I’ve tried writing a book about my life but didn’t have the patience, this is more fun so I’ll gradually keep adding recollections of my life events. Any help with past stories from you would be appreciated…
‘SETTLEMENT’ produced by Blue Weaver
the brand-new album
26 February 2021
CD / LP / Streaming
Settlement is the latest album by Strawbs, more than 50 years on from the band’s first major label release. The album comes at a time of political and social upheaval, which the lyrics and melodies of the songs reflect. Undeterred by the fact that ‘business as usual’ was not possible because of the global COVID-19 pandemic – working remote from one another, from their own home studios – Settlement is a remarkable achievement.
David Cousins, leader of Strawbs says: “Settlement is something extraordinary. I can’t think of another band who can go from metal grunge to the lilt of an Irish ghost story – or from a song in 6/8 time to singing in 4/4 over a 5/4 backbeat – in half an hour.” He goes on to say: “The lyrics reflect the times we have been living through:
‘Once we went dancing through quicksilver days’, or ‘What the autocrats are selling you is Sturm und Drang’, or ‘All bear witness, come together, we are everyone’. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved.”
Settlement is produced by Blue Weaver who played with Strawbs and Bee Gees in their 1970s heydays. The recording was coordinated from Blue’s studio in Germany, where he now lives. Strawbs are David Cousins, Dave Lambert, Chas Cronk, Dave Bainbridge, and Tony Fernandez who last played together at Strawbs 50th Anniversary Weekend in Lakewood, New Jersey in April 2019.
Strawbs guests on Settlement are John Ford, another former member of Strawbs, who lives in New York, Cathryn Craig, with her lovely voice and unmistakable Southern lilt, who lives in Northern Ireland, and bass player Schalk Joubert, with whom David Cousins performed in South Africa at the beginning of the year.
Blue Weaver sums it up: “Strawbs dusted off their instruments and set up the necessary technology to make it happen – ranging from state-of-the-art recording equipment to an ironing board! It is unprecedented that a recording of this quality could be made without a single face to face meeting. There comes a time when every Settlement is due!”
4.Each Manner of Man
|+3 bonus tracks
8.We Are Everyone
Strawbs last album The Ferryman’s Curse, released in 2018, returned the band to the best-selling charts. It was produced by Chris Tsangarides who sadly died a month after the recording of the album.
In 2019 Strawbs celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the release of the band’s first album in New Jersey, alongside the United Nations Singers and a 30-piece orchestra conducted by Tony Visconti.
This was my interpretation of Angelo Badalamenti’s score for the Pet Shop Boys faithfully re-created by EstuaryMists from my original Fairlight Series III sequences…Not sure how they obtained them but never mind I’m glad to hear it again…
A video I made to help promote and raise money for the Italian Red Cross. This was a little difficult as we all reside in different parts of the world but with the use of the internet, technology and patience I managed to get this together…Thanks to all involved including Savvas and Francesco…
It was 21st May 2012 when I heard that Robin had died the day before. For days after that the realisation that there was now only one brother left haunted me.
After Maurice died I realised that I would never be able to fulfil my dream of ever playing again with the brothers but I did hope that there was a possibility of performing with Robin and Barry but again my dream was shattered.
I heard a quote not sure where it came from but instantly it made the situation clear ‘We are one’.
I am not a lyricist or a singer, I have worked with so many greats I didn’t need to be and writing words never came naturally in fact picking up a pen and paper was difficult but I wrote down…
I’m standing on this stage alone,
Another spirit not yet flown,
But when I look around I see,
All my brothers standing next to me,
and singing harmony,
and when that final song is sung,
now We Are One…
I then sat at my piano and came up with this melody.
I tried writing other words but nothing touched me as much as that final verse that I had written and I realised there was really only one person who could finish it and sing it…
I always imagined this would be an orchestral track maybe with some piano hopefully one day it will be completed. I am never happy with my performances as I really wish there was ‘someone’ there to sing it for you.
I believe now more than ever especially with what’s happening around the world we need to stand together as one…
PS. I performed a medley of songs on our wonderful Worpswede Musichall Bosendorfer for friends and family for my 70th birthday and I keep looking around in surprise as all my grandchildren joined me onstage and this was the final very emotional song…
When not creating music I like to make videos for my friends this is the latest for my friend Brian Parrish…
This was my home(along with some other girls’n’boys from around the end of ’69 until 1971. It didn’t have the upper windows back then.
Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti spent part of their honeymoon there and she had her jewellery stolen, apparently the thief spent some time in the roof space above their bed before descending and robbing them…
In 1972 I bought a Viscount Organ after meeting Alan Haven. He had his Viscount organ keyboard controlling the ARP 2600 it and he were amazing. I used it on Strawbs ‘Bursting At The Seams’ album and live gigs. It can really be heard on the B side of ‘Lay Down’ originally titled “Ziggy Barlust and the Whales from Uranus’ but the record company thought it better to change the title we then suggested ‘Backside’ but they called it ‘B Side’.
The Viscount Leslie style speaker was unique in as much as the whole speaker revolved to create the slow/fast effect…