Fast forward.


Unbalanced Grass’ first and only gig at White Noise had been four months ago. David was still playing the keyboards, Laura was still living in Africa, Morti was still large, and Pooka still couldn’t sing. But inside the hearts of Unbalanced Grass, a vague feeling of unease was slowly descending. It was true that some tracks had been slowly emerging. By now, David had suggested the doubly-parodic title Bigger Than Judas for the upcoming EP, and four tracks had been suggested: Never Touch You, Please Siren, and a finalised version of Hump The Animals!, along with a curious track called (Why Do) I Have To Stop Needing You?, which still hasn’t been finalised. It was replaced by a re-recording of Blood On The Pages in the end, but you may just hear it, if you keep an ear out for any future recordings, which may not even happen.


January 2005, anyway, was more of a millstone than a milestone for UG, but at least the tail-end of the Christmas holidays were something to remember, as it was the first meeting between Pooka, David, and the guitarist Andrew. Not only had Pooka and David never seen Andrew play the guitar before, they had never even met him before, either.

Yet, on that cold day, Andrew sat on Pooka’s bedroom floor, the guitar plugged into his computer, and played. That wasn’t nearly enough for the musically starved artists, however, so that afternoon, something special happened – they, for want of a better word, jammed. Due to the poor quality of the recording equipment (a very old tape recorder), coupled with the fact that the three had absolutely no idea what they were doing, the end result was even more of a mess than Sappharis Moonstone had ever been, yet – in a rather curious way – somewhat inspiring. Well, it had eaten up an afternoon, anyway. The ‘Bush Hill Park Sessions 2005’ will remain in the band’s possession, ready to play if anyone ever has a need for assurance that brown sauce, despite all other indications, certainly does rock around.


Everybody is rocking with the sauce that is brown.


For a record with only four tracks on it, Bigger Than Judas took an extremely long time to make – considering that Sappharis Moonstone had taken eight hours, this was more than a little confusing for Pooka, at least, who set himself the task of travelling around the country to visit the five band members (the exception, again, being Laura, who managed to record her l337 xyl0ph0n3 5k1ll5 into her computer as WAV files, and taken advantage of a broadband internet connection to port them to Pooka’s). By the time May 2005 rolled along, however, he had managed to glean lead guitars, rhythm guitars, bass, piano, keyboards, harmonica, xylophone, glockenspiel, synths, djembe, and the most random percussion and sampling work ever. David stopped by, and the two warbled into Pooka’s long-suffering computer microphone under the pretence of recording the tracks’ vocals. They also realised that they had to knock together an acoustic Never Touch You, which they duly did. Three quarters of an EP completed… surely it would all be finished soon.


Three months later.


August 2005, the time-location of a bizarre creative venture known as the Knightmare RPG. However, in its dark underbelly, three members of UG lurked, and, as a remarkable coincidence, three UG T-shirts. Oh, and a computer and a microphone.

With a ‘session in progress’ sign on the door, for an hour one dormitory was out of bounds for all but Pooka, David, Keith, and DJ Matt ‘The Experience’ Richings, as Keith finally stepped up to the mike and let loose with additional vocals for the chorus of Please, Siren. One practice, one take, and one digital cleanup effort later, and the dark deed was duly, dastardly, duckingly done – except with perhaps a little less alliteration.


Be that as it may, Bigger Than Judas was complete, or as complete as UG could be bothered to make it at the time.


I never thought I’d write that.


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