Monday, 16 July 2012


Good session on Saturday with Jude Merryweather (from Underground Zero) - 4 hours or so, with several digressions and tea breaks, but ripped through her lead vocal on one song, got down her additions to a "choir" section and recorded some spoken-word snippets - which gets one huge track to the "ready to finish" stage. Another would be there too, aside from the decision made at the weekend to use live flute on it - but I can get it as close to finished as possible, and add the flute at a later stage once I get the chance to go to Norfolk to record my "tame flautist".

Inspired by the recent burst of activity, and starting to feel the momentum a bit now, I've launched the Backroom Children page on Facebook - - please come and like!

Websites will be forthcoming this week, I hope. There will be pages on Soundawesome and Reverbnation for showcasing songs, but these are a little way away yet - need to finish some more final mixes first (always the time-consuming bit).


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Sky, mainly

A grey and miserable weekend, in the main. Rain stopped play, but not playing.

Mainly working on the bass part for "Earth and Sky". I do like *playing* bass, but recording bass is more frustrating, as you then hear all the mistakes. This song is in five sections, and the fourth one was definitely a challenge for a (relatively) novice bass-player such as myself - played it right through several times before getting a take that had some good bits, then went back and did (many) drop-ins to fix the fluffs, and came back to it on Monday evening to fix a few other things that I knew I'd wince at every time heard them..... but it is, at last, done.

I also added a (programmed) flute solo using the rather good Inox Flute VST plug-in (free!) - but this may get dumped - it's not brilliant, and lying in bed later, I was thinking about a vocal in the same place. What I'd *really* like there is a sax solo, but I don't have a tame sax player to call on - although we managed to get live sax on both the Osiris albums, it was always a bit uphill. Where is Didier Malherbe when you need him...... ?

Friday, 6 July 2012

Winners and Losers

Glancing back through this blog, I came across a prospective track-listing for the Osiris album I was working on at that point. So, I thought it might be interesting to confirm-or-deny which of those tracks still have life. 

Crystal Starlight - this got finished, with a vocal by Jude, and is with Dave. Since he wrote some of it, and plays bass, it's as Osiris track, and it's therefore down to him.

Today is only Yesterday's Tomorrow - again, a Dave-written track of which he has a finished mix.

Intus Extra Caput Meum - has a new lyric, and is now called Earth and Sky.It still sounds very "70s Gong".

Break The Chain (working title) - became Chain of Thought in collaboration with Bridget, and has gone for inclusion on a Spirits Burning album, as and when.

More Light - See previous blog entry.

Child of the Sable Night - Dave's original spoken-word piece. Never got anything done with it.

Jabberwocky - still live and dangerous. Violin from Cyndee, piano from Howard Boder and a cast of thousands on vocals.

Nanobots - final vocals being recorded next weekend if all goes to plan. Definitely still in the mix.

I'm not under any illusions about anyone else keeping track of any of this - but if I have any internet stalkers - Hi there :)


More of the same

Quite a productive week.

Last weekend, after many abortive attempts, I managed to finish off the bass part for a revamp of "More Light" - the Osiris The Rebirth cut of this track is on the "Allies & Clansmen II" free CD available from Omenopus,.com . However - this was an edited version, and I always planned to do a better one. Having finally nailed the bass part, I got in touch with Nigel Potter , who very kindly played some rather good lead guitar, as the icing on the cake. As a result, I managed to get this track finished on Wednesday. Yes!!! A finished track!!!! As an aside - Lee Potts (of Omenopus) is also cooking an "Omenopus remix" of this track. Goody, goody.....

In other news, also last weekend, I put the finishing touches to a track for the Raspberry Silk project with my friend Kim Novak - Kim has guested on both Osiris albums, but we've been working together over 10 years, on and off on different things. Raspberry Silk is a more mainstream project, and is very much a duo. This song - "Tell Him No" was written by Kim, and recorded for her 2007 solo album "Pilot Light". We've now nabbed it, rocked it up some and merged it with a spoken-word track from her 2009 album "One Way". Sounds pretty good, and will emerge in the fullness of time.

Progress this week also on a new song, title TBC, which should be a fourth collaboration with Bridget Wishart. Previously, the Osiris The Rebirth tracks "Starlight Scorpio" and "Planetscape" featured Bridget's unique talents, and there is also a collaboration between she and I that's heading for an album under Don Falcone's "Spirits Burning" project.

This evening (Friday), I've recorded the vocals for the song "Earth and Sky", with lyrics by my old mate Duane Tate. Also, bass guitar and vocals now in from Vince Negri for his self-penned song "Exult", so this is now good to go for the final fix & mix.

Mark my words, Marcel, sinister forces are at work......


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Reports of my death.....

...have been greatly exaggerated.

Good old Mr Twain, always good for a pithy quote.

Right. So. No more Osiris.... but I got to thinking......

There was an album of material written and demoed. On the majority, my erstwhile music partner had (as yet) made no contribution to writing or recording. Several other people had, and had taken time and trouble to record guest parts......I hate wasting things, especially other people's time and talent.

