Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Good Manners...

Certainly, Sir - How You Been

Certainly, Sir - Happy

If there were an award for the band with the politest name in music, Certainly, Sir would definitely win. I can't think of any others actually. Yes Please was the name of a Happy Mondays album. Anyone?

Rudely shoving politeness to one side, I am baffled as to why this fantastic group do not have a record deal in Europe or America. At present, their records are released by Rallye of Japan. OK, so I am slightly biased, especially when you consider that I was involved with Spoilt Records, the label that released their debut album, Mugic. But check out the tracks accompanying this post and judge for yourself, and if you are an A&R person from anywhere other than Japan, what are you waiting for???

Formed from the ashes of indie rockers The Wicket Farleys, the Boston-based outfit started out life as a bedroom-recording project, but has gradually evolved into much, much more. Wonderful harmonies, cerebral lyrics, tight programming, inventive instrumentation and catchy melodies are the ingredients, the final product being gorgeous, electronic pop music in the vein of The Postal Service, Junior Boys and The Books. Certainly, Sir is formed of the core duo of Michael Brodeur and Klaus Hubben, with other singers and musicians joining for live performances.

At Spoilt Records, the alliance with Certainly, Sir was short-lived as the label dissolved soon after the release of Mugic. No regrets though, and I'm pleased to report that the band has gone from strength-to-strength with the release of their second album TAN late last year on the aforementioned Rallye. Their sophomore release is slicker than Mugic, with a polished, minimal sound, and a guest appearance from The Postal Service’s Ben Gibbard. Included here for your delectation is 'How You Been' from Mugic, and 'Happy' from TAN. Listen, melt and remember to say thanks.

Buy - Certainly, Sir - TAN from Rallye
Buy - Certainly, Sir - Mugic direct from Certainly, Sir
Buy - Certainly, Sir - Mugic from Amazon
Visit - Certainly, Sir
Visit - Certainly, Sir @ Myspace
Visit - Rallye

I received a message from Pete, formerly of Cable, now of Hudson Super Six (and maybe of Cable again - but that's another story!) regarding the real reasons behind their split....

"tho the facts are a bit mixed up about the split... we didn't waive a fee for the add, we were never offered one, we chose a royalty based deal on number of plays - we actually didn't want the exposure that goes with a mass marketing campaign and favoured the idea that if someone like the record enough, they'd do their homework and find out who was behind it. So we turned down tour sponsorship from Sprite and advert payment - where they would pay for a double page tour and album ad in the NME etc with a huge strapline 'cable - sponsored by sprite' splashed across the bottom. We even refused to have stickers on the record saying it was the one featured in the Sprite ad.
What caused the demise of cable is something quite different - in 1994 we signed with a management company that basically didn't work for us at all once we'd signed our deal. So we went to court to get out. The 'breach of contract' thing came from the fact that we went to work with somebody else before the court had said we were allowed to - this was because the court case was going to take about a year's arguing over how much we should pay to be released from the contract. In the end it took nearly 4.
So we made the company an offer, a sizeable payoff, but they refused it and we went to court. So for the rest of cable's career, we were with another management company, whilst fighting the old one in the courts. The outcome of the case was that we would pay the original offer plus 20% of all our royalties until the contract was due to expire at the end of 2000. We worked this out to be around 36k which we really didn't want to have to pay to a company who we really didn't feel they had earned at all - our lawyer said their was only one way to make sure they didn't get a penny and that was split up.... so we did."


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