September 30, 2013 by cosmoakacitizensmith
I’m sitting in a “proper” studio for the first time in about ten years. At the controls is one of the reasons I’ve been so scared of venturing back into the realm of professional recording: King Glover, laconic Scouser and sardonic wit merchant extraordinaire. The question is, why have put myself back into the firing line of his withering jibes and psychotic sarcasm? Isn’t there a simpler way to get a decent recording – not to mention one that will keep my sanity intact??
Well, in fairness, he’s very good. We first worked together back in the heady days of 1997, when my old band Flannel were riding the crest of our National Lottery win and we recorded the Shameless Acts of Self Promotion EP. Since then he’s worked with the Wailers, Preston from Big Brother and that dodgy band, and Rizzle Kicks, amongst others. I just KNOW that if I can get past his extremely violent methods of inducing a performer to perform in the studio, we could just be onto something….
The idea is to record a stripped down, well-produced album of anarcho-protest-folk. The album has a lot of UK historical themes such as the trial of the Angry Brigade and a biography-in-song of a 19th century anarcho-feminist. It also addresses more contemporary issues: workfare, prisons, migration…weighty as you like! Between visits to the local boozoir, we managed to get down the basic tracks and the overdubs in a couple of days. Glover has now got some session dudes in to do some mandolin, (courtesy of Mr Jim Letts – we were in a band together back in the 90s, the delightfully-named Jizz), and a chap in New York to do accordion. I can’t wait to hear the results.
But the best bit for me was on the Sunday, a rather messy session down the Lazy Toad in Shoreham turned into a right old cockney sing-a-long. Glover and Jules were celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary and Jules’ whole family was out. Between them they have an encyclopedic knowledge of music hall classics from yesteryear. Around the table, with vast quantities of alcohol consumed at an alarming rate, three generations sat and the old classic kept coming: My Old Man Said Follow The Van, Are Soles and some more obscure stuff I didn’t know.
“Fooking ‘ell, lar, look what I married into!” said Glover, with tears of joy in his eyes. “But the good news is I reckon we’ve found our backing singers.” He’s planning to get them all in the kitchen in the next few days, set up some microphones and record them doing some sing-a-long bits in a couple of the songs. I’m extremely ‘onoured and ‘umbled and not a little blown away.