Saturday, March 21, 2009

There Are No Goodbyes... I just have dust in my eye.


Hi Everyone,

So I've just finished my first round of promotion and am heading back to the UK for a few days before I, uh, turn right back around and punish myself (and punish those that have to listen to me) with even more talking about There Are No Goodbyes.

I have to say though that these last few days have been really great.

OK the interviews have been quite intense and, rather embarrassingly, sometimes maybe just a little too emotional. (Me? Too emotional?) And yes, there may have been some watery eyes...

But really, what the heck can you expect when I'm being interviewed by a really nice interviewer and she's telling me that she's only been able to listen to the album in it's entirety twice because every time she gets to the line "I thought you were a fighter but in the end I guess you lost your faith in me" (Leaving) she has to turn the stereo off because it upsets her too much? And then, to top it off, she looks me in the eyes and in this wonderful (but slightly sad) little accent says "Robin, I understand those words so much. More than you can know. All we really want in life is someone that believes in us..."

You know I would have hugged her if it wouldn't have seemed so inappropriate... (But alas we just sat in our own little silence for a few moments... Would a hug between two consenting 'saddies' really have been that inappropriate? Well that's just kind of sad in it's own sad little way, isn't it?)

So go on, you tell me, how am I supposed to maintain the cool detached almost-famous-but-not-really rock star image I've fastidiously cultivated for so long when all I want to do is give this girl a hug? She was talking my talk! I mean really, Isn't it true? Isn't that all we want?

And yes, eyes might have been getting ever so slightly watery but there was a lot of dust in the room...

Let's move on though. I'm sure you'll either be reading all about interviews filled with unbearable tension and painful silences or mentioning that "for all the depressing music he writes, I can't believe how happy Robin always seems..." soon enough and you know what? I confuse myself too. Sometimes it's easier to just not understand.

So let's have some NEWS NEWS NEWS.

We have a short sharp tour in May and it's going to be amazing!

And it's gonna be the FULL BAND AND STRING QUARTET! We might even have some special guests!

May 14 '09: Sputnikhalle, Münster (DE)
May 15 '09: Bahnhof Langendreer, Bochum (DE)
May 16 '09: Beatpol, Dresden (DE)
May 17 '09: Brotfabrik, Frankfurt (DE)
May 18 '09. Feierwerk (Hansa 39), München (DE)
May 20 '09: Den Atelier, Luxembourg (LU)
May 21 '09: Café De La Danse, Paris (FR)
May 22 '09: Paradiso, Amsterdam (NL)
May 23 '09: Ancienne Belgique, Brussels (BE)

Please don't worry if you don't see your city here though. There will be a much longer tour in the Fall taking in all of our most favouritest countries and you will all eventually be able to see us touring this album, OK? I promise!

Oh and another thing I'd like to mention... I spent so much time talking about my sad depressing pathetic little life in these interviews that I don't feel like I was able to to give enough credit where I feel much much more credit is do.

Firstly: Over the last year or so I had the chance to become really great friends with a band called Dark Captain Light Captain and their fellow musician/producer Daniel Lea/Golden Hum Studio. I really can't say enough about these guys. They're all just amazing people and all I can do is I thank them for their friendship, support and contributions to this record.

And then there are two people without whom I honestly would not have had the confidence to start, let alone finish, this album and of course that's Jeffrey 'The Bear' Townsin and Astrid Williamson.

You all know Jeff by now but as I often remarked on my last acoustic tour "You may remember Astrid as the inspiration behind such Sophia classics as Swept Back and Where Are You Now" and she is now also my duet partner on the, if I can be so bold, absolutely wonderful Something. (Ah... I've really come to love this song. Lucky because it seems to be one of the songs people are really reacting towards and holding on to. I think it might still even be Jeff's favorite?)

Anyway... I really need to thank Jeff for not letting me throw away most, if not all, all of my songs and actually convincing me to record them and I need to thank Astrid for trying to convince me that these might even be some of the best songs I've ever written and then not allowing me to throw most, if not all, of them away once they were finished. (And no, don't be so cynical. Something isn't even her favorite song!)

And you know what? I think I might actually be beginning to like this record now. No. I might actually love this record now. Maybe. I'm not sure. It's still early days. We'll see.

