Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Limbo Diaries. 17. 'Lights of Home' & 'Pink Jesus': Last Post


TJ: After taking most of the summer off we start work on ‘Lights of Home’ and ‘Pink Jesus’.
Lyrically ‘Lights of Home’ is familiar MM ground; the idea that the first steps of a journey are also your first steps towards ‘home’, and that a new perspective can invest the ‘familiar’ with new meaning. 
We develop a simple piano part and I sing, adding a bridge and key change that I’d written en-route to the studio. Sounds good.
I’m always prodding ModestMarcus to feature his bass playing more, and he came up with a lovely piece that I’d been sitting on for a while, waiting for the lightbulb to flash. 
My sister Kerry is never far from my thoughts. 
She took her life 5 years ago this coming September. 
I had already placed that moment in ‘Sister Song’ on ‘Alaska’ so am mindful of not being overwrought in her remembrance, but there was a dignified melancholy suggested in the quiet beauty of Marcus’s piece that somehow seemed appropriate to her, now distant memory. For some unknown reason I had recorded a conversation with my parents just after Kerry’s passing. Some phrases reverberated; Mum has a framed picture of Kerry and she talks about the comfort of “dusting her everyday”. Listening back to it placed  me betwixt and between past and present. We took some of the spoken sections and flew them into the music, and I wrote some brief thoughts and sang them. 
The finished piece seems like a goodbye kiss, so we might keep it as it is.

MC: Quite poignant now this, as the bass in question, a ‘Ken Smith’ 6 string I’ve had for 20 years, has recently been stolen, so this is the last recording done on it. I recorded the bass solo through the Joe Meek VC1 pre amp and added a little delay and reverb and that was it, very pure, solo bass. The vocals were recorded as always with the Rhode classic1 through the Amek/ neve pre. The voices were from Trev's dictaphone with a mic held near to pick up the sound from the little built in speaker.


TJ: Marcus and I listen back. Add some dulcimer and brass to ‘Long Goodbyes’ and a french horn part to ‘Joshua’s Watch’ and make a list of ‘to do’s’ for the other tracks.
Have a listen back to ‘Lights of Home’ to which Marcus has added some female backing vocals (the lovely Lucinda from Bliss) and some strings and samples.

MC: All going well when we listened back, the tracks are now really coming together. 
I'm looking forward to getting stuck into mixing.


  1. Hey Guys! That Ken Smith can't go that far if it was stolen in London, check and notify the Bass gallery in Camden, they might try to sell it to them since it is a rare and a much in demand instrument. I will keep my ears open as well. Sorry to hear that, hope it was insured.

  2. Thanks Mete; the 'Limbo Diaries' are from 2006 so the bass is probably in South America by now.
    Thanks for visiting...