTWWM rose to #16 in the Norwegian charts - well done to any Norwegian visitors reading this!  He also sent in an article from an Irish TV guide about the new album.

In other news, I have finally started the 'Fan Reviews' page, so if you want to see what your fellow visitors made of the new album, click here.  Thanks to all who contributed.

Paul Linford sent in a link to a fine article over at his blog, and Katarine Robertson sent in two PDF's from the Glasgow Herald, containing another recent Paddy interview conducted by Graeme Thomson.  David Klimek noticed that John Sakamoto of the Toronto Star made 'Angel of Love' his 'anti-hit' of the week (I am assured that is a good thing.)

And finally, a Wendy-only version of the intro to 'Ice Maiden' surfaced on the forums, though nobody (least of all me) knows where it came from.  You can download it here.

Plenty to keep you going there!  I feel like things will be starting to quiet down now, at least a bit, so I'll take this opportunity to thank everyone who's contributed to the site in the last few months - it certainly has been quite an experience.  And one, I suspect, that most other band websites would love go through!


14/09/09

Mick Lynch, ever with an eye on the charts, reports that 'Let's Change The World With Music' was #39 in the UK album charts this week. 'It would have been 28 if the Beatles had waited another week to release their remastered albums,' he adds, so all in all not a bad showing.

The big news today is another Sproutnet exclusive, a lengthy audio interview with Paddy, conducted just weeks ago by now-legendary German DJ and journalist Arnd Zeigler.  You can download and listen to the whole thing here, and to say it is a worthwhile listen would be the understatement of the century.

Finally, David Stokoe has spotted this interesting article from June 2008 that seems to have passed us by.  You can check out the bloke's music on iTunes here, if so inclined.


11/09/09

Here we are again, no stopping the Sprout news at the moment!  Mick Lynch reports the new album got to #34 in the Irish charts, sent in a link to a review of the album by himself (click here and go to 'reviews'), and another review of Irish origins.

The hot news today involves two newly-surfaced live videos, from the attic of Damon Oram, filmed for some late-night show in 1990.  We have Jordan: The Comeback, and Doo Wop In Harlem, both exceedingly cool versions, and worth a look.

Next up, David Klimek sent me a must-read interview with the Independent, which everyone except me seems to have seen already.  It includes a good part of the lyrics from the missing title track to the new album, so read it for them if nothing else!  And GreenJeremy identified this one from The Telegraph.

Ronchito has spotted the BBC's review, which you can see here.  We also have a scan from a recent edition of UK newspaper The Sun, from Martyn Paul, and they seem to love it as well.  And finally, some chords for 'Sweet Gospel Music,' contributed by Robert Wilson - there is apparently some debate whether they are accurate, but you won't know until you try!

Coming soon: the UK chart position, and an astonishing interview with Paddy by our old friend Arnd Zeigler, recorded in the last fortnight, and about ninety minutes in length!


08/09/09

The new album is out right now, so you can head off and buy it at your leisure.  We will hopefully have chart information up here as soon as it comes in, though I wouldn't hold your breath.

I am going to start a page for 'fan reviews' of LCTWWM, probably called something like 'Your Thoughts.'  So once you've had time to digest the album, why not sent me your thoughts (you see the tie-in?) on it via email, with the subject line: My New Album Review.  Thanks in advance!


05/09/09

I missed out on this at the time, but we have witnessed the first audio interview with 2009-spec Paddy, appearing by phone on Radcliffe & Maconie's BBC Radio 2 show.  At time of writing, you can download it from here, and you should, it is essential listening.  If that link is down, you'll have to find it here, early in the second hour (thanks Rob Alcock.)

Perhaps most notably, he discusses the recent recordings from Dr. McGurk, and that whole saga, suggesting the internet is responsible for 'propagating his early songs' - though to my ears, he also says he's grateful.  Or 'it's disgraceful.'  You be the judge!  Thanks to ronchito for his recording and uploading skills.

In an incredible piece of bad timing, I am moving house today, and have no idea when I'll next be able to get on the net!  So I'll remind you all now that the new album comes out on Monday, and hope you enjoy it a great deal.


02/09/09

Back again, with more Sprout updates - first of all, I have scans of Paddy's essay from the new album's booklet, courtesy of Mick Lynch.  You can see them here and here.

Secondly, Lloyd Cole (yes, that Lloyd Cole) emailed today to let me know about a Prefab Sprout 'souvenir' he had posted on his blog.  It is a brilliant hand-drawn guide from Paddy himself on how to play 'Lions In My Own Garden' - check it out here.

