Frank Sweeney on Space Blues

"Frank Sweeney contacted the site and I asked him how did he get involved in the recording of Space Blues.
He played viola and violin."
- Rui K. (Site's webmaster) - March 2008
How did i get involved in this session

I had done string sessions for mostly creation artists from about 1984 doing stuff for Joe Foster, Primal Scream, Meat Whiplash and Blow Up I was also a member of the June Brides.

In 1988 I was recording a single with my own band for Joe Foster's short lived Kaleidoscope sound label. When we recorded the single in Birmingham, Lawrence was at the session and I had out some strings on one of the tracks we recorded.

I me Lawrence some time later at a gig when i was played guitar for Primal Scream (my only gig with them ) he asked me if i could do something on the record he was planning to record. he sent me a demo tape or rough mix of what he had done so far.

I went to andrew innes home studio to work out something for it, which is pretty much what came out on the single.

I got to the session at Livingstone Studios which already quite a high tech studio. John Leckie was producing. Much of the work on Space Blues had been done and i played my demo version of the string parts.

Jon and Lawrence both liked what i had done - although Lawrence has this reputation of being 'difficult', this was not my experience in the studio. He knew what he wanted and didnt want to waste any time making changes for the sake of it.

He was in a very happy mood and since the only thing to go on the record were my string parts, that was all that was done when i was there. Rose McDowall, Martin Duffy and Neil Scott were also at the session. Overall the session was good humored and everyone just got along fine. There was a decent amount of money to spend on the recording so there was no panic over rising studio costs- we were there to get it right.

I did my string parts in a few hours. John Leckie was a really nice guy and really got the best out of me without being rude and again he liked what i had worked out and only took out the bits that didnt work with the song. But i didn't think much of what i did, i thought i played better on the demo - but it sounds great now.

That's all really, I didnt hang around the studio after finishing, It was the afternoon and they were moving on to guitar tracks when I left.

As a footnote I met John Leckie at a starwberry switchblade gig in October of that year, he said he was recording a band called the Stone Roses and asked me if i would be interested in playing strings on it if they were needed. I didn't get the call - but I am glad i that i didnt refuse either.

All the best Rui

Frank Sweeney