Dodgy release new album -Stand in a Cool Place – out 20th February 2012
aaamusic | On 12, Jan 2012
The new album of brand new songs by Dodgy has been a long time coming but ‘Stand Upright In A Cool Place’ (Strike Back Records) is well worth the wait. Deeper and more mature but with bigger choruses and stronger melodies, recorded over the summer of 2011 in an old farmhouse in Malvern and mixed by Matt Pence in Texas, the original members Nigel Clark, Andy Miller and Mathew Priest, have recorded their best work to date. ‘Stand Upright In A Cool Place’ is the forth album from the original trio, and their first album of new material since the platinum selling ‘Free Peace Sweet’ in 1996 and follows Dodgy’s 2001’s ‘Real Estate’ album.
Nigel, Mathew and Andy were brought back together four years ago at a funeral, in similar circumstances to those that recently brought The Stone Roses back together; in Dodgy’s case it was the sad loss of their friend and long standing lighting director, Andy Moore.
Once the decision had been made to regroup and the band completed a successful reunion tour, culminating in a sold out show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Dodgy found the creative chemistry was as strong as ever and set about writing and recording new songs. Sessions began in an old wooden workshop in Nigel’s back garden in Malvern. The studio didn’t need to be soundproofed as there were no neighbours and as a result the album has been enhanced by an interesting variety of additional sounds – doors creaking, birds singing, dogs barking, you might possibly pick out the sound of a tractor on one song. The location has certainly influenced the process and final song choice. Two of the central tracks on the album ‘Tripped and Fell’ and ‘Raggedstone Hill’ take inspiration from an 800 year old myth from Malvern about a local monk who fell in love with a local lass and as a penance, was forced to climb Raggedstone Hill on his hands and knees, for falling foul of the bountiful evils of the flesh.
To mix the album the band decamped to Texas. Some of Dodgy’s favourite recent music has been released by the Bella Union label and after letting MD Simon Raymonde hear some of the early song recordings, he recommended that they hook up with Matt Pence, who recently mixed albums by John Grant and Midlake. The band are unanimous in their opinion that Matt’s insight and work on the tracks has brought out an inner majesty in the songs that even exceeded the their expectations.
Such is the confidence in their new output, that Dodgy have already successfully completed a UK tour previewing ‘Stand Upright In A Cool Place’ in it’s entirety, where songs such as ‘What Became Of You’, ‘Only A Heartbeat’ and ‘Tripped And Fell’ have quickly established themselves as firm favourites in the Dodgy repertoire.
The first time round, Dodgy were only together for seven years, but in that time they sold over a million records worldwide; released three albums and 12 Top 40 singles including ‘Staying Out For The Summer’, ‘So Let Me Go Far’, ‘If You’re Thinking Of Me’ and the Top 5 hit ‘Good Enough’, all still a staple of radio playlists. They sold out the Brixton Academy for three nights in a row and were awarded an unprecedented 90-minute Saturday evening slot on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival in 1997 before headliners Radiohead. Not bad, for a band reputed not to be shy when it comes to enjoying a festival, and for many the archetypal festival band.
Asked about the time lapse between albums, singer Nigel Clark says:“What’s the rush? We’ve taken our time to make sure this album is better than our last one… and that was brilliant. The fans deserve it and we believe that the songs are good enough to win us a whole new audience”