24th December 2002

Happy Christmas to all visitors to the website and best wishes for 2003!

If you'd still like a chance to win a rare copy of the compilation album If You Can't Please Yourself You Can't Please Your Soul then visit our Competitionpage for details. The deadline for the end of the competition has been extended to 31st January 2003 .

Available from early January 2003, Martin Stephenson with Duncan Kennedy are releasing a beautifully produced limited edition collectors item entitled The Well of Harmony , which features a CD and book containing original songs, prose and guitar music.

For more details, please visit Martins official site at www.daintees.com.

9th December 2002

Caroline Lavelle will be touring with The Chieftains as guest cellist and vocalist on their forthcoming 2003 US tour.

The tour starts off in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 13th 2003. The tour will include 30 dates, ending at a venue still to be confirmed in New York City on March 17th.

More details via Caroline's official website www.carolinelavelle.co.uk

30th November 2002

ex-Be Bop Deluxe leader Bill Nelson is playing a one off show at the Jazz Cafe, London on 8th December 2002.

Due to guest with the band on a few numbers is Kate St John (who was part of the Channel Light Vessel project with Bill). Bill had this to say recently on his website www.billnelson.com:

"Unfortunately it wasn't possible for Kate St John to make this (16 Nov 02) rehearsal (as she lives in London), so we will have to rehearse with Kate at the soundcheck on the day of the concert. Scary,last minute stuff !!. I've sent her a CDR of the tracks that I'd like her to play on but,of course,the final choice is hers,depending how much time she has to work on the music. She's a busy mum these days and has responsibilities to her young daughter. Fingers crossed that she'll be confident enough to take on board as much as possible"
The Jazz Cafe is located at: 5 Parkway,Camden Town, London. Nearest Underground station: Camden Town (turn right out of tube station into Parkway).

TEL: 020 7344 0044 tickets £17.50 adv, £20 on door

More details via: www.meanfiddler.com.

19th November 2002

As well as his recent studio collection Collective Force, Martin Stephenson has also released a new album with Jim Hornsby. Down To The Woods is described as a "binaural album" recorded on location at Shining Cliff Woods,in the Peak district.

Meanwhile, Martin has added more tour dates:

29.11.02 Rickardos, Anstruther Fife, Scotland 07947 276 306
19.12.02 The Blue Cat Stockport 0161 432 2117
29.12.02 The Howwood Inn, Howwood Paisley, Scotland 01505 703119

As ever, further info is available via Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

8th November 2002

One of the projects Anne Stephenson has worked on is a special benefit CD for the Tourette Syndrome Association (one of Anne's own children is a sufferer). The CD EP Dance With Me? Christmas Tree features Anne singing on the title track - a wonderful pop song that does indeed conjure up a Christmas feel to it.

If you would like to buy a copy of the CD - and help the Tourette's Syndrome Association at the same time, then it can be ordered for �5.50 (inc P+P) with Cheques/PO's payable to

Tourette Syndrome (UK) Association

and sent to:

Tourette Syndrome (UK) Association
PO BOX 26149
KY12 7YZ

All proceeds from the sales of the CD are in aid of the TSA.

You can also visit the Tourette Syndrome Association website at www.tsa.org.uk

4th November 2002

If you're still looking for a copy of the rare compilation album If You Can't Please Yourself You Can't Please Your Soul then you'll be happy to know that the Virginia Astley website is giving you the chance to win one in our new Competition.

Simply answer three questions and you could be the proud owner of this copy of If You Can't Please Yourself You Can't Please Your Soul - the album that features the classic and rare Virginia song Waiting To Fall . Click here for details: Competition.

30th October 2002

More forthcoming tour dates from Martin Stephenson plus contact number change for the Stockton gig:
02.11.02 Coach House Inn, Killen Perthshire  

Georgian Theatre

Stockton 01642 674115 or 01642 616147

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermklin


The Caledonian Hotel

Portmahomack www.caleyhotel.co.uk

As ever, further info is available via Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

29th October 2002

Jon Astley has once again been working with Tori Amos on her new abum Scarlet's Walk at her Cornish home studio, Martian Engineering.

