GLAMORONICA
Glamoronica
Fishnet Brando Aliens Took My Stereo All I Ever Do The Cowboy Astronaut of Mother’s Day Everything is Wrong Music for Televisions
album Sex Dummy 2003 pictures Face Academy Andy Hollingworth  2004 lyrics All I Ever Do 2005 song All I Ever Do 2005 video Ballerina Edinburgh 2003
GENERAL INFO Gary’s third major project, which would have been his third album and show, if only I’d finished making it in 2005. Instead, it became too unwieldy and I abandoned it halfway through in favour of Beef Scarecrow. Having written several songs for it, however, I returned to it eight years later and recorded a few vocals to make a six-track EP, released as a digital download on July 18, 2013. RECORDING VENUE & DATES Backing tracks: 27 Maude Terrace, Walthamstow, October 23, 2004 - October 10, 2005 Vocals: Poplar, East London, June 12 - July 1, 2013 COVER IMAGE A horrible picture created with a basic version of Adobe Photoshop way back in 2002, based on a snap from Gary’s first ever photo shoot at 74 Chewton Road, Walthamstow. God knows what possessed me to choose it over these other two far superior potential options:
album notes Polaroid Suitcase 2012
2005/2013
LISTEN/BUY
album notes Glamoronica 2013 video Loose Lips Living TV 2003 song Photocopier 2004 album Polaroid Suitcase 2003
THE MUSIC Six surprisingly upbeat synth-rockers about failure, loneliness, fear and loss, made by a very silly man who is trying to come to terms with things not quite working out the way he’d hoped, but putting a brave face on it all the same. THE RECORDING PROCESS Having gone as far as I could with my bizarre, homespun PlayStation/Adobe Premiere set-up, I decided to use some of Gary Le Strange’s newfound riches to invest in a proper music PC and several virtual instruments, finally furnishing myself with the beginnings of a home studio. And thank God I did, because within a couple of months, the venue of my previous Edinburgh show went bust, taking all my ticket money and saddling me with a debt that left me instantly penniless. I could (and probably should) have ditched everything immediately and got a proper job instead. But my wife and I had just invested a lot of time and money in this character’s future, so it seemed like there was no choice. Make the third album or die trying. I gave myself two years this time, planning to return to the Edinburgh Fringe with a new show in 2006, which this would have been the soundtrack of. But in that time, I had to relearn how to do computer music from scratch, working with a proper DAW (in this case, Cubase) and actual synthesisers, rather than a bunch of crappy-sounding samples ripped from a PlayStation game. The backing tracks have a harder, rockier edge than I’d ever been able to manage previously, with acoustic drums courtesy of Steinberg’s LM-4 Mark II, electric bass via Spectrasonics’ Trilogy and synths primarily from Spectrasonics’ Atmosphere, plus occasional support from Steinberg’s Virtual Guitarist. They’re still a world away from where I wanted to be, but considering I’d never used Cubase before, this stuff could be a lot worse. And then, after nearly twelve months’ solid work (during which time I started work on 23 different songs, all listed in the right-hand column over there), I abandoned it all. I went into the reasons why in the sleeve notes I wrote for the EP’s digital release in 2013, but the basic reason was: it hurt and I didn’t want to do it any more. I didn’t realise at the time that abandoning it would mainly lead to even more pain, and almost a decade of confusion and shame. Fast forward to 2013 and I start re-releasing the albums for streaming and download. Seemed like a good time to try to slot these songs back into the right historical sequence. I hadn’t recorded vocals at the time but I did have a final set of lyrics for at least ten songs, six of which I decided to compile into this EP. I used the original backing tracks, unaltered, and the same microphone as I’d used on Face Academy (the Studio Projects C1), in an attempt to get them as close as possible to how they might have sounded if I’d actually finished it in 2005 as planned. The results aren’t as finely tuned as I’d once hoped, but my aim was to put the project behind me, and in that I mainly succeeded. The confusion, shame, anger and guilt eventually subsided, especially when I got positive feedback from other comics (notably about All I Ever Do). I often wonder why I didn’t flesh it out with another couple of tracks to make it a fully-fledged album, but that’s probably a matter for another long-winded essay in another ten years’ time. Please join me in 2035, if we’re all still around, for that unmissable event. THOUGHTS & FEELINGS So strange listening to this now (January 2024), having not bothered since I