Updated: May 21
Our third album as Nick Toczek & Signia Alpha, The Columbus Memoirs, has evolved into a multi-faceted project which includes a vinyl album, an extended CD, a book and a slew of related merchandise including a t-shirt, a tote bag and a fridge magnet. All are now available to order via the website www.nicktoczek.com. https://www.nicktoczek.com/the-columbus-memoirs-album-pre-order
The 12-track album pressed on blue and white marbled vinyl is lavishly and beautifully packaged, replete with a fully illustrated inner sleeve plus a complete lyrics sheet.
The 19-track CD consists of all twelve tracks from The Columbus Memoirs plus five tracks from its precursor, Walking The Tightrope, and four tracks from our debut album, Shooting The Messenger. All three of these albums consist of entirely original self-penned tracks.
The accompanying 120-page fully-illustrated book, The Columbus Memoirs and other tales, features the lyrics from all three albums (the vast majority written by Nick) plus a track-by-track breakdown of the recording and production history of each album by the man responsible, Matt Webster (aka Signia Alpha). Also included are introductory essays by Nick and by Matt plus a closing section detailing the backgrounds of the dozen other artists who’ve played on these tracks.
Here’s a brief summary of their backgrounds. Saxophonist Keith Jafrate is a much-published poet who spent the 1990s in jazz-poetry trio Sang, joined Orfeo 5 in 2002, and is currently leader of jazz quintet Urboro and lyricist for folk collective Army of Briars; bassist and multi-instrumentalist Mark Cranmer is currently completing his own debut album and playing in tribute band Slide Oasis; guitarist and singer Simon ‘Nogsy’ Nolan has worked with numerous bands and features on discs released by Anti-System, Morbid Humour and Zed; also an experienced guitarist Wulf Ingham currently plays with Motorhead tribute band Motorbeard; bassist Paul Gray was in Eddie & The Hot Rods throughout the late 1970s, joined The Damned in 1980, then UFO and many other bands, re-joining The Damned in 2017; guitarist and singer-songwriter Harris joined Zed in 1991, recording a album with them and touring Europe, he played with Matt in Bradford bands Nowt and Grim, and he’d rejoin Matt in The Psurgeons who played on Kingdom Come, Bring It On! the 2007 posthumous single released by Willi Beckett, famed frontman of The Psycho Surgeons; flautist Chris Walsh has worked live with Bradford's Handful Of Dance and Nowt (both with Harris); poet and rapper Dee Bo General has published several books and released many tracks; Emmanuel Williams backed Pakistan’s famed movie star and singer Irene Parveen on her UK tour and, since 1993, has been a member of Amen Ra whose 1994 album, Summer Collection, featured Gambia’s leading classical singer Mame Tamsir Njai; and lastly, singer/bassist Jonny Botterell and guitarist Jack Atkinson like so many of the above musicians are both past band-mates of Matt, Jack in The Johnny Gray Band and Jonny (who fronts his own band, Jonny & The Rizlas) in punk/new wave covers band Plastic Letters.
We are now in possession of copies of everything, including the vinyl LP, and pre-orders will be shipped immediately, ahead of the official release date of June 4, 2022.
The album will be available to stream and download from June 4, 2022, on all usual streaming outlets.