Phase two

The Peggy Suicide album has phases and Mike [Joyce] played on a few tracks. In my opinion it’s the best Julian Cope solo album, especially the opener Pristine, those rolling pagan melodies and psychedelic guitars. Donald Ross Skinner at his finest throughout, the man who made double neck guitars cool again. The single Beautiful Love also has some very fine trumpeting. It was all over kids TV in the early nineties, St Julian prancing his thing and…well…I’m a big fan. One of the things I love most about JC is his enduring belief in the redeeming powers of rock n roll, and whilst I’m no rock no roller myself I like to think I am engaged in a parallel creative universe that endures and exists for the creative benefit of all mankind…hmmm….I enjoyed writing that but it’s patently absurd so yes lets move on to where it all comes to pass with Rob and I cracking on with our own phase two out of three recording sessions here in the catalogue of Analogue and Rhythm.

At this point I’d like to pay tribute to the drumming wonders of Neil Carter who returned to the studio to finish off three remaining drum tracks and sing the sweetest of Saturday afternoon backing vocals. On one of the drum takes we got him to leave his kit and walk around the live room drumming on all kinds of pots and pans and percussive paraphernalia which he deftly did before casually returning to the kit without missing a beat. All this was done without a click on a wing and prayer on a track called Inertia, free form jazz style. Rob and I were thrilled and right buzzing; his playing is something else and we’re totally made up with it. Right buzzing…well you know one has to adopt certain tone for effect, and this one sounds like someone else’s idea of a description. That happens to me sometimes.

We hope to record and mix twelve tracks in twelve days, it’s a tall order and like I said earlier not very rock and roll, no time to get wrecked, I can safely I wont be out of my mind on dope and speed on this session…I leave that kind of thing to the experts, ha ha. What we are doing is constantly recording and revising and revisiting and last minute tweaking the twelve shortlisted songs. The living in helps enormously, we get up, get ready and get on with it. This album, expected to see the commercial light of day early next year, will feature a cover of Sun Comes Up, it’s Tuesday Morning by Cowboy Junkies. You might know it; I only hope we can do it some kind of justice. I’ve wound it up notch in terms of tempo; it’s sounding like Virginia Plain meets A Boy Named Sue…I’ve never put out a coversion of anything on any of the VP records so this will be a first, like I said, lets hope we get in the swing…

Another mini revelation for me with this session has been the use of Nashville Tuning…remind to explain it to you sometime or just google it if you’re at all curious. It’s techy guitar players thing kind of.

Accommodation wise all is is perfectly cosy [in case you wondered], my room is en suite and our hosts are congenial to the max; Jools is on hand for technical assistance and Rob is on hand to dispense considered wisdom on the modern age. We listen to Denim and dig the glam slam wham bam. I wonder if you can still get peace patches. Andy Popperwell pops in from time to time [I’ve been dying to say that]; he’s the only living BBC trained sound engineer technician in the North West, he talks about things, gear and machines, here in the Analogue zone, where the devotees seriously believe that computers are just a fad and everything will return to normal eventually. I say roll on the day.

On a trip out to get milk I buy the SLADE album OLD NEW BORROWED AND BLUE on vinyl from the local junk shop for inspiration…it’s the one with My Friend Stan on it. We prop it up behind the piano. It looks so other worldly and of course its pure class. SLADE were a great band, when there star shone brightest I was at school and a little too preoccupied by the likes of to YES, Wishbone Ash and Jethro Tull to appreciate them [or admit to it]. They were never cool, but they wrote some truly great songs.

Phase three of the recording starts after the bank holiday and with any luck we’ll have it all boxed off by the end of the week, more on this to follow. VP x

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