Sunday, April 18, 2021

After ever happily...

Some of my songs might be a little on the serious side. This is not one of them.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

These things take time...

Needle in The Red had been around, in some form or another, for a couple of decades or so before it finally saw its release on Swallowing The Sun. I'd actually written it during my time with The Headlights; we'd even played it live a couple of times and recorded a demo of it at some point. For some reason, it never became a regular part of our setlist and I suppose I just filed it away for a rainy day.

One day, when Ed and I were assembling songs for our Cycle album, it happened to be pissing it down... so I decided to have another crack at recording the song. After basic tracks and vocals were done, I invited Dave Gregory to play on it to see if he might help breathe new life into it. He did. 

Frustratingly, the new recording was beset with all sorts of technical problems (probably all my fault) and a protracted period of trying to work around assorted glitches, time clock issues and other headache-inducing concerns pushed my co-producers, Ed Woltil and Brian Merrill, close to breaking point. So, the song was shelved. Filed away for a different rainy day, you might say.

I hated the fact that a song that we'd worked so hard on might never see the light of day, so when I began work on Swallowing The Sun, I always hoped that Needle in The Red might find a way to poke its head out from between the rain clouds and make a belated appearance. Since Ed was tasked with the bulk of the production duties, it fell on his shoulders to wade through old files, discarding problematic ones and insisting upon the re-recording of others. Despite coming perilously close to donning a straightjacket at one point, he somehow managed to get the song ship-shape, and on to the album it went. Now you know who to blame...

So is it a snarky song about religious beliefs, or is it perhaps my clunky effort at an anti-drug song? Buggered if I know; it's been way too long since it was written for me to recall. It's probably best just to ignore my plaintive bleating and simply languish in the glory that is Dave Gregory's guitar playing. 

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Swallowing The Fun...

An English writer living in Sventorp, Sweden, reviewing an album by an English songwriter from Scunthorpe, England, living in Western North Carolina, USA ... for a Scottish-based music site? Sounds like a set up for lame jokes aplenty doesn't it?

See if my album is funny (it isn't) right here: Pennyblack Music

Monday, March 29, 2021

Sorry Amsterdam

Because he's a clever swine who can do just about everything well, my mate Ed Woltil crafted this lovely lyric video for the opening track from my Swallowing The Sun record.

So, is the song an aural love letter to mildly morose Mancunians, Morrissey & Marr? Or is it simply a self-indulgent reflection on a personal musical journey in his adopted homeland? Maybe a bit of both...

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Make You Mine

Someone mentioned to me that Make You Mine from the new record reminded them of The Hollies. It caught me by surprise, but after thinking about it, I think I hear what they mean, in the melody, if not the instrumentation.

Yes, for those of us of a certain age, it's very dificult to hide from the melodic influence of the bands from that era isn't it? Whether it's The Stones, The Kinks, The Beatles or Bob Dylan, it's just an unavoidable fact of our musical lives.

Although I might be little more flattered at the mention of Andy Partridge or Richard Thompson, personally, I think it might be closer to Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits.

Good enough...

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

You may leave Scunthorpe, but Scunthorpe never leaves you, etc...


The latest review of the new record, courtesy of At The Barrier, contains the phrase, “Steve Robinson is an amiable, self-deprecating Scunthonian”. 

It goes without saying that "Self-Deprecating Scunthonians" makes for a hell of a band name, and I'm wondering if I should also print some business cards emblazoned with that very slogan.

Read the full review here: At The Barrier - Swallowing The Sun