One song has found a home with Spirits Burning, and will appear on an album as and when. But the rest.....

I was a bit stumped for a short while, didn't really have the enthusiasm to pick up the headphones again.....but old habits die hard. As usual (with me), until it had a name and a shape, it wasn't real.

It now has a name and a shape. Existing music is moving towards being finished, and some new music is appearing. There should be finished tracks soon, and an album in the Autumn.

It sounds a lot like Osiris, as you might expect. Most of the people are the same, the approach is the same, the ideals are the same. Space-prog lives on.

Watch this space.

Monday, 14 May 2012

So farewell, then

After four years and two albums, we've finally decided to call it a day. Dave deciding to leave the band was a huge blow, obviously, but Milo, Jude and Dom were set to carry on with a new bass-player, and maybe even finally locate a keyboard-player to make Osiris more of a "band" and less of a "project".

However, we'd been working for months towards our first appearance of the year at the SoundFoursome festival - when this event was cancelled, it was another big step backwards. That left a small local support slot in June, and Onboard The Craft in September. Not much to look forward to, not much of a draw for new band members. Replacement or even stand-in bass-players were turning us down on a daily basis. Practical issues and personal negativity started to pile up.

There comes a point when it becomes clear that fate, God, karma, life, quantum physics or whatever agency you choose to believe in does not seem to want you to do something. All the doors were closing, none were opening. None of us are professional musicians - we do music because we love it. When you're no longer looking forward to plugging the guitar in - it's time to stop.

If you're reading this, it's because you were interested in the music. Thank you for that. We thought it was pretty good, and some people agreed with us. Very few of them actually bought the albums, so a very special "thank you" if you were one of them.

Very special thanks to everyone who guested on the recordings, and very special thanks to Jude and Dom, who worked damned hard to put together a live show.

Over and out.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Starting to pop......

Good progress over the weekend...... some more vocal recording done (there are *lots* of voices on this next album), and finished a track called Today is only Yesterday's Tomorrow.

This is an old Osiris 87 song, dusted-off and remade (we've done this with a couple of songs on each album so far). This one seemed to be an excuse to indulge the Kraftwerk influence, so it's turned out as a 70s/80s electropop - and we've snuck in eight (count them) references to classic electronic tracks from that period. We *may* have a small competition (aimed at fellow music nerds) when we put this out. Not sure yet whether this will be an album track or a bonus track of some sort - we already know that we have too much material to fit it all on the album, so we shall see.

On the live front, we're auditioning someone to join the live band this week - we'll let you know how that turns out. We also have a local gig confirmed in Bicester on Thursday 14th June - more details nearer the time.

Onwards and inwards


Saturday, 25 February 2012

A word about piracy

No-one likes to pay for stuff. Free stuff is best. We all know that.

However, some free stuff is stealing.

In advance - to everyone who has bought one of our CDs, or paid for a download of one of our tracks or albums - thank you. You are (in our opinion) deeply-wonderful human beings, and what follows is not aimed at you. Bless you all.


Our albums are available for free download all over the internet. We have not offered any album for free download. To anyone. Any free download of this album is ripping us off.

We make lots of tracks available for free, through several streaming sites (Soundawesome, Reverbnation, Soundclick, Soundcloud and YouTube, to name but five). If you want to listen to some of our music for free, then you can. Enjoy!

Then, there are some pay sites (like Spotify) that allow you to stream whole albums, for a very small listening fee. We get an incredibly tiny royalty when people do this, all perfectly legal.

The full album, in best quality, is available for download through the usual outlets - iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and about a dozen other legal download sites. It costs a few bucks ($8.99 on, which for a 74-minute album isn't bad. Of that nine bucks, we see about six, by the time everyone else has had their cut.

So, we're filthy stinking capitalist breadheads, right? Trying to screw money out of you poor suckers to fund our lavish and idle lifestyles. The hot-tub needs the marble tiles replaced, and the babes are starting to complain, better make another record, right? Servicing the Mercedes-Benz is EXPENSIVE, maaaaan! Jeeves, you worthless toad, we're out of ketamine and oysters again!

Wrong. Producing music costs money. Instruments and equipment cost money. Pressing, printing  and distributing CDs costs money. Promoting an album costs money. Making music available for legal download costs money.

We love making music. We wouldn't do it if we didn't. But it does cost us money to do it, so it's nice if we can at least break even on the deal. Which is just about what we do - break even. Breaking even is a big achievement for us.

We're not Coldplay. We're not Adele. We put hundreds of man-hours into every album, and get paid zero. We buy gear and instruments at our own expense, when we can afford to do it, which isn't often. We record in home studios because we can't afford to do anything else.

We then try to cover the costs of making the music available to you guys, just basically so that we can keep doing what we do and still pay for little luxuries like rent, food and electricity (and to stop our wives packing the kids up and leaving us). We can't afford to do vanity publishing - to make albums available, we need to cover our costs. We *just* manage this - our albums sell in tiny quantities, so every paid sale is precious.

