Thursday, 3 November 2016

...And The Train Rattled Along...

      I’m sitting at my wobbly writing table glancing outside at the grey blanket of cloud.  The sun is behind there somewhere, fighting to make an appearance above the slate rooftops opposite, a luminous swell in a sky of murk.
      We started working on our first album in May, and steady progress is being made behind the scenes at Neon Fish.  We are working on twelve tracks, with over half of them completed.  The others are quite near to completion too, and things are sounding good, at least to my ears.
      The title is, “…And The Train Rattled Along…”.  This is a line from the song The Burning Tree, which is about a train journey.  It is a metaphor for the journey of life and human society, as we speed on relentlessly burning the natural resources around us, a social commentary, if you like.  Many of my songs have social comment and environmental issues.  Alienation looms large in many of them too, the individual overwhelmed by the roaring rat-race, and the complexity of everything in modern life.  The alien, not feeling comfortable with this, has a desire to get back to a simpler life, and live in harmony with nature.
      We have added drums, and one or two extra guitars to the album.  There is a fuller feel to the recordings compared to the live duo of vocals/guitar and bass.  We’ve tried to keep the embellishments as minimal as we can, and not overcrowd the tracks with unnecessary overdubs.
      Many of the songs have been around for a long time now, and have recorded precedents.  The versions of old were successful in some ways, but were recorded on 4-track cassette,(remember those!), where the sound quality and mixing was not of a high standard.  The newly recorded versions have been reworked in the lyric writing and the arrangements, and are much improved over their older selves.  These songs include; Jackdaw Alien, Strangers Outside My Door, Everything Is Mine, Sunrise, A Box Of You, Clouds of Day One, and You Take It All.  There are a couple of more recent songs too (from the last five years or so), which we have re-recorded and sound better than ever,  these are; Green Fields of England, and Behind Every Face.  Added to these are three new songs, which have no precedents.  We have been playing them live for a couple of years, but these are the first studio recordings of them.  The new ones are; The Burning Tree, Turning In My Hands, and Mask. 
      The album won’t be ready in time for the 12th November gig at the Golden Eagle, as there is still plenty to do on it, mostly mixing, mastering, and sleeve art and design.  When it is ready, it will be available from the local bandstand at Becnicks in Brook Street, Chester.  They have a good range of local musicians’ merchandise down there.  We have a couple of CD-R EPs there already, namely, The Sunrise EP, and Roll the Overhead Projector EP.  You can even listen to tracks on headphones, if you want to hear what you’ll be getting, before parting with your cash.   Do go along and check it out, if you are in Chester, it’s to the left as you go in through the door.


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