Well it’s all quite exciting here as we’re just about to release the new album so I thought it was time for a blog. As some of you will know, this is something we actually started work on during the summer of last year but for several reasons it is only just coming out now. So, did it really take that long to mix? Err... no... there’s a bit of a story behind it all so here I am to fill you all in. Now, where to start....
We’d been playing Purple Rain for quite some time in the live set and probably the most common question was whether we had any albums with it on. The fact is, great live numbers rarely work in the studio and so it had been kept as just that. Of course, then the idea came about to record it live... and then the idea to do a whole live album.
Over the past couple of years the sound of the band has changed somewhat, mainly as a result of the expanded line-up. I’d always toured as a three piece and while this worked really well I had been wanting to try something else for a while. When I was working on Equilibrium, I tried a lot of new things both in the writing stage and also the recording of the songs and so to recreate that live I decided ‘now was the time’ and added keys to the live set-up. It was strange at first but I soon found how much more scope it gave me to do different things. As I got used to working with a keyboard player, I actually found my own playing style changing too and realised how much better it was sounding. So, with this new sound we decided it was time to go for the live album.
In August last year we arranged a two-day session at The Tower in Winchester and worked out a list of songs to include. Unfortunately in the months leading up to this, there was a change in the keyboard player. By the time we got to the recording, Dan had only played five shows with us, four of them only being short sets when we were doing the Skynyrd dates. However, with a bit of rehearsal time we decided to go for it. The weekend went as well as it could have done but everyone was nervous as not only had the line-up changed, but so had the songs we were recording. A good handful of the songs we were doing, the band had never even played before.
On listening back to what we had captured, it sounded great... but then we went off on tour. With the touring over the ensuing months we didn’t really notice how much our sound was changing. There hadn’t been any opportunities to do any mixing and so it wasn’t until the back end of the year that we re-analysed what we actually had down on tape. It sounded completely different to how we now sounded, everything sounded so safe. Hmmm. So what were we gong to do? The band was sounding better than it ever had done, we knew the set inside out and everyone was playing their socks off.
THAT is what I wanted on the recording, a documentation of what we sounded like at THAT point in time, A statement if you like, of how good that bunch of songs can sound when we perform them live. To capture the energy, the spontaneity and magic that only comes when the whole band are playing as one.
We decided to go back to the tower as soon as we could and do it again. There was no time to organise an audience this time around so we did it without. We were still in the zone and that was what I wanted on tape. Something to be proud of... and with this now I can honestly say I am! What we captured on this new recording is in a different league to what we did in August.
So get one ordered now!