As well as being mastered by Jon, he's also credited in the Personal Thanks section of the liner notes: "Jon Astley-our favourite frequency and clam-baking dude" .

Scarlet's Walk is released in the UK, Europe and Australia on 28th October and in North America on the 29th.

26th October 2002

More forthcoming tour dates from Martin Stephenson :
20.10.02 The Blue Cat Stockport 0161 432 2117
09.11.02 Georgian Theatre Stockton 01642 801700

As ever, further info is available via Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

14th October 2002

UK visitors to the website might be interested to know that Stanley Kubrick's last film Eyes Wide Shut will be shown tomorrow on TV. As regular visitors will know, the soundtrack to the film features music by Jocelyn Pook .

The film will be shown Tuesday at 10.05pm on Channel 5.

9th October 2002

Audrey Riley's collaborative performance went off without a hitch last night and featured an interesting mix of composers and musicians that made for a very entertaining evening.

Check the Forumfor a review of the performance.


6th October 2002

Congratulations to all those that managed to get the right answers in our recent Competition. The lucky winner drawn randomly from the correct entries was Paul Moloney who wins a copy of the ultra-rare A Bao A Qu EP for his troubles. The answers were as follows:
  • Who produced Hope In A Darkened Heart?
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Futility takes its lyrics from the work of which poet?
  • Wilfred Owen
  • What was the original title for Shadows Will Fall Behind?
  • I Live In Dreams
A new Competitionwill be posted online soon.

2nd October 2002

Updates to the Discography: Both Love's A Lonely Place To Be and Tender have been added as playable music files. The version of Love's A Lonely Place To Be is the original version (as found on the single and also on the album Promise Nothing ). The songs are in Real Audioformat and you will need RealPlayerto hear them. More details via the Discography.

Thanks to all those that entered the recent Competition. We'll announce the winner here on the News page in due course. A new Competitionwill be posted up soon.

24th September 2002

An update on Audrey Riley's forthcoming performances:

The show is titled A Change Of Light and features original compositions commissioned by Audrey from artists including Gavin Bryars, David Lang and Damian LeGassik . Audrey will be performing on cello alongside Andrew Zolinsky on piano. Philip Riley will be producing visual works for the performances. The dates are as follows:

03.10.02 Djanogly Recital Hall, Lakeside Arts Centre 7:30pm Nottingham 0115 846 7777
08.10.02 The Warehouse, 13 Theed Street 8:00pm London SE1 tickets@a-change-of-light.com

Tickets for Nottingham are �10/ �8 (concessions) and London �10/ �5 (concessions). The nearest tube station for the London performance is Waterloo.

A biography of Audrey is also available at http://a-change-of-light.philipriley.com/audrey.htmwhich details Audrey's work with Virginia.

Meanwhile, direct info can be obtained by visiting www.a-change-of-light.comand also via: www.philipriley.com

16th September 2002

Martin Stephenson (who posted some generous comments on the Guestbook recently) has more dates on the way:
27.09.02 Howwood Inn, Main St, Howwood, Johnstone Scotland 01505 703119
28.09.02 Anchor Hotel, Tarbert, Kintyre Scotland  
29.09.02 The Boat, Rothersay, Isle Of Bute Scotland 07748 278920
16.10.02 Canterbury festival, Canterbury Kent 01227 452853
18.10.02 West End Centre Aldershot 01252 330040

The Scottish dates are with Scott Macdonald , while the last two dates are solo performances. For further info please visit Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

8th September 2002

Martin Stephenson will be performing at the Anchor Hotel in Tarbert, Kintyre on 28th September. More details via Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

Brilliant Midnight 2.0 - the revamped version of Caroline Lavelle's last album will be released in the UK and Eire tomorrow, Monday 9th September. Anyone who has the original album and would like to hear the newly added tracks, should visit the official website www.carolinelavelle.co.ukon Monday where you will be able to download these tracks for free.

