2001

After four months, we had come to a point where we couldn’t really progress without keyboard parts being down, but Paddy wasn’t ready. Not only that, but the studio time had run out. As it happened, I needed to re-write some vocal parts anyway, so it was fortuitous as far as I was concerned. The next studio slot available was November 2001.

 


In the meantime, I had been undergoing discussions with Mark Alger regarding a solo contract, to give me a wider scope for songwriting and not to focus all my attention on SHY like I did last time.

The outcome of this, was that I had enough previously unreleased material to fill an album which could be released while there were delays in the making of the SHY album. Simple really.

‘CRUISER’, my first solo album, was released in Autumn 2001 and was given a fair critical acclaim, considering most of the songs had been written ten years previous when I had just left SHY. It even reached No.1 in rock charts in Germany for two weeks. At last those songs had finally seen the light. I was always pissed off that they had been left on a shelf doing nothing.

November had swung round real quick, and SHY were back in Coventry, recommencing recording. Solos and backing vocals were the order of the day (or rather the season) and the new year passed.

2002

The album was nearing its completion when Andy and I fell out big time. I recorded the vocals at my home studio and put them in the post. Steve and Roy attended the mix of the album, but I never heard it until it was complete.

 

 

I really considered calling the album ‘Skydiving’ after my favourite track, but Steve seemed hell bent on calling it ‘Unfinished Business’ for more reasons than one, so I relented and the album was finally released 23 August 2002.

So, what now ?

Well, SHY have reformed with the drummer Bob Richards in place, and the only real other shock was, that the keyboard player Paddy McKenna decided not to carry on with the project. I have for many years, favoured a two guitarist and no keyboard line up, which is what it is at the moment, having drafted in SIAM guitarist Ian Richardson.

We are in rehearsal for various live performances, including shows back in Europe where a live album will be recorded at the Z Rock show in October this year.

2003

Since October and the Z-rock show in Ludwigshaven, Germany, much has transpired.

Shortly after returning to the U.K. It was very evident that we would no longer be working with Z Records.
The organisation at the hotel in Germany was less than acceptable and the on stage sound at the show was far from what we had come to expect.
I do not think we kicked up enough fuss about it at the time, but when there are endless bands on the bill and the audience are already starting to walk through the door, it really is not the time to start a debate regarding the monitor performance. I could not really hear what I was singing and consequently I think my voice suffered through that.
I remember the band not being at all satisfied and much discussion ensued during the eleven hour drive back to Birmingham.
It was obvious that our situation was untenable with Z Records and we decided enough was enough.

Over the last few months, Roy's rehearsal/distribution/record Co. facility has gone from strength to strength and really seems to be a viable business.
My God , he even put a bar in the place ! (Fatal) Needless to say, I now see him on a regular basis.

Following much discussion with various parties, interest started to grow from MTM Music in Germany and the beginnings of a deal appeared on the e-mail.


I continued to work at home with the Logic Audio system, writing and co-writing with various people. I had the specific intention of co-writing an album with Steve Harris, and we have worked together on a few guitar parts etc., but as for co-writing, it hasn't really happened and I think as a writer, Steve's priorities could well rest with SHY for the remainder of this year. We actually commence writing sessions for SHY inside the next week with sessions between Ian, Steve and myself.

However, I have found more local musicianship in Pianist Joe Basketts; classically trained and he seems to know exactly what you're after without any long winded explanation, rare that!

Drummer and percussionist Dave (weasle) Pearce who was obviously no stranger to playing the conga's, rythmn guitarist Paul Waring and vocalist Sue Gull.

I am in discussions with Madhat studio's in Wolverhampton who can upload all my written work from home and digitally mix it whilst adding a live drummer.

I have every intention of mixing the album in two or three sections so as to break the procedure down.

All the original 1985 fanzines emerged again, so look out for them on the site, and also 140 photos of SIAM taken in 1996 by Tony Mottram have also come to light, the best of which will also be posted on the website.

After sessions wih Ian Richardson and Steve Harris, the first three backing
tracks have been recorded with another three to record in around two weeks
time.
First impressions are what you might expect. A Journeyesque approach; plenty
of chunky guitars with a more than obvious melody waiting to be placed right
on the top. I shall be doing exactly that over the nexrt month or so.

The deal is now confirmed with MTM in Germany and the completion date for
the new album is contracted for December this year. I have no doubt that the
label will more than likely delay release until January 2004.

The new solo album is coming on leaps and bounds with half of the material
now recorded with a few touches to be added before August, when mixes
commence at Mad Hat Studios in Wolverhampton. Engineering will be covered by
Mark Saunders of Magnum fame. Pre-production will be at Roy's rehearsal
rooms 'Madhouse Rehearsals' in Snow Hill, Birmingham, right opposite the
Sound Control store.
The possibility of orchestral arrangements has come to light for the solo
album, with the talents of Joe Basketts at the helm. Something I've always
wanted to do. Joe is a great pianist and obviously has more tricks up his
sleeve than originally thought !

