I finished the last post in the year 2000. I was slowly getting better, and more experimental. This is a clip from ‘Talamorphis’, which was pretty wierd but specially requested by my good friend Tom Morton (the other half of Flameboy, see part 1)!
I was getting more and more into electronic music, and using some wonderfully difficult to operate software called Scream Tracker which I am tempted to download right now. It was pretty much amazing and geeky.
Although I’ve so far been pretty blunt about how bad the music was, I do really enjoy listening back to the songs.
It was amazing fun, those first few years, I was constantly recording, learning and improving. For the first time I had found something I was genuinely passionate about. In two years I had gone from this…
To stuff like this…
Fair to say that’s quite an improvement. Although there’s still a bit of an Alvin, Simon, Theodore type quality to my voice.
Now it’s time for the angst I am afraid. After the initial burst of improvement, I completely stalled at this point. I bought a 12 track recorder but didn’t really have the skills to use it properly. I did record a mostly electronic album in 2001 called ’10 Steps Ahead’, I thought it was pretty interesting but it was met with a frightening lack of enthusiasm by anybody I played it to.
Until leaving college, I always had a close group of friends, heavily into music, who I could immediately play stuff to. They were pretty generous and also into the same music as me, so I generally got a confidence building response. But they had all gone off to uni now whilst I was working as a salesman in Totton. Now I was playing stuff to people I worked with, or the blokes I went to football with, and they were not into music in the same way, nor were they particularly bothered about playing to my insecurities.
Stripped of my bubble of ready-made fans, my confidence took a massive hit. I had to face up to the fact that my music still wasn’t good enough to interest anybody other than my closest mates. I stopped recording, I still loved it but failed to see the point when nobody other than me got any enjoyment from it.
Eventually, I stopped being a mopey git, got up off my backside and in September 2002 I took my stupid floppy hair to Brighton to sort the situation out by studying Music Tech. To be honest I wasn’t that optimistic, at the time I thought I had probably peaked as a musician (because I was an idiot) but I thought I should try something.
It was the best decision I ever made, suddenly I was surrounded by recording studios, awesome musicians, and a whole host of amazing tutors. My music was transformed. The first thing I did was rope a drummer into playing on one of my songs and we recorded it in the studio at the uni.
Listening now I still get goosebumps, this one song meant so much to me, to get some positive feedback after my confidence taking such a hit. Suddenly I was playing this to people and they were surprised, impressed, they liked it. This is ‘Stuck Inside’, the song which reignited my passion for making music.
I was on a roll now. I started writing more and more with the intention of getting a band together. I was getting more confident with my vocals and better at recording. I wrote this song ‘Broken Dreamer’ to play to potential band mates.
I found my band, we were called Jagaver. Jack (drums), Dom (guitar) and Naho/Bug (bass). We bloody rocked.
Naho left and was replaced with Dan and we still rocked. Here is Broken Dreamer as a band (I can’t remember who played bass but no matter I hope as they were both equally awesome!).
For a while it seemed as though things might take off for us, but it never quite happened. We had an absolutely incredible gig at The Freebut, which was pretty much the coolest venue in Brighton, and got played on XFM, but we never managed to capitalise properly. Was amazing fun though and I still listen back to the songs with a lot of pride.
As I had the band for my more serious side, I was still doing some more light-hearted solo stuff. In 2005 I released an album in Brighton called ‘We May Be Tall and Furry’, which was a bit of an electro-pop fest. People seemed to love it (although unfortunately the degree moderators didn’t really get it!). I actually played a couple of weddings and birthdays off the back of this, which was fun. Here is ‘Hunting the Hunters’.
That brings us up to the end of 2005, the end of my uni course. I had come a pretty long way from those early days with a tape recorder. Tomorrow I will look at the period from 2006-2010, which is when this album blog started! Cheers for reading and listening.