Monthly Archives: December 2013

Available on SoundCloud

[Updated 11th March 2014 after I came across Peter Buckley Hill’s tracks from Tubular Brains, an LP for which I share a little of the guilt, on Soundcloud.]

Just in case you prefer the interface. Or as a backup to the stuff here. Anyway, I’ve uploaded some recordings to SoundCloud.

True Confessions, Heatwave, from an unreleased album with Don MacLeod, Bob Thiel, Bob Cairns and Pat Orchard. One Step Away was also recorded during those sessions, but that version is about to be released as a single, so the version here is later and not studio-recorded.

More tracks from Sheer Bravado and Scriptwrecked (and maybe some more recent stuff) in due course.

On a slightly lighter note, I recently became aware (as per the post The magic fingers of David Harley* – that title is meant to be ironic by the way!) that Peter Buckley Hill has put all the tracks from his first album Tubular Brains onto Soundcloud. In fact, I think all his albums are on there, but I didn’t have anything to do with the others. As you might have guessed from the title, the album is in much more of a comic vein (insert your own jokes about exsanguination here) than my own output.

On the original sleeve I think I’m credited as producer (my vinyl is all in a couple of boxes somewhere round here), though to be honest I think those sessions were more about cheerful anarchy than production values. I did play a lot of guitar on it, though, and hearing the tracks again – taken from the vinyl rather than the mastertapes, judging from the ambient noise – there’s some stuff there I really like. Including Peter’s idiosyncratic material and vocals, of course. 🙂 I particularly like the extended fadeout with acoustic lead on Love at first Sight, and while it’s probably not a song I could sing convincingly myself, I’ve thought from time to time that I’d quite like to record a completely instrumental version. That’s on the to-do list.

No doubt further skeletons will emerge from the closet in due course.

*Suddenly I’m reminded of a witticism of Martin Simpson’s about Manitas de Pescado (Little Fish Fingers): apologies to fans of Manitas de Plata but it still makes me chuckle, though it’s probably politically incorrect.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Ballad of the Carpenter [demo]

Back in the ’70s I was roped in to perform at a Christmas service in Shrewsbury where I was allowed to play banjo and sing harmonies, but not to sing this one, on the grounds that it’s ‘more of an Easter song’.

I seem to have mislaid the Christmas gene in recent years but I still find myself singing this around this time of year (or perhaps that’s why). Ewan MacColl’s politicized view of the life of Christ doesn’t seem to me to be religious at all, but it seems appropriate to me when celebrating the beginning of the story to bear in mind how it ended. Your mileage may vary.

I never actually heard MacColl sing this: I learned it from the version Phil Ochs recorded on ‘I ain’t marching any more.’ Ochs did it – very well IMHO – on guitar, but I usually sing it unaccompanied, even though I’ve also mislaid the traditionalist gene.

In fact, according to this post, Ochs made some changes which seem to me to have improved the song. However, the post includes what are apparently the original lyric too.

David Harley