10 Q's with ROBIN GEORGE

Robin George
together with his
LovePower and Peace
band have just released an excellent album on Angel Air. All the profits of the
album will be split between three worthy childrens charities. Over to Robin for
more about the album…


 

1. What are you currently up to? (recording, gigs, plans etc.)

 

I’m
just mixing the LovePower Band album, ‘The Rubicon’ which is sounding excellent.

 

The band are Pete Haycock who’s co-producing the album., Mel Collins,
Charlie Morgan, Charlie Charlesworth , Me and Jacqui Williams. We’ve done some
gigs in Spain which were really successful so we’re looking to tour as soon as
we can.

 

We formed the band from the core of the LovePower & Peace project. It
wasn’t something I expected, but what a great band it is!


2. Could you take us through the new album ‘LovePower and Peace’?

 


I had a version of LovePower and Peace with Ruby Turner singing, so I used
that as the initial backing track, adding The LovePower Band and soul queens
Jaki Graham and Jacqui Williams to Ruby’s great performance as well as Ken
Hensley on Hammond and 200 school kids singing backing vocals.

 

Daffodils was Debbie, my wife’s dad’s favourite song and it was crying out
for a bluesier version. I’d already done an adaptation with Damage Control so
this band seemed the perfect medium to re-launch it with the LovePower Band and
Vix Fuzzbox and Charlie George singing backing vocals.

 

Cocoon was written with a great friend of mine, Pat Hannon, who sadly
never got the break he so deserved. I sent the song to Sean Harris and
inadvertently left out the melody so he rewrote the verses in his own inimitable
style which really suits the track.

 

Pride was written in the 80s when Ruby sang it so well; it is her original
vocal I used. It was re-recorded with Pete Thompson (Robin Trower Band) on drums
and Fred Skidmore from Dexy’s on clavinet. It’s already been reviewed as a
possible missing Motown track.

 

Bluesong was sung by my daughter Charlie. It’s a simple blues song, again
the right mood for this album and great for the band. Reviewers are picking up
on this track particularly so far.

 

Vix Fuzzbox recorded a version of World for her last album and I invited
her to share lead vocals along with Freya Copeland from Emmerdale and Arthur
Brown. I was sitting outside a bar in Spain when someone said, ‘That’s Crazy
Arthur Brown!’ so I followed him down the street, invited him to get involved
and he came to record vocals at my studio the next day. The track also features
The Women in Music Choir and 50 school kids and The LovePower Rock Choir. Too
many names to mention here but all the details are on the album sleeve,
featuring Andie Airfix’s fabulous artwork.

 

King’s Call is a wonderful Phil Lynott song which really suited the mood
of the album, and I think it’s a great version by the band.

 

I recorded Tired Eyes with the late great David Byron as a demo for what
would have been the next Byron Band album. Sadly that was not to be but when I
sent the song to Mel Collins who was also in the Byron Band (another coincidence
which this project is full of!) he added his virtuoso sax and the track came
back to life.

 

Another Lonely Night I wrote with Daniel Boone for (believe it or not!)
Alvin Stardust. When I tracked Daniel down he came straight to Birmingham to
record his vocals in one take.

 

Friends came about when I saw the great YouTube video of Joe Cocker that
someone’s captioned really well. It made me laugh so I sent it to Pete Way who
watched it without his glasses, then replied to say he agreed… what a great idea
for a track for the sharing album it would be! I hadn’t thought of using the
track but it seemed so right the moment Pete mentioned it as this whole album is
about friends helping each other to help others.

Again too many fab musicians to
mention involved but there are 10 guitar players, 4 keyboard players etc…a
really major production. We donated the video of this track at Morgan Fisher’s
request to Artists Support Japan, following the tsunami disaster which you can
see at this link…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qm1xtm8p-Q

 

The rest of the album are great demos that have been in my archives and
with the blessing of the artists involved we included them to round the album
off. To me they’re good songs that will do more good helping others than sitting
on my shelf and everyone agrees. As Pete Haycock said, after Friends, The
LovePower Band has left the building so sit back and enjoy these great songs!

 

Highlights for me are Alice which brought Eddie Clarke on board as Pete
Way said it’d really suit his style, and it does. No Justice I wrote with Dave
Martin and Andy Pyke from Marshall Law and they’ve been real solid supporters of
this project, coming to the Birmingham session at Robannas and doing radio and
TV interviews. There are some great interviews, in fact, on robingeorge.co.uk
with Andy, Jaki Graham and Daniel Boone as well as on centralfm.com and all over
youtube Mona Lisa smile with Pete Goalby and Wasted Time with John Wetton are 2
great tracks and square another circle; as with Ken Hensley and David Byron,
these guys were all in Uriah Heep.