1st September 2002

The Virginia Astley Website now has a new feature in the form of a Competitionpage. Just answer 3 trivia questions on Virginia's musical career and you could win a copy of the rare A Bao A Qu 10" EP. Access the Competitionpage via the Featurespage or just click here: Competition.

Some new Virginia Astley-themed avatars have been added to the Forum. Have you registered yet?

27th August 2002

Earlier this year,the January 2002 edition of Sound On Sound (Europe's No.1 Hi-Tech recording magazine) featured an in-depth look at Jon Astley's career and his methods in recording/mastering.

You can read this article by clicking on the following link:


13th August 2002

More on cellist Audrey Riley 's forthcoming live performances: She's asked Cathal Coughlan to write a piece for the performance. Cathal (formerly with The Fatima Mansions ) has obliged with a 6 minute piece called There's Some Body Under Premierland which features Audrey, a guitar and piano which will be played by James Woodrow and Andrew Zolinsky .

As previously mentioned, the shows will be taking place in October. See the 11th May news entry for dates.

3rd August 2002

Dionysus ,the opening track on Jocelyn Pook's last album Untold Things is currently being used as a trailer for Martin Scorsese's new film Gangs of New York . For further details,please visit www.jocelynpook.co.uk.

Caroline Lavelle's latest album Brilliant Midnight is now due for UK release on 9th September 2002. Recorded at Caroline's home studio,the album features guest musicians Michael Nyman and Hector Zazou . For further details please visit www.carolinelavelle.co.uk.

24th July 2002

One particular music website lists the planned release date for the From Gardens Where We Feel Secure reissue as 1st January 2020(!). There might be delays with the album, but 18 years might be a bit off the mark ;-)

Meanwhile, there's more forthcoming dates for Martin Stephenson :

05.08.02 12 Bar Club, Denmark St London 0207 916 6989
06.08.02 Walled Garden, Down Grange Basingstoke 01256 465566
07.08.02 Hanbury Ballroom Brighton 01273 325440

For further info please visit Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

29th June 2002

The July issue of Record Collector features a brief update on the reissue of From Gardens Where We Feel Secure . We still have no firm details of a release date just yet, but as soon as we get the info, it will be posted up here :-)

17th June 2002

You may notice a few cosmetic changes to the Virginia Astley Website (including the News page) which are part of a series of updates. More are on the way, so expect some surprises ;-)

Martin Stephenson has a brand new album entitled Collective Force released on August 5th.

A limited number of advanced promotional copies (including a 12 page booklet) are available via mail order and at Martin's June live dates.

For details,please write to:
Martin Stephenson
P.O.Box 5957
IV18 0YL

Please remember to enclose an SAE if writing within the UK and an IRC if writing from overseas.

Anyone who is already on Martin's mailing list, will be receiving an email/letter with full details.

7th June 2002

Anyone interested in listening to the rare version of Synergy by Martin Stephenson and Virginia (from Martin's album High Bells Ring Thin ) should click on the following link: www.freezone.co.uk/msteph/highbells.htm

The song can be heard in both MP3 and Real Player formats.

3rd June 2002

A new Dream Academy fansite titled Waterloo is now up at http://waterloo.8k.com/.

We've added details to the Linkssection as well as updating some of the links to other websites.

1st June 2002

One of the most frequent requests we receive is from people eager to track down copies of Hope In A Darkened Heart . Although Virginia's 1986 album is now quite rare, copies do occasionaly turn up. Below is a list of links to online record dealers, shops and private sellers who have advertised that they have copies for sale: Please note that the Virginia Astley Website is not responsible for any of the transactions between these sites and people wishing to buy the records! We also cannot verify that the records are still available, but good luck to all those people who manage to source copies.

