Mark Mortimer in focus

Founding DC Fontana father Mark Mortimer is the subject of a four-page feature in the new issue of ‘Pagan Dawn‘ magazine.

Mortimer is quizzed at length by magazine editor Atreyu Crimmins on a wide range of subjects in what is a fascinating & revealing article in the current Imbolc issue from the Pagan Federation’s popular periodical publication.

The lengthy piece covers a wide range of subjects from what is behind DC songs & videos, the group’s current indie-charts success ‘Pentagram Man’ through to spirituality & a discussion on the fated parallels between rock & roll & paganism plus his punk rock childhood followed by a decision to rebel against a strict religious upbringing…

Pentagram Man 7″

Copies of DC FONTANA’s ‘Pentagram Man’ 7″ record are now in stock!

The double A sided release features ’60s legend Don Fardon singing a version of the title track on one of the sides with the Louise Turner-sung ‘DevilAngel’ on the other.

Released on Heavy Soul Records (England), the 7″ is available to buy from the group’s webstore here:

 

  1. Regular 7″ http://www.dcfontana.com/shop/product_info.php/cPath/22/products_id/102
  2.  Signed version http://www.dcfontana.com/shop/product_info.php/cPath/22/products_id/103

Don & Mark to open new scooter exhibition

Don Fardon will be joined by DC Fontana’s Mark Mortimer as special guests at the opening of a major scooter exhibition in England tomorrow night (Thurs October 25).

The two will be on hand at the Coventry Transport Museum for the opening of a special exhibition featuring vintage British scooters from the 50s & 60s with Don cutting the ribbon to formally open the event at 7.30pm.

Coventry-born Don has made a return to his singing career during 2012 by performing with the reformed Sorrows & by singing live with DC Fontana to perform material from his globally successful solo career from the late 60s & 70s.

He also features as a guest singer on the group’s just-released ‘Pentagram Man EP’ which is now available.

The two musicians will join civic dignatries & leading scooter experts at the Hales Street museum for the “Scooter Mania Exhibition” which puts thte spotlight on machines manufactured on the British Isles instead of the usual Lambrettas & Vespas.

All the scooters on display were collected by Robin Spalding & include well-known British names such as Triumph, BSA & Raleigh, as well as more obscure manufacturers such as DMW, DKR & Dunkley to offer a unique perspective on this iconic form of personal transport.

As well as the scooters there are eye-catching displays of advertising, fashion & furnishings from the 50s & 60s to create an experience that is both nostalgic & surprising.

Don Fardon said: “I am honoured to be asked to formally open the exhibition with a short speech because Coventry is obviously my home town & the scooter culture has cropped up a lot during my career.

“It’s great that Mark from DC Fontana will also be with me for this & also appropriate considering the support that DC Fontana & myself receive from mods & scooter enthusaists from all over the world.”

DevilAngel – video of the day!

DC Fontana’s ‘DevilAngel’ video from the group’s brand new Pentagram Man EP is Video of The Day & getting great vibes on the Get To The Front website

Great publicity for a great video which was filmed by Dan Evans and directed by Martin Copland-Gray. This is one of THREE new videos that DC Fontana have released to promote the brilliant ‘Pentagram Man EP.’

Pentagram Man EP OUT NOW!!

DC Fontana’s brilliant new record, the ‘Pentagram Man EP‘ is OUT NOW!

Front cover of the new record

Released on DCTone Records, the six-track EP is available as a deluxe CD and as mp3 downloads while a 7″ vinyl will follow shortly later.

Buy the CD format of the EP HERE for a mere £6.00 or you can snap up a special limited edition signed copy of it for £8.00 HERE!

The EP features half a dozen tunes &features a bonus track sung by 60s blue eyed soul legend Don Fardon.

The CD format also includes a foreword written by American rock journalist Jean The Machine and sleeve notes from British psychede3lic shaman, Peter Daltrey, the lead singer & songwroter with Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour, one of the most important psychedelic groups to emerge from the UK during the 1960s.

Indeed the CD booklet is an eight-page full colour affair to compliment the eye-catching CD artwork.

Musically the EP features:

01: Pentagram Man (Mark Mortimer)

02: DevilAngel (Mark Mortimer)

03: What Would It Take? (Tony Russell)

04: Satisfied (Part One) (Scott Riley)

05: Sighed DC (Donald Ross Skinner & Mark Mortimer)

06: Pentagram Man (Don Fardon Vocal Version) (Mark Mortimer)

As usual, the record is produced by Donald Ross Skinner and was recorded mostly in Birmingham but also in London & Liverpool.

