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  • Feel…

    Well, it’s June, and that means we’re starting a new album. It’s been a long time coming this one. What with so many and varied Hope and Social projects this past year, Si and his many theatre things, and Goff being totally immersed in art in Berlin, we just haven’t been able to get a…

  • Blunder Bust!

    Wow, that was tiring! Who’d have thunk that teaching 50 people a bunch of H&S songs in 4 hours across two buses, a stately home and a church then doing a gig at the finish line of the Tour de Yorkshire would prove so tiring? [grins] Well, it was. But it was sooooo worth it.…

  • Hope and Social’s Blunder Bus!

    Part of the Tour de Yorkshire Festival blunderbuss noun 1. a short large-bored gun, flared at the muzzle so as to scatter shot widely. Literally ‘thunder gun’. 2. an action or way of doing something regarded as lacking in subtlety and precision. Rain coat? Check. Stamina? Check. Vocal Cords? Check. Massive bag of fun-nuts? Check.…

  • “Connect: Resound” – A Live Lesson on Sound

    … from inside your computer!!! This coming Thursday (26th March 2015) from 1:15pm to 2:15pm, schools across the county are tuning in to join Hope and Social (the musical equivalent to the interior designers’ “shabby-chic”) deliver a live lesson in sound and recording via the wondrous interwebz. This is the third event in NYMAZ’s Connect:Resound…

  • The 12 Gigs of Christmas – The Lowdown

    We can’t afford big tele advertising campaign, but if we could it would go like this. [overly dramatic X-Factor voiceover, massive silver words rush towards screen] “12 GIGS” [big drum] “1 DAY” [cannon fires] “6 IDIOTS!” [fireworks] etc. It’s safe to say we’ve had some stupid ideas as a band. We just get over excited,…

  • Just Another Normal Tour!

    Well…. as normal as anything gets around here! We can’t do anything without something “weird” happening… Sometimes we replace the word “weird” with “magic” but it all comes out the same in the wash. Well, we bet you were thinking…. “I wonder when Hope and Social are going to do some more of their what…

  • Life’s a Beach and then you Party! (Feva Festival 17th August)

    Holy crabsticks! We’re all still exhausted from the craziness that was The Tour of Infinite Possibility. What we all need is a holiday. We need a Yorkshire holiday. How’s about we all go to the beach for just one day? In Knaresborough. Wuh? On Sunday the 17th of August in collaboration with Knaresborough’s lovely Feva…

  • People Say The Nicest Things

    The dust has settled on The Tour Of Infinite Possibility: Weekend #1. As Simon so rightly puts it, it’s been an “incredible, exhilarating and rewarding” project. So much happened over those two days, we played six shows, with hundreds of new band members joining us on stage. All in just under 36 hours. It’s difficult…

  • Le Tour. Le Launch.

    We are overjoyed to be able to confirm that Hope and Social are set to appear at the Grand Depart Opening Ceremony. We’ll be showcasing some of the very best of our brand new band members who’ve joined us for the Yorkshire Festival project The Tour Of Infinite Possibility, and performing The Big Wide, the…

  • Crypt Covers: Vol. 1

    2 years on from our first ever Crypt Covers session, we’re releasing the first album’s worth of Crypt Covers. For the uninitiated, Crypt Covers is our one day challenge to record and video a fan-chosen cover version, with another artist, in one day. It’s been a challenging, interesting and worthwhile experience throughout. We wanted to…

  • TIP is green for go! I repeat…

    …TIP is green for GO! Oh my word… the Tour of Infinite Possibility is actually real! We’re starting our journey through a maze of shark infested spreadsheets and perilously dangerous calendars. It’s been a little scary, a little daunting and quite marvellous. A little bit like planning to ride a wild horse. When you’ve never…

  • Crypt Covers 10: Dancing Years – Saturday 4th January

    UPDATE 7-1-14 Video below! Crypt covers 10 was the beautiful “I’ll Do It All Again” by Leeds own Corrine Bailey Rae suggested by @manwakesup on twitter. It’s SUCH a good song. Quite heartbreaking… The recording was one live take of the whole band and then we just overdubbed all the vocals and a teeny bit…

  • We Are “The Band Anyone Can Join”

    (Short attention span? Like pictures but not words? Skip straight to the video) There’s nothing more exciting than trying to do the impossible; or at least the seemingly impossible. The stuff that feels like magic is happening, the stuff that feels that, in some small and positive way, it’s had an impact on someone’s life.…

  • Crypt Covers 9: Merz – Wed 23rd October

    UPDATE 25-10-13 We had an absolutely lovely day in the Crypt on the 23rd October with the rather fantastic Merz. The song we covered was “Old Town” – an obscure track from a Phil Lynott solo album. It was a real pleasure working with Conrad. A real inspiration for us and just a joy to…

  • Dancing Day

    Our Dancing Day

    I bloody love dancing, it’s brilliant, but before I get to that I need to give you some history. Let me set the scene….. The year is 2002. I’m in 6th form. The most important event of the academic calendar is upon us. The school talent show. Me and two of my lesser talented chums…

