Notes on "A Field Day" by Agitated Radio Pilot
For a time in 2008, the Pilot, The Driftwood Manor & Resurrection Fern shared members, toured & recorded together. Myself, Eddie Keenan, Bean Dolan, Annemarie Hynes & occasionally Fishty Fiddles & Sean Lightholder played in every corner of Ireland. We would travel around the country in Bean's camper van with reams of instruments. Sometimes Bean would bring his surfboard & we'd find a remote beach, camp & jam to the clinking of bottles & the sound of the waves. 'A Field Day' had its beginnings in those times. The words, however, came much earlier & belonged to Holt songs that never got to suck their own air. We recorded the bones of the EP in the Bog Lane Theatre in Ballymahon. Further overdubs were added in Athlone, beside the river in Shannon Weir. When we weren't feeding horses & exotic birds, Bean & I played more in front of a noisy open fire in a Monaghan farmhouse before we left for Asia. A month of house-sitting in Dublin at the beginning of 2009, when the snow lay thick on the ground, saw piano & Gary Morrison's spooked guitar atmospherics added to the mix. Finally, over a weekend of ales, woodwalking &, ahem, Youtubing, the vocals were sometimes sung, sometimes slurred. 'A Field Day' captures the Pilot in transition & were it not for the cajoling of Loner Deluxe, it would never have seen the light of day at all. For what it's worth, I'm glad these songs are going to make their way out into the world.
1. A FIELD DAY
David Colohan: voice, banjo, lap steel guitar
A Pilot perennial - landscape as metaphor for love lost, but a hopeful version of it. Hopefully. The lyrics' fate were sealed the night Bean & I arrived in Darwin from Singapore & those 'Territory skies' became real again. Lightning ripped open a sky lit by a full moon. I nearly cried when I heard the accent of the woman selling us bus tickets to the city. Bean's break towards the end of the song sums up how I felt that night & Loner's electrickery is the after image of the storm.
2. THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS
David Colohan: voice, acoustic guitar, piano, banjo
A guitar borrowed from Aaron Coyne aka Yawning Chasm adds a sitar-like sound to a song whose title may one day end up tattooed across my chest. Willy Wonka may or may not have supplied the piano. The Bible supplied the title & some of the imagery... A girl, the rest. Fond memories of watching Withnail & I in a Sydney park, the crowd reeling off every single word...
3. SORROW FINDS YOU
David Colohan: voice, acoustic guitar, accordian
A song to mend the hearts that come undone with Bean pulling out notes I didn't even know existed. Born during a few quiet pints in Kennedys of Drumcondra during another lifetime...
4. FROM THE GHOST GUM GLADES
David Colohan: voice, banjo, piano, clarina
Starting off with me playing banjo, it quickly became obvious that Bean's mandolin part should be the heart of the song. Memories of whale watching in Hervey Bay, Queensland come to mind through the saw's lost notes & Gary Morrison's eerie guitar. Always, always those endless red dirt roads...
5. FAR NORTH
David Colohan: voice, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, melodica
A sequel of sorts to the previous song with a worse for wear vocal held up by the light of the moon...or the light coming from the fridge. A literal letting down of the hair in a rare, heh, guitar solo. A wonderful bouzouki break from Eddie Keenan & Bean's double bass rippling along like a ute on a corrugated Outback road. I often wonder how far north she is now...if it's Autumn wherever she is too...
6. THE DRUNKEN POET
David Colohan: mandocello, electric guitar, piano, Hohner Organetta
Known as 'The Crossroads At Letterfrack' for the longest time but finally finding its true name in a bar in West Melbourne - The Drunken Poet. Falling for the barmaid sealed the deal...
All tracked mixed by Agitated Radio Pilot & Loner Deluxe