Recording with Foz, June 15th 2010

Headed down to Foz’s house in Brighton for some recording in his little home studio. Foz is the guitarist in David Devant And His Spirit Wife, and I met him when I started guesting with that band on accordion, though the link goes further back than that, as we discovered: he used to play guitar in The Monochrome Set, cult eighties Bid-fronted forerunner of my old band Scarlet’s Well. Foz also plays guitar for Karaoke Circus, a live karaoke night which I help to run and which often features guest players from the MFMO and occasionally the full-on orchestra. But the reason I was in Brighton is because as a songwriter he is very much a kindred spirit, and if you’ve heard my songs and the songs he performs in his darkly whimsical double-act Foster & Gilvan then you’d hear the same psychedelic Bonzos-esque influence.

There’s a track written with Reggie Chamberlain-King called ‘I’ll Say She Does’ which doesn’t quite fit into the symphonic idiom of the other songs I write for the MFMO. It’s a ukulele-led forties-style pastiche, with a kind of charleston rhythm, and because I’m very much out of my depth writing that kind of music I decided to enlist Foz as producer. As and when this album gets done, I thought it might be nice to have a track on the album that breaks up the relentless symphonic sweep of everything else, and this one seemed like a good candidate for that. Foz has a great ear for music-hall whimsy with a slightly sinister edge and so I’ve left everything in his capable hands. Another reason for delegating production to Foz is that my ukulele skills are limited to gentle tum-te-tum-te-tum strumming, and this song requires some proper Formby action, which Foz is kindly providing. I recorded some toy piano and glockenspiel for the track, aswell as a guide piano track and vocal to indicate chords and structure but Foz will no doubt chop everything up into little bits and put it back together in a far nicer order. I’ll be back down there again soon to record the vocals over the top of whatever loveliness he comes up with.

Now, on to organising the woodwind and brass sessions. Strings will come last as that’s going to be a pretty ginormous undertaking itself…

Recording with Foz, June 15th 2010

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