The Witch And The Robot (TWATr) are a purposefully niche band, the lyrics and themes explored by them are esoteric at best, self indulgent at worst and willfully, almost infuriatingly quixotic throughout.
Now fast approaching middle age, dreams of fame and fortune have long since been replaced by a acceptance of mediocrity and a almost misanthropic revelling in that mediocrity, watching all the world progress whilst they alone stay the same..
This is not sexy
Pop music should be sexy
How can a band like TWATr upscale? Remain niche and true to its artistic values whilst developing a worldwide presence without ever gaining mainstream acceptance?
TWATr is now syndicating across all territories, based on the model developed by premier ABBA tribute act Bjorn Again. We will be able to have a non-descript and negligible effect on left-field contemporary culture on a global scale.
How will it work?
TWATr UK may play to 10 people once a year but if there are 40 different TWATr’s enjoying the same level of obscurity then that audience figure is increaded 40 fold.
How Do you get involved?
Each potential franchaisee must first pass strict quality criteria
Each new member (male or female) of TWATr must be dangerously skinny
At least 6”.1 tall
Razor sharp cheekbones
And no older than 19
Each franchisee will receive a welcome pack and instruction on how to be TWATr including
1 X backing track MiniDisk of a 1hr live set
Instructions on how to correctly perform TWATr’s shtick (cream pie protocol etc)
1 X DJ Aesthetic Heartbreak Mask
A pack of balloons
TWATr will be coordinated from the Robot Rooms in the UK, but each franchisee will be responsible for performing at least 1 poorly attended concert every 2 to 3 years
There will be songs written for each franchisee dealing with particular issues within that territory i.e French Presidential elections, lack of fresh drinking water in Mongolia, the emerging preeminence of Norway’s state owned oil company Statoil… etc etc
The Witch And The Robot’s debut album, On Safari, was without doubt one of the hidden gems of 2009. It was a wild combination of relentless, almost perverse experimentalism and deep, semi-spiritual folk convention. It’s successor, Fear Of Mountains, sees the Cumbrian misfits plough a similarly rich seam of influences – from Americana and country to Krautrock and classical – all bound together by a captivating, frighteningly psychedelic approach to the folk tradition…
The Witch awoke and was temporarily blinded by the suns rays, she blinked, rubbed her eyes and began to take in her surroundings. On all sides was a vast sea of rocky desert, with large cliffs off to the distance, the ground was hard, cold and coated with a fine sprinkling of reddish dust. The Witch knew she had to get out of the sun, but there was no shade to be seen, she started to claw at the ground beneath her, as her hands were made of diamonds she had no problem digging through the sedimentary rock. The hole she dug was about 5 foot deep before the ground began to give way, the Witch panicked and began to grasp at the sides of her hole, but the ground beneath her crumbled and she fell hard and fast into the darkness below arms flailing like a rotor-copter or a novice ice skater seeking to minimise the impact of a backwards fall.
After 10 minutes falling in the pitch black the Witch resigned herself to the fate that will be hers for the next two decades, simply falling through space. Luckily the Witch wasn’t thirsty and the hunger pangs stopped after the first week, so that negated the need for any kind of sustenance, apart that is for company…
The Witch was always a sociable creature, the centre of attention at society parties, regaling guests with tales of prohibition era Chicago and her part in the development of Pilates as a safe low impact exercise. But now alone in the darkness she had no one to turn to, no one to hold. Around her neck she wore a redundant circuit board from her first Spectrum ZX, a reminder of the innocence of childhood she had thought, now possibly a lifeline from the inevitable decent into insanity. It was difficult to undertake sophisticated robot engineering while falling at terminal velocity in the pitch black, but through her natural cunning the Witch found a way. Using her rudimentary knowledge of bio-tech and robotics she managed to construct a two inch high mechanoid, a mechanoid with a massive capacity for pathos and understanding, the Witch had used a portion of her brain as the main circuit in the machine, this was the portion of her brain that dealt with any aspect of charity. As a result she lost all compassion, but that was more than made up for by her new friend, simply called ‘Robot’.
They would discuss philosophy and art for what seemed like an eternity but in reality was probably more like 13 years, each would have an opposing opinion, with the Witch inevitably straying to the right in any argument.
Then one day in the middle of a heated debate about the impact of Mertz and Schwitters legacy and the cruel irony of dying from an injury sustained at Daisys café in Ambleside after internment and hoboism, they landed with a splash! The Witch’s sense of direction was thrown into disarray, then she remembered her survival training and just kept still hoping that the air in one of her 54 lungs would bring her to the surface, she could not have been that deep because although her hands were made of diamonds her body was flesh and would have crushed at any great depth. She surfaced and gasped for air, her little robot chum had crawled into her mouth seeking protection not unlike a crocodile taking her young to the water for the first time.
The Witch swam to shore, she had known this place in a past life, the familiar greens and browns of the Lakeland fells rising up to meet the deep clear blue of a crisp winters sky. The pulled the robot from her mouth and spoke “ We shall make this place our home, maybe start a business selling boiled sweets and various colourful confectionary” She smiled “ and kids eat for free”, the robot understandably shocked by this sudden show of charity bleeped as he did “bleep bip bip”, “ I know little one” replied the Witch “ I feel much kinder, maybe that fall was just what we needed, now to work!”