Five Year Anniversary Plotting

toadsessions rough 01

The reason the last couple of weekends have been completely hectic around here is not just because of the Pale Imitation Festival. Song, by Toad Records reaches its fifth anniversary this December as, by sheer coincidence, do the Toad Sessions. This has led to us embarking on a couple of projects which are currently bubbling under nicely, but which might take a little while to make their presence known in the real world.

Firstly, we are working on an extremely limited 5-album box set to mark the anniversary (it won’t be all that cheap, but it will be awesome), and that box set will include a compilation of Toad Session recordings. It’s not going to be a Best of the Toad Sessions per se, because my early file management wasn’t all that great, so I’m missing a lot of the high quality wav files of the early recordings. That’s frustrating of course, but it helps narrow it down, and given we have twenty-six sessions to choose from any means of ruling songs out is perversely appreciated because otherwise I’d never have been able to choose. Honestly, I could easily have picked two albums’ worth, but it’s just the one in the end.

Other than that, we’re also re-doing some sessions. By the time we got into our stride with the sessions the quality of what we were doing was streets ahead of pretty much any others on the internet, but the first few were published back when YouTube broadcast in a 640 x 480 format. As a consequence, the first few sessions (with Broken Records, Alela Diane and Mariee Sioux, Sparrow and the Workshop and Meursault) look hopelessly out-dated these days. Then, a couple of years back people started shooting everything on SLRs, and our sessions fell a little further behind. I still think the content bears up strongly, but the image quality was starting to pale a little compared to other material out there.

This year we upgraded all our cameras to SLRs so hopefully our subsequent sessions will be back up there again when it comes to production values – something which will be a big help to the label as well, given how much we use them to make videos for things like the Split 12″ series. One thing which sprang to mind, though, was the format of those first four sessions. I don’t know Alela Diane really, but the other three bands are still our pals, and two are on the label so it seemed like a nice idea to re-record those early sessions with the new kit, to give it a test run, so that’s what we’ve been doing for the last couple of Sundays: sessions with Adam Stafford (because why not), Sparrow and the Workshop and, this weekend, Meursault. Broken Records are down for sometime in September, so we should have four nice, shiny new sessions to publish quite soon.

It does mean the weekends have been more than a little hectic recently, and I have to be honest, I will be grateful for the end of August. But the results should be pretty awesome. Gavin from Full Fridge is editing the footage for us because there is no way I would have the time, so the actual spin on the main ten-minute video should be a little different too, which will make for a nice change. I’m looking forward to seeing them myself, honestly.

Oh yeah, and I’m still working on that box set. I’ll let you know what else is going to be in it in due course.

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