Categories
coathanger trail music

coathanger trail part 4

the 4 year hiatus in this on-going series is a result of the dilemma i had with dealing with the 2 songs written by andrew goodwin that were mentioned in my coathanger song. i had planned to try and create versions of them both. that is clues and belgrade ’88 which are referenced in the line

searching for clues
in belgrade

but when andrew tragically died in a fire back in september 2013 i lost the momentum. i wanted to carry on with the project but somehow i just couldn’t do it. i think the only way i could record those would be to do them sometime with mike mulholland and bernie martin we ought to do it maybe they’ve already done it without me i better ring mike sometime and see how he’s getting on.

meanwhile i’ve decided to leave out andrew’s songs and carry on with the next song in the trail which is referenced in the line

finding old gardens
old graveyards too

and this song is called culture and i wrote it i think in 1977. i just listened to the song on the whose last trickle album (track 11) and i think i prefer the new version which i’ve just done – the vocal doesn’t really sound too good on the 1978 recorded dry rib version. in mitigation as i’ve said before it was the first time i’d ever been in a recording studio. i’ll include the track too so you can see what i mean.

here’s the new version

Categories
anthropomorphism music

surd rime

Here’s a couple of tracks from the new neureille album surd rime. I meant to do a lot more with it but sadly I’ve not felt that I had enough time and space to do all those things such as…

Promotion, distribution, dissemination, application, phosphorence, stability, strata

In particular I was supposed to organise an album launch party that could have been a starting place a building block foundation or something of that sort. Instead just 2 tracks from the thing. 2 bits of stuff which I can no longer judge. That’s how it should be I suppose.

Firstly Caspian Gates which is a potted history of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). It doesn’t tell you a great deal about him sorry about that. But if you’re interested it’s fairly easy to find out. One of the interesting things about the Caspian Gates – the gates that is and not the song – is that nobody is sure exactly where they are geographically or at least where the mythological site of the gates is.

Caspian Gates

And the other song is called Love On A Moving Platform which is a song about moving platforms and love. Adolf Hitler had a dream about leading his country. It came true. So not all dreams that come true are good things. Surely some are but possibly not.

Love On A Moving Platform

If you’d like to buy either of these tracks or indeed the whole album or other albums come to that you can do so by going to the Buy Stuff page which is on the menu at the top of the page. I can’t say fairer than that can I?

The 2 songs feature as well as myself Paul Wigens on drums Mike Mulholland on bass guitar Rosalind Moreno-Parra and Jane Thomason on backing vocals.Thanks again to all those musicians and the fantastic work they put in with very little direction from myself.

Categories
music

christmas eve 2013

I am working on a new Neureille album to be ready Spring-ish. A week or so ago we had the first rehearsal with the basic unit, guitar bass and drums. We practised 9 songs, the 10th will probably have no drums just a bit of percussion so we left it. 9 is enough for an afternoon anyway. At the end of the session we recorded them on my Zoom H4n. Paul Wigens plays drums and Mike Mulholland bass guitar.

I took an instrumental session from one of the songs and looped it a few times then played some guitar lead over the top. And then I recorded a second guitar lead and finally I leaked this 2nd guitar in here and there throughout the mix especially towards the end.

The song it comes from is called Die Andere Seite so I’ve called this instrumental version das bit.

das bit

This is my Christmas post so I hope the time passes pleasantly and cheerily for all and sundry in the world who follow the tradition.

I will be spending Christmas Day this year with Mr and Mrs Noel which is surely something to sing about. May God bless you all and if you have no god then you might as well just bless yourself.

Categories
gigs music

Kingsdown Vaults

0510poster

Check out Vanesssa’s website for her music. Mike and I will be mostly playing the tracks that we are preparing for the next Neureille album.

