News: November 2015
The Spirit of Talk Talk paperback edition, By James Marsh, Chris Roberts and Toby Benjamin is almost with us. Toby has persuaded Simon Brenner out of musical retirement and not only has he written the foreword to the book, he’s planning to perform live for the first time in 30 years!
A Spirit of Talk Talk live tribute and book launch will happen on Wednesday November 25th 2015 at the Clapham Grand in London.
Tickets can be purchased here
Simon Brenner will be performing with his new project, Angel River. He will be performing Talk Talk songs.
A Spirit of Talk Talk Tribute band will be performing tracks from The Colour of Spring album.
Phil Ramocon will be performing the song ‘ The Colour of Spring’ with Paul Marshall (Lone Wolf) ,which he co-wrote with Mark Hollis.
James Marsh, who painted all of Talk Talk’s amazing album covers, has created a stunning animation, which will be presented on a huge screen.
Special guests Turin Brakes will play a set and will join the Spirit of Talk Talk tribute band on stage.
Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots) will be performing a full solo set.
hardactors (managed by Talk Talk keyboardist Ian Curnow) will be performing, and their set includes Talk Talk covers.
Spirit of Eden will be played in its entirety through The Grand’s incredible EAW PA system. Do not miss this once in a lifetime moment to hear this stunning album amongst fellow Talk Talk fans.
The new Spirit of Talk Talk paperback edition will be available to buy, featuring all of James Marsh’s wonderful artworks, 100 contributions from renowned Talk Talk fans, fifteen new interviews, unseen photos and a preface by Simon Brenner, who will also be joining us at the event.
The Spirit if Talk CD will be available, with part proceeds to wild birds conservation.
There will be many Talk Talk VIPs, and a special guest DJ for the after party.
The Spirit of Talk Talk paperback can be purchased here
News: 12th August 2014
Mark Hollis remains elusive, but a recent interview with composer Brian Reitzell confirmed that there’s at least a soundtrack’s worth of unpublished material out there.
In his interview with Spin Reitzell tells of how he first approached Mark for music to the soundtrack Sofia Coppala’s Marie Antionette, but that it wasn’t the “right fit”. Reitzell approached him again when working on the soundtrack to the film Peacock.
"The producers wanted Philip Glass, but Mark loved the script, and then he made some music and sent it to me," Reitzell says. "Hollis did it with the refined elegance of a great composer, but then I didn't use it." The reasons, he says, were all too typical for Hollywood: The studio meddled with the film, firing both the director and producer and drastically changing the film. "They took the movie away from everybody, so I protected Mark and pulled the music," says Reitzell. (Ultimately, a sliver of this music appeared when Reitzell did music supervision for Gus Van Sant's short-lived television series, Boss.)
So the soundtrack remains unpublished, save for ARB 1, and Mark remains silent.
However, Reitzell did drop a tantalising hint in the interview
"I ask if he thinks this will be the last bit of music we ever hear from Hollis, now going on 15 years of silence. "My lips are sealed," says Reitzell," but I think there will be. There's more to come from him."
Lee Harris gets a passing mention as a character in musician Julian Cope’s first novel 131. The hero , the magnificently titled Rock Session, performs so brilliantly at his audition for a TV impresario Arthur Tadgell, poor Lee (among other future stars) doesn’t get a chance to perform. It’s on P51, but do read the entire time-shifting Gnostic hooligan road novel as it’s very entertaining.
Tim Friese-Green has recently produced an album for the band Firefly Burning. He plans to release a Heligoland EP – his final – late 2014/ early 2015.^ go back to top
News: 16th December 2012
The soundtrack for the second (and final) season of the Kelsey Grammer show "Boss" is to be released. Music supervisor and composer Brian Reitzell coaxed Mark Hollis out of his shell to release his first piece of new music in 14 years, for the September 21 episode of the show. ARB Section 1 will be available on the soundtrack's official release, in stores on January 29 and available digitally December 18, via Lakeshore Records, Amazon.com and iTunes (US).
