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Blog: 2000AD Nans

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I was off work POORLY again yesterday - heckers neckers, this dribbling cold is sticking around. It's not making any effort to be DEBILITATING, it just SITS there in my nose and forehead, being dreary. Get lost, rubbish cold!

In my efforts NOT to be deterred from ACTION i spent a very delightful couple of hours in the afternoon FINALLY finishing off a recording of the song 2000AD Nans (there's nothing at that page at the moment,by the way, I'll sort it out soon!) for inclusion on a forthcoming Keep Pop Loud compilation.

This song has had a LENGTHY gestation period. It first came about via an occasional and ongoing experiment in COLLABORATION between myself and Frankie Machine whereby every couple of years he sends me a batch of TUNES... which i proceed to MANGLE through my general inability to play the Proper Chords he often uses. This time i TRANSPOSED them into a key i COULD play (with vaguely similar versions of the chords anyway) and wrote down some words for an idea I'd had for AGES.

A few years ago there was a spate of very similar letters appearing in the 2000AD letters page, from people who wished to pay tribute to their NANS. All over the world there were, and doubtless still are, people whose Nans had bought them their regular weekly comic as a special treat, and had then kept doing it when they left home. People talked about Nans stockpiling back issues until their next visit, or sending them all around the world, with the exchange becoming a constant symbol of their relationship. As 2000AD readers move into their thirties and forties the league of Nans gently declined in number, and it really touched me to think of all these lovely relationships which had, as a small but vital part, an incredibly violent, anarchic slice of weekly punk rock.

It probably helped that my own early comic buying years had involved my Nans - Nan Bertie used to get me The Beano (which I read while she read The Weekly News) and Nan Bike gave me the pocket money which bought Whizzer and Chips, Starlord and then 2000AD. I stirred in my own story to all the other stories I'd read and came up with some words which, invariably, got me a bit weepy whenever I sang them.

The tune, meanwhile, went through all SORTS of changes, into different tempo, keys and time signatures. When Keep Pop Loud got in touch for a track I returned to the latest version of the song, as a fairly straight 4/4 strum and tried it in WALTZ time. It sounded good to me, so I sent a version off to Frankie to see if he fancied joining in. A week or so later I had another listen and realised, to my horror, that I had turned it into a DIRGE. It thus FINALLY went back to something approaching its original format, being a bit JAZZY and growing a SUPER FUNKY bass line. This went back to Frankie again, where it was received with some RELIEF!

Also he was unable to add some SUPER JANGLE to it, but for an EXCELLENT and EXCITING reason - he and his band are playing INDIETRACKS this year, and so were not only knee deep in REHEARSAL, but also RECORDING! The news JUST IN is that there will AT LAST be a BRAND NEW Frankie MAchine album available for the Festival - I am going down for the Sunday ESPECIALLY to get it!

And so it was that yesterday afternoon I sat down to add my OWN jangly guitar (recording the different sections as different tracks, jangling is HARD!) as well as a tiny bit of keyboard, some UKELELE and - ho! - MASSIVE DISTORTED GUITAR. Luckily I'd already recorded the vocals (i was and am in NO fit state for singing!) so then it was just a matter of a bit of MIXING and it was FINALY finished. HOORAH! And best of all: it sounded really lovely!

It's over with Lee Keep Pop Loud Now, who says it should be out fairly soon-ish. I shall ALERT you when it's available, as I am EAGER to play it, it's dead nice. Just have a hanky ready!

posted 23/6/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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New Frankie Machine? Hot Damn!
posted 23/6/2011 by Ray

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