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The Secret's new video to the song 'Senseless' is sensational...

The new video to the song 'senseless' has at long last been released. After almost a year in the making, with dedicated film-maker Paul Higginson, it has finally been completed. In North Wales, things can indeed, sometimes take a long time to happen. Sometimes it's for a very good reason. This is the story of why the video for this song, took this long. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Fhj2pplb3g&feature=youtu.be

The Story of the song:

The song 'senseless' was originally penned by Roger Hughes at around 2am in the morning several years ago, woken up starkly by a bass riff in his head. He picked up his guitar and put to it the words of a poem he'd recently written and the result was this song. It was originally recorded, and a (radio) edited version was made 'Demo of the week' on Adam Walton Sunday night show on Radio Wales some two or so years ago. He described it as being 'achingly beautiful - one of the best songs i've heard in a long while'.

The band that Roger was in at the time were called Electric Sunroof (www.myspace.com/electricsunroof) and were in the midst of trying to finish recording their 2nd album 'an island' which included the senseless track. Unfortunately they didn't quite get to releasing the album and senseless got no further coverage as, though 'an island' was, and still is 95% completed, that line up began to dissassemble soon after. There are still hopes to release the album sometime in the new year (2012) but the future of the band is less promising.

However, the song has lived on, through Roger's solo performances and the various line ups he has fronted in that time. time, this will be a recurring theme in this article.


The Story of the Film:

Whilst visiting his friend and film-maker of much repute, award, and accolade, Paul Higginson, they discussed the possibility of filming the said track acoustically. Paul having heard the song on more than one ocassion performed live at the once was, live music venue, 'The Fricsan'. He was very keen to put some visuals to it. They pretty much immeditely rang their good friend Liam (Kurmos), who had recently invested in a sizeable chapel nearby and headed up to record the song.

In took no more than a couple of takes and they got the song down, and with a good visual aspect to boot. happy? of course, it sounded and looked great. brilliant, job done..... or was it....

Before too long, they were both considering what else could be done / brought to the table. Roger had been playing the tune with a particular line up 'Berooz' and wanted to include them on it, and they both had ideas about what other shots could be included to make the video more visually appealing.

Pretty soon after they had seized a day, when the wind was cold, there was snow on the tops, and the mood, and light was right. They ventured up into the slate quarries above Llanberis, a familiar haunt for Paul and features in some of his films, and in no time they had captured what would become the atmospheric, opening and closing shots of the video Fitting the mood, and setting the tone of the song pefectly, they were on a roll. Little did they know, how long, this roll, would be.... it was now December.


The Recording:

'Berooz' had been performing the track for a while and Roger had really grown to like their version. It was less rocky and featured him playing the acoustic anyway so that suited the version they had recorded already. The only problem was that Dominik Grzeskowiak, the keyboard player of Polish Descent, lived in Shotton, and Adam (Crowe) was moving back to the Lake District having finished his studies at Bangor University.

This made it difficult to get together for gigs let alone rehearsals, however at the end of a recording session in Llanfairfechan at one of Roger's friends' (Sion Gwenallt) home studio, he asked Adam if he'd like to just quickly put down some light drums to the track that they'd done. Tired at the end of an intence session, he listened once and agreed. In one take it was down. No mean feat (where does that phrase come from) considering the original take was purely acoustic and not to a click. A job well done.

The next stage was to send the track to Dominik and get his piano down. this should be no problem as he'd been performing the track for a while. But then time is it's own mistress, and everybody's life has it's own priorities. However by the time the track returned, Dominik had not let them down. it was sounding great.


Waiting for the Bus to come:

There is a saying in North Wales... I'm not sure what it is, but i'm sure by the time i find out it'll be worth it. The same could be said of this video.

There was a time and a place, where if you missed the last bus on a Sunday afternoon in October, you would have to wait until April to catch the next one. this is not a lie, though it may well have been 15 or 20 years ago. many people i know have got trapped there, some still are, beautiful though it is. It would appear that this is what happened in the making of this film, they didn't miss the bus exactly, far from it, it was just that they had to wait for the right conditions for the bus to come and make it all happen, this was taking some time, but by now they knew it was going to be worth it.

The summer was approaching fast and things were going well. But there was still something missing...


The Song, and the Dance:

And what a song and dance, well, that's what it is isn't it? it's certainly is what it became.

During the recording / waiting process Roger had begun discussions with someone he'd met the previous year about her possible contribution to the video. This person was 'Despina Goula', a contemporary dancer who had recently graduated from the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff. Roger had sent her a version of the track and she was keen to do something with it.

They tried for a while to get together to do a shoot, but either the weather or circumstances were against them. Eventually they set a date when they could all make it and decided that regardless, they would do something then. as luck would / fate would have it, it fell on a Sunday during the period earlier this year (2011) when you could say, we had our summer. It was for about 2 weeks back in April i think you'll find.

'We met, and headed to the area where we wanted to do the shoot, we found the ideal locations and the results speak for themselves. And the shots are stunning, thanks to Despina and Paul, beautifully shot and performed. the colours, the scenes, and the movement are amazing.'

The only problem now, was now the bar had been raised, Roger was going to have to raise his game also... it was now late Spring.