It’s a fantastic six-track collection which shows the band REALLY upping their game and moving forward.

What Would It Take?

 

Peter Daltrey pens new sleeve notes!

DC Fontana are proud & honoured to reveal that seminal British psychedelic shaman Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour has written the sleeve notes to the group’s forthcoming ‘Pentagram Man EP.’

Peter, whose majestic music is

of fundamental importance to the psych & folk-rock scenes of the UK, enjoyed seeing the DCs perform in Gijón, Spain recently & wrote a beautiful article about their delicious new six-track release which left him to declare “I’m blown away.”
See Kaleidoscope here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee9w_7UYeiM&feature=related

Founding member & bass player Mark Mortimer said: “It’s magic to have Peter involved: he’s a real musical hero of mine, a sonic magus & we’re delighted that he really ‘gets’ what we’re trying to achieve with our new music.

“To me Peter’s songs are up there with the likes of those from Syd Barrett, John & Paul, Ray Davies & all the other heavyweight “names” that people often reel off as being exponents of quintessential English psychedelia.

Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope

“After having the amazing Julie Driscoll (now called Tippetts) & her husband Keith write the notes for our French & Italian sung record ‘La Contessa’ & gigging with Don Fardon it’s a blast to discover people whose music we admire seem to really like what we’re about.

“To me this qualifies as a degree of “success” & everyone in the group is thrilled at the reaction we’re getting to our new material.”

The news comes at a buzzing time with lots of exciting stuff happening behind the scenes for the DCs. Watch this space!

Contessa sold out!

All copies of DC Fontana’s heavy vinyl debut single ‘The Contessa’/'Snake Charmer’ have now SOLD OUT!

The first run of the popular double A sided 7″ sold out pronto leaving the group’s record label to a second pressing of the record but all copies have now been snapped up by followers of the band and a spokesman for DCTone Records has confirmed there are no plans to go to a third pressing.

He said: “The record, which came out at Christmas a couple of years ago, was always intended to be a collctors’ item so there are no plans to make a third pressing.”

 

‘The Contessa,’ with its frantic off-kilter Hammond driven groove and ‘Snake Charmer’ with its risque lyrics and pounding beat, have proven to be live favourites of DC Fontana since the record was first released. Both tracks also featured on the group’s first album ‘Six Against Eight’ while a revised French version also features on the group’s ‘La Contessa’ record.

DC Fontana Communiqué: August 2012

Well Come one and all!

Evolutionary paths continue to be trod by those in the world of DC Fontana as a hectic summer continues apace with the band jetting out for Spain for the incomporable Euro Ye Ye festival this week.

The DCs will be joined on stage by their producer and vital collaborator-in-chief Donald Ross Skinner at what will be an incredibly special show this Thursday (August 2nd) under the full moon in the northern Spanish resort of Gijón as the band will be showcasing their own original tunes before being joined on stage by 60s & 70s blue eyed soul legend Don Fardon.

Don, whose fantastic late 60s (& early 70s) back catalogue includes nuggets like “I’m Alive”, “Coming On Strong,” “The Dreaming Room,” “Sunshine Woman”, “Belfast Boy” and much more, has been rehearsing with the DCs towards the Ye Ye gig and I can reliably confirm it sounds FANTASTIC!

With people jetting in to Gijón from all over the globe for this feast of hip-shaking sonic goodness (the Ye Ye runs until Sunday in an amost non-stop dizzy daze of psychedelic retro-is-now hedonism for cool heads and dancers alike) there is great anticipation for the DC & Don gig which takes place in the Plaza Mayor (pictured).

The band last played this feast of music & 1960s-related culture two years ago with an almost completely different line up and this year’s bash signposts an exciting new era for the current line up which is now fronted by Salford chanteuse Louise Turner who has already made the vocalist job her own and endeared her to DC followers in the UK during her short spell at the helm.

Also on board in Spain will be the group’s brilliant new brass section featuring Steve Bland on trumpet, Jo Naylor on tenor saxophone and flute, Alicia Gardener-Trejo on baritone saxophone and Saphran Ali on trombone.

This is the line up which has now completed the group’s next record, a six-track EP (or mini album if you prefer) called ‘Pentagram Man’ which should be released sometime in September all being well.

The record is a forward-thinking collection of sonic nuggets designed to tantalise.

