Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

This Sunday morning  (october 26th) we will be a part of the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Marathon here in Vancouver.  The Rn R Marathon is a half marathon that has the distinction of having a live music soundtrack!  All along the marathon course will be several bands, each performing as the majority of the runners goes by.

Combine the Victorious will be playing at one of the early stages, we're on from 8:15 to around 9 Am this Sunday morning.  (for anyone who knows us, this is ridiculously early for either of us, but we've got the gig and we're doing it!)


So, if you're running in the race give us a wave as you go by.  We've got some new tunes ready to perform and they should provide the perfect soundtrack for a rainy Sunday morning!  

Read more about the marathon here

Cheers!
Mark and Isabelle

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

a brief history of It's Still On (Please)

Our new track - It's Still On - has a long history.  We initially wrote and recorded a version for our second release, the Disagreements EP.   It was an ok recording but really in retrospect I always heard it as a demo rather than a finished record.  We'd shared the writing with our pals Barry Flynn and Ingrid Schroeder and it was an exciting moment.  However, the years rolled by and the song started to feel forgotten.

We were considering tunes to play for Isabelle's parents Golden Anniversary, and, because there was going to be a piano at the party, I recalled our old song Please.  It was written around a completely free form piano part, with wildly varying tempos and time signatures, very romantic.  Isabelle and I began rehearsing for Scotland and after the first time we tried it just with piano for accompaniment we both felt the excitement again.

While over in Scotland, we had the pleasure of driving up through the Highlands and had a brilliant visit with Barry and Ingrid, whose brother, record proudcer Paul Schroeder, was also staying over.  Back a decade Paul and I were recording bands together in London (he produced, I engineered).  We'd not seen each other for nine years.  Of course it was a full fledged re-meeting  that led to conversations about our new album.  Perhaps Paul would consider working on it with us.  (the only hitch being he now lives in Copenhagen)

We returned to Vancouver and started working on a new batch of songs which should complete the next album.  I found the old multitrack session of Please and just listened to what we'd recorded initially.  With the exception of Kevin Jones' drumming and a few guitar parts I wanted to redo everything!  So starting once again from the piano we rebuilt the track, this time with a vaster sonic vision.  We worked on the vocal blends quite a bit, as I was emulating some old favorite records of the 70's.   It was starting to sound pretty good so I begun sending reference mixes to my group of trusted ears which  rekindled the conversation with Paul.  He had several suggestions for various parts of the song so  I asked if he might just mix himself.  And he did!  Below is the product of a rawkus-post-midnight-kitchen-party in Cromarty, Scotland!

It's Still On.


And hey, if you like the song please share it.  We need your help getting the sound out there!
Cheers and thanks for listening.
Mark

lyrics:

Waking up, still tired
feeling down, uninspired
draining out, the hard work washed away

Giving up, so heart broken
all the dreams, left unspoken
see them smile as we become the same

Don't be scared of what we're seeing
just realize there's more to being
than what you buy or steal or break
it's how you live and what you make
I think it's time to disagree
with what we've learned for centuries
'cause never in our history
have we been more in debt to greed

Waiting on a wave to break
riding on the chance you take
for a better way, someday
might not be that far away


It's ok, we made it through today
we'll beg or steal or borrow
to make it thru tomorrow
Hope's not gone
it's still on
you may be out of favour
but you could be your savior


Words and music by M Henning, I Dunlop, I Schroeder, B Flynn