Platform 1 (Josh and Martha) contributed much to the album – ‘The End of Summer’ – with The Enablers, released in spring 2020. Some gigs, with The Enablers and Platform 1 (so P1ATE) were planned to accompany the release. Lockdowns prevented these. During the winter and early spring of this tear, some new and interesting (musically; via their narratives; from the persepctive-taking within them) songs were constructed. The aim was to play about with these with a view to recording them. Until now, this has also not been possible. However, finally – in terms of (re-)rehearsing The End of Summer material, working on P1 material and trying out the new work – this has been possible.
A set of songs recorded during late spring/early summer 2020. Experimentation with different modes and perspectives in writing (i.e. moving from the personal/observational).
‘The wind’ was written and a demo made during a musical gathering over a weekend prior to the first national lockdown. I re-recorded it, with Jon Matthews – who was at the gathering – adding the striking lead guitar. It celebrates the newfound inspiration.
‘My heart is elsewhere’ is a ‘post-release demo’, as the song was released on The Enablers album, ‘The End of Summer’, early in 2020. This version came spontaneously when I was fiddling about with various rhythms and sounds at home.
‘Entanglement’ is the story of a coercive relationship ‘set to music’. The lyrical content drove the song. It’s a tough listen, I’m afraid.
‘Oh yes, the heart!’ comes from that perspective-taking narrative style mentioned above, which bloomed following creating these and other demos, and the mature fruits of which will be heard on the next Enablers album…as soon as restrictions allow it to be made! Musically, the song interested me because of the lack of repeated lines within each verse.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – P1ATE (Platform 1 and The Enablers)
A good friend and a musical collaborator passed away at the start of the autumn. Sean Townsend performed with some of us and was the sound engineer on a number of occasions for the others.
Near the end of his life, he reflected on the care he had received. Sean erred towards perfectionism, finding some fault, for instance, in most of his own work (the final productions of almost all the work he produced were labelled ‘Rough Mix’!). However, he had only good things to say about the Macmillan nurses who visited him – talking to him, providing what he needed (in terms of a human being with particular interests and specific needs) – as he approached his passing.
Platform 1 (Martha and Josh) and the Enablers (Andy, Jem and Jon) came together, mainly virtually, to produce this track as our first, very modest, tribute to Sean (How much we wish we could have added his keyboard playing to it) and, primarily, to raise some funds for Macmillan Cymru, an organisation whose compassionate, holistic approach was so valued by our friend.
All monies raised via the Bandcamp sales will be given, directly, to Macmillan Cymru.
The second album with the Enablers, with the band being joined by Martha Lee (vocals) and Josh Lee (guitar) of Platform 1.
Much influenced by the work and (contrary) character of poet, Patrick Kavanagh – an impressionistic and assimilatory reading of both.
Jon Airdrie – basic guitars, piano, organ, brass and string arrangements
Jem Ponsford – drums and backing vocals
Martha Lee – vocals and backing vocals
Andy Ponsford – bass
Josh Lee – seven string electric guitar
Julie Bailey – six string electric guitar on track #1
Engineered and co-produced by Mike Hopkins of Towpath Studio during the spring of 2020.
Artwork by: V. Airdrie, J. Matthews and T. Valentine. Image manipulation by A. Ponsford.
We’re almost there with the new record. Just a few mixes to fiddle about with, and – as was the case with ‘The Guest’ – the deliberating over the images and format of the sleeve taking almost as long as the album took to record!
The life and work of the Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh, has had an influence on many of the songs included on the collection. The influence is both fairly direct (i.e. citing lines from his work) and allusive (i.e. a lay and subjective reading of the manner, perspective(s) and angst of the man).
All of The Enablers from ‘The Guest’ (Jon, Jem, Andy and Julie) make an appearance on this album, but they were joined by the young, talented and enthusiastic Platform 1, namely Martha and Josh Lee, who added both creative content and technical ability. Their contribution was significant…as you will recognise when you come to hear the album! The bulk of the recording has been carried out with the excellent Mike Hopkins at Towpath Studio. As he did with ‘The Guest’, Mike managed to capture the songs played ‘live’ in the studio, over just a few hours, and has carefully interpolated the addtional tracks.
It is with a significant degree of excitement that I can annouce (‘Announce’? Pendantic?) a new project with The Enablers. Tracks have been ‘put down’ and other Enablers will add more. There are a variety of themes. Underpinning them all is, possibly, a reading of the poems of Patrick Kavanagh – and, also, reading of his life – over some weeks last summer.