Clearing the Decks

After leaving Crimson Creatures, I had an unused demo left over which I was keen to finish. The song had started off life as a solo recording, which I made in my teens in the early 1980s. The original demo featured my old acoustic 12-string guitar, mock bass (played on guitar), lead guitar and vocals. The lyrics were about a guitar. Yes, really. I decided my new version would have new lyrics, and I started to write something about joining the circus. Fortunately, this was a metaphor for something else completely.

I played the demo to Andy Bell. He liked it and suggested that he wrote and sang some lyrics, and we released it as the first of a new batch of Lowly Man songs. I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to sing it myself. We completed the song quite quickly, and I replicated the original lead guitar part exactly, warts and all.

A few weeks later, we hadn’t made any progress on any of Andy’s demos. We couldn’t agree on how to produce any of the recordings. We eventually decided to give up. Lowly Man was finished, at least for now. And we released Pine Walk (as it was now known) as a single.

Pirate Radio

Meanwhile, Richard Stockdill (Crimson Creatures’ composer and keyboardist) sent me a draft recording he was working on with his synth tutor and his fellow Odd as Per Even drummer bandmate. It had a very eastern flavour, and it had been nicknamed Phyrigian Pirate.

I can’t remember if he was asking for advice on structure or an opinion on the composition, or just showing me what he was up to, but I ended up producing the track anyway, adding ethnic vocal samples, bass guitar and ebowed guitar. We chose to leave it as an instrumental, and release it as a one-off project, under the name OPE (Pirate Radio).

What Next?

As Richard and I work well together as a production team, he’s got me onboard with his next project: which is another Prog band, but more sophisticated, with more influences and more elaborate production. Richard has come up with some new compostitions, which are progressing nicely, and we are recycling some of the leftovers from Crimson Creatures. Waste not, want not.

We currently have 4 people working on the songs, with the sonic palette including: keyboards (3 of them!), guitars, bass, electronic drums, and 3 vocalists. Progress has been quick, so I hope to be able to preview some of our demos on my Yammer Music Facebook page in the not too distant future.

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