Thursday 11 August 2011

String Driven Thing

Leopards and A Boy In Darkness string session at Regal Lane Studio 09/08/11
BBT with Louis PhilippeThe Covent Garden String Quartet
L to R:
Sue Bowran Violin I, David Longdon, Geraldine Berreen Violin II, Teresa Whipple Viola,
Louis Philippe string arranger, Andy Poole and Abigail Trundle Cello
photograph taken by Ken Brake

Andy and I travelled to London to record The Covent Garden String Quartet at Regal Lane Studio. The string parts were arranged by Louis Philippe (Philippe Auclair) and the session was engineered by Ken Brake

We worked on two songs which will be featured on English Electric. Leopards is straight forward in terms of what it needed string-wise and I knew that Louis would be perfect for the task. A Boy in Darkness is a little more unusual and has been written using an experimental process. It is in three sections:-

In section one, the strings add eerie and unsettling textures. Section two heads off at full gallop. Greg and Nick are pounding away in the rhythm section and Louis has scored some finger knittingly rapid lines for the quartet which they take in their stride. In section three the strings are full and emotional.

It was great fun to record. Louis has written some wonderful arrangements. Despite the length of the session the girls played beautifully with energy and spirit throughout.

I can't wait for you to hear it!

After the session we went into Camden for something to eat and in the evening sunshine sitting outside the Spread Eagle, it was business as usual. Londoners carrying on.




  1. And I Can't wait to hear it! You really can't beat strings.

  2. i'm sure it's gonna sound fantastic.
    when is english electric to be released? next year? or this winter?
    can't wait to hear it!!! :-)

  3. English Electric will be released in two parts. The first part will be in early 2012 followed by the second part six months later.

    Louis string arrangements are fantastic. Listening to them now as I type this. Dave Gregory has to add his parts and I've got to complete the lyrics on A Boy In Darkness

  4. two parts? and both are "conmplete" albums? or more like two eps?

    well, be it as it may: with these albums two of my favourite artists work together - knowing that louis is no big friend of progressive rock this really is a dream come true!! :-)

    i always liked bbt, but these last few years they really evolved into something special! i have to thank you all for this!!

  5. Both are two complete albums. Greg writes material, I write material and we both co-write material. This means we can generate lots of new material.

    As far as Louis Philippe being into Prog or not is concerned, It's not really about being into Progressive Rock, it's more about Louis and I.

    We're old friends and he's arranged some strings on a couple of my songs. I just happen to be in a progressive rock band.

    The Ocean Tango album he did with Testbilt is quite Proggy in places and he is a fan of Hatfield and the North.

  6. you're right.
    but i seem to remember that lp is not very fond of genesis - which is my all-time favourite band. and bbt is, after all, heavily influenced by genesis. the canterbury style is a whole different prog-beast.

    anyway: i'm glad that louis philippe collaborated with you, and even more excited that there are two albums on its way! hooray!!! ;-)