We’re off on tour around the UK from Friday to support our very first full length album ‘Forge & Flagon’ which will release on Sunday Best Records on Monday 11th June. That’s just under 2 weeks from now! Check below to see if we’ll be playong at a venue near you and come down to help us celebrate! Forge & Flagon is available from iTunes for download or from Amazon.co.uk for CD versions. Get your copy from one of the links now!
Believe it or not us Skinnies are incredibly busy behind the scenes putting together our first album. Yesterday me, Dan and Tash were up in Northumbria to visit and record Kathryn Tickell, the wonderful Northumbrian Piper. After the long haul up the A1 on Sunday night we met up with Tash’s ma and pa again for a good hearty casserole and a good ole listen to musics of the North East that Tash’s Dad’s Mate had put together. Ahh it’s good to be back up North again.
Following a couple of pints and a good nights kip we were up early to set off to Kathryn’s house on the edge of the Northumberland National Park. The sun was rising over the spectacular scenery as we crossed o’er moorland with our adhoc mobile recording studio in the back of the Skinnymobile. Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by Kathryn and her gigantic pet dog who pretty much bowled me over upon opening the door!
After putting up our ramshackle recording equipment in the equally quirky Mill House we got down to a cracking recording session. Wow them pipes dem have a life of their own, gurgling and wheezing, as Kathryn pushes out beautiful evocative tones into the stone walled upstairs room for the microphones to capture and your ears to appreciate soon. An exciting and productive day all in all as we pack up and set off on the 8 hour journey back to London town where we fight some computers for a bit as they transfer the precious data we’ve captured. Here’s a clip of some Northumbrian scenes with Kathryn playin a few tunes….
Look forward to sharing our album with you all later this year.
It’s intense here at Bryn Derwin Studios – with the snow still thick on the ground and no access to the outside world we’re all getting a little tapped. The three bedroom Cottage is starting to feel more like a bedsit.
I can hear even the quietest of whispers and it seems I can’t move anywhere without one of the fellas being in my way. Max is obsessed with scrabble, Mule is belting out shanties as if enjoying the freezing cold dribbling shower and Dan’s relentless commentary on the crap TV is becoming all too much. Tash is worrying about how he’s going to get up North for Christmas and if he’ll make it to Oz to see his sweetheart. The soles of his new boots are starting to wear thin from the pacing. To top it all, I have a terrible hangover now after trying to capture some Christmas spirit drinking a bottle of sherry to myself yesterday lunchtime. Oops.
I sadly missed out on the night time expedition of Mule, Tash and Max. They had some downtime and ended up going for a “quiet” drink in Bethesda. Hmm…I was awoken later that night to a rowdy bunch laughing about their adventures…Max had been told he looked like Sting on Benefits, Mule the son of Jack the Ripper and Tash, Poirot. The folk they met sounded like a friendly bunch with good humours – though I think the naked man, the tongue in the ear, the licked face and the tugging of the Tash scared the boys a little. Thank goodness they made it home.
Next morning was a little less filled with cheer but I managed to get the boys up and diving face down in to the snow. The proper way to get over a hangover surely?
Other than this little bit of excitement, life generally consists of thinking about what to eat, crossing the snow to the studio to do some recording, what to eat again, crossing the snow to the studio again, then what to eat again and then killing time waiting to hear the results – all the time shivering and coming up with new ideas of how to keep warm.
The hard work and suffering is paying off though. We’ve achieved a lot over the past nine days and what’s down so far sounds brill, even if I do say so myself. With finishing touches going down at the moment, I’m preparing shepherds pie and mulled wine for tonight’s shanty session – a far cry from the ravioli and hulahoop sandwiches of the festival season! Hurrah!
We woke up this morning to a thick blanket of snow on the ground at Bryn Derwen studios. It was a troubling sight. Our engineer (DW) lives a bus ride away and we were pretty sure there was no way a bus could get anywhere in this kind of weather. Our fears were quickly confirmed after speaking to Wrench on the phone…
Snow cannot stop Skinny Lister however, especially when we have a 4×4 Landrover parked outside equipped with monster truck tyres. Mule leapt into the drivers seat and transported a terrified bunch of Skinnies across a winter wonderland of snow blocked roads and stranded motorists all the way to Bangor town centre. There was many an outlandish move and shrieks were heard from the likes of Max and Tash (now renamed Fantastic Mr Fox in his new winter get up).
Mule was unmoved however and quickly navigated all obstacles successfully before arriving at Wrench’s house without breaking a sweat. We picked him up and travelled back through the blizzard. At one point we had to drive up the wrong carriageway to get past a queue of traffic stuck at the bottom of a hill. There were more screams of terror but brave Mule was determined and made it through as he whooped past many a stranded car. Normally we’d have stopped to help of course but we have an album to make and nothing was going to hold us up. After an hour of the most dangerous conditions any of us have ever witnessed on the roads anywhere in the UK, we arrived back at the studio. It hasn’t stopped snowing since but luckily recording has started once again and Dan is currently putting down the acoustic guitar and vocal to Plough & Orion.
We hope it melts by the time we need to go home. But it does look amazing out there for now…
Ello. We’re off to Wales for two weeks to record an album. And Max is taking us all up there in the Landrover which we have re-borrowed for the purpose of gear and Skinny transportation… I will be updating here when interesting things happen. Stay tuned.