The Recordings | The Videos

The Kerbcrawlers / Wish you were here (as remembered by Ian)

Wish you were here was the third album that The Kerbcrawlers released. It originally had different artwork to the obviously Beatles-inspired image below, but this is the one that Ian thought would be best. The group went through a couple of line-up changes after Ian Hutchings (far left) emigrated to Spain and the subsequent newer members didn't play on the album.

Ian Edmundson Ian Edmundson

Mike Smith didn't feel it was right to put his photo on the album sleeve, as he wasn't featured on the CD, so other artwork was hastily used for the initial release, cribbing from an old 1950's jazz album with a photo of a girl dancing on a nightclub table. The Beatles pastiche sleeve was adopted after a few copies, so the nightclub version is quite rare. Rarer still was a very very limited sleeve featuring a notorious photo of Star Stowe posing with a Rickenbacker bass on the inner booklet.

When guitarist Ed Mann spent a short time with the band, the CD had already been on sale for quite some time and there was no question of me changing the artwork yet again. It's a shame the band didn't get to record a fourth album, as when Ed was no longer in the band and we were playing as a trio again, we were on fire. We had a lot of good new songs that we never recorded, except on video.


Tush
"Tush was one of the very first things we knocked together as a new band, as we all basically knew it. Ian H really enjoyed singing it and it gave the guys a cracking guitar solo each, so it went in the set.

Colin took over singing it later on, after Ian H went to live in Spain."


Doctor Doctor.
"The UFO song. Steve was very keen indeed on this and also fancied doing a couple of other UFO songs later on. We agreed on learning them, but never got round to doing them. I quite like the long intro, which you never hear if this gets played on the radio. We cut the long intro out when we became a trio, as it needed two guitars.

We also did the Robert Palmer song Doctor Doctor, which was rather interesting when we were looking at the setlist. Perhaps we should have stuck The Who's song of the same name in, too, or The Thompson Twins song, etc etc."


29 Palms.
"A nice vocal from Colin. It always went down very well onstage. The chugging 12-string bass thickens the bottom end up on this nicely. The guitars were very carefully worked out. They make it sound so easy, but a lot of thought went into the guitars. I brought this one to the band, having done it with my old band, Mother's Ruin. A bugger to sing and God knows what this song is about, anyway!

I always used to say it was about Led Zeppelin and a large number of groupies - one of whom only had one hand. I was probably wrong about that."


Rain
"I always thought that any band worth their salt should do a Quo song or two. This is one of Quo's very best songs and it's one that every other Tom Dick and Harry doesn't play.

We also did a rather good version of Caroline, but there's no studio recording of it."


(Make me smile) Come up and see me.
"That's the right way to title this song. Ian H sang it and the backing vocals are really nice on this. I built up the vocal arrangement quite a bit from the original. I always thought that it was very funny to see that rising harmony that wasn't on the original being copied by some mates of ours in their band, afterwards.

The opening riff is a killer (in that's it's brilliant, not that it's hard to play) and it took the guys ages to work out, as they insisted on making it more complicated than it ever needed to be!"

Emerald
"The thing I loved about Steve and Ian was the way they would sit down with furrowed brows and agonise for hours over string bends and guitar harmonies and play things again and again and again until they got them right.

It was great watching their dedication to making the band great and accurate. Once they got something right, they maintained that standard. This song was a blinder live, even when we went down to a three piece and Steve had to carry off all the guitar heroics by himself."


Jane.
"This song is actually older than my children. I wrote it in the bog at work one day after seeing some girl weeping buckets about some row with her bloke. 'What's the matter with Jane?' I asked myself, and BINGO! , I scrambled for the Izal Pine bog roll and a Government issue biro and LO! a minor classic rock song was born. The couple got married later on.

The chords were originally different, in that it didn't have the ascending chord progressions, but I reworked it in my home demos and this arrangement was the final result.

Another good story about this song is that I had previously recorded it with a band called Beyond Belief and the singer insisted on inserting a couple of rather annoying effeminate-sounding 'wo-oh-oh's' here and there throughout the song (you can hear it here). I disliked them so much, I had a backing track mix done in the studio without the main vocal on, so that if need be, I could replace it later on. He was in the audience at a show I did with a later band of mine called Go Crazy and we played the song that night (a live version can be heard here). Another mate of mine in the audience overheard him bragging to some people that he'd co-written it and so he asked me what the real story was. During the break, I kicked his arse halfway into Bolton for his cheek.

Effeminate whimpering noises do not a co-write make."


Wish you were here:
"This song was put together pretty much at the last-minute just before we went into the studio to record it and for whatever reason, we had problems getting together to rehearse it as a full band. Ian H ended up giving up his rhythm guitar part to Steve, so Steve played all the guitars on the track. Aren't they just dead-on the money!!!

I played 12-string bass on this song to give it a bit more low end presence.

The band were learning a couple of new Pink Floyd songs - Coming back to life was one of them - until Colin decided to give in his notice and the band broke up."


I want you to want me
"If Steve could have tracks by his favourite band on the album, then so could I. Originally done by US rockers Cheap Trick, this song has been covered many times by artists as different as Letters To Cleo, Dwight Yoakam, SR-71, Chris Isaak, Lindsay Lohan (and many others).

Our version does what a lot of other versions do, which is keep pretty much to their simple and absolutely perfect arrangement, but I asked Colin to play more on the side drum than the toms, to give it more of a heavier Giltter-Band type sound. We also covered Cheap Trick's #1 single (in the USA) The Flame, with Steve singing, but didn't record it in the studio."


House Full Of Bullets
"The third Joe Satriani song that we recorded. I love this - it swings like a brick on a string. It's just great. Steve plays some absolutely cracking science-fiction guitar on this."

School's Out:
"This was a total monster on stage. By the time we got round to it in our shows, my voice was always nicely warmed up and possibly a bit worn-out. If my voice was a bit shredded, this could sound great. We also played Alice's No more Mr Nice Guy live and did a really cracking version of it - another one that we didn't ever record.... I love Alice Cooper's voice. Not enough people give him credit for how good a voice he has. Excellent diction and a great songwriter, too.

Steve and Ian both play some great guitars and Colin excels on the drums. The bass part drives the song to a degree, but everyone attacks it with a passion. Listening to these tracks, I realise how lucky I was to be in this band. I did know it at the time as well, though!"


Turning Japanese
"Another one that Colin thought of. What a good idea. We learned this quite quickly over a couple of rehearsals in Colin's front room. It's sometimes much harder to play than it sounds. If we played it too fast on stage, Colin often went very red indeed as he couldn't get his breath between singing lines and looked like he was going to burst a blood vessel.
Colin always counted us in, so it was up to him how fast we played it!

On the final video on this page, I've included the unlisted 'secret track' from the end of the CD, which played unannounced after a 30 second gap."


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