The Session: New lease of life for Amys GhostBy Linda Serck
March 23, 2011
Driving slowly through a sunny rural idyll, I finally arrive at Amys Ghost’s Hurst rehearsal space.
A beaming Amy Barton is dressed in gothic Victoriana, and leads me inside a bare room lined with old sofas.
On one of them sits Martin Rushent, most famed for producing The Human League’s seminal album Dare, and who now resides in Pangbourne, producing amongst other bands his own son’s, Does It Offend You, Yeah?
And here is the news. Martin will be producing Amys Ghost. First some remixes, then some work on their live performance sound, then his take on some of their new demos.
“I found their music very intriguing,” says Martin of when he first saw the tribal alt-folk troupe perform a few weeks ago. “I thought there was a severe amount of originality there. I loved Amy’s voice and I loved the songs.”
Fresh from producing three electro rock albums (“my ears were bleeding”), the 63-year-old, who has worked on records by T. Rex, Fleetwood Mac and Shirley Bassey, wanted to work on something “completely different”.
“With the summer coming I wished I could find a band with a light, almost spiritual, feel. Hey presto –- Amys Ghost.”
The Reading band, who played Reading Festival’s BBC Introducing stage last year, have always produced themselves in the past.
They’ve turned down a distribution deal and the services of a top commercial producer. Their debut album, Dance of Defeat, came out in July 1010 on their own label, First Circle Records.
“We’re completely DIY,” says Amy, “We don’t sleep really, we’re always either promoting, booking or working on new tracks.”
But the thrill of handing over their work to Martin Rushent is clear from Amy’s almost continuous winning grin.
“We’re all really excited,” she says, “when we met Martyn at the first meeting we really clicked.
“We have a very similar sense of humour and a very similar ethos on music.
“We both feel that we don’t want to be spoon-fed music, we want to be producing something really original and something we can be really proud of.”
So what are Mr Rushent’s plans for Amys Ghost’s music?
“I want to make it sound clearer,” he says, “The really interesting thing about Amys Ghost’s music is that it is quite intricate.
“There is a lot of stuff happening but it all fits together.”
Watch this space for more news of this collaboration. In the meantime, Amys Ghost’s next Reading gig is on Saturday 9 April, Rising sun art centre, Silver Street, Reading.