Categories
geology mixes music nonsense sea

Granite Mix 7

and now a granite mix that deals with my own work. this is my unveiling on this website of my new album which is called true v eye and will imminently be available on itunes and as a hard copy at my amazon store – see the buy stuff page for links. there are only 2 of the tracks from the new album featured on the mix along with a selection from other albums and some obscure places.

the music speaks for itself but it would be churlish not to write a bit about these tracks so here goes. desert ghost dance has nursery rhyme style dialogue and therefore acts as a pair with track 6. a famous german 20th century artist is referenced in the last verse. perplex is a pair with it too because it is also a dialogue of sorts. then there’s suspense which also hovers between heaven and earth, as do, for that matter the children of the sea. domes however merely fly beneath the starlit sky. i’ve already mentioned in my jar – a famous 20th century british writer is referenced in the 3rd verse.

my video for happy song is a shoddy affair but has a certain innocent sweetness in its demeanour which i hope makes up for that.

the track that i’ve called chasing the sun dates to a period when I was using a sampler to create the basics of my music. everything was a home recording and nothing was ever that well-finished but i’ve got a lot of interesting things that may never show the light of day. this one’s made it through though – for a while at least. It contains a sample from a track by sun ra called disco 2100. in the train was recorded in about 1982. at the recording session for the new album i re-recorded this track and my plan is to release both versions on some vinyl later this year. this is a re-mastered version of the 1982 track.

the words for v’nosnu are almost all from primo levi’s magnificent novel if not now when (english translation i’m afraid – an italian version would be good or maybe even a yiddish one). i’d just like to point out though that there is some art to it all the same – though mostly inspiration. in my book inspiration trumps artfulness. a cherry tree aka the cherry tree was somehow inspired and inter-connected with the music of the last track of the mix. I was still at school when I wrote the words which aren’t used in the music but which are

I planted a cherry tree
I watered it every day
in the summer I sat in its shade
one day a cherry appeared on my tree
one day a cherry appeared on my tree
it is for this that we live
it is for this that we live

here’s the mix

ca

Granite Mix 7
Artist Title Album
Neureille Desert Ghost Dance True V Eye
Neureille Perplex Amanogawa
Dry Rib Suspense Whose Last Trickle
Neureille Children Of The Sea Disparue
Robert Vasey Domes Unreleased
Neureille In My Jar Amanogawa
Neureille happy song (for dependable person) Disparue
Robert Vasey Chasing The Sun unreleased
as,hem,syrup In The Train Whose Last Trickle (remastered)
Neureille V’Nosnu True V Eye
Robert Vasey A Cherry Tree Unreleased
Categories
coathanger trail music songwriting

coathanger trail 3

The 3rd line of the song Coathanger is

the paintings are northern too

which is a reference to a song I wrote in 1977 or 1978 which was called Northern Painting. I gave the song that title as a reference to the few months I spent living in Manchester in late 1976 early 1977 where my best friends were Rod and Sheila Henderson and Rod was a painter – a northern painter. Apart from the title the words have no direct reference to any of Rod’s paintings or to anything that might have happened to me in Manchester during that time and the only link that I can possibly think of was that I was emphasising the use of colour and imagery in the lyric content. It’s a random anarchic jumble which I’m not ashamed of but I did try to tighten that sort of thing up in future songs. In the 2nd verse there’s a line

knew and was forgotten

which I decided to repeat 4 times – not that I couldn’t have thought up something different but because I thought the repetition would be amusing. I might shorten the repetition to 3 times in this recording.

The song was part of the early set we worked on with Dry Rib and its earlier incarnations but I’m not sure if we ever performed it. I think it was dropped before our 1st gig. When I realised that this was a song mentioned in Coathanger and that to complete the Coathanger Trail properly I was going to have to deal with this I saw that this was a problem. I hadn’t played the song since the late 70s. I had forgotten the music and I was not sure whether I had a recording. I thought I had an old recording of a rehearsal from 1977 which might possibly contain a dire version of the song. I looked all over but couldn’t find the cassette. I still had the lyrics and the morning after giving up on finding the cassette I took out the words and was prepared to write some new chords to go with them. I had a rough memory of how the chords to the verse went and lo and behold it just came together and I think pretty much that I managed to remember the song as it originally was.

