A Young Person's Guide to "...Slow"
When we decided to make an album, somewhere in the mists of time, we knew we really up against it – for a start we had no money, so a proper studio was out of the question, We also had no idea of how or what to record. Using all our charm, tact and ingenuity, we borrowed or stole as much gear as we could carry and installed it in a basement somewhere in Birmingham. Then all we had to do was learn how to use it. For ease of recording (and to keep the neighbours happy), we used a drum machine for most of the songs, which was programmed to follow Mike’s original drum patterns as closely as possible. Everything else was played live in the good old fashioned way.
All in all, the bulk of the recording took about two months, working in shifts and drafting in people when we needed them. Honourable mentions must go out to all our guest musicians, Marky, Glenn, Daveid, Mark and especially Andrew, who sadly left the band a few weeks into the recording. His contributions are outstanding – one of my fondest memories of the making of the album is watching him lay down an incredible guitar solo for “Silver Sister” and not caring that he was recording over a perfectly good rhythm guitar track.
The mixing of the album was pretty heavy going, it’s quite surprising how heated an argument about how loud a Dulcimer should be, can become. This ghastly task was performed in Bakewell, in the home of Druidbuddy, Go Birch. Whenever things got too much, we’d take his dog, Lucy for a walk by the river. By the time we’d finished mixing, the poor thing could hardly move.
The original artwork is by Simon Lilly (a long time friend of James’) – if you want to know the significance of the imagery and have an hour to spare, please ask us – well, ask James anyway. The photography is by Mark Pirie, who took us into the middle of nowhere and threatened to leave us there if we didn’t behave. We behaved.
The album isn’t flawless – the occasional flat-note has been allowed to stay. It’s a snapshot of a band learning and growing, so please forgive us any imperfections. The whole process has been incredibly rewarding for me - at times maddening, frustrating and often downright painful, but hopefully it’s been worth it.
We all sincerely hope you enjoy ”…Slow"
Ian Paul Rushbury 28/11/1996
Extracts from the original ...Slow inner sleeve notes
The View from the Boom Moon, Bakewell...
I remember 'engineering' a couple of the early recording sessions (mainly because most of the 'stolen' studio gear was stolen from me, and the boys needed me to show them how it worked!), and writing the note names on my keyboard so Ian could transfer a guitar riff to keyboard for Owl. Unfortunately I inadvertently used a permanent marker so they are still there today! When the mixing took place back in Bakewell I was Head of Coffee and Cuddles, leaving Jim and Ian to the mix, and concentrating on keeping them fed and friendly. It was a joy to hear the tracks bounce down to finished songs, they should both be proud of the overall vibe that flows through ...Slow.
Go Birch. 2011.
Here is a good mix of Electric folk styles, what I'd call the festival band. This CD goes beyond what pagans are supposed to like, it has many influences, many of which I really like. At times they sound like very early Dire Straits, and I mean early - when they were great, sometimes there's a shade or two of JJ Cale, but overall they reminded me of the superb 70's folksters 'Forest' especially the tracks with electric violin on.
The lyrics are fine without making you go "yuk:, and titles will appeal, such as 'Pagan Road', 'The Spiral Way' and 'Owl' (which I thought the best track on the CD; sounding at times like the Fairports. They are diverse as well with a couple of cuts sounding in the Gony/tim Blake vein which I felt would go down well at any festival and I particularly like the track Selene which sounded West Coast Californian, like John Stewart, the track entitled 'Silver Sister' also had an American feel somewhat like 'Spirit'.
All in all I loved this CD and would say buy it even if I wasn't a druid. Of course there are bits I didn't like but they were quite small. Only one really - the track called 'In His Shoes' with the female vocalist. To me it seemed out of lace, other than that a really well produced CD. Certainly worth buying and playing loud!
...Slow CD Review
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The ...Slow CD Line Up
Cover Artwork by
Additional artwork and layout by Ian Rushbury
...Slow Track List
A Maiden's Shame
In His Shoes
Excerpt from 'Your Forests'
Awake The Bloom
The Spiral Way
View more photos of this line up here...