“I started doing things to attract huge audiences… Things like downing a bottle of ink in one, you could sort of guarantee an audience of at least 200 just to see you do it.” – John Otway


“Being a rock star rocks.” – Machine Gun Kelly


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The weather is turning. Summer is over, and the parks are full of wadded tissues and last year’s crop of indie rockers; stranded and mewling for an audience who will never return. Happily though, we are returning! And with an album so much better than the first, the label put an exclamation mark in the title (!). To celebrate the release of this critical, and cultural highlight, we’re putting on a few in-store shows. Kicking off with three nights at Rough Trade.


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Tickets on sale 11am tomorrow


Unlike “other bands” – who hurry through their in-store obligations with all the bitterness of the Daily Mail publishing: “photographs which appear to show the Prime Minister drinking wine at an event” – we will be playing an extremely long, and extremely literal set with strobe lights, backing musicians and humorous interludes. A big, fuck-you “party” to celebrate the greatest album of our time, or indeed any. To this band, the in-stores aren’t a duty to sell records, but a genuine pleasure and chance to drink from Rough Trade’s sweet, sweet range of craft ales (on tap).


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Alongside the new album, we’ll also be taking requests for old songs at – requests that aren’t Beverly Rose or Back to the Point will be met with resistance, but if the messages are sycophantic enough we may consider it. To help our outreach team, please header your email with “In-Stores” – we may not be able to reply to everything but will try.


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The Game has been out for a week now. We made the video with our friends Charles Gall and John Otway, who both had a big hand in making it so great. If you haven’t watched it, there’s a link to that right here. I genuinely think it is a masterpiece. There is a lot of biblical allusion, which it’s best not to get too deeply into, but if you would like to get into it we will be accepting critical readings of the film over at – please header your email with “A few Thoughts on your New Film” so we can find it in the cesspit of Scientology spam and sycophancy that is the inbox.


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“I’m an anarchist. I have it tattooed on my stomach”. – Machine Gun Kelly


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Tattoo Me, Tattoo You

We had more than a thousand tattoo requests last time. Ben, who was extremely busy painting our alternative album cover, has picked three at random. We have a 14 hour drive to Holland tomorrow, so will do some more then.


Charley writes:


Do your worst & I’ll get it, Lots of love

Charley xxx


Well Charley, this isn’t Ben’s worst but it’s down there. Send photos of the result to and we’ll put it on the fridge.


Juno writes:


I was witness to your chaotic Wild Paths festival set in the fine city of Norwich back in October 2021. And I say witness, but I was one of the lucky few with a Press Pass I had obtained from my university. Mere seconds into The Game, Alex was stood on a speaker and I was face to face with his knee for a solid thirty seconds. At that point, in front of the barrier, the stage so close I could lick it, I felt special. Like I was The Chosen One. Alex didn’t end up kicking me in the face, which I’m now thankful for, but it was still a moment I will cherish and tell my grandkids about.


If Ben could draw me a commemorative tattoo to celebrate this, it would be an honour.


All the best,


Juno Frances, ex-gig photographer


Juno, Ben is nothing if not a people pleaser. So here is that picture of Alex and the Devil sat up on the top of a mountain having a chat you asked for.


Jack, who said some pretty hurtful things about the newsletter asked for a very special piece:




Since apparently the weird emails that should definitely be checked by a manager were true…


I too am one of many people that would love a dodgy tattoo! Hope I’m chosen to ruin my body forever! I’ve attached a photo to show that dodgy and questionable life choices are my speciality!


Well, Jack. Since you asked. Here is a picture Ben drew of Oli and the snake from the Game music video. I think it would look nice as a back of the hand tattoo, or maybe one for the chest area. Up to you though. Enjoy it!


If you would like Ben to design you a tattoo, get in touch at – due to the high volume of requests we can’t fulfil every order. Use the subject header “Tattoo” and we’ll do our best.