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Pete Atkin
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Midnight Voices - the CD
« : 23.06.07 at 23:35 »
Quote

As I announced on Thursday evening at the St George's gig, in the course of preparing for the concert with Simon Wallace and the guys it made a lot of sense that we should record the songs as we worked on them in the finely tuned acoustic of the Abbey Road-like Wallace studio complex in south London.  And so we have ended up with fifteen tracks which are now in the latter stages of post-production, aiming to have actual copies available unofficially through Hillside Music from about late August or early September, with an offical release date set probably for October.  
 
The basic personnel is the same as at the concert: Simon Wallace (piano), Mark Hodgson (bass), and Roy Dodds (drums and percussion), plus occasional acoustic guitar contributions from yours truly, and with considerable electric guitar contributions from Mike Outram, with additional guest appearances by Sarah Moule (vocal), Clive Bell (shakuhachi), and Alan Barnes (clarinet and tenor sax (doublin' on baritone)).
 
I'm going to call the CD "Midnight Voices - the Clive James-Pete Atkin Songbook Volume One."  The songs included will be (not necessarily in this order) -
 
Touch Has A Memory
Senior Citizens
Thief in the Night
Be Careful When They Offer You the Moon
Thirty Year Man
Sessionman's Blues
The Flowers and the Wine
Payday Evening
Between Us There Is Nothing
The Hypertension Kid
Perfect Moments
The Faded Mansion on the Hill
Master of the Revels
Laughing Boy
Beware of the Beautiful Stranger
 
I decided to stick to songs from the original '70s LPs, mainly because the availability of the original recordings is and is always likely to be patchy (for reasons described elsewhere on the Forum) and because in this way we can be certain that these songs at least will continue to be reliably available in some form.    
 
I haven't set out deliberately to create wilfully different versions of any of the songs, but some are much closer to the originals than others;  mostly the differences are simply the result of the passage of thirty five years or so.  I know the originals are firmly lodged in many people's brains and that any variation may possibly be considered a travesty, but simply to try to reproduce them would be both impossible and, it seems to me, pointless.  The originals continue to exist after all, and I'm not seeking to disavow them or to disown them or to supersede them.  But I certainly don't want to give the impression of apologising in any way for these new versions.  In any case, you'll be able to make up your own minds pretty soon.  Keep watching this space for further details.
 
All best to all
Pete
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Gerry Smith
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Posts: 222
Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #1: 24.06.07 at 01:58 »
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Well, vive la difference, I say if St George's was anything to go by! Not better, just...different!
 
Gerry
 
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Leslie Moss
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Posts: 161
Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #2: 26.06.07 at 11:48 »
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Having been unable to attend St George's due to the totally unreasonable demand of my employer that I deliver a presentation to a group in Paris that afternoon I am absolutely delighted that there is to be a recording of the new band, even if it's not "live". I hope that Pete and co. can be prevailed on to do additional live performances - it has been one of my wishes over the years to see him perform with a band and darn if I couldn't make the one occasion when it happened.
 
Having said that I must admit that my Thursday evening was not exactly unpleasant either - following my presentation (to a group of high-potential employees) we hit the fleshpots of Paris on midsummer night and found that the entire centre of the city had been turned into a music festival. Sitting in a bar on St Germain at midnight accompanied by lissom young ladies and enthusiastic youngish men listening to a pretty darn good Cream tribute band was a pretty good consolation for missing the main event.
 
Leslie
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #3: 26.06.07 at 13:50 »
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on 26.06.07 at 11:48, Leslie Moss wrote:
Having been unable to attend St George's due to the totally unreasonable demand of my employer that I deliver a presentation to a group in Paris that afternoon I am absolutely delighted that there is to be a recording of the new band, even if it's not "live". I hope that Pete and co. can be prevailed on to do additional live performances - it has been one of my wishes over the years to see him perform with a band and darn if I couldn't make the one occasion when it happened.
 
Having said that I must admit that my Thursday evening was not exactly unpleasant either - following my presentation (to a group of high-potential employees) we hit the fleshpots of Paris on midsummer night and found that the entire centre of the city had been turned into a music festival. Sitting in a bar on St Germain at midnight accompanied by lissom young ladies and enthusiastic youngish men listening to a pretty darn good Cream tribute band was a pretty good consolation for missing the main event.
 
Leslie

 
I too am anxiously waiting for the new CD to be purchased and shipped to the good old US of A
 
And remind me to tell you sometime the story of how I didn't see the Cream's farewell perrformance in the Albert Hall  Cheesy
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Richard Bleksley
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #4: 26.06.07 at 20:24 »
Quote

Well, I did see Cream's farewell concert, so there....  My God, was it really 39 years ago?
 
