A long time ago, before the age of ten, I began playing around with a cassette recorder. I recorded songs off of the radio with it and also some TV theme tunes or scenes.
I started playing guitar when I was about fifteen years old. Up until then, the only experience of playing a musical instrument that I had was a recorder (of the type that you blow into) and the clarinet at school, which I pretty much hated. Not long after I started teaching myself guitar, I began playing with ways to record songs. I remember my first attempt involved a stereo splitter and two cheap mikes plugged into my mum's stereo. One mike I put inside the guitar body, through the sound hole, and the other I balanced on a table while I played the song. It sounded pretty awful.
I then discovered that the music department at my school had a four-track cassette recorder - and they'd let me borrow and take it home!
The second thing I recorded on it was a song that I wrote with my friend at the time, Andy Wright, called 'Rainy Day'. We wrote it whilst bunking off of school assembly in the sick room...
Rainy Day (lyrics)
More four-track adventures were in store. I got a couple of friends involved (James Musselwhite and Kevin Dickins) and we recorded a plethora of tracks. Kev's dad had his own four track and a cheap and nasty drum machine. Much experimenting with feedback, keyboards, loops and reversed tapes occurred. Unfortunately, I think I have lost everything that I did with those guys. If I find a tape, I'll put an example track up here.
Update: I found one called 'Forever Increasing Circles', but I'm not sure that it's very representative. I like it though!
Forever Increasing Circles
Pretty soon, I was at university at the age of eighteen. In halls, I found a guitar guy (Dan, who was briefly in a band with me later on) with an excellent quality four track and another guy called Tim who let me borrow his bass guitar. 'Breaking Up' was written by James Musselwhite.
Breaking Up (lyrics)
There was also an amazing guy called Konrad Bloor with whom I recorded some drum loops. I managed to create a couple of pretty rocking tracks by putting all those pieces together.
Alone And Bored (lyrics)
Konrad and I also created the almost legendary Pit of Despair around this time. Konrad features on guest vocals on this one.
The Pit of Despair
There was one night of the week at the university bar called 'Jam Night', where you could take along an instrument and jam with whoever else wanted to play with you, which was a lot of fun. Pretty soon I was in my first real band, Stupid Julie! We were particularly god awful.
And now, having purchased a cheap old four-track machine from ebay, I can resurrect and present some Stupid Julie recordings.
Disclaimer: Should anybody be embarrassed by these recordings, contact me and ask me to remove them!
This first one was an effort between Robin Lord, the singer, and our original guitarist, Dan. We attempted to play this live, but I had no part of this recording.
The Sound of Robbery
Next is a Stupid Julie classic, written by Robin, though this recording isn't of great quality.
This is one that I wrote, which also didn't come out too well, but we liked playing it live.
Get Out Of My Way
I can't remember much about the next song, except that Robin wrote it and it's come out reasonably decently on the recording.
And, here is my personal favourite, and the best recording of the lot...
Alive and Dead
I started another band with my friend from Bournemouth, Alex Wallace, and it was called Pang. We wrote loads of songs and recorded a few of them on four track. However, we never gigged, although Stupid Julie did.
After university and the destruction of Pang, I taught myself how to program. This had the additional benefit of allowing me to get into recording music digitally. Suddenly I had vast power and unlimited tracks! I decided to make an album, but only managed to record about seven songs. From now on, I use Ecasound on Linux for my recordings. The drums here are done using Trommler.
Under the Sheets (lyrics)
Evil Maria (lyrics)
While I'm Away (lyrics)
I was in a band called Decorum during 2004. I played bass, keyboards and did some backing singing. This was the first time that I had attempted to seriously record live drums with a digital setup. I think the results were pretty good.
And here is a clip of me playing with decorum, live!
Decorum split up and then I was back to recording my own songs. From this point onwards, I switch to Hydrogen for my drums. Here is an unfinished version of a Pang song...
Happy Daze (lyrics)
Here's a recording, made on October the thirty-first, 2004. I've tried to be a little different on this one.
Here's a 'new' one. I started recording this sometime early in 2003, but never got round to finishing it. I wrote and filled in the missing parts on 21/11/2004. As it is old, it's back to Trommler for the drums, just for this track!
She Floats (lyrics)
And another 'new' one. I wrote this when I was nineteen and this version was finished on 24/11/2004.
A short acoustic one here. Thought of the idea whilst driving in my car on the way to work. Written and recorded on 10/12/2004.
Don't Fall In Love With Me (lyrics)
And another new one - 13/01/2005. This features the guitar that I built myself!
Here's a slightly longer one than usual - written and recorded on 30/01/2005.
In 2005, I had a go at making an album. The results are on this page. Although I had a hard disk disaster, I'm quite proud of what I ended up with.
Since 2006, I've been in a band called Die Curious, which is pretty much Pang reborn.
Here is a little demo I did on 09/03/2008. I don't like the singing much.
Here is something recorded some time in 2008/2009.
The Boy Who Couldn't Be Named (lyrics)