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For the CD youíve trimmed it down to 8 songs, why have to cut the other 6 songs out?

Well, because I think:
a) it gets busy on one CD, if it goes beyond that and the quality suffers somewhat and
b) Boz, I worked with Boz Boorer on it, he was really helpful and we just had to be really critical about it!
I wanted it to be a good balance of dialogue and songs plus some of the chat that went on in between, and we spent a great deal of time on it. We spent quite a lot of time in the studio really listening to every line and every crackle. There were a lot of problems with some of the songs because some of them didnít come up to the mustard and others were kind of technically, the recordings werenít very good. A lot of crackles, a lot of feedback from the other microphone that you couldnít actually hear out front but on stage it picked everything up.

At the mastering session, which took a great deal of time as well because when you take it to do the mastering, youíre suddenly aware of the highs and lows, like you do an acoustic song and thatís pretty quiet then suddenly this applause came in and it was off the scale! Well you either lose the applause, do something with it and we spent quite a lot of time narrowing down the applause and when you do that itís got to balance the acoustic track a bit louder, so that the applause doesnít sound so colossal when it comes in. youíve got to balance it out. Ultimately it was like a very complex knitting pattern, I could see the jumper that I wanted at the end but it was getting smaller and smaller and then it just fit!
Thisíll be a good hour and a bit for somebody to sit down and listen to, it would have been too much otherwise.

Are there any plans to do anything with the bits that youíve cut or is that it?

No, thatís it. Thatís the master. This is the whole project, from my point of view, itís a thanks to everybody for sticking with me through all of the years, itís been long and difficult and I think that the big question was, was I ever going to perform again?
I think that that night was very special, very intimate for the people that were lucky enough to get the tickets, but there was such a lot of mail after that from people who didnít see it and didnít get the chance to hear it and I think it was really for that reason that I thought weíll make this a special ďin houseĒ limited edition and thatís it. Itís not going to be in the shops, itís just, this is it.
So I was quite happy with that and Iíve spent a lot of time on the artwork and the packaging and getting the story. I havenít hired people in to do the sleeve notes, Iíve done them myself and have been quite selective about it. I hope this comes across when they get it and I want it out for Christmas, because I think itís a nice little Christmas thing.

The two photographs that youíve got of you and Dave, one at the Bloomsbury and the other with the two of you at school is a nice touch.

No-one had ever seen that before. I
thought that Iíve got to find one of me
and Dave together and there we were
and in fact on a lot of photos at school we are together. That was our very first one, we were both 11 years old and that was our first school photograph taken at Marylebone Grammar School, which I talk a lot about in the book and on the night. So hopefully when people hear the CD and I talk back and forth with Dave about teachers and the masters, that was around about the time that weíre talking about and itís nice to see us both together for that reason. Itís very personal, this is about my childhood and then again on the CD there are people in the audience that were in my class as well. That was odd for me as I never knew that theyíd be there!

Had they just heard about the show or had that been organised?

Iíd got word just before I went on, Dave said I think Derek is here and thatís why on stage I said I think some of them are here tonight.

When you were working with Boz, was it solely on the Bloomsbury release or have you been looking at anything else. Are there any plans to start writing together?

I am writing, I am getting down to do some writing for the new record, because thatís the firmest thing in my sight. Thatís the new thing. I think that Bloomsbury is like a Christmas thing, itís just that evening. It is by no means the next step, itís not new, itís all pre-recorded stuff. The new stuff is my main focus and I am working with people on that at the moment.

So youíre working with somebody else, not Boz?

I may be working with Boz. I canít really say who Iím working with because I donít know if Iím going to use it, but Boz is always somebody that I like to work with.

It always seems like you have a good rapport with him, heís just brought out a new CD ďMiss PearlĒ that has Jungle Rock on it, were you consulted about that or did he just put that out?

He asked me if that would be OK and I said fine, yeah. Itís nice to have that relationship/friendship where you can bounce off each other. I did the same for Kevin with his band The Lavender Pill Mob. On the Mikeís Bikes album thereís a track on there the ďBlack PiratesĒ. I just went up to Kevinís house, sang a little song for him, one of his songs. Thatís fine by me, but Iím quite selective. I wouldnít do that for anybody if I didnít like the songs and I didnít think that they were good guys.

How far in the process have you got so far. Have you demoed anything or is it just writing at the moment?

Iím demoing, absolutely. Itís good, itís coming on. Iím beginning to get the old umÖ magic, Ďcos I think that it is pretty magical. I donít think that you know where a lyric or a top line comes from. Some of the times it just comes and youíre just grateful it is. Practice makes perfect, so hopefully thereíll be a lot more practice with it.

Have you been writing things since the last album came out?

Itís been a bit difficult, Ďcos I havenít really felt ermÖ when youíre on form then you kind of commit and then everything that you do up until that point is just rehearsing. So I am aware of little snippets and Iíve done lyrical ideas and thought about the types of music, types of percussion and types of vocal ideas that Iíd like to experiment with so thatís been going on full time, like every day.

The image that youíve used for the cover is like an homage or a continuation of the photographic images that youíve used before, a TV image.
Was this a video still or a photograph that has been changed?

Itís from a still, but it went through a lot of processes because the original thing was very crude and there was hardly any definition, so it more or less had to be built up and again, going through hours and hours of freeze framing.
I still think that itís an exciting idea, taking a moment like that from a screen and whacking it up and it looks a bit crude, itís not perfect and all sheeny, but I like it and I think that was a bit like what the evening was all about, a bit rough and ready!

and that was that for the first part of the interview, more to follow...

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