...but this "covering the costs of production" crap is all, of course, very uncool. We should really be living in squats, dodging the police and bashing out the occasional song to contribute to the downfall of the capitalist system and generally smash the state (brothers). Music should be free! Take off your clothes and dance!

So people put our albums on file-sharing sites, presumably to teach us a lesson.

Although, of course, they do it using computers that they (in most cases) paid money for. After all, if you get caught stealing a computer, you could go to jail - better not risk that. Dropping the soap in the prison showers can ruin your whole day.

And they will, of course, pay the electricity company and internet service provider that allows them to do these things. It's just the artists who produce the music that don't deserve anything back for what they provide. We'll pay for an iPhone, natch - but music should be free. Right on!

We can't, realistically, do anything about piracy. We're not Metallica - we can't afford the lawyers. The ISPs and hosting companies can't be bothered about it - it's more traffic for them.

So - you *can* get our albums for nothing, if that's what you think they're worth.

But - if you hear some of our free tracks, and decide you'd like our album, then please buy it rather than stealing it. Who knows - if enough people do that, we may even make some more.

Now *there's* a scary thought.



Sunday, 19 February 2012

20th Feb Update

Soooo...... rehearsing this week, we gave Colgate Valentine, Karmic Vortex, Siren, Transdimension Flight and Crystal Starlight some attention. Starting to hang together now, although still sounds very empty without keys....are there *any* keyboard-players in the Oxford/Brackley/Milton Keynes kind of area who think they might want to play this gig? Email if you can give us any leads on this. Gigs are waiting, and we would *hate* to have to use MP3s again.

Dom, our drummer, has come up with the final version of the album cover art - so we've achieved our usual milestone of having the cover done before we've actually got any finished music.

Ah! Speaking of music, the demo of Intus Extra Caput Meum got finished this weekend. As advertised, there's a strong Gong influence on this one. What we really need to do now is crack on with getting finished recordings done (notably bass and vocals) and start to turn the screws a little on our guest performers to turn their parts in.

Onwards, upwards and  inwards.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Well, lookie here......

OK, we've finally decided to centralise our blog. We've had various blog-type things on various sites at various times, but it has taken until now to think "Hey, why not just have one blog on a proper blogging site? Duh!". Well, no-one ever accused us of being smart.......

For the next few months, we're working on two things - the new album, and the live band.

We've been rehearsing with our new drummer, Dom Tofield, and that's coming together nicely. We'll be bringing Jude in to rehearse the vocals once we have the music under control. We're *still* missing a keyboard-player, but hope to get that squared-away fairly soon.

We're confirmed to play the SoundFoursome event in Derbyshire in early June - exact running order TBC. There is also the likelyhood that we'll be at Onboard The Craft in September - again, TBC. Other dates as and when we know them.

Album-wise, there is a bunch of stuff floating around in demo form at the moment, plus a couple of tracks still gestating - too much for a single album, so we'll be releasing any surplus in other ways. If you're here reading this blog, then we're happy to share what's going down at the moment.

Crystal Starlight is a straightforward space-rocker, based on an old song of Dave's. We're rehearsing this as a live song as well as recording the album track.
Today is only Yesterday's Tomorrow is again based on an old song of Dave's, but we've gone for an electro-pop treatment on this. Bit of a Kraftwerk homage.
Intus Extra Caput Meum is a lyric of Dave,s, to which Milo is trying to put music. This is likely to sound a bit "70s Gong" by the time we're done with it.
Break The Chain (working title) is some musical ideas from Milo that are currently with Bridget for Wishartification.... (the "New Noun" light just came on - 3000 point bonus!).
More Light is a spacerock jam that Dave says sounds a bit like Litmus - hoping to have a special guest on this one. This might not make the album, but may well be a live track.
Child of the Sable Night is a spoken-word piece of Dave's which will get some musical content somewhere along the line. There are a couple of other spoken-word bits that will appear on the album too - if you have any of our albums, you'll know what to expect.
Jabberwocky is what you'd expect - a musical treatment of the Lewis Carroll nonsense poem. This is a rework of a track that Milo recorded in 1994. Cyndee Lee Rule guests on violin.
Nanobots is "the long one" - a narrative symphonic prog epic. This is something that Milo started writing in about 2003, but got painted into a corner on the story aspect (Yes, but what happened *then*?), until a conversation with Dave cleared the blockage.

So, only 8 songs - but you know us. Nanobots is 25 minutes, Jabberwocky is 15, Break The Chain is another 10 (at least at the moment) - that's 50 minutes with just those three.

Guests? Well, of course! Most of the collective who guested on "Lost" will be "doing a turn" for us again, and there will be one or two new faces too.....but always best not to confirm or deny things until the parts are actually recorded and in the final mix.

Check back soon - we'll post regularly here with album updates, live dates and other little snippets.

Onwards, upwards, inwards and slightly further to the left.... bit further.... no, the OTHER LEFT! .....perfect!