News Archive: 2007
As for the Sproutnet group on last.fm, it's done much better than I thought. Thanks for everyone whose signed up so far...but there's always room for a few more! In fact, if we get twice as many as we have now, they'll start calculating some group charts.
And I'm delighted to report that, to my great suprise, some people actually did donate - enough to pay for a good four months of hosting, so a big thankyou to them. And if anyone else is feeling generous for the new year, you know what to do!
I have recieved some definitive information on what the Sprouts have been doing in recent years, and have placed it on the about page. It's bad news I'm afraid.
However someone has written in to tell me they can't see the page in question...it looks like this when they go on. I've since had a fiddle with it, so let me know if it's still broken for you.
As you might expect, I have waited till the very last day of the holidays to get around to a few housekeeping jobs on the site.
Firstly, due to popular demand you can now download the audio from the Munich 85 concert (previously only the videos were available.) And on a similar note, the public have also been requesting some downloads for the videos, and so despite my better judgment I have uploaded all the files I have to this page.
And finally, a big thankyou to everyone whose emailed me over the holidays - every time I checked my mailbox there was either a donation (ahem) or an email of undiluted praise. It means a lot!
So if you haven't heard, it appears that the Steve McQueen Legacy Edition is definitley going to be out on April 2nd 2007. Here it is on HMV, play.com, CD WOW and Spin CDs, now with tracklisting! If you see it on any other sites, let me know.
Eagle eyed fans may also have noticed this letter in the Guardian on Saturday, from a Paddy McAloon in County Durham. Thanks to Phil for pointing it out to me - a possible new career in the pipeline?
I have heard from a friend of someone who has heard the new acoustic versions. Apparently they are 'brilliant, and surprisingly different from the originals.'
In other news, Kevin Brennan has sent in a really wonderful interview with Paddy from 1992, half an hour of him talking about his songwriting and the people he admires. Well worth a download, and you can get it here.
Also today - a remastered version of the Reading 86 concert, courtesy of the mysteriously named Foefur, and an alternative video for 'Appetite' that has been doing the rounds. It might be by someone called Tom.
One month to go before the Steve McQueen re-release is upon us. If you have been living in a cave for the last century, you can find more info on all sorts of top CD sites such as HMV and Play.com.
One place you won't be getting Sprout music from anymore is the media page - Sony have finally caught up to me, and I had to remove all the links to those lovely MP3's. Sorry guys, but what could I do?
As excitement for the re-release grows, I have got my hands on some offical press releases about both the actual album and a download-only single of the acoustic 'When Love Breaks Down' (which is out on the 12th March.) I don't know about you, but I'm going to be buying it!
Here are the releases anyway, well worth a read I think:
And you can also see a bigger version of the single cover here. At the weekend I am going to put up a proper, offical page about these new releases, and I also have loads of new interviews coming in. Plenty to look forward to!
It's going to be a busy weekend on the site, but today I just wanted to tell you that - in perhaps my biggest coup so far - I have convinced Martin McAloon to answer some of your questions. You can send them in on this page, and you've got till Monday 26th. Should be good!
Coming tomorrow, three new interviews with Paddy, from 1984, 1988 and 1990, and a special page about the new releases.
OK, as promised, I have loads of Sprout-related stuff for you to get your teeth into today. Firstly, three new interviews have been uploaded to the media section - from 1984, 1988 and 1990. As usual, they are a very interesting listen, so thankyou to Tsuji Mutsushi and John and Martin Foyle for getting those to me.
And as you can see, the site is getting into gear for the new releases - don't forget, you can get the new single on all good online music stores on Monday. At least you can in Britain, I'm not sure about other countries. You will have to let me know.
And finally, as I announced yesterday, Martin McAloon has agreed to answer some questions from Sproutnet visitors (this means you.) You can send in a question here, and I will be picking the best ones on the 26th and sending them off to him.
