Clock Opera

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Clock Opera
ClockOpera1.jpg
Performing at the Summer Sundae festival, August 2012. From left to right: Andy West, Che Albrighton, Guy Connelly.
Background information
Origin London, England, United Kingdom
Genres Alternative rock, indie rock
Years active 2009–present
Labels Moshi Moshi, Island
Website clockopera.com
Members Guy Connelly
Andy West
Che Albrighton
Dan Armstrong

Clock Opera are a British indie rock band based in London. Formed in 2009 by singer, guitarist and sampler Guy Connelly, the quartet also comprises Andy West on bass and guitar, Che Albrighton on drums, and Dan Armstrong on keyboards and vocals.[1] Their singles include "Belongings" and "Once and for All," and their debut album Ways to Forget was released on 23 April 2012. Guy Connelly also does remixes for other artists under the name Clock Opera.[1]

Career[edit]

Ways To Forget (2009–Present)[edit]

Clock Opera was started in 2009 by Guy Connelly, who was previously in The Fallout Trust and The Corrections.[2] It began as a solo project and developed into a four-piece band.[3] Connelly lived in a warehouse with bassist and guitarist Andy West, who was in the band Doloroso. Drummer Che Albrighton, whose previous bands include Bikini Atoll, played with West, and Connelly did some recording for them.[1][4][5] Keyboardist Dan Armstrong, formerly of The Rushes, was another friend of Connelly's who was invited to join Clock Opera after attending one of their early gigs.[6] Connelly says he named the band after a symphony written for pocket watches,[7] while Armstrong calls the name Clock Opera apt "because of the infinite ticking rhythms and because we like to sing grandiose and emotive melodies."[8]

Clock Opera's debut single "White Noise" backed with "Alouette" was released on 7" vinyl by Pure Groove Records on 16 November 2009.[9] In 2010, the band put out two EPs on French labels: "A Piece of String" from Maman Records[10] and "Once and for All" from Kitsuné.[11] Both EPs included remixes of the singles.

In 2011, the songs "Belongings" and "Move to the Mountains" were used in two episodes of the American television series Chuck.[12][13] "Belongings" was released as a single by the band's new label Moshi Moshi Records on 9 May 2011,[14] followed by an EP of "Lesson No. 7" with remixes.[15] The music video of "Lesson No. 7," directed by Aoife McArdle, was nominated for a UK Music Video Award.[16]

Leading up to their debut album on Island Records, Clock Opera released a new recording of "Once and for All," accompanied by a music video directed by Ben Strebel and starring Dudley Sutton.[17] The video had over 175,000 views worldwide on YouTube in the first two weeks.[18] In March 2012, Clock Opera constructed a song called "Clock Operation" from samples submitted by fans and artists such as Maximo Park and Everything Everything.[19]

Ways to Forget was released on 23 April 2012. The Sunday Times placed the album at number 7 on their list of best debuts of 2012.[20] In their review, the Sunday Times called Ways to Forget "one of the indisputable masterpieces of British pop in 2012" and Clock Opera "a band of rare sonic ambition and scope."[21] Clash described the album as "a bar-raiser—an album of intelligent synth-pop bubbling with humanity."[22] Conversely, BBC Music called it "a product of perfectionism, but one where mechanical process obscures its human presence,"[23] while The Guardian said the album "...can seem almost beautiful. But more often than not, there's too much crammed in to be able pick those moments out."[24]

Clock Opera's song "The Lost Buoys" was used as part of the background music for the BBC's coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The music video for the single was directed by Ben Strebel and stars Alun Armstrong—father of keyboardist Dan Armstrong—along with Maggie O'Neill and Catherine Steadman.[25]

Clock Opera are currently working on their second album, which they hope to release in 2014.[26]

Live performances[edit]

One of Clock Opera's earliest concerts was live accompaniment of a performance by the Rambert Dance Company at Queen Elizabeth Hall in May 2009.[27] Clock Opera performed on the BBC Introducing stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2011.[28] They played at South by Southwest in 2011[29] and 2012[30][31] and at numerous other festivals such as Great Escape,[1] Liverpool Sound City,[32] Dot to Dot, and Latitude, where they headlined the Lake Stage curated by Huw Stephens in 2012.[33] Clock Opera have supported a number of other bands including Marina and the Diamonds, Maximo Park, Metronomy and The Temper Trap.

With the release of Ways to Forget in 2012, Clock Opera had their first headline tour in the United Kingdom[34] as well as dates in New York[35] and continental Europe. They toured Germany in September 2012.[36] The Lost Buoys Tour in October and November 2012 covered Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK, Ireland, Japan, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.[37] During the tour, the band performed on the television programme De Kruitfabriek on the Belgian channel VIER.[38]

In 2013, Clock Opera had a concert in Singapore[39] and a short tour in Europe and also performed at the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium.[26]

A signature of Clock Opera's live shows is the use of metal tankards and trays as percussion instruments during the song "A Piece of String."[1]

Musical style[edit]

Clock Opera's songwriting process begins with instrumental and found sounds that Connelly cuts up and manipulates into samples. This process is illustrated in a series of "Making of" videos showing, for example, how sounds including a tattoo needle, a washing machine and the buzzer on the game Operation were used the in the song "White Noise."[40][41] The band builds on these foundations to create the music, and Connelly writes the lyrics, usually last.[30]

Members[edit]

  • Guy Connelly – lead vocals, guitar, samples
  • Andy West – bass, guitar
  • Che Albrighton – drums
  • Dan Armstrong – keyboards, samples, backing vocals

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

  • "A Piece of String Remixes" (Maman Records, 7 June 2010)
  • "Once and for All" (Kitsuné, 25 October 2010)
  • "Lesson No. 7" (Moshi Moshi/Island, 3 October 2011)
  • "Man Made" (Moshi Moshi/Island, 16 April 2012)

