My friend Colin Wilson called from London – his wife, Genevieve Lemon, who had the starring female lead in The West End Production of Billy Elliot the Musical suggested to him that they should bring me over to the UK so we could make music together. Colin had this idea that we should record a live performance at The Live Room in Palmer's Green, accompanied by some traditional Irish players and singers from Billy Elliot.
I was out touring for the spring and summer in support of my Always Yes CD, but I had a break in the middle of it, and we chose that as the time for me to go to London. Ron Colone, who runs the company that puts out my records, decided he wanted to be there too, so he left from LAX just as I was landing at Heathrow.
Colin selected the players and made all the technical arrangements, and for the better part of a week he and I sat in his parlor playing a bunch of my songs. Gen sang harmony and a few duets with me, and at night went to work at the theater, where she worked out vocal parts with some of the singers from Billy Elliot. Ron added his
impressions, as he knew my music and ways better than anyone.
We had three or four rehearsals scheduled, so the Irish players could learn the songs, but we actually only played together one time for about two hours, which, as it turned out, was fine because it’s been about 25 years since I’ve actually had a formal rehearsal with any of my bands for any gig I’ve played. I’m used to playing with great players who basically improvise when they play with me, which was the case, again, in London. None of the players knew the music and I didn't really have a plan of what I was going to play other than a couple of duets with Genevieve. Ron helped eased Colin's deep concern because Colin is truly a musical perfectionist, and I basically improvise everything, even my own songs – different every night. As it turned out this was part of the charm of this live session--it was real and the people present at The Live Room that evening were treated to some amazing musicians swimming in uncharted waters.
Ron and I returned to the U.S., trusting Colin's production abilities and were confident that in post-production he would make it sound great. Colin organized the recording in a monastery in Mallorca and mixed the project in Sydney Australia.
This is Michael On Fire, along with the players shown and credited, Live in London. Enjoy---a courageous act of love and creativity.
released April 24, 2014
MICHAEL ON FIRE
LIVE IN LONDON
ALL MUSIC AND LYRICS BY MICHAEL ON FIRE
MICHAEL ON FIRE: Vocals, acoustic guitar
GENEVIEVE LEMON: Backing vocals
STEVIE HUTCHINSON: Backing vocals, percussion
JOEL MONTAGUE: Backing vocals, percussion
BEN GUNNERY: Fiddle, irish whistle
BRIAN KELLY: Tenor banjo, mandolin
BRYONY LEMON: Button accordion
TESS LIVINGSTONE: Bodhran
MEHMET RAIF: Bass
COLE CALLAGHAN: Pedal steel
COLIN WILSON: Acoustic guitar, backing vocals
AUDIO: FRED LAGERGREN
LIGHTING: LUKE CUTLER
STAGE: ALEX HAYES
RECORDED BY: COLIN WILSON, FRED LAGERGREN
MIXED BY: COLIN WILSON
MASTERED BY: NOA WINTER LAZERUS
RECORDED AT THE LONDON LIVE ROOM, PALMERS GREEN, LONDON.UK
MIXED AT CCLAB, BONDI BEACH, AUSTRALIA
MASTERED AT VOICE OF THE SILENCE SOUND, HOLLYWOOD, CAL. USA
DIGITALLY EDITED AT THE MONASTRY OF LLUC, MAJORCA ISLAND, SPAIN
BEN JACKSON, TOM JACKSON: LIVE ROOM
PETER WILSON - POWERLINK INTERNATIONAL, Australia : COMPUTERS AND TECH SUPPORT