The catalyst for this outburst was finding myself in "Henrys', Edinburgh, april 2003 ..... we'd just invaded Iraq .....even if you were against it, the british government was bombing innocent civilians (again) in our name!!!!! ... It was a Jazz gig and i had managed to gather my favourite rhythm section ...... my tunes, my way .... and suddenly i was a part of Iraqs invasion .... i was furious ......
its difficult to shake, motivate, inspire or even rouse a jazz audience via instrumental musings and everything we had written to play, was rendered inconsequential in the light of the days events ........
Not the 1st time either had this need to reflect uncomfortable realities via music arisen ...... as a composer rather than lyricist, i usually come up with a title then try to cover all its angles with harmony and grooves .. and usually thats enough for me to work with .... words and entire sentences which previously were musical springboards, now started to demand a word driven conclusion ...
Unwillingly i began to write these songs, confidant that none of my colleagues would want to sing about my chosen subjects, never mind via my Jazz, Punk, Celtic stylistic musical fusions..... This meant singing them myself. It dawned on me eventually that some of my favourite songwriters were similiarly unblessed with angelic voices and so if it was really about the lyrics , .... then i might get away with it. As long as the lyrics make sense of course.
Despite sound advice, i recorded the vocals as single continuous takes. I could hear a lack of continuity and even integrity if i tried overdubbing and had to work very hard at finding a balanced performance that i could believe in. "Guilty" was 47 takes and " Time goes on" was right on 2nd take.!!
I always liked the performance side of the recording process and all the musicians were pushed into delivering performances, rather than parts, despite being given some difficult forms, keys and subjects to follow.
You can find more info on the sessions for each song on the relevant lyrics pages .
"Publish and be Damned"