Singles[edit]

  • "White Noise" (Pure Groove Records, 16 November 2009)
  • "A Piece of String" (Maman Records, 7 June 2010)
  • "Belongings" (Moshi Moshi, 9 May 2011)
  • "Once and for All" (Moshi Moshi/Island, 3 February 2012)
  • "Belongings" (Moshi Moshi/Island, 30 July 2012)
  • "The Lost Buoys" (Moshi Moshi/Island, 5 November 2012)

Music videos[edit]

  • "White Noise" - directed by Aoife McArdle[42]
  • "Once and for All (original version)" - directed by Duckeye[43]
  • "Belongings" - directed by Andy West[44]
  • "Lesson No. 7" - directed by Aoife McArdle[45]
  • "Once and for All (album version)" - directed by Ben Strebel[17]
  • "Man Made" - directed by Ben Reed[46]
  • "The Lost Buoys" - directed by Ben Strebel[25]

Remixes[edit]

Remixes are done by Guy Connelly under the name Clock Opera.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Chang, Mary. "Interview: Dan Armstrong of Clock Opera", There Goes the Fear, 11 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  2. ^ Saintil, Jean Robert. "New Kids on the Clock", Dazed Digital, 2009. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  3. ^ "Q Now: The Sessions Who Are Ya? Clock Opera", Q, 17 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  4. ^ "Doloroso on MySpace". Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  5. ^ "Clock Opera", The Amazing Sessions, 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  6. ^ "Clock Opera - Interview with Huw Stephens", BBC Radio 1, 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  7. ^ Cocking, Max. "Clock Opera Q&A", Beat, 4 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  8. ^ Ballard, Samuel. "Clock Opera", 1883 Magazine, October 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Briefcase Bomb", Illegal Tender, 16 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  10. ^ "Clock Opera on Maman Records". Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  11. ^ "Clock Opera "Once and For All Out Now!!", Kitsuné Journal, 26 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  12. ^ Sepinwall, Alan. "Review: 'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Cat Squad'", HitFix, 14 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  13. ^ Sepinwall, Alan. "Review: 'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Muuurder'", HitFix, 21 March 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  14. ^ "Moshi Moshi Records: Clock Opera, 'Belongings'". Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  15. ^ Cragg, Michael. "New music: Clock Opera – Lesson No 7 (Tom Vek Tripping Mix)", The Guardian, 9 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  16. ^ "UK Music Video Awards nominations announced", CMU, 9 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  17. ^ a b "Clock Opera 'Once and for All' by Ben Strebel", Promo News, 4 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  18. ^ Clock Opera. "Our video has been seen...", Facebook, 18 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  19. ^ "Premiere: Clock Opera Debut 'Clock Operation' Track", DIY, 27 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  20. ^ Edwards, Mark, et al. "Records of the year: Rock, Pop, Debuts and Left field", Sunday Times, 9 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-12 (subscription required)
  21. ^ Cairns, Dan. "It's a Unique Sonic Route", Sunday Times, 1 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07. (subscription required)
  22. ^ Freeman, John. "Clock Opera - Ways to Forget", Clash, 23 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  23. ^ Shaw, Natalie. "Clock Opera Ways to Forget Review", BBC Music, 18 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  24. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca. "Clock Opera: Ways to Forget - review", The Guardian, 12 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  25. ^ a b Clock Opera. The Lost Buoys (Youtube video). Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  26. ^ a b "Clock Opera: 'It's our only festival gig of the summer'", Studio Brussel, 17 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  27. ^ "Alexander Whitley Choreography: Iatrogenesis - 2009, Rambert Dance Company Season of New Choreography". Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  28. ^ "BBC - Reading and Leeds 2011 - Clock Opera", BBC Music, August 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  29. ^ "Clock Opera Announces Single Via Moshi Moshi, Heads To SXSW!", T4C, 9 March 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  30. ^ a b "BuzzChips Interviews Clock Opera", BuzzChips, 4 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  31. ^ Chang, Mary. "SXSW 2012: Huw Stephens / UK Trade and Investment showcase at Latitude 30 – 17th March 2012", There Goes the Fear, 6 April 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
  32. ^ Chang, Mary. "Liverpool Sound City 2012: TGTF’s stage featuring the Temper Trap, Clock Opera and Dear Prudence – 18th May 2012", There Goes the Fear, 11 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
  33. ^ Jones, Rhian "Latitude Reveals More Acts for Summer Festival", Music Week, 9 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  34. ^ "Clock Opera Plot Tour around Debut Album", Complete Music Update, 31 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  35. ^ "Niki & The Dove / Charli XCX / Clock Opera / Ghost Beach @ Knitting Factory", Music Snobbery, 14 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  36. ^ Fassing, Philip. "Introducing Tour Im September: Clock Opera, Icona Pop, Foxes", Intro, 17 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  37. ^ "Clock Operation #10". Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  38. ^ "De Kruitfabrieksessies met Clock Opera", VIER, 16 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  39. ^ "Poptart 8th Anniversary", Juice Singapore, February 2013, p. 24. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  40. ^ Clock Opera. Making Of: White Noise (Youtube video). Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  41. ^ Tan, Emily. "Mechanical Symphonies", The Line of Best Fit, 17 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  42. ^ "Clock Opera's White Noise by Aoife McArdle", Promo News, 30 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  43. ^ "Friend London - Duckeye". Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  44. ^ Kujundzic, Petar "Clock Opera - Belongings", Hypetrak, 16 May 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  45. ^ "Clock Opera - Lesson No. 7", Agile Films. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  46. ^ "Clock Opera 'Man Made' by Ben Reed", Promo News, 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-09.

External links[edit]