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A Night At The Railway – Released 2004

Dave & DeeJay

Dave & DeeJay

After recording our first EP  “Sooth” we managed to secure various gigs around Glasgow, mainly in venues like Strawberry Fields, The Cathouse and Barfly. At most gigs we were playing with bands that played really loud, pretty fast, and really LOUD. These were the days when the charts were infected (hopefully someone will get that pun) by lots of American metal music. I don’t know if that had an influence on the band, but it definitely had an influence on myself, the songs I was writing and the way I was singing for our following EP “A Night At The Railway“. Wither the influence was a positive or a negative one is up to the listener.

We decided to go back to Chem 19 in Hamilton to record with Andy Miller again. We were happy with what he did with our first EP, and we were more than comfortable working with him in the studio. We had high hopes for this EP. Not only were we really happy with the songs, but this was the first time we were entering the studio with some experience…..although limited as I was still only 19, Dave and Ian 18, and Malcy 21.

A Night At The Railway

A Night At The Railway

1. Your Company
2. Permanent Bruise
3. A Night At The Railway

This EP was recorded in 2003 and released in 2004. I think we recorded the EP in about a week, mainly during the evening as we all had college/uni/and work to attend. After tracking was complete their was a long gap before the mixing stages. If I remember correctly it was 6 months and we were starting to get frustrated.  Andy was off work and we couldn’t get into the studio to get the tracks mixed. The lovely people from Chem19 organised Iain Cook (guitarist in Aereogramme, The Unwinding Hours, and all round awesome musician) to come in and finish mixing our EP for us. That was the first time I gave Aereogramme a proper listen. “Wood” was the song I found on Napster. I’m ashamed to say I just didn’t really get it at the time. I didn’t dislike it but it didn’t set my world on fire. As an adult I am disappointed in myself as Aereogramme and The Unwinding Hours are now two of my favourite bands. We were excited to be working with him and we were delighted with what he did with the EP.

Malcy & Ian

Malcy & Ian

Lyrically this EP is a bit cringeworthy for me. It was mainly written during the time of being a nieve 18/19 year old boy who is starting relationships and doesn’t have a clue what he is doing. Although saying that I made sure I came across as the victim. Yup……it’s that cringeworthy. Poor girls. Ah well, I’m sure I’m not the only one that was a bit dramatic in their late teens.

“Permanent Bruise” is almost teen angst free, I think that was a conscious decision. I wanted to write a song that wasn’t about myself or an experience that had happened to me. I almost managed it but a few self indulgent lines sneaked in. The middle vocal sounds as if I have been possessed. It was reversed and time stretched to give it the crazy sound. I can remember thinking it was funny but I wasn’t sure about putting it in the final mix. The rest of the band loved it so it ended up in the song.

Musically I am pretty proud of this EP. We were becoming much more confident with our instruments, dynamics, sounds, and timings. We started to experiment more with varying tempos, and different time signatures. We had a clear idea of the sound we were going for. We wanted to be loud, big, and tight. I think we managed that. Dave’s drumming was as good as ever, Ian had some fantastic bass lines, and Malcy’s playing was tight as it could be. We all felt at the top of our game. I’m not too keen on my vocals for this EP to be honest.When it came to tracking the vocals the band was watching me from the control room. They all looked pretty surprised, it wasn’t how I had sung them before. I really went for the aggressive angry vocal sound. I guess it’s what everyone else was doing at the time. I wonder if I had stuck to the original plan if I’d be happier with them now.

Along with this EP we managed to exclude an “Enhanced Disc”. This allowed people to put the CD into their computer and watch a video of us in the studio. I’ll need to get a look it and see if it is worthy of posting online. I don’t know if many people knew about this, but it did work. So if you have a copy of this EP fire it into your computer and see if it still works.

Stake Park

Stake Park Opening

The stand out track for me on this EP is easily the title song  “A Night At The Railway”. We were so proud of the dynamic, structure and timing of this song. The ending was completely unplanned. We were hoping to do a fade out. Whilst tracking the song we played the ending for ages so we weren’t limited to the length of the fade out. While mixing with Iain Cook we experimented a bit and ended up with the ending that we have. Although I don’t tend to listen to this style of music anymore “A Night At The Railway” is the easiest track for me to enjoy on this EP, although “Permanent Bruise” has it’s moments.

Overall I don’t think this EP is timeless but I do think it captures the music of the time well. I was close to writing “era” but I don’t think I’d get away with that. Sooth did have a slightly different slant on it that made us stand out from the crowd and I think people liked us for that reason. I still enjoy listening to it from time to time and I hope you will to.

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