Andy Piercy & David Clifton

AP & DC JPEGAndy Piercy and David Clifton have been writing and recording together for over twenty years. They first met whilst working on the pre-production for an EMI  and Warner Chappell album project by Steve Booker, which Andy was  co-producing.

David and Andy both have a long history and  background in the British music industry. Andy was lead singer and songwriter for the rock band After The Fire, and toured with Queen, ELO and Van Halen as well as having a top 5 hit in the USA with ‘Der Kommissar ‘(Don’t Turn Around) in the 80’s. Andy then went on to produce artists such as Nine Below Zero, Gary Numann, and T’Pau. His recent production work has been for sacred music artists as diverse as Rita Springer, Kim Hill, Delirious, Martin Chalk, Graham Kendrick and Matt Redman. David was signed to Virgin Records with the indie band Sensible Jerseys who were championed by John Peel before going on to tour and record with some of the UK’s most respected artists, including Tanita Tikaram, Mary Coughlan, Julia Fordham and Steve Booker. Over the years his session recording work has encompassed many musical genres, including Madness, Micky Hart, Pele, Paul Heaton (Beautiful South), Haley Westenra, Helen Watson, Delirious (Cutting Edge 1), Matt Redman, Robin Mark, Graham Kendrick and Kim Hill.

Their songwriting has mostly been in the sacred music arena; they were both on the music team at Holy Trinity Brompton, London where they helped develop the contemporary and renewal worship, and trained new church musicians and songwriters. Their own songwriting is often been praised for its strong use of scripture, Biblical texts and sound theology, within an accessible musical style that suits modern congregational singing.

www.andypiercy.com

www.davidclifton.com


Albums by Andy Piercy & David Clifton

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow / 1994

Between The Lines

Back in the spring of 1993, David and Andy were facing two months with no work in either of their diaries. Andy had just finished producing a project for Nine Below Zero, and David had recently returned from a tour of Japan and the UK with Julia Fordham.

A time spent meeting up regularly each week had resulted in a very productive period of songwriting, and so the idea was discussed of producing and recording an album of these new songs together. Part of the inspiration for this was to be able to provide a resource of new music for their churches - Andy was at Holy Trinity Brompton, and at this time David was at St. Pauls' Onslow square, and both of them were involved in leading their church worship music teams.

And so it was that at the end of April, a small 8 track tape machine, keyboards, amps, samplers, computer, mixing desk and guitars were piled into David’s flat in Earlham Street, Covent Garden WC2. There was one other piece of equipment that became the most-used and faithful part of the proceedings: a Shure SM58 microphone! It was used for virtually everything ... guitars, vocals, backing vocals, drums (along with one other mic, and AKG414) and mandolin. Andys' engineering skills coaxed some amazingly good sounds out of this wonderful microphone. Drums were set up downstairs in the front room; guitars and mandolins were played and backing vocals and lead vocals all sung in the same room as the tape machine. A little room piled high with equipment, song lyrics and chord charts ...

There followed an intense few weeks of recording. David used his tax money to pay for the musicians, tape and overall production costs, hoping that this was a wise investment, rather than a foolhardy act! It helped to augment the prevailing philosophy of necessity at the time - beg steal or borrow recordings!! (Nothing ventured, nothing gained). Eventually everything had been committed to tape or was safely recorded onto the sampler, and the tracks were finally ready to be mixed.

Artwork was commissioned from Wilf Witty who was over in Notting Hill gate working for Chrysalis at the time, and he sent through the final designs which were to surprise so many people ... an album sleeve which was going to be individually fingerprinted by the creators. Your very own individualised, personalised copy. If the boys had known then that they would end up fingerprinting some six and a half thousand copies, there may have been some design changes! However, they could not afford a three colour print, so it was a great way of achieving two goals with a bit of ingenuity.

During this time there were a few sleepless nights, mulling over all that needed to be done to get the little album out to those who wanted to hear it. Should they take the album to an existing label? Should they release the album themselves on their own label? And then a bit of inspiration. A little album made in a little room ... little room recordings perhaps? Searching for a notebook, ideas were scribbled and jotted down by David one night in the early hours. The opposite of the slightly impersonal music industry of which they were both a part ... CD sleeves with a personal touch (literally in the case of the "Praise God" recording) the potential to champion the causes and talents of other gifted musicians who were having a difficult time getting the results they deserved ... and some time in the future, perhaps a publishing company to offer the best deals possible to new and established songwriters ...?

