Thursday, 24 May 2007

The Starting Point

Starting a blog about my work fills me with trepidation. Er, for a start, I've already called what I do 'work'. It's alright (I suppose) when critics call your music 'work' - as long as they don't mean that listening to it is arduous - but when you start describing your songs as "work" yourself, you can't help but feel like a bit of well, a wanker.

The other problem with writing a blog is that you want it to be good. The thing with the whole blogging / social networking thing is that there's a hell of a lot of online vanity publishing going on. Everybody can put their thoughts to well, keys, and to some degree, have an audience for it. Which is fine, but it results in 2% good stuff and 98% twaddle. And my fear is that this blog may well fall into the latter category.

Well, having outlined my concerns about blogs, onto the music.

When I was recording my first album, 'Twisted City' (which was really my second, but I'll get on to that), I did it on my own - a bit of a Mike Oldfield job. This meant recording one instrument, then rewinding, then playing along with it on another instrument, and so on, until we had what is known in the industry as 'a song'. There's a famous album by former Chieftains harpist Derek Bell, where he did the same thing. In fact, it's got my favourite album title of all time: 'Derek Bell plays with himself'. Classic.

The main difference between what I'm working on now and 'Twisted City' is that this time, I have the luxury of a band. And what a band. I can't do that thing right now like at the end of a gig where they all play a solo and get introduced cheesily - so I'll do it in text. The band are:

Stelios Kalisperides - a guitar god. Seriously.
JC (Joe Caddy) - fabulous drummer (although he doesn't like Ringo)
John Gibbons - my backing vocalist, and a fantastic artist in his own right. My mate Dominic calls his voice 'liquid gold'.
Zane Maertens - possibly the best bass player I have ever met.
Andy Fleet - amazing pianist. Whatever he does on my tracks, it always sounds perfect.

We've been playing together now for 2-3 years. It's been great. We haven't recorded a huge amount, but that is hopefully going to change over the summer, when I convince them that this album is going to sell in copious quantities and that they will see a cut. What we have recorded is below. The starting point.