I was also at St. George's last Thursday, and I can tell Leslie and the rest of you who weren't there that the new CD is definitely well worth waiting for.  For me, the best bit of all is that there will finally be a CD version of Be Careful When They Offer You the Moon.
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Cathy Corbishley-Michel
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #5: 01.07.07 at 09:29 »
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Dear MVs
 
A new member of MV for only a few weeks I was also disappointed to miss the St George's gig (Urological Surgeons conference in Glasgow since you ask) but the news of a new CD makes up for it somewhat.  Bristol was my old stamping ground where I went to University and saw Pete in 1974 after which I quickly ran off to Triangle records (are they still there?) to buy/order all the vinyl which has been trekked around all my house moves for many years and recently converted to MP3 using one of those natty turntable gadgets.
 
The fact that the new CD is going to be called volume 1 gives me hope for a volume 2 (or more).
 
best wishes
 
Cathy Corbishley-Michel
(from Wimbledon and only 2 miles from where you held PoD - if only I'd known about you all then)
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naomi
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #6: 02.07.07 at 00:07 »
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Yes, I'm also consoled by the prospect of the CD - and of similar future concerts, please !
 
I've had the odd dilemma of wanting to read reports of the Bristol gig ... but then feeling even more envious of those who were in the audience !!  It was plainly a superb concert - and, I reckon, a milestone in the development of Pete's work.
 
I was absent from Bristol only because it might have caused raised eyebrows had I not turned up to my own concert, in South Kensington, on June 21 !
 
Incidentally, the music festival in which I was taking part was the London counterpart of the Paris festival that Mr Moss enjoyed.
 
Best, Naomi
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Jan
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #7: 02.07.07 at 08:27 »
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Hi Cathy,
Welcome to Midnight Voices.
 
on 01.07.07 at 09:29, Cathy Corbishley-Michel wrote:
 if only I'd known about you all then)

I'm glad you found us. How did you find us?
Chance?
A tip off?
Something Clive said or wrote?
 
Hope to meet you at a future gig.
Jan
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Richard Bleksley
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Posts: 164
Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #8: 02.07.07 at 11:49 »
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Hi Cathy.
 
Let me second Jan's welcome to our virtual community, especially since you are probably the nearest Midnight Voice to me. I live just down the road in Sutton, which is why PoD was there - I was the organiser, or PoDmeister, as some put it.
 
The St. George's gig was something a bit special, but it's definitely worth making the effort to attend any gig that Pete does. He, and we, are fortunate in that, instead of fading away as some artists do as they get older, he just seems to keep getting better.
 
Ever since PoD I've been dropping occasional hints that I might be prepared to do another one. Maybe sometime I'll actually do something about it; and if that does happen, it'll be nice and handy for you.
 
Richard
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #9: 02.07.07 at 13:30 »
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on 02.07.07 at 11:49, Richard Bleksley wrote:
Ever since PoD I've been dropping occasional hints that I might be prepared to do another one. Maybe sometime I'll actually do something about it;  
 
Richard

 
Chicago or St. Louis can be very nice in the Spring or Autumn  Cheesy
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And so goodbye, my lady of a night
Cathy Corbishley-Michel
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #10: 02.07.07 at 20:49 »
Quote

Dear Jan and Richard
 
Thankyou for the warm welcome.  
 
I found MV through Pete's/Steve's Smash Flops site after hankering after replacing my vinyl last year and eventually giving up on Amazon and locating Hillside records, unfortunately only after most of the re-releases were sold out.  However I have obtained BOTBS/DTMA and SD/LL on CD and have put the old vinyl onto the computer so I have BCITOYTM rather than Touch has a Memory.
 
Having bought the new CDs I am now getting familiar with the new songs, particularly the Lakeside sessions ones which have a lot of resonances with the earlier material.
 
As far as PoD goes I would have loved to be there and would be happy to help Richard organise a rerun if he needs any help ( I have history in this kind of area if you count organising postgraduate exams, running large NHS hospital departments, managing a budget of several million (which I was not allowed to spend) and organising a textile exhibition for three months in central London).
 
I actually live in Merton Park which is even nearer to Sutton than Wimbledon - but no-one has ever heard of it and Wimbledon is more upmarket.
 
best wishes
 
Cathy
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Richard Bleksley
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #11: 03.07.07 at 02:00 »
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on 02.07.07 at 20:49, Cathy Corbishley-Michel wrote:
I actually live in Merton Park which is even nearer to Sutton than Wimbledon - but no-one has ever heard of it and Wimbledon is more upmarket.
 

