The New Year started as the last decade ended with a flurry of studio activity. John Mitchell was up at the start of the week finishing the guitar parts and contributing to the final song to be written the album.
I’d been struggling with the original concept/ story behind ‘Market garden’ as it crossed too much with images I’d used to great effect on ‘Rose of Damascus’. I needed to rethink the story but still keep it focused on the intended subject matter which is a couple growing older with the husband suffering from ongoing dementia/ alzheimers.I changed the title to ‘Garden of Remembrance’ and within 2 days had the lyric completed. Steve and I sat down with John the first night after his session and within a couple of hours we had what was once seen as a ‘b side’ as yet another strong album contender.
Liam Holmes arrived just as John completed his contributions and yesterday we laid the track down with the sage guidance from Calum Malcolm. It’s a bare song with a sparse arrangement and principally based around piano which Liam is excelling at.
I heard some of the demo string parts yesterday and I have to say this is turning into an incredible album.
The songs are all written and all in various stages of completion now. Drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitars are all finished, keys over next 2 days and then I’m up at the mike for the next 2 weeks before Doris Brendel comes up for backing vocals.In February I’m finishing my vocals and the string and brass arrrangements are being recorded with percusion and a couple of other instrumentalists contributions to be added.Mixing is in March just before we start the UK tour.
The full track list of the ‘Weltschmerz’ album in no particular order and with approximate timings is as follows.
7 mins – The Grace of God
6.30 Man With a Stick
6.00 This Party’s Over
16.00 Rose of Damascus
6.30 Walking on Eggshells
6.00 Garden of Remembrance
5.00 C Song
11.00 Little Man What Now?
14.00 Waverley Steps
total 84 mins
And so an ‘old fashioned’ double album and perfect for the double
gatefold vinyl release that will come out same time as the deluxe
version ( similar but not the same as the ‘Feast’ deluxe) and the
standard version in a cardboard wallet.
I still have to work out the disc content but in all likelihood ‘Waverley Steps’ and one other track will be moved to the second disc of the deluxe set. Detals on content etc will be released once we get further down the line with artwork designs but with the mix in March it’s obvious ‘Weltschmerz’ won’t be out for the UK tour.
The release date is still to be nailed as we wait on manufacturing timings but we hope to announce in the coming weeks.
There will be a digital download of the next ‘radio’ track immediately before the tour and again I’ll let you know in advance of the release. I already know which one it is but for various reasons I have to keep it quiet for now.
The UK setlist will contain the entire ‘Vigil in a
Wilderness of Mirrors’ album mixed with a collection of tracks from
‘Weltschmerz’ and a couple of numbers from 1982 as this year sees the
release of the Warners ‘Script’ remasters.
I think that strikes a decent balance.
The ‘Vigil’ and ‘Internal Exile’ remasters are now dropped back to a September release to precede the European tour.
The dates here on the events page and on the website are the only dates I am performing this year apart from a few festivals.There are no other dates planned until 2021 for what will be my farewell tour.
There’s a lot of shows to play before then and an album to finish first.I’ve never been so excited with a project before and as with my career with ‘Marillion’ I want to leave with my finest album as my legacy. And this is a very fine album,
photo John Mitchell and Calum Malcolm