And all six tunes on the record will soon be promoted all across the web thanks to THREE brand new short films that the band has shot in and around the Kingdom of Mercia this summer:

Video 1: ‘Sighed DC’ / ‘Pentagram Man’ is an ambitious 8-minutes long short film and pop video featuring actors Richard Taylor, Louise Fulwell & Mark Brindley alongside the band filmed at various locations including Tamworth Castle, the Custard Factory in Digbeth, the streets of Birmingham and the fields of Leicestershire……

The mini movie is the natural follow-up to DC Fontana’s much-loved ‘Six Against Eight’ short film that was made mostly in Portmeirion and is again directed by Martin Copland-Gray.

It’s another ambitious example of the group’s “art & soul” and the film – shot by Dan Evans of Expressive Arts Productions – mixes another surreal story line based on the lyrics of ‘Pentagram Man’ bisected with group performance goodies.

Richard Taylor, who played Benny The Barman in the ‘Six Against Eight‘ movie returns as the lead character, playing the bearded, suited & booted ‘Pentagram Man’….a deluded Mercian Midlander who has convinced himself he is related to occultist Aleister Crowley and possesses powerful magickal powers.Bass player Mark Mortimer, who wrote Penty explained to me that “the song is allegorical and concerns self-delusion in all its various manifestations” and it’s also a slap in the face to those who are quick to dismiss eccentricity and people who avoid being typecast like the rest of the general public.

Pentagram Man‘ itself is a catchy medium-paced tune with a blsitering fuzz guitar solo and a sing-along refrain to annoy your senses for months to come.

The other track featured in this short film is the lengthy ambient psychedelia of ‘Sighed DC’, a stunning instrumental piece that is a quixotic potion of dreamy vocals where former singer Karla Milton’s voice gives way to that of Louise Turner in a symbolic passing of the torch. Meanwhile, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar gets involved and invokes a mediaeval Spanish incantation while Mellotrons, autoharp and Syd Barrett-like guitar stuff mingle beautifully in a cinematic three-stage psych-out.

Video 2: ‘What Would It Take?‘ / ‘Satisfied (Part 1)‘ is totally the opposite to ‘Pentagram Man‘ with a deliberately stripped-back and skeletal vibe, being a simple performance video shot by Andy Codling in an empty room at the Custard Factory in Birmingham.

Again directed by Copland-Gray this video features the band performing guitarist Tony Russell’s beautiful acid-folk tune which is a delightful acoustic gem featuring some beautiful vocals from Louise Turner plus Tony’s acoustic guitar, a smattering of accordion and a Nick Drake inspired flute solo from Jo Naylor.It’s a beautiful and moving song and adds a gorgeous texture to the EP.

The other tune featured in the video is Scott Riley’s song ‘Satisfied‘ but it is radically different from the version that appears on the group’s debut album and is a stripped back alternative version featuring congas, Beatles-like cellos, gorgeous bluesy piano and it has a lazy psychedelic jazz feel.

Video 3: ‘DevilAngel‘ / ‘BONUS TRACK‘ sees the band attempt a traditional “pop video” format for the first time ever and with Copland-Gray once again directing and with Dan Evans filming again, this film was made inside a studio in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter district.

The video sees the band performing the ultra catchy ‘DevilAngel‘ tune with the additional assistance from performance artist Adam Ford who appears as a giant 10-foot tall red demonic figure with horns.

Musically, ‘DevilAngel’ is a gem with pounding post-punk tribal drums (think Gang Of Four or perhaps the Velvets) and a super-catchy riff played by fuzz guitar and hammered dulcimer….the chorus is strident and anthemic and will have you singing it or a long time after you hear it

…….then there are blissed out moments of Brian Wilson influenced pop with orchestral woodwind played by Jo Naylor (flutes) & Meg Stockbridge (cor anglais & oboe) while the more traditional DC sound of Hammond organ and horns is also proudly in the mix.The overall result is probably the catchiest and most commercial DC release to date. The sixth track featured on the EP & also to feature in this final video is a surprise to be announced ….

The record was recorded at The Elephant House Studios in Baslall Heath, Birmingham and produced by Donald Ross Skinner with G Corp. Additional production on ‘Sighed DC‘ comes from Rob Cross, guitarist with Mr. Ray’s Wig World.

DC Fontana are hoping to release ‘Pentagram Man EP‘ on vinyl (via Teen Sound / Misty Lane in Rome), CD & mp3 downloads (via DCTone Records)….hopefully in September (watch this space).

The Rev. Delirium

with help from Æthelbald & Tomsæte, morris dancing from the otherside &

warping the lowlands of belief & the highlands of imagination into a

mind-melted slop of psychodrama in Mercia, a land where wolfsbanes once

roamed, factories dreamed & robins were reliant betwixt the rivers anker &

tame close to offa’s palace

DC Fontana Communiqué: May 2011

Let’s kick off our merry month of May missive to our friends with news that work has begun on this summer’s chic DC Fontana album ‘La Contessa.’

