Pat here, doing some blog-work while Greg pieces together our next magnum opus...
Just some info on the timing of everything: I'm planning to be in Princeton University, Feb-May 2010, as their artist-in-residence - which means a deadline for my involvement with the record for just after the Glasgow Kiss Weekend. Greg seems to like a deadline ("I like a deadline!" he said the other day) so that means HotWire is now well on target for a second-half of 2011 release - can't say precisely when, but it'll an Open-Soul level of promotion (tours, tv, festivals, nicely packaged records, you know the routine. So I'm gonna be singing from just before Xmas, all the way through January. Means no caffeine, alcohol, lots of water, sleep, regular scales up and down to scare the neighbours' children... But it'll be worth it...
Hue And Cry on STV's The Hour - backstage video diary
As a result of some adult discussions about workload, I've decided to take up some of the video production from Greg, while he gets HotWire finished. Now be gentle with me... but here is a very modestly produced backstage video - using my iPhone 3G and my Mac's iMovie software - of our appearance at STV's The Hour show a few days ago, doing a version of We Free Kings (here's the video of the actual televised performance) and promoting Bitter Suite, Again and The Glasgow Kiss Weekend. It's a bit blethery and luvvie - but hey, that's me! - though you do get to see a bit of the backstage process behind one of these shows. Let us know what you think in the comments box below.
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Greg started this tradition, and I think it's a cool one to continue... (along with all the ellipses....) so here's my Song of the Week (CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC BELOW TO TAKE YOU TO THE BANDCAMP PAGE - where you can hear the song, and buy a copy!)
So many memories from this song, some of them strange and poignant... Stars Crash Down (also on Bandcamp!) was the record where we thought we'd really spread our wings, and show the widest possible range of our interests - everything from country to soul, West Coast jazz to James Brown-style R'n'B, Scottish folk to ... well, Latin pop.
Which is where "Making Strange" comes in. One of my joys in the early days of Hue And Cry was working out a song structure with Gregory, letting him disappear into a studio with a producer, and seeing what transformations happened in the meantime.... This was a classic example. When I left the writing room, this was a sparky wee pop number - with my usual brain-shredding lyrics (Making Strange is inspired by the concept ofostranenie or defamiliarization used by Russian avant-garde writers in the 20's... Thus lines like "she's just a bicep-bluebell - a tank commander of the community" - deliberately bringing strange images together).
When I came back, there was this strange synth-figure at the beginning, and these punchy Latin horns - played by Gregory, believe it or not, on alto-saxophone, one of his earliest instruments - and I was told I was going to be singing with Eddi Reader, who if you don't know her work has one of the purest voices ever voiced in British music. (Eddi also sings on 'Remembrance and Gold' very affectingly). Put it all together, and it's one of MY favourite ever Hue And Cry tracks - just so relaxed, but so ambitious, so singable and danceable, all at the same time.
Wonderful memories also of recording with the great Calum Malcolm, then owner of Castlesound Studios, who I'm reading about in Allan Brown's Nileism, this new memoir of the Blue Nile. He can really imagine the soundscape of music brilliantly. We recorded with him again in the late 1990s, for our second Linn album Next Move.
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Ok all, hope you've liked this... I'll try and get some clips of Greg at work next time, and maybe also of me finalising some lyrics for HotWire.
best, love, pk
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