Dives & Lazarus / The Butterfly

A remastered version of an instrumental recorded in an 8-track studio in the 80s, originally as the playout for a song called ‘The Weekends’, which was put to the same ‘Dives & Lazarus’ tune. I need to re-record that song, though. When I say remastered, I’m stretching a point. I don’t have the mix tapes, so could only tweak the mastered version as best I could.

Unfortunately, the mastertapes from those sessions didn’t survive very well. They were restored by baking(no, really) to enable the tracks to be transferred to CD, but the quality was still not what it should be, especially on the slip jig. In particular, the fiddle is harsh and the bodhrán muffled, but it is what it is.

Guitars by me, fiddle by Pete Wilkes, bodhrán by Gail Williams, who also sang the original version of ‘Weekends’, but the vocal track is just too damaged.

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Long Stand [remastered]

A few years ago my wife and I were watching a TV programme about Sting’s ‘The Last Ship Sails’ project. When they played a track called (I think) ‘Sky Hooks & Tartan Paint’, she said “That’s your song!” It wasn’t of course, but the first verse did have a startling resemblance to the first verse of ‘Long Stand’, both starting off with the ‘hazing‘ of a lad on his first day at work, though mine went on to make a political point. However, mine was written back in the early 80s for a revue directed by Margaret Ford, and subsequently released on a cassette album, so I’m pretty sure it came first…

This version was remastered – as best I could – from a damaged master tape, and while there’s still some noise, it’s made the transfer better than most of my tracks from CentreSound. All rights reserved.

 

Blues for Davy

One of several tracks recorded (mostly) at CentreSound in Camden in the 1980s and released on cassette at the time. The mastertapes were seriously unwell with ‘sticky-shed syndrome’ when I had them transferred to CD – an issue that affected a number of tape brands from that era. Baking the tape helped more with some tracks than others.  This is rougher than most, but I have a lot of trouble wrapping my fingers round this guitar piece nowadays, and I keep trying to tweak it into something bearable because I think there’s a decent scrap of music in there somewhere. I think this is as good as it’s likely to get now. Maybe I need to keep trying to relearn it…

As the title suggests, it was me trying to sound like Dav(e)y Graham in jazz mode. He never told me what he thought of it, which I suspect meant that he wasn’t impressed. 😀

David Harley

True Confessions [remastered]

Another track from the ‘Diverse Brew’ sessions. This is a song co-written with Don MacLeod (who wrote the melody), and the mix is actually pretty good. But again, I don’t have the mix tapes or master to work from. Still, I’ve tweaked it as best I can.

  • Lead and backing vocal, acoustic and electric lead guitars: David Harley
  • Acoustic guitar and piano: Don MacLeod
  • Additional backing vocals: Anna (Lin) Thompson
  • Percussion: Richard Davy

David Harley

Heatwave [remastered 2019]

Another from the ‘Diverse Brew’ sessions. Not much I’ve been able to do to improve sound quality on this, but perhaps it’s a little better than previous posted versions, with headphones at any rate. Sounds awful through my laptop’s speakers… 😦

I really must re-record it, perhaps without the penultimate verse. I do think it’s one of my better songs.

Not literal historical fact, but a series of pictures reacting to the urban paranoia that was London when I lived there – Broadwater Farm and other riots, the ‘sus’ law, homelessness… – and I didn’t even get round to mentioning IRA bombings.

  • Vocal, acoustic and electric guitars, banjo: David Harley
  • Piano: James Bolam (no, not the actor)

David Harley