The 3 Clubmen
The eponymous debut 4 track EP from The 3 Clubmen, a new project
comprised of Andy Partridge, Jen Olive and Stu Rowe.
The culmination of a decade of antics from these longtime collaborators,
the EP is an avant-pop delight offering a seductive blend of
experimental pop, jazz and sci-fi soundtrack strangeness.
While each artist has worked with the others in some form since 2008,
The 3 Clubmen marks the first time that Stu, Andy and Jen have combined
forces as a trio, an inevitable partnership once described as “a
three-headed Frankenstein's monster dancing at a neurodivergent singles
CD in 4-panel digisleeve, released on Swindon's Lighterthief label.
Artwork by Carl Glover.
"Like an 'action painter' throws colour at a canvas, we tend to throw
musical and sound things, knowing that we'll cut through this seemingly
insane mess later, to hopefully find some beautiful garden, hiding there,"
says Andy Partridge.
"I throw paint, Jen throws paint, Stu throws paint...and we walk away.
If, when we return, something in there calls to us, we'll move heaven
and earth to get it out and let it breath. Using whatever it takes, be
it contrary musical ideas, parts in clashing keys incongruous sounds,
contradictory words/phrases. Its all clay to us."
"The Clubmen project is something I’ve been messing about with for years
- it's the one thing that everyone who hears it says I should finish. It
was great fun to make and I think we’ve managed to create something
really quite interesting between all three of our musical sensibilities,"
says Stu Rowe.
Jen Olive adds, "The joy is it… so much humor… the lyrics reflect the
spirit of the conversations… the call and response. There’s an ecstatic
quality to it. it's thrilling to have people share in that.”
Native to Los Angeles, musician-songwriter Jen Olive has a series of
albums to her name, in addition to writing and recording for A&M Records
and contributing music to various American Film Institute projects. Her
latest solo release was 2022's Stu Rowe-produced single 'Two Futures'.
A key player on Swindon’s music scene, Stu Rowe has supported many
artists as a guitarist, bassist and producer. Apart from Patridge and
Jen Olive, these include Shriekback (Barry Andrews), Peter Blegvad, Paul
Weller, Colin Moulding, The Future Sound of London (The Amorphous
Androgynous), and TC&I.
The Clubmen saga begins in 2006, when Andy and Stu first worked on 'Monstrance',
riding on a mutual fascination with experimental music production. A
bi-weekly ritual soon emerged, starting at Stu’s Lighterthief Bunker
studio and ending at the local pub, which resulted in sonic explorations
and improvised recordings. A series of musical sketches gradually formed,
setting the stage for Jen’s later involvement.
With interest reignited during the pandemic after being put on hold and
largely forgotten, the trio decided to finish what they’d started all
those years ago, resulting in their debut 4-track effort.
Signing to Andy’s label APE HOUSE Records in 2008 after recording her 'Warm
Robot' album, Jen contributed lyrics and vocals on 'Up On Hi' and 'My
Dream Sea', penned by Rowe and Partridge for Lighterthief's 'Trick
Picture' and 'Hard Listening' EPs (released on APE HOUSE).
It would only be in 2010 when the threesome were finally able to work
together in person. The chemistry was instant, the room was buzzing and
the ideas flowed. Over pints at The Roaring Donkey pub, they dubbed
their project “The 3 Clubmen” after the local defence volunteer groups
formed during the English Civil War. Clubmen protected themselves from
both armies by fighting on their own side - the name seemed to fit.
3. Green Green Grasshopper
4. Look At Those Stars
All songs written
and performed by The
Music by Andy
Partridge, Jen Olive
and Stu Rowe
Lyrics by Andy
Partridge and Jen
2010 and 2023 in The
Andy Partridge -
Jen Olive - vocals
Stu Rowe - bass,
Frank Abrams - flute
Mikey Rowe - piano
Curtis Tweed - slide
Andreas Rebhuhn -
'Bangy' - percussion
Mixed by The
Mastered by Jason
Mitchell at Loud
Artwork by Carl
Glover at Aleph