I’m happy to have a new track, ‘Adiré’, included on another lovely Second Language release. Holding Hands In The Dark – A Second Language Confluence is a limited edition, 2 CD compilation, also featuring exclusive tracks by Snowdrops, Matthew Shaw, The Leaf Library, David Rothon, Franck Alba, Hilary Robinson, Angèle David-Guillou, Mücha, Glen Johnson, Oliver Cherer, Statues In Fog and Marc Namblard. Find out more about this and other Second Language releases on 2L’s Bandcamp page, here.
Dreaming With Alice – the definitive reissue, April 2021
I am thrilled with the definitive reissue of ‘Dreaming With Alice’ that has been lovingly brought to life by Eothen Alapatt for his label Now-Again Records. The vinyl LP was pressed from the original master tapes and lacquered directly from tape by the legendary Bernie Grundman. It sounds incredibly clear and, as Eothen says, all sorts of nuances are revealed by this new pressing. The original American subscriber edition pairs ‘Alice’ with previously unreleased recordings of some of my songs from the mid-1970s on a second LP, ‘Transatlantic Runaway Heartache’, with an etching on the back that I made especially for this release. Try Rappcats in the US or Norman Records in the UK if you’d like a copy.
Roses for Columbus in BBC/Netflix thriller ‘The Serpent’, April 2021
My song Roses for Columbus from ‘Dreaming With Alice’ was included in the BBC hit show The Serpent, first aired on Netflix in April 2021. A “dreamlike, sanguine opener to Episode 2“, it reflects the mood of Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg (played by the brilliant Billy Howle) as he wrestles with the mystery surrounding the disappearance of two young travellers in Thailand in the 1970s. The Serpent is inspired by the true story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who preyed on unsuspecting victims throughout Asia at the time. Chilling, and compelling.
River Song, a single with Matthew Shaw, September 2020
Avenue With Trees, August 2020
I’m in good company on this special Second Language compilation, Avenue With Trees, released on 15th August. “A paean to the eclecticism of label compilations on early 80s pioneering labels like Les Disques du Crépuscule and Factory Benelux”, it comes in a beautifully designed six-panel, die-cut, concertina CD sleeve and is accompanied by a special 7-track bonus CDR of synchronous recordings, ‘Secondaries.’ More info/listen/buy on Bandcamp, here.
In Our Heavenly World, June 2020
I wrote ‘In Our Heavenly World’ last winter before the pandemic hit us all. It felt like a song for our times. I recorded the vocal in Normandy and sent it through the ether to my good friend Iain Ross, who played all the instruments and mixed and produced it in his studio in London. The track is available to download on Bandcamp here. All proceeds will go to Help Musicians, the UK charity working to support musicians facing financial hardship as a consequence of Covid-19.
Musiques Disperses, Lleida, 9 March 2018
I was lucky enough to be invited to play at this amazing festival in Catalonia. It’s a very special event curated with great love and care by Antoni Gorgues. I was joined by Iain Ross on guitar, Giles Barrett on bass, Angèle David-Guillou on keyboards and David Sheppard on all kinds of percussion. The whole experience was magical.
The Betsey Trotwood, 27 September 2017
We played a lovely gig at The Betsey Trotwood in Farringdon Road and we couldn’t have enjoyed it more. The evening was long and the crowd was lovely. I was joined by my fantastic band including Iain Ross on guitar, David Sheppard on bongos and John Parker on double bass. We were supported by Dan Davies, my old friend Steve Krakow (who somehow organised the whole thing) and Sara Gossett from Chicago and Alisha Sufit, and the set was brilliantly engineered by João de Sousa.
A pretty perfect rainy autumn evening.
Exhibition in London, 6 – 29 October 2016
I’m extremely pleased to be returning to Gallery 286 in London this autumn to show my new work. This is Impasse, one of the paintings from the exhibition.
To view or download the full catalogue, click on the image below.
Playing in London, 23 October 2015
I am hugely honoured to be invited by The Clientele to join the bill at Islington Assembly Hall on Friday 23rd October. This special one-off show celebrates the release of ‘Alone and Unreal: The Best of The Clientele’ which Mojo, awarding it five stars, described as “an affirmation of genius”.
Tickets are selling fast so should be booked by clicking here.
A film by Felipe Sanguinetti, Summer 2015
Last summer the Argentinian film-maker and photographer Felipe Sanguinetti came to stay with me in Normandy along with my cousin Orson Fry. Over the weekend Felipe and Orson shot a short film in my studio, and this is the result. Felipe saw the late afternoon light and it was exactly what he wanted. This song, Nursery Rhymes, is as yet unrecorded but I hope it will make it on to my next album,
whenever that may be.