And finally, forum member kida has a scan of the brief interview from 'Record Collector' magazine.  You can see it here, though you may need to get out your reading glasses!


01/09/09

Less than a week now till the new album is released, and some are predicting a hit!  Also, it appears the reviews are in, and we have links to three of them below.

Rickp on the forums was first to post an extremely complimentary review from The Times, giving LCTWWM five stars, and making it their 'CD of the week' - as you can see in the scan here, provided by teamwork from forum veterans Peter and Jim.  David Klimek pointed me towards a review from The Independant, who seem to like it as well, and Rivermoving spotted this piece, which says the sleeve notes include an essay by Paddy about Brian Wilson's 'Smile' album.

Also, you may recall an earlier post about the discovery of rare 70's tracks on the website of a Dr McGurk.  Well, he has now answered the many fan emails, and provided us with a story about how those tracks came to be recorded - you can read it here.  And finally, all the lyrics to the new album are now available for your reading pleasure in the lyrics section.  Hopefully, this will be enough to keep you occupied for the next six days.


29/08/09

A shorter and more manageable news post today.  First, it appears that the 'official' Prefab Sprout web address (www.prefabsprout.com) now leads to this site - but don't worry, I haven't 'sold out', or joined up with 'the man', we are still totally unofficial, I believe the redirect is simply for the sake of convenience.

Legendary forum member rock smith has been active again, this time contacting and hearing from Joakim Milder, author of the brilliant jazz version of 'Desire As' that has been doing the rounds since 1996.  Apparently he plans to record a whole album of jazz versions of Paddy McAloon compositions in 2010 - we will keep you updated.

Finally, Lee Redfern has found and scanned this oft-quoted article from NME in 1995, just after Paddy had given up on 'Let's Change the World,' but still providing an interesting contrast to the recent interviews we've read.


25/08/09

Something of a jackpot today, so much so that I hardly know where to start.  The most exciting news is the discovery of a Sprout recording from the mid-70's, including a never-before-heard track.  The recording is located on this site run by a Dr Barry McGurk, and found for us by James L.  To listen to the tracks, click the tiny button on the top right that looks like bullet points, and scroll right down till you find 'Early Prefab Sprout.'  Dr McGurk says:

Paddy McAloon wrote these songs which were recorded in my house in Esh, County Dunham, before their group Prefab Spout became world famous. These are their earliest recordings from the mid 1970's. Paddy played guitar and sings. His brother Martin is on bass and I play keyboards. I can't remember who played the drums - probably me.

I have emailed the good doctor about possibly hosting MP3 downloads of the tracks, so watch this space.

And now the rest: our sister site Tin Can Pot located a 'new' audio interview from 1984, which you can download here, if you have the patience (it is 108 megabytes in size.)

John Austin emailed to let me know the Sprouts were featured in The Guardian's 'Music Weekly' podcast - go here, click play, and the Sprouts are just over 34 minutes in.  It's not the band themselves, but Paul Lester giving you his thoughts on them.

Articles now, and Martyn Paul scanned a few must-read pages from the latest 'Mojo,' which you can read here, here and hereAndrew Neil informed me that the October edition of 'Record Collector' reviewed the new album and gave it four stars, and Jim Williams sent in this thoughtful look at some Sprout lyrics.

Finally, forum member bynghs noticed that Sony had updated their Sprout page with a lengthy new article, amusingly referring to themselves in the third-person as 'his record label, Sony,' and blaming 'mutterings behind the scenes' for the 17-year-delay in the release of LCTWWM.  Which is only a fortnight away!  Truly, it is a good time to like the Sprouts.


19/08/09

Hello again Sprout fans!  More 'new album' goodies for you today, starting with a new interview with Paddy from the Sunday Times, sent in by David Klimek and available here.

Secondly, thanks to the generous efforts of a forum member known affectionately as JFC, the guitar tabs for new track 'God Watch Over You' are now on the site.

Finally, you may want to check out this thread from the forums, where forum-dwellers were given the chance to listen to the entirely of the new album by a generous German radio host known as Arnie.  The thread includes their initial thoughts on each new track, and even a few comments from their composer (if you can spot him...)  You can listen back to the show here.


13/08/09

Returning from my summer holiday, I find things have been boiling over nicely in my absence.  Firstly, Till Raether has translated a fascinating article (some sort of German promo text) about the new album, which you can read on the forums here.

