Random Elements is the eighth album from Sniff'n'the Tears. After an accident in 2012 and several months recovery, Paul Roberts got into a songwriting spree. This was partly due to keyboardist Robin Langridge sending inspirational sonic sketches to him. Thus started a collaborative process that led to some rather interesting song structures. In Paul's words, "some of the new songs reflect the times in terms of the dilemmas we face in the twenty first century, some are more personal but then the personal and the political can be connected." Themes that Sniff fans are all too familar with. "But" he explains with a shrug of acceptance, "humanity is what it is and this shit won't stop any time soon."
Hence Random Elements. "A conflagration of the events that throw everything into flux which in turn makes for unlikely and sometimes unwelcome outcomes." It should be added that these songs were written before either Brexit or Donald Trump. The album was recorded over four years with long time collaborator keyboard player Robin Langridge and Sniff'n'The Tears guitarist Les Davidson who both contribute to the songwriting. Joining them, old "Sniff" alumni, bass player Nick South and drummer Paul Robinson. Seven years since the last album, 'Downstream' a new chapter begins with Random Elements.
My old friend Karel Fialka has a new album out called "Peace V War" available from all good retailers on Vinyl and the usual sources for download. In these uncertain times albums like this are a necessity as well as a good listen. Please check it out.
Old friend and sometimes collaborator Karel Fialka has just put out his new album 'Film Noir' a collection of moody existential musings on the dark side of life. I feature as a guest vocalist on two or three of the songs.
My favourite song is probably 'Alphaville and not just because I get to do a duet with esteemed actress Tilda Swinton. Alright I didn't meet her, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology you'd never know. Using Godard's dystopian metropolis as inspiration, Karel conjures up a vivid picture of a man alone with his regrets in the city. It's a great track. Tilda Swinton's spoken narration is electrifying. This and many more treats can be found on 'Film Noir' check it out via the link. http://www.karelfialka.com
Sniff'n'The Tears Live At Rockpalast out now. Live recording of seventy minute concert in Berlin for legendary German TV show Rockpalast. A lot went wrong on the night, with out of tune guitars etc. But a very interesting chronicle of the band in 1982. Some good music if we do seem a little pissed off.
Here's a track from the DVD.
Re release of 1991 album "No Damage Done", 25th November 2013. When dodgy copies are being sold on Amazon at inflated prices it's time to get the one unavailable Sniff'n'The Tears album back out there.
"No Damage Done" was first released in 1992 following a tour of Germany and Holland put together on the back of "Driver's Seat" going to number one in Holland helped by an advert for a Pioneer car CD player. After two Paul Roberts solo albums it was the first Sniff'n'The Tears album since Ride Blue Divide ten years earlier. With Les Davidson, Jeremy Meek, Steve Jackson and Andy Giddings who had been the touring band and Paul bringing in Robin Langridge, Dean Ross and Morris Michael who had worked on his solo albums. The album was recorded in Pavilion Studios in Ladbroke Grove London. Some of the songs had been played on the tour and had gone down really well, so the recording went quickly. Leo Sayer, who Les had worked with, very kindly helped out on backing vocals as did Noel McCalla and Morris Michael. Luigi Salvoni Sniff's original drummer played on one track. It was mixed at "The Woolhall" in Somerset.
The album came out only in Germany and Benelux at the time, so here it finally is twenty odd years later with a slightly revised running order and three with alternative vocals to the original release. The album has been remastered and repackaged. The new cover has a blue rather than brown hue which will help distinguish it from pirated copies. Catalogue number CPCD03.
Paul Robinson has done the drums for ''Underground'. I never felt that the album was finished because it had programmed drums, which at the time was through necessity rather than choice. Paul has done a superb job as you'd expect, I've completely remixed it and the album is now what it should have been in the first place. Included on the new album is a bonus track "This Life". I know this might piss off some of you who bought the original and to you I apologise, call it artistic vanity but I'm thrilled. Paul Robinson toured the United States with us in 1979 and drummed on much of 'The Game's Up'. To be sure that you get the new version the retail code is CPCD02.
Classy and mysterious new video featuring Driver's Seat.
Marisha Ray & Stephen Sullivan in A FilmGroupH Production
Directed by Justin Chinn
Produced by Martine Keston
Cinematography by Peyton Skelton
Costume Design by Bryan Kopp
Edited by Joe Mitacek & Justin Chinn
AC: Jason Zakrzewski
Gaffer: Keith Hascher & Dan Colmeneres
Hair & Make-up by Amanda King
Fabulous Production Assistance by Madison Lee
Shot on the Panasonic AF100, Canon C300, and the Canon 5D mk II
A couple of Australians calling themselves Canyons got in touch with a request for me to supply a top line melody, some lyrics and vocal to an idea they had for a song. They seemed like nice guys and I liked the vaguely surreal lyric that they had and the general approach they were attempting. So through the wonders of the Internet I ended up singing and co writing When I See You Again for Canyons. Here you go.