released it eleven years ago. It’s much better produced and far more fun than I expected. I actually don’t quite know how I managed to make such downbeat subject matter sound so up. There’s a lot of clever wordplay in there, which puts me off at first - in Fishnet Brando, it seems like that’s all there is, and it doesn’t convince - but as the songs unfold, there’s a depth of emotion and maybe a confessional aspect to it that starts poking out from underneath. I like how silly it is - there’s a daft energy to it that’s quite effectively conveyed, and the way that meshes with the more tender stuff was obviously something worth exploring. But it’s still weird to hear it in this sort-of-finished state. For so long, this was an unfinished disaster, a mistake, a thing I got wrong, an angry ball of bad memory, a confused mess of frustration, desperation and depression. And now I listen to it and say “Ooh, I quite like this.” That’s progress, isn’t it? BEST TRACK Difficult to say. The whole thing’s edited quite nicely into a seamless sequence, so you tend to get carried away by the journey rather than focusing on individual elements. It’s tempting to say All I Ever Do, but I’ve always been very pleased with Aliens Took My Stereo, and Everything Is Wrong always makes me smile. As long as you can get past Fishnet Brando, you’ll be OK. -------------------------------------------------- BANDCAMP UPDATE (April 2024) The 2024 Bandcamp release is bolstered by the inclusion of four song demos which, like the finished tracks from the EP, were written in 2005 and sung over the top of unaltered backing tracks from the time. All four were mooted for inclusion on the 2013 release, but at the time I either didn’t think they were good enough or felt I could do a better job further down the line. One of them - I Am a Video - got completely re-recorded for a single release in 2015. The other three have never been played in public before. As demos, the vocal recordings and mixes aren’t quite as careful as the six tracks from the finished EP. But over time, I came to regret that I hadn’t included them in the running order. Their addition to the running order means that, finally, we can listen to Glamoronica as a full-length album. It’s still not exactly the album I planned or hoped for, but it’s definitely an album now.
song The Chinese Ghost of Christmas 2003 radio The Day  The Music Died  2003 video Is My Toaster Sentient?  ITV2 2006
BONUS TRACKS (BANDCAMP ONLY)
When the Forest Smells I am a Video Dead Men Don’t Cry Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming
GLAMORONICA
video Loose Lips pictures Face Academy
notes Glamoronica song All I  Ever Do lyrics All I Ever Do radio Out To Lunch Glamoronica
Fishnet Brando Aliens Took My Stereo All I Ever Do The Cowboy Astronaut of Mother’s Day Everything is Wrong Music for Televisions
GENERAL INFO Gary’s third major project, which would have been his third album and show, if only I’d finished making it in 2005. Instead, it became too unwieldy and I abandoned it halfway through in favour of Beef Scarecrow. Having written several songs for it, however, I returned to it eight years later and recorded a few vocals to make a six-track EP, released as a digital download on July 18, 2013. RECORDING VENUE & DATES Backing tracks: 27 Maude Terrace, Walthamstow, October 23, 2004 - October 10, 2005 Vocals: Poplar, East London, June 12 - July 1, 2013 COVER IMAGE A horrible picture created with a basic version of Adobe Photoshop way back in 2002, based on a snap from Gary’s first ever photo shoot at 74 Chewton Road, Walthamstow. God knows what possessed me to choose it over these other two far superior potential options:
THE MUSIC Six surprisingly upbeat synth-rockers about failure, loneliness, fear and loss, made by a very silly man who is trying to come to terms with things not quite working out the way he’d hoped, but putting a brave face on it all the same. THE RECORDING PROCESS Having gone as far as I could with my bizarre, homespun PlayStation/Adobe Premiere set-up, I decided to use some of Gary Le Strange’s newfound riches to invest in a proper music PC and several virtual instruments, finally furnishing myself with the beginnings of a home studio. And thank God I did, because within a couple of months, the venue of my previous Edinburgh show went bust, taking all my ticket money and saddling me with a debt that left me instantly penniless. I could (and probably should) have ditched everything immediately and got a proper job instead. But my wife and I had just invested a lot of time and money in this character’s future, so it seemed like there was no choice. Make the third album or die trying. I gave myself two years this time, planning to return to the Edinburgh Fringe with a new show in 2006, which this