Secondly, an article has reached me by Paul Smith, of the band 'Maximo Park', which has some very intelligent thoughts about the Sprouts.  You can read that here.

Thirdly, Hans Jonsson provided me with a scan of Word Magazine's review of the new album.  Should you buy the magazine, you will allegedly find a two-page inteview with Paddy as well.

Fourthly, and finally, Jim Williams has identified a couple of must-read articles on the net, one from Vogue in 1988, and an unpublished one from 1999, probably the most revealing interview Paddy had ever done (at the time).

Update: You can now listen to samples from all the new tracks on amazon.co.uk, thanks for Rivermoving for calling that in.  And, I have got my hands on the two page interview from Word.  Enjoy!


31/07/09

This week's big news post (see below) seems to have woken up the fan community - people have been emailing me from all over with news and links.  Firstly, Chris Evans played the new track on Wednesday, on his 'Drivetime' Show on BBC Radio 2.  If you'd like to hear that moment, head here and scroll along to 1 hour 26 minutes in.  And to hear just the track, get yourself here.

Some other treats from across the Sprouts' career: a very interesting interview with Paddy from 1988, sent in by Calle Falksten, and a downloadable article from Uncut Magazine in 2001, about the release of the last 'new album', sent by Kevin Brennan.

On the subject of Uncut, Paddy is featured in the current issue naming 'ten records that have changed his life.'  There is also a short review of the new album, by Adam Sweeting, which has been thoughtfully posted here by Jim Williams.


27/07/09

SPROUTNET EXCLUSIVE - NEW TRACK, FIRST LISTEN

It's been eight years since the world heard a new 'Prefab Sprout' track, but today the wait is over - calm yourself down, return your expectations to a reasonable level, then click here to listen to 'Let There Be Music,' track one from the Sprouts' new album.

In case you've been living under a rock all year, the new album is called 'Let's Change the World With Music,' and is due for release six weeks from today, on the 7th September 2009.  There are rumours of this first track being released as a single, but it is certain to be getting some radio play, so keep an eye on the airwaves and let me know if you hear anything.

In the meantime, feel free to hit the forums and post your thoughts on the new track.  If you want the lyrics you will find them here.


26/07/09

There is a short article in the new issue of Mojo about the upcoming Prefab Sprout release, also including some (presumably recent) pictures of Paddy, and descriptions of three new 'legendary unreleased albums' for us to add to the list.

And now, thanks to forum member rock smith, you can have a read of the article by clicking right here (though you will need good eyesight.)  It closes by promising a 'rare in-depth interview' with Paddy in the next issue, which should be rather interesting.


15/07/09

Kitchenware have released what seems to be an official statement regarding the new album.  As usual, it contains new information, so is headed straight for the Sproutnet homepage:

‘Let’s Change The World With Music’ was written and produced by Paddy McAloon at Andromeda Heights and mixed in Scotland by Calum Malcolm. The record kicks off with the hip-hop influenced hook-laden piano led ‘Let There Be Music’, which sets the tone for the rest of the record.

Paddy began work on ‘Let’s Change The World With Music’ in 1992, as the follow-up to ‘Jordan: The Comeback’. 17 years later, Paddy returns to these songs, some of his personal favourite compositions.

The 11 tracks are rejoiceful and uplifting, striking an endearingly familiar chord, all the while sounding fresh and timeless. Highlights are aplenty and include the celestial ‘Ride’, the jazzy sway of ‘I Love Music’ and the melancholic ‘Sweet Gospel Music’.

Thanks to Robert Wilson and Lee Redfern for emailing it to me.


14/07/09

More album details today - a new forum member called Kat found this blog entry by Graeme Thomson, talking about an interview with Paddy he conducted yesterday.  It's an interesting read, and further down he gave a short review of the album:

In terms of what it sounds like, I'd say it falls pretty neatly between 'Jordan' and 'Andromeda', which of course makes sense as these are the original recordings Paddy made (alone) of these songs, dating back to 1992: they have not been re-recorded, but have been "baked in the oven", as Paddy put it, by Calum Malcolm. It sounds finished, though. Definitely a proper, coherent and thematically unified album.

The sound is pretty synthetic (not a lot of 'natural' band sounds, so probably closer to 'Andromeda' than 'Jordan') but the songs by and large are wonderful.

