Sunday, 29 April 2012

NEWS: Dodgy to release new single 'Only A Heartbeat' in May

The excellent DODGY are to release a new single, 'Only A Heartbeat'. The album version of the song is currently available on their incredible 'Stand Upright In A Cool Place' album (REVIEW HERE), which was released earlier this year, and the new version is due to be released as single on June 11th. The band stated: "For the new single version we had another listen to the master tapes and sent them back over with our ideas to Matt Pence in Texas, who has revisited the track and done a sterling job - we are sure you will agree when you hear it."

The extra tracks will include a cover of The Band's 'Long Black Veil' and a new song 'Pitcheroak'.

'Only A Heartbeat' (new single version) / 'Long Back Veil' / 'Pitcheroak'

The band posted: 

"Last week we decamped to Vale Studios for two days; the glorious boys from The Smoke Feathers said it was a great place to record and they weren't wrong. The studio is based in a tiny village called Fladbury, near Evesham that has NOTHING....apart from a couple of pubs and a butchers that sold the best pork pies in the world. I know what you're thinking - NO jokes about the drummer and pies please! Word is obviously getting out about the studio as they had @TheUnthanks in straight after us, which when I heard gave me quite a little quiver in my stomach (no, it wasn't the pies) as I have rather a thing for those sisters. Lovely, earthy women, singing beautiful harmonies hits me somewhere deep, and apparently so for Nigel also, as we found out the next day when we watched @thestaves, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Going into the studio, we start to pick up on word on Twitter that our favourite singer and drummer from one of our favourite bands, Levon Helm from The Band, was not in good shape, so we decided to change our well made plans and record a cover of a Band song. Afficianados of Dodgy will know that we have already covered 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' - noone can remember if we ever recorded it properly (there might a bootleg somewhere) but we certainly played it live, probably on the 1996 tour. It all got spooky when we got back into the control room after we'd put down the final take of  a version of The Band's 'Long Black Veil' to find out the sad news that he'd passed away. Apparently he'd been in a lot of pain for a long time so it was probably a welcome release. Hope you like our version, Mr Miller's one take guitar is rather splendid.

The other track Dodgy recorded is 'Pitcheroak', a song that Nigel wrote with a bunch of pupils he has taught at Pitcheroak School in Redditch and the kids who took part in the writing process have a whole range of special needs from severe autism, reading and talking difficulties. They were inspirational and the most caring young people we have ever worked with. The song is written especially for the school, the kids wrote the lyrics and if you listen to the track some of them are singing on it with us, all proceeds from the song will be going to the school to help fund further arts based projects.

You should be able to download the new songs from iTunes and other usual suspects from June 11th."

Meanwhile the band will be recording a Radio 2 session for the legendary Bob Harris's show in July...

The press release reads: 

Dodgyology “A second chance will never come
   Keeping on ‘til you’re done
   Don’t waste a moment of a single day...”

When it came to helping put together some words for the release of our new single - something they refer to in the industry as a Press Release (you see, we can impart some of our superior knowledge and experience and be educational here as well) we were struggling ourselves and are indebted to the journalist Terry Staunton for taking on the task and summing it up with the following, on the button, words:
The sentiments of Only A Heartbeat, the new single from Dodgy, strike a universal chord. It’s a powerfully emotional song about loss and, perhaps more importantly, healing, speaking directly to a hurt all of us have faced, or will face at some point in our lives. 

Oftentimes, a blow can throw us off balance, leaving us grasping for the words to try and make sense of what’s happened. Articulacy evades us, as we struggle to process our thoughts and find a way to move forward, and Dodgy’s Nigel Clark was no different – until music guided him towards, if not total understanding, at least a kind of acceptance, a glimmer of light in the darkness.

   “In June 2008 my older brother died, totally out of the blue,” he says.
   “I felt really lost; if I was a turtle, it felt like I’d lost my shell, I’d lost my shelter.
     But I got to thinking about when my heart stops, I’ll be with him again."

   “I was walking round my studio, which I do quite a lot, just pacing, and the words kept
    coming into  my head:
   ‘Feeling, knowing, you’re only a heartbeat away.’
    It was very simple, but very cathartic.”

Already a firm favourite in the group’s live set, Dodgy have heard stories from fans of how Only A Heartbeat has helped them deal with losses of their own, the song’s reassuring lyrics and tender melody offering genuine comfort.

