Collaborations

  Vamp and The Swede

 
   

For the last few years, lead guitarist Pete Knight has been moonlighting with Ema Walter. (Yes that's right, THE Ema Walter). They have been quite prolific with their song writing, quickly filling several CDs worth of material. Despite Pete's involvement, it has still turned out to be really good - remarkable! Though can you believe that they originally tried recording their songs without bass, when there was a perfectly, (let's call him adequate), bass guitarist living just up the road. It is frankly scandalous.

However, they have now partially corrected their error and "The Coot" features on three of their tracks. (Still waiting for the settlement of my invoice though). If you listen carefully, for a few fleeting moments, you may hear a rather special bass guitar sliding about in the middle section of "Different Day".

 
   

Why Vamp and the Swede? Well when I find out, I'll publish the explanation here. In the meantime simply know that Pete almost earned himself the additional nickname of "Turnip" to go with the many others we've already given him.

So Pete is the Swede, but what of the Vamp. Why is Ema referred to thus? Well I looked up Vamp in the Oxford Concise and reader, I can tell you that there are some disturbing choices for us:

1) The upper front part of a boot or shoe.
2) A patched up article.
3) An improvised musical accompaniment.
4) An unscrupulous flirt.
5) A woman who uses sexual attraction to exploit men.

I will make no further comment.

Perhaps if the mood takes you, you might want to click here to listen to a short extract from Different Day, which I believe was dedicated to a friend of the unscrupulous flirt on her wedding day. Ahhhhh!!!

 
   

Update 17/09/06 Mystery solved. You can now sleep at nights knowing that this photo is the real reason that they are called Vamp and the Swede. How attractive.

 
  Vamp and the Swede
 

  The Spirellas

 
   

It would be easy to compose an entire website covering the bands that Nicky has sung for over the years, but Nicky 'ooh hasn't she got a lovely voice' Clarke already gets far to much of the limelight, so I'll just give you Miles Apart's brief encounter with The Spirellas.

 
    The Spirellas and their
		 plentiful hair

After a long period of Omicron inactivity, we arranged a come-back gig in Oxhey, Hertfordshire on Saturday 23rd March 1996. (How can you have a come-back gig when you never made it in the first place?) Anyhow we decided that it would be fun to have some support for this concert and to incorporate some of the friends that band members had been 'musing' with during Omicron's lull.

Iain had won Battle of the Bands at Southampton University with musical duet Zig Zag (more of this later). Meanwhile Nicky told us that she was into a capella. Initially, I'd incorrectly assumed that she'd started cliff diving, but apparently this is all about singing songs without a bunch of cool guitarists in the background making you sound good. Impossible, we thought!!

To my surprise, it turned out that voices could sound quite reasonable without bass guitar in the background...no really. So The Spirellas joined us, along with Zig Zig at the Oxhey gig. Somewhere there are some tapes from this gig, including the Spirella set. I hope to include an excerpt in the samples section of this site in due course.

The Spirellas can be seen in the picture to the left (From top: Nicky Clark, Kerry Hodgkin, Rachel Farrow and Angie). Kerry is still singing professionally - read more about her work here. Kerry's site includes a great quote from Maddy Prior , which I love:

"All that talent, all that hair!"

Now there's a quote that is unlikely to be aimed at me after a gig any time soon. Btw, there's a point for anyone that can spot the subtle Mike Oldfield connection that I threw in above.

 
     

Since the Oxhey concert, Angie has joined us on a couple of occasions to provide additional vocals, most noteably in Chorleywood and Rachel has become a more permanent member of Miles Apart. Due to our non-existent schedule of concerts, Rachel and indeed the world are still awaiting her Miles Apart debut.

Now as an aside, the Spirellas present us with another one of those 'where did the name come from' discussions. Almost all searches on the web point to the Spirella corset company. So was this talented all-female a capella group named after that iconic 1904 product? Hopefully not, or their gigs might have looked something like this:

 
    How the stage might 
		have looked  
 
More Collaborator Updates coming soon...
 


Page Last Updated: 28th February 2009