New Album: Alone Aboard The Ark – April 1, 2013
Mike Siddell, violinist with double Ivor Novello nominated folk-pop collective The Leisure Society, has unveiled his own brand of beer, entitled Brewed Aboard The Ark. Siddell, a keen forager, gathered citra hops to create his own beer from various locations, including London‘s tow paths, and during recent tours with Mumford & Sons. Incredibly, Siddell brews his all grain, bottle-conditioned beer within the confines of the London narrowboat on which he dwells. Speaking about his exploits, Mike says ‘I’ve been interested in brewing, and also foraging for a few years now. I started off making country wines along with liqueurs, jams, jellies and chutneys out of ingredients I could find in parks, alongside canals or on waste ground in London. I’ve always been fond of using ingredients that otherwise get overlooked, and/or are so abundant that it’d be a shame not to use them in some way.’
Having cut his teeth volunteering at a local brewery, Mike then found various ingenious methods of brewing around the contraints of the narrow boat, and even utilising the canal itself to aid the process. A cool box was substituted for a mash tun, the grains were sparged through a jelly bag, and Mike even discovered he could submerge the fermentor in the canal as a means to cool the hot wort after boiling.
Mike’s latest batch of beer to be brewed co-incides with the release of The Leisure Society’s new LP Alone Aboard The Ark (out April 1 through Full Time Hobby), and features the album artwork as its label design. The release of the album will be supported by an eleven date tour of the UK, including April 25 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. The new LP – recorded at Kinks frontman Ray Davies‘ Konk Studios – is the follow up to 2011’s lauded Into The Murky Water, which the band toured in ever distinctive fashion, including a date at the London Barbican backed by the 40-piece Heritage Orchestra.
About The Leisure Society:
The genesis of The Leisure Society spans back to the friendship made by Nick Hemming and Christian Hardy in their hometown of Burton on Trent. When the pair relocated to London they fell in with the Brighton-based Wilkommen Collective, and with Helen Whitaker, Mike Siddell and Sebastian Hankins, came to form The Leisure Society. The single ‘The Last of The Melting Snow’ from their debut LP The Sleeper was nonimated for a 2009 Ivor Novello (alongside heavyweights such as Elbow & The Last Shadow Puppets), and the band joined an incredibly select group when a year later, ‘Save It For Someone Who Cares’ was also nominated for an Ivor.
Having recorded both The Sleeper and 2011’s follow-up Into The Murky Water in home studios, the range of technology both old and new at the band’s disposal at Konk proved to be the perfect foil for The Leisure Society’s ambitious designs. Alone Aboard The Ark was recorded on a 2“ tape machine and the studio‘s 1970s mixing desk, and the value of recording live coupled with the band’s minimal approach to arrangement, is borne out across this brilliant new album.
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