Statement from the band 26th Oct, 2005
Well folks, in many ways this is a day i hoped would never come. Childish i know, but it saddens me to tell you all that alfie are no more!
Everyone knows that bands don't last for ever but somehow, especially when you're so deeply involved, you've gotta believe that yours will, blindly if necessary, just to keep things going forwards. So, even though some of you will, like me, think this seems a little sudden, others may have seen it coming for ages. I guess a few of you may have heard rumours by now and it's not unthinkable that you've feared this might happen 'cause of the general lack of that ever elusive 'commercial success'. But that's not been the catalyst for this decision and, fortunately, it hasn't been a nasty or protracted ending. I'm pretty sure a lot of you would like good reasons for why this has happened but the truth is that, while it's hard to know quite what to say here, it's even harder to pinpoint exactly why this is the time to call it a day. Some of the band felt we weren't getting the breaks anymore. Not that you're owed 'em mind, but it's easy to lose heart when you've been trying to do things your own way for so long yet still not getting the response you're after. Everyone's human and people have a right to worry about whats happening with their lives... it's hard to keep faith that "everything'll be alright", (which has been my mantra from day one), when it feels, ultimately, like no-one's listening.
You lot, our faithful fans, being the exception of course. Ever loyal throughout, always providing that glimmer of hope and humanity when things have felt tough. I've been equally touched, entertained and encouraged whilst silently monitoring countless, seemingly trivial rows on the message board over the years. We've clearly meant quite a lot to some of you and knowing that and believing someone cares has provided priceless motivation!
So this dream is finally over! Some people think we've been milking it too long anyway but (and call me a fool all you like, many have before), i thought there was good reason to stick it out. Mostly 'cause i thought we were just on the edge of maturing into the really great band i always thought we could one day become. I acknowledge there's a good chance parlophone were gonna find it hard to keep us on after the album failed to reach the heights a label of their pedigree expect. But maybe alfie weren't really a parlophone band just as we never sat quite right at twisted nerve before them. For all the various troubles, major and indie, i'm not blaming either of the stables. Things may well have worked out differently in other circumstances but there's no blame necessary, i feel proud and lucky to have been intertwined on whatever level with two very different but fascinating musical worlds and, above all, four brilliant and creative musicians who i will always be able to call mates.... Everything put together falls apart, the important thing to learn is that sometimes there's nothing you can do about it ,just let go and enjoy what's left of the ride. I for one, have had an amazing time here, money really can't buy what's happened to us over the last 7/8 years and it's bitterswseet that i can reflect already on amazing memories that are now confined to a different part of my life.
But onward and upwards eh! There's life in this old dog yet, maybe not many new tricks, but definately a lot of life. I'm happily exiled in London for the forseeable future, (and no, this had nothing to do with the break up, the idea was for me to come down here and fight our corner while we were still together), and there feels like no better place to get started with something new. I've gained so much experience from everything we've been through that i feel i must be able to put it to some good somewhere. (i'll be permanently online in a week or so and if anyone needs to know anything i'm at "firstname.lastname@example.org" still). I'm not totally sure what the rest of the boys are gonna do but i intend to keep writing songs, be it on my own or with a new gang, so feel free to keep coming to the site and i'll let y'all know how that's going, plus whatever the other lads are upto. You better believe I'll be as gutted as anybody if no-one carries on, and, to put it one way, i definitely know who'll i'll be calling when i need some elaborate string or harmony arrangements sorting out!
Before i sign off, i'd just like to say a massive thanks to anyone and everyone who's been there for us along the way, you all know who you are. Anyone who's been on the road with us, all at the management and our various labels, publishers, agents, press and promoters. There's really too many to mention but i feel like i've made some great friends out of all this mess and much love goes out to you all! But, finally one last shout out has to go to you lot, our fans. Thanks so much for coming to all the gigs,(again, i'm proud to have shared a part in what i'll always consider many special and occasionally glorious nights), thanks for buying our records ,(4 albums eh! not bad for a bunch of "ramshackle northern chancers"), and thanks for generally fighting our corner, (Chin up 'team alfies', it's definately not your fault that the world won't listen!). So to part, it's the ultimate cliche i know, but it's the truth that we'd have fallen apart long ago if it wasn't for all you guys. Whether you've been with us from those precarious beginnings or if you've only just joined us as this ship sinks under troubled waters, i hope we've not let anyone down. Thanks again, sincerely and with much love, lee gorton. x
A message from Sam.
Around four weeks ago we played a gig in life café in Manchester. I’m a little saddened to inform you that it was our last gig. Alfie are no longer a band. The reasons behind the decision are varied, but the main feeling was that it had seemed to run its course. As you know, we have always endeavoured to stay “true to ourselves” musically, and we perhaps somewhat naively thought that this would be sufficient to catapult us into the upper stratosphere of the popular music world. It wasn’t, and unfortunately, although it’s true that a single note of one of our songs holds more worth than ten thousand James Blunt albums (a chilling thought) this has never been apparent to the record buying public as a whole. We wanted it to work, you wanted it to work, the record company wanted it to work. So the question remains: where did everyone else’s loving go, for frig’s sake? Well I don’t know where their loving went, but I know their cash went straight into the crazy frog’s wackily amphibious bank account.
It may seem as though we have given up, but this is not the case. We just didn’t want to compromise to the point where we didn’t know where we were musically. Record companies need to sell albums. That’s how they work, and if you don’t get on the radio and subsequently sell singles and get in the charts, you won’t sell enough albums for the record company to recoup the money that they spent on the recording. So it’s down to us to write a smash hit! But that’s not what alfie does. We’re not a pop band. So we have decided to disband, rather than get drawn into writing music we don’t want to write. It has been an amicable decision, and we have our own musical plans for the future, so don’t get tearful. Watch out for such show-stopping acts as “Mr McGeever’s Beaver Cleaver Bunch”, “The Lee Gorton Funtime Ensemble”, “Fabulous Ian and His Big Group of Other People”, “Kelly’s Zeroes” and “Whatsizname and the Nobody Remembers the Bassists”.
I hope this hasn’t sounded too ranty, our intention isn’t to blame anyone, and we hope that alfie fans will continue to enjoy our music.