PUBLISH DATE: 20th December 2002, Part 1

Read Part 2

Bottom left Anti CW: Kris, Kenny,
Norman, Adrian. Photo by Ziggy



Chris n Norm in the recording booth
New CD Studio Sessions

Day 1

It's was a bleak, drizzling, December day when I set off from
Manchester to KD's, Kris Gray's London recording studio. Kris had invited me along to listen in on the recording of Chris Farlowe's new CD. He also said something about giving a lift to a certain Manchester-based guitarist, so I had company on the journey down the M1 in the form of Norman Beaker, his Marshall Amp, Fender Strat and Gibson Epiphone. I only wish I could relate some of the jokes that Norm told on the way down - but they were distinctly 'adult' in nature, so bearing in mind Chris's broad fan-base, I won't!
We arrived in Chiswick, London, around lunch time and began what would be a very long day! Kris Gray and Kenny Denton are jointly producing the new CD. It will be the first time Kenny has worked with Chris though he has many years of production and engineering experience, and has an impressive list of recording credits to his name including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, ELP, Thin Lizzy and Peter Green.

The drums, bass and keyboards had already been laid down by the
Norman Beaker Band, the lads having travelled down to the studio immediately after the Sheffield Van Morrison gig and spent the weekend in the studio. Now it was time for Norm to add guitar and hopefully for Chris to make a start on the vocals.

Budding Saxophonist Kris Gray & Kenny Denton lighten up, during 'Back In Trouble'

The Joy of Sax, Damian Hand and Lenni. Photo by Ziggy
From a couple of dozen potential songs, Kris and Chris have managed to whittle it down to fourteen strong contenders - though some may not make the final CD. I wouldn't like to make the decision on the final selection as they are all excellent! One definite inclusion is a new song from the pen of Van Morrison. 'Sittin' on Top of the World' was given to Chris by Van and is a great song. Also, likely to make the final selection is the beautiful slow number, 'Blues for Nina', written by Chris - it has a really unusual riff and a slightly 'eastern' feel to it. Without a doubt, my favourite had to be 'I'll Leave the Light on' , a number from Charlie Marling & Otha Smith which is a chart hit if ever I heard one. Other potential songs include numbers written by Bobby Mack, Hank Williams and Delbert Mclinton, who of course wrote the great Farlowe live number, 'Standing on Shaky Ground'.
Finally, whether or not, 'Back in Trouble' makes it to the final CD, I am sure to never forget it as during playback, everyone in the studio messed about, playing imaginary instruments including a brilliantly choreographed 'air' horn section from Kris and Kenny. See the above photo if you don't believe me! Everyone worked really hard that day and Norm was in great form, laying down about nine guitar tracks, leaving just five to do the following day. 
Norman gets HEAVY MAN 
during 'Back In Trouble'

Dave Baldwin performing
'Lonesome Whistle'.
Photo by Ziggy 
It was late evening when we finished and headed off to the nearest pub for the obligatory sampling of the local beers.

As usual when we've had a couple of pints, Norman and myself ended up in uncontrollable fits of laughter. Fortunately, I can't remember what it was we found so funny, I suspect it wouldn't do either of us any favours! So, it was quite late when we eventually turned in, Kris having opted to stay in London rather than have to drive home and back again in the morning.
Day 2

It's an early(ish) start. We all had bacon butties in the local '
greasy spoon' before hitting the studio (thanks Kris). Despite last night's late finish and copious ale consumption, Norman, ever the pro, is raring go and work recommences, finishing just as Chris arrives. Unfortunately there is a technical hitch and it is decided not to record the vocals that day, much to my disappointment. Still it was great to see Chris and I managed to get a photo of Chris and Norman in the studio. Now, I just have to wait for the CD to come out, to hear the final result of all this hard work. To be sure, I will let you all know, as soon as it becomes available for sale in our Online WebShop.

Contol Room looking through to the Recording booth

Finally, thanks to
Pam for the Pork Pies and Ham butties and Ziggy for keeping the coffee flowing, they were greatly appreciated and last but not least, many thanks to Kris for inviting me along - it was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.