Aaron returned to Newcastle to begin work on 'Angus', his follow up to 'Yonder! Calliope?' at the start of November.
It was a difficult session. Aaron was very certain of what kind of sound he wanted to achieve, however communicating this to the rest of us wasn't so easy. Many of the players were grappling with instruments they were less familiar with (for example, I was playing keys on several numbers), and it became apparent that the Pogues-esque, tight, house-band telepathy that Aaron was looking for, just wasn't going to come from a back line that was so disparate and unfamiliar with the material. It was a learning curve for us all.
From the face of adversity, we did manage to capture some excellent moments - Blackmill Road especially - not to mention a greater understanding of the direction 'Angus' will take. Click through below for Aaron's latest EP, which culled some takes from this session:
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The same weekend saw the launch of the No Fit State record at The Star & Shadow Cinema, with Chronicity supporting.
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Then, a total departure. My Attorney's drummer Stuart Stone needed my assistance in producing his novelty Christmas album, a festive ritual he carries out each year to give to friends and family.
Initially this project seemed to be a throwaway activity, but as it reached its conclusion, I had somehow managed to break through another glass ceiling in the quality of the sound I was getting from my equipment. It may have been the result of me recording things in isolation, rather than live, in that tiny Roots and Wings room. Or that Stuart's kit provided a far clearer drum sound. Maybe it was just the welcome absence of distortion that had been omnipresent in the Gx3 and NFS sessions, granting me greater space in the mix to explore different reverbs and delays.
Either way, I am now perversely proud of what we captured and it marked a radical contrast to something as gritty as the Future Loss material that was made under virtually the same circumstances only a few months' prior. I drew the line at being involved in the video, however...
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I concluded November by taking a retreat in Galloway with my parents. With me, I brought my monitors and iMac, and devoted myself to finishing the old Colt .45s record that had lain unmixed for over a year and a half. I hadn't heard hide nor hair of the band since I had collected my fee *[insert picture of organ]*; Keith has since informed me that after an indefinite hiatus, they broke up. I still felt obliged to finish the material however, if only for the sake that they had compensated me most handsomely with the organ. I never really heard much back from the band regarding this, except that in some cases they "preferred the demo versions".