Live at The Pot Belly Bar



As well as posting new recordings I'll also reach into the archives occasionally and post something a bit older like this...

This was one of the The Taken's best gigs. I invited a lot of people I know to the gig instead of having a party for the birthday I celebrated at about this time. We played a set of our usual material and followed it with a looser acoustic set. The recordings attached here are the final 6 songs from the first set. Although we started off a bit loose, this "run home" is very, very good.

The lineup on these tracks is the usual one except that Richard Pearce played drums.

The recording quality isn't exactly brilliant. The recording was done using fairly low bitrate MP3s on an iRiver MP3 player. The saving grace is that I used Keith's good stereo microphone, so the input was at least of reasonable quality. The recorder and microphone sat on the piano in the middle of the room. The original recordings sounded quite a bit worse than what you hear here. Keith applied some "special sauce" and the result is quite listenable. They at least allow the performances to be appreciated...

Brothers is a song I wrote back in 1993. This song is about growing up and becoming an individual instead of an imitation of someone else.

This Is Love is a cover from PJ Harvey's excellent album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. This version shows less restraint than the original but it really does hit the mark. Unfortunately, I'm making this version available without permission. I've tried finding contact details for someone relevant but none are easy to obtain. If a representative of PJ Harvey comes across this, please consider that I'm not making any money from this... just reminiscing about an excellent (and unpaid) gig.

Nothing To See Here is mostly some lyrics that I came up with after listening to some Cowboy Junkies songs (I Did it All For You, Dragging Hooks (River Song Trilogy, Part III)). I wondered how someone could write such dark songs and within an hour or two I knew the answer. We combined the lyrics with a bass progression that Keith had been working on for many years and it just worked. Kelly added a somewhat optimistic opening verse and Craig tweaked a few things. This song is about depression and is dedicated to the memory of Paul William Baker. One astonishing thing about this performance is that Kelly sings most of the last verse on one breath. Wow!

Empty Arms is a song that I wrote with Mel about loss. If you've experienced similar things to us then this song might make you shed a tear or two. I've certainly tried to wring some tears out of my guitar when playing the solo.

My Friend The Blues is a song that my brother Peter handed me some lyrics for many years ago. I turned it into a slow-blues-rock song, although he would have preferred it to be more like a B.B. King number. This is a wonderful performance from both Kelly and Michael. Michael's guitar solo still knocks my socks off - near the climax he plays a gentle downward slide down the fretboard that still sends shivers down my spine.

Dance In Circles is another song started by my brother. In 1988 he first played this variation on an AC/DC riff to me. I added lyrics and then, many years later, Keith improved the chorus by adding some variation. In preparation for this gig, Richard tried a stop in the last verse once during practice... but it didn't work so we decided not to try it again. On the night, Richard looked at Keith, Keith looked at Richard and they pulled it off without warning. Magic!

Creative Commons License
The attached sound recordings are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

The compositions themselves have copyrights as follows, with all rights reserved. Brothers: Copyright 1993 Martin Schwenke. This Is Love: Copyright 2000 PJ Harvey. Nothing To See Here: Copyright 2005 Keith Matthews, Martin Schwenke, Craig Birnie & Kelly Daly. Empty Arms: Copyright 2004 Martin Schwenke & Melynda McDonald. My Friend The Blues: Copyright 1989 Peter Schwenke & Martin Schwenke. Dance In Circles: Copyright 1988, 2005 Martin Schwenke, Peter Schwenke & Keith Matthews.