Welcome to my world, won't you come on in?


This is my blog, like it says in big letters at the top, where I will try to keep you up to date with what I have been up to when I have time to :-)

By papillonsounds, Jan 15 2017 01:51PM

Last Friday night was a lot of fun! As well as being trusted with the production of the album Joe asked me to record the launch event at The Yorkshire House. I love the immediacy of live recording – it is direct, capturing the event as it happens, warts and all – it can be almost the complete opposite of the polished studio process – but it also offers the chance to capture those moments of beautiful spontaneity. It all hangs on the performance, but this is where Joe thrives. He is making a name for himself up and down the country and further afield due to his non-stop touring and professionalism. Live recording is a great way of recording a band in their natural habitat, like watching an episode of planet earth – there might be some editing and tweaking but when you get to capture something brilliant you share it! I recently recorded The Sue Parish Quartet at Hornby, some great musicians and with jazz this is a fairly natural way of recording, but in other genres it seems to be dying out. I remember buying live albums when I was younger but when was the last time anyone released a decent live album? I imagine that a great deal of this is due to the fact that pop music is so polished now – the big acts can’t recreate their studio recordings in a live setting in a way that could sell on a commercially viable scale. There are recordings out there but I don’t think we will be seeing another The Who Live at Leeds or Otis Redding In Person at the Whisky a Go Go. The best I can think of from the past 25 years is Nirvana Unplugged but that was recorded for television in a studio, hardly the raw show that you could expect of Nirvana at Leeds. I imagine that this is because the live recordings are now released as DVDs because so much of a big live show now is about the visual aspect. Who would you like to hear live recordings from? Put them in touch ;-) Hopefully there will be more opportunity for live recording in 2017.


The Grand Butterfly

By papillonsounds, Jan 1 2017 12:30AM

The year is almost at a close. I hope everyone has had a good 2016 despite the on-going tragedies and political madness. We are so much stronger together and I am confident that despite the uncertain political landscape there really is a lot to look forward to and a lot for us all to work towards. So many young people have been inspired by recent events and are finding their voices. One such person is Joe McCorriston: an ex-student of mine and a bloody lovely human being. He is one of the hardest working musicians I have had the fortune to work with. I was lucky enough to work with Joe on his 3rd album, The Party We Came For, which was recorded last summer, and subsequently mixed and mastered by myself. The album is raw and straight forward in terms of production. Joe is heavily influenced by pop, punk and obviously pop-punk. I am fortunate enough to have a really enjoyable day job where I work with young musicians, the best of which have that blend of creativity, steely determination and work ethic. Joe is very much one of those. I’m lucky enough to class Joe as a good friend and I am glad to have been a part of this album. Joe popped by the studio the other day for a rehearsal with his band and gave me a signed copy of the album – the dedication inside is the sweetest I have ever had and means all the more as I hold Joe in such high regard. I had so much fun working on this project with Joe and I’m really looking forward to the official album launch at The Yorkshire House on January 6th.

Speaking of The Yorkshire House I am so pleased to see them open again after Storm Desmond decided to do some damage round our way last year. Allie and her awesome team are such a big part of the local music scene it is great to see them back along with The Bobbin, Go Burrito (unoffical sponsors of studio paunch!) and a whole host of other businesses. Hopefully the weather can stay on side for a while now!

Enjoy the final remnants of 2016 - I’m not sure we will see another year quite like it (whether we want to or not!) I wrote this a few days ago (I’m actually at a wedding today) but I hope you all have a fabulous night but more importantly a happy and healthy new year. Perhaps see it in with a one of my cocktails!

Until 2017…


The Grand Butterfly

By papillonsounds, Dec 30 2016 08:38PM

This year has seen a few projects that have been in the pipelines for some time to finally see the light of day. The Toilers EP finally came out, accompanied by an incredible video and received good reviews. The four piece London-based blues rock band were great fun to work with. The fact that they had recorded their previous release at the legendary Maida Vale and they came up from London especially to work at the Studio was a great boost (and a little bit of pressure!) We were all really pleased with the results and hope to work together again in the not so distant future.

Another project that had been in the pipeline for some time was David Kay’s debut album Greasy Elbows. David is an ex-student who I first met when we worked on his debut EP People Who Want More back in 2014. His album shows him to be a brilliant young musician, an excellent guitarist and strong vocalist with a really good musical mind. He also makes smart decisions, such as recruiting Charlie ‘Slunkhoven’ Burns to perform drums and bass on the album – he is a one-take monster, locks into a click like it’s his heart beat and is rightly one of the most in demand musicians in Lancaster. The album is well worth checking out – in fact anything he is involved with is worth listening to and I look forward to following him and anything he is involved with for many years to come and hopefully working together again soon.