It would have sounded very different had Dry Rib continued with it back then and recorded a version, but in the same way I couldn’t record one of the old songs now and make it sound like it did some 35 years ago. Well in theory I could but I’ve talked about this before and really to attempt to do so would be very, very bad for my creative psyche so that makes it impossible. Over the next couple of weeks I will be putting some of the songs from my new album up on this website but I have also been in conversation recently with Mike Mulholland and he is playing a bit of bass guitar again and for my next album which I will hopefully work on later this year I intend to do more of a rock thing and Mike may be involved in it which would be interesting.

Here’s the home recording I did of Northern Painting. Which completes the 3rd phase of the Coathanger Trail.

Northern Painting

Categories
coathanger trail

Coathanger Trail 2

I don’t really care whether people think what I do is good or not. I know what I’ve done and that’s good enough for me.

This is the 2nd coathanger trail post and it covers the words in northern lands which is the 2nd line of the song.

This is the demo version of Alaska recorded in 1978. It’s a bit rough having come off an old cassette tape copy. It’s never been released. But I think it’s worth a listen. I prefer the vocals on the later ep version which is here. I’m pretty sure that this demo was recorded with an amp, maybe even my own Orange combo, more likely a Fender amp that the studio had, but the later version I think was a direct inject affair which I agreed to at the time because I didn’t know any better.

Basically the guitar is a bit more real. Photo above is how I looked playing that guitar. Actually that one was stolen from my car and the one I have now is different but from 1979 so is still vintage usa luckily.

The way Mike and Andrew play is also very real. That was a good band though unfortunately bound to implode.

I’m happy with my current band though. On Friday night that will be myself, Tom Ranby on saxophone (probably alto); Laura Lambell vocals; Rosalinda Moreno-Parra  vocals. Basically if we had done back in 1979 what we are doing now we would have been absolutely astronomic but sadly it doesn’t work that way.

Still there is a rich vein, a steady seam. I’ll put down my trumpet for now.

Here’s the demo version of Alaska

Categories
birds music

Goodwin’s Dry Rib Recipes With Added Quail

During the year my old friend Andrew Goodwin has been creating a Dry Rib blog which has featured some of my songs along with much else. When Andrew and Mike Mulholland and I used to play together in said band something very powerful was created which sadly we never really managed to replicate in the recording studio although the 10 tracks that there are go some way to recording the phenomenon if I may call it that.

Anyway Andrew is a brilliant drummer and he writes pretty well too so I would recommend checking out his blog. He’s been loading some of the songs we recorded together plus others done by the later version of Dry Rib without me in it. I think he’s reached the limit of current material there but the last thing that he uploaded was a song called Quail Seed which is on the Clockwork Records’ Dry Season ep (also 1st track on the Messthetics cd Whose Last Trickle). Some of the following information has already appeared on a blog I wrote on the Dry Rib myspace page. (On the subject of myspace I was just talking about it with some other musicians earlier on this evening. Not sure quite how something that was useful was turned so quickly into something that was useless.) But there are a couple of new nuggets floating down the stream.

  • the original title when the song was first written was The Chilean Ambassador
  • it was written in 1977 in a bedsit at 19 Oglander Road, Peckham, London
  • probably in the autumn because I can remember where I was in the room when I wrote the song – near the gas fire
  • the eventual title of the song is taken from the title of a short story by Saki
  • there is no real connection between the short story and the song
  • my favourite rock guitarist is Chris Spedding and I’d like to dedicate the solo to him
  • initially there were 4 verses and 4 choruses
  • it was Andrew’s idea to run the 1st 2 verses together and dispense with chorus 1
  • the missing chorus went like this

no bells at dawn shall clatter bright
no flares shall pierce the sky at night
the petrol pumps have all run dry
and the ambassador of chile has been shot
in the eye

…and for those that can’t be bothered to look any further for the track in question – here it is.

Quail Seed