Bernard Butler had a great idea- he often has them- to film a discussion with each other about The Sound of McAlmont & Butler, our 1995 album, to accompany its reissue and a short tour later this year. Instead of asking a journalist to pose questions we would just have a conversation about the album in a cafe or something.
Weather, food, wine, beer and scenery aside, the things that keep us happily heading back to the big hexagon are the loveliness of the audiences and the quality of the French rock clubs. The owners, staff and often volunteers who work on gig evenings at theses places take such immense pride in their venues...
Returning to Britain, I joined another band and hey presto, two of the members were Swedish. Perplexingly we never got round to playing a gig in their home country, but we did manage to all go to a wedding in Stockholm which is the first and only time I've ever seen a wedding cake being thrown across a dancefloor. It ended up, quite literally, in the best man's face.
Plans for Fink's production rehearsals are plunged into a skipful of turds by one of those professional rehearsal spaces turning round at the eleventh hour and calmly announcing that they don't allow use of a smoke machine. Panic! Fink's entire live show is based around a smoke machine. I'm personally lost if I can actually see the rest of my band through lack of fog.
Here's the thing though: all of the awkwardness, the distance, the coldness and initial confusion goes out of the window the second they start playing. With a rhythm section that possesses you from the waist down with all of the force of an old Motown outfit, you can't help but be mesmerised by the musicianship on show.
While the band's appearance on Later With Jools Holland was being televised, The Arctic Monkeys were delighting their fans in the North East with a career-spanning 20-song set. There can be little doubt that the 2012/13 season has proved to be their best yet in a career which has been meteoric to say the least.
It's now less than four weeks until the third annual AIM Independent Music Awards takes place, and last night we were finally able to reveal this year's nominees. And what a fine bunch they are! Our judges have done a terrific job this year of shining a spotlight on the wealth and diversity of talent supported by the UK's thriving independent labels.