The soundtrack also features songs from Wilco and Robert Plant, as well as tracks created specifically for the show by Reitzell in collaboration with a variety of artists, including Oneohtrix Point Never and members of Explosions in the Sky, My Morning Jacket, Air, Shearwater, Califone, and more.
Fans will be able to obtain the full 1.32 minute track, but ARB Section 1 will only be available if the entire album is purchased, rather than as an individual download.^ go back to top
News: December 2012
In January 2013 EMI records will release Natural Order a brand new Talk Talk compilation, curated by Mark Hollis.
Natural Order acts as a companion piece to Natural History - The Very Best of Talk Talk. The album showcases the “other” side of Talk Talk compared to the more commercial tracks on Natural History.
Mark Hollis has personally selected the tracklisting and overseen the mastering and artwork design for this compilation.
EMI is running a competition to win a framed print of the album front cover. The competition ends at midnight on the 14th January 2013 and can be entered here.
Natural Order Tracklist
1. Have You Heard The News
3. For What It's Worth
4. Chameleon Day
5. April 5th
7. John Cope
9. After the Flood (Alternative version)
^ go back to top
News: October 9th 2012
BMI celebrated the European and African songwriters, composers and music publishers behind the most-performed songs on U.S. radio and television on Tuesday October 9th at its annual BMI London Awards at the Dorchester Hotel.
Mark Hollis was honoured with a BMI 'Million-air' award for "It's My Life' which had accumulated 3 million performances on US Radio and TV.
No evidence exists that he actually turned up and collected the award (but if pictures do surface, they'll appear here!)^ go back to top
News: September 21st 2012
A mere 14 years since his last public musical output, Mark Hollis' instrumental track ARB Section 1 closed an episode of the US TV series 'Boss', aired on September 21st.
The track was part of a larger body of music created for the film 'Peacock', but never used. 'Peacock's' Musical Director Brian Reitzell later worked on 'Boss' and felt the track would be fitting.
All 55 seconds of the track can be heard here. Look out for Mark's next foray into public sometime around 2024...
^ go back to top
News: September 6th 2012
The Spirit of Talk Talk CD was launched on the evening of the 6th September at the 229 Club in London.
A great night with appearances by James Marsh, Talk Talk musicians such as Ian Curnow, Mark Feltham, Rupert Black, Martin Ditcham and Phil Ramacon, and legendary producer Phill Brown.
Live sets from Turin Brakes, Goldheart Assembly, Fyfe Dangerfield and The Tenfivesixty, culminating in a Talk Talk-jam session.
A special animated set from James Marsh and preview of the Spirit of Talk Talk book by the guys from Rocket 88 books.
^ go back to top
News: August 31st 2012
Talk Talk's Mark Hollis Resurfaces With New Music for the Kelsey Grammer TV Show "Boss". First new music from the elusive genius in 14 years. By Amy Phillips, Pitchfork Magazine
For decades, Mark Hollis of Talk Talk has been one of the most mysterious figures in pop music. After hitting it big as new wave stars in the early and mid-80s, with massive singles like "It's My Life" and "Life's What You Make It", Talk Talk abandoned synth-pop and went experimental. Their 1988 album Spirit of Eden and its follow-up, 1991's Laughing Stock, are cult classics, steeped in the kinds of jazz-influenced sounds that would later be known as post-rock.
Talk Talk broke up after Laughing Stock, but they'd stopped touring, making videos, or even giving interviews long before. Hollis released a self-titled solo albumin 1998, made brief guest appearances on a handful of albums in the late 90s/early 00s... and then nothing. For the past 10 years, he's been pretty much off the radar.
So it was very, very surprising to learn that the first new music we'll hear from Hollis since his solo album 14 years ago will be a track included in an upcoming episode of the TV show "Boss:. "Boss" airs Friday nights on the Starzchannel, and stars Kelsey Grammer as a ruthless mayor of Chicago. (T.I. is also a member of the cast.) The September 21 episode will feature a new instrumental piece by Hollis called "ARB Section 1" that will play during the show's final scene and closing credits.
