Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Winter Hearts

Our last gig seems so far in the distant past. The band is still alive and kicking though! Sadly the same cannot be said for one of our favourite local bands, Sidecar Fire, who announced their split on facebook yesterday.

It's been a strange year for us, we've been holed up in Vera's lounge writing new songs, working on old songs and preparing ourselves for a recording [which will hopefully take place toward the middle of August]

We have historically spent our winters getting cold and wet, lugging equipment into venues like The Waiting Room, where we've tried our best to warm and soothe all hearts. It's been troubling to spend so little time performing.

After our recording is completed and Vera returns from her holiday to Russia [Russia!], then we'll get back into performing live again. We have a batch of new songs, we're also nearly ready to play The Ruse live again and Cathy has an almost concerning pre-occupation with avant garde stage outfits!

We'll see you soon, we've missed you.

- Helen

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Headline Artists Announcement

At the end of August 2011 Coal will be parting ways with Headline Artists. We’d like to thank Sean and his team for the two years of wise advice, unfailing support and behind-the-scenes efforts. As it is more appropriate for our needs at this time, Coal has chosen to go the route of self-management. Our commitment to producing and performing beautiful music remains, however, unwavering. We wish Headline Artists nothing but the best, and look forward to seeing you in the audience again soon.

- Coal

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Time will keep you safe

In mid September Vera departs on an amazing journey of a lifetime: to conquer Kilimanjaro! The expedition is a gruelling 5 day climb on the spectacular Machame Route, and we're all very jealous. Though, seeing how much work Vera is putting into getting fit and prepared, while we lounge on couches eating wintery comfort food, perhaps not quite that jealous!

You can find out more about Vera's expedition via the facebook event page. Hopefully when she's back she'll write a blog detailing her experience [nudge nudge].

Of course, we'll be hard at work while Vera is away, continuing to drink well over our recommended daily tea allowances and eating many a biscuit! Ross is also a busy bee and will be doing some recording during the latter part of August into early September. So unfortunately we are on a bit of a gigging hiatus. We are hoping to use this break to work on some new songs and fine tune some of the old ones we rarely play. Does anyone even remember "The Ruse" anymore?

Our next gig is scheduled for the 18th October at The Waiting Room. We have no idea who we'll be playing with yet, but we'll keep you all updated - suggestions are most welcome, we love to play with bands we haven't had the chance to play with before.

Oh, and one other thing: Last night Cathy and I went out to see Yoav at &Union and we were really blown away by how wonderful he is to both watch and listen to. Yoav is playing at The Assembly this Saturday, and I cannot urge you enough to attend, I'm definitely going to see him again!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Women's Day & Merchandise

Cathy is hand making our beautiful new t-shirts. If you would like to order one of these shirts, which she'll make to fit you perfectly, drop us an email at with your details and sizing information. Cathy makes both men's and women's t-shirts, with various logo placement options. They're priced at only R100!

We will have samples of them available at our gig on the 9th August at The Waiting Room. This promises to be a special night as we have guests from some of Cape Town's well known bands including The Sleepers, Samson and Tape Hiss & Sparkle.

We're playing an extended double set, also performing some of the covers we've prepared over the past few years, all of which involve female musicians we admire and take inspiration from. Don't miss out :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Strike a woman, strike a rock(ing woman)

It's Women's Day on Tuesday 9 August and to celebrate we are putting on a special show at our favourite retro hangout, The Waiting Room. (Although we will probably have to resist the delish Oreo milkshakes downstairs in order to spare our listeners the resulting vocal phlegm. It's a pleasure.)

Most of the covers we have worked on for the last couple of years have been by much-admired female artists such as Florence and the Machine and the inimitable PJ Harvey. So for this Women’s Day show we will be dusting off some of the older ones and shining a light on a new couple of ditties that we prepared recently for a vocal showcase at the Barnyard. (The resident technician – I use the term loosely, of course – lent a whole new level of ridiculousness to our in-joke about the ‘sound knob’.)

We have dubbed this gig as 'semi-acoustic', as we can't quite justify calling it unplugged with all our pedals and pogs, and especially my keyboard (which would be only softly percussive if unconnected to synth-giving electricity)!

In the meantime, we will be practising at Vera’s lovely house, amid her gorgeous kitties, inbetween sips of hot tea. Don’t forget your wellies on Tuesday as we’re pretty sure it’s going to rain. Doesn’t it always? See you there!

