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The Beck Studios Rehearsals 2007

It is a little ironic that we found ourselves back at Beck Studio’s in 2007, the place where it all started for SOLDIER many years earlier.

After reforming around 2001, and recording the INFANTRYCIDE EP, in 2003, work then began on Soldier’s first studio album ‘Sins Of The Warrior’. The band didn’t have a drummer as Ian Astrop had bowed out after the Infantricide EP, so a session player was drafted in. However when Alex Smith joined the band the drums were completely re-recorded and SINS OF THE WARRIOR was released in 2005.

During this period the band only played one gig, at The Roadmender in Northampton. The band continued to rehearse but the distance (in geographical terms) between singer Garry Phillips and the rest of the band, coupled with Garry’s then respiratory problems, made further progress difficult, and the band stalled.

In 2007, with Alex on drums, Ian Dick on guitar and Steve Barlow on bass, Soldier began rehearsals once more. Richard Frost answered an advert we put out, and after meeting up, having a chat and singing a few songs, he was drafted on lead vocals.

Sadly the band didn’t achieve the momentum to keep things moving as there was a lot going on, life and job wise, and again, things came to a halt.

So how did these Beck rehearsal recordings come about? Well, we wanted to see how things would sound with Richard singing so one Saturday we all rocked up at Beck for a day’s rehearsal, with Steve bringing along a humungous mixing desk that was the size of a double wardrobe and the weight of an elephant! It took up about 25% of the rehearsal room, and with everything mic’d up we recorded that day’s work.

But as things came to a halt again it got put in the ever growing pile of “stuff we recorded” and was promptly forgotten about........until we started the CHRONICLES project.

So, what you have here is the sound of the four of us playing live with no overdubs and mistakes thrown in free of charge!

Four songs were culled from the session for the CHRONICLES bonus CD  and the rest will be posted on this page for free download, with comments and memories from us about each track, so keep checking back.

Please leave a comment on our Facebook or Twitter pages about these tracks if you like them – we hope you will!

So what happened next? Well, in 2012, with the offer of a slot at that year’s British Steel Festival in London I gave Richard a call to see if he would be up for doing it. He was, we did the gig, it was great, and finally we were off! As well as playing the Hard Rock Hell festival we also recorded the songs that would become the acclaimed DOGS OF WAR album.

Since then we have also released the LIVE @ THE HEATHERY recording from 1983, the double CD anthology CHRONICLES, and we are now in the process of recording the follow-up to DOGS OF WAR which will be out in 2015.

Being in a band is a funny old business. You never know what’s going to happen, but one thing is for sure, there’s life in the old Dogs/Soldier yet!

Ian Alan Dick

September 2014

The Beck Studio Rehearsal 2007 - Track By Track

Murderous Night

Richard: A good mid paced stomper from SINS OF THE WARRIOR with lots of space and dynamics. I always liked the way the bridge goes into the chorus.

Ian: I think was the first song written for SINS… Nice and moody. It was very cool that Killer Metal Records released it as a vinyl single.

I’m Taken In

Richard: Originally from an album called OVERBOARD Ian did under the band name of Fret which was also included on the HEAVY METAL FORCE album. Some frantic double kick drum and guitar on this one, as well as a solo from Alex!

Ian: This song was never written for Soldier and is a strange fit. Some weird chords in this one. I always enjoy watching drummers playing this as it’s a challenge.

Storm Of Steel

Richard: Ian’s ode to Montrose! Real NWOBHM! And we still make Ian play it 30+ years after he wrote it!

Ian: This one and ‘Sheralee’ are Soldier staples. Not much more to say.

Come On Down

Richard: Another one from the INFANTRYCIDE EP. A nice short snappy one with trademark Ian Dick changes and dynamics.

Ian: My personal letter of complaint to the moronic refuse that is reality TV.

Infantrycide

Richard: A speedy version which required a slight “adjustment” on the lyrics in the first verse compared to the original, which I still do today!

Ian: Although I wasn’t in the band when this was written , I always loved the song and can’t imagine a Soldier live set without it’s inclusion

In My Room

Richard: The opening track from Sins Of The Warrior. It’s an “interesting” first verse but it all settles down by the chorus! A typical Ian “song of a thousand riffs”!

Ian: As a teenager I recall locking myself in the bedroom , music blaring and striking a pose with my air guitar. Hopefully none of us are as sad as the guy in this song though!

Paradox

Richard: A track from the Infantrycide EP. This one pushes really well and we still gig it today. Again, a good example of the changes and dynamics that Ian always gets in his songs.

Ian: Very pleased with the melody lines in this song and loved the intro part Mort played on the piano.

Fire In My Heart

Richard: This one was written by the Two Steve’s (Taylor and Barlow). This one (like many of the others!) rumbles along at a fair old pace.

 Ian: The mid section chord sequence which Steve B wrote is very cool to jam over.

Starhaven

Richard: A prog-metal tour de force that even has a bass solo before there’s even been any singing! There’s a lot packed into this song and we do occasionally brush this one down and play it live.........but only occasionally!

Ian: Is there a rock guitarist on the planet who hasn’t been influenced in some way or other by Alex Lifeson. Some AL open ringing chords in the opening sequence. This was always our closer in the live set back in the day.

Natural High

Richard: This one is from Sins Of The Warrior. Another song of a thousand riffs and changes that charges along one minute and then lets you catch your breathe the next.

Ian: Again some cool chord structures in this one.

Silver Screen Teaser

Richard: In 2007 this one was a real bas**rd to sing for me because it’s not my key and the melody to the chords is a bit weird. Recently when I met Garry Philips for the first time he said, “yeah, it’s not my key either so I had to sing the melody there”! Thanks Garry! But over time I managed to get it. Another one we still play today.  

Ian: Being of an age where I would be more likely to be listening to Purple than Priest , this song shows my root influences. A lot of Rory Gallagher chord structures in this one and a nod to Wishbone Ash on the outro.

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MURDEROUS NIGHT

I’M TAKEN IN

STORM OF STEEL

COME ON DOWN

IN MY ROOM

PARADOX

FIRE IN MY HEART

Fire In My Heart.wav

STARHAVEN

NATURAL HIGH

SILVER SCREEN TEASER

Natural High PT.mp3Natural High PT.wav