About the project
by Phil Ayres
I decided to make another CD while on a visit to New York in 2010.
I'd just been to see The Drummer Charley Drayton in 55 Bar in The West Village and his encouragement inspired me to do it. So, who shall I use ? What shall we play ?
I'd always loved the version of the band that had a residency at Brahms & Liszt in Covent Garden in The late 80's.
That included Phil Mulford on Bass, Damon Butcher or Pete Jacobsen on keys, Andy Hamilton on Sax & Ronnie Johnson on Guitar. So I set about reforming this band.
Pete, unfortunately had passed away & Ronnie was living way up North but I'd always been a fan of Adam Phillips and wanted to work with him.
Who to produce ?
Simple ! Phil Mulford ticked all the boxes and was keen to get involved.
We set off for Ralph Salmins highly recommended studio, The Bunker, in Welwyn Garden City with a few tunes in mind and planning to record a couple of things unrehearsed ! Can't ya just tell !
The rhythm section was therefore myself on drums, Phil Mulford (System X, Tony O'Malley, West End Shows including The Commitments & Kinky Boots) on Bass, Damon Butcher (Morrissey Mullen, The Beautiful South & currently The South) on keys, & Adam Phillips (Cher, Lionel Ritchie, Hamish Stuart) on guitar.
Most tracks were either first or second takes as Phil & I wanted that spontonaiety & 70's type vibe !
We split saxophone duties between Andy Hamilton (Paul McCartney, The Kinks, Bill Wyman) & Fred 'Freddy V' Vigdor (Average White Band). Luckily Ralph Salmins (Waterboys, Van Morrison) was around to add some percussion.
Jim Mullen of Morrissey Mullen & Jim Mullen Organ Trio fame very kindly offered to play on some of the tracks and it was an honour to have him do so !
Noel Langley (Adele, Burt Bacharach, Sir Tom Jones) played on one track.
I'd known Tracy Graham (Eric Clapton, Moody Blues, Paul Carrack) since The 90's when she released her solo albums Upfront & Don't Look Down and had warned ! her that one day I'd be doing an album and I'd like her to sing on it.
Phil suggested we use Simon Foster (Arcelia, The Flying Pickets) on a couple of vocals.
I'd never met Simon before but was really glad I took Phil's advice !