Goldheart Assembly

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Goldheart Assembly
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Alternative pop / alternative rock
Years active 2007–present
Labels Fierce Panda
Members Jake Bowser
James Dale
Nicky Francis
Kyle Hall
John Herbert
Past members Thomas Hastings
Dominic Keshavarz

Goldheart Assembly is an English alternative pop/rock band from London, England.


Goldheart Assembly formed in 2007, as a group of six musicians from various bands. They met at club nights, at Covent Garden’s Rock Garden, run by now-bandleader James Dale and magician Pete Hathway.[1] Slowly, after a period of "band hopping and stand ins," a stable line-up became Goldheart Assembly, who bonded over a mutual love of The Beatles and named themselves after a Guided By Voices tune, Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory. Founding members James Dale and John Herbert often joke about how they met whilst working as zookeepers at Whipsnade Zoo.

In 2009, they recorded a live session for Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 1, being the first unsigned band to do so "in years".[2] In the same year, the band performed on the BBC Introducing Stage at the Glastonbury Festival,[3] as well as a slot at the Camden Crawl[2] and appearances at Isle of Wight,[4] Wychwood,[5] Middlesbrough Music Live,[6] Reading, Leeds and V festivals.

Goldheart Assembly’s debut single, a double A-side featuring the tracks "So Long St. Christopher" and "Oh Really", was released on 15 June 2009 on the independent label Heron Recordings.[7]

In late 2009, Goldheart Assembly signed to the independent UK label Fierce Panda Records. Their debut album, Wolves and Thieves, was released to digital download on 8 March 2010, with CD release on 15 March. The majority of the album was recorded at Forncett Industrial Steam Museum in Norfolk, England, and several tracks feature the sound of live steam engines. The remaining tracks were recorded at Jools Holland's Helicon studios with British producer Laurie Latham.

In June 2010, it was announced that guitarist Dominic Keshavarz had left the band. It was announced in January 2011 that the band has started to produce a new LP.[8]

Long Distance Sound Effects, their second album, was released in July 2013. The Allmusic journalist, Heather Phares, noted that "the control and variety they display throughout Long Distance Song Effects shows that Goldheart Assembly have come into their own here".[9]


The band has recently picked up much favourable press, including a double-page article in NME magazine on 3 April 2010,[2] and a feature in The Guardian's First Sight column.[10] Since its release, Wolves and Thieves has received universal acclaim from the music and UK national press, with positive reviews in publications including Mojo, Uncut and NME magazines as well as The Sun and The Independent newspapers.


Goldheart Assembly's sound has been described as organic [3] and characterised by pastoral west-coast style vocal harmonies.[10] Taking an experimental approach to recording and songwriting, the band has been known to make use of unusual objects as musical instruments, such as metal radiator guards, doors and steam engines.[11]


Goldheart Assembly are:[12]

  • James Dale: lead vocals, bass, Autoharp, misc.
  • John Herbert: lead vocals, guitar, misc.
  • Nicky Francis: drums, vocals, misc.
  • Jake Bowser: instruments with keys, vocals, misc.
  • Kyle Hall: guitar.

Previous members:

  • Thomas Hastings: Portasound, ukulele, glockenspiel, vocals, misc.
  • Dominic Keshavarz: guitar.


  • "So Long St. Christopher" / "Oh Really" (June 2009) Heron Recordings[2]
  • "King of Rome" (March 2010) Fierce Panda Records
  • "Under The Waterway" (May 2010) Fierce Panda Records
  • "Last Decade" / "Going Down Well" (November 2010) Fierce Panda Records
  • "Harvest in the Snow" (free download) (March 2011) Fierce Panda Records


  1. ^ "Welcome". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d [1][dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Glastonbury 2009 - Goldheart Assembly". BBC. 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  4. ^ [2] Archived 23 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ [3] Archived 15 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Tees - Entertainment - MML 2009". BBC. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  7. ^ [4][dead link]
  8. ^ "Goldheart Assembly blog". Retrieved 2011-01-21. 
  9. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Long Distance Song Effects - Goldheart Assembly : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  10. ^ a b Dave Simpson (2010-03-18). "First sight: Goldheart Assembly | Culture". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  11. ^ [5][dead link]
  12. ^ "Goldheart Assembly | MTV UK". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 

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