The Virginia Astley Forumis also available to post details of records you wish to buy or sell.

29th May 2002

Japanese artist Kahimi Karie has produced a cover version of Melt The Snow . The song appears on her 2001 album My Suitor . Some copies of the album feature a bonus acoustic version of the song, but there's also an enhanced version which features a video for Melt The Snow as well.

Courtney Love might not be the first person you think of that's inspired by Virginia Astley ;-) However, she did make an interesting comment in a recent interview:

"When rap in LA first started I remember that I couldn't help but think, what if I took that part from Joy Division's 'Dead Souls' or that weird bit from the Durutti Column 12-inch I've got or the piece from the Virginia Astley EP, just stuff not yet 'mined'... I really felt that the Grand Royal/Rubin aesthetic on rap was cool, but how much cooler could it be if people who had grown up with impeccable taste in their Postcard records collection, who knew those riffs, were in charge of the 'beats'. "

Access the whole interview via this link: www.nme.com/features/51825.htm

Meanwhile, direct info on the forthcoming Audrey Riley performances can be obtained by visiting www.philipriley.com

25th May 2002

The 21st May saw the release of a Pete Townshend compilation CD entitled Scooped . This double cd features 35 tracks (remastered by Jon Astley ) which have been taken from the first 3 volumes of the Scoop anthology series. This release also include tracks featuring collaborations between Pete and his father-in-law Edwin Astley . The cd set will be available in US shops (and as imports elsewhere) and by mailorder via www.eelpie.com.

Anyone interested in what Jo Wells (longtime friend of Virginia's and musical collaborator) got up to in the 1980's, should pop by this Kissing The Pink website: http://home.earthlink.net/~jwgrote/ktp/purchase.html. Kissing The Pink are probably best known for their 1983 chart hit The Last Film which reached No, 19 in the UK charts.

17th May 2002

Congratulations to Jocelyn Pook for her Speaking In Tunes performance last night at the ICA. The performances continue across the UK this month - see the dates below for details.

Meanwhile, the Forumgets updated with a small review of the performance.

As previously mentioned, Jocelyn Pook will be also be taking part in this years BBC proms, Prom 9, at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 25 July 2002. Jocelyn will be performing a specially commissioned piece as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations. For more information, visit www.jocelynpook.co.uk.

11th May 2002

This autumn, cellist Audrey Riley undertakes a recital tour covering the UK, Europe and the USA. As well as original compositions, the performances will feature specially commissioned works by Gavin Bryars, David Lang and Damien LeGassik . Audrey will be accompanied by pianist Andrew Zolinsky and the shows will feature visual works by Philip Riley .

The world premier will take place on 3rd October 2002 at the Djanogly Centre, Nottingham University. The London premier is at The Warehouse, Theed Street, London on the 8th October 2002.

Audrey Riley worked with Virginia in the studio and in live performances throughout 1983-85.

Meanwhile, Caroline Lavelle's last album, Brilliant Midnight , is to be released worldwide in August. This new version will contain 3 brand new tracks. The original Warner/ Atlantic version of Brilliant Midnight will be withdrawn in June.

One of the albums songs, Anxiety has been specially orchestrated and is being used over the end credits of the new John Dahl film Roadkill (aka Joyride in the USA).

8th May 2002

More forthcoming dates for Martin Stephenson :
02.06.02 MAYFEST : "The Park" Brent Pelham, Herts www.mayfest.org.uk
05.06.02 The Roadmenders Club Northampton 01604 604603
06.06.02 The Witchwood Ashton Under Lyne 0161 330 5028
07.06.02 Fibbers York 01904 65125
08.06.02 The Queens Head Belper 01773 826750
10.06.02 New Roscoe Leeds 0113 246 0778
11.06.02 The Ceol Castle Birmingham 0121 440 4278
12.06.02 The Studio Hartlepool 01429 424440
13.06.02 The Ropery Sunderland 0191 5147171

For further info please visit Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

7th May 2002

Ever wondered about the background to the title of Virginia's debut EP? Well, wonder no more - Rob Brown presents a new article exploring The A Bao A Qu Mystery.