In common with many tracks on the critically acclaimed album Stand Upright In A Cool Place, it addresses big themes with maturity and intelligence, clear hallmarks of the older, wiser 21st century Dodgy. It’s been 16 years since the release of their previous album, back in the heady ‘90s when the band delivered a seemingly endless procession of memorable tunes we took to our hearts (Good Enough, Staying Out For The Summer, So Let Me Go Far, If You’re Thinking Of Me, Found You, Melodies Haunt You, the list goes on...).

After such a long lay-off, there was bound to be questions as to whether Dodgy could recapture the magic of old, whether the muse was still there, whether they still had the instinctive knack of crafting joyously persuasive music that made us want to dance, sing, everything. The answer to all those questions is a resounding yes.

They’re still deftly fashioning the pop thrills of yore, but the bulging scrapbook of enthusiastic thumbs-up reviews for Stand Upright... are a testament to the fact that the new songs of greater depth and substance, of richer meaning, have been embraced by all who hear them, and that Dodgy have returned to the spotlight just when we needed them the most.    

In that respect, the opening line of Only A Heartbeat isn’t entirely accurate. A second chance has come for Dodgy, and they’re determined not to waste a single note of it.

The exciting, young film-maker, Kris Thompson was first brought to our attention when he took some amazing footage of the riots in Ealing (just put Ealing into You Tube, it's the first video). We decided to ask him to produce the series of short films we made about the songs on the new album. 

At one of our live shows with Dodgy, Kris was moved by the fact that people were coming up to Nigel afterwards, asking for the lyrics to Only A Heartbeat to help them over recent loss - so much so that he wanted to make a short film to accompany the song.
Interpret the song how he sees it, as all good film makers should

The resulting film is quite remarkable. We knew he was good, but not this good.

The film was having a dramatic effect on the few people we showed it to, and we realised that it was a different creature altogether to a pop video, so that's when we started talking to homeless charity Crisis. they saw the potential and were very keen to come on board and use the message of the film to draw attention to the vital work they do and especially their No One Turned Away campaign.

Chief Executive of Crisis, Leslie Morphy, said: “Sadly, what happens in the video is all too true for an increasing number of people as rough sleeping is on the rise. We would like to thank the members of Dodgy for supporting our No One Turned Away campaign calling for a real safety net so that no one needs to face the horror of sleeping rough.”

Dodgy have worked with Crisis before so when Kris Thompson pitched this story, we felt it would work for Only A Heartbeat. Homelessness is the most visible sign that some of the most vulnerable in our society are being let down. And there seems a tendency at the moment to vilify these people, "they’ve failed, they’ve done it to themselves" – therefore it’s okay for us to ignore them or even worse despise them and hurt them.  These individuals aren’t different from us, they are us - except something’s happened, there’s been a crisis – in the case of the man in the film, a bereavement. It’s estimated at least 70% of homeless people have mental health problems, they need care and they need respect. Mainly due to the economic downturn, rough sleeping rose by 23% last year. Society is about protecting everyone within and this includes the most vulnerable. Homeless charities like Crisis and St Mungos are seeing a rise in the number of people on the streets… and that’s just not acceptable in the 21st Century"

This being the week of the Cannes film festival we saw no reason why they should have all the red carpets so we are going to have our own ONLINE PREMIERE of the Kris Thompson film to accompany 'Only A Heatbeat' this THURSDAY evening MAY 24th at 9pm, followed by a short Q&A on Twitter and the Dodgy Facebook page with the film-maker and some members of the band. Please comment on Twitter using #OnlyAHeartbeat

Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change. The charity’s award winning education, training and employment centres offer practical and creative workshops to over 3,000 homeless people a year in an inspiring environment together with formal learning opportunities that lead to qualifications and finding work. Sign up to be a Crisis campaigner and join the fight to end homelessness

Finally, if you would be happy to use social media to support Crisis, it would be great if you could tweet about the No One Turned Away campaign or post something on Facebook. Feel free to write your own, but an example tweet about the campaign would be: ‘Urgent: Write to the Housing Minister to tell him no one should be forced to sleep rough #nooneturnedaway @crisis_uk’

To contact Crisis

To contact Dodgy email us @ info(at)

Dodgy will be playing live this Friday May 25th at the Corn Exchange in Hertford. Come along."

For more information about the single visit

Here is a part of the superb video for 'Only A Heartbeat', directed by Kris Thompson...

The band talk about what inspired the song...

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