Universal Stew – 2009

Bondi Cigars Album Cover

1. Joyful Sound


2. Your Fine Frame


3. Deeper Shade Of Blue


4. Lost What You Had


5. Cradle Of The Blues


6. Stompin Ground


7. Better Class Of Fool


8. One Time Around


9. That's How Strong


10. Slaughter Man


11. Get Out Of My Head


12. All The Time In The World

Shane Pacey – Guitars, Vocals
Alan Britton – Bass, Vocals
Eben Hale – Guitars, Vocals
Frank Corby – Drums, Vocals

Most of the songs for our 6th studio album were written after the completion of 12 Lies, our last one. For 2 months solid I went down to my little shed studio & completed almost a song a day. At the end of that period I had around 18 songs, some of which I knew were pretty special.

When it came time to record, we sifted through the songs, including some from Eben and Frank, to work out which ones to record (thankfully, their ideas pretty well coincided with mine!). I had started a small project studio in Bowral with my friend Dave Sell, and it was here that we decided to begin initial recording, not in a two week concentrated spurt, but intermittently, as we felt the urge.

The other difference for us this time was not road-testing the songs. In the past we rehearsed new material, played it for a time, then recorded it. This time we routined a song or two on the day, before recording it there and then. I believe that an artist’s first idea is usually his best, and while it was a bit of a risk to go in cold, the snappiness of these performances must in some way be due to their immediacy. My first urge on recording these songs was to bring different colours to the album, mainly by utilising all of the vocal talent, so Eben sings two, Frank sings two, Al (!) sings one and I tackle the rest. Again, harmonies feature heavily here, ragged as ever, and all the better for that!

Although I handled most of the recording and engineering for Universal Stew, the production was as always pretty collaborative, and of course so were the arrangements. The tracks were taken to Megaphon studios in Sydney, to be (mainly) mixed by long-time ‘Cigars aide Guy Dickerson and mastered by Don Bartley. – Shane Pacey

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