The new single is in iTunes UK, and the entire album is in the US iTunes! So stop reading and get on there. There is also an 'iTunes essentials' playlist available for the band.
A very interesting update for you today! Earlier this week I travelled up to Newcastle, questions in hand, to meet Martin McAloon for a slap-up feed and a bit of an interview. You can of course catch the latter on YouTube right now, as well as some interesting extras:
You can also check out Uncut magazine's review of the re-release. I believe they also have a Q&A with Martin in the latest issue, and 'Record Collector' are meant to be doing something on the Sprouts soon as well. Anyone with info (or scans!) should get in touch.
Oh, and a shout-out to my friend Emily, who is getting married today. Good luck with that!
Yes, it's only hours to go before a new release from Prefab Sprout. And no, despite the date, that's not an April fool! Nor am I making up that Martin McAloon has answered your questions, so if you didn't catch it yesterday head over to the related page and see what he had to say.
Today I have some treats for your eyes, firstly with a load of new pictures in the gallery, which were collected from all over the place by Lora Marsden. Also, Dave Sheppard has kindly scanned and sent in reviews that appeared in 'Q' and 'Mojo,' which you can see here and here. If anyone else spots a review in a music magazine, you know what to do!
Well, you might have thought that this day would never come, but there's no two ways about it...the Steve McQueen Legacy Edition is out NOW. So stop reading this, and go and run around your town madly trying to find a copy.
Or, if you were smart enough to pre-order, sit back and enjoy! I personally won't get my hands on the CD till my birthday, on the fifth, but I have sneakily bought a couple of the acoustic versions off iTunes to tide me over in the meantime.
If you haven't visited the site regularly over the last few days, you won't have seen my exclusive interview with Martin McAloon, or the scans a kind visitor provided from Q and Mojo. But, by clicking certain words in this paragraph, it is a situation that can soon be remedied!
Update: Amazon.co.uk is running an exclusive interview with Paddy, where he names some of his favourite albums. You can see it here!
It has been one month since the Steve McQueen Legacy Edition, and it's no coincidence that it has also been one month since my last site update. But don't worry, the site is not going into hibernation for another five years, I do have some vague promises of new content on the horizon - so don't forget about the Sprouts! Hah, as if you could.
Today I am pleased to bring you scans of an article on the re-release that appeared in 'Record Collector' magazine. It is a great read, you can check out the first page here and the second here. A big thankyou to Martyn (off the forums) who was responsible for sending me those.
A couple of small treats for you today. Firstly a guy called Rainer submitted this link to an interesting online interview with Neil Conti. Definitley worth a read.
On a (presumably) less recent note, Matmorfus sent me some scans from a magazine called "International Musician and Recording World," from April 1988. Check it out: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Update: Ian has submitted another great interview with Neil, as conducted by his 'shortlived music magazine.' You can have a read of that one here.
You may already know that Martin McAloon is managing and producing a band called 'Indigo Colony.' What you may not know, is that they are playing a gig in London on Tuesday 12th June, and Martin will be there all night, happy to speak to any Sprout fans who decide to turn up. See this thread for details.
Well Sprout fans, this site has been running for over 11 months now, which must mean we are coming up the first anniversary!
However, that does also mean I need to pay my yearly web hosting fees (which if you are wondering, are £61.50 this time - or $124.) Now, while I certainly will endeavour to pay these fees myself, I am a poor student, so if there are any rich fans out there with a couple of quid to spare, I thought I should point you to the donations page! Any help you could provide would be great, even if you just want to pay the 50p.
On another note, I would definitley like to do something special for the first anniversary, so I am opening the table for suggestions - get emailing me if you have one.
Thank you very much indeed to everyone who donated, to keep the site afloat for another year. This site has always been a community project - you guys have sent in pretty much all of the content, and now you are even paying the hosting fees! So thanks again to all who donated, and every time you visit the site I want you to think 'yeah, I paid for this!'
