Friday, March 16, 2007

Whatever happened to... Lincoln?

Here’s the first in what will probably be a very occasional series. Whatever happened to… isn’t intended to tell you amusing anecdotes about what happened to various indie bands after their prime. I haven’t suddenly discovered that the former Menswear bass player works in my local hairdressers. Not yet anyway. No, it’s going to be me genuinely asking what has happened to some bands I’ve liked, because I really don’t know. I’ve searched the internet for info and have found nothing. So if anyone knows anything, I’d love to hear what they’re up to, particularly if they’re still producing music.

I’ll kick off Lincoln, a band from Stoke Newington who I first heard on John Kennedy’s show on Xfm back in early 2001. Though they were a London band, the first time I saw them play was at the inaugural Summer Sundae festival in Leicester that summer. I was immediately seduced by their lovely dusty rolling Americana, and the sweetly impressive vocal pairing of Alex Gordon and Tracy van Daal. At that time, they had two mini-albums (or is that EPs?) to their name – Barcelona (2000) and Kibokin (2001), which were excellent. I’m listening to them as I write this and they still sound amazing. If you want comparisons, it’s a bit like Tindersticks go country. Or a more Anglicised Lambchop. But with added brass a female co-vocalist.

The band consisted of the aforementioned people (Alex also played guitar and trumpet), David Hannam (guitar and harmonium), Jim Friedlander (Bass and trumpet), Matt Dowse (Trombone, Fender Rhodes) and Crum Hall (Drums). Crum also had a home studio where some of their tracks were recorded. But is was to a castle near Aberdeen that the band headed to record their debut full-length album Mettle in 2002, in front of a roaring fire. Again it was another splendid showcase of their lovely sounds. I saw Lincoln three or four times but somewhere towards the end of 2002 I stopped hearing about them. The last gig I remember was their biggest one – at Dingwalls – but unfortunately I couldn’t go to it. I thought that they might be on the verge of something, but instead everything went quiet.

Although this was all in the days before myspace, they did have a website. However it looks the same now as it did five years ago. No information from their label Narwhal Records either – their website has totally disappeared. So if anyone’s got any information, please let me know. Maybe if there were no serious ‘musical differences’, maybe someone could even tempt them to reform. Otherwise, just enjoy the tracks below.

From Barcelona

Download: Lincoln – Barcelona
Download: Lincoln – Johnny Morris

From Kibokin

Download: Lincoln – Little Mistakes
Download: Lincoln – Proud of Myself

From Mettle

Download: Lincoln – Blood on the Streets
Download: Lincoln – Crooked Smile

Someone seems to be selling Lincoln albums in the Amazon Marketplace for the princely sum of 99p. Bargain! So go and buy Kibokin, Mettle and Barcelona. All of them are very good.


H.P. Liferaft said...

At first, I thought this post was going to be about the other Lincoln - an awesome early 90's hardcore band from Washington D.C.

Matthew said...

Wow, you're on a real hot streak with bands I love at the moment! I thought Lincoln were brilliant as well. It's such a shame when bands this good just vanish.

aaron said...

I understand that family commitments and internal friction caused a split. Alex and Matt went on to form "Heed the Thunder" (with the rhythm section of Citizen Fish(!)) which gigged around Bristol and produced some homegrown recordings. Alex moved away, so Heed is no more. Curiously searching YouTube for "Heed the Thunder" leads to some (unfortunately technically poor) videos of Alex playing by himself.

The Daily Growl said...

thanks for the info aaron - much appreciated! shame that they had to split, but having recently started out with 'family committments' myself, i can understand better. Still we have the great music. any lincoln youtube clips?

matt_dowse said...

someone told me that you had this site. Great to know that you enjoyed the music....the band did loads of stuff in 2002 - went to europe, supported Calexico and played with Hem at the QEH. All the band slowly moved away from London (except for tracey and jim) so it wasn't down to internal friction that we stopped playing together. I still play with Alex (even thought he has moved away from Bristol) and Jasper and Silas from Citizen Fish and we put a myspace site together as Heed the Thunder. We did an album on Falsify records that is a mixture of home recordings and music recorded at state of art in bristol. Lincoln was a great thing to be involved in - but we all had family commitments growing outside of the band and all the money that we ever had went into recording and accountants so there was never a real wage to be had from it - and making a band like that work and tour is really hard because it is a big feat of organisation.
If anyone wants a copy of Mettle I have loads of them so make an offer (in the style of REM) and I send to you (will be seeing some of the band in December so will share the spoils!)and copies of 'new partner' an ep with a Prince Billy cover and with Ali Friend from red snapper playing the bass (althought we forgot to credit him on the sleave note...)
One of my most interesting facts is that Ollie who payed and arranged strings on Mettle did the strings for the best record of the 20th Century - Micheal Head and the Strands - the beautiful sound of the's that?

matt_dowse said...

that should be played not payed and it should be the Wonderful World of the Strands.......

The Daily Growl said...

Hi Alex

Great to hear from you and get more info about the band. Hope you see this response. I'd love to get a copy of the the New Partner EP, which i think is the only Lincoln release I don't have. Can you send me some? Happy to pay for it too!

In other news, I've had a myspace message from Tracy who'd like to have your email address to get back in touch with you and Alex. She's still in Stokey and has a band called Tiguana Bibles. You can drop me an email by clicking on my contact link on the sidebar.



Anonymous said...

I live to Russia and already many years I am ill with your music. Also I have all yours CD's. Since the group was gone I search for the information on musicians. And here I something have found. Daily Growl, let to me the know please about the future of this command and members of group in particular, in what projects I can hear them. My e-mail: veter$
Thanks. You did great music!

David said...

"...and played with Hem at the QEH..."

I was there and a great gig it was too, especially the mighty 'Snake Heads' if I recall correctly.

I have a bootleg of the gig if you are remotely interested. I honestly can't remember the quality of my recording but this band deserves more recognition in my humble opinion.

Contact me on


David said...

Having dug out the QEH gig recording I also foudn that not only had I also been to the Dingwalls gig, but recorded it too. Memory is a terrible thing...

Anyway, the same applies if you want a copy.


octobermoon said...

hello everybody
i am interested to buy 'new partner' ep and the bootlegs from david via paypal
my email is

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