A big thank you to all of you though. From the bottom of my heart, a big thank you!

OK enough of my rambling...

Remember to love the ones you love, OK? (Sometimes we forget)

See you all soon and please take care,


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Step on a train wave underwater...


Step on a train wave underwater...

Hello everyone,

So today I start my promotion for There Are No Goodbyes...

Hence my leisurely trip on Eurostar. And my waving underwater. I love Eurostar. I love all train travel. The thing I love most about traveling by train is that unlike airlines, it's leisurely. And romantic.

I love saying goodbye at train stations. I love all the kissing and the hugging and the tears at train stations.

With modern air travel you lose that romance. You need to leave your home 3 hours early so you can spend an hour (at least) getting to the airport so you can check-in 2 hours early so you can spend an hour getting through security so you can spend your last 15 minutes before your gate closes dashing through the shops buying back everything they've just made you throw away because three hours and fifteen minutes ago you suddenly remembered you need three hours to catch your flight and that you hadn't packed yet so you've just thrown everything into a carry-on which these days, unfortunately, includes quite a few things you're not actually allowed to carry on anymore. Unless, of course, you buy them on the other side of security but that's another story...

Arrivals at airports can be romantic. And usually are. But not departures. A kiss two hours before the ensuing airport tedium just isn't the same.

But that last kiss the moments before the train doors slide close? I don't know about you but I still remember those kisses years later...

No goodbye kisses today though. Boohoo. Poor me. My life's shit and I'm so alone. Don't you know it? It's in the songs. Poor me. Boohoo. Sob. (Yes please laugh here, OK? That's a joke. Don't be so serious. I'm not. Not always. Having said that I did actually miss having a goodbye kiss. It's always better with a kiss. Even if it's a sad goodbye kiss...)

Nope. Just my usual rush for the train 30 seconds (literally) before departure...

"Hello Mr. Sheppard, Where are you sitting? Oh don't worry. You have lots of time."

(The train is practically rolling and she says we have lots of time? Now that's my kinda girl! Any chance of a kiss?!)

"And what would you like for breakfast?"

"I think I'll have the salmon and scrambled eggs please"

"And to drink?"

"Oh just a very very very large coffee please... Did I say a very?"

(Laughs) "I think I counted 3 times."

"And actually, you know what? I think I'll have a glass of Champagne as well. Why not, huh?"

"And would you like something to read?"

"No thank you. I think I'll just stare out the window for a while"


Four hours to Cologne with a quick stop-over in Brussels to say hello to friends. I love train travel.


And so today I guess I'll have to start talking about the album...

I reckon it's going to be a difficult few days.

So expect contradictions. Expect misunderstandings.

How can I expect anyone to understand something I don't really understand myself?

The problem is I've written an album that is as much about yesterday as it is about today and, I fear, is going to be about more tomorrows still to come...


I just got back from a dinner/interview with a friend I've known for years...

As he sat down I offered him a drink and he said that he hadn't had any alcohol in over a year and but would love a Coke.

Curious I asked what had brought on his decision to stop drinking. (I hoped I wasn't being rude by asking...)

He said it all started with a girl but seemed to end with many nights alone in a bar and one day he realized he didn't like what he had become.

I know how he feels.

And after listening to my album he said he thinks he knows how I feel.

We talked about music. But not very much.

We mainly talked about life...

I probably wasn't a very good rock and roll interview but it was great evening...

And anyway, fuck it. Rock and Roll is over-rated... (Unless you're the Rolling Stones!)


OK everyone enough of my rambling, it's time for me to go...

So you sleep tight and take care, OK?


P.S. I'm really not that fancy... This is a little trick Hope and I discovered going to Disneyland Paris once. Book the cheapest Eurostar ticket you can find and just before you pay they offer you the option of upgrading to Leisure Class (essentially First Class) very very cheaply. For £20 we can all pretend we're fancy... Champagne anyone?

P.P.S. Another holiday tip: Kids love Italy. One morning in Milan Hope came running back to our table and in an excited whisper said "Guess what Dad! They have chocolate cake for breakfast. Chocolate cake!" Actually... I love holidays in Italy too.