21 Jun, 2008 Glasgow A Go Go
We have been nicely rushed in these last days as we try to hone in on the last writing period prior to departing for London and the Mandela event and then soon after the recording sessions for the new album which will finally begin in ernest.
The writing sessions in Glasgow have somehow taken over our entire lives, but they have worked out perfect. In truth I am having difficulty in remembering the last time when we have had such an abundance of material prior to recording. I happen to believe that we may even have enough material of sufficient quality for two albums. (Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call…Anyone?) Although that said be assured that there is no plan to come out with a double album as such.
Then again it is entirely possible that we could release two albums within the space of a year, the first release hopefully occurring very early in the new year. The second release thereafter…who knows? Firstly though it is most important not to get too carried away, to hope that the upcoming recording sessions go well, and then after we should just wait and see what happens!
I have certainly enjoyed the recent weeks spent in vibrant but not so sunny Glasgow. It has given me the chance to see family and friends and at the same time, given me the space to get to work in the manner that I most like. That is, early morning starts working on lyrics and arrangements in my room before heading over to the studio around 2pm and working thru till after eight in the evening.
Among other things, it has been a pleasure having Gordie Goudie around. Gordie’s feel and presence always drives us on, as does producer Jez Coad who brings with him a mountain of talent and musical ideas that help shape pieces as they transform from good ideas into great songs, hopefully!
Andy Gillespie also brings a charge whenever he is in the room and his opinions are given a respectful hearing. It means a lot to have all of them and the differing types of creative support that they give.
Charlie Burchill as always has worked incessantly each and every day throughout this period. However this time Charlie has been engineering as well as writing and playing the guitar, that really is no small task and he has been truly amazing within it! Pulling out melodic ideas from right, left and centre, as well as unloading all sorts of inventive sounds and rhythms. For example as I type we are working on an idea titled ‘Blood Type O’. This piece features the sound of dulcimers and some other strange reed type instruments.
Alternately another song called ‘Stars Will Lead The Way’ features an Argentinian stringed instrument – the ‘charango’. Of course by the time Charlie has recorded these instruments and then processed the recording through his equipment, the instruments sound even more unique than they did originally!
It is nevertheless pleasing to know that even after all this time Charlie obviously maintains the desire to be as inventive as possible. It also ensures that musically speaking we avoid painting ourselves into a corner!
Sounds apart, it is melodies that are the true gold dust when it comes to songwriting, and in that it is the strength of melody within the new ideas that lay at the basis of my current excitement. We really do now have some fine tunes to work on and it is my task to come up with lyric hooks that do them justice.
I am entirely confident in my ability to do that, especially as I am on a roll currently and somehow and from somewhere I have hit on a rich creative vein so much deeper than I have ever known previously. Surely that can only be a good thing.
Following the Mandela concert we have a short break for summer vacations. After that and beginning with the recording, I suspect that we will embark on a cycle of work that will be non stop at least up until Christmas – with a fairly hectic year to follow. It is just as well that we seemingly have enough energy to see us through it all; undoubtedly we are going to need it!
Lastly, we are aware that a number of people will be traveling from far and wide to give us their support at next week’s massive Hyde Park concert. We appreciate the gesture and will use the support to drive us on throughout our micro set. Hopefully it will be a real night to remember for all of us, and a truly fitting tribute to the quite remarkable Mr. Mandela.