Later on in the year I was also fortunate enough to be roped in to master an EP for another of his side projects; Dope Francis’ dubiously titled The Hot Carl EP which was also one of my most played CDs this year – the triple whammy of the consummate Slunkhoven on bass and backing vocals, the prodigious Raymond Salad (LMC Studios new recording engineer and assistant producer) on drums and production and David on guitar and vocals blending punk, electronica, rock and pop. I really hope it isn’t the last we hear from them – so many strong ideas and a great amount of potential.

It has been great to watch David mature as an artist and see how he has forged some really strong bonds along the way. He isn’t single minded, he is open to trying out numerous ideas and playing with different genres and styles while still finding his own authentic voice. He is a really intelligent and hard working musician with a great future in front of him. Viva Skeng Buscemi!

Only one day left of the countdown and I have written it in advance as I have a wedding to go to tomorrow - I will be dressed in a rather understated gold velvet jacket with black cravat in case you wondered ;-)


The Grand Butterfly

By papillonsounds, Dec 29 2016 06:25PM

As I have mentioned previously, one of the highlights of my job is when you get to work with like-minded musicians. Working with a band whose work you can really buy in to. Recording and producing for Philip James Turner & The Crow Mandala - the songs coming out of these sessions are sooooo good, lyrically intelligent, musically brilliant and, obviously, well produced!

This year we have worked on a number of songs for a bigger project and I have loved being involved in every session. Musically they are so strong, showing elements of The Band, Bruce Springsteen and Jonny Cash with an indie twist. Not only are the songs excellent but the musicianship is spot on. Adam is a great indie drummer, Graeme, The Wizard, plays most instruments better than anyone else you’ve ever met, which in a recording environment opens up a world of opportunities, Gregson is a top bass player with a great feel and Matt brings an added dimension to the guitar parts – a great eye for detail and feel for what the song needs. Throw Phil’s song-writing and drawer-dropping vocals in to the mix and it is easy to see why they are so loved around these parts.

Recording sessions are a lot of fun. Phillip has a clear idea but is also open to suggestions – bringing guest artists in as required (ex-student Claire Hanson was a great vocal addition on Here’s To Time), opening up arrangements and instrumentation, while ensuring that the song and initial vision remains. It really is a privilege to work with them.

I have seen them live a few times this year and they are great to watch (helped no doubt by having a front man almost as dreamy as myself!) The greatest compliment I can pay is that I tend to be near the front screaming the choruses back like a teenage girl.

I am really looking forward to what 2017 brings and the next sessions we work on. You might have got a bit of a loved up vibe from this blog which brings one of my favourite cocktails to mind, perfect for New Years Eve…

Papillon’s Passion

1 part Gin

2 part Saint Germain (Elderflower Liqueur)

2 parts pink grapefruit juice

3 parts Prosecco

Shake the gin, Saint Germain and pink grapefruit over ice.

Strain into a martini glass and top up with Prosecco.

Serve with kisses.


The Grand Butterfly

By papillonsounds, Dec 28 2016 09:05PM

Day 2 of my countdown to the New Year and highlights of the past twelve months is about getting to work with everyone’s favourite Lancaster based band, Carpe - an absolute highlight for me. Such a great set of musicians and lovely people too. Last week saw Carpe Christmas return to The Yorkshire House, an annual tradition and a Lancaster phenomenon. Carpe were supported by studio regulars Joe McCorriston and David Kay’s new collaborative project North West Tonight, along with the mightily impressive Divide and Conker (crammed to bursting point with past-students and studio alumni!)

I am fortunate enough to work with two members of Carpe, Rachel Parsons and Jon Moore, and earlier this year I was honoured to be asked to record them for their first trip into the studio in some time. We had a great weekend holed up in LMC Studios – games console hooked up to the 50 inch TV, 3 babies crawling about the place, parts being rehearsed in some rooms while takes were being laid down in the live room. It was a beautiful thing!

The weekend saw the return of the Wak, who arrived with croissants, pastries and cafetière and, along with Slunkhoven, proved invaluable throughout the recording.

Over the course of the weekend we recorded three songs, the first of which, History, was recently given its radio debut on the brilliant new Beyond Radio (it is so good to finally have a local radio programme that is truly supportive of the local music scene).

I really love the recording process, especially when it is with talented musicians and like-minded people who you have absolute belief in. This was one of those occasions and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few during the past year. More about that tomorrow. Sorry there is no cocktail recipe today, I have a special one saved for the New Years eve edition!


The Grand Butterfly

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