Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by StuartEstell

  1. Hello all,


    Here's news of a release for this year's Record Store Day to which I have contributed -



    It's a triple LP, pressed on heavy vinyl, so it'll weigh a ton.


    It features my version of "Just as the Tide was Flowing" and a duo with the comedian Stewart Lee singing "Polly on the Shore". I play my Jeffries duet on both tracks.

  2. All,


    A brief note to say that I've just been to fetch the Demented Typewriter (my Jeffries duet) from Andrew Norman, with whom it has been on its holidays for a while.


    He's given it a thorough overhaul and I can honestly say it's like playing a different box. It used to feel very much like it had two dynamic settings - on and off, a bit like a bass trombone. Now, the reeds actually speak well at low volumes, meaning that I'll be able to use it for song accompaniment without bellowing quite so much! :lol: Based on this experience I'd heartily recommend Andrew for repair work.


    As a bonus, he gave me a tour of the windmill he is currently restoring - the view from the top across Shropshire was really beautiful.

  3. Hello Bruce,


    Thanks for this.


    For better quality recordings, if multi-tracking I use a four-input USB interface into my Mac so that I can strategically position microphones all over the place, and use Logic for processing the audio. Other than that I have a Zoom hand-held digital recorder which in the right venue and with a cannily-positioned mic-stand is remarkably effective given how little it cost.


    But for zero latency between recording and uploading to the interweb the phone wins every time if the recording's just a "sketch" - in which case I'm unlikely to do any post-processing at all. I wonder, actually, if I position the phone the way I would the Zoom, whether that might offer an improvement without buying any additional kit.


    Thanks for getting me thinking. I'll get the gaffa tape out ;)

  4. Thanks Adrian - glad you enjoyed it, and yes, my only experience of needles is entirely medical!


    I agree - covers that are complete deconstructions can be more successful/acceptable for exactly the reasons you describe. I would also include the group Nouvelle Vague who do lounge versions of just about anything, or madcap Finns Elakelaiset, who turn everything into "humppa".

  5. Thank you all for listening - glad to have generated some discussion.


    Audiences' expectations of cover versions are interesting. I like to try and put a different spin on things, otherwise for me listeners might as well be hearing existing versions. But of course, when it's a song that people hold dear (and this is definitely one of those), there's always the chance of out-and-out dislike for a version that doesn't accord with their emotional expectations of it.


    Lukasz, you're keen for the chorus to be delivered strongly, however for me, it's the chorus where the emotional collapse happens in the lyrics - "What have I become, my sweetest friend?" - the language is gentle and questioning, and full of regret. Although you're referring to the audience's attention, it's interesting that you use the phrase "losing the grip" in describing my approach to the chorus, because that's exactly what I think the lyric does at that point. As for my singing being "polite" compared with either Cash or Reznor - I'd prefer "laconic" or "neutral" but I take your point, and that's very much a conscious decision on my part, influenced by my admiration for the likes of Shirley Collins and Nic Jones.


    Robin - lovely story, thanks. I think it's one of those songs that Cash truly made his own.

  6. It may well seem an unnecessary complication, but I think of the Maccann and Jeffries duets as being as different from one another as, say, a tenor banjo and a guitar. I don't lump the duet systems together under one broad heading - yes, they share characteristics but playing each one of them is a very different experience. The configuration of the instruments leads you to do different things with them.

  • Create New...