3rd May 2002

A new Surveyis now online: Which is your favourite track from the album Hope In A Darkened Heart?Pay the Surveypage a visit and cast your vote.

30th April 2002

More details on Jocelyn Pook's forthcoming live performances: The open rehearsals (as mentioned on the news item dated 13th February) take place between 2.00pm - 6.00pm on Monday 13th, Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th May at the ICA Theatre, London. The concerts take place at 8.00pm on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th May.

More details from the ICA Box Office, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Tel: 0207 930 3647. Open 12.00 midday - 9.30pm.

Meanwhile, Jocelyn has recently completed work on her fourth French film score La Guerra A Paris (Wartime In Paris).

Thanks to Graham at www.jocelynpook.co.ukfor this info.

14th April 2002

All change with Martin Stephenson's website address - it's now become www.daintees.com.

19th March 2002

Additional dates for Martin Stephenson's tour:
01.06.02 The Masque Theatre Liverpool 0151 708 8708
03.06.02 The Verge London 020 7267 9452
16.10.02 Canterbury festival Canterbury 01227 452853
18.10.02 West End Centre Aldershot 01252 330040

For further info please visit Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

16th March 2002

A last minute item: UK television viewers may like to know that a short 10 minute programme is being aired on BBC2 at 11.45pm tonight. Dance For The Camera: Horizone is described as "Jocelyn Pook's depiction of a strange creature emerging from a spartan desert landscape" .

Novelist Judy Astley has recently been nominated for an award. Her eighth novel Excess Baggage has been put forward by the Sierra Leone Library for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2002 .

For those who aren't aware, Judy Astley is the wife of Jon Astley (Virginia's brother) and Virginia's sister-in-law.

10th March 2002

Anne Clark is planning some live dates in France:
30.04.02 Le Grande Mix Tourcoing, France 00 33 (0)3 20 70 10 00 info@legrandmix.com
02.05.02 Le Cafe De La Danse Paris, France 00 33 (0)1 47 00 05 51 julien@lecafedeladanse.com

Virginia has collaborated with Anne Clark in the past, notably on Anne's 1984 album Joined Up Writing . Anne also supported Virginia for a live performance the same year.

More information on Anne Clark is available on her official website via this link: www.anneclark.com

8th March 2002

Disregard any details you might see about a definite release date for the reissue of From Gardens Where We Feel Secure . Although sites such as Amazon have flagged up the CD as being released on April 22nd, Rough Trade have confirmed that a release date has still not been set. In fact, they're still awaiting the artwork for the album before they can schedule the release.

27th February 2002

Jocelyn Pook has composed some of the music for Phantasmaton - a performance by the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company .

Jocelyn's piece features vocals by Natacha Atlas and designs by Jo Parker . Phantasmaton will be taking place at the Royal Festival Hall in London from 17th - 19th April 2002. Box Office: 020 7960 4242. The Shoana Jeyasingh Dance Company are also performing throughout the UK in the run-up to the Royal Festival Hall performance. More details from www.shobanajeyasingh.co.uk.

26th February 2002

Caroline Lavelle's new album Brilliant Midnight is due for release in the UK in June.

We also have more details on Martin Stephenson's tour dates:

28.02.02 Blackheath Concert Hall London 020 8463 0100
01.03.02 The Komedia Brighton 01273 647100
03.03.02 The Sun Inn Hitchin 01462 711164
11.04.02 The Pheasant Sheffield 0114 231 3976
12.04.02 The Trades Club Hepden Bridge 01422 845265
13.04.02 The Brewhouse Theatre Burton 01283 516030

Between 7th and 17th March Martin will also be making various appearances in the state of North Carolina, USA. Please e-mail Dddram@aol.comfor details.

