Sek Loso, Eastern Conference Champions and The Satin Peaches
After “my shit period” I started recording good music again, thankfully, after I received some demos sent to me by Tim Carr, who I’d met while he was Ash’s American A&R man at Dreamworks. Tim had relocated to Bangkok, to write a book and screenplay. Very sadly Tim, died earlier this year. He was a lovely, kind, man. He loved his music and was always fun to be around. He will be missed by many people.
Tim had met and become friends with Thailands biggest rock star, Sek Loso. He asked me to come to Thailand and try working with Sek on an English language album. I had an amazing time recording Sek. I quite miss Sek. We kind of fell out over some misunderstanding to do with Oasis (just reading that makes no sense whatsoever). He is quite an incredible person. A real superstar.
After Sek, another friend, Steve Melrose, who I’d met while working on one of Boneheads post Oasis projects, asked me if I’d be interested in a new band from America that he was managing, called Eastern Conference Champions. I recorded the album “Ameritown” with ECC in Woodstock, upstate New York. It is a fine album: definitely one of my favourite albums I’ve had the pleasure of recording.
And then again, my old buddy Marcus Russell (Oasis’ manager), asked me could I work with a new band that he was managing, also from the U.S. called The Satin Peaches. And again we recorded in Woodstock.
So Tim Carr flew me over to Bangkok to meet Sek. Sek was a seriously massive star in Thailand. He was a true working class hero. I saw a couple of his concerts when I first visited there: he was playing about a hundred times a year, to an average on 10,000 people a night. The concerts were amazing…..even though I didn’t understand a single word…..everyone in the audience sang along on every song. The only time I’d witnessed anything like these concerts were the big Oasis gigs back in the UK. They were real events.
Sek had visited the UK the previous year and in a very determined fashion had learned to speak and write English. At the same time he recruited a British rhythm section, though the bass players varied throughout my time with him, the drummer Eric Lavansch was present and very correct on every session we did. Infact, Eric became a good friend and is probably my most favourite drummer I’ve had the pleasure of recording. Eric is a seriously good player.
Sek had his own studio in the huge Grammy building in the centre of Bangkok. Grammy was the main record company in Thailand, as well as being the main TV station and owner of the main radio stations. They kinda had it all sown up. They were fantastic people to work for, and I was treated so well by everyone there.
On my first visit we tried some recordings to make sure that Sek and I got on. The sessions were a blast. Sek is an extraordinary guitarist: one of the most gifted musicians I have ever recorded…..if not the most gifted. His playing was perfect….seemingly effortless. We had a great time.
I came back for another demo session. On this second occasion, my friend Bonehead, from Oasis, came along too. I’d been playing him Seks music, and he loved it. And there was definite room for Boneheads unique rhythm guitar playing on Seks music.
Demos completed, we actually went to Singapore to record the album proper. Sek wanted to get out of Bangkok so he could concentrate fully on the record. Tim Carr found us a cool studio….infact it was a full on SSL studio, that Warners had built, before deciding to sell it.
And then we finished off recording and mixing back in the UK, at Real World Studios, which suited Sek, as he was on the bill at Glastonbury that year…..Michael Eavis came down to Real World and met Sek…..he knew Bonehead well, obviously…..and got him a slot on one of the smaller stages.
I think I finished mixing the album back at my house in Wales.
I like the album a lot. Though it proved virtually impossible to get a western record company to take any interest at all in Sek, which is a real shame. Sek is so talented and so good at what he does, that he deserves an international audience. It seems that western record companies weren’t wanting or ready for an Asian rock star just yet.
I’ve lost what I originally, briefly wrote about ECC.
When I get the time and the inclination I’ll write something.
I had a brilliant, very creative time recording them. Josh and Gregg are incredible musicians and really good men. I miss them.
A good half of Ameritown is my very favourite and best recordings I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with.
The Satin Peaches were a band from Detroit that Marcus Russell somehow got excited about. And, he asked me to have a go recording them. We did a bunch of tracks at Allaire.
The big problem for The Satin Peaches was that whoever originally signed them at Island was ousted and got rid of when Dan Keeling was bought in to be head A&R honcho. Dan never liked The Satin Peaches…..or very specifically, Dan didn’t like George Morris’ voice: George was the lead singer of The Satin Peaches…..he wrote the songs….it was his band…..George was the whole fucking point of the band.
I liked The Satin Peaches…..they were young, dumb men, trying to make music as best they could. The lead guitarist couldn’t play guitar and the bass player couldn’t play the bass. I thought that was cool. The drummer could actually drum, so therefore he was the least cool member of the band. (yo, Ryan, Aaaron and Jeremy! How you doing? xx)
So we did these recordings….I think we did about ten songs in all. And Dan just kept complaining about the singing. Eventually Marcus took the project out of my hands and got Dave Sardy (the well known Noel Gallagher recording engineer) to mix “safer”, more “Dan Keeling” friendly versions of what we’d done……but frankly, to no avail. Dan dropped the band as soon as he possibly could.
George is still making music now, and his singing sounds as brilliant and unique now as it ever did.