Willy Finlayson and the Hurters. Very much alive.

WILLYFINEarly in 1991, I went to the Red Lion pub in Brentford to visit Charlie, who was doing a gig with a singer I had not heard of, Willy Finlayson. It was a Sunday lunch gig, and when I arrived the place was packed quite literally to the rafters. The band was an all star line up, including guitarist Mickey Moody.

Willy Finlayson is a fantastic singer and at this gig he was very much at the height of his powers with an unusually good set. Largely on impulse, egged on by Charlie’s enthusiasm, I decided to make a live recording of this line up.

For the recording John Etchells was again the engineer. Researching mobile recording studios led us to the Advision mobile truck, at that time £850 per day, which was on hire to Prince for the two weeks before we used it. Around that time I met Dave Mackay, who owned a Mitsubishi digital multi track, which, with considerable effort because its a heavy machine, we loaded onto the Advision truck for the recordings with the agreement that we would mix the album at Dave’s Studio in Woldingham.

The venue was booked for Friday Night, Saturday night and Sunday lunch to enable us to record three versions of each track. What followed was a great fun weekend with huge amounts of energy crackling around.

The ‘Hurters’ on the album are – MICKEY MOODY on guitar, MATT IRVINE on keys, NIGEL PORTMAN SMITH on bass, and CHARLIE MORGAN on Drums.

Willy was in fine voice throughout. All three shows were packed and those present will remember the electric atmosphere in the room.

The album was mixed in four fun filled days at Dave Mackay’s studio in Woldingham by John Etchells. There were a ‘very few’ overdubs on the vocal parts, mostly because of technical limitations with live sound, but in essence the recording remains an honest reflection of a top class group of musicians. The track ‘On the air tonight’ has a special value, with the crowds participation playing an important role in the arrangement.

John Graham again provided the cover photography, with Willy using my Casio Stratocaster for the cover picture, and the artwork design was by Sku Richards.

The album was released in mid 91 on a small scale and via gig sales and internet promotion sold close to 2,000 pieces. Following an approach from Germany, there was a license deal and the prospect of a release in Germany followed by a tour. I visited Germany to make the arrangements and had a super time, meeting Albert Lee, staying at Frank Farians former studio, and drinking some excellent German beer, however the proposed tour and release never quite materialized. Another reminder that making money out of recordings is not easy. The album though remains an honest recording of some great musicians playing at the top of their game.

The songs that made the album are: Get on Board, Shaky Ground, Do you really mean it, On the air tonight, Its all over now, Fire, Cash, I got news for you, Aint nobody, No soul, Moody’s Mississippi, You don’t know like I know, Hummin.

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