[Dream target date 1982]
summer of 1982 the original five piece line-up had developed
a very strong sense of identity. Songs were arranged collectively
through live rehearsals and the Smart Cookies had by now established
a very distinctive sound: Our versatile guitar player, Chris
Richards (Riff) held everything together with his strong 60's
guitar riffs, keyboard players Russ Fisher and Rose Macpherson
added a swirling wash of sea-shanty strings and electropop
melodies. Bob Smith contributed his campy basslines and I
overlayed the whole lot with lyrics culled at random from
notebooks and newspaper cuttings.
my first year, I had looked after what was left of the Fine
Art recording studio. This fell into disuse after lecturer
John Darling resigned, taking his 8 track recording desk with
him. I always made sure that we block-booked the studio for
rehearsals at the end of each term, when Riff would travel
over from Liverpool with his guitar.
And locked together in that sweatbox, we all had great fun
putting together the Smart Cookies sound.
,'8 Dazzling Jellies' was composed, performed and recorded
live onto cassette tape over a six day period. The recording
technique was simple; we put our Hitachi Stereo Cassette in
the middle of the room, turned the amps up and went for it.
Everything was recorded on those little condenser microphones,
though the air. Riff used to call this technique our 'Ed in
the middle, mix' and we thought the results sounded more authentic
than our early attempts at multitrack recording, when we were
always at the mercy of a recording engineer.
the 'head-in-the-middle' method, we'd record a couple of bars,
play it back, then adjust the volume on our amplifiers and
record again until we were happy. It was a very spontaneous
way of working and the resulting sound, although not technically
perfect was at least full of life and people seemed to like
The tapes were duplicated in
their hundreds. We sold some to friends, we gave them away
in nightclubs, and mailed them to radio stations and the like.
Some were also sold at Jumbo Records, an independent record
store located in Leeds' Merrion Centre. And back home in Nottingham,
in the hands of loyal supporters like Paul Walker, Adam Fisher
and Chris Cooper, 8 Dazzlers gave the Smart Cookies a devoted
following of teenage fans.
The Smart Cookies have been remastered on CD
Please email for availability
Copyright - Paul Fillingham
Last update - 19 August, 2001