Beer and music… two of my favourite things. So how could I resist the opportunity to get involved in a project that combines the two. And from today, you can too.
Gemma Cullingford, a musician, songwriter and producer from Norfolk, has collaborated with Suffolk-based performance poet Luke Wright on an EP FOMO which will be available on all digital platforms from September 2023.
Today, they’ve launched the second single from that EP, also called FOMO. For those of you not down with the kids, ‘FOMO’ stands for ‘fear of missing out’ on stuff that other people are going to, especially stuff that you see going on on social media.
You can hear it here.
‘The song is an example of two very different characters coming together to create a piece about male insecurities in a time of female empowerment, that is both tragic and amusing,’ Gemma explains. ‘Luke wrote the poem – originally titled William Hague in a Baseball Cap’ – at a time when the global, social feminist movements of #MeToo and #NotAllMen were prominent on social media, and certain middle-class, cis male celebrities were gaining attention for their controversial and sad antics.’
‘Well that’s all very good!’, I hear you say, but what’s that got to do with beer.
To celebrate the release of FOMO, Gemma and Luke have teamed up with me and Charlie from the Iron Pier brewery in Gravesend, and have created a limited edition, tropical, hazy pale ale for the occasion.
‘It’s 5,3% abv, with a super soft mouthfeel from plenty of wheat and oats, low bitterness and mango, peach and lychee from Citra and Idaho 7 hops, ‘ says Charlie.
I’ve designed the can, based on the FOMO EP cover, in my kind of style.
‘I love beer, particularly craft beer,’ Gemma explains. ‘I love the fact that each can is a little work of art, both the process involved in brewing craft beer, the can artwork and even the texture. Vinyl records are works of art too, but not everyone has a record player and they are pretty costly and timely to make and sell. It’s been my dream for years to be involved with a beer and I’d seen Haiku Salut had a beer linked with them and wondered if I could do the same for one of my releases. Music and beer – a perfect partnership in my eyes! A no brainer. And I love that this collaboration is a team effort between poet, musician, artist and craft brewer, ending up with something tangible, tasty, colourful, affordable and …erm….groovy?!’
Each FOMO can has a QR code that leads to a pre-order on Bandcamp for the FOMO EP. If you buy the beer and use the code, you get a 50% discount if you enter the code iron_pier at checkout.
You can order your FOMO cans on the Iron Pier website, and we’re hoping that cans will soon be available in selected outlets around Norwich, so look out for it.
Luke Wright is recognised as one of the UK’s most dynamic performance poets. His poems are inventive and engaging, documenting 21st century British life with wit, humanity, and panache. He has shared the stage with the likes of John Cooper Clarke, The Libertines, and Art Brut, and fronts the band The People Who Run The Country, whose debut single Monster was given airplay on 6Music.
Gemma Cullingford is a musician, songwriter and producer. Her music is often
dark – but always danceable – electronica. She has released two critically
acclaimed self produced solo albums, receiving airplay from the likes of 6Music,
Radio X and Soho Radio and gained fine reviews in Mojo, Uncut and Electronic Sound amongst others.
Their debut track You Are Making Progress With Your Therapist received support from Radio X’s John Kennedy who made the song his Hot One on his X-Posure show on Radio X. It was also championed by Kitty Perrin of BBC Introducing Norfolk who described their styles as ‘complimenting each other beautifully’ and who tipped off Tom Robinson for the BBC Introducing mixtape on 6 Music.
The FOMO EP in its entirety will be available on all digital platforms on September 1st 2023.
In the meantime you can catch Luke now on tour in the UK with his show The Remains of Logan Dankworth, which he is also taking to Glastonbury, and Gemma will be playing Brighton at The Hope and Ruin for Psych du Soliel on September 8th.