Montage of River Kings, February 2015
The song River Kings (from my latest album South Wind, Clear Sky) was inspired by the months I spent in the Inner Niger Delta in Mali in 1980, as well as by the writings of Mungo Park, who went on two expeditions in the 1790s to try to discover and map the course of the Niger river. On his second, fateful trip, his canoe was ambushed west of Timbuktu, at the Bussa rapids, and he and his company were drowned. His journals of that expedition, which were kept in his top hat, have never been found.
During my adventures by the River Niger I came across the annual fishing festival of the Bozo people, who live along its banks. I was lucky to get a rare glimpse of this mysterious event and to be able to photograph it on an old Leica. Glen Johnson of Second Language Music has made my photos into a montage to accompany the song. You can look and listen here.
South Wind, Clear Sky, September 2014
“Can’t stop listening to this album”
“The eight songs here exert a tremendous pull”
“Quite possibly the most under-sung album of 2014”
The Line of Best Fit
My new album South Wind, Clear Sky was released on 29th September 2014 by Second Language. It is available as a concertina CD and as a 12″ vinyl record (with a download code as well). Most of the songs are about flying, or more specifically about dreaming about flying. Some of them were inspired by the life of Antoine de Saint Exupéry, the great French writer, philosopher and aviator.
Playing in London, 30 September 2014
I will be playing a concert in London on Tuesday 30th September to coincide with the release of my new album South Wind, Clear Sky on the wonderful Second Language label on 29th September. For more details about the album and how to order it, click here.
The concert will be in a beautiful church, St Mary’s Rotherhithe, right by the river. I’ll be playing with some lovely musicians who appear on the album, including John Parker (double bass), Angèle David-Guillou (piano and backing vocals), Guy Fixsen (synths, guitar, samples), Iain Ross (guitar and percussion) and Jack Hayter (pedal steel). There’ll be special support from my good friend the very talented Oliver Cherer. Tickets can be booked now by clicking here.
I hope you can come along.
The Dreaming with Alice songbook
I can now announce the publication of the Dreaming With Alice songbook – which really is a dream come true. For many years I had been wanting to collect together in one place the lyrics and music for all the songs on Dreaming With Alice.
My friend Iker Spozio, the brilliant illustrator and artist who designed the concertina sleeve for my last album I Lived In Trees (Mark Fry / The A. Lords, Second Language, 2011) created 12 specially commissioned illustrations to accompany the music.
I was very fortunate to meet the designer Jeff Kindleysides, who together with Steven Ubsdell took the project under his wing and brought it to a splendid outcome in this special, collectable book with its red stitching and green linen cover with gold-blocked lettering.
You can buy the Dreaming With Alice songbook by clicking here.
Music & Migration III out now, October 2013
I am honoured to have a new song on this lovely compilation from Second Language, Music and Migration III, the third in a series of three albums highlighting the work of the worldwide conservation alliance BirdLife International.
I wrote my contribution, In Times Like These, in the depths of a January snowdrift. I could not be more pleased that it’s found a home on this beautifully produced and designed release. It’s been very well received and copies are selling fast, so buy yours now by clicking here.
Playing in Bergen, 13 September 2013
I will be playing some of my songs at Phonofestivalen
in Bergen, Norway, on Friday 13th September.
There’s a lovely line-up of artists including
the wonderful Bombino from Niger.
David Sheppard of Ellis Island Sound
(and many other guises)
will be coming with me.
We plan a quiet set…
Exhibition in London, 14 – 31 May 2013
I have always been intrigued by the various ways in which place, sound, and movement have been depicted – ancient maps, celestial and maritime charts, musical scores, dance notation. Occupied by the search for an explanatory visual language, the transcriber has in different times and places created his own particular visual poetry. In the process of interpreting one mystery, he incidentally creates another.
Some years ago, as I moved towards a more abstract approach to painting, I began to look at these things in a different way. I caught a glimpse of something up ahead. These recent paintings are the maps and charts and musical scores of my imagination: a way of tracing something backwards in order to find the beginning.
Mark Fry, Normandy, 2013
For more information contact Gallery 286, here.
Playing in Tokyo in April 2013
I’ll be playing three gigs in Tokyo on 19th, 20th and 21st April. The first two will be at Mandala-2 in Kichijoji . The third one, on Sunday 21st, will be at the UFO Club in Higashi-Koenji. For tickets and more information in Japanese, please consult the esteemed Captain Trip. For details in English, see the Tokyo Gig Guide.