Friday, August 29, 2008

Free Awesomeness.. iticity?

When was the last time you got something for free? And don’t think about quoting me that “hub” website featuring all the pretty ladies that a much valued work colleague MADE ME LOOK AT, because God’s gonna make you pay someday – in her own unique mysterious way – for checking out all that type of stuff.

For now though, put your wallets and confessions away because in these tough, credit-crunch times it’s my sincere pleasure to spend my holiday week cooped up in the house avoiding the rain and working on a little project, the results of which I now offer you for free. As you can see from this photo I’ve managed to connect my late-80s “music centre” to the computer and have a begun a (potentially mammoth) endeavour of converting old vinyl and tape recordings to digital format.

The spark for this idea was the recent discovery of some long lost recordings by The Signals, greatest pub rock ‘n roll pub ever. From Falkirk. The boys and I have worked out that the two songs in question were the first demo tracks for our “difficult” and never completed third album and must have been recorded in 1988. Sh#t, that’s TWENTY years ago! Anyway, if you click on these dark red lines that are underlined, you’ll be whisked off to the band’s MySpace site where you can hear them in all their hissy, four-track, cassette-like glory and, if you so desire, DOWNLOAD THEM FOR FREE. Here’s a little background to both…

Stronger Than Love
A song about a girl (surprise!) that, unusually, I originally wrote on the piano so that my talented wee sister Rona could teach me how chords work properly. Not sure where the Cleo Laine-like “do-be-dee-doo-bop” stuff at the start came from. But I really like the bright, cutting guitar work that young virtuoso Billy Bob Hay is displaying throughout. Eat your heart out Robert Cray.

Band of Gold
A song about the greatest pub rock ‘n roll band ever (ergo, a “band of gold”) going to a regular gig haunt where one of the members – the bass player let’s say – meets a girl, falls in love and lives happily ever after*. Not sure how this song will sound on your computer/iPod but we were obviously doing a lot of experimenting with that new-fangled stereo invention at the time, with singing and guitar parts switching suddenly from one speaker to the other. Check out the Duane Eddy guest solo in the middle!

If you’re not already reaching for fresh underwear at the thought of indulging in two “new” Signals recordings, I have a bonus offer for you. Back in the 80s when I wasn’t leaping off ridiculously high amplifier stacks during Signals gigs, I often did a little recording work with a good friend who, for the purposes of this story, we’ll refer to as Mark. Because that was his name.

Mark was a prolific songwriter but preferred to have other people sing his songs when he recorded them. During my recent great vinyl and tape excavation, I discovered some of the recordings and have uploaded one called “Like There’s No Tomorrow” to my own MySpace site which you can access by clicking on these dark green words that are underlined. The harmonies are nice but I’d be obliged if you could just ignore the bits where the melody is a tad out of my range. Thanks.

I’ve a very strong suspicion that this song was heavily influenced by a hit single for a famous 80s duo but I’ll let you have a guess as to which one and will let you know my interpretation in a couple of days.

Meantime, have a great weekend and enjoy the free stuff. Remember, it’s free.

*Twenty years on, the bass player and his girlie are still happily wearing their “bands of gold”… see what I did there?


At 31/8/08 3:39 am, Anonymous wendi said...

so i've downloaded i just have to listen...locked, loaded and ready to go...i'm a bit nervous...don't let me down neily

At 31/8/08 1:16 pm, Anonymous Derek said...

Hey Neil, good to see you're still around. I was surprised when you popped up on Facebook. Thank F--k you're not running marathons like your clone brother and sister, stay different man!

At 31/8/08 1:33 pm, Blogger Donald said...

Good finds Soaps - keep up the good work.


At 4/9/08 4:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Don't go there.

Keith (running and raising money)


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