North Peckham Skyline

Blinder took a long time to put together, what with Marcus being in Paris and Mark in London. The studio in Paris also offered almost infinite opportunities to tweak, change, add to and rearrange. In contrast, Mark's home studio was basic in the extreme which forced him to focus in on the songwriting. When Blinder finally came out, Mark revisited the results of this more low-fi approach and decide to offer a low-end release to make them available.

From the original release website:

This is the information that would have been in the booklet, if there had been one. Mark wanted this CD to be basic so we could hold the price down.

Background

A STEP BACK..........so im sitting in a hotel room in new york with a list of 25 radio interviews for that day .......im watching CNN and eating my room service breakfast ,sitting on my plush comfy sofa ...........its the 80s and SO are on there second american tour ....the band are wandering around the hotel ,or eating breakfast or swimming or doing what people in bands do .......and im sitting in my very nice suite answering questions ,talking about myself, making stuff up ..and occaisionly telling the truth .........3or 4 doors along a very plush,silent,timeless corridor ..marcus sits with another list of 25 interviews eating breakfast .................about lunch time amongst an avalanche of questions ..live on WHVY,OHIOs only alternative rock station ........." so , mark .........WHY DO YOU DO IT..."...........easy ........i mean im sitting in my very nice suite with a free mini bar and room service and whatever ..........talking about myself ..and back in london my dads working his way through the traffic ..driving a van ..starting at 7.30 in the morning ..............WHY DO I DO IT..i mean that has to be easy ...........doesnt it ...im on tour ,im in a band ,ive got a record deal ,ive got a record at no 35 in the american charts ..........and im being paid to do it .........when really i would do this for nothing ...............im a musician playing live ..people in the audience are singing the words to a song that i wrote .....................etc etc .........and then i heard myself say .........."well its really about puting something onto a blank sheet of paper ...first theres ..blank and then ,..........an idea .........(maybe it was the 20th interview that day ...) "........"well ...........your listening to mark long the singer with trhe new english rock band ..SO ..on WHVY ..OHIO only alternative rock station ...and this is ARE YOU SURE................." A STEP FORWARD.......south london ..early morning ..sitting in my studio at the top of the house ...my (then) 1 year old daughter having a peacfull morning nap ..........its warm ..im singing a river by joni mitchell .........its almost a new century ...........and in front of me a blank sheet of paper ...........the first in a couple of years ........( at this point ..if this was a FILM ..THIS WOULD BE THE FIRST SONG ON THE NORTH PECKHAM SKYLINE ALBUM )..... but it didnt work out like that ...but it was a start .........that buzz i suppose ...that feeling that kind of drives it all forwards ..an idea .....the reason why i did it ..why i wanted to do it in the first place and the reason im still doing it ..............to write a song ........................................

Ideas

I suppose I've always been excited by ideas.. the initial, early, pure ideas... a couple of chords, some words, a melody line....a drum beat... a bass line...
But the recording process kind of takes you further and futher away from that 'IDEA'... I've always found the recording process frustrating and disappointing...

The Cover

The front cover photo is of me as a baby hop-picking...with my parents and grandparents...and a cousin I think... See also Hop-picking

North Peckham Skyline

The studio is at the top of the house and looks out over the rooftops towards Peckham and Canary Wharf beyond... I live in the same London borough...Sourthwark...as my parents and grandparents and great grandparents.




Influences

"When eight million men and women decide to live together on the same spot things are bound to happen."

"We are off again on more adventures. Before us lies the mystery of dark London, of London under the glow of lamps; London under moon and stars; London under fretful, dull skies."

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Andy Rattenbury

Andy hails from the West Country and was a classically trained violinist up to the age of eight when it got ‘too sore’. He switched to the guitar and never looked back, or forward. He was a member of several legendary local bands who, due to ‘personal differences’ and ‘the stress of the music business,’ never actually got to play any gigs. However, observers of rehersals said, ‘They could have been great.’ Thanks Mum. He then span off into a theatrical career, training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and was an actor for fifteen years before turning to writing. Now a television writer, he co-created Teachers for Channel Four and Absolute Power for the BBC, and is currently developing a number of projects with ITV and the BBC. His adaptation of ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice,’ will be produced at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, prior to a West End run. ‘North Peckham Skyline’ marks the return to music for this near-iconic multi-instrumentalist. (Guitar, harmonica and.. Well, guitar and harmonica is ‘multi’ isn’t it? Nit-picking bastards!) The musician’s musician had this to say about his return: ‘You want me to play on your album? Are you fucking mad?!’ Luckily for us all, Mark Long wasn’t mad, just hopelessly misled. Joy to the world.

Joe Presley wrote a review.Some more here

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