Happy Christmas to all our friends! Lots of new songs in the pipelines, and hopefully more gigs in 2017! Stew, Phil and Esther xx
We had some rather nice feedback from the organiser of Highams Park Live -
"Thanks was such an amazing set - You really nailed it and it was the highlight of the night! And very much appreciated. Excellent harmonies, well-crafted songs,accomplished guitar,,,… A fantastic performance all round and very memorable set!! You should do it more on acoustic - definitely didn’t seem like your first time out playing your material on acoustics."
We have been asked to play there again in 2017, so watch out for further dates!
Well that was a lot of fun! Thanks to all those that came to see us at "Highams Park Live" - there was a really nice chilled atmosphere, and it was great to see people reacting to our songs. We will definitely do an acoustic set again, and it has inspired us to record our own set of "unplugged" songs. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback from the gig, or it you know anywhere that would like to have us along to play a similar set. x
Further information - we will be playing an acoustic set at this event at around 9.50pm for 30 mins or more. Please come along, have a beer and enjoy the various performances.
The organiser has provided the following info -
Highams Park Live is back on Thursday 24thNovember upstairs at The County Arms 7pm – 11pm.
Highams Park Live presents an acousticevening of live performance with an eclectic programme of local songwriters,poets and storytellers. Performers are booked in advance - please drop a lineif you’re interested in performing at any future events. For more informationcheck out www.highamsparklive.co.uk
We’re set for another fantastic eveningon the 24th Nov so really hope to see you there! The room willbe set to go by 7pm and we’ll kick off 7.30ish. The event is free and if youwant to be part of the audience then please come along on the night and beinspired by the creative atmosphere!
The Workhouse (in the form of Stew, Phil and Esther) will be performing a short acoustic set at the County Arms (Highams Park - London E4 9PB) on Thursday 24th November. Please come along and have a listen! More details as they become available.
As D'Artagnan would say - "All for one" - we've now squeezed a mix of this song that we are reasonably happy with. Have a listen, and let us know what you think. Vote "The Workhouse" for Christmas number one!!!
So here we are - December again!! Where did all that time go? Hopefully we'll have a Christmas Present soon - and hopefully before Chistmas!! Look out for our latest offering in December - "All for one". In the meantime - Happy Christmas!! Enjoy! xx
We've nearly finished! Guitars are recorded, as is lead vocal. We just need to get Esther in to sweeten it up - then we'll be ready for a mix down. There are two other songs in the pipeline - an oldie "To thine own-self be true", and a new one called "My kind of woman". Stew is currently debating over a new effects unit for the guitar - prime contender so far is an Eventide H9 - any of our guitarist friends got an opinion? Let us know. Phil and Stew x
The Holidays are over, and we're back recording a new song that we wrote just before Ray's 50th - "All For One". As usual, we're struggling to find the time between family and work commitments - but we're marching on - albeit slowly! We have an idea to include a video - but that really depends on time/technology and will power....
For those interested in the techie stuff, we've achieved a guitar sound with power and depth. We did this by splitting the channels coming from the Les Paul - one fed a Mesa Boogie Mark IV with an SM58 close up to a 2x12 cab. The other channel went clean into the computer, which was then treated with Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5. We also added a Yamaha APX-5 electro acoustic, treated with a little reverb and chorus. The resultant mix is, we think, lovely! It has power, as well as ambience. Bass guitar was a American Fender Jazz, D.I.'d with very little treatment - giving that classic throaty growl. Keyboards are courtesy of a Hammond B4 simulator for the organ sounds - patch "Lordy"!
We're looking forward to getting this one finished, and sharing it with you.
We are pleased to be able to share our latest recording "Some Nights". This is a really old song that we only ever had cassette versions of - the original was a bit out of time and a bit out of tune (then again it was recording on a Tascam 4 track....). Hopefully this version is a little better.
We have tried to keep the original essence of the song, rather than reworking it all. It was a song a lot of people liked, so we thought we should resurrect it for posterity. Stick on your headphones, turn it up, and hopefully enjoy. Lots of love Phil and Stew xx
Well thanks to our friend Paul Dubbelman, we now have some good photos on the website! - Check them out on the Gallery page.....
