Nigel & the Dropout

So ladies and gentlemen, what is on your summer list? A cold beer: check; chilling out with your mates: oh hell yes! But what, oh what, is missing? More important than your tan or sun cream: a decent soundtrack to your summer is a must have for a memorable summer. Well, you’re going to love this: look no further, I think I have a winner! With a quirky and unique sound, Nigel & the Dropout have it all. They’re perfect for that all round breezy easy summer feeling when you’re chilling on a sun lounger, they’ll make you feel like you’ve known their songs your whole life. There’s something distinctly familiar about their sound, yet it’s like nothing you’ll have heard for a long time.

Nigel & the Dropout have created something all too impossible to recreate.  It’s fast paced, interesting and intricately mastered. Their sound creates something you’d expect from bands such as The Smiths or The Arctic Monkeys, with an interesting drum and bass beat that’ll leave you wanting to dance – try not to, I dare you!

In terms of their collective reference, I’m unsure of what they’d prefer; I want to refer to them as a two piece (which, by the way, they are – there is only two of them), but their sound is too full, too rich; a two piece just doesn’t quite cut it! Where shall I start: the duo are dynamic for sure; Nigel plays a synthesizer while The Dropout (Andrew) impresses us with his amazing finger picking skill. Every now and again you’ll hear a cleverly placed crash as the cymbal breaks through – that is Nigel with the hand that isn’t flying along the synth!  Amazed yet? Oh I’m not even started!

There are very few bands, in my humble opinion, which sound as good live as they do recorded. There are lots of reasons for this – too many to list.  However, one I will mention (and you’ll understand why in a second), is that a lot of the additional sounds bands use are added after they’ve sampled their parts. They’re digitally mastered in and that’s fine, but recreating that in a live performance setting is almost impossible! Nigel, on the other hand plays everything, and trust me, I mean everything. There are no laptops or digital interfaces in his set up, it’s all him … while he sings as well! So, I think that requires a serious amount of recognition!

The Dropout, meanwhile, plays a mean electric guitar. Now, I’m not usually a fan of the guitar sound that they use – I call it wailing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it, but there are more sounds I prefer to listen to. However, saying that Andrew somehow makes it perfect. So much so that I didn’t even notice what sound it was until the third listen of their perfectly blended albums and live performances.

Nigel & the Dropout are on Facebook and Twitter. You can listen to them on their BandCamp or SoundCloud. Their LPs (“&” and “Slice of ∞”) and EP (“§§”) can be downloaded for free from ThePromoBayUK, or all can be purchased (as well as an additional EP, Expiration Date) from the iTunes store.

 

Warning: Something’s Not Right Here!

It has come to our attention that some browsers (Google Chrome) are giving out a malware warning on our proxy.

So, what’s it all about?

According to Google, the site that keeps track of how many users we have online at any one time has been infected by another site. (All links are directed to Google’s Safe Browsing website)

As you can see, ThePromoBayUK has a clean bill of health.

What is the current listing status for thepromobay.co.uk?

This site is not currently listed as suspicious.

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 2 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 0 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2012-08-04, and suspicious content was never found on this site within the past 90 days.

Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

Over the past 90 days, thepromobay.co.uk did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

Has this site hosted malware?

No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

However, we will stop using fastonlineusers.com until we’re sure there is no threat.

We’re sorry if your file sharing activity has been effected by this, and we’re sorry we haven’t acted sooner to combat this problem.

This Account Has Been Suspended

You may have noticed “This Account Has Been Suspended” plastered all over our TPB proxy, as well as a change to the colour scheme today.

This isn’t anything to do with us. Our account is still active.

This is a problem with the people who made the proxy itself, unlockedpiratebay.com.

The proxy still works, but there’s a translucent overlay with the “suspended account” that’s making everything a (rather nice) shade of polar blue.

We’re doing everything we can to dissociate ourselves from the account of the people who made our proxy (while still giving them some credit) to remove this overlay, and go back to our iconic teal, but it’s going to take a while because most of the PHP files are encoded in Base64.

[Update]

They seem to have used Base64 within the PHP code, and then encoded it all in Base64. Super secrecy stuff going on. So this’ll take a lot longer than expected to fix, and you may experience a few dropouts while we’re working on it.

[Update 2]

I found this in a few lines of Base64 coding… the second paragraph makes me feel special. Unfortunately, the last paragraph explains why we’ve been having problems today.

“The reason for base64 encoding some stuff is [that] most people, I [sic] included, will remove credits etc instantly that dont effect functionality, removing my credit, without worrying whether it effects them.

“I would like the credits kept in, but you are more than free to remove them, and just by getting to reading this, you deserve the right to remove them.

“You will notice some calls to my server, in the footer etc, these will be used to I can insert an image or text if thepiratebay changes something major and the script stops working, allowing me to inform the site owner, and offer updates.”

There you have it, guys. The coder clearly had the best intentions by doing this, but he couldn’t expect the unexpected (his server being taken down).

Thankfully, we’ve been looking into cutting dependency on out web server host (so shit like this doesn’t happen), so we installed IIS on one of our computers last night (I know, Apache is better, but we’ve always had better success with IIS in the past), so once we’ve installed the PHP plugin, we should be able to begin testing the new code with as little interference to the site as possible.

[Update 3]

Looks like unlockedpiratebay.com is back up and running, which means we won’t see much more interference. However, we’re still looking to cut our ties to reduce these issues. So, we’ve still got a lot of coding to do.

Latest Site News

It seems like we at ThePromoBayUK have been rather inactive in recent weeks, but we haven’t … well, we have a little, but we’ve been constantly thinking about the site.

So, what have we done?

  • The more astute of you would have noticed that we now have Facebook presence.
  • We also have a Twatter account, but we don’t know how to use it because we’re not Twats.