So there you have it, let the discussion begin!  That's the second interview we know Paddy has given about the new album - if anyone spots these in papers or magazines, please let me know.


04/07/09

Sorted out my emails now, thanks to everyone who contacted me about the cover art, keep up the good work!

Dylan Mondegreen, who I posted about last October, seems to be coming into the limelight, and I've also had a few emails about him.  One of these came from the man himself, and he offered Sprout fans a free link to his tribute song, '(Come With Me To) Albuquerque.'  The song is the opening track on his new album, 'The World Spins On,' out on August 31st.


02/07/09

Sorry to anyone who's emailed me in the last week - I've been away, and returned to thirty emails about the Sprouts!

Until then, one news item in particular leaps out - play.com have updated their listing for the new album, including a front cover and official tracklist!  Have a look here, or download a large version here, thanks to Faye at Sony Music.


18/06/09

A couple more old video gems have surfaced on YouTube lately, including an interview with Paddy on 'Pebble Mill,' about 'Hey Manhattan!' and the band performing 'King of Rock N Roll' on Terry Wogan's show.

Thanks to rock smith for finding these, and the mysterious individual who sourced and uploaded them.  And if any of you see anything interesting (and sprout-related), be sure to let me know!


20/05/09

Thanks to Douglas Stewart, Lee Redfern, and Robert Wilson, all of whom reported details of an email from Kitchenware that is going round.  And if you're not on their list, here's what it said:

We are pleased to announce that the new Prefab Sprout album, 'Let's Change The World With Music' will be released on 7th September.  We'll be issuing a Press Release soon which will talk about the long awaited record.

And as you might expect, the press release will be uploaded here as soon as I get my hands on it.  Various forum members have also observed Neil McCormick, a music critic from the Daily Telegraph, posting on twitter about an interview with Paddy:

What a nice man Paddy turns out to be. But there is no Prefab reunion, just the release of a lost masterpiece by one of pop's great recluses.


10/05/09

Another video update, but quite an interesting one this time.  Sent in by Ian Cook, it is footage from the Sprouts' appearance on kids' TV show 'Going Live' in 1991, with a performance of 'Carnival 2000,' and a whole-band interview with Philip Schofield, including a phone-in session with the public.  Totally umissable!


02/05/09

Another old video has appeared on YouTube, the Sprouts performing 'Appetite' in Sanremo, 1986.  You can see it here, thanks to rock smith for bringing this to my attention.


30/03/09

Three pieces of news today.  Firstly, today saw the release of the 'Original Album Classics' box set, which you can investigate here.  It contains five of the Sprouts' albums, though it's only worth buying if you're a serious collector - Steve Connor (backed up by other witnesses on the forums) reports that the last four tracks from 'Jordan: The Comeback' are inexplicably missing, totally spoiling the whole thing!  I cannot think of a single reason why this would be the case; answers on a postcard please.

Secondly, there has been some enthusiasm for this new release from Leo Zero, which includes a remixed version of 'Bonny.'  I've heard it, and it is pretty good.

Finally, Mark Magrs has emailed me about his recently released e-book, entitled 'Looking for Atlantis.'  The main character is a huge fan of the Sprouts, and the book contains some Prefab Sprout lyrics, apparently with Paddy's permission!  You can see it here, I have read a fair bit of it myself, and enjoyed it - and as a student of English Literature, my reccomendations are gospel.


26/02/09

Today I have what appears to be a legitimate tracklist for the new Prefab Sprout album, which if you've not been keeping up to date, will be called 'Let's Change the World With Music: The Blueprint,' and should be with us in the summer.

This provisional tracklist was provided by Michele Cappelli, and she found it on this reputable looking spanish music site.

1. Let There Be Music
2. God Watch Over You
3. The Last Of The Great Romantics
4. Let's Change The World With Music
5. Angel of Love
6. Earth: The Story So Far
7. Falling In Love
8. I Love Music
9. Meet The New Mozart
10. Music Is a Princess
11. Ride Home To Jesus
12. Sweet Gospel Music


23/02/09

Some actual news for you today.  Long-time supporter Lee Redfern took it upon himself to email Kitchenware, and recieved this response:

"We do indeed still represent Prefab Sprout, and the new album is due to be released this summer.  We'll be issuing a press release nearer the time which will tell you more about the long awaited record."

So there you have it - most positive report so far!


06/02/09

I have a great new video for you today, as sent in by the legendary Jim Williams.  I won't spoil it, but it's from 1988, and pretty good!


