Honeytrap is the long-time-coming follow-up to my first album Firehorse (Also on iTunes).
This is essentially an old-fashioned double album. It's very retro in tone, recorded in America, Switzerland and the UK. I immersed myself in the music of my suburban childhood in the sunny 1970s - Mott the Hoople, Mungo Jerry, Gilbert O'Sullivan, and Slade, then chucked in a little 60's vibe from The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, The Byrds and The Small Faces and came up with this eclectic bunch of tunes. If it was a movie it would be set in that brief period between sparkly glam rock and new wave / punk when you wouldn't be seen dead out of brushed denim flares and rainbow print tank tops (I was, of course in cap and shorts at the time myself.) Hopefully it might bring back some memories for other 40-somethings out there and spark some interest in that halcyon period in younger people.
The sessions were initially produced by Tim Bradshaw (long-serving musician in David Gray's and John Mayer's bands) but finished off by David himself when Tim was called away by touring commitments.
I had the pleasure and honour of working with some terrific musicians on this project. I play lots of rudimentary guitar, drums, bass and keyboards but most of the nifty playing and backing vocals were by members of the band Spygenius - that's Peter Watts, Ruth Rogers, Alan Cannings and Matt Byrne. (Check out their fine album on iTunes) .
Guitarist Chris Watts played some mean licks as did Mr Tiv on guitar and bass. Vicki Workman put in some incredible hard-working sessions adding backing vocals to almost every song. Martin Gregory (where are you pal?) played percussion on the whole album in about an hour and a half - that's true professionalism! Some wonderful rock 'n roll guitar and the haunting lap steel work came from the ever wonderful Tim Bradshaw. Chris Alchin, Simon Woodham and my Beatle Brother Neil McCarthy added some keyboard magic.
On Coming Home I had the pleasure of working with several notable musicians: drummer Chris Whitten (Paul McCartney, Dire Straits, Waterboys); revered guitarist Big Jim Sullivan (who has played on about 1000 chart hits - Space Oddity, Je T'Aime, It's Not Unusual, Goldfinger, Ferry Cross the Mersey, Puppet on a String - the list goes on and on!) and the film composer Alex Heffes (State of Play, Last King of Scotland) who co-wrote the song with me for a short-lived comedy drama serial on Granada TV starring John Thomson. Alex also scored a string quartet for some other tracks.
If I have forgotten anyone - I will update this to thanks in a few days.
The World's Smallest Violin is a co-written song with my good friend animator Rory Fellowes (brother of Oscar winning actor/writer Julian Fellowes) - Rory's last musical output was a solo single in 1969 on Simon Napier Bell's SNB label!
The album is littered with diverse references to Grimm's fairy tales, lonely hearts columns, gender-bending policemen, Alpine monastic life, 70's star of stage and screen Mary Millington, Look-In magazine, "certain time wasting music business types who shall remain nameless", careers advisors, the anti-social nocturnal teenage habit of garden "fencehopping", controversial writers Wilhelm Reich, Xaviera Hollander, Valerie Solanas, and Erich von Däniken, a gentleman of the road Jesus look-a-like, monkey glands, D.J. Ed Stewpot Stewart, Humphrey Straws, Squirmles, Molesworth, Uri Geller, 50's Science Fiction movies, Evel Knievel, a genuine nightmare timetable from posh fascistic primary school - "Latin, Maths, Latin, Double Maths, English, Music, French" and, of course, my unattainable dream car - the Mercedes C111 as featured on the cover!
The album was mixed by the very patient Jezz Larder at Skyline Studios, Epsom, Surrey, UK
All the songs are published by World Domination Music except:
The album was mastered at Tube Mastering by Andy Jackson, twice nominated for a Grammy for his fine work with Pink Floyd and David Gilmour.
Cover Painting by Nick Spender
Cover Reference Photography by Huw Ellis
Cover Artwork by Chris Watts
Live Photography by Robert Telford when David was supporting John Ottway at a festival.
Recorded on Apple Macs with Logic Audio software over period of 10 years
(Although we used Cubase at Alex's Moose Studios).
Special thanks must go to David Buskell at World Domination Music for his support and much appreciated efforts to get this album out in the face of my sloth and indolence.
The album is dedicated to a departed friend, publisher John Merritt - one of the good guys in the music industry who guided and advised me for years and whom I miss terribly.