Candy Says manifesto

There will still be people who don’t get this, who think that artists should just make sellable art or learn how to run a business, people who believe in a magical meritocracy where money and value are perfectly balanced and measured out by an invisible guiding hand to those who deserve it. Those people can glide by giving nothing to promote or support art, they will continue to live in a world filled with art, surviving on the cultural welfare of those of us who do support art.
Money Sells — Artists on the Internet

Hadn’t seen this video for ages. Right at the end of Little Fish, when we already had the Candy Says line-up and most of the songs. We just hadn’t let go of the name yet…

We’ve been thinking about that time again recently, because we’ve been asked to talk about the book Miranda wrote about the end of Little Fish at a festival in Wakefield next weekend.

That’s right, we’re playing in Wakefield next weekend! It’s way up north somewhere, further even than Bingley (I think)! The festival is Long Division, and it looks like it’s going to be great. We’re playing on the Saturday afternoon (13 Sep), then talking about the book with Miranda on the Sunday.

If Wakefield is in your neck of the woods, come along and see us!

Link: Candy Says live at The Waiting Room, London (11 September)

London. It’s a big city. And we’re going to play in it. If you live in London you could come. In fact, you should come. It’s going to be fun to play, but if you’re there it will be extra fun. And you probably don’t get to gigs often enough these days. We understand, life gets in the way. And gigs aren’t always that fun. Sometimes it’s nicer to curl up on the sofa and watch a drama on iPlayer. But you can do that any night of the week, and we don’t play in London very often. So in this particular case the sofa option is not the best option. The joy of iPlayer is that you can watch the drama another day. Or even after you get home from the gig. Not that you’ll want to do that, because (a) it’ll be quite late, and (b) once you’ve seen our show you’ll be buzzing, energised by the music, inspired to get out there and make the world a better place, to spread the word, to fill the air with beautiful sounds, to start a movement, to join a movement, to move, to dream, to connect. So TURN OFF THE TV and get down to where it’s all happening.

Please take a ticket, the doctor will see you soon.

There are a couple of preview tracks from the new She Keeps Bees album Eight Houses up on Bandcamp/Soundcloud and they are gooooorgeous. Can’t wait for the rest. And they’re playing the UK again in November. Bonus.

Vinyl lovin’

It’s so cool to see everyone’s tweets of their Not Kings vinyl after what seemed like an endless wait. Here are a few of our favourites:

If you don’t have a copy yet you can pick one up in Truck Store in Oxford, or on our Bandcamp.

Riverside Festival got a glowing ★★★★★ review in the Oxford mail and there was a great write-up of our set, in which the show was apparently stolen by Candy and her mannequin friends:


  The Candy in question is the all- seeing, non-playing member of Oxford art-pop group Candy Says, the model gazing vacantly off stage alongside bandmates Juju and Ben Walker. And tonight she looked great, sporting fairy lights and a summer hat, a wise choice on what had been one of the hottest days of the year.


They did mention the music too – we were in a real party mood that day, and everyone was happy to groove to our “fizzy and richly layered dance-pop and expansive electro-disco” (nicely said!).

They also picked up on Ben’s new move:


  “Join me in a one-handed clap” says Ben as hundreds of sun-burned festival-goers raise single arms in the air.


Riverside was really great this year. It’s such a cool little festival. And FREE! Vive la révolution!!

Riverside Festival got a glowing ★★★★★ review in the Oxford mail and there was a great write-up of our set, in which the show was apparently stolen by Candy and her mannequin friends:

The Candy in question is the all- seeing, non-playing member of Oxford art-pop group Candy Says, the model gazing vacantly off stage alongside bandmates Juju and Ben Walker. And tonight she looked great, sporting fairy lights and a summer hat, a wise choice on what had been one of the hottest days of the year.

They did mention the music too – we were in a real party mood that day, and everyone was happy to groove to our “fizzy and richly layered dance-pop and expansive electro-disco” (nicely said!).

They also picked up on Ben’s new move:

“Join me in a one-handed clap” says Ben as hundreds of sun-burned festival-goers raise single arms in the air.

Riverside was really great this year. It’s such a cool little festival. And FREE! Vive la révolution!!

We played a show in London last week (the Glory Days festival at the Hops and Glory in Islington) and it was a weird one. In a good way.

We were billed to headline at 11pm, after the football. The pub was rammed, and everyone had been there all day watching bands and football and listening to DJs play summer party music. Carnage.

Neil Wildblanket was there and took some great photos – thanks Neil!

The Netherlands vs. Costa Rica game went into extra time then penalties, so it was more like 11:45pm by the time we hit the stage. The next 40 minutes was the most fun we’ve had playing a gig for ages. The crowd were rowdy but friendly, and those who were into it were really into it.

It was just the three of us (Juju, Ben and Mike) this time, and will be again for Riverside Festival, so we filled out the sound by creating a whole load of new loops and samples in Ableton Live. It’s a whole new world of technology that we’re just dipping our toes into, but it sounded great! Juju also has a new vocal harmoniser that makes her sound like a choir of angels, and Candy the mannequin has a sound-triggered lighting system inside her so she “sings” the samples.

Candy Says, the party band. Who’d have thought it?!

We played a show in London last week (the Glory Days festival at the Hops and Glory in Islington) and it was a weird one. In a good way.

We were billed to headline at 11pm, after the football. The pub was rammed, and everyone had been there all day watching bands and football and listening to DJs play summer party music. Carnage.

Neil Wildblanket was there and took some great photos – thanks Neil!

The Netherlands vs. Costa Rica game went into extra time then penalties, so it was more like 11:45pm by the time we hit the stage. The next 40 minutes was the most fun we’ve had playing a gig for ages. The crowd were rowdy but friendly, and those who were into it were really into it.

It was just the three of us (Juju, Ben and Mike) this time, and will be again for Riverside Festival, so we filled out the sound by creating a whole load of new loops and samples in Ableton Live. It’s a whole new world of technology that we’re just dipping our toes into, but it sounded great! Juju also has a new vocal harmoniser that makes her sound like a choir of angels, and Candy the mannequin has a sound-triggered lighting system inside her so she “sings” the samples.

Candy Says, the party band. Who’d have thought it?!

I went and saw Jont play a rare gig in London last night (he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia a couple of years ago). It was a great night – nobody holds a stage quite like Jont. He played a song called Sea Of Stars that I hadn’t heard for ages; I don’t think it ever made it on to an album. But the first lines really reminded me of the Candy Says manifesto and how we’re all on the same journey…

Well done and well said, all you failures
For failing to blend in with the rest
Yeah when the dawn comes let them name you
For reading and tearing up the test

Looking for a version of the song online I found this video from a gig at the Purcell Room in London about 6 years ago, with me on piano!

If you haven’t seen Jont before, check out his music – he recently uploaded all his albums to Bandcamp. If you’re looking for something to start with, try Supernatural. It’s a slow builder of a first track, but by the time it’s over you’ll be feeling the love…

—Ben

Our song Not Kings is featured on the Guardian music blog at the moment, as part of an open collaborative music video making project. It was just launched a couple of days ago and we’re the first band on it! Someone has already made this retro-digital psychedelic lyric video, and we can’t wait to see what else turns up in the next week or so.

You too could make an awesome video for Not Kings. Do it.

Sometimes the internet can be really cool.