17/01/09

An update for all you casual browsers today - in our forums, Martin McAloon (through Peter Whitfield) has posted an extensive list of all the different bass guitars he's used over the years, and some of the different ways he used them.  You can read it here.


07/01/09

Graeme Slattery has unearthed a 'new' interview with Paddy, from just before the release of 'The Gunman.'  You can watch it here, though I have had a bit of trouble with the player - if anyone knows how I can steal the file and host it elsewhere, please tell me (and not the police or ITN.)


23/12/08

So it's been a quiet month in the world of Prefab Sprout - no new news has come in, though a forum member thought to have inside connections suggested a Autumn 2009 date would be more realistic for the new album's release.

Wendy has successfully recieved your 'Ask Wendy' questions, and she is no doubt perusing them as I speak.  So look out for that in the New Year.  Hope you all have a good holiday season!


11/11/08

Peter Whitfield has tracked down Martin, who confirmed that something definitley is happening in Sprout-land.  He also said:

'The one thing I would say (and which you all should be aware of having followed our illustrious trajectory) - never believe proposed release dates! Nothing sinister to be concluded from that statement, just practicalities.'

Peter suggests they might have some sort of exclusivity deal with Mojo magazine, who broke the story, and also mentioned the new album in a recent issue - curiously listing Calum Malcolm (of Andromeda Heights) as the producer, with no mention of Dolby.


19/10/08

Kitchenware have posted confirmation on their homepage - new Prefab Sprout album in 2009.  Thanks to Jamie Wilkinson of BBC Radio Newcastle for pointing this out.


12/10/08

A german fan named Olaf has directed me to the MySpace page of Dylan Mondegreen, where he has recently uploaded a song about the Sprouts, entitled 'Come with me to Albuquerque.'  Check it out here, if only to give props to someone who is clearly a huge fan.

Also, long-time contributor Jim Williams has noticed some framed prints of Sprout posters on amazon.co.uk.  Intriguingly, they are in the section entitled 'Kitchen & Home' - as Jim says, not neccessarily the place you expect to see Sprouts in your kitchen.

If you're wondering about some recent news on the site, there has been no confirmation of Mojo's news flash from anyone.  And there is still no date set for Wendy answering your questions.  But if anything does come through, this will be the place to hear it.


26/09/08

I think it seems only fair that I post this article, seemingly from the blog of MOJO (a music magazine.)  Let the great hoax-detector swing into action!  (Thanks to Erik Persson for sending it in.)


24/09/08

Forum member Tony W has discovered this site, hosting a never-before-seen recording of the Sprouts, in Cardiff in 1985.  It's exciting stuff - you'd best download it before the feds catch up!


15/09/08

Thanks to all who've sent in questions for Wendy, there have been loads of great ones.  No word yet on when the interview will be taking place, but stay tuned.  If you haven't sent in a question yet, or you've thought of a new one, there's still time - just email me at the usual address.

Today, Paolo Nisi has found some great articles on a site called 'rainsound.'  For some reason, you can't link directly to their articles, but if you go here and search for 'Paddy McAloon' they will turn up.


13/08/08

Big news today - I've just recieved word that Wendy Smith has agreed to answer some of your fan questions, in an 'Ask Wendy' sort of thing.  If you'd like to ask something, you should email me with the subject line 'Ask Wendy,' and include your name, location, and question (of course!)  Get thinking up some good ones!

Also, by popular demand, I've put up a page listing all the people who've covered the Sprouts' songs over the years.  You can check it out here - and if you know of any others, let me know.


07/08/08

News of Wendy today, courtesy of mysterious new forum member 'peterpan.'  She has been appearing both live, and on records with Steve Jinski, whose website you can see here.  (Check out 'the players' for a very flattering description of her talents and career.)


06/08/08

Robert Wilson has tipped me off to another 'Love Breaks Down' cover, on the iTunes store - a jazz instrumental, no less, by Olaf Schonborn's Q4.  If you've got iTunes, you should be able to find it by clicking here.


03/08/08

News of the band 'Portastatic' today, who as you can see in this article are bringing out a 'rarities' compilation.  Disc 1, Track 15 is a previously-unreleased cover of 'When Love Breaks Down,' which could well be very good indeed.  Thanks to Dave Carroll for bringing this to my attention.


