Saturday, December 02, 2006


I'm particularly happy with these.

For ages, I've been meaning to compile a 2 CD set as gifts for Inge plus our various musical friends, made up of all the oddities and leftovers from the Ail Fionn archive (basically, anything that's not already in any of our other collections). I finally got 'round to the bulk of the work during my first week in Motueka (being jetlagged, sitting up at 4a.m. with my laptop, cutting, pasting, splicing, EQ'ing, fading...). Now they're done.

The collections span 1995-2003, with a variety of collaborators - almost all saz and mandolin, although Inge plays bits of xylophone, melodica, djembe and pennywhistle, and there's the first existing recording of us playing saz and fiddle - on Breney Common, near Lostwithiel in Cornwall, 1999.

Inge and Matthew in Glastonbury
Inge's first trip to Glastonbury - outside 23 Northload Street, autumn 1994

Of particular interest:
  • a multitracked version of Inge's "Cowsong" recorded by Dave Goodman (who produced the Sex Pistols!) in his studio in Crystal Palace one summer afternoon in 1996, waiting for The Spacegoats to turn up for a session
  • a jam with Greet based around Bob Marley's "Natural Mystic" (I called it "Nature-Identical Mystic")
  • a reasonably good version of "King o' the Faeries", which is probably the tune we've played more than any other, but which, for some reason, hardly ever got recorded
  • some excerpts from a gig we did in a field in North Wales, summer 1997, including a rather good version of "Ambulance"
  • a couple of things from a set we played on the Rinky-Dink stage at the Big Green Gathering later that summer (with both Alan and Andy Man on percussion)
  • "For Isun", which we recorded shortly after Isun died in Herefordshire - this was done at the "Tribal Voices" camp near Tiverton, autumn equinox '97
  • some pieces recorded with Andy Ra at his home in "the wigglywoods", Maughanasilly, West Cork in autumn 2003, just before Alan moved to Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • a brief Sonic Youth-inspired saz and mandolin noise jam, with effects and processing added by Funkey, something we did as part of the Samhain 1995 session at his studio in Sint-Niklaas

Listen: Snailfriends 1          Listen: Snailfriends 2

The name of the collections originates with Stella from the Spacegoats - she used to call us her "snailfriends" because of our tendency to always turn up together wearing huge rucksacks, on the way from somewhere to somewhere else...


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