Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Rough mix of The Underfall Yard

Before we go into Aubitt for mixing, we like to put a rough mix of the album together as a final check.

I've just had a listen to Andy's mix and it's proven to be illuminating. It's all sounding rather splendid (although I would say that, wouldn't I) but it shows we have a few parts to replace or improve including some cello, some dodgy guitar playing that's been there since the original demo and one or two other bits and bobs.

The most interesting thing for me is that the track order, which has been set in stone for some time, has turned out to be wrong. The album starts with an instrumental track and I always intended this would be followed by Victorian Brickwork, one of the two epic songs on the CD. However, Victorian Brickwork has a gentle start and it just feels like the album drags a bit before it gets going. So I'm moving Master James of St. George up the order to track number two.

Hopefully, that will sort the pacing out.


Leo said...

yeah, yeah, yeah rub it in! We still have to wait four months.


Jim said...

Victorian Brickwork is one of my favourite songs - ever!!!!

It's so good I don't think there would be a bad place to put it on the album. We're in for a real treat Leo. I've only heard the demo with Greg's vocals, but the opening section of Victorian Brickwork is really beautiful. The song closes with a rush of passion and some great playing.

The album contains the very best music Big Big Train has even produced. Winchester Diver, End of the Line and the title track The Underfall Yard are of equal quality - truly astounding!! The other songs I've heard from the album, Evening Star and Master James of St. George are as good as anything else by the band but their impact is reduced by the shear brilliance of the others I have listed above. Just to qualify this - I’ve only heard the demo versions! David Longdon's vocals will lift the whole project to new heights, and I know the band have done a lot to all of the songs. So we can expect great things from this album, it's right that Greg should feel so pleased with their work. Even on the basis of the demos, I would rate this as highly as any album in my collection.

I've been listening to the demos for about a year now and I still can't get enough.

I started the artwork late. The first finished painting was only completed in April (I think). The lyrics are full of wonderful imagery and a fantastic source of inspiration. Greg manages to bring to life a series of "folk" tales in a why which reflects his love of English history and his genuine appreciation of the human condition. In these songs he lets us see the history of England through his eyes - and it's a glorious place. There are some very personal references in the songs - which helps to make them more than alive and tangible. I've really enjoyed working on the illustrations and will continue to "draw" inspiration from the lyrics.

It's been a real privilege.