The making of 'Stranger Place'
Like the tide
My mind changes
And I find my plans
In disarray
They're like
shattered sandcastles
In my brain
And so I build them
All again another day
And in another way
Cos where there's will
There'll always
Be a way
Or so they say

Stranger Place
Emily's 'Believer'
Emily's 'Keep Walking'

14 April 2003 Arrive at Brisbane airport for a 4-week holiday. Come to see Christian Dunham, an old friend from London. He’s living in a shack made out of wood, tin and potato sacks on a goat farm up in the hills behind the Sunshine Coast. I’ve been living in a one-bedroom, first-floor flat in London. I’m supposed to go back there in 4 weeks time and get an office job. Somehow Christian persuades me to stay for 3 months and make a record instead. This is the making of ‘Stranger Place’.
Pix Records Studios, Conondale, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia
Pix Vane Mason [engineer] and Christian Dunham [co-producer/bass player]
July 2003 Just got back from 3 weeks on the road with Christian who’s touring with Kevin Borich. Got 7 days and nights to record ‘Stranger Place’ before my visa runs out. Move in at Pix Records studios with Pix Vane Mason, our engineer and host extraordinaire. Recording day and night. Brother B turns up from Crystal Waters to do drum tracks with Christian on bass. Endless cups of tea, not much sleep. Finish the last track at 4am on the last night before mad dash in the bus back to the shack. Pack in 5 minutes flat and arrive at Brisbane airport with 10 minutes to spare.
All a bit of blur, as you can see
Taking a break
12 July 2003 Arrive back in London with CD desk mixes. See Doug Cooper about 2 solo tracks for the album we recorded at Goldcrest studios in Soho last year. Spend 2 months with friends and family. Book ticket back to Australia and pack up the flat in London.
2 October 2003 Back in the ‘back of beyond’. The shack now has a bathroom with walls and a roof. Still no hot water but it’s nearly summer anyway. Spend the next few months rehearsing and gigging with Christian and Brisbane drummer Shane Nesic. Hear ‘Love Song’ on the radio for the first time. Make a bathroom floor from river stones. Start a veggie garden. Try to overcome snake phobia.
Shack with a view…
31 December 2003 See in the New Year playing at Woodford Folk Festival.
Feb 2004 Back at the studio recording vocal, guitar and cello parts. Love playing the cello again. Record 2 new tracks with Shane Nesic on drums.
Crystal the cat & cello
March 2004 Move into Pix’s place to start mixing the 12 tracks for ‘Stranger Place’. He and his girlfriend Kyla have the patience of saints. Tea on tap.
Listening to mixes with Christian...obviously can’t smile at the same time.
13 April 2004 Finish 3 weeks of mixing.
Finally smiling, though possibly delirious with lack of sleep.
2 May 2004 Back to playing live music again... up at Maleny Wood Expo on the Sunshine Coast. Album being mastered by Daniel Fournier at Digital Archives Network. Book 3 days holiday on the coast with TV and hot water. Bliss.
Photos by Christian Dunham, Kyla Cobe, Arkin Mackay [STOP PRESS Visual Media], Duncan Coleman and Emily Maguire.