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Postby James » Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:51 pm

Michael Clarke wrote:Hello all...........

It's been a while. Too long perhaps. I hope you will forgive me for not using my email account nearly enough over the last couple of years. Every so often James (our webmaster) kicks me in the ass and gets me to write something. But I shouldn't need reminding.

No doubt you noticed that life in the world of Clarkesville has been a little on the quiet side over the last few months. To quote an old label-mate, let me fill you in. In the summer of 2004, Telstar Records (part owners of Wildstar) went into receivership. Obviously, this had a dramatic effect on all the company's acts, including Clarkesville. While I waited for the remaining months of my contract to pass, there was a definite sense of change on the horizon.

It was around this time that Steve and I began to think seriously about 'what next'... We had already been working on new material since the start of the year, and we were both excited about the songs and the response we were getting from managers, producers and friends. The first sign of things to come was our decision to invite a dear friend to move to Birmingham and join the band. I'm happy to say he didn't hesitate in giving us an answer. Stuart moved up almost immediately and just crashed on floors for the first couple of months. We started jamming and things felt great from the outset. Steve and Stuart instantly reconnected as a rhythm section. I was fortunate enough to have toured with Stu a year or so earlier, so I too had a good understanding of his playing. We were all on the same page.

We started writing and recording together. We were discovering the potential of the diversity we had. Steve and Stu came essentially from a grunge background and have always shown an in depth appreciation of many differing styles. I was starting to get into groups like Pearl Jam. I was inspired by their incredible ability to combine great poetry with both mellow and heavy musical backdrops. I was also still in love with indie bands like The Flaming Lips and I Am Kloot, who I continue to champion as one of the most under-rated bands of the last few years.

So things were good, if somewhat incomplete. We needed a fourth member. A lead guitarist. Anyone who has been in a band will know how important chemistry is. We actually knew loads of guitarists, but not many who would have fitted in. I didn't want to hold auditions again, because you can't possibly discover enough about a person in the twenty odd minutes you get with them. For this reason we were delighted when Greg Lake became the fourth and final band member. We were already good friends with Greg from the time he had spent playing with Sonara, so it instantly felt great being in a rehearsal room together. The picture was complete.

Since then (barring a couple of weeks off over Christmas) we have been writing and rehearsing in a not-so-secret location in Birmingham. We have appeared live just once since Greg joined, at The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. Thanks to everyone who came. Over the coming months we intend to be much more frequent in our appearances, starting with tomorrow's gig at The Actress And Bishop in Birmingham. We hope to see you there.

Now that all this has been said, I suppose it feels like the opportune moment to make an announcement. It is with much gratitude to all of our fans and friends for all the love and support that we have received at each stage of our journey that I announce the end of Clarkesville. I will always be proud of what I have achieved under this name, the highlights being our success in Japan, supporting the likes of Sheryl Crow and The Polyphonic Spree and hell, just having my album in the shops! At times I will perhaps wonder how things might have been had we
made different decisions along the way, or had our record company not collapsed. But in closing the curtain on what has for the most part been an enjoyable experience, I am pleased to announce the birth of an all new project. Tomorrow's gig will be the first appearance of 'The Deciphers'. This is not so much a name change as it is a whole new band. And I think I speak for everyone involved when I say that the feeling right now is one of excitement. I certainly haven't felt this driven in a long time. Long may it continue.

Please check out the temporary website we have up at for info on all the upoming gigs. We are in the process of building a new site which will be online in the coming weeks...and remember to stop by the message board and say hi!

God bless, and speak soon (I have broadband now, so there's no excuse!)

I'm not Jesus, but I've got the same initials.
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