Behind ‘The Unbereaved’

‘The Unbereaved’ is a black brooding beast of a song with deceptively sweet vocal harmonies ascending menacing guitars and tribal drums whilst whispering of impending doom.

‘Refugee Song’ is the standard bearer for a return to common decency and roars into battle against the less compassionate elements of British society whilst Submerge is reminiscent of a James Bond theme song and She Wannabe muses on the delights or otherwise of social media fame  ‘Everyone’s a star in the fantasy, every life’s a film for the world to see’.

Image of The Unbereaved inner sleeve

Beki : This is my first solo release for many years and it’s also the first one I’ve been really pleased with. ‘The Unbereaved’ started out as piece of music Paul wrote, it sat on my desk top for several months along with a few other song ideas because when I initially heard it I couldn’t find a vocal melody or fit lyrics to it.
I’d had the title ‘The Unbereaved’ in the back of my mind for some time, and one day I played Paul’s idea and the lyrics and melody came to me.
Bereavement is like being forced through a doorway you can never return from, you are never quite the same after and it’s interesting to see how unbereaved people behave because it happens to everyone eventually ‘Nobody misses their turn’ as the song says.

Once we’d recorded ‘The Unbereaved’ we decided to write another song and Paul came up with a riff that sounded like something Tony Iommi or Jimmy Page would have written.
There was a lot of stuff in the news at the time about people putting laughing emojis under news stories about refugee children drowning and Britain First were criticising the RNLI for rescuing asylum seekers and the government was milking it to distract the public from the Covid death toll, crumbling economy, struggling NHS, housing crisis etc etc.
I’d been reading about a small percentage of the human population being either psychopaths or sociopaths and I wanted to reference this in the lyrics and I picked the title ‘Refugee Song’ as a nod to Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’.

The problem we then had was that ‘Refugee Song’ sounded better than  ‘The Unbereaved’ so after much remixing and even a remaster of the latter we realised that we needed to put it in expert hands and engaged Sara Carter to work her magic.

‘Submerge’ was written way back in the nineties and we actually made a video for it back then and the plan is to cut some of it in with the new video footage.

‘She Wannabe’ was written around 2007 and I wanted to release it back then but we decided that it wasn’t a suitable song for Vice Squad so it sat on the shelf waiting for me to make a solo record.
We asked Jason of Syd 31 to do a remix about 2 or 3 years ago, he came up with the goods pretty quickly and it’s always fascinating to hear someone else’s mix of your music. I think Jason’s remix is excellent.

I was disappointed with most of my past solo recordings, mainly because there was usually someone else like a manager or record company calling the shots.

For example ‘Cold Turkey’ was not the record I wanted to make, I would have picked different songs for a start but the record company insisted I recorded songs by deceased artistes and dangled the offer of recording an album of original songs after the covers album.

I demoed some original songs I’d written with Paul and also some I wrote with Nick Coler and was quite excited by the results.
One of the demos was even tipped to be a hit in music industry insider magazine ‘Tipster’, but as often happens in the music biz the record company decided not to finish the album because it wanted to invest all it’s money in another artiste instead.
The other artiste didn’t do very well and the record company went under so I guess I dodged a bullet!

I was very disappointed because I thought the songs we’d written were great but I had a Vice Squad album coming out on EMI and a US tour so drowned my sorrows in Punk Rock and tequila.
A few years later ‘Cold Turkey’ was carved up, repackaged and re-released, all without my knowledge or approval of course even though technically I own it!!!
In my experience indie labels (except the ones run by the artistes themselves) are often worse than the majors when it comes to the treatment of artistes, although we were lucky enough to work with an excellent small label in the US called SOS when we released ‘Defiant’.

 

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