Yours in multiple layers and furry-topped boots
Linky x

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mp3 Update

We have finally gotten around to compiling some snippets from our demo recordings. These were recorded in Langebaan on our weekend away. There is a full version of Stroke, which has been suspiciously absent from our set list lately, we'll have to make an effort to include it soon!

You can listen to our songs via Soundcloud here, and they're also available at our Facebook page and are housed under our music tab on this website too.

Coal Demo Recordings by Coal

In other news, Vera is hard at work with our new website and is very nearly done! She has also given our logo a bit of a reboot. Also, Cathy recently made up some t-shirts with the new logo on them, perhaps if we beg her she can take a nice photo of those? These will be available at our gigs and come in both men's and women's styles. Cathy actually makes the shirts herself, being the accomplished seamstress that she is, so they are of excellent quality.

We recently played a wonderful acoustic show at the Mercury with Van Coke Kartel and Stonecollar. The exceedingly talented Laura McCullagh took some photos of the evening and wrote a little something about the night, you can check them out on her website: Laura McCullagh's Pictures & Ramblings

Our next gig is the 16th July at the new Zula, we'll keep you updated.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Noises from the crypt...

A few months ago I signed up for vocal lessons with the much accomplished Amanda Luyt. Vera had been attending lessons with her for a while and I thought it was time that I did something to turn up the volume in my voice.
I went with an open mind and much excitement, since I love learning something new...and I must say that I have been blown away! After only six lessons which involved laryngeal gymnastics and noises from the crypt, I can say that I'm very impressed with the results.

It's true that most professional musicians go for lessons, and professional athletes have coaches. That is why I believe that vocalists need a vocal coach. I can't express how much more I enjoy singing now...I guess as much as any one of the girls would buying a shiny new piece of equipment.

Vera and I will be performing at a Student recital on Sunday the 19th June. The venue is the cozy Barnyard theatre where you are able to bring your own eats and booze. There is also pizza on sale at the venue as well as a cash bar. No cover charge!

The numbers we have chosen to perform are classics from the recent and not so recent past....

I can't wait!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


In 3 weeks we're performing our acoustic set with Van Coke Kartel and Stonecollar for a Mercury Uncircled event.

Avoiding near injury from errant bridge pins, new strings were successfully fitted to my acoustic bass. Shiny!

Also, they sound a million miles better than the old ones. Can't wait for the 17th June!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Van Coke Kartel - Winter Acoustic - 17th June

Van Coke Kartel will be touring their Winter Acoustic set all over the Western Cape during June. We'll be performing with them on the 17th June at Mercury Live for an Uncircled show.

Uncircled shows are different and interesting because the stage is set up in the middle of the dancefloor, right infront of the DJ booth / soundbox. There is plenty of seating scattered about, including benches and cushions, so the atmosphere is much more relaxed and intimate.

We're really excited to be playing this show, and are including 2 new songs in the set list. Stonecollar are also joining us on the bill, they are preparing an acoustic set specially for this occasion.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear our dark and haunting acoustic set in a venue normally reserved for the live and loud. There have been many notable Uncircled performances in the past from the likes of The Sleepers, Benguela and Taxi Violence [where our Cathy featured on Violin!]

This show will be really special. You can find out more via the Facebook Event Page

Friday, April 29, 2011

3rd May - The Waiting Room

Our next gig is only a few days away - on the 3rd of May at The Waiting Room. We're playing an extended set of nearly all of our songs - excluding only the terminally acoustic unfriendly "Glass". We'll also be playing Henry Lee as well as another surprise cover.

The lyrics page on the blog has been updated with our two new songs, which we'll obviously also be playing on Tuesday night, so don't miss out. R40 gets you in and we'll go on around 10pm.

Poster designed by Adam Hill

We've updated some other things in the past few days too:
There are photos of our weekend away in Langebaan on Facebook and there are recordings of Stroke and Train from that weekend on our Soundcloud - we'll continue to update that with some more snippets of other songs as the days go by.

We're still trying to keep active on twitter so if you want to follow us we're #embersofcoal

We'll have some of our badges on sale on Tuesday night too, this may be the last time you'll be able to get the merchandise in its current form and supplies are now limited.

We hope to see you all on Tuesday night, we've really missed your faces :)

- H