Upcoming Toad Session Bonanza!


See the improved paintjob? And the name on the nose? And the skull and crossbones? And the scorpions above the windscreen? That takes WORK, man!

I hate to promise things like actual dates or anything, but the end of this year is going to be an absolute treat for fans of the Toad Sessions.

I mentioned a few weeks back that we were currently in the process of re-recording some of the very early Toad Sessions we did, to make up for the advances in technology and in particular streaming internet video we have seen since. So between now and the end of the year I am hoping to publish new sessions with Sparrow and the Workshop, Broken Records and Meursault, as well as a new one with Adam Stafford. But you knew that already, right?

What I didn’t mention is that as well as those we have no less than five more sessions to publish – not all recorded yet, but all in the pipeline and hopefully to start trickling through in the next few weeks. In fact, I spent large parts of my holiday last week finishing all the audio mixing and podcast editing for no less than four different sessions, some of the re-records and some new ones, so we are well underway with the work to be done.

[The rest of the holiday was spent tidying up Bette’s paintjob, deciding that we should start spelling her name only as Bette from now on as she is named after Bette Davis, adding some new stickers and drinking absolutely horrifying quantities of red wine – see pic above, apart from the wine.]

The ‘other’ five sessions will include one we recorded (shamefully) ages ago with The Yawns, as well as new ones with Old Earth (just recorded a couple of weeks ago), Brown Brogues, Eef Barzelay and Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside (all of whom are playing in Edinburgh in the next month to six weeks).

I am not sure, honestly, what the work required to actually edit and publish a Toad Session will do to the blog, so be warned in advance. I do think it’s important to do more things like this though, as whilst they are still part of the blog, they do seem to better reflect what I am actually doing in music these days, and act as something of a bridge between the blog and the label. Whereas initially I basically just listened to music and then expressed my opinion about it, now I am so much more involved in actually making music, or even just enabling it to happen, that the Sessions seem like a more accurate reflection of what I do.

Having said that, I can’t possibly handle this mountain of work by myself so, as I mentioned earlier, Gavin from Full Fridge Video will be editing the re-records for us. Also, you may know him more as the violin player in Broken Records, but Rory Sutherland has helped me record and film the Split 12″ releases on Song, by Toad Records as well as many Toad Sessions, and he will also be editing the video for a couple of the new Sessions. So they may look slightly different to the ones I do myself, but I am pretty sure that in essence they will remain pretty much the same.

I think a band get more out of a session, and a more accurate reflection of themselves, than me just reviewing their music. I really enjoy the chance to talk to bands as well, rather than just blindly guessing what they were trying to achieve with their albums and how they want to go about their business.

Not that I want to stop writing reviews, of course. I still love harping on about my favourite music, and I still have the odd rant in me here and there, so don’t think for a second that the blog will be abandoned, just that with all these sessions to deal with the emphasis is very much going to be on them for the next few months. Should be interesting!

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