Songs From Under the Bed


I’m currently rather submerged in CDs, tapes and packaging materials for the lucky dip announced last weekend: at the moment everyone who asked for something is on to get something, room for more inside basically, don’t be shy.

As part of that someone asked me about old outtakes etc, and this is a set of such things, usually known as the “Pre-Swoon Demo’s”. I always imagine these as having been recorded on an old cassette recorder and stored in a box under the bed, but probably they had something more sophisticated involved as there are some bounces and simple multitracking.

And very nice they are too. Wendy makes an appearance, there are early version of well known songs – “Talking Scarlet” for example – and the strange gem that is “Glass Slipper” with essentially different songs going on in each stereo channel; it takes a little getting used to, but I’ve grown to really love it. And a really lovely version of “I Couldn’t Bear to be Special” with Paddy double tracking his own voice.

A decent quality set too: from the guy who was given the tape, tagged onto a recording of Hurrah! at the Newcastle Mayfair which I’d be happy to pass on to Hurrah! fans on request.

Fascinating to see how these songs developed, lovely little historical relic.

7 thoughts

  1. A friend of mine recorded at a recording studio in Pity Me, Durham (very close to Witton Gilbert) in the early 1980s. He remembers seeing a master tape for ‘Prefabricated Sprout music’. Near the studio was ‘Abbey Road’, which I’m guessing leads to the nearby Finchale Abbey.

    1. I know “Pity Me”, it was a bit of a joke in the family at one point – my grandfather was the Vicar of Hamsterley just before the war and although he moved on I think a bit of County Durham stuck to his imagination. What an intriguing post though, and oh for a time machine, a pair of bolt cutters, and a taste for petty larceny!

  2. They recorded The Devil Has all the Best Tunes and Walk On there, at Guardian Studios in 1982, with Terry Gavaghan. The master reel made it’s way out of the studio, I can tell you that much.

  3. I recorded my first 3 recordings in Guardian recording studios, I still have the original tapes.
    The songs were:
    1. Name on a stone.
    2. Thomas Watson.
    3. I’m a loner.
    It was a great experience and Terry had all these stories he would tell about artists and ghosts it was a cool time. I have often wondered what happened to Terry? any info would be great.
    Peter, Lee Hammond

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