02/08/08

Yesterday I had an email from founding Sprout Martin McAloon, who you may remember is now managing several young bands, one of whom is Babygod.  He provided a link to their first video, and also made this plea for assistance:

I'm looking for anyone who (providing they like the band) already subscribes to message boards, blogs, social networks etc to mention, recommend, plug, place video links/embed etc.

Also there are a lot of people who have a natural knowledge of their local media landscape - i.e someone from Germany who knows the kind of magazines, TV/radio shows, fanzines, blogs, sites etc that would be interested in a cultured/literate/arty band like Babygod and who the decent journalists are.  This kind of assistance in building buzz is essential these days in breaking a band.

So there you have it - it's in your hands.  If you like the band, this is your chance to help them (and Martin) out.  So good luck!


01/08/08

It was two years ago today - the 1st August, 2006 - that I registered this site and wrote my first 'news post.'  A trip into the news archive reveals that first post mentioned rumours circulating about possible new Sprout releases, and details of the forthcoming 'Legacy Edition' of Steve McQueen - which if you're wondering, did actually get released in the end.

However, as you can see, to celebrate the site's birthday I have redesigned it a bit.  Most of the sections have been re-written, with the occasional piece of new information - and there's now a section for tabs as well, which were sent to me eons ago by Marshall Boswell, and can be found on a few other sites.

There's also a new 'miscellaneous' section, somewhere I can deposit all the odds and ends I recieve that don't fit into the other categories.  Have fun exploring the new site, and hopefully I will be back soon with some actual news.


21/07/08

I have recieved word that German band Blumfeld have been covering 'Electric Guitars' live.  There is a video of a performance here, and the Sprout cover starts (as far as I can tell) at 4:45, and is actually very good.  Thanks to Clemens Gerlach for pointing that out.

Thanks for all your kind donations over the last few weeks - once again, the site has paid for itself, which is very encouraging!  As a reward (sort of) I am working on an entirely new Sproutnet, hopefully to be premiered on the 1st August.

Any donations I might recieve from this point will probably be spent down the pub - or as one donater kindly suggested, getting some new socks.  I just thought it was best to be clear on that!


16/07/08

I have yet another treat for you today, again from the human dynamo that is Jim Williams.  It is a ten minute interview with Paddy, about 'I Trawl The Megahertz,' broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2003 as part of the show 'Mixing It.'  You can get your hands on the MP3 here.

I'd also like to thank everyone who donated towards the yearly hosting fees - so far you have contributed well over half of the total, which is just brilliant.  Mind you, if anyone else wanted to send in a few quid, I certainly wouldn't complain!


08/07/2008

As we head into July, rumours abound of wild new recording projects for the Sprouts - but as of yet, they have all been strenuously denied.  If there is any hard evidence or offical news, it will be here.

I've also just remembered that on the 1st August, it will be two years since this site began - and it's also time for me to pay my web hosting fees!  If you'd like to contribute, you can do so very easily right here.  I may well need it this year!

Onto news now, and the Editors' cover of Bonny has now been released.  You can iTunes it here, Amazon it here, or go elsewhere if you prefer.  Opinion has been mixed, but I think it's pretty good.

Jim Williams has located an interview with Paddy and Andrew Mueller from 2001, availiable on Andrew's site here.  He has also provided scans from the Sprouts' tour programme, in 2000, which you can read by clicking the page numbers below.  Enjoy!

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15


28/06/08

If you haven't visited the site in the last month, make sure you check out the news archive.  There's been some very interesting stuff going on!

The first piece of news today is the launching of a new site, Tin Can Pot, offering some temporary downloads for rare Sprout tracks.  These tracks deserve to be out there, and I wish those behind the site the very best of luck.

Jim Williams has found some interesting stuff on YouTube - a lovely acoustic guitar cover of 'We Let The Stars Go,' and a piano version of 'The King Of Rock N Roll.'  Definitley worth a look.  Also, Jerome Didelot has heard a cover version of 'Cars & Girls' being played on French national radio, and you can hear it on this page.

Jim also sent in some scans of various articles, including Paddy discussing Stevie Wonder's 'The Secret Life of Plants' (here), an interview with Paddy from the Guardian from 2000 (part 1, part 2, part 3), and a feature in Mojo about underrated albums (here).


13/06/08

A new forum member calling himself 'Bob Banana' has uncovered a photo of Paddy, Martin, and Thomas Dolby taken 'within the last month' (according to him.)  He found it by going here, and clicking the photo of the mixing desk, but you can see it more easily here.  As ever, make of it what you will!

