Solo guitar & harmonica version of track http://www.fiffdimension.bandcamp.com/track/summer-skin
Originally recorded in Wellington NZ, September 2003, for the album ‘Loose Autumn Moans‘, with a mini string section of Mike Kingston on cello and Sam Prebble (RIP) on violin. It also appears on the Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 compilation.
The 1999 recording had quite a different vibe – spoken word delivery, electric guitars panned left & right, and Paul Winstanley playing a cymbal through a pitch shifter, turning it into a deep sea gong sound.
On other occasions it became a rock riff, based around just an E note and its octave.
I was surrounded by wider & weirder music too. I moved to Wellington and found a kiwi avant-garde scene with free jazz, noise, and theatre gallore. We eventually finished The Marion Flow album in 2001, after recording sessions at Thistle Hall.
The lyrics are some of my favourite. They were scribbled in a notebook sometime in the late 90s. I was digesting the influence of literary modernism (eg lines like ‘yea take in that wake’ a shout out to James Joyce, using nouns as verbs and vice versa, and other general flouting of grammatical rules).
Taranaki and its coastlines inspired much of the atmosphere.
Poem by John Collie (1834-1893),
from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Scotland in 1856
John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.
The year got off to a good start, with Ascension Band: Evolution
I had my first taste of success (the fame part of Fame & Oblivion 2005-2012)…
…But by this time I was ready to see the world beyond Aotearoa. I shifted across the Tasman Sea to Melbourne – in Australia, the West Island.
For the next few months I lived in Brunswick, and worked in temp jobs around the city and in rural Victoria.
The results became After Maths & Sciences
A song written by my great-great-grandfather John Collie, in Banffshire, Scotland, in 1856
“Worth searching out coz this lo-fi singer/songwriter oddball has a unique take on the genre. He’s pissed off, a tad fucked up (as usual), but not full of lugubrious self-pity (as unusual) and is happy to get raucous & obnoxious in just the right kinda way.” – Chris Knox
In December 1998 I self-released my debut album . Scratched Surface was a teenage no-budget lo-fi postpunk pakeha singer-songwriter album from the Taranaki, Aotearoa underground, recorded on analogue reel-to-reel tape.
I burned it on CDR and sent out copies to anyone who would listen. It was the opening salvo in a recording career that’s gone on for over 20 years now, occasionally dismissed, largely ignored, gloriously unsuccessful. A career nonetheless; I’ve made an album most years since.
20 years on I’m still creating – here’s some of what I’ve done more recently: