September 2011

A couple of items of interest, perhaps: firstly, I’ve added a brand new Quintessence page (click the ‘CD Reissue Projects’ button on the home page to get to it); secondly, an update on the CH vocal CD Rust as promised.

The Quintessence page is 5000+ words of info on the five Quintessence related CDs, thus far, which I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in with Hux Records over the past couple of years. A couple of these have not had much traditional media coverage, so partly this is a response tyo that information vacuum: I can hardly be an unbiased reviewer of any of the CDs but I can at least provide a load of objective information on the contents, including extracts from the often substantial booklet notes and links to relevant video or audio on youtube. In fact, with the inestimable (he doesn’t provide estimates) help of Uncle Spike’s best man I’ve recently had one or two audio tracks from each of the Shiva’s Quintessence, Kala and Quintessence Rebirth: Live At Glastonbury releases uploaded to youtube with album cover graphics. If anyone out there feels halfway inclined to buy these albums, there’ll at least now be enough info out there to seal the deal one way or the other! Links are on the new Quintessence page.

My 2010 instrumental album Titanium Flag continues to generate quietly remarkable (to me) airplay figures. It’s given me the confidence to think I ought to do more in that vein. Hopefully so. In the meantime, some of the vocal pieces I recorded around the same time as the instrumental works have been collected on a CD entitled Rust. In the year that passed between the first sessions and the last, enough perspective had flowed under the bridge to reshape what might have been a set of songs defined by negativity into a shorter set with a bit more of a glass-half-full vibe about it. My friend Cormac O’Kane, wizard of sound, multi-instrumentalist and producer to the stars (and me) had insisted I cover the vocals myself this time – although the fabulous Carol-Anne Lennie sings lead on opening track ‘Squirrel’ – so I gave it a go. It’s still an album that reflects a lot of troubles I was dealing with at the time, albeit more obliquely than if I’d included three or four other tracks recorded at the same time. Still, it’s an album that contains a couple of the best songs I think I’ve written and hopefully a staging post towards making some more recordings with Carol-Anne in the fullness of time.

Rust is credited to Colin Harper & The Peaceful Minds. The rest of the band are: Karen Smyth (backing vocals); Cormac O’Kane (keyboards, bass, electric guitar); Ali MacKenzie: (bass); ‘Late-Night’ Tony Furnell (drums/percussion).

Plus special guests: Carol-Anne Lennie (vocals); ‘The Legendary’ Andy Roberts (electric guitars); Linley Hamilton (trumpets, flugelhorn )

Two instrumental interludes, ‘A Part Of Eternity’ and ‘The Last Place On Earth’, are new edits/mixes of tracks previously released on Titanium Flag.

Samples of all the tracks are available here:


Forthcoming site improvements!

Without wanting to tempt fate, I think I can say that there’ll be a few enhancements to this website over the next few weeks. Webmaster Uncle Spike has made the cardinal error of casually offering, with witnesses present, to refresh the look of the site, while I’ve also been thinking it’s about time I added a few pages of journalistic blasts from the past – reproductions of CH newspaper/magazine features on various people first published in the 1990s and early 2000s. I’ll see if I can dig up some goodies!

Also, if Uncle Spike continues to be in such a benevolent mood I’ll see if some more relevant CH-related audio and video can be uploaded to youtube with links posted here. We’ve recently uploaded audio of a couple of tracks from Janet Holmes Road To The West sessions (2004) – co-produced by myself – and there’s certainly some BBC NI TV material of both Janet and Tina McSherry which could be uploaded, the latter with myself on guitar.

As promised in the last update, I hope very soon to be creating some video interpretations of instrumental pieces from Titanium Flag and earlier. Links to these as and when. Meanwhile, here’s Janet Holmes’ fabulous interpretation of the Beatles’ ‘Long, Long, Long’:

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