Union of Souls ARC193
- Does Yellow Run Forever
- Lull Before the Storm
- Mindful of Love
- Union of Souls
The Shennans Story
The Shennans began playing in the combo of bass-vocal, guitar, horns and drums in the spring of 1985.We put a set together throughout the summer in time to start playing out by the autumn.It was about time to record a demo and we decided to record. it ourselves with such equipment as we had in an annexe of an hotel on the coast of Pembrokeshire.
It was a beautiful setting detached a short ways from the main buildings with panoramic views of the bay and more of the peninsular. I remember it as a very enjoyable adventure, something to look forward to.The only ones in the band who had proper jobs, or any cash money I should say, were Martin Vesey, Trombone and trumpet and Ray Colum, all types of saxophone served here and very well, too.The rest of us,myself, Angelo Bruschini and Geoff Alsopp were gratefully pursuing our arts at the pleasure of Her Majesty's Dept. of Health and Welfare, I rather think that I should add that we never really earned anything, you know,nothing not really, certainly not.
We wished to make a demonstration of what we might do and it was Martin who had the idea to go to this hotel, he must have known it from a previous experience and we were all up for an out-of- towner. Us pensionaires contributed .by getting through one or two gigs, the last being a great boozer in Montpelier and used that money to pursue finer things, or at least to make an attempt to do so.
Armed with a selection of sandwiches lovingly provided by one that was close, we made our way to the western-most of the old lands.
The annexe was perfect to our requiments: strangely very Scandinavian, which is where I live now, ., a very high pointy roof, all open in the central area, kitchen, kitchen and some bedrooms a round-abouts.
The central area, the sitting-room which included telly,radio and a library with a selection concentrating on places and matters of local interest was perfect to do the rythmn section minus Geoff, who seemed to have his own little room with both windows to us, his friends, and to the glories of Pembrokeshire, which were all about him. Remembering it now it seems funny, but at that very time, for most of us it was indeed a time that was befuddled, if there is such a word, by extra, and for some, excrutiating and seemingly insurmountable difficulties. The city of Bristol was experiencing some problems with it's ancient international port rites as a provider of everything one may possibly need. Nothing of a combustible spiritual nature was available, and this had been so for more than a fortnite. Believe me, some folks about were simply gagging. I understand now, that things are quite different nowadays in more ways than one, I hope that that may be better, is it? All I can say and will, is that we did get an awful lot done purely because we only had recourse to our ancient imbibments of cellar-temperature ale and naturally-bottled apple cider, which was very occasional because there was always a severe lack of cash-flow amongst the rythm-section and the guy that sang.
The whole of the engineering, recording and I suppose, production, as really it was all his equipment, was done by Angelo. He did all his guitar pieces on his own, unless the horn-guys were there to keep him company. One really did not need to be there when Angelo was about his guitar,not really, he was and is very able, a top-man. While Angelo was doing his bits and pieces, having perused the in-house library, I went for a wander to the end of the bay and amongst the rock-pools., I managed eventually to make it to the top.
One must always make a point of taking on board any information with regard to local tides, as they say, time and tide waits for no man. After spending more than one half an hour or so, I couldn't help but notice that there was no longer any beach left for me to return all dry and normal and that, to the hotel or even the annexe.
The only alternative was a considerable climb up a fairly impressive,though mostly green cliff -face, all the same the gradient was severe and my foot-ware was like shit. Nonetheless, with more than one or two fairly serious set-backs I managed to make it to the top, and not at all not being very much concerned for my personal safety, not really, I'd think twice about allowing my sons to do it,that is very much for certain, not at least if their half mad dad wasn't there to be with them.
Throughout 1986 the Shennans played out and about Bristol, playing at both Glastonbury and the 1986 Womad which was held that year at Clevedon and later disbanded at christmas, 1986.
John Shennan – August 2010