Talking of stuff you have sent in, I've got quite a bit to upload, so I am going to split it up, with more stuff coming Monday morning.
As for today, Peter Whitfield conducted a short (but fascinating) interview with Martin about the recording of 'Andromeda Heights,' which you can read here.
He also provided me with a scan of the recent 'Viz' article comparing Paddy to Elvis, which you can (and indeed must) check out here. Martin reported that he has bought the magazine, and told Paddy about it, after which they apparently 'had a good laugh.'
As promised, here is your Monday update - but if you missed the stuff from Peter Whitfield on Thursday, you can still find it here and here, and read about it under old news.
Onto today, and firstly we have an amazing interview with none other than Thomas Dolby, on the subject of Prefab Sprout, courtesy of 'Puremusic' ezine. You can check that out here.
We also have some exceprts from 'Mojo' magazine, sent in by Martyn. First, there's a short review of 'Steve McQueen,' and secondly Bjork apparently owns up to being inspired by the Sprouts.
And last, but definitley not least, Andy Bell has made some very nice Sprout wallpapers/posters for your enjoyment, and you can download all four in a handy zip file right here.
Just a little note to say, this site is one year old today. Sorry about bursting into poetry there, but I would just like to thank everyone who has contributed, and express a hope that the second year will be just as eventful as the first!
It's been a very busy week on Sproutnet, and there's still more stuff for you to see!
Firstly, an Italian named Alessandro sent me a music video he had made for the re-recorded 'Desire As,' depicting one of his favourite towns. He said it was 'dedicated to Paddy,' and you can see it here.
Secondly, someone called Papa Bear posted a link to the August issue of 'Goldmine' magazine, discussing the Steve McQueen re-release, and including interviews with Martin and Thomas Dolby. You can check that one out here.
Check back on Tuesday for news of an intriguing new feature on the site. Well, I think it's intriguing, anyway.
It continues to be a very busy period for the site, so if you haven't been on recently I reccomend you check old news.
Today, as brought to my attention by the mysterious 'Rivermoving,' on the forums, I have got another interview with Thomas Dolby, from 'bullz-eye.com.' You can find it here, and it's well worth a read.
Secondly, I have launched a new feature on the site, namely 'The Great Sprout Survey!' This will run for a month, and it's just a bit of fun, that will hopefully get some interesting results. So head over to the relevant page now, and fill it in! (If you please.)
And finally, some good news - I'm going away for a while, so I won't be responding to emails, or updating the site till Friday 17th. I don't expect there to be any important Sprout developments while I'm away - but having said that, I'd like to invite Paddy to prove me wrong.
Well, the survey is going brilliantly. I've had 172 responses as of today, but I'm sure there are a few of you who haven't filled it in yet. So, hurry along and do so!
Not much news has occured in the last couple of weeks, but one notable item is forum member 'Old Spoonface' having herself tattooed with a Sprout-related design. Despite how boring I made it sound in that last sentence, it is actually a very rock 'n' roll thing to do, and you can have a look at the finished article here.
(She assures me that her skin is not really that orange, and it's just the camera.)
Also on the message board, we've had a Swedish visitor reporting a chance meeting with Paddy in Consett. Besides discussing the Scottish weather (?), Paddy apparently said he's got so many songs he doesn't know which ones to record, but he wants to record again. Now there's some good news if ever I heard some!
The survey is still going strong, with 262 responses the new total. Unfortunatley I am now going to have to close it on the 4th September, but all that means is that if you still haven't filled it in, you should get on it straight away.
In the news, Jim Kennedy has informed me that the Steve McQueen re-issue has been released domestically in the USA, which can only be good news. And on a related note, various people on the forum have pointed me to this Rolling Stone article, which is worth a look.
For those of you wondering what Paddy McAloon looks like these days, Kristopher has sent me a photo of him meeting the great man on August 8th. You can see it here, if you dare!