What are we doing?

  • We’re in talks with several independent bands and small record labels with the hope of featuring more artists to gain a larger readership for ourselves and, more importantly, for artists.
  • We’ve got an exciting article about Nigel & the Dropout from our contributing blogger,  Lexy, which will features an interview with Nigel Van Hemmye. That’s set to drop any day now.

What are we thinking about doing?

  • (Maybe) Our own TPBUK Linux distro based on Ubuntu.
  • (Maybe) A desktop application that allows you to access ThePromoBayUK from within Windows.
  • (Definitely) A new website that’ll allow artists to upload their music to share and/or get paid for their work. This is the most exciting, and will take the most amount of work that we cannot do ourselves, so, if we can’t find a suitable shopping cart software, we’ll be looking for coders, designers, and/or (better) hackers to tailor this to our needs.

That’s all for now. If you have any ideas, or know a band that you would like to share, send us an email at admin@thepromobay.co.uk, or leave us a comment below.

New Kings of the City EPs

One of the most interesting bands to come through The Pirate Bay’s Promo Bay programme, Kings of the City, are set to come out with two new EPs in coming months.

If you haven’t heard Kings of the City, I highly suggest you have a listen. They’re an interesting, unusual fusion of rap and rock. Unlike generic rap/rock acts, akin to Jay-Z and Linkin Park’s Collision Course, Kings of the City aren’t just rock over hip-hop beats, or raps over rock music. Self-described as “Wu Tang Clan meets The Beatles”, they are a true fusion of the genres with seven artist from varying backgrounds, all bringing their unique style to the mix perfectly, representing the many different underground sounds of London.

Here’s what the band had to say about their new EPs on their Facebook page:

TRACK LISTING FOR THE UP AND COMING DOUBLE EP ‘No Guts No Glory’ SERIES…

No Guts EP (July 2012)
———-
1. The Devil
2. Forrest of Babylon
3. Haribos
4. Mad Men
5. Where We’re Going

No Glory EP (September 2012)
———
1. Woman
2. Please Tell Me
3. Rosalita
4. Every Grave Digger Dies
5. White Dove

The first side, a more Hip Hop focused EP will drop towards the end of the month along the release of our next video ‘The Devil’… the second side, a more Rock n Roll sounding EP will touch ear September… we are looking to do a video for pretty much every song on this double EP, so a lot of work for us to come!

That is all for now. Respect to you all for waiting.

Whether they’ll make these two new EPs available on The Pirate Bay, like two of their earlier EPs, is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure, you’ll be able to snap them up from the band’s Bandcamp.

ThePromoBayUK T-shirts and Things (and some other minor news).

Today we have opened our Spreadshirt Shop with several amazing designs to help pay for our servers. We’ll be adding more items soon (a “Fuck the BPI” mug, maybe).

Our favourite is the Men’s TPBUK (teal)… obviously. And it’s less than £15… BARGAIN!!

Men's TPBUK (teal)

Men’s TPBUK (teal)

Now it’s on with the arduous task of linking our Spreadshirt shop to everywhere on TPBUK.

In other news: ACTA (the Anti-counterfeit Trade Agreement) was rejected by the European Parliament today by 478 against to 39 for, with 165 abstains. It’s a small victory in the fight for a free interwebz, but no doubt they’ll come back with something bigger. Read more about the victory here.

[Update: 04/07/2012 17.17]

We now have two mugs (one for lefties, and one for normals), and a baseball cap.

I for one can’t wait to drink coffee out of my PromoBayUK “Fuck the BPI” mug.

ThePromoBayUK "Fuck the BPI" Mug

ThePromoBayUK “Fuck the BPI” Mug

ThePromoBayUK Search Engine Add-on Thingy for Firefox

After a backbreaking two hours of reverse engineering code, we finally have a search engine add-on thingy for Firefox. It was hard work for us non-coders, but we managed it.

ThePromoBayUK Search Engine Add-on Thingy for Firefox

ThePromoBayUK Search Engine Add-on Thingy for Firefox

If you’d like to search for files on ThePromoBay with your browser’s search bar, you’re in the right place. Here are the very simple instructions:

Firstly: download this .zip file. Very important stuff… it contains the add-on.

Secondly (if you don’t trust me): do a virus scan of it and the contained files (just in case the code I ripped off (which came with my installation of Firefox) has a virus in it… I don’t want to be held responsible if it has… that would be Amazon.co.uk’s doing).

Thirdly: copy the two files in the .zip (ThePromoBayUK.xml and ThePromoBayUK.png) and paste them into C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins (or something very similar… maybe without the “(x86)” if you’re still using a 32-Bit version of Windows).

Fourthly: restart Firefox, and check to see that it’s worked (you may have to click on the little dropdown in the search box and then click “Manage Search Engines…”

Fifthly (just a bit of housekeeping): you can remove the ThePromoBayUK.png file from the aforementioned folder… we only put it in there so Firefox could read it once… now Firefox should have it stored in cache and it doesn’t need to be in that folder.

Sixthly: start searching ThePromoBay.co.uk from your Firefox search bar.

Seventhly (optional): give praise to us non-coders who worked tirelessly to keep you pirates pirating.

If you want images of how it’s done, or if you can’t get it working, let me know. If you’re using Chrome, I’ll sort something out for you at a later date; if you’re using IE, Opera, or Safari, get a life.

[Update: 03/07/2012 23.08]

To install with Linux, download the aforementioned .zip, extract to your desktop, open Terminal and type the following:

sudo cp ~/Desktop/ThePromoBayUK.xml /usr/lib/firefox-addons/searchplugins/

Terminal will ask for your password, so you’ll want to have that ready. Terminal doesn’t really tell you much, so to check it has worked, open Firefox and have a look.