Gavin Friday has been talking about his involvement in a Johnny Depp-inspired project that also involves Bono, Andrea Corr, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Bryan Ferry, Antony & The Johnsons, Richard & Linda Thompson, Loudon Wainwright and some of his former Virgin Prunes bandmates.
Due for release through Epitaph in July 2006, the Chanteys & Sea Songs album is being produced by maverick American knob-twiddler Hal Wilmer.
“It’s all on the back of Pirates Of The Caribbean, really,” Friday divulges. “Johnny Depp is executive producing the thing and Hal was contacted to do it. “Musically, it’s rooted in Irish and northern English folk music. I did a song called ‘The Baltimore Whores’, probably the dirtiest of them all. It goes: ‘Roly poly, tickle my holey, smell of my slimey flue, then drag your nuts across my guts.’”
The album has been pieced together in different cities, with the Dublin sessions taking place at Westland Studios and featuring musical back-up from Zoe Conway, Tony Molloy, Robbie Calady, Anto Drennan and Andrea Corr who, in addition to singing a song called ‘Caroline And Her Young Sailor Bold’, supplies tin whistle.
Bono, who was only able to take part because of the postponement of U2’s Antipodean tour, tackles the 19th century whaling song, ‘The Dying Sailor To His Shipmates’.
As for the mini-Prunes reunion, Friday enthuses: “It was Dave-id as head pirate on lead vocals, and myself and Guggi as his shipmates on backing vocals. Hal said it was probably closest to what pirates really would have sounded like.”
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