singing in the pigshed

October 24, 2009

axe work.

axe work.

gone are the days of  wandering around an empty farmhouse bereft of other human life. in fact it couldnt be busier with people if it was a bed and breakfast, and not just the main house. all the out buildings are being put to good use. yesterday martin was recording percussion in the air raid shelter whilst i sang in the pigshed and neil was producing a dark digital hum from the tool shed. from the upstairs window a haunting mix was heard drifting out of grahams room and all the time bob the dog trotted round checking up on us. i doubt these buildings have ever been put to such good uses since well pigs in danger from air attack lived there and built bicycles with tools.

strangely rather than scare off the wildlife there seems to be more and more animals attracted by this off centre off key off tempo quadrophonic sound simultaneously emanating from several different locations. perhaps this is a good omen for the record. the animal barometer is positive. recently whilst screaming into a microphone a little mouse came out and stared at me watching the whole vocal take before scurrying off completely unflustered.

sidenote 56.2 the album is beginning to take shape. 12 tracks are being worked on so far.

sidenote 56.3 had a strange musical dream last night where we were all frantically trying to record a song called “fuck the bnp”. it had a devastatingly stompy beat and the only other line was ” we are bsp”. thats what you get for watching “question time” before bed. have only had two musical dreams before so its an unusual event. could fate be demanding we all make some effort to see off the right wing morons or did i just eat too much blue cheese.

sidenote 56.4 overheard two dear old ladies in the village a 1/2 mile away discussing the peculiar whaling sound heard the previous night. it sounded like an animal or a siren of some kind. a “sinister sound”. but unfortunately it wasn’t a ghost or even a wee beasty. it was me. i was very glad to know the siren solo recorded was audible over such large distances.

sidenote 56.6 a kestrel can be seen daily hovering by the window and often gets into all kinds of tussles and scrapes with the large group of crows that run things around here. their aerial battles are quite spectacular and frequent.


recently i found a whole lot of funny clips of film from when we were back in fort tregantle recording “do you like rock music”. its possible  noble went a little stir crazy waiting for me and my brother to finish our singing parts. to this day i am not sure if we or the army ended up the more confused party. 

i dont want to do a santa claus type revelation, so, anyone who quite rightly believes ursine is a regular friendly wild dancing bear should not watch the following clip.


to this day i am not sure if we or the army ended up the more confused party.

woody misses his drums

June 10, 2009

woody misses drum kit.woody is a drummer known for his remarkable speed and accuracy.

a giant snaring wheel

June 7, 2009

wood’s been using a teach yourself to drive cd  recently between drum takes.wood and drum


The lawn is about a metre high now. Its great wading through it and finding a patch to lay in and read whilst the local birds sing away. It is so peaceful and removed from everything its hard to know what year never mind what time it is sometimes.

Unfortunately it is time for it to go.  In the nearest gardens everything is immaculate and I expect im beginning to reflect badly on the community with my beautiful shabby meadow. It is so lovely though, packed with wild flowers, birds, bees, butterflies and the only insect I war with, the mosquito. So I picked a load of wild flowers today before the imminent nature cull this week. Long grass has taught me one thing though. Pheasants should never play hide and seek. Yes george you may duck your little head down into the grass but it s hard not to notice your enormous tail protruding out of the clump of green you’re hiding behind. I guess they re like babies who think you can’t see them if they cant see you.

over grown garden

Well it seems to be turning. The wind is getting up all of a sudden and I believe that was thunder. I love thunder. Maybe I ought to get recording. I remember Geoff Goddard once told me how he and Joe Meek always considered a thunderstorm a good omen. “Telstar” and “Johnny Remember Me” were both blessed by nature in this way during there recording. I wonder does it work if the storm starts before the song? Can I cash in on this storm?


Sidenote 69.2 Geoff Goddard was a really lovely man. I hope the new film shows him well. He never gets the respect for his talents like Joe does.

Sidenote 69.3 I’ve been reading J.G.Ballards “Cocaine Nights”. It is good, although good it is a bit too like “Super Cannes”, the book I just finished. Although i know Sooner or later there will be a passage which will take my breath away. he always does at somepoint.

beginnings of a storm

and wrestling. I happened upon this old photograph today. Until then I’d forgotten about the time we were challenged by mexican wrestlers behind the main stage at the Reading festival last year. Generally not a band to miss out on a once in a life time chance like this i became “bad sock” for the afternoon.

Nobby Martin looks rather excited in the background there doesn’t he. Maybe he is relishing the thought of my imminent slam down onto the hard grass. Maybe he s had a couple of drinks or something. Perhaps he is slightly innebreiated and has already broken the rules of wrestling stagecraft  by going off the plan  in his earlier blood soaked doubles bout and encouraged these fellas to show us who the bosses are. Either way I am about to die unless this masked man passes out from inhaling the potent power of my  sock hands soon. They really were potent weapons those gig socks, and had to be burned at the end of the festival season.

To be fair they were great lads the wrestlers, and they didn’t hurt us much. It was probably only a similar level of danger to being almost glassed by a geordie in a bear costume. Maybe safer.

Further notes that I don’t mind if anyone reads or don’t reads.

May 20, 2009 by yanbsp

It s nice when people notice the ideas and work you put into something you expect no one to notice. So, due to the reading of some comments on the inter text, and also one or two conversations with record lovers I thought I would try to explain why there is or should have been a label on our “Man of Aran” dvd/lp (album/soundtrack) that would read some thing like the following.


“This recording was made with a higher than usual dynamic range please turn up your stereo appropriately.”


    Indeed on our new lp/dvd “Man of Aran” we have embraced some new recording principles. We decided to have quiet bits and loud bits (dynamic range) where the quiet bits are really quiet and the loud bits are really loud. Profound? Well no, not really, but fairly uncommon at the end of the first decade of the 20C. I would never imagine it to be the kind of the kind of recording destined for massive radio airtime anyway, and if the engine of your car momentarily drowns out the sound of the sea, just  off of the Aran shoreline as you pass the Birmingham services and think about having a pasty, then so be it. Neither are we claiming any moral artistic statement of any kind on the current argument against squashed up super loud compressed mastering techniques. Musical purists. I am not.

Some music sounds good squashed to fuck and low quality. It can be exciting and may be revered in 50 years time as artists try to replicate the sound of the legendary mac book pro speakers with the latest quantum microphones. Perhaps not. In some ways you could say it reflects the modern age/day very well. “Man of Aran” is not really about the modern age. It is possibly more about something forgotten between the daily tasks amongst dishwashing robots etc.


Basically turn up your volume

Because it sounds quieter but is in fact louder.



Side note 34.1

Glad the improvement of audio quality has been noticed due to the fact that it is the first record we recorded entirely our selves. Recorded largely on tiny slithers of metallic silver all the way from Russia.

Side note 34.2

Spent today overdubbing Abi playing amazing viola work on an intricate song currently clocking in at around 12 to 15 Martian minutes long. Said track s were then overdubbed to form what will henceforth be known as the “Abi-chestra”. In between the sound of Hamilton mixing one of the best and strangest sounding songs would drift up the corridor.

Side note 34.3 to side note 34.1        

I predict 87 % of the next album will sound nothing like Man of Aran. Of the remaining 13 %, 69 % will sound everything like “Man of Aran”.