Thursday 30 July 2009


There are some great new releases coming in the next few months - new Mew album, new Prefab Sprout , the first live Genesis box set and, of course, our own little album.

Another CD I'm really looking forward to is the first release by Haken. This is a band I've only just become aware of; they had a track on the sampler CD on Classic Prog 2 which sounded slightly otherwordly, like something PFM might have recorded in their heyday. So, I sought out their only currently available release, a demo featuring 6 songs from 2007 and 2008.

It's a very strong debut. The quality is limited slightly by what I imagine was a restricted recording budget, but like all great demo's, it shows a band reaching for something that they don't quite have the resources to achieve.

When they get there, and most surely they will, Haken will be a force to be reckoned with.

Dream Theater are Haken's self-confessed heroes, but their music shows a wide-ranging set of influences. They are heavy at times, but very comfortable in the quieter sections (many heavy bands seem, to me, to play quiet bits just to make the heavy bits sound louder.) Haken do both piano and forte very well.

They also are capable of writing uncommon, haunting, melody lines and I love the structure of their songs - they are good at getting back, in interesting ways, to choruses or themes, even if they've been on a lengthy instrumental excursion.

Haken is a band to watch out for.

Saturday 25 July 2009

The view from the garden gate

Just back from a holiday on the North Yorkshire Moors.

Me being into history, we stayed at an English Heritage cottage at Rievaulx Abbey. This is a place which is both difficult to spell correctly, and stunningly beautiful.

This is a general view:

And this was the view from the garden gate of the cottage:

One of the best things was that we had the run of the site after it closed to visitors each day, which gave us the chance to enjoy sunset walks and, later on, ghostly torchlit wanderings.

Rievaulx is an utterly fabulous place. Speaking to the staff and keepers there, they were all transfixed by it. It is spellbinding.

Friday 17 July 2009

Close of play

'tis done.

We now have a bit of time for editing, sound effects etc before mixing in September.

Now onto the 'b' sides

The album recording is completed.

We are going to spend the rest of the day on two non-album tracks, Fat Billy Shouts Mine and a cover of Master of Time, an Anthony Phillips track which was intended to be on The Geese and the Ghost but only ever got as far as a demo. It's a cracking little song.

Morning Star

Early start today. Finished off Master James and now recording the flute solo on Evening Star.

Thursday 16 July 2009

We laid some bricks today...

Victorian ones.

Now we are onto castle building with Master James of St. George.

Then we're having curry and beer.

Warning, this album may blow your girlfriend's tits off

Or so says Andy.

We're moving onto Victorian Brickwork now, one of two longer pieces on the album

We're hoping to cause some spontaneous tit detonation with this one.

Here we go...

The final recording session for The Underfall Yard is underway. We're starting today with Evening Star, a short instrumental which is intended to set the scene for the rest of the album. All sounding splendid so far.

More later.

Monday 6 July 2009

New Sigur Ros

The new Jonsi and Alex album (Sigur Ros solo project) is being previewed here

Mojo has this to say:

"A yearning, almost devotional quality... file alongside Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden and Henryk Gorecki's Third Symphony."

The shop is broken

Apologies, our online BBT shop appears to be unable to take orders at the moment.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible and there is, of course, our very competitively-priced Amazon shop in the meantime.