For further info please visit Martin's official website at www.daintees.com.

20th February 2002

Jocelyn Pook's Bury St Edmunds concert is at the Theatre Royal and is between 8.00pm and 9.15pm on the Sunday 19th May. There is also an aftershow discussion with Jocelyn.

Meanwhile, Martin Stephenson has a solo gig at the Blackheath Concert Hall in London scheduled for Thursday 28th February. More details can be obtained by telephoning 020 8463 0100.

18th February 2002

Updates to the Discography: The Albumssection gains the cassette release of Hope In A Darkened Heart while the Compilationssection gains the sleeve art for Spools Paradise .

13th February 2002

More on the forthcoming Jocelyn Pook UK tour: The National Touring Programme funded tour of Speaking In Tunes will begin at the ICA in London as part of their Week To View series from the 13th - 17th May. There are three days of open rehearsals with performances on the 16th and 17th May.

Tour dates are as follows:

19.05.02 Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Festival
22.05.02 QEH Theatre Bristol
23.05.02 Phoenix Hall Exeter
24.05.02 Chesterfield Arts Centre Chesterfield
25.05.02 Unity Theatre Liverpool
26.05.02 The Square Chapel Halifax

Thanks to Graham for the info. More details at www.jocelynpook.co.uk.

11th February 2002

Jocelyn Pook is planning a UK tour of Speaking In Tunes alongside visual artist Dragan Aleksic which is scheduled for May 2002. Thanks to Graham for the info and more details are available at www.jocelynpook.co.uk.

1st February 2002

A new Surveyis now online: Which of Virginia Astley's singles do you think was the best?Pay the Surveypage a visit and cast your vote.

There's also been a few cosmetic tweaks around the site and other changes are underway: The Discography section is being expanded and will also see some graphic updates and changes in the near future.

30th January 2002

The Links page gets updated with 2 new sites: Glass Darklyand Dreams & Desires- the latter concentrating on the Pleasantly Surprised label. The more knowledgeable fans will recognise the label due to Virginia featuring on some of the compilation tapes they issued.

26th January 2002

From Gardens Where We Feel Secure finally gets a release date? Don't be thrown by entries on the Amazon website which state a release date of 4th March. According to Rough Trade, they haven't set a release date yet.

15th January 2002

A new section has been added to the Virginia Astley website: The Articlessection is designed to feature comment, interviews and written pieces on Virginia's career, her music, the people she's worked with and much more.

The first article is a collection of quotes compiled by Rob Brown which details the history of The Ravishing Beauties - In Their Own Words.

13th January 2002

On the 18th September 2001, CEDAR Audio announced its annual award winners (CEDAR Audio Awards recognise outstanding contributions in the field of audio restoration.). In the 'Modern Recording' ( CD remastering from a modern recording post 1949) category,the winner was Jon Astley (Virginia's brother) for his work on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album.

This is the second time that Jon has won an award in this category. The first time was in 1998 for his work on the Led Zeppelin BBC sessions on Atlantic Recordings.

8th January 2002

Happy New Year to all visitors to the Virginia Astley website!

If you want to read the news pages for 2001, then please click on the link on the left hand side.

The reissue of From Gardens Where We Feel Secure is scheduled for Spring this year on the Rough Trade label. Virginia has also hinted at new material in the pipeline - more news as we get it.

Meanwhile, Kate St John is planning to accompany husband Sid Griffen on two live dates:

03.02.02 Hotel du Nord Paris, France 01 53 19 98 88
04.02.02 Hotel du Nord Paris, France 01 53 19 98 88

The doors open 8.00pm and the show runs from 8.30pm to 11.00pm.

Interestingly enough , when Kate performs, it will be 20 years to the day when Kate was performing with The Ravishing Beauties supporting The Teardrop Explodes at Sheffield City Hall (3rd Feb 1982) and Manchester Apollo (4th Feb 1982).

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