Saturday, 14 June 2008
Well, that's it - another one in the can. That's right, the long-awaited (trust me, five months is a *long* time in pop!) follow up to 'Madcap in the Attic' should be hitting the shelves in around 6-8 weeks time, so I thought I'd give you all a sneak preview of the album artwork and the track listing and so on. Obviously, this won't be the last you'll hear of it, but I wanted to let those very kind people who've expressed an interest in my new material know that the wait to hear the new stuff won't be *too* long. For the rest of you who aren't *remotely* interested, don't worry; it just means I'll have *even* more time to post up pictures of myself looking scantily clad and cutely vulnerable, so you'll have plenty to gawp at over the next few weeks as the Swipe promo machine grinds into overdrive ahead of the album's release!
So, what's it like? Well, obviously, I'm quite chuffed with it. I think the sound is a lot fuller than the last one and I think the overall effect is of a writer and performer getting into his (or even her) stride, but I'll let you be the judges of all that. Obviously, it was great being reunited with my old wrecking crew - that wonderful rhythm section of George Murray on bass, Dennis Davis thumping the drums and the inimitable Carlos Alomar on guitars. They really are the best band in the whole of glam, aren't they? And over their taut and sinewy grooves I had none other than ex-Utopia star Roger Powell on Keyboards and Powell Probe (I L.U.V. the sound he gets out of that thing! You'd never believe it was just an old hoover powered by a stylophone when you hear it, would you?) On lead guitar was the ever wonderful Robert Fripp, who kept Eno, Visconti and myself in tucks with his outrageous Brian Blessed impersonations (it really is uncanny, believe me) and comedy balloon farmyard implements act (the combine harvester is a modern masterpiece - I don't know where he gets the air from! Or the blade shaped balloons, for that matter...)
I L.U.V. working with old Fripp, but I might have to scale down for the next album and get my trusty old plank spanker Stray Photon on board again. Much as I L.U.V. Bob's playing, he does go on bit and I wonder if there's maybe a bit too much virtuosity and not enough ....I dunno....grit....in his playing for the slightly raunchier sound I envisage for the next project. Of course, he doesn't make matters any easier by charging by the note... So, if you're listening Stray, the amp's turned up to eleven and there's a nice mug of cocoa on the hob if you fancy it....just keep it nice and simple, eh?? Don't use 15 notes when one will do, that's the ticket...
OK, so here's a quick whistle stop tour of the LP:
First up is Joining the Cyber Circus which is, I guess a re-write of She's leaving home for the Myspace generation. Lovely Beatles for Sale style semi-acoustic work from Carlos on that one. Next up is Granny Vision Vamp, sort of PJ Harvey on a zimmer frame trying to sound like Buddy Holly. Tramp Smash is next - probably my personal fave; the best recording I've done to date, lovely rich, profound bass on it. She's Falling in Love With Me has just been posted up on the Myspace page, so you can have a listen yourselves to that one right now, as is the case with the next track, Veil & Jimmy Choos. Champagne Shag takes the tempo down a bit; John Cale and Nico having a barney over a bottle of cheap champers in the Chelsea Hotel.
What would be side two if it was a proper record kicks off with What I do - Lee Hazlewood coming out of the closet after listening to The Queen is Dead. Cathy Moriarty is Paul Simon backstage at the wrap party for 'Raging Bull'. Jailbirds is Jailhouse Rock on a ukulele. Calendar Girl was a late bonus that just popped out - Jake Thackeray sings Leonard Cohen. Boytron is *very*, *very* long! The Circus is Leaving Town is Divine singing Noboby Loves you When You're Down and Out as if it was Rock n Roll Suicide...
So, that's that! Hope you all like it. Finally, just a quick thank you to Chas Ferry for his invaluable advise and support. If, as I think it does, this album sounds like a quantum leap from the first one, that's almost entirely down to him...
L.U.V. on y'all,