It has long been our intention to have a Christmas release and this year we had decided in September that we were going to have a Christmas EP with 4 or 5 tracks on it, one of which was an original Christmas tune written by Louisa and Steve that was almost finished last Christmas but due to all kinds of unforeseen circumstances we ran out of time to learn it.
It was down to a fortuitous last minute gig cancellation on October 20th 2017 that we were able to expand this project from an EP to an album. The three of us, Steve, Joe and Doug had blocked out an afternoon and evening for a Spitfire performance but the moment we heard it wasn't going ahead we wanted to make the most of the opportunity and bolted straight to the doors of Vintage Keys Studio where we were able to lay down the foundations for 4 of the songs on the album. Over the next few weeks we recorded vocals and piano for as much as we were able to. We had exceeded our EP quota and were on the way to an album! Louisa had an idea of the three of us performing a solo track of our choosing on the album that none of us (apart from Steve at the helm) would hear until we had finished the album, as a sort of Secret Santa song for each other, which would bring us up to 10 tracks.
We needed artwork for our Christmas album! See our next blog post to read more about that...
We were very pleased to work with some of our regular Spitfire musicians in the studio. We have Doug Revolta playing double bass, Joe Pickering on drums and Steve Christie in charge of recording the album at his studio and playing all manor of instruments including our studio Leutke baby grand piano named Penelope, electro vibes, ondiolone, double bass, lap guitar we could go on... Freddie Phillips, Louisa's son, sings lead vocals with us for the first time on All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth. We were hoping to include a collaboration with the Tuba Libres but time and schedules sadly wouldn't allow it. If all goes to plan we will team up with them for our next album which will hopefully be released late next year. We were thrilled that we got to record Linden McKenzie's amazing trombone for Two Front Teeth and Feels Like Christmas Eve. Matthew Shenton did a fabulous job, as always, by playing in all the trumpet parts and giving us a wonderful solo on White Christmas. Ben Rouse, pro ukulele player was next in to give us a wonderful accompaniment for Mele Kalikimaka. Pamela Trodd, a member of Thornden Community Wind Band, came into the studio for the very first time and gifted us her clarinet playing for Feels Like Christmas Eve. Last but not least we had our guitarist Owen Feeney to play on our song and also provide an intimate end of the evening style rendition of What are You Doing New Years Eve? for us to sing with.
The Spitfire Sisters do Christmas is available to buy here.