As the breath of a new season breathes life into the ground it was a pleasure to be walking through Bunyan Fields cemetery as the colour of Spring was taking hold, rallying against the weight of the moss coverd tombs. I was on my way to see Pete Greenwood who was recording in an abandoned school located close by, so close in fact that when I got there a party of archeologists outside the window were packing up their tools after a hard days bone hunting. The school had been built on ground that was once part of the cemetery where amongst other heavyweight divines, poets & non conformists one William Blake is buried. Where he is buried no one is quite sure but I wouldn’t be surprised if the archiolegists were getting pretty close.
The reason Pete was recording in this particular abandoned school was because of Mr Stephen Cracknell. A member of the musical collectives The Memory Band & The Accidental, friend of Heavenly’s and also the current live in caretaker of the empty building where he has set up a studio for recording and is working with Pete on a b side for the next single ‘Penny Dreadful’ and hopefully an Ep’s worth of recordings for a summer release.
To walk around the empty school littered with leaves on the inside and the first wave signs of abandonment taking hold it had a post apocalyptic air about it. Was there life here, had anyone survived, had the disease made it this far? There was some coughing coming from down the hall, there was life! whether it was unaffected I wasn’t sure, hairy and bent over on a school chair on the carpet where once the children sat was Pete rolling himself a cigarette.
The set up is perfect for Pete, no airs, no graces, all the kit was to hand, laid out and propped up on the remaining classroom furniture, a mic taped to the ceiling & a PC weighing down a computer table built to accommodate a BBC micro and all of this within the confines of the brown square of carpet. This was his second day in & he’d so far laid down the bones of 3 tracks. From what I got to hear it already sounds progressively different from the recordings for his debut album ‘Sirens’. Pete’s debut album is a document, a document of honesty and purity in the way that ‘Five leaves Left’ is except Pete isn’t playing at being Nick Drake, Pete isn’t even playing at playing Pete he’s just playing beautifully. Its the real deal. The album came out last summer and we are taking the track ‘Penny Dreadful’ to radio with a new B-side which if recording goes to plan will be a cover of Orange Juices ‘A Sad Lament’. The 2 other tracks I heard were ‘Me & Molly’ & ’24 & Counting’. I’ll post 2 of the new demos which he took to the session & laid down in typical Pete style, 12.30am, post pub, one take, done! The other track I’ve posted is a cover he did for a Mojo Beatles cover mount, I love it.
PETE’S MYSPACE – www.myspace.com/petergreenwood
THE MEMORY BAND – www.thememoryband.com
THE ACCIDENTAL – www.myspace.com/theaccidental
A BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE CITY – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunhill_Fields