And so the idea for Little Room was conceived in the early hours of a somewhat sleepless night, and then put to Andy a day or two later to see if he approved of this small beginning. He did, and so the first recording was completed, mastered by Denis Blackham while he chief mastering engineer at Porky’s' mastering rooms in Shaftesbury Avenue, and then manufactured and released in July. It wasn't until many years later that David stumbled upon a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci ... "A small room focuses the mind. A big one distracts it".

Musicians

  • Andy Piercy - vocals, acoustic guitar
  • David Clifton - vocals, guitars and mandolins
  • Dudley Phillips - bass
  • Terl Bryant - drums and percussion
  • Martin Neil - drums and percussion
  • Steve Creese - drums
  • Pete Sainsbury - keyboards
  • Holly Coward; Jess Rudolph; Ellen, Holly & Laura Piercy;
  • Benj, Barny, Kirsty & Josh Lee - backing vocals

Produced by

  • Andy Piercy and David Clifton

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Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs / 1996

Between The Lines

After the great response to "Praise God..." there were numerous requests for a follow up CD. By now David and Andy had worked on several productions and projects together, including Alex and Jenny Leggs' new album, a recording for Dave Bilbrough and the BBC TV projects "First Light" and "Routes and Rhythms" amongst others.

It had been three years since their last CD - they never were ones to rush into things! David had now moved to Chelsea, and it was again decided that in keeping with the relaxed recording style of the previous album, initial sessions would take place at home before traveling to a studio to record the bass and drums, string and orchestral parts. Some twelve songs had been written between them, and as it would transpire, two more would be completed during the recording process. And so they began again... long hours through the day and into the night, with the help of very tolerant neighbours and the wonderful Noz (David's flatmate) keeping her sense of humour and staying patient. The Mona Lisa cafe became the lunchtime/supper-time refuge on numerous occasions, even warranting a mention on the album sleeve credits.

Once the initial song structures had been recorded to tape ( this time a new 16 track machine bought with earnings from the first recording ), West Park studio was booked in Littlehampton ready for the recording of bass and drums. Martin Smith (former lead singer of Delirious) engineered the sessions, and all the parts were safely committed to tape in one very long day. David and Andy had both worked with Martin several times before on various recording, Andy having produced the first four Cutting Edge / Delirious albums, so they had a great working relationship. Mark Russell was a good friend of David's from Tanita Tikaram and Julia Fordham touring and recording days, and he had subsequently made a name for himself as a string arranger and writer/producer. Being the generous soul he is he kindly agreed to write and produce the string arrangement for "We do not presume", and to orchestrate "The Lord has done great things for us". He also worked on keyboard parts for the rest of the tracks, down-loading them from pro-tools later in the schedule. Julia Fordham was in London visiting from her home in Santa Monica, and she agreed to duet with Andy on "My Beloved One". Another visitor from America, for a tour with the Woodthieves on which David was also playing, was Emmy Lou Harris band member Phil Madiera. His wonderful Hammond and keyboard playing has graced innumerable albums, and he came to visit the little room in Chelsea to add his distinctive style of keyboard and Hammond playing to some of the tracks.

Due to the limitations of budget it was decided to mix five of the less complicated tracks in the studio at the flat, and hire all the outboard equipment needed to do so, and to then travel down to Rockfield studios in Wales to mix the remainder of the tracks. Flight cases full of compressors, limiters, reverbs and a Yamaha O2R mixing desk were shoe-horned into the front room of the flat, and the final stages in the process began. Three days later, the first five tracks had been beautifully mixed by Andy, just in time to get the equipment back to the hire company! After working through the night on the final day, they then drove down to Rockfield to complete the final mixes. And what splendid mixes they are too.

Wilf Witty was commissioned again to design the artwork, and gradually the project was completed, finally being released in August 1996.

Musicians

  • Andy Piercy - vocals, acoustic guitar
  • David Clifton - vocals, guitars and mandolins
  • Dudley Phillips - bass
  • Phil Barker - bass (Follow)
  • Steve Creese - drums and percussion
  • Troy Donockley - uillean pipes, whistles
  • Mark Russell - keyboards, orchestral and string arrangements
  • Mark Edwards - keyboards
  • Phil Madeira - accordion and organ
  • Julia Fordham - courtesy of Virgin/Circa records, vocal on 'my beloved one'
  • Alison Berry, Claire Barker, Ellen, Holly & Laura Piercy and Sarah Brooks - backing vocals
  • The Emperor String Quartet: Fiona Bonds, viola; Simon Smith, violin; Martin Burgess, violin; William Schofield, cello

Produced by

  • Andy Piercy & David Clifton

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