How did this happen? We have music supervisor and composer Brian Reitzell to thank. Reitzell, a former member of Redd Kross, has been working in film since the late 90s, doing the music for Sofia Coppola's movies, as well as Friday Night Lights (the film), Thumbsucker, The Brothers Bloom, and more. "Boss", now in its second season, is his first TV work. (He's also currently working on music for Coppola's upcoming film The Bling Ring, as well as Gus Van Sant's upcoming Promised Land.)
Chatting with Pitchfork yesterday, Reitzell said, "Mark's one of my heroes... I've tried to work with him many times before." Over a decade ago, Reitzell and collaborators Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Justin Meldal-Johnsen (then both playing in Beck's band) approached Hollis with an offer to make an album with him for free. Reitzell said that Hollis turned him down, saying he only made an album every seven years, and his solo album had been released in 1998.
Reitzell has worked with this kind of private genius before: he coaxed the notoriously elusive Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine into making music for the Coppola film Lost in Translation in 2003, as well as remixing Bow Wow Wow for Coppola's Marie Antoinette in 2006.
Reitzell said, "Everyone told me I was crazy for trying to get Kevin Shields, that it wouldn't work." But after becoming friends with Shields while Reitzell was touring with Air (who he played with on 10 000 Hz Legend), he convinced Shields to work on Lost in Translation. So, Reitzell figured, "If I could entice Kevin Shields, maybe I could entice Mark Hollis."
Several years ago, Reitzell was hired to helm the music for the fil Peacock, directed by Michael Lander and starring Cillian Murphy, Susan Sarandon, and Ellen Page. He sent the script to Hollis. Reitzell said that Hollis was inspired by the story of the film: Murphy plays a man with a split personality, who believes he is both himself and his own wife. Hollis wrote several pieces of music for Peacock, as did Air. But all of it remained unused, and Reitzell ended up scoring the film himself.
Reitzell also scored the first season of "Boss" by himself. But for the second season, he wanted to collaborate with different artists, to help "paint the picture" of the show. He went back to the music that Hollis and Air had created for Peacock, and discovered that it worked well with the feel of the second season of "Boss". Like Cillian Murphy's character, Kelsey Grammer's Chicago mayor Tom Kane is dealing with a mental disorder that he must keep hidden.
Reitzell said that "ARB Section 1" is only part of the music that Hollis created for Peacock; he hopes to use the rest at some point.
This season of "Boss", each episode features new end title music from different artists. In addition to Hollis and Air, there are also contributions from My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Oneohtrix Point Never, Shearwater, Air, and Red Red Meat/Califone's Tim Rutili. (Explosions in the Sky's Michael James contributed music to the second season's first episode as well, while Robert Plant and Band of Joy's version of the traditional "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down" is the show's theme song.) Reitzell says that he's hoping to record more music for the show with Jim James soon.
A full soundtrack album collecting all of the end title music is in the works. Aside from the Hollis' track, all of the music is in collaboration with Reitzell. And every track except for the Hollis one will be available to stream on Starz.com (under "Featured Music") following each episode. (You'll have to watch the show itself to hear the Hollis one.)^ go back to top
News: August 2012
Welcome to the News Section. This will probably be the most infrequently updated part of the site!
While Snow in Berlin would love to accounce a new Mark Hollis triple album followed by a 156 date world tour, it's highly unlikely.
So, what's happening?
The track Watershed from Mark's solo album was recently used in the soundtrack of the British film 'Wild Bill'. Director and Actor Dexter Fletcher was interviewed by View London and touched on the music used in the production
Can we talk about the soundtrack? There's some fantastic music in there, how did you go about pulling that together?
