The Yellow Moon Band (2006 – 2009)
Jo Bartlett – Rhythm Guitar
Rudy Carroll – Lead Guitar and Mandolin.
Danny Hagan – Bass Guitar
Mathew Priest – Drums
Ali Byworth – Drums
This was the band we had, running along side us while still curating our Green Man Festival, here we are on stage with The Yellow Moon Band in 2007.
We released three 7″ singles, one 12″ remix and an album on Static Caravan between 2007 and 2009. We also recorded two radio sessions – one for Stuart Maconie’s Freakzone on BBC 6 Music and one for John Kennedy on XFM.
Our debut single was ‘Entangled’. This was originally actually a ‘b’ side to the single ’God’s Closed His Eyes’ by It’s J&D. A very simple version – you can hear me telling Danny where the changes are as we record it – it was played by Huw Stephens on the Welsh Radio 1 Evening Session instead of the ‘A’ side and that got us thinking.
We included it in the set for the final It’s J&D tour with Rudy and Mathew and it became a very different beast. It really was the start of The Yellow Moon Band.
We made our debut as TYMB at the Green Man in 2006. In fact, we played the first half of the set with It’s J&D songs and the second half with new material, including the awesome new version of ’Entangled’ and morphed into The Yellow Moon Band live on stage. Which I thought was a pretty cool thing to do.
Looking at this flier designed by Jon Clee for the 2006 Green Man, It’s Jo and Danny are listed.
But by the time we asked Pete Fowler to design a poster for the same festival a few months later, It’s J&D have been replaced by The Yellow Moon Band.
We went into the studio – Bark, with Brian O’Shaugnessy, in Walthamstow, East London, straight after our Green Man performance and recorded five tracks, including ’Entangled’. Jon Clee, who by now was our Green Man art work guru and a huge influence on us musically, heard the tracks – two of which had singing on, and advised us to stick to the instrumentals. So we did. I sent those tracks to Geoff Dolman at the Static Caravan label. He loved them and a few months later, our debut single, with ’Entangled’ as the lead was released. The 7″ also features ’Chimney’ and ’Lunadelica’ – all three tracks would later appear on our album.
Jon Clee did the artwork for the single.
So, here is The Yellow Moon Band’s version of ’Entangled’ as you can hear, it is magnificent compared to the track’s humble beginings.
I had started to write exclusively in the folk tuning of DADGAD – all the tracks by The Yellow Moon Band are written in this tuning. I think it helped give us our unique sound. I would come up the riffs and send them to the Rudy and Mathew, we would then get together, initially in the barn where Danny and I lived in Brecon and work them into shape.
The second single by The Yellow Moon Band, was ’Maybach’.
Here’s the video, directed by our collaborator from the It’s J&D days, the wonderful, Jason Glenister.
The ‘b’ side of the 7″ featured another instrumental, ’Focussed’ plus a rare thing – a vocal track – ’Folly’ this didn’t appear on the album, you can listen to it here though:
Our album,‘Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World’, was released again on Static Caravan in January 2009. This album is right up there as a prog-rock, psychedelic, instrumental, master-piece as far as I’m concerned! It featured most of the tracks we had released on the two 7″ singles (except ’Folly’) plus a few new recordings. I am particularly proud of ’Domini’.
We only played this live once, at our Green Man performance in 2009, as it was a pretty complex piece to master. It sounded utterly amazing. I have wonderful memories of the packed tent – 2,000 plus people – really digging this.
Here we are on stage at Green Man in 2009. (Photo Ian White)
Mojo review January 2009
‘The Independent’ review.
Feature from ‘The Western Mail’
Rudy was able to organise a brilliant thing for us – ’Chimney’, the only vocal track from the album, was used alongside The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Nirvana and The White Stripes on the 2010 Ubisoft video music game ’Rocksmith’. With YouTube views at over 100,000 – this is our biggest hit!
Copies of the Yellow Moon Band album are now exchanging hands at over £100.
’Entangled’ was included on the classic psychedelic compilation album ’A Monstrous Psychelic Bubble….’ put together by the Amorphous Androgynous, and also featuring Miles Davis, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Can, David Axelrod, Tim Buckley and Donovan.
Liam Gallagher also used ’Entangled’ on an advert for his clothes label, Pretty Green.
We played live as often as we could – here’s a flier for The Deaf Institute in Manchester.
This is me on stage in Manchester. I remember I started to cough on the way up and by the time the gig was over, I had completely lost my voice – very handy we were actually an instrumental band! I felt pretty ill during the gig.
The Gladstone in London.
We headlined the first Lewes Psychedelic Festival
The Social in London.
This is my favourite picture of The Yellow Moon Band – supporting Yeasayer at The Buffalo Bar in Cardiff as part of the first Swn Festival in 2007, curated by Huw Stephens. Given the long and often complicated history myself, Danny and Rudy have had making music together – from our teenage years in Go! Service and Bluetrain through to these Yellow Moon Band years, I think this is beautiful.
Organising The Yellow Moon Band was pretty tricky to say the least. When Mathew couldn’t make it on drums, Ali Byworthwould step in. Ali plays on a couple of tracks on the album. We had to rehearse in London when we were getting ready for a gig with Ali.
Danny and I were living in Cardiff by now and Rudy in Gloucestershire. We recorded in London. We started to rehearse in Cardiff at Music Box. We recorded one last single, it’s a stand alone record – which came out after the album, again on the wonderful Static Caravan label, a double ‘a’ side. ’Barehed’ and ’Reign’. Ewan Jones-Morris from Cardiff directed this fabulous video.
Here’s ’Reign’ – some vocals on here, our last recordings.
It all proved too much in the end and so we made the decision to stop The Yellow Moon Band.
Here’s a flier for the last gig The Yellow Moon Band played, in Shoreditch, London, December 2009.