Sunday, 8 March 2015

Tanked Up

Haven't done one of this type of entry for a while, like those first Quaire Fellow posts that were simple musings.
So Steve from the pub regaled this tale. I was dubious but thought I'd pass it on while I've got the new post window on this thing opened.

He had a pal who was involved in the army around the time of a first Gulf conflict (1991 or so) as a tank mechanic. Or something like that.

Anyway. The whole company was going out there and told to respect the local no booze rule. All fine, of course but this chap sensed a harebrained money making scheme.

He knew that one particular tank's hydraulic brake system held about 300 litres of fluid (I raised an eyebrow at this detail) and proceeded over the course of a few late nights to clean it out and fill the air tight tubes with gin.
 
Yep.

The army shipped the tank over (along with loads of others - the perfect camouflage) under his supervision into some base position quite out of harms way, but with a good number of potential customers.

Apparently he was being watched and was approached a number of times by several military police type figures inspecting his unusual nocturnal activities before the trip over. They found nothing amiss - amazing considering the stink of that volume of gin sealed away right under their noses. I suggested this might have come to light had the tank driver lit up a fag and the whole lot had gone up. But no, the tank wasn't used and wasn't expected to be until the booze had gone.

He got away with it for a few days, until, astoundingly, his massive order from the catering corp turned up: A lorry of lemons, limes and gallons of tonic water. He got bollocked. Almost too fantastic not to be true.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

THE RETURNING (Working Title)

So I found myself with a lot of time on my hands over last summer and started doing some demos for the sake of making a racket on the argumentative Silvery laptop rather than doing Episode 4 of the Silvery saga. I went down into the woods in Hampshire, in my flat, in my pals flat. Just as and when, you know? I had a lot on my mind. As with these things it quickly became apparent that from the 20 or so songs I had roughly recorded I could quite easily make a decent album with a bit a spit and polish on the recordings. Instead of another 14 tracker, I'm really trying hard to stick to doing a classic 10 track album but as usual it's impossible with even the worst songs forming an integral part of the internal album dialogue. Jobs left to do: changing the drum loops I pinched off songs by The Rubettes, The Supremes and The Glitter Band to actual drums, and getting some lady vocals on it. But would it be a Silvery album or a solo album? I don't know yet, but the plan is to do it properly again after the last album. It was a kind gesture giving 'Etiquette' away free with little warning, but get the sense not many people heard it. And I'd like to show my son an actual CD when he gets to ask 'What did you do after killing off the Hoxton Scene daddy?'.

Of the tracks there is the usual mix of old lost titles from years ago, and some brand new things. I even had to bump 'Homobot' off it. That will eventually go on the great Silvery Odds & Sods compilation at somepoint. Still hoping to be called 'A Hatfield Of Hollow'.

Do you remember the concepts behind the previous 3 albums? Well, this one is a story too. With the cries of 'KEEP IT COMMERCIAL' still ringing in my ears, it's ended up being about John Titor. He goes and does his thing looking for the IBM 5100 but ends up in 2006 down Nambucca to stop something awful happening. And I'm John Titor. Or something like that. You'll have to wait! As such, a couple of the songs pastiche the sounds of 1975, 1985 and 2006 so don't be alarmed when you eventually hear a couple of very lazy riffs and American drawl. For the first time the album seems to be bookended by 2 parts of the same song as if to shout out 'CONCEPT ALBUM!' Songs reference each other and characters we met in previous songs. Oh and there's another in the on going Silvery Train Songs. This time about the Voith North British Type 2s, although again, might be bumped off the tracklist. The POP element is strong in this record. And I'm sorry to announce less clown keyboards and falsetto. I've been smoking too much I guess, and don't have a keyboard player.

That said, I think you'll like it bearing in mind 4 albums in it's only natural for the sound to develop. Or regress, depending on how you feel. So far it might be called 'The Returning' (not of the band, but of the time traveller) or 'The Fighting Diamondback Shotgun Infantry Unit' which I don't think will go down well in K-Mart.

Anyway, thought I'd write a little to tell you how it's going so far. And we know what happened when I tried some updates for 'Etiquette'. A 2 year delay and endless hair pulling. So far we've run the gauntlet of the usual silliness including illness, emotional turmoil and a broken laptop. Not helped, to be honest, with it finally hitting a couple of walls when I lost my temper with it. These are the tracks, although not in this order, I'm sure.
 

OMG Guys (A wordy space age skank. And yes, I wrote a song called OMG Guys.)
The Fighting Diamondbacks (Spiders From Mars as a US high school marching band)
The Forward Gun (Spiders From Mars as themselves)
Laurie (Walker Brothers doing The Drowners)
The Sound Underground (Glittery acousticness)
Theme From Silvery (You might have heard an early version of this one already)
Maria Is Responsible (A song from a good 1980s TOTP 2)
Voith North British (Neu! doing Silvery)
You Would If You Wanted To (Coming Up era Suede go US College Radio)
271 (Probably The Strokes, weirdly. Or Television)
I Know (Lovely this one, reprising Life & Non Life, featuring a genuinely famous guest!)
The Returning (Carl Segan's Cosmos played by QOTSA? More importantly, a super outro reprising the into of OMG Guys.)
 
And the out takes (for the future Silvery collector to ponder over): C204 (The Glitter Band doing TVC15), Peter (advice for a friend), Space Opera (Working title - Jeff Wayne doing Moonage Daydream via Parson Nathaniel), Homobot (The HIT single), A Soldier's Winter (this is some poetry that John Titor claimed to remember from the future, so I finished it off), Building A Garden For A Blindman's Child (this has never made it onto an album - maybe next time), Docks / D2994 (Michael Portillo and his Bradshaw remember the Class 07 shunters)
 
I hope that up there will be the artwork too. Super Silvery New Vs. Old, Classic Vs Sci-Fi, Stranger In A Strange Land theme, but more importantly, will look amazing as a poster, LP sleeve, t-shirt and mouse mat. Hopefully see you soon - and hopefully this will be out for the traditional August release!