This project is scheduled to come out in August as a cool collectors’ edition with a continental flavour.

And the group has recorded a brand new & barnstorming instrumental called ‘Abbesses’ especially for the record.

This will be joined by more new tracks & superb new versions of songs that appeared on the début album ‘Six Against Eight’ but this time sung in French & Italian by DC chanteuses, Karla & Kicca.

La Contessa’ takes parts of the first album & transforms them into a beautifully evocative stroll along the Champs-Élysées, a climb up the cobbled street hill of Montmartre in Paris & a brisk Lambretta ride past the Colosseum in Rome.

Once again produced by Donald Ross Skinner, it should be a real treat for any purveyors of cool & anyone in to the eclectic DC sound.

The record will also serve as a summer picnic before the feast that will be the follow up to ‘Six Against Eight‘ which the group intends to start recording in the coming months at their base in the Elephant House.

We will undoubtedly let you know more about ‘La Contessa‘ in the coming weeks but I can report that everyone in the group was thrilled with ‘Abbesses’ when it was recorded at the start of May.

I was in the studio when it was created & I can tell you the band is getting better & better & carving out a distinctive vibe as every week goes by & this ‘Abbesses‘ track will be popular out on the floor.

You can expect a dancefloor friendly three-minute rush of crunchy Farfisa organ, car-chase horns, garagey guitars & funky congas blasting along at a fair old pace.

The group were excited to receive a surprise remix of their work from the ‘Six Against Eight’ album this week from bass player Mark Mortimer’s long-term friend Rob Cross who used to play with Mr. Ray’s Wig World.

Titled, brilliantly, ‘Sighed DC‘, the mix is a psychedelic ambient collage of moments from the first DC album plus some snippets of speech from a very famous late actor of Irish descent who the group are extremely fond of.

And next some apologies right from the art of Mercia:

Firstly, we’d like to say SORRY to those of you who are keen to see our new short movie for the new DC Fontana release ‘Meshkalina’…we have had one or two unforeseen things happen that have delayed the film but it’s a-comin’-in.

Don’t you worry, within a flurry of days this film will be unveiled & we think it’s a whole bunch of fun.

It stars our singer Karla and also a seven year-old girl – Ella – also hailing from the Kingdom of Mercia, plus the Horned God, badger, stag, hare, mini car, apples and faery dancers. It’s a magickal thing & we feel sure you will dig it.

The video will be online very shortly. Watch out for it……

As for the record itself we now have copies of the CD EP (five tracks to make May extra-merry) and the 7″ vinyl at DC headquarters and you can also download the tunes as mp3s from our web store here:

http://www.dcfontana.com/shop.html

The second apology relates to those of you who have ordered DC Fontana shirts from our web store…we have currently sold out all clothing items & are in the process of creating some new stock so just bear with us while we get some new stuff in.

The third apology is to all those of you who paid & pre-ordered the 7” vinyl version of ‘Meshkalina’ & then had to wait – due to the recent flurry of Bank Holidays here in the UK we suffered delays which were beyond our control.

As regards live gigs May is the DCs’ lull for 2011 but they do make a return to Café Rene in Gloucester on Friday May 27 followed by a home-town show in Tamworth the following evening & a trip down south to play the Bedford in Balham, south London with Proud Mary on Sunday May 28.

Anyone wishing to go to this gig should note it is almost sold out so they would be advised to get in quick.

DC Hammond player Scott Riley is currently on a month-long hiatus in California & appearing with the group in his absence is the hugely talented and humorous Giles Minkley, a regular member of the growing DC family who lives in the Cotswolds & who kicked up a storm on the recording of ‘Abbesses‘ with some fizzing Farfisa chops.

The group asked me to wish you all well & to thank you for your continuing support, particularly thanking those amazing cats who travelled from as far as Australia and Brittany to see the group deliver a blistering set at Portmeirion in Wales last month & to those who travelled from afar to see the group at The Cavern in Liverpool & at Beat Bespoke in London.

Your support is ALWAYS hugely appreciated & never taken for granted.

THE REV. DELIRIUM

with help from Æthelbald & Tomsæte, morris dancing from the otherside &

warping the lowlands of belief & the highlands of imagination into a

mind-melted slop of psychodrama in Mercia, a land where wolfsbanes once

roamed, factories dreamed & robins were reliant betwixt the rivers anker &

tame close to offa’s palace