on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2015 3 Okt


von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Back in April my parents very kindly agreed to go on holiday for a week so that I could take over their house in Pembrokeshire to record my eleventh album ‘Sweetheart’.

My biggest concern with recording in a house was of getting complaints from the neighbours. So on the afternoon before the sessions began I called round all the nearby houses in the village to warn them of what was in store and to let them know we’d be finishing around eight every evening. They were very understanding.

Whilst I was appeasing the neighbours, Stuart Kidd (drums) was travelling down from Glasgow, Marco Rea (guitar) from Clydebank, Rhydian Jones (bass) from Cardiff and Iwan Morgan (engineering) from London. By early Sunday evening everybody had convened at the house and we watched a bit of a Rambo film. We were ready.

The sessions were pretty layed back. There wasn’t the same sense of clocking in and out that you get when recording in a proper studio, and as we were all staying in the house there was no travelling to be done. It was just a case of waking up, having breakfast and starting to record. It also helped that the house overlooks the coast – so in stressful moments you could gaze out the window at the Irish sea. I tend to get quite nervous when I’m recording so I did a lot of gazing out the window.

With the exception of Laura J Martin’s flute and Stuart and Marco’s backing vocals, everything was recorded live, including my vocal. It felt good to be singing live with a band again on record. I hadn’t done that for a while. Sometimes when you’re overdubbing vocals it can bring with it a sense of reconstruction, of trying to recapture a mood. But when you’re singing live with a band the feel is captured there and then. You can move with the band and feed off everybody’s energy.

Recording in the house also meant I could play the piano that the songs had been written on. I’ve been writing on the same piano for nearly twenty years and although it’s featured on two of my solo piano albums ‘Ends’ and ‘Eilaaig’, it’s never featured on an album with a band. To my ears hearing the songs played on that piano gives the album a more homely feel.

The session flew by. We started on Monday morning and finished on the Friday afternoon. Eleven songs recorded in five days. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t at times hard work, it was a lot of music to record in five days. But I think the fact that it was recorded so quickly gives it a fresh and spontaneous feel.

By Saturday morning everybody had packed up and left and all that was left to do was to tidy up the house ready for my parents return. Once everything was back in its place it was as if nothing had ever happened.


– Euros Childs

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