  • All Your Dancing Days

    Hello, Howdy, Willkommen! —— The rumours are true, have no doubt. The Hope & Social ‘Show of un-rehearsed Shonk’ is making it’s way to a town near you next month. Why? Why the hell not???! We don’t need no new album to tour crazy fool!! We are hitting the road once again, beginning on the…

  • Crypt Covers 8: The Travelling Band

    On October 8th we were joined by the Manchester-based five-piece Folk-Rock-Juggernaut that is The Travelling Band. I (Gary) first saw the Travelling Band a few years back at Kendal Calling and was blown away by their songs, charisma and musicianship. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being out with the lads when Ellen…

  • Letter to The Mailing List – June ’13

    Good morning campers! Gosh hasn’t nature done itself proud this week? Last week the birds had all but given up on our climate and headed south for warmer days and carefree nights, but come Monday they turned tail at Dover and pushed their way back up the M1 to sing their hearts out and dance…

  • A Band Anyone Can Join – For The Players

    We’ve already written about our project for the year’s Grassington Festival “A Band Anyone Can Join”. The short version is, the people of Grassington are temporarily joining the ranks of Hope and Social for our headline slot, Saturday 15th of June at Grassington Festival. It’s going to be bloody lovely, and you can get your…

  • A Band Anyone Can Join – Grassington Festival 2013

    One of the things many people say about Hope and Social is that we’re “good at that fan-engagement stuff”. For example, on Public Transport Day last year, Hope and Social did The Grassington Run, a travelling event with 50 revellers joining H&S for their journey from Leeds (by train, bus, steam-train, walk and open-topped bus)…

  • What the f*ck is Bring the Happy?

    Bring the Happy is at the Arc in Stockon on the 1st and 2nd of November 2013, Barnsley Civic Theatre on the 6th and 7th of December and then at Leeds Town Hall on the 16th and 17th of December. Bring the Happy by Hope and Social and Invisible Flock >> “Bring the Happy is…

  • It’s Tour time again!!

    Hello good people. Yes, it’s that time again, we are mounting our trusty red steed and coming to a town near you (hopefully), and yes….it starts on MONDAY! Amongst everything happening at the moment…a baby coming….me living out of suitcase for 8 months now…..James’ letter to Bruce….we have been a bit preoccupied so forgot to…

  • An Open Letter to Bruce Springsteen

    Dear Mr Springsteen, I hope this finds you well and you are having fun on your current world tour. Firstly, congratulations on another fine, rocking album. I especially enjoyed your most awesome and intensely musical use of a shotgun. Brilliant. I’ve been an avid follower of your work since I first pulled out your finely…

  • Crypt Covers 7: Duke Special

    UPDATE 20-12-12 Final video of Golden Brown is LIVE! We had a lovely day with Duke Special. Lots and lots of laughter… Hope you like it. UPDATE OVER Well… here we go again! We’re finishing of our Crypt Covers year on Tuesday the 18th December with the awesome Duke Special. You must know what to…

  • If Hope and Social Had An Office Party…

    If Hope and Social had an office Christmas party, what would it look like? Help us decorate the office for our Christmas party and be in with a chance of winning a lifetime supply of Hope and Social paper clips! What makes ’em Hope and Social paper clips you ask? Well, they are blue, and…

  • ALBUM RELEASE: ALL OUR DANCING DAYS

    … aka Gimli The Magic Bear All Our Dancing Days by Hope and Social Wham Bam Thank You Mam! We talked of soul, we talked of Rolling Stones, and we talked of a magical bear called Gimli. It’s been a rush job as per usual, yet in the face of ever increasing demands for our…

  • Crypt Covers 6: Wilful Missing

    6 out of 10! Welcome to the 6th of our Crypt Covers this year. Sorry we’ve been away a little while. We’ve been squirrelled away making the fourth Hope and Social album. So, as of tomorrow (31st Oct 2012) we’re back making a cover of your choice with another band of awesomeness, and who better…

  • 8 Steps to Making an Album in 30 Days

    … or Less An Update from the House of the Gimli Bear [UPDATE: We need YOUR voices to sing on our album. in Leeds on the 20th October!] We’re roughly half way through the writing and recording our 4th album. Every year it seems like we get less time for actual making of new music…

  • Letter to the Mailing List, October 2012

    BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG… SKIP STRAIGHT TO NOV/DEC TOUR DATES Summer’s over kids. It’s finished. Gary Stewart has played his 206th festival of the season and the band have hung up their jogging shoes to move on to more sombre affairs. No more 500 miles. No more 30 minute renditions of 1970s disco classics.…

  • How we roll

    Awesome weekend so far! Galtres Festival was lovely as ever. Smiling faces all round. Best sounding stage of the festival season to date. We love Galtres! Amazing people. Great set-up. Highlights include “Olympic Jousting”, the lovely and ace “Hand Made Hands“, the scratch band who closed the night at the Firkin stage, the fantastic food…

  • November Tour – We need your help!

