This is essentially a collection of songs written or recorded with friends. Note that One Step Away (From The Blues), True Confessions and Thomas Anderson also appear on ‘Selective Symmetry’.
Most of the songs here were written by or with Don MacLeod, including True Confessions. (Recorded at Hallmark, in central London: other tracks with Don or featuring our joint material were recorded at Centresound, in Camden.) Don and I worked as a duo and occasionally with other people in the 1980s. He’s still around – though nowhere near my part of the world! – and playing better than ever, by the sound of it.
There was an argument for including Heatwave and One Step Away (From The Blues), on the same album, since Don – along with Bob Theil – played on One Step Away and Heatwave was recorded during the same sessions. (James Bolam – no, not that James Bolam – played piano on Heatwave, but that was the only time I met him, so it wasn’t exactly a long-lived musical partnership, so I didn’t include it here in the end. That version is on Selective Symmetry, though.)
Don and I originally met at the Boundary Road club in Hampstead, where I also played at least once with Pete Wilkes. We recorded the slip jig The Butterfly, intending to use it as a play-out for The Weekends Are The Worst, which Gail Williams recorded the vocal for, but the vocal hasn’t survived the degradation of the tape. Gail did play bodhrán on the track. The first part is the Dives and Lazarus tune (which I used for Weekends) with a second guitar overdubbed.
The lyrics for three more recent songs were written by Alison Pittaway. Alison and I were once part of the team that ran the Jackson’s Lane folk club in Highgate, but only started writing together long after we’d both left London (for entirely different parts of the country). There may be more to come.
Thomas Anderson was written by me, but based on an article by Ron Nurse for the Shrewsbury Folk Club magazine in the early 70s. Much more about the story of Thomas Anderson, a late casualty of the Jacobite Rebellion, is here: https://whealalicemusic.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/thomas-anderson/
I met Dave Kenyon at South Hill Park, Bracknell, where we spent some happy hours in the studio. (The one where Bill Caddick’s first album was recorded, incidentally.) I took a tape of the very bare bones of Who Are We? back to Manchester with me, and added some words later. Unfortunately, by then I’d lost contact with Dave. If you’re out there, mate, get in touch!
Sadly, I’ve also lost touch with Fiona Freeman, who wrote the lyrics to Marking Time. We sang together for a little while when I lived in Bracknell in the 70s. If this reaches you somehow, Fi, I’d love to hear from you.
1Speak My Heart (MacLeod) 4.15
Nowhere to Nowhere (Pittaway-Harley) 2.22
View from the Top (MacLeod-Harley) 4.40
Thomas Anderson (Nurse-Harley) 5.17
1She’s Gone (MacLeod) 3.01
3Diving Butterfly (Trad. arr. Wilkes-Harley) 2.31
Marking Time (Freeman-Harley) 1.23
1, 2So Much for Romance (MacLeod) 4.26
Raggle-Taggle Man (Pittaway-Harley) 2.58
1, 2True Confessions (MacLeod-Harley) 5.14
Back in the Day (Pittaway-Harley) 2.22
Who Are We? (Kenyon-Harley) 2.19
One Step Away (Harley) 4.54
1Scratch One Lover (Harley) 3.58
Sheer Bravado (MacLeod-Harley) 4.06
David Harley: vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, mountain dulcimer, bouzouki
Don MacLeod: 1acoustic guitar, 2piano***
3Peter Wilkes: violin – Gail Williams, bodhrán
4Anna (Lyn) Thompson: backing vocals; Richard Davy: percussion***
Speak My Heart
Nowhere to Nowhere
View From The Top
Back In The Day
So Much For Romance
Who Are We?
One Step Away (From The Blues)
Scratch One Lover