More news soon we hope! x
Way back in the depths of time (we are guessing 1993?), after many years as The Worhouse's drummer, Bob Fagan returned home to Ireland. The Workhouse had been a strong gigging force, and Bob was going to be difficult to replace.....How many drummers are happy to listen to (and stay in time with) a click track for a whole gig? (all our keyboard parts were sequenced - with no full-time keyboard player). So we pondered on the situation (like we do)... and decided gigging wasn't necessarily the way forward. We concentrated on writing and recording new material. A new drummer, Philippe Jayoner, got involved with the band and provided drum programming and percussive duties (and a few lines of backing vocals) which can be heard on My Last Breath (the song was recorded on our 8 track which we lugged round to Philippes' flat in Ilford). Philippe was a great character, and we had some great times together - and there are some very funny stories to tell (another time maybe?). Philippe had other projects on the go, and we drifted on with our lives, only to later learn he had sadly passed away not long after working with us.
So time moves on, we keep on recording, breeding and getting on with our family lives and really not doing anything live. That was until May 2007 - when our friend Ray Marshall - decided to put on a gig in his back garden to celebrate his birthday - and "Raystock" was born. We were asked to provide the entertainment - a band was cobbled together - and a great evening was had. There is some fairly shabby mobile phone footage on You Tube so you can get the gist.... We didn't do any Workhouse songs - as we hadn't the time/inclination to rehearse a band to that extent. Instead, we played an acoustic version of Let You Go later in the evening.
Then in 2013 - we had "Raystock 2" - another party where a band was formed with friends and where Simon Wynn (The Workhouse's bass player from 25 years ago) came along and performed "Why" and "Loving Like Yours" with the band - apparently fulfilling one of his "bucket list" desires. Phil resumed duties for "Let you go" - the rest of the set was covers. Gwyn did an excellent job on the mixing desk and another great night was had with good friends.
So - after that short history, we have 2015 - and Ray is having his 50th Birthday party!! We don't care what it's called - to us it's "Raystock 3" - however this is a real special event for us, as we have Bob flying back from Ireland to resume his drumming duties! Excited!!!
Bob flies in next Friday, and we have a rehearsal booked - ready for the gig on Saturday. We've had to borrow a drum kit - and we've done away with click tracks and sequencers for The Workhouse. Phil Burns (Esther's husband) is going to do a fabulous job on keyboards and we hope this will give us the kick we need to do some more gigs! We shall see.
Expect photos/videos/recordings soon!!!
Peace and Love! Phil and Stew x
And a warm hello to anyone that takes the time to bother reading the twisted babblings contained within this shiny new web site.
This has been such a long time coming….
Just to have a place where people can listen to our music and know what we are about is amazing. A true exorcism of music, bad blood, perverted screamings and phlegm..... Wonderful!
If like us, you love real music, we hope you will take the time to listen to the selection of tracks we have launched with this website. Like them or not, it’s all we have to offer this cruel world (Or at least for a few months).
“A Loving like yours”, and “Let you go”, are the oldest songs on this release whilst “Only a fool like me”, “You shouldn’t be hurting me”, and “Only the morning sun”, were written and recorded over the last couple of years.
When we say “Real music”, we are referring to the type of song writing where, no matter how the song is recorded and no matter what technology has been employed within that process; somebody can sit down with a guitar or a piano to sing and perform that song and it can exist in its own right. Something many artists would struggle with these days!
Who we iz
“The Workhouse” is currently Stewart Allen and Phil Crombie with much appreciated backing vocals from Esther Burns. In addition The Workhouse enjoys input from mentor/producer Gwyn Mathias.
We are a band that has had a wheel turning, in one way or another, under this name since 1987.
What we duz
We write, record, engineer, and perform all our own original material.
Over the years our music has had various tags attached to it; AOR, Heavy rock, Dance, Folk, Country even Electro. To be honest we are probably all of these and more. We have never adopted a set style with the songs we create. Our intention has always been to go in whatever direction the song we are writing at the time wants to lead us. The main aim is to have an end result that is honest, good music that may leave the listener with something. (Scabies / a dose ?) No, whether it be a parting emotion of happiness, anger, melancholy or even a complete hatred of what we do. We aspire to provoke something.
What we do is difficult to pigeon hole or be identified as a certain genre and that has probably worked against us commercially but, to try and market us as one thing is not what we are about.
We are not currently set up as a live group but that may change!
Stewart and Phil record and create their original material in their own little studio “The Home Breaker Recording Company”.
We can offer services including creation of music for other bands and artists, TV, film and radio as well as negotiating the use of or possible purchase of our Workhouse songs (Current and back catalogue).