Swill is his usual forthright self: The recently defunct Crowd Funding Platform managed to create something terrific for fans and musician alike and then utterly destroy it. No one is saying for sure, but it looks likely someone, somewhere, got greedy.
This is a double album of demo songs and it’s come about despite the mega-fuckup by Pledge Music.
You’ve probably heard about Pledge Music somehow “losing” all the money that was raised by fans for various bands album campaigns last year. They then went bust and left many artists without a bean and many fans without the goods they’d paid for.
Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers (singer songwriter with The Men They Couldn’t Hang) was one of the musicians badly bitten. His Uke Town Pledge Campaign had quickly reached over 100% of target but the money never materialised. Despite this Swill made sure the album got made.
On his previous album Roll To The Left Swill had written a song called ‘Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down’ and that sentiment became something of a personal philosophy. Pledge Music was rotting but Swill wasn’t going to let that stop him.
“Above all I wanted to be sure that people who had supported my Uke Town album Pledge Campaign didn’t lose out” says Swill. “I was committed to making the album and sending it out to everyone. Some people told me how they’d managed to get refunds from their banks or credit card as a result of Pledge Music not fulfilling their obligations. I started sharing their stories and advice by email, through social media, at gigs etc, and some others were able to get a refund that way.”
He made Uke Town available to order in advance through Bandcamp and used that platform combined with various social media to share videos of work in progress and keep people updated every step of the way.
It took a little longer than planned but the album got made – helped along by the dedication and support of fans ….a symbiotic relationship.
EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE THROUGH Bandcamp: www.philodgers.bandcamp.com
This is a collection of songs I’ve recorded as demos between November 2018 and 2019. New songs recorded on top notch equipment but with no added frills. Just captured in their essence, pure and simple. There are also three cover songs which I have added my own spin to but kept uncomplicated – no fancy mixes or overplaying here.
It all started when I brought a ukulele along on a holiday trip to Malta – with the intention of learning two or three chords and writing three or four songs.
I’d never played the uke before and had always thought of it as a bit of a novelty instrument. Once I got it in tune I was totally blown away. I picked out some simple melodies on the strings and it took me in a different direction to the guitar. I was hooked and decided to record a whole album of songs written or played on the ukulele. There are very few exceptions – namely two workshop co-writes I’d already started. But even these benefit from a little discrete uke in the end.
There are some other instruments on here of course – Tom Spencer (The Professionals/The Men They Couldn’t Hang) joins in on banjo and guitar, Geoff Price (Hanwell Ukulele Group) plays lap steel and mandolin – there’s a light smattering of harmonica, banjolele, melodica, a little percussion and more ukes. Producer, James Knight, even plays a tongue drum on one of the tracks!
Eventually I’ll pick ten of these songs, develop them further and rerecord at some point for a more produced ‘commercially available’ album (which may also feature more traditional rock ‘n’ roll instruments!). But for now, I’m in wandering the streets of Uke Town. Thanks for your support!
Artist’s website: www.swillodgers.co.uk
‘Uke Town’ – official video: