Pre-ano Magic

05 Mar 2013
Brecknock Road Studios

Glen and Dom bought a Tascam 4-track when they moved into Brecknock road, Kentish Town. Their first floor flat was strewn with weird musical instruments, clothes, tapes and more tapes and manequins.

I wasn't a regular visitor, I'd got a job working in the comedy industry, and it was great, but taking up all my time, working long office hours and then going out to see stand up in the evenings.

They recorded hours and hours of material, and experimented with sounds. This was the beginnings of the project that would become Piano Magic, Glen had always liked the idea of a revolving-door setup (like This Mortal Coil) where people would come round, bring biscuits, contribute to a track, then disappear, there was no pressure of 'being in a band' all the focus was on the creativity.

I was invited around to contribute (bourbon biscuits if I remember correctly) and listened to stuff and then copied seven or eight tracks they had worked out onto a cassette tape and was sent off to pick two or three and write some lyrics.

The above track is the one of the ones I chose, I didn't do a great job with the lyrics, but it was the one out of the three that Glen let me have a go at recording. The music is great, reminds me a lot of early Piano Magic, with the ticking and the bleeps. I remember thinking I shouldn't be singing over this at all.

I'm not sure what Glen felt about the recording, but he asked me to go away and write something new, lyrics and music, and then he would work with that, or maybe he wanted more bourbons.

A few weeks later I came back I'd written a song loosely based on 'Butterflies' the Ian Mcewan short story from First Love, Last Rites, and Glen liked the chords, and the chorus particulary, but it had the line 'on the Promise of Butterflies' and I couldn't turn my head to the side at the right moment to stop the P sound of promise pharting into the Microphone, so in the end Glen said it was fine, and although I'd bought around a double packet of custard creams, I wasn't invited back to record at Brecknock road again...

All the Songs