 
Oh yes? What about those one hit wonders of (I think) the early eighties, the Merton Parkas, and their You Gotta Have Wheels? (Contains the priceless line "A man ain't a man with a ticket in his hand".)
 
And thanks for the offer of help with the putative PoD2. Maybe it'll even encourage me to get off my backside and do something about it.
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Seán Kelly
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Posts: 177
Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #12: 18.07.07 at 23:17 »
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Touch Has A Memory
Senior Citizens
Thief in the Night
Be Careful When They Offer You the Moon
Thirty Year Man
Sessionman's Blues
The Flowers and the Wine
Payday Evening
Between Us There Is Nothing
The Hypertension Kid
Perfect Moments
The Faded Mansion on the Hill
Master of the Revels
Laughing Boy
Beware of the Beautiful Stranger  
 
That is a hell of a line up for an album - thanks Pete - can't wait for this one!  
Seán
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Leslie Moss
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #13: 10.08.07 at 12:01 »
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on 03.07.07 at 02:00, Richard Bleksley wrote:

 
And thanks for the offer of help with the putative PoD2. Maybe it'll even encourage me to get off my backside and do something about it.

 
Richard, perhaps you could run it in Second World in a virtual online pub. We could call it iPod!
 
Leslie
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S J Birkill
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Midnight Voices CD - sample track
« Reply #14: 11.08.07 at 18:59 »
Quote

Here is a preview of what we'll all be able to hear when the new album comes out.
 
I'm reliably informed that the powers that be will arrange pre-release copies of the genuine polycarbonate around the middle of September, all being well, from the usual source. Save your pennies!
 
Steve
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naomi
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #15: 11.08.07 at 23:45 »
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Yippee ! Thank you so much, Sir Steve - it's fab !!!
 
I love that pinch of klezmer seasoning (NB, Leslie) - supplied by Mr Barnes, I guess.  
 
Naomi
« Last Edit: 11.08.07 at 23:54 by naomi » IP logged
Chris Reichardt
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #16: 12.08.07 at 09:27 »
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One of my favourite songs  
 
Still sends shivers up and down my spine
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Gerry Smith
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #17: 15.08.07 at 16:00 »
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Terrific stuff and wonderful clarinet. Interesting that Pete chose 'Laughing Boy' for the taster track; the original BOTBS version is not at all dissimilar to the new version in terms of lineup - ie vocal, drums, acoustic bass and guitar. In the new recording the guitar is replaced by piano though but as far as I can see that is the only substantial difference.  
 
In other songs, the difference the new lineup makes is far more noticeable.  
 
Very much looking forward to getting hold of the new CD.  
 
Gerry
 
PS - Pete, was the clarinet solo 'open' or written?
 
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Paul Leighton
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #18: 15.08.07 at 16:01 »
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After a brilliant evening at St.George's In Bristol, nothing will ever surprise me again when it comes to breathing new - quite different, but equally valid - life, into musical old friends.
Laughing Boy happens to be a favourite of mine - and I treasure the original recording - but this version is a gem. Still true to the original but changed - subtly changed. Great arrangement. Have been playing it to my colleagues at work who have responded with some enthusiasm!
 
At 54, I really should try to sound a little less like an enthusiastic teenager...but.......
 
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Paul Leighton
Pete Atkin
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Re: Midnight Voices - the CD
« Reply #19: 15.08.07 at 17:11 »
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Hi Gerry - Well, the choice was mainly driven by what we had ready, but beyond that I thought it might reassure anyone who thought I was going to be riding roughshod over the old versions.  There was clarinet on the original as well, of course (missed from your list), and its inclusion here was another nod backwards.    
 
And it may have been lost in the MP3, but acoustic guitar is actually quite prominent on the new version, but steel-strung this time and therefore rhythmically a bit tighter than the nylon strum on the BOTBS version, which strikes me now as quite unsatisfactorily sloppy (without wishing to tread on anyone's nostalgic toes).  Actually, LB is perhaps unrepresentative of the new stuff in that acoustic guitars (both the Atkin OM and the Taylor NS) make relatively few appearances on the new CD.  
 
Simon and I have given a lot of attention to getting first the tempos and then the grooves right on all of the songs this time.  It's amazing what a difference it makes to having a chance of singing them properly.    
 
The clarinet here is all the inspiration of the wonderful Alan Barnes, Gerry.  On the original version I had written it all out for the nevertheless equally wonderful Henry McKenzie (he of the Fabs' When I'm Sixty Four clarinet ensemble, among many other things).
 
And thanks for your generous endorsement too, Paul.   It's terrifically encouraging - more than I can say.   I'll try to get another sample track to that nice Mr Birkill for him to upload soon - something maybe with a slightly different approach.
 
All best - Pete
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