Day Seventeen: Tuesday 14 June 2005
James Stevenson arrives back with his son Oscar in tow. We decide to tackle the guitars on ‘Cease And Desist’. Out comes the cherry red 12 string Gibson 335. This is the guitar that gave such a distinctive sound to ’45 R.P.M.’. The intro riff sounds great even though it takes an age for James to get used to the correct way of playing it. James and I have a great relationship. Often, I conceive the main guitar ‘riff’ within the framework of the songs that I write and more than often than not I have written them from a singers point of view. James will then take my riff and either keep it intact the way I have written it or try and take it to another level giving it the guitarists magic touch. This what happens on ‘Cease’, James takes my riff and simplifies it considerably, giving it far more potency than I imagined. He gets most of his parts down without waiting for my scratchy Telecaster rhythm. The only thing we are concerned about is if it ‘sounds’ too close to ’45’….. still having something that sounds like ‘us’ is not a bad thing either. Once the guitars are down Craig wants to have another go at t he bass part and also records bass on ‘I Never Left I Only Went Away’. During the evening I tackle the vocals on ‘Menai Bridge’. It is not easy singing another persons words, and some of the lyrics are far more ‘poetic’ than rock and roll. I get through three takes and the phrasing starts to get easier. Singing a song with lines like “swayed above the swellies there” and “With an oily chain”, is not easy I can tell you. By the end of the day I am pleased with the end result and feel that it sounds convincing enough to do justice to the poem. I am going to write my own lyric for the track as I feel we may have a little Alarm classic on our hands.