'The Secret' Weapon:

During this 'time (a common phrase in this article, but when things take this long then it's hardly suprising), and prior Roger had also been playing in a more rocky, jazzy, funky, outfit called 'The Secret'. his main accomplice in this project had been Vinit Malhotra, of Indian descent and an exceptional guitarist, he also had a great voice and could play the bass. skills Roger wanted on this particular version the trakc. Vini knew the song and was more than happy to be invovled.

They met up and made there way once again to Sion (Gwenallt)'s studio in Llanfairfechan once again. in no time they had the backing vocals down and returned just once more to get the bass track down, subtle but they're both there and definitely add that added extra layer and depth to the track. job done.

All that was left now was to get some takes of the band actually playing the song, and that was it, yep that was it, that was all it would take.... it was now nearing the end of the summer....


'Shooting' the band:

Yes indeed, by this time, this was all that Roger, and probably paul wanted to do. However they curbed their enthusiasm, and by some time in October they had to make a similar decsision to that made with Despina earlier in the year and make a date and just do it, whatever the conditions.

During this interim time (there's that phrase again), Roger had been working on tidying up the audio track as best he could, given it had been pieced together and built on layer by layer, in pretty much the wrong order, but it was sounding good, and Dominik had put his tuppence ha'peny worth into that process also. they were happy with the sound and as good as they could get it.

Both Roger and Paul had been thinking of and scoping out possible locations, trying to make eventualities for the unpredictable weather which was going from good, to bad, to different, even the day before it wasn't looking too promising.

'We met up in the morning and decided it'd be good enough (the weather) to risk heading back to the beach. Thankfully at one point the sun broke through the clouds and shed some light on what were some great shots of the band. Think we were there for no more than a couple of hours and we were done.' It was time to head home for some tea, and to check out what they'd got.

Almost immediately Roger and Paul set to work on the final editing and were pretty soon happy with the results, Paul spent the rest of the week touching it up and it was ready to go.... almost. It was now late October, autumn was drawing to a close and the winter was looming....


'I've crashed the car.' :

Dominik, having seen Paul and Roger's version, wanted to make sure everything was ok and check he was happy with final piece. He arranged to head over that Saturday afternoon at around 4pm, but on the way, and almost there...

''I've crashed the car' he said as soon as he phoned me, not one to mince his words, he wasn't injured and he was already considering the possible cost implications of trying to get it fixed against buying a new car. Ironically Paul had to pick him up and towed the car to his, and they finished off the video that evening.'

And i have to agree, the results are stunning. This is a class and arty video, particularly from what you might otherwise consider a 'local' band, but mainly only because they can't afford the time to really get the music out there. Let's hope this video helps, Roger's songs, Paul's film making, The Secret, and Despina's dancing, to gain wider acclaim and recognition, with material and talent like this, they certainly deserve it.

Have a look at it on the You Tube link above, pass it on, and let other people hear it. It's a great song and the visuals speak for themselves. The link below is to Paul (Higginson)'s Vimeo page, where there are some of his other films, including video's of some of 'Kev Fox's songs, another great song writer you'll be hearing a lot more of in the near future also i'm sure. some great stuff on there if you've the time to watch,

http://vimeo.com/32676154 - (link to Paul (Higginson)'s Vimeo page)

njoy


Footnote: Dominik did eventually scrap his car and has now bought a Peugeot 406 diesel, with which he seems very happy. Adam is still living in the Lake District.



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More by this author

This is, What was.... North Wales' own, snow report! 15th March 2006
Ladies First night @Snogfest 21st June 2005
Closer (it's a film) 26th February 2005
Man on the Moon - starring Jim Carey (it's a film) 25th February 2005
Phone Booth (it's a film) 13th September 2003
Equilibrium (it's a film) 13th September 2003
Punch Drunk Love - with Adam Sandler (it's a movie) 30th July 2003
Mostyn 13 @Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno 26th May 2003
Model Superb ep 26th May 2003
Fup, (it's a book) 26th May 2003
Solaris. (it's a movie) 18th May 2003
Dan Amor (acoustic) @Hendre Hall 15th May 2003
Model Superb – live, supporting ‘Infinity Chimps’ @Bar Blu, Rhyl 14th May 2003
s.n.o.g fest 2 @Hendre Hall 8th May 2003
Mojo. (it's a film) 1st May 2003
The Infinity Chimps supporting 'Zabrinski' @The 100 Club. London 28th March 2003
The Levellers @The North Wales Theatre, Llandudno. with support - Nick Harper, & Kovek 9th March 2003
Red Mojo @Hendre Hall 20th February 2003
Zion Train @Hendre Hall (a Painted Chariot event) 13th February 2003
The Lava Lamps @Nant y Benglog 29th January 2003
The Caution Horses - Sundays at the Greek Taverna 26th January 2003
Kingsativa @Hendre Hall 24th January 2003
The Big Gig! 4th January 2003
Wendykurk EP, 'Freckles' (ankst) 6th December 2002
'Viva Sparky' (it's a magazine/fanzine)  30th November 2002
Forest Enterprises Festival, Memorial Hall, Betws-y-Coed, 21st Oct - 25th 25th October 2002
HONK (it's a magazine) 17th September 2002
'Old Poster's' 11th September 2002
The Room (it's 'was' a play) 1st August 2002
An Over-view 1st July 2002
welshpaintings.co.uk (it's a website) 1st May 2002
Wood/Stone/Metal, and Chris Pearce's paintings 1st March 2002

2nd December 2011

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