 

 3. This has been a long term album. What gave you the initial idea to
record ‘LovePower and Peace’? Who were the first musicians on board?

 

 
The
song LovePower and Peace was the start of the whole project. I mentioned to a
friend I was thinking of mixing a version with all the artists who’d covered the
song over the years, and he said do it for charity then,,,this is how it
began…it was going to be just a single, but as more musicians heard about it,
they offered to help and it grew into a 17 track album


 

The first guy on board was the drummer Pete Thompson who I worked with
briefly in the Byron Band. He put me back in touch with Pete Haycock who I
worked with in the Climax Blues Band. Charlie Morgan from The Elton Jon Band was
next who I did sessions with in the eighties, then Charley Charlesworth, who
I’ve worked with for many albums, joined on bass. Jacqui Williams was after
that, and then after a year’s searching I managed to track down Mel Collins in
Germany. It’s great to have such a superb band for a project with a mission to
help others for a change.


4. The album features songs from right across your musical career,
including having songs associated with you like ‘Heartline’. How did it feel to
have Nick Tart singing that song in particular? Also, when looking at vocalists
did you have a vocalist in mind for each song?

 

Nick’s
vocal on Heartline is great and it was the song he chose. Only one studio
version of the song existed till now so if you like the song it’s worth a
listen. It’s very different from the original.


 

Some songs were obvious choices for certain singers, or already existed;
others came naturally as the album progressed.


5. One of the undoubted vocal stars of the album is Jacqui Williams. How
did you get to have her involvement in the album?

 

I
helped design a recording studio in the Midlands and happened to see Jacqui at a
local gig. To test the studio, Jacqui did backing vocals on my ‘Bluesongs’
album. For a laugh we also did a couple of commercials which were great and
we’ve stayed in touch ever since. Jacqui’s now the lead singer in The LovePower
Band and her singing is superb.


6. Is the rock and metal scene still in good shape or do you think there
maybe to many bands out there now competing for an audience that isn’t growing
that much?

 

I
don’t think the music industry’s in great shape generally but there’s a lot of
talent out there that deserves to be heard.


7. How important has it been to have a specialist magazines – ‘‘Classic
Rock’, ‘Fireworks’ – in the High Street stores raising the profile of rock
music?

 

It’s
vital that these magazines keep people in touch with what’s going on in rock.
They’ve all been really supportive to me, particularly Fireworks who reviewed
the album and donated ad space and did a great article on the release of the
single LovePower and Peace. It can be downloaded from and every penny goes
direct to Macmillan Cancer Support. I have personal experience of what a great
organisation they are and how they help people when they really need it.


8. If you could go back in time and perhaps change one career decision
what would it be and why?



It
wasn’t really a career decision but when we lost Phil Lynott just after we
reformed Thin Lizzy with Brian Downey it stopped me in my tracks for a while. We
were writing and recording for the new album and when I went home for Christmas
Phil asked for the session tapes to work on over the holidays. Unfortunately
that was never to be, and the tapes are still missing.

 


9. What was it like when you managed to get a gathering of musicians
together in Birmingham to record for the album? It is perhaps more unusual now
to have musicians gathered in one studio, as the internet allows many albums to
be recorded at different locations by band members.

 

Without
the net this album couldn’t have happened. The expense of travelling around the
globe…from the UK to Australia and most countries in between would have made it
un-viable, it would have been a great trip though! The Brum session was a great
day, and to see so many friends together to help this cause was a really
heart-warming experience.

10. Angel Air have been releasing your back catalogue
(solo/bands/production) over the past couple of years. Is there anything else
being lined-up for release and any possible live DVD covering your career to
date?

 

Coincidentally
I’ve been approached with the idea of a live DVD, featuring artists I’ve worked
with in the past, especially now that the LovePower Band is on the road and
kicking!

 


People
seem very interested in hearing songs from Dangerous Music again live, so who
knows!

 


Anything else to add and a message for your fans…

 

As
always, thanks for all your support.


 

Buy The LovePower and Peace sharing album and help us to help others. 100%
of all monies raised go directly to the charities we are supporting and they
desperately need help and support from all of us.

 

Finally I’d like to thank all the fantastic artists and musicians who
stood behind me and donated their time and talent to make this initiative a
reality.


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