we had a very special album launch at the Union Chapel on Saturday 007th November, here are some excellent photos (by Paul Hudson) of the cast of thousands, including Ed Dowie who recorded his version of the Bond theme on the chapel organ
The eagle eyed among you will have noticed that the last theme to be covered it the Matt Monro classic, From Russia With Love... so here we go, Ladies and Gentlemen - THE LEAF LIBRARY!
I’d like to be able to say that we’ve recorded this version because of my name-based kinship with Matt Monro, or that I personally identify with trying to bump off a British agent with a deadly shoe whilst dressed as a maid. But no, someone else got to The Living Daylights before we did. Dalton’s always been my man – melancholy, minimal and with really good hair. Plus, copping off with a la-di-da cellist always heavily appealed to me. (As it is I ended up with a violinist so can’t complain too much). Anyhoo, ‘From Russia With Love’ was the track we were allocated and there was no way I was going to let ‘M’ Jervis down.
I vaguely remembered the film from sleepy afternoons at gran’s house (mainly the ridiculous shoe/chair fight and JB’s subsequent smug smirk as they chug off into the Venice lagoon) but I didn’t know the song at all. Not the most memorable at the best of times, it has a weirdly vaporous quality that sees it drift away and instantly forgotten as the last note fades. I was so bored by it I couldn’t even be bothered to look up the chords online so we dispensed with trying to recreate it altogether. Instead I found a random Russian folk tune, played in the modern, highly polished style so beloved of our friends behind the curtain, and stretched it to a truly evil 750%, before setting my henchman Lewis loose with all his Russian-themed Ableton synth plugins. Add to that Kate’s gloriously deadpan and detached vocals (literally phoned in) and that’s about the whole of it. I’ve actually really grown to love the lyrics, as wishy-washy as they are, and Matt’s Wikipedia entry makes for some entertaining reading (including being billed on Peter Sellers album as Fred Flange). I like to think our version invokes the sounds of dying nuclear reactors and humming Siberian shortwave radio masts, so let’s just say that it does.
I have never been to Russia although I have read the Master and Margherita. That’s alright, isn’t it?