2018 – another packed year, filled with a lot of a hard work, as ever – and a good time to reflect on the many stand-out moments of the last twelve months.
80s Symphonic has been an amazing experience, quite unlike anything I’ve ever taken on before. In some ways, I think it’s a unique project; one I found myself hooked on from the start. I loved getting the original recordings, getting my hands on the source material, much of it naturally digitised now from its original tape form, but the archives were fantastic, and even included photos of the original tape boxes and track sheets, so we had everything.
With Autumn drawing to a close, I’m proud to report that work on one of the projects closest to my heart has finally been completed.
Walk Between Worlds is your third album with Simple Minds, and their first collection of all-new material since Big Music, in 2014. Given that Big Music was pronounced, ‘their best album in 30 years’ by MOJO magazine, did you feel any extra sense of pressure embarking on this one?
As the reviews start to arrive for the Minds’ latest album it’s fantastic to see how well it’s being received.
It’s been a hectic time in the studio for Gavin and I – hence the lack of regular news from me lately. But the year is kicking off in the best possible way – with the announcement that the lead single from our new album with Simple Minds, Walk Between Worlds, has made ‘Record of the Week’, as well as the A-List at Radio 2.
Nice to see this piece I did with Jeff Beck on You had it Coming selected by Dior for one of their latest ads in France.
As summer rushes along, I just wanted to take a moment to put down some thoughts on the live spectacle we staged last month in Shepherd’s Bush…
As a record producer, the bulk of my time is spent in a studio slaving over a hot desk (so to speak), but the life-blood of good music is in live performance – and I’ve been thinking for a while now that there are too few decent gigs on the west side of town. Wanting to do something about it, I put some time into bringing together some of the fantastic artists I’ve recently been working with, with the idea of hosting a celebration of their amazing music and creativity.
I’ve been writing songs and producing work for Purdy for a couple of years now, and we released her first album Diamonds in the Dust about a year and a half ago. But lately, we’re all getting very excited about a new direction things have taken – and think we may just have unlocked the true way forward for the project.
It’s the 10th anniversary of Tose’s passing in October and I’m working with the family on trying to create another album release because there’s still so much love for Tose and so much interest in him in the Balkan countries.
Jetson Molloy and the Intergalactic Kittens – Update
Ryan Molloy and I have embarked on a new album together under the band moniker ‘Jetson Molloy and the Intergalactic Kittens’. It’s space themed, ultimate party music and we have become highly ambitious about our chances of making a mark with it.
Great to see the immensely talented Nell Bryden achieve Radio 2 album of the week. One of my favourite career albums and I truly hope that she gets the long overdue success that she deserves.
After a welcome end-of-year break, January is off to a flying start. On the studio front, we’re currently negotiating a long-term move to new premises following the end of our stay in Battersea. Once we leave our current home from home in Parson’s Green, we’re looking to move sometime in mid March. More news on that later…
I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the artists I work with perform live over the last few weeks in prestigious London Venues. It’s particularly rewarding to see ideas hatched in the closed environment that we work in come alive in front of thousands of people. Truly a privilege.
Simple Minds are live ‘In Concert’ for Radio 2 at the Hackney Empire on Thursday. Radio 2 listeners will be given a sneek preview on the Ken Bruce show in the morning
SouthWest Studio Battersea (formerly Sphere Studio 1)
One of the tests for any long-time record producer is handling change and transformation, both in the overall musical climate and within the career of an established act. When multi-million sellers Simply Red announced their decision to disband in 2010, after twenty-five years, the question for a legion of loyal fans, and for the Simply Red production crew was – what next?
With the recent success of the album Big Music by Simple Minds, Andy talks about how the album was recorded and what it’s like working with a band whose reputation and substantial back catalogue precedes them…
Over the years a lot of people have asked me what it is that a record producer actually does – and it’s still a question that regularly comes up. I recently sat and talked it through with old friend and writing partner Tim Benson – and we put down a few of the thoughts that came out…
Part of July the focus will be on helping prepare the wonderful Miel de Botton as she makes her first foray into the world of summer festivals.
Motoring on into summer already – Gavin and I are back from an excellent week in Glasgow where we’ve spent time getting our heads together, working on new material with Simple Minds.
May is often a favourite month with me – this year proving to be no exception. Alongside all of the great music taking shape in the studio, it’s been a privilege to get out and about to some really enjoyable events – not least the annual Ivor Novello awards with Simple Minds – of which more later…
Another busy week, both in and out of the studio, lots of of great music going on, and multiple new projects on the horizon.
A fantastic week – one of the best I can remember in a while…
What’s the album called?
It’s so long now since I wrote anything by way of content for this website. All of a sudden people are starting to notice that I haven’t said much but the truth is it has been a whirlwind for the last 2 1/2 years and I have simply not found the time. Even now I have had to go through calendars to remind me of all the projects, live events, meetings, song writes, collaborations etc. that I have embarked on in this time.
2011 was a blur. January through April was spent completing Peter Grant’s fabulous new album. It was a long period of development gathering songs, trying new styles, going down a few blind alleys and hitting some moments of inspiration. Finally the album was upon us and we set about completing our endeavours. The resulting album ‘Too Close’ is something that both Gavin, Peter and I can be proud of along with the many musicians, friends and collaborators that helped us.
2010 started really well with Gavin and I working for the first time with Imelda May. I saw Imelda singing live at a special gig with Jeff Beck in the Autumn of 2009. She has both an incredible voice and an engaging charisma. As luck would have it I was looking for some 50s musical input for a different project and my good friend Snowboy (Snowboy and the Latin Section) who was also at the gig, introduced me to Darrel Higham (Imelda’s guitarist and husband). Darrel organised a session with his guys for me and in the process of working together he asked me to give a listen to Imelda’s work in progress. This is how it all started and 2 months later we were together working every day on Imelda’s fabulous new album ‘Mayhem’. I love this record and am delighted to have played a part in helping them complete it.
Intro about the interview, who with, date, what the general topic was
My association with Macedonian born singer Toše Proeski began in the spring of 2006. Tragically Toše died in a road accident on October the 16th 2007. I have since remained in contact with Toše’s family, completing our unfinished work (the resulting Album “The Hardest Thing’ a posthumous no. 1 record in all countries of former Yugoslavia), and helping promote a cinema released movie in the region about the making of our album. I am attaching here my tribute to Toše which I wrote after hearing of his death.