And finally, new forum member Lucille posted a very poetic statement yesterday, which I thought I would re-post here:
'Being into the Sprouts is like walking down the street like any other person, but you can't stop smiling 'cause you know you have your pockets full of diamonds.' Can't argue with that!
The survey has finally come to a close, after one month and 389 responses. Not a bad turn out at all, so thanks to everyone who participated.
Despite what I said, most people still requested 'rare MP3's,' and one person even corrected me on my use of the word 'nation' to describe the constituent parts of the UK - but there were some very interesting results, which we will all be able to find out when I have added them all up.
In other news, 'Spinning Belinda' from the forums posted a link to a review of the re-released Steve McQueen on online music website 'Pitchfork.' You can find that here.
I am going away again, till Monday 10th, in order to add up the favourite tracks of 389 seperate people - until then, keep an ear out for any Sprout news, and wait patiently for my return.
Well, the survey results have been tabulated, and are finally online. Some very interesting winners and losers, and of course I am delighted to announce we now have a definitive (and suprising!) answer to the big 'facial hair' question.
I'm off back to university tomorrow - not actually to go to lectures, but I will be there nonetheless, trying to enjoy university life without the boring part (studying.) What this means for you is a bit of a quieter spell on the site - the hubbub about the Legacy Edition has now died down, the band aren't up to much, and I won't have time for any of my intriguing 'features.' For a while, anyway.
However, please keep an eye out for mentions of the Sprouts in the press, and if you live in the area keep an eye out for Paddy or the other Sprouts. Remember, if you hear or see anything, you can email me by clicking right here. See you all later!
I've been sitting on this bit of news for a while, until something else came along I could post with it, to make it a bit more exciting. Mary and Kevin sent me a link to a review, both written and audio, of the new Steve McQueen from NPR. I really reccomend listening to it, it's very well done, and a nice little presentation! There's also a new interview with Paddy from 1988, which I've added to the media page - so thanks a lot guys.
The other bit of news is that I've finally got my hands on the legendary bootleg Sprout disc 'Silhouettes,' and with it proper, high-quality CD versions of all the old vinyl b-sides. I can't send them to you, though, obviously. Sony don't go in for those sort of shenanigans. However, I thought it would comfort you to know that someone has got them.
Finally, this site still has a last.fm group. I just remembered today, and I thought perhaps I should remind everyone! If you're on that site, and not signed up to the group - you probably should try and sort that out.
I have recieved an interesting bit of news from Dave King, who has bought a new album by the band 'Stars,' entitled 'In Our Bedroom After the War' (which you can find here on Amazon.)
He reports that in the sleeve notes, our very own Paddy McAloon gets a mention in the 'thankyou' section, like so:
"All of the brilliant people who helped us make this record, Paddy Mcaloon, the greatest…and you…we hope you're still out there and we thank you if you are…vive le revolution! we lost, but that was the plan…and it was a beautiful war…xoxo stars"
Whether this is enough to make you buy the CD is entirely up to you!
Some real, genuine news today. Firstly, regular contributor Peter Whitfield has posted a quite optimistic forum post with a lot of insight about the current state of the band. You can see it here, and it's well worth a read.
And there's more - Daneil Hunt emailed me to say that Play.com is listing a new Prefab Sprout compilation, entitled 'Kings Of Rock 'N' Roll.' You can see for yourself here, though there's not much information yet. Something to look out for, though!
If you think updates have been a touch scarce lately, it's simply because not much has happened. (The new compilation is due out on Monday 26th, but you knew that already.) Plus, my computer has broken, leaving me unable to update the site, even if something does occur - until I have saved up £400 for a new one. Could be a while!
However, I have recently recieved a VHS with two long-lost (and fantastic) Prefab Sprout TV performances. Thing is, they aren't a lot of good to you on the tape, so I am issuing a call for anyone who has the facilities to transfer it onto DVD (or knows someone who does) to get in touch, and help my cause.
Update: The tape has now been taken care of, and sent off for digitilisation. Thanks to all who emailed in.