Update: Forum member Jesse James emailed 'Andy Smith' (from the photo) and he had this to say:

"Wow...wild fire sure spreads quick don't it! The official line is, my clients always receive complete privacy. I can confirm the meeting between Paddy, Martin, Thomas and me took place...thats clear from the picture. As for any more details...all i can say is i have a number of exciting music projects confirmed for 2008."


06/06/08

There's a new double album coming out on July 4th, celebrating independant record labels, and according to the guardian, track 1 will be The Editors covering Prefab Sprout's 'Bonny!'  Hardcore fans will remember that they are both members of independant label 'Kitchenware.'  Thanks to forum member 'Yearning Lions' for the tip off - he also points out that since 'Bonny' is the opening track, it must be a pretty good cover.


01/06/08

Some very interesting news today!  I have been emailed by Jeff Schwartz, who had in his possession a video for 'I Remember That,' filmed around the time of the release of 'Life Of Surprises.'  He said: 'I won some contest on the prefab sprout fan club newsletter, and as a  prize received this video autographed by the band on the sleeve.'

So, through the magic of the internet, you can now watch this new video right here.  It's actually one of the best ones I've seen - all the band are in it, and it's not embarassing or cheesy!


09/04/08

It's been a long time, but I'm finally 'back in the world.'  However, now I have time to really use it, it seems my computer has decided to start crashing, completely at random.  So I still can't do any of the great stuff I had planned for the site!

However, I have managed to get the 'Carnival 2000' video back online, so if you've been waiting eagerly for that, you'll find it here.  Thanks to Chris Barltrop, whose DVD won by default, since it was the only one I was able to copy before another crash.  It was an appropriate choice, however, as apparently he played the ringleader in the video, and created the DVD from a VHS he was originally sent by the production company.


01/03/08

Two things today.  Firstly, I am on 'school placement' for the rest of this month, sent away to live in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, with no internet access.  So don't expect much in the way of updates!  Also, I have been contacted by a man campaigning to get Paddy 'Honorary Freedom of the City of Durham.'  You can find out about this, and how you can help, right here.


25/02/08

Neil's drum kit has been purchased.  Whoever the new owner is, I hope they will treat it with the care and reverence it deserves.

In other news, after painstakingly resurrecting some old files, I have a new interview with Paddy on YouTube - one that's over an hour long!  Of course, it's not a NEW interview, but it's one you may not have seen before from 2003.  You can watch it by following these links:  Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 / Part 8

I've also noticed that the media page is still missing the 'Carnival 2000' video.  If anyone can help out by sending it to me in digital form, please get in touch.


22/02/08

This could be the day you get your hands on a piece of Sprout history, as legendary drummer Neil Conti is selling his drum kit on eBay.  It is apparently the one he used on the 'Golden Calf' video, and in a post on the sproutnet forum, he informed us that it was also used during the 1990 tour, and on an Annie Lennox album.

So, if you are fabulously rich at the moment, get bidding!


26/01/08

Martin has tipped me off to a new band he is managing - they are called Babygod, and they were featured as 'record of the day' on this site.  You can also visit their MySpace here.  They are definitley worth a listen, besides the featured one I particularly like the track 'Home.'

In other news, I finally have those videos I promised you.  TV performances of 'Goodbye Lucille #1' and 'When Love Breaks Down.'  I've no idea when these were filmed, or on what shows, so if anyone has any information please get in touch.  A big thankyou to Jason Lefler, who sent them in, and Mick Lynch who converted Jason's tape to DVD.  I always get there in the end!

Update #1: And as if that wasn't enough, some classic Sprout performances and interviews have turned up on this site.  Definitley worth checking out!

Update #2: I found a video of a band covering 'Faron Young,' and was tipped off to another Paddy tribute song, found here.


23/01/08

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that I am back.  I have got a lovely new computer, and as such those two long-promised new videos will be up here shortly.

In the meantime, however, forum member Langley Parkas has discovered that a Swedish indie band called 'Blind Terry' have released a track entitled 'When Prefab Sprout Wrecked My Mind.'  What's more, you can download it for free on their MySpace page, assuming you are a member.  I have to say, I think it's great - but then, I never met a piece of Swedish indie I didn't like.


Older news from 2006, 2007    > Back to top
22/05/11

A summary of recent developments - Shawn Roberts produced a two hour podcast on the subject of the Sprouts as part of his 'Entroporium' show, you can hear it here (look for the small player at the bottom of the article).

