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The Englishman

 

 

 

 

 

Track Listing:


1 Out And Running
2 Little Miss Freedom
3 The Ballad Of Laszló Fehér
4 Drunk By Myself
5 The Englishman
6 The Eagle And Me
7 Somewhere
8 Steppenwolf
9 The Other Side Of The River


Laszló Fehér is a traditional song
All other words and music by Mick Stevens


 

 

 

The Englishman


Mick Stevens: vocals, guitars, banjo
Roger Jackson: keyboards, backing vocals
Warne Livesey: bass
Michael Gregory: drums
Ric Sanders: violin
Mira Rowley: backing vocals
Hilary Burn: backing vocals
featuring
Jim Livesey: alto sax
Christine Thomas: flute

Recorded at Spaceward Studios, Cambridge 1979
produced by Gary Lucas
Cutting engineer: George Peckham
Cover photography: Andrew Stevens



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally released in 1979 [Spaceward SRS 030] , re-released on double CD with "The River" including extra tracks and LBC radio interview [Shadoks 072]

 

After recording “The River”, Mick toured solo and with various folk-rock musicians, including June Tabor and Richard and Linda Thompson, playing mostly folk sets which included a few of his early numbers such as "Anji". He began recording “The Englishman” in Spring ’79, again at Spaceward. Warne Livesey, who played bass, sang harmony vocals and contributed to the production, was now the only fellow musician from the band days [Warne is now a major producer, having worked with Deacon Blue, Midnight Oil and Paul Young, among others]. Keyboards and synthesisers were played by session man Roger Jackson. Though the synth sounds were fairly normal for late 70’s recordings, in retrospect they seem unnecessary given the strength of the material and are somewhat at the expense of Mick’s playing, which was inexplicably kept somewhat subdued by the engineer. Unfortunately, although Mick owned the 2" 16-track master tape he had to sell it in 1980 to pay the rent, so there is no chance of a re-mix (the BBC bought it for £150 and wiped it clean for re-use).

 

The album features a cracking opening number with “Out and Running” followed by a re-working of “Little Miss Freedom” from the “No Savage Word” album. Mick was never completely happy with the guitar sound on the title track - he tried recording it a number of times but it could never quite match the sound of his own home recordings or a live performance using the Guild acoustic. He was surprised arriving at the studio one morning to find out that the engineer had cut irreversibly into the guitar work after the Greek phrases straight into the next track - “The Eagle and Me ” - on the master – something he wasn’t at all sure about. On the other hand, he thought the lead guitar break on “Steppenwolf”, played without any compression or effects but with the Stratocaster plugged directly into his old Traynor amp, was one of his best. He was also particularly proud of the violin parts for this song which he scored up for Ric Sanders to play. “Laslo Feher” was an old number he’d regularly played on the folk circuit, usually with a leering face for the gaoler’s part and more outrageous lyrics as the occasion warranted. Dedicated to girlfriend Hilary, who he was soon to marry - the girl on “The Other Side of the River” to his flat in Kennington, London, this is his last recorded piece apart from some classical pieces played on the lute and recorded at home in 1986 when seriously ill. Mick played a number of tracks from “The Englishman”, including the title track, when he played support for the Richard and Linda Thompson tour in late ’79. A high spot was a show at The Rainbow in Finsbury Park, which included the old favourite “Anji”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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