Dexter Fletcher: Some of the stuff, certainly The Clash, I was listening to when I was writing, because that was something that was very much in my mind. All the tracks, eventually, that I chose, felt to me to be things that Bill would listen to - they're kind of his identity and his era and obviously that reflects a lot of what my tastes are and stuff I listen to. So it was about having a track that felt like it captured the mood of the moment and it relies quite heavily on visual images, that film, as opposed to dialogue. There's not a lot of dialogue in the film, really, if you strip it down. You know, people talk, but they don't say a lot. So in terms of the music, it's about finding a track that I really liked and was a bit different and original, like we've not heard it before. Like the Mark Hollis stuff came from the editor. He put that track on and it was just so left of field for me. I was like, 'Well, this is an interesting choice,' it kind of captures this kind of real High Noon moment that I'm trying to tell at this part of the story.
Mark Hollis continues to remain out of the public eye. He was spotted at the Electric Picnic Irish Music Festival in September 2011. A report in the Irish Times yielded the following in the comments section
Yes, Mark Hollis, bizarre but true. I got a VIP ticket through a friend who designs the site-map and I met him in the VIP area, queuing for the toilets, of all places. I recognised him as I saw a more recent picture of him in a magazine receiving some award, then when I heard the English accent I politely asked him was he Mark Hollis and he said yes, told him I was huge fan of Talk Talk, blah blah blah and left it at that. Seems like a nice guy, very unassuming, just enjoying the festival with his wife. Saw him again at Big Audio Dynamite standing at the back with his wife. A friend I was with said her Talk Talk-mad brother also met him on a plane coming over to Ireland, he told him was going on holiday in the West of Ireland and was also going to take in the Picnic. Apparently, he comes over here quite often.
Apparently the festival organisers have approached him in the past to play a gig, but received a letter on Mark Hollis headed notepaper with the response 'no f*cking way!'
Clearly the biggest Talk Talk news is the forthcoming release of the Spirit of Talk Talk book and tribute album, both out next month.
A launch party is scheduled for September 6th at 229 Portland Street, London.
Snow in Berlin has tickets, and will report back...
Fierce Panda & Club Fandango present...
'SPIRIT OF TALK TALK': A LAUNCH PARTY starring TURIN BRAKES + GOLDHEART ASSEMBLY + THOMAS WHITE (ELECTRIC SOFT PARADE) + THE TENFIVESIXTY + more to be confirmed'
On September 3rd 2012 fierce panda will be releasing 'Spirit Of Talk Talk', a double album which features 30 contemporary acts from around the globe re-interpreting many of Talk Talk's greatest moments precisely 30 years since their 'Talk Talk' single made its mark on the mainstream. That very same week there will be a similarly fragrant launch party with no fewer than six of the tributees paying respect and playing their Talk Talk covers in the midst of their full live sets.
The 'Spirit Of Talk Talk' launch party is a one-off event designed to highlight the release of the album and also the publication of the lush book with the same name. Conceived and co-ordinated by uberfan Toby Benjamin and massaged into shape by musical director Alan Wilder (from Recoil / Depeche Mode), this twin CD opus comes swaddled in artwork by creative Talk Talk stalwart James Marsh and sees profits going to the Rare Bird Club. The finely-honed and impeccably toned 'Spirit Of Talk Talk' book will be published in September by Essential. An online hub has been launched at www.facebook.com/SpiritofTalkTalk and you can pre-order the album via www.fiercepanda.co.uk right now.
Fittingly then, for one night only the whole of the 229 will be given over to many things Talk Talk-related. Of the acts thus far confirmed alt.pop dreamers Goldheart Assembly (who cover 'Chameleon Day'), simmering boy/girl newcomers The TenFiveSixty (who get sultry with 'It's My Life') and Electric Soft Parade's Thomas White (who reworks 'Candy') will be playing full sets across both rooms. Turin Brakes, who chose to revisit 'Ascension Day', will close the main stage and all bands will play their Talk Talk choices along with a selection of their very own superhits. Beyond the onstage action there will be live visuals from original Talk Talk artist James Marsh, a merchandise stall selling both the album and book, 'Spirit Of Talk Talk' playback action and much more besides.
^ go back to top