would have been the soundtrack of. But in that time, I had to relearn how to do computer music from scratch, working with a proper DAW (in this case, Cubase) and actual synthesisers, rather than a bunch of crappy-sounding samples ripped from a PlayStation game. The backing tracks have a harder, rockier edge than I’d ever been able to manage previously, with acoustic drums courtesy of Steinberg’s LM-4 Mark II, electric bass via Spectrasonics’ Trilogy and synths primarily from Spectrasonics’ Atmosphere, plus occasional support from Steinberg’s Virtual Guitarist. They’re still a world away from where I wanted to be, but considering I’d never used Cubase before, this stuff could be a lot worse. And then, after nearly twelve months’ solid work (during which time I started work on 23 different songs), I abandoned it all. I went into the reasons why in the sleeve notes I wrote for the EP’s digital release in 2013, but the basic reason was: it hurt and I didn’t want to do it any more. I didn’t realise at the time that abandoning it would mainly lead to even more pain, and almost a decade of confusion and shame. Fast forward to 2013 and I start re-releasing the albums for streaming and download. Seemed like a good time to try to slot these songs back into the right historical sequence. I hadn’t recorded vocals at the time but I did have a final set of lyrics for at least ten songs, six of which I decided to compile into this EP. I used the original backing tracks, unaltered, and the same microphone as I’d used on Face Academy (the Studio Projects C1), in an attempt to get them as close as possible to how they might have sounded if I’d actually finished it in 2005 as planned. The results aren’t as finely tuned as I’d once hoped, but my aim was to put the project behind me, and in that I mainly succeeded. The confusion, shame, anger and guilt eventually subsided, especially when I got positive feedback from other comics (notably about All I Ever Do). I often wonder why I didn’t flesh it out with another couple of tracks to make it a fully-fledged album, but that’s probably a matter for another long-winded essay in another ten years’ time. Please join me in 2035, if we’re all still around, for that unmissable event. THOUGHTS & FEELINGS So strange listening to this now (January 2024), having not bothered since I released it eleven years ago. It’s much better produced and far more fun than I expected. I actually don’t quite know how I managed to make such downbeat subject matter sound so up. There’s a lot of clever wordplay in there, which puts me off at first - in Fishnet Brando, it seems like that’s all there is, and it doesn’t convince - but as the songs unfold, there’s a depth of emotion and maybe a confessional aspect to it that starts poking out from underneath. I like how silly it is - there’s a daft energy to it that’s quite effectively conveyed, and the way that meshes with the more tender stuff was obviously something worth exploring. But it’s still weird to hear it in this sort-of-finished state. For so long, this was an unfinished disaster, a mistake, a thing I got wrong, an angry ball of bad memory, a confused mess of frustration, desperation and depression. And now I listen to it and say “Ooh, I quite like this.” That’s progress, isn’t it? BEST TRACK Difficult to say. The whole thing’s edited quite nicely into a seamless sequence, so you tend to get carried away by the journey rather than focusing on individual elements. It’s tempting to say All I Ever Do, but I’ve always been very pleased with Aliens Took My Stereo, and Everything Is Wrong always makes me smile. As long as you can get past Fishnet Brando, you’ll be OK. -------------------------------------------------- BANDCAMP UPDATE (April 2024) The 2024 Bandcamp release is bolstered by the inclusion of four song demos which, like the finished tracks from the EP, were written in 2005 and sung over the top of unaltered backing tracks from the time. All four were mooted for inclusion on the 2013 release, but at the time I either didn’t think they were good enough or felt I could do a better job further down the line. One of them - I Am a Video - got completely re-recorded for a single release in 2015. The other three have never been played in public before. As demos, the vocal recordings and mixes aren’t quite as careful as the six tracks from the finished EP. But over time, I came to regret that I hadn’t included them in the running order. Their addition to the running order means that, finally, we can listen to Glamoronica as a full-length album. It’s still not exactly the album I planned or hoped for, but it’s definitely an album now.
BONUS TRACKS (BANDCAMP ONLY)
When the Forest Smells I am a Video Dead Men Don’t Cry Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming