‘I can’t believe there’s no egg and onion!’ exclaims Rob, setting up his guitar pedals. We are in Smalltown America’s studio, Derry. It is the last day of March 2012. A gloomy Saturday. We are taking part in an ambitious 24 hour recording session in which two acts (Our Krypton Son & Sullivan & Gold) will record a song each, the tracks will be mixed and mastered, remixes will be done on the fly and artwork will be created for each track. This will all be done live, filmed and streamed online throughout 24 hours. The end result will be a double A-side single available for download exactly a day later. Its all very exciting. We also have a caterer for the day who has provided all manner of exotic sandwich juxtapositions minus, to Rob’s apparent chagrin, egg and onion. I dislike onions intensely so I couldnt care less. I am in a strange place however and more concerned with other matters. 1. I’ve misplaced my mobile phone. 2. I’ve lost my voice. When I try to sing I sound like a cement mixer and i’m gargling honey and lemon all morning. 3. My girlfriend and I of 7 years had decided to call it quits the previous evening (A girlfriend, a phone and a voice all in one weekend! O Joy! O Rapture!). 4. Its 11:30. One of my band members still hasnt turned up yet and we go live at 12:00. The studio is ablaze with activity. Camera ears and microphone eyes are set up everywhere. Artists Kris Platt and Tim Farrell are on hand. DJ’s Figure Of 8 and Dollface Devereaux wait patiently for stems to remix with. Chaps from NI music anthologists Chordblossom have turned up to shoot a video diary of sorts. Its all go. Finally the band are all present and we rip through our song. I’ve decided we should record a waltzing sea shanty of mine entitled ‘I’ll Never Learn To Say Goodbye’. The band plays a blinder and I sing it in a voice Captain Beefheart might have rejected as being too hoarse. After we’re done, the equipment is set up for Sullivan & Gold who sing like larks and cut a lovely version of their song ‘Jigsaws’. Andrew (Label chief) and I will speak to local broadcasting legend Stephen McCauley for the BBC – he does most of the talking. I just bite nails – whilst Figure Of 8 and Dollface work on the remixes and Kris and Tim work away on artwork ideas. This will go on till the wee hours of Sunday morning. Chris Cassidy and Andrew will mix all night long and, sure as shit, the tracks are available for digital download at 12 noon on Sunday replete with artwork. A briliant effort from all involved. The art for my track shows a particular sensitivity.
Neither of them would’ve known anything of my personal life whether the subject matter was accurate or not. Which it wasn’t. I’d written the song about the death of a loved one. People would later naturally assume the song to be a response to the break up of my relationship but that isn’t the case. I’d say the break up probably had an impact on my performance anyway – particularly in the sweeping harmonies and cadences of the songs outro. I’d go on to include the track on the debut Our Krypton Son album in place of a vastly inferior pop song called ‘There Oughta Be A Law’. Built around a series of puns, and featuring doo wop vox, banjo and fake accordian, it will remain unreleased. Like my mobile phone and other things, its a thing of the past.