Yes, with many a hooray, pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-paaaahs and airborne millinery, we are delighted to fulfil the promise that we made in our last post and announce the lavish gala that is the album launch.
All over the UK, renters of Armani tuxedos, stretch limos and ear defenders are greasing the mechanisms of their tills in anticipation of the fevered rush of glitterati, glamour army and grandes fromages as they batter down doors in the rush to be seen at Cirencester’s renowned music venue, the Vaults on the 4th of December.
It’s been a long, strange road, filled with signs that we don’t recognise and needlessly self-referential lyrical allusions but it’s brought us to a place that we’re happy to be. The title ‘Belly Full of Sunshine’ is a fine title for an album that’s been built on a foundation of good times and shared laughter. For all the anger and despair evident here and there (ahem) in the lyrics, it’s not a work of bile and vituperation. If anything, the railing and gnashing of teeth is levelled at the ignorance and injustice that is all that keeps so many people from being able to have what we do.
Here’s a perfect vignette: just towards the beginning of the recording process, as we were rehearsing songs and thinking about arrangements, Roo threw a barbecue. It’s an annual family bash and by family, that meant including a circle of friends, neighbours and disreputable musicians. There was fine food, smiles and sunshine enough to justify being barefoot in the grass. A friendly, semi-competent game of softball was punctuated with laughter and good-natured humour. If the Layers stand for anything, it’s for the good-natured throwing around of a frisbee in the sunshine and those who would prevent that through denying people parks, freedom of choice, health, the money to afford a frisbee or by subtly forcing on them a life of sedentary vegetation… well, they’re going to have to get used to our staunch opposition and shouty lyrics. So there. It’s actually a grass-roots social justice and mobility movement but done with such craft and subtlety that it could easily be mistaken for four middle aged men dossing around. Don’t be fooled.
So there it is. We’ve worked hard on this. Our last recording was a demo – purely to showcase what we could achieve live. We’d like to think that we’ve progressed from there, as songwriters, musicians and as people and we hope that our listeners will hear that in these tracks.
We had to take the hard decision not to record some old favourites on this project; in particular ‘Surf Trip’ and ‘Eriphany’ are songs that we would have liked to give the lavish studio treatment. Instead, we’ve opted for a dozen previously unrecorded tracks, including one that’s only been gigged as a trial run. This time there are extra tracks added, we’ve done more than we could manage live without recruiting a little help. We’ve tried to provide depth and texture to the songs and we’ve been delighted with the job that Andy’s done of translating our intentions into music.
So we look forward to the 4th and hope that as many of you will join us as you can. If you aren’t able to come and partake of a belly full of sunshine with us, fear not. We’ll be posting CDs to anyone who would like one and making tracks available through the miracle of the Internet soon.