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02 September 2007

Mad Hat`s Studio has been continuing a large project with ex Slade supreme Jim Lea who is currently writing and recording songs for an "unplugged" album. Jim, who is responsible for huge hits such as  "C’mon feel the Noize", "Gud’bye t Jane" and "Merry Christmas" amongst others, is a regular customer and has some fantastic stories to tell of the days of Slade and beyond – We are trying to convince him to write a book, but of course that treads on his recording time – maybe one day!


Solstice News 21 March 2008

Jim Lea, our Slade man, has been in putting finishing touches to... get this... over 30 songs! He is planning to whittle these down for a future release called "StringTheory" and there are thoughts of a "pop" album later too. Jim is a great musical talent and has been laying down Cellos, Violins and Violas himself as well as guitar, piano and of course bass. He also employed the services of Diamond Head’s drummer Karl Wilcox to provide drums on a few tracks. Karl, who actually lives in the US was over here doing some DH dates. He popped in to say hello and being a monster Slade fan suddenly found himself asked to do some drum sessions in between DH gigs and his flight home. Oh yeah and Sheena has been putting some oboe on there too!!

Spring and Strings and Things 3rd June 2008


Photo:  The JLO on location at St Christopher's RC Church...


Sheena has been very busy with Jim Lea. Jim is nearing completion of his "String Theory" album which has taken a few twist and turns in its evolution. Originally with great virtual instruments available we planned to achieve his string arrangements with keyboards and an occasional real violin on top (those of you old enough will remember Jim not only played bass and wrote songs for Slade but also played violin). But during May after a number of experiments with some printed scores and multi-tracked violins we decided to re-record most of the string parts for real, Jim playing them all, and create his own 'orchestra' (aka the JLO).


Photo: The JLO on location at the CBSO Centre - Jim Lea plays violine


Armed with his 2 new violins, one inherited from his grandfather, 2 violas, a cello and a multitude of others borrowed from Turner Violins in Birmingham, Jim has been recording his orchestra one person at a time (with an occasional oboe part from Sheena). It may sound long winded but the results are sounding very impressive. To enhance the realism of the whole affair we have also done some location recording at the CBSO Centre, and the local RC Church in Codsall.