Martin Mcaloon (yes, that one) emailed me with a piece of information that he reckoned 'only a few people would take the remotest interest in' - 'Bonny' (voted your favourite Sprout track in 2007) was written thirty-two years ago this past Friday, so 20th May 1979.  'We were always a 70s band in my head,' Martin added, which is an interesting point I think.

A gentleman named Hans let me know he'd been 'dragged by the wife' to see Kylie Minogue at the O2 Arena, and she'd performed her version of the Sprout track 'If You Don't Love Me' - here's her doing it in Germany on this same tour.  'She was interrupted by cheers and applause before the last chorus and had to take a little break, smiling and a little embarrassed by the crowd's reaction,' reckons Hans, who adds: 'Well done!'  I'll pass that along next time I see Kylie socially...

Finally, Sam de Groot wrote in to let you all know that Paul Haworth, author of 'Silk Handkerchieves', has published a sequel, which is again heavy with Sprout references.  You can read more about this book here.
News Archive
25/07/12

Hello Sprout fans! Apologies for the enormous gap in news - almost a year - in all honesty, nothing has happened in the world of Sprouts during my absence, and somewhat overwhelmed with running my new business (well, it was new when I last posted) I've not had time to seek some out, or come up with something to keep you entertained. But I believe the forum is still going strong, and John Birch's work on his new, ultimate Sprout book continues apace - check out his newsletters here (and do visit the rest of that site for news of an interesting project currently ongoing).

Luring me out of the wilderness ('some call me a recluse', ect) is news of a newly-released cover of 'We Let the Stars Go', by a singer-songwriter from the US called Robbie Dupree. It can be found on his EP 'Arc of a Romance' and downloaded for just under 70p on Amazon.co.uk. Thanks to Costa Pavlis for sending that over. And remember people, I'm still here in the world, and so (by all accounts) are Paddy & co. - if you do hear any news, you can reach me on jamie@prefabsprout.net as ever.
Followed by this one:
Big thanks to Kieron 'Moondog' Ward for pointing this out.  If anyone out there wants to offer further confirmation, you know where to find me (or hit the forums).

27/05/11

Anyone in the mood for some speculation?  This tweet hit the internet last night:
21/06/11

Last month, we heard the first mutterings about a 2011 album of new material - no hard evidence has come to light since, but current rumours suggest Paddy was sent into the studio to record Zero Attention Span (an album previously described as 'unflattering snapshots of today') but surprised everyone by deciding to record 'something else'.

That much comes from reliable sources... less reliable sources ('a friend of a friend at the record label') have the 'something else' titled Trapdoor Melancholy, and appearing in October.  If any more details come to light, this is where you'll hear them - unless you've found them out by yourself, in which case please let me know.

In other news, Olaf Grossigk was kind enough to alert me to this video of Louis Philippe covering 'We Let The Stars Go' at a recent concert - well worth a look.  Also, after five years of the 'Tin Can Pot' lyrics page reading 'I have no idea, please help', someone named Aron O'Gorman has had a go.  I love his attitude, but there are still a few lines I am sceptical about... 'their markings are sucked soon with someone's red banana' is one.  So if you can do any better, let me know - don't leave it another half-decade!
22/08/11

I've got a bit more 'new album' gossip for you today, sent in by Nephtalí Celis.  Paul Smith (from Maximo Park) tweeted about a dream he had, in which he came across 'a double-CD of unreleased Prefab Sprout/Go-Betweens songs', to which the Sprout's own Wendy replied asking: 'was it called Trapdoor Melancholy?'  That's twice the title has been mentioned now, it looks to be a likely contender at least!  Though she could be teasing us, of course.

Regular contributor bisonrav noted a few previously unavailable Sprout articles from decades past had appeared on the 'Hot Press' website - you can see one here, do let me know if you find anything else of interest.

Tom McAndrew wrote in with a new contribution to the ongoing saga of the 'Swoon' cover art.  His email subject line was: 'It's Rudolf Nureyev', which caught my attention straight away - he continues:

The design is by East Orange, a Newcastle graphics company then, essentially Matthew Hobson (now poet Matthew Caley) and Pavllou Landraagon. On a visit to Newcastle, he mentioned he used a Nureyev picture he liked which he thought conveyed the feeling of "swoon".

Oh, and finally - this site is now more than five years old!  Who'dve thought we'd make it so far?  Here's to the next five; another two Sprout releases with new material will do me nicely.