I’m recording some new versions of old songs which didn’t come out right the first time round. Recently I dusted off a song called ‘Vegeburgers’ which I think was written during the Christmas holidays of 1986/7 and recorded in a local studio a year later. I used to enjoy the vegeburgers (one of the available brands of packaged ‘sosmix’ used that unconventional spelling) in the canteen at Colchester Institute in south-east England, where I was a classical piano student from 1985-7. I didn’t enjoy much else about the place, though the musical standard was admittedly excellent. After I finished the course I still used to hang out in Colchester for its music scene.
Completely by accident I got to know a brilliant folk duo (nowadays a 4-piece) called The Churchfitters. They were called in to play at a pub called The Oliver Twist one night because the regular jazz-funk band which I was there to see didn’t turn up. I liked the accessibility of the music and the atmosphere it created, which was in complete contrast to the classical music environment. I played my song both at a composers’ concert at college and at Churchfitters’ gigs in pubs. They were great like that, inviting people to get up and play during the break.
Also at online casino this time, through friends who went to Essex University, I met an exceptional jazz guitarist called Patrick Naylor. Unlike me, he didn’t study music officially and was also very good at it. He’s always added a touch of class to my music when he’s been involved with it and is completely non-elitest in attitude.
The original music to Vegeburgers was a series of frantically strummed, fast-changing jazz chords played on guitar, pretty difficult to play while you’re singing. It was recorded at a place called ‘The Works’, which was also in Colchester, my first experience in a studio. I think it was Anthony from The Churchfitters who recommended the sympathetic sound engineer, Chris Secker. Patrick Naylor kindly leant his skills to the track. In the other part of the building there was a music venue/nightclub where a 4-piece band I was in, The Sanity Inspectors, did our last gig, which would have been around 1988.
Anyhow, 25 years later, on another continent, I’ve dropped the fast-moving harmony and given the tune a more ‘Chill Out’/Steely Dan feel. I’m hoping to add bass, drums and sax but not much else. Musical styles come and go but Vegeburgers are still tasty.
Click the burger!