Recording at Real World
A few people have asked about how the album was recorded and if it was all recorded at Peter Gabriel's studio. Well, the simple answer to that is, no!
The recording sessions took place across a number of studios and a church, all based here in South West UK.
But the Real World session is where it all started, back in May 2018, and where Jeff and I got my lead vocal and the piano parts, plus a number of keyboard parts down.
For any musician, Real World Studios is an iconic place to record. A beautiful converted mill in Box, Bath, it comprises two large studios, rehearsal space and accommodation. We recorded in the 'Wood Room'. This (according to their website, and I am not going to argue) is 'one of the most sonically superlative recording spaces ever built, the Wood Room is famed for its warm, rich acoustic'
For the techies amongst you, the Wood Room houses a mobile recording rig based on a 24-channel Solid State Logic AWS 924 console with a further 16 channels of Neve 33114 Preamplifiers. Jeff played Peter's tour piano, a really stunning Bosendorfer Grand170CS and my main vocal was captured via a Neuman u47 - a legendary microphone which might set you back £10k if you wanted to buy it!
Mark Albury who engineered the album, was assisted in the studio by engineer Patrick Phillips, who has also worked at Abbey Road. Patrick is a lovely chap and we have become good friends . He recorded the string parts in Bristol at J&J studios, I'll save that for another day.
Artists that have recorded at Real World include Van Morrison, Guy Garvey and Tom Jones, A-Ha, Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Beyoncé, Björk, Crowded House, Deep Purple, Kaiser Chiefs, Kanye West, Kasabian, Kylie, Manic Street Preachers, Massive Attack, Neil Davidge, New Order, Tears For Fears....and Steve Hogg...…..quite a list!
I was chatting to the receptionist at Real World and she was telling me about 'back in the day' when labels had a seemingly bottomless budget. New Order had both studios, the control room, rehearsal spaces and accommodation - basically the entire building block booked for five months during the making of their album, Technique!
Jeff, Mark and I had just one day to record the vocal, piano and keyboards.
This video shows Jeff, at the end of a very long day playing my Teenage Engineering OP1 that Patrick had loaded with Mellotron samples.....I wanted to get that Strawberry Fields vibe on the song So Long Dad, and I think we nailed it!