Just so as you know, a guitar shop has opened up in Roy's Rehearsal rooms.
Run by Budgie guitarist, John Thomas, he has some serious Les Pauls for
sale. Some 1959 models, if you've got 65k to blow !!

With regard to other projects on the go, Adrian Marx, a solo artist from
Wolverhampton, has just commenced a covers album with me, which he is
recording at my place with a view to selling it wherever he plays. Which is
most places ! Adrian used to be a member of 'Dark Page'.

'Kiro' is a project belonging to Simon Dugmore, from the slightly greener
side of Wolverhampton, also being gradually recorded here; two tracks
currently underway. Very Richie Blackmore.

So, everything to do.

31-07-03

It's been a couple of months since my last update, so there's much to tell!

The solo album has pretty much taken up all my time, working with all manner of session musicians and Steve from SHY has also played various guitar parts for me over the last few weeks.

Six tracks are complete and I move into Mad Hat Studios just north of Wolverhampton on 2/8 to begin live drum recordings with Dave Pearce on the stix.

By the second week of August, half of the album will be finished mixed and then I can go shopping for a deal, to see what's on offer. The album has taken a soul feel, with the predominant solo instruments being alto and soprano sax. I guess I couldn't say there was much in the way of a rock feel to any of the music, but then this is how I've been feeling on a solo basis for a while and if I don't get it out of my system now, I will live to regret it, I guess.

Full Instrumentalist list is as follows:-

Clarinet Ashleigh Faye Timmins
Alto & Soprano sax Chris Aldridge
Guitars Paul Waring
Steve Harris
Tom Briscoe
Piano, strings, Joe Basketts
Clavichord
Drums and Percussion Dave(Weazle)Pearce
Bass and Lead Vox Myself
Backing Vocals Sue Clarke
Jackie Williams
Engineering Mark Saunders

Tracks so far
1 Somebody Up There mixed
2 Don't Hurt Me Anymore "
3 Revelation "
4 Gemini "
5 Sensational "
6 Young Americans "


So, half an album done, and back to SHY.
It seems having talked to Steve and Ian that most of the backing tracks have been constructed
and all that remains is for me to do is write all the lyrics for the album.
But there is some heavy stuff in there, so prepare !!
It has to be delivered on 1/12 to MTM in Munich, so, better get cracking !!!!!!

Also I'll be writing the remainder of the solo album during the rest of the year and that it will be mixed in the new year for release in the Spring worldwide.

25-03-03

Since October and the Z-rock show in Ludwigshaven, Germany, much has transpired.

Shortly after returning to the U.K. It was very evident that we would no longer be working with Z Records.
The organisation at the hotel in Germany was less than acceptable and the on stage sound at the show was far from what we had come to expect.
I do not think we kicked up enough fuss about it at the time, but when there are endless bands on the bill and the audience are already starting to walk through the door, it really is not the time to start a debate regarding the monitor performance. I could not really hear what I was singing and consequently I think my voice suffered through that.
I remember the band not being at all satisfied and much discussion ensued during the eleven hour drive back to Birmingham.
It was obvious that our situation was untenable with Z Records and we decided enough was enough.

Over the last few months, Roy's rehearsal/distribution/record Co. facility has gone from strength to strength and really seems to be a viable business.
My God , he even put a bar in the place ! (Fatal) Needless to say, I now see him on a regular basis.

Following much discussion with various parties, interest started to grow from MTM Music in Germany and the beginnings of a deal appeared on the e-mail.
I continued to work at home with the Logic Audio system, writing and co-writing with various people. I had the specific intention of co-writing an album with Steve Harris, and we have worked together on a few guitar parts etc., but as for co-writing, it hasn't really happened and I think as a writer, Steve's priorities could well rest with SHY for the remainder of this year. We actually commence writing sessions for SHY inside the next week with sessions between Ian, Steve and myself.

However, I have found more local musicianship in Pianist Joe Basketts; classically trained and he seems to know exactly what you're after without any long winded explanation, rare that!

Drummer and percussionist Dave (weasle) Pearce who was obviously no stranger to playing the conga's, rythmn guitarist Paul Waring and vocalist Sue Gull.

I am in discussions with Madhat studio's in Wolverhampton who can upload all my written work from home and digitally mix it whilst adding a live drummer.

I have every intention of mixing the album in two or three sections so as to break the procedure down.

All the original 1985 fanzines emerged again, so look out for them on the site, and also 140 photos of SIAM taken in 1996 by Tony Mottram have also come to light, the best of which will also be posted on the website.

 


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