5am Music Club: Accelerate your band communication #2 with video chat

Crazy hair high-five 5am team! I’m going to try to keep these posts a bit snappier as the last one was a monster. That was about the joys of using group text chat rather than boring old email and as I said we’re using Facebook Messenger. Messenger also supports video chat between two or more people and this as been really helpful recently while guitarist/analog echo addict Krazi was living back in Wales. It took quite some encouragement to get the band to try it but it’s now paying off as we when we need to discuss something in a bit more depth than just text will allow, we message round to find a time and kick off a video call.

Starting a Facebook video chat is dead easy.

  • You’ll need a computer with a webcam and The Inturrnet, or a smartphone with the Facebook Messenger app installed.
  • You’ll need a chat group – Facebook calls it a Conversation – with all the people you want to call.
  • Get some headphones as these help avoid feedback and echoes on the call. Phone earbuds work fine for me.
  • Make your hair look like slightly less of a mess, then hit the camera icon  at the top-right of the chat window to start the call. It’s ringing!
  • People in that Conversation can then join and leave the video call as needed.
  • If you need more help here’s a WikiHow article and the spartan Facebook guidance.

Here’s what a chat looks like. Drummer James (left) is on his phone while Krazi and me are on our ‘puters:

UPDATE: We found Facebook video chat started to get choppy with five people. Skype is looking more reliable for us, and there’s Google Hangouts too which has the advantage of letting you wear silly masks and glasses, but we haven’t tried it for the band as yet. Both of these have smartphone apps too.

Give it a go folks. You have nothing to lose but your endless email threads! Peace and schlub, Chris FoH.




5am Music Club: Repurposing our blog

Hi there, morning! This is the inaugural post of 5AM MUSIC CLUB (fanfare!) where we’re going shine a light on the workings of Flights of Helios and share tips that we hope are useful to other music makers. It will also act as a brain dump of information as our memories start to fail us from years of hard partying. Who are you again?

Current categories are IT Support (all things computer/phone), Da Money (finances), Motivation (that magical stuff that keeps us going) and Gadgets (musical instruments, music tech, shiny things in general). You can filter on these.

Why 5am Music Club?

As we progress along this mortal coil and get jobs/kids/houses there’s less time to go around and the band find ourselves doing stuff at stupid o’clock. That time is precious so with luck this blog will help you, dear reader, make the best use of it and step gingerly round some of the traps we fell into.

September dispatch

We’ve had the pleasure of playing to some lovely crowds in the last couple of months, at the Cowley Road Carnival, Truck festival, the Cellar and just tonight the Ashmolean Museum. Thanks so much if you have come to see us, it really means a lot. Our next gig is the Flights of Helios Boat Party on Saturday, 1st October which you can find out all about heeeere: bit.ly/foh-boat-party


More photos from our Truck festival set here: ‘Flights of Helios at Truck Festival 2016’


July Dispatch

Suns out, guns out and we’re playing two festival gigs this month! Cowley Road Carnival happens in Oxford on Sunday 10th July. So pleased to finally be playing the Carnival as every year we go is such a blast. Noisy and drunken but with a great sense of solidarity and positivity. Details are here: www.cowleyroadcarnival.co.uk

truck 2014 phil chris

Ah, Truck 2014 was a good one. Truck Festival returns on July 15-17th 2016 at Steventon village, featuring the Manics, Everything Everything, Jurassic 5 and whole lot more. Flights of Helios will play the Virgins & Veterans stage Saturday 4:40pm, and earlier that day we get our yokel on with an acoustic set at the Truck Merch Tent Saturday 1pm. Fill your (welly) boots: www.truckfestival.com

June dispatch

The UK did something regrettable regarding Europe. At least Glastonbury coverage cheered us up; watching it made us determined to play there again. We’ve been preparing for gigs in July including Cowley Road Carnival and Truck Festival.

May dispatch

Our remix of Maiian’s ‘Sionara’ was played out on BBC 6Music last Saturday by the lovely Nemone on her Electric Ladyland show. The remix comes in around 1:30, mixed in from the previous track. Here’s the show link http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b079cpkr

The track comes from a new compilation by Oxford’s We Do Not Have A Dinosaur showcasing the best local electronica. Profits from the album will be split between Helen and Douglas house (www.helenanddouglas.org.uk) and The Oxford Foodbank (oxfordfoodbank.org). It’s a great compilation and only a fiver, go get it!

April Dispatch

Gigs this month! For the Shakespeare anniversary this April we’re taking part in the Food of Love project, an album collecting Shakespeare-related songs by Dead Rat Orchestra, David Thomas Broughton, Thomas Truax, us and many more. The album is being released across three gigs (click dates for Facebook events): Oxford on Friday 22 AprilLondon on Sunday 24 April and Bard ground zero Stratford on Thursday 28 April. Ruffs optional.

food of love cover

March Dispatch

[foogallery id=”416″]

Our tune Embers features in a way-cool sound visualisation app created by amazing artist/scientist/futurist (and friend of ours) Benjamin Outram. For VR fans it’s also compatible with headsets including Google Cardboard.

Get it FREE for iPhone/iPad, Mac, Windows via http://www.benjaminoutram.com/#/virtual-reality-music-visualisation/.

For Android go https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.BenjaminOutram.SpectrumVR (work in progress).

Take a while to roam around Ben’s site, there’s lots to inspire and enjoy: http://www.benjaminoutram.com

February Dispatch

Thanks so much! to everyone who came to our recent Badger Promotions gig at The Cellar and made it such a delight. After paying the venue and the other bands we made enough money to finish our album and cover some of the duplication costs, so we are massively grateful for the turn-out. Here’s a photo by the lovely Helen Messenger (facebook.com/helenmessengerphotography).

Our Bandcamp discography is also now available at 10% off, so that’s singles Factory, Succubus and Star//Crows for just £5.40 or more if you’re feeling generous. Ciao for now, keep on dronin’ xox

January dispatch

Tickets for our gig Friday 5th February The Cellar, Oxford:
Why not join the Facebook event too?:

Happy new year folks! It’s wild and wintry here, which ‘Wind In The Willows’ makes me think is weather for badgers:

Brilliant isn’t it?! Please do share it around. So yep we’re playing on Friday 5th February at one of our favourite venues The Cellar in Oxford. £6 advance, £7 on the door. Getcha tickets from WeGotTickets now, and join the Facebook event.

Support comes from the fantastic Kone (ex-Youthmovies) and Egrets; click their names to get a taste.

Many thanks to our mate Liam Martin for making the video.