PORT LA GALÉRE

Port La Galère, I’m led to believe, is a swanky area of the Côte d’Azur. Ive not been there myself. But JG Ballard told me so in his ace book Super-Cannes. This song is loosely based on ideas from said novel which, if you’ve read it, deals with a privileged, elite Utopian society of ex-pats living it up in the sun. On the face of it, everything looks swanky-dory but below the surface ugliness awaits. I should write the tag lines for books eh? The lyrics to this song kind of reflect that same feeling. Being somewhere where you feel a prisoner even though you are free and happy. Sinister. That imagery I find ever so appealing. Ballard’s book Cocaine Nights is on a similar bent and this ditty was indeed originally titled Heroine Chic. I then decided that was a bit of a toss title and rather than a light nod I went for a full on pinch. Again.

It’s an old song anyhow and has gone through a few different permutations in a couple of previous bands. For this take the accordion seemed to lead it so that’s the way we went. The percussion throughout is one of this clicky frog things you bring back from holiday (I think it was Kyle DC’s in this case…) and some little blocks of wood that we set up. I also remember doing a load of takes of that faux-flamenco guitar at the end as I constantly kept muffing it up. No Guitarist of the Year Awards heading my way anytime soon.

For no reason other than the holiday/coast/sun link, here’s me in a dodgy vest (I’d just woken up…) with a terrible barnet (no excuse…) covering Metronomy on banjo. Standard.

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Shabbey Road Sessions – Number 3

Hey, hi, ho followers of le Bang. Hope this Friday finds you spiffingly well?

Here be yet another blog packed full of vitamins, minerals and other health-giving goodness for you. A bit like a pint of Guinness.

The new album, what with it being a rock opera about ‘love, death and mental illness’ is taking more time than we thought but hey….perfection takes time doesn’t it? A bit like a pint of Guinness.

The songs we’ve recorded so far are dark and stormy but with a hopeful, yearning, frothy white top. A bit like a….you get the idea. Guinness, if you’d like to get in touch re sponsorship….we’re open to offers.

A quick list off the top of my head of things that are inspiring the writing and recording of the new album.

Hugely under-rated 90s TV show American Gothic

The writing of Martin Amis

Electro shock therapy & Victorian asylums

Strange dreams about a parallel 1930’s Asia

Twin Peaks (always)

Iceland (the country, not the Kerry Katona endorsed shop)

Manga

Serial killers

Guinness (come on…get in touch…)

The writings of JG Ballard

Reverb

Pan’s Labrynth

Unfulfilled human potential

The feeling that something isn’t quite right

Hugely under-rated 90s TV show Eerie Indiana

Weird medical practices from bygone days. Bloodletting, lobotomies, leeches….y’know the score…

The Wicker Man (not the Nicholas Cage one…Christ no…)

The writings of Cormac McCarthy

The end of the world

Laugh-a-minute stuff eh? Actually, the music itself is probably chirpier than ‘Beginning. Middle. End.’ (well, some of it…) – I’ve always liked the juxtaposition of lyrics full of melancholy and despair set to jaunty pop tunes. Basically, there’s a linear (sort of…) story and a recurring group of characters that thread through all of our new music…it’s more like an unfinshed soundtrack to an unwritten movie. I’ll stop rabbiting on and post some vids here eh?

First up – ‘This Will All Be Gone Tomorrow’

Next, I found the ‘effects’ button on Photo Booth….’Never to be Seen Again’

And finally, lets finish with a cover of one of my favourite ever songs shall we? I’m unsure as to why I’m sporting this Russian style hat teamed with a cowboy shirt. It seemed suitable.

nb I’m seeing Bjork at Iceland Airwaves on my birthday this year. I am more excited about this than is good for me.

Ta ta for now lovers.

xx

Recording DAY TWO (12/1/11)

Wed 12th January

The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice in the coming weeks that Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 etc…are, in fact, not consecutive days in the Roman calendar. That is because we have to devote much of our time to the drudgery and sludgery of real-life. Jobs and all that lark. Granted, this isn’t the most exciting way to begin a journal entry but it’s one that I wanted to clear up. Nice and early. No fooling around right? YOU GOT THAT. Good.

Well step this way….here comes some hot-of-the-press-exclusives.

Ready?

What we are recording right now is a concept album. Some of you may now be stifling the urge to be sick into the nearest receptacle…you should probably navigate away from this page now. Because not only is it a concept album…it’s almost a ROCK OPERA. There. I said it.

Now…don’t get me wrong, I love Meatloaf as much as the next man (in the fact that I can’t stand him and the man next to me has a t-shirt on saying ‘I hate Meatloaf’…). We’re not going down some hugely pretentious, overblown epic, wizards and capes, 20 minute keyboard solos type-route (well, we might…we’ll have to see..). No, dear reader. However…all the songs on this album are linked to each other. They have a central story and a theme (more on which later…). They have recurring characters and follow a series of plot twists and turns that would make Ballard blush. Yes, you guessed it…we’re pretty much just ripping off the idea from The Decemberists ‘Hazards of Love’.

So anyhoo…day 2 was a rehearsal of the first four songs we are to record. Here are the working titles:

Canaries in the Coalmine

The Forest (The Devil is in the Dirt)

Sharks of the Atomic Atoll

Hang’d in the Street

I’ve just noticed the large amount of ‘in the’ and ‘of the’ within those titles. Hmmmm….

Day 2 also comprised of a photo shoot with the exceptional talents of Mr Aaron Bennett. This fellow is absolutely awesome and really understands where the band is coming from and how to shoot us (I’m sure he really would like to shoot us occasionally as the schoolboy giggling and general japery must be grating to a professional of his calibre). His ideas really gel well with our music so I’m sure you won’t mind if we give him a little plug here: http://www.aaronbennettphotography.com/. Top stuff.

Next time. Drums. Ooooooh….