This is a Low

Gratefully stolen title from Blur.

This is the hard bit, waiting to hear the stuff again after a week out. Knowing how much it’s going to cost to finish it and knowing how much I don’t actually have. It would be so easy just to stop now, make my excuses. Plus it means you’ll never get to judge if it was good enough – if I was good enough.

But the hard bit is to carry on, when you think you’ve lost your way a bit, when the great times of the week before have faded a little from memory, and all you have is the vague recollection you’ve done some recording and nothing really to show for it.

Overtaking On a Bend is a monster by nature, 21 tracks in varying states. Some I guess could stay as they are, but others require “treatment”, thought, precision, time, and money.

And on top of that, I have to complete the PGCE part of my MA before August is out.

So it’s time to get the head down, do the hard work, push and push and push some more. It has to go out there, for better or for worse. Overtaking on a Bend is my baby. It may turn out rather ugly, and it may not make any friends; but it’s mine.

The End of Week One

Some of this is written from notes I took on Friday, so please forgive jumping around of tense should it occur.
So week one is over. It feels like a month or so, however – long days, evenings, loud and even louder drums ringing in my head. Fabulous. You won’t believe how good it sounds, and I haven’t got the words to describe it. But imagine if you will, a delighted Jo leaping around a studio in total glee.
21 tracks are now done, slightly differing from the original line up, we have:
Tears 1995
Jack (previously entitled Amateur Philosophers but that was awful)
Dangerous Ground
Becoming Myself Again
Can’t find Love
Easier Said than Done
Faster in the Dark
Half of One
If I Say
Lay with me
Love 2
Nothing Room
Page 94
Running Out of Air
Sleepy Man
Won’t let you down.

Not necessarily in that order.
We’ve done all the drums and bass (these guys were AMAZING) some cello, percussion, vibraphone, trumpet, piano and of course guide vocals and very bad guitar a la Jo.
I’m now collapsed on the sofa (well I was when I originally wrote this on Friday afternoon) while Rob (c/o Ford Lane Studio) and Grant get all the audio off the studio computer and onto my hard drive.

After that we’ll get a copy on to my computer (in fact this didn’t happen til Saturday, the drive got wiped by an errant helper and we had to go back into the studio and retrieve all the tracks again the next day. Luckily Rob had not deleted the files. You can imagine the fear though – all that work for possibly nothing!) and Grant will take the mobile hard drive north for mixing.

The next task is the keyboards, guitars and string arrangements. I am hoping to woo Nigel (percussion and cello) back in for some guitar work…

I am hoping to get a small string section together for the strings rather than programmed stuff. There is a real, for want of a better word, “vibe” to this album and I don’t want to spoil it with plastic violins.

Vocals, well, they’re a long way off but will probably happen up in Scotland.

Next though, it’s back to work to try to pay off all the money I’ve spent this week, and in a couple of weeks time, some photoshoots for the covers.

Speak soon!



I’m shattered! Just a quick one, lots of drums down, some great percussion – but a very long session last night has left my head buzzing like crazy. So I’m sitting here at the kitchen table contemplating one more cup of tea before heading out.

Yesterday was nuts, technical problems meaning the session was pushed back to nearer half two – much stress abound. However Dave and Duncan rose to the challenge and fired out some cracking takes.
Then, for an evening session we had Nigel Rippon in for some percussion on Easier Said than Done, and a new one. Finished round about 10 and collapsed in a heap.

More drums today!


Artwork Update

With Overtaking on a Bend getting closer and closer we have decided this time, because we have the time, to do it a bit different. When we did Papercuts and lime many years ago we had the music long before we had a visual look for the album and the album cover was very much a last minute design, it’s a design that I liked but it was finished with a few days to go before the cds were pressed. On Overtaking I decided to create artwork very early on and to create a very specific style of artwork that fits with the look I was hoping to achieve.

Long ago I decided I wanted a specific look to the album, a 1940’s/60’s detective Noir look, very Raymond Chandleresque.

At the moment we are hoping to create a story in images that will carry on throughout the booklet, and will tell a story, the songs themselves do not tell a story, it isn’t a concept album, but possibly snatches of the songs might evoke an image that will make up part of a story you can make for yourself. How’s THAT for some lazy writing! 🙂

This idea is very much in the starting stages just now and we will keep you updated as time goes on.

The “we” isn’t royal by the way, Stuart Mitchell is doing the actual hard work on the artistry while I point and say “less of that”, “more this” etc etc.

Friend Lyrics

I miss my friend
I don’t know when
I’ll ever speak to him
I miss my friend
And feeling down
I can’t get up again
And could I
Before I die
See his eyes
Rest on mine?

I miss my friend
I feel it when
I’m losing who I am
I miss my friend
But when I close my eyes I understand
We’d said, back in time
We are lost satellites

I miss my friend
And every now and then
I need to hide
I miss my friend
And sometimes I feel emptier inside
When the tide turns away
All that remains
Is seaweed spray

I miss my friend
But then again
I know we are entwined
I miss my friend
But I can see the galaxy we hold inside
And could I,
Before I die
See a sunset through your eyes?

I miss my friend.