It’s been a busy couple of months for this project. Fortunately there is fruit to show from our labours. Like a mad man, I have decided to tackle two tracks almost simultaneously. If I’m honest, it just sort of happened like that but either way, it’s been an interesting juggling act. The two tracks in question are Nightdrive, the prog rock protagonist at the heart of my previous blog, and Kemosabe which is more of a classic rock song.
Since last time around, we have been into the studio for Nightdrive, under the steady gaze of a chap called Al – a producer whose own music I admire greatly. (Check out ‘From Sea to Sky’ by Heights.)
Such is the length and sheer mayhem of time signature variation involved, it took a whole day just to lay down the drums. Marcus, the man tasked with this hit those things all day and must have been exhausted, while Sanj and Tom bonded over their lack of anything to do.
We are due in to put the rest of the track down next week so watch this space.
Kemosabe meanwhile crept up in an entirely different way. While most of these tracks are going to involve new and previously unlinked musicians (hopefully) this track was always going to be an exception to that rule. Since I wrote this song, I have always had it in my head that it would be perfect for one of my uni bands, formerly named Iguazu and more recently a switch to the ridiculously named ‘Tempest Kings’. The issue with this is, as often happens with groups of friends, the members of said musical group have been torn asunder and cast in all sorts of directions. Al (another Al) now lives and plies his trade as a GP in North Wales, Jono is an all action A&E consultant in Bath and Ben is also a GP but rather than living in North Wales, he decided to run off to Australia. Problematic for a reunion one might think. So it was that when I heard that Ben would be gracing the UK with his presence for 3 weeks, I had to make it happen.
Cue some hasty doodlepolls and an online practice session over zoom and all of a sudden we were in the same studio that we had last used to record a whole album a few years back. This time, we would be calling upon the services of John David, an experienced rocker and producer who had just had Shakin Stevens into his studio a few days before and who plied his trade with the Dave Edmunds band back in the 70s. A nicer man you will struggle to meet.
Considering that was the first time we had all been in the same room for a few years (since Jono’s wedding in fact) and considering we had not really figured out how the track was going to go, that we got a serviceable song out of it at the end of the day is a bit of a miracle! I must admit, I had been anxious as to how it would all go but we got it done. The studio helped, walls replete with records John had written or produced from the likes of Mr Stevens, Robert Plant and Status Quo to name a few.
Racks of cool looking guitars created the backdrop for a productive day (Jono and Ben are both guitar geeks and got way more of a kick out of these than I) as did one of the best coffee machines I’ve yet to come across.
Inevitably, the song could not be completed and mixed all in one day so it needed a second one. Alas, Ben had returned down under and Al had returned to patients and children in North Wales by the time a second day could be arranged.
Jono was on hand however to help with the finishing touches which turned out to be more extensive than any of us had imagined. With that done though, the final track, needing some fairly extensive mixing still, was done!
Once Nightdrive is done too, I might provide the snippiest of snippets from each track on here but for the full ones, you’ll all have to wait until the remaining nine tracks are all done! If you follow the instagram and social medias links however, you never know, you might get a few extra bits and pieces here and there.

Music Project Up and Running!

We are up and running, as the title would suggest. The journey travelled on this project has thus far been an extremely long one. Any moments of note have been subtle and certainly spread pretty far apart. The latest update therefore represents something of a significant milestone. It is the first palpable collaboration with outside parties since the whole thing was conceived. Very exciting.
Just yesterday was the first jam session with an assembled group of musicians – the first I hope of many (specifically 11). Without revealing too much about the song to take this opening accolade, I can at least give it’s name (Nightdrive) and a rough genre (prog rock). Enter Tom (bass), Marcus (drums) and Sanj (lead guitar). Never before have I and these three individuals occupied the same room together and yet, perhaps through some sort of universal musical magic, I think everyone hit of off well! Added to that we managed to get some passable music going and we are now poised to get the track down and recorded as had been the plan all along.
The day kicked off with a general chat through the track and some initial chatter. Sanj and Marcus bonded over some mutual appreciation of thrash metal and Tom brought along a ridiculous pedal board that lit up in many beautiful ways. Then we got down to learning and developing the song. Considering it was the first time any of us had really played it (including me having pieced it together into a demo bit by bit) I think we did rather well. A short break and a beer, during which we put the musical world to rights, pointed out some choice opinions on the local music college and discussed the pros and cons of life as a session musician. Then back to the music.
Throughout the course of the afternoon, it was noted how, seemingly for the style of music on display, there seemed to be some patterns emerging. Firstly, a propensity for physics and data analysis amongst us. Indeed, between us there were 2 physics degrees and one for electro-acoustic engineering. Secondly and more to the point, three out of four of us had long hair – something surely of statistical significance. I would argue that, if a straightener were taken to Tom’s curls, we could easily make that four out of four.
Anyway, satisfied that good progress had been made (and me safe now in the knowledge that I think this project is going to work!) we headed to the pub for some well earned beers. Amongst some fairly deep musical philosophising, we mused over the best decade for music. If you’re interested, the 80s won.
So far then, off to a good start. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on this trick and others as we begin to pick up speed.
Ps. if you haven’t the faintest idea what this is all about, go to the following website ( I promise you the link is fine!

Music Vlog

Time out

I’ve had a bit of time off this week, in no small measure down to the current pandemic (still feels weird writing that). This was supposed to be the week I went diving in Egypt to see Hammerheads and all manner of other sea creatures. Instead of sunny weather and unlimited food served on a luxury boat, I have made do with overcast skies and ready meals from M&S. 

Not one to waste the time given though, I decided to dedicate the week to getting some music done. My goal is (and has been for some time) to get an album written. Since wrapping up my band a few years ago, I have wanted to get a collection of purely self indulgent songs written to cleanse the palate. Needless to say life gets in the way somewhat, particularly when this process often involves extended periods of time to work. It isn’t the sort of process one can just jump in and out of. (Not for me anyway).

It’s been quite a cathartic week as it happens. While I am no where near finishing, I now have a bit of momentum and I’ve had great fun exploring all the cool instruments I buy and then never get the chance to use. With no time pressure, the more creative I can be. That may not be the case for some but it certainly is with me. 

Meanwhile, my hair grows ever longer. I will admit I popped out to get it  cut for the first time in a few months yesterday. Just a minor trim though – I’m fully dedicated to growing this stuff out. Twice before I have tried and failed. I am determined the third effort will be a success.

Anyway, purely for documentation purposes, I left a camera rolling for much of it the songwriting activity so, if you’re interested, I’ve mashed some of it up to some music and here’s what it looked like.