Mixes. Sea Shanties. Gigs. Wine and Song.

Things have been busy the past few weeks. Producer, Jamie Hutchings and engineer Chris Colquhoun, have had their heads down and have now finished the bulk of the mixes for the upcoming album. Hopefully the new recordings will see the light of day early in the new year. In the meantime I’ve recorded a new song with my good friend Michael Carpenter for our on again/off again side project. We wrote, recorded and mixed this song in the space of about 5 hours whilst MC’s offsider Kylie Whitney filmed the results – you can check it out in the clip below:

Last weekend I also recorded 3 children’s songs for the author of the children’s book Bill The Fish. Earlier this year the book was transformed into an interactive download and the release was so successful that the creator, Brett Curzon, is now working on a seperate musical app for iPhone/iPads. Sea Shanties and a whales lullaby was the directive so we played pirates for the day. You can download Brett’s original Bill The Fish interactive book here. The new musical app should be out later in the year.

Finally, I’ll be playing a show on Friday 5th Oct at The Newsagency, Marrickville’s cosiest (secret-ish) venue with Cam MacKellar and Sarah Humphreys – we’ll play a couple of sets as “Songwriters In The Round” You can find all the ticket details here. Bring a bottle of wine and a rug and join us for the night….

Love Mark



A While Between Gins…..

Hey Folks
Yeah, it’s been a while between drinks
Although it may not have seemed like much has been going on lately
(if you’re a regular visitor to this site)
Plenty has been going on behind the scenes
First I had to get over a mammoth bout of writers block
My first thankfully and hopefully my last
To reboot my brain freeze I pushed myself into unfamiliar territory
I started by writing no songs at all about myself…
No confessionals, no heart on the sleeve, no crying in my gin
This time I wanted to tell stories about others (more interesting already yeah?)
I also wanted to incorporate some of the other side of my musical background
Styles I’d usually try to keep seperate from my own music
This time some riotous Dixie, calypso (yeah I was even in a calypso band once)
Late night mexican infused jazz (?)
European and Country waltzes
And some good old fashioned holler and stomp
Next I also decided to record these songs differently as well
Throw myself into a completely new environment
Every album I’ve ever made so far has been with the help of my two very good friends
Michael Carpenter and timEbandit Powles (The Church)
They have been my long suffering creative partners from day 1 – my safety net
I’ve always wandered into their studios and sat down at the computers for a couple of weeks
And slowly crafted my songs with their generous help
This time I jumped into the deep end of the studio pool
And decided to record the whole thing as live as possible straight to 1″ tape
Not a computer in the room
I asked my good friend Jamie Hutchings to produce.
Jamie has produced the bulk of the Bluebottle Kiss back catalogue, his own solo albums and albums for The Maladies, Peabody, Browning and more
He added his familiar spit, grit and sandpaper to the tunes
We even co-wrote a couple
We all rehearsed hard for the months leading up to the recording
Jamie on electric guitar and percussion, Scott (his brother) on drums and percussion
Reuben Wills on double bass and Adam Lang on banjo, lap slide and pedal steel
Then it was next decided to take this recording out of the studio environment
We dragged engineer Chris Colquhoun’s home studio into a empty guest house at Avalon
We recorded the 5 piece band completely live over 3 days
Then we recorded a few sparse overdubs – horns and background vocals
It’ll be awhile now before we get the final results – a few months most likely
I’ll keep you updated here. I have uploaded a Recording Diary full of photos from the sessions here.
I’ve also started a tumblr page so as to keep a photo diary of the albums progress.
Have a browse, there’s plenty to see and read about the upcoming album already…

In the meantime I’m playing a show with two of the Central Coast’s finest – Sarah Humphreys and Mike McCarthy. You can find all the details on the Upcoming Shows page