Rea band’s new edge

Simon Rea of Truman Falls

Simon Rea of Truman Falls

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NEXT year Truman Falls will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a second album Headswims and a new edgier plugged-in sound.

Next Saturday (November 19), singer-songwriter Simon Rea and his ever-evolving collective is to showcase their latest material in a gig at the Laxey Working Mens Institute.

This event will help in the selection process and fine tuning of tracks to be recorded and released on the record in the new year.

Since its founding in 2002, Truman Falls has performed at festivals including Mannifest, The Garden Party, the IPO Festival in Liverpool and Guilfest in Guildford. They have been on a UK tour with Josh Rouse in 2005 and played with acts including The Coral, James Grant, Paul Carrack, Turin Brakes, Kit Holmes and Space.

Their first album Little Happy Bells was released in 2004 and included singles Last Man on the Moon (which, along with Davy Knowles, was listened to by astronauts on the International Space Station) and Beautiful Mistake. They have also featured on the 1 in 3 charity album, the Robin Gibb EP and IPO artists compilation and their tracks have appeared on Radio 2 and various UK radio stations.

Along with Simon, the founding members of Truman Falls are Paul Teare on guitar and vocals and Dave Armstrong on bass and production.

However, over the years the line-up has evolved and now new members include Simon Campbell on Moog lap steel guitar, Jon ‘JJ’ Peacock on drums and Anna Goldsmith and Christy De Haven on vocals.

Others who will also be involved in the recording of Headswims include Paul Tonks on keys and drums, Stuart Watret on drums and swoon guitar, artist BJ Cole on pedal steel and Christine Collister on vocals.

With the help of Mr Campbell, the band’s music has taken a new direction, away from acoustic towards an effects-laden guitar sound.

Simon Rea explained: ‘Some of the songs I have been writing and working on have been flying around the ether for a few years. Finding the correct style had been the issue until we took a step back and let the songs decide the flow and style. Now they are settling in musically with what I had in my mind.’

He explained: ‘I think the Damascus point came whilst recording the track Featherhead.

‘I invited Simon down to record a guitar riff to double with Paul’s and it all seemed to fall into place, the combination of tremolo and jazzy over-reverbed guitars really gave the song a widescreen feel that put the album in a new perspective. This has gone on to play a major part of the album’s sound and feel. Since then Simon has become very influential in the way we define our sound.’

He added: ‘Paul now plays a lot more electric guitar on this album and has a lot of freedom to play with and in the arrangements and Anna and Christy put the icing on the cake with choral style vocals.

‘Dave and I will have a headache mixing the whole thing as there is so much going on in the new material but we feel it will be worth the wait.’

‘I find the whole process of writing and recording very rewarding,’ he said, ‘and love working with the arrangements and soundscapes of the instruments and their relation and interaction with each other.

‘The album will have a very 50s/60s feel in style with nods to greats such as The Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound in its production values, with tones of John Barry and Ennio Morricone never far away.’

Having so many members of the collective with their own musical careers surely creates a heady mix in rehearsals, but does this intensify the creative flow or simply make for too many egos?

‘I suppose we all bring different elements of style and creativity more with live performances,’ said Simon.

‘The overall sound we have now is the most exciting and accurate since the bands formation.

‘Other members having their own musical projects doesn’t cause any real problems in terms of creativity or productivity.

‘Our only clash is in a logistical sense - occasional clashes with other rehearsals and gigs.’

With new faces and a real edge to Truman Falls’ latest creations, next week’s gig, which will also feature re-worked tracks from the first album, will be unmissable.

‘We are very excited to be airing the new songs from the next album and to give people the chance to have a first listen to something we are all immensely proud of,’ Simon concluded.

Tickets are £10 and available on the door at the Laxey Institute or from Peter Norris Music in Douglas. Doors open at 7.30pm.

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