    Yes that’s right, we of Hope and Social are strapping ourselves in once again for a stint of driving round the country in our trusty red steed! In November we will be hitting the road coming to a town near you (hopefully) and we might be…..just maybe…playing some new songs. We are back in the…

  • Crypt Covers 5: Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam 6

    UPDATE 19/07/12 >> And here we have it… less than twenty four hours after playing a note, Simon and Garfunkel’s “Keep The Customer Satisfied” by Louis Barabbas and The Bedlam Six and Hope and Social. It was a pleasure to play with the chaps, top banter and a goood working day… we even flew some…

  • WANTED: Intrepid Intergalactic Explorer (with a camera)

    “Ding dong ding dong. Public announcement… WANTED: Massively talented and fun-loving cameraman to come and shoot some video on the Grassington Run this Saturday. SKILLS: You should be able to use a camera and survive on numerous forms of public transport. HOURS: 9am – 8pm Saturday 23rd June PAY: You’ll be paid in smiles, excitement…

  • Crypt Covers 4: Chris Helme

    Well… here we go! Crypt Covers 4: A New Hope. We are delighted to announce that this Thursday 22nd June we will be joined by the awesomeness of the mighty Chris Helme. If the concept is new to you here’s what happens. YOU suggest a song you’d like us and Chris to cover (either below…

  • The Grassington Run!

    Morning campers. Every weekend seems to bring a new and interesting challenge to the H&S camp. Last weekend we had a hit and run with a group of non-compliant African Drummers…the weekend before we did an afternoon’s abseiling in the van…this weekend we head to Scarborough (Future of Music Festival) and Selby (Selby Fun Day!)…

  • Crypt Covers 3: Sam Airey

    6th June 2012: Here we go! Courtesy of the lovely and awesome The Blind Club here is the video from Crypt Covers III – Hope and Social and Sam Airey performing Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down” with a cheeky bit of Nina Simone in the middle… Crypt Covers: Hope & Social and Sam Airey –…

  • Crypt Covers 2: She Makes War

    [UPDATE 18.55 02/05/12] It’s here! The finished song with video by the awesome Shot by Sodium crew. Madonna’s “Dress You Up, with ace She Makes War, as suggested by @dana_jade. One day, two artists, one ace camera team, a Ben, a Dom, one cryptcover, a fair number of cameras, one cover, one finger, one thumb,…

  • Skipton Rocks

    Hell yeah Skipton Rocks! Today sees (kinda) the start of a rather exciting project for Hope and Social. For the first time ever we’re all (bar Si W.) working on the same music and education project together. Skipton Rocks is a dynamic, real-world music project for young people, commissioned by The Mart Theatre and delivered…

  • Cotton Wool and Knotted Wood – RELEASED!

    Hope and Social are delighted to present our new acoustic album “Cotton Wool and Knotted Wood”. Cotton Wool and Knotted Wood by Hope and Social Last year was amazing for us… so many big gigs, so much big noise, so much fun was had. We loved it but by the end of the year we…

  • Crypt Covers 1: Ellen and The Escapades

    [UPDATE: 23/3/12] Here’s the finished song with video by the awesome Shot by Sodium crew. Robert Palmer – Addicted To Love, with Ellen and The Escapades, suggested by @ScottishPenguin, all completed in one busy busy busy fun fun day! You can also see a load of photos from the Shot by Sodium guys on their…

  • Festivals 2012

    As I mentioned on Monday, 2012 was going to be a quietish year for us; we’re very glad to say that it’s not quite turning out that way. As well as this March’s acoustic tour and plotting for our forthcoming Crypt Cover days, we’ve also been booking in some summer jaunts to festivals old and…

  • March Tour Troubadouring

    Folk is the new black We’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front recently, though not because we’ve been slacking. As Si recently said to our mailing list subscribers, 2012 was supposed to be a “take it a bit easy” year… though that’s proving to very much not be the case. We’ve been planning……

  • Big Red Button Night

    As a rule we try not to paste the same stuffs in two places. I don’t know why, our blogs are so good that you probably want to read them twice, in two different places. It probably contravenes some well established blogging etiquette or other, and we are undoubtedly going to be digitally chastised for…

  • “He’s Been!”

    We asked guests at our Winter Warmer what family traditions they would be keeping alive this Christmas. We had optimistically hoped that creating and sharing this collection might provide inspiration for some new family traditions, or at least give a much needed shot of yuletide adrenalin to any flat lining Christmas spirits. But what we didn’t…

  • Hope and Social Winter Warmer

    Hello! [doffs christmas cap] On Friday the 2nd December we’re going to be having our nearest excuse this year to a christmas party. The Hope and Social Winter Warmer The Winter Warmer is going to be about the music. We’ve done some many wonderful big things this year. So many big, ridiculous, outward facing, entertaining…