Archive for the ‘Session’ Category

Se Delan

Some time before Justin Greaves contacted me about the Crippled Black Phoenix session he also rang up asking me to play on a new project he was working on with Belinda Kordic, also recorded at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire. At the time he didn’t have a publisher for this project, so it’s taken longer to come to fruition than that other album, but it’s now been taken up by Kscope and will be released in April of this year.

The band is called “Se Delan“, it has quite a different feel to CBP and I really like it. Partly I think this is because of the more cut-down arrangements that let the songs ‘breathe’ a little more and less self-consciously ‘prog’ song structures. I also really like Belinda’s ethereal, slightly unsettling, vocals which complement Justin’s songwriting perfectly. In fact this album is my current favourite release of the year (though I’ve been listening to it since May last year when we got the first mixes).

Signing to Kscope should get good coverage for the album I imagine, hell they are the same label that Steven Wilson is on … I’m on the same label as Steven Wilson!!! *faints*

One part of this is a pair of gigs timed to coincide with the album release – one in Leamington Spa and one in London – which I will also be playing at. These are large venues, much bigger than anything I’ve ever played before. I think even the largest venue we played on the CBP tour was smaller than the Assembly at Leamington!

So this is a big deal for me. Not just large venues but actually performing a commercially released album of music I really love for a major (in prog terms) record label. We’re supporting Kscope’s other artists Gazpacho and members of Pineapple Thief so it’ll be a fabulous night of music – come along if you can. And if you can’t, go and buy the album. I know I have a vested interest in saying so but, seriously, it’s really really good!

The performances are on 14th April at the Assembly Rooms in Leamington, and the 15th at the O2 in Islington. The album is out in a beautiful CD packaging and even more amazing etched LP on the 14th April and is available direct from Kscope and all the other usual outlets.

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Nearly three years ago now (gosh is it that long?!) I toured round Europe as part of Crippled Black Phoenix in what was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. While nothing of that magnitude has come my way since (nor is likely to), I was privileged to be called up by Justin Greaves of CBP and asked if I would session on a few tracks for the new album “White Light Generator”. This is actually the second session I did for Justin last year – more of the other one in April.

I set off for Chapel Studios, in the wilds of Lincolnshire, fairly early on a Wednesday morning with a car full of violins, two acoustic and two electric, and my main pedalboard. When there I recorded for four tracks over all (or was it three? it was such a full day of listening to and playing for songs I’d never heard before!) mostly on acoustic violins. As it was a ‘late’ session, Justin was often in the other studio assisting with the mixing while I was overseen by assistant engineer ‘Reg’* and CBP’s great new singer Daniel Änghede. ( Incidentally I can also recommend Daniel’s other band Hearts of Black Science)

After all the acoustic tracks had been done I was feeling pretty tired and almost ready to drive home but Justin asked if I was up for providing some mad noises for a track. I’m *always* up for providing mad noises of course, so I got the octave electric violin and the pedalboard out and recorded the wild sounds that are about 3 minutes into “Black Light Generator”. Justin and Daniel were also quite taken with the huge bass drones I can do on that instrument and took some samples of various notes. I’m not sure if they got used or not, I hope so 🙂

The album is out on today (17th March 2014) and it’s really good – and I’m not just saying that because I appear in small corners of it. If you’re into thoughtful, high standard but not show-offy progressive rock then you really ought to have a listen.

It’s available from the label’s website as well as record shops in the usual formats, including a gatefold vinyl extravaganza if that’s the sort of thing you’re into.

* all assistant engineers at Chapel Studios are called Reg, apparently.

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Matt Stevens – Lucid

I’m in the middle of the RPM challenge at the moment but this is unrelated. Last year I recorded quite a few (for me) sessions, so this year you will see me plugging the albums that I’ve played on … be warned!

The first of these is Matt Steven’s new album ‘Lucid’, which is out early in March. This is the second of Matt’s albums that I’ve contributed to, and it’s always a pleasure to work with an interesting an innovative music such as Matt – it helps that he’s a really nice guy too so more than deserves all the success that he seems to be getting at the moment.

This was a session I recorded at home rather than in a studio, and I contributed to two tracks and I’m eagerly waiting to hear how they came out .. as well as the rest of the album, Matt is always worth listening to. Here’s a preview of one track:

You can pre-order the album from Burning Shed or Cherry Red, or the usual Amazon/iTunes people.

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