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Mary Currie and various other Flaming Tunes associates have been going through the archive of Gareth Williams, the prodigious boxes of the pictures, letters, mini discs and tapes, that go back 25 years and beyond, in order to share with you some of the music that hasn't before seen the light of day.

It's important to say that these pieces were sketches, ongoing works and not destined for release, but they do shed light on the musical landscape around the time of Flaming Tunes as well as standing up in their own right.

You'll find download links to the music on the right of the page.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License

 

NOTHING ON

To celebrate the release of the Flaming Tunes CD we offer Nothing On. This was a track made by Gareth during the period after the release of the original FT cassette. Again it is built on a fairly cerebral, even mechanical base, with a repeating arpeggio and a descending figure over 12 bars, but the ease of the melody, the humour in the lyrics and the passion of delivery lift it into being one of his most effective songs.

During the Flaming Tunes period, lyrics were more often than not made up from quoted texts, but in this period Gareth seems to feel freer to express himself in a more personal way, in his own words, and in more direct and straight forward language - though there is still ambiguity. For a couple of decades I personally took this to be a love song until I was recently informed that the 'you' in the lyric refers to the muse, inspiration.

"I won't imagine a world without you in it "

A special thank you goes to Colin Harrison who has put a great deal of work into a new edit of the video he started with Gareth in 1989 to conicide with the release of the CD. Click here to read Colin's note on the video.

mfh



Nothing On (mp3)

Nothing On Video (file size = 60 Mb)

31  

We've been looking for a more definitive version of this song but without success - so far. However this early working of it is worth a listen. It's a good example of how Gareth would work sometimes from a method, a simple system, which would spark an idea that eventually gains a life of its own and turns into something much more expressive. In this case it was a chord played in a finger picking style with the thumb playing the bottom string alternating with the finger playing the other five strings, then repeating with the thumb on the fifth, then fourth, third, second and top strings, making a pattern of 31 beats. So far, so cerebral, but it is given emotional content by Gareth's melody and lyrics, and Charles Bullen's almost funky guitar pulls the whole thing together and makes the uneven bars feel easy and natural. Also playing is Dave Bernez on bass, and is that Mr Roland Drumatix on drums?

"Hope I get old before I die laughing"

 



31

BREAST STROKE DUB  

"Tom Morely, ex-Scritti drummer, kindly lent me a Roland 606 Drumatix with a synced up 303 Bass Line. They were quite new at the time, but even then we thought they were a bit naff in their silver plastic pouches with matching shoulder straps. They have since become much sought after, particularly in Acid House circles. Anyway, they were new toys to play with so I took them round to Gareth's house in Balham, and came up with a drum and bassline, but i don't think we took it much further at that time. Gareth took this and over time built up the layers and, during a time when I don't remember being much involved, turned it into what is now Breast Stroke. I'm not sure at what stage this instrumental was mixed, but obviously post vocal, as you can hear it bleeding through. This would have been a live mix by myself and Gareth straight to cassette, and is probably one of many."

Martin Harrison

 



Breast Stroke Dub

ANGER OF FIRE  

This comes from the period after the Flaming Tunes album and has had many versions, with the guitar figure being used in countless other manifestations. The players were, we think, Rick Wilson on drums, Dave Bernez on bass, Gareth Williams guitar, Mary Currie keyboards, Sally Kiddall on fiddle, plus others as yet unidentified. Initially recorded at Gareth's house it was then voiced at Mary's, this being an early version that subsequently went on to get more developed vocal treatments.

 

Anger Of Fire

SAFE AND WARM / BURNING SOLIDARITY  

'Safe And Warm' and 'Burning Solidarity', are not directly related to Flaming Tunes but are certainly from around the same time. The fact that some of the sounds come from a Greengate sampler, (an early attempt at a sampler which ran on an Apple II, and was known as the poor man's Fairlight), dates them to at least the mid eighties.

There is a forum available here to share any feedback you may have concerning these free releases, or anything else you may wish to discuss about Flaming Tunes.

 

 

Safe And Warm

Burning Solidarity