In the spring of 2012, during some down time from touring “Sonik
Kicks” with Paul Weller, I began knocking together some ideas for some
new material. My parents had gone away for a fortnight so their empty
house became a base for some noisy music making.
As usual, I was joined by Pete Twyman. Between us we had a selection
of things to bang, pluck, press and scrape, and it wasn’t long before
some interesting ideas had begun to take shape.
It so happened that Pimlico’s singer, Wesley Doyle, also had a bit of
time free around then. Once the ideas Pete and I had recorded had been
hammered into some kind of shape, Wesley made the journey up from
south London to help turn them into songs.
It wasn’t long before there were almost enough tunes to think about an
album. As we were three quarters of Pimlico, the idea was mooted that
it could become a Pimlico project. I felt that a Pimlico album ought
to have the full line-up (Miles Chapman on drums), and also Pete
Twyman’s songs had traditionally formed the backbone of Pimlico’s
releases. Also, “The Best Of Days” had been released the previous year
as Andy Lewis & Wesley Doyle. This had been a song destined for “A
South Herts Symphony” but had ended up a standalone single. It had
failed to generate much interest but was already pressed up in
quantity and thus ripe for re-releasing to trail a album by Andy
Lewis, Wesley Doyle and Pete Twyman.
A tentative track listing was compiled, and a demo CD was produced to
play to interested parties. The general consensus was that with a bit
of a lick and a polish, this could be a pretty good album.
At this point, the fates conspired against the whole project in the
shape of a catastrophic computer failure. All the multi-track master
recordings were lost, and annoyingly the backup drive had become
corrupted. Hardly any of the project had survived in useable form,
apart from the versions of the songs on the demo CD.
It was deemed too expensive to pay to have the dead hard-drive mined
for it’s data. Licking and polishing were no longer an option. So for
the second time in almost as many years I had to abandon a project
that a good deal of work had been expended on.
It hadn’t been a total waste of time though. A number of songs had
been written which had the potential to be taken on to bigger and
better things. And a lot of fun had been had, blundering about with
junkshop drums and borrowed keyboards; sitting on plastic chairs in
the garden, drinking cider in the spring sunshine scribbling lyrics.
As it turned out, this would almost be the final time that I’d be able
to record in my parents’ house; on their return from their trip my
father announced that he was retiring and that he and my mum were
going to move to Nottinghamshire to be nearer my sister. Living Room
Studios in Watford would be no more.
It’s now almost two years since those sessions, since that computer
threw a seven, since my folks upped sticks and moved. A few weeks ago,
Wesley announced he’d found a copy of the demo CD we’d made and had a
listen. Some of the songs were better than he remembered. Pete too
uncovered a copy of the CD and he and I had a listen back. We had to
agree. They weren’t bad at all.
Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been releasing material on
Bandcamp that won’t be available anywhere else for the forseeable
future. Some of you will have had a listen; some of you may also have
bought the downloads. Here then is another selection of songs for you
to sample. I give you “Get Ready!” by Lewis, Doyle & Twyman. I hope
you enjoy it.