Singled Out: Adam Masterson's Avenue Walk

K. Wiggins | 01-19-2020

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Adam Masterson

Up and coming UK rocker Adam Masterson recently released a video for his latest single "Avenue Walk" and to celebrate we asked him to tell us about the track. Here is the story:

I remember the initial idea coming out of a time when I was heavily into southern soul music. A friend at Rough Trade record shop on Talbot Road recommended this rare and brilliant collection to me 'Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures.' I loved it, buying all the volumes and totally immersed myself in it. Initially, I wanted a song that skipped along, like an old soul song and came up with the verse idea like that. When the chorus melody came to me, it had a more contemporary feel and began to take the tune elsewhere. By the time I started adding lyrics it had taken on a more somber tone but there's still maybe an echo of its earlier soul influence underpinning the tune especially when I play it live on piano.

I walked around Notting Hill listening to the tune I'd hummed over a guitar. I wanted to write about Holland Park Avenue at nightfall because it's pretty and was at the bottom of the road I lived on; so that got into the 1st verse. I'd read about this old French poet who had shocked everybody by writing about all the boring mundane things in his life, when all the other poets were writing flowery verse that had nothing to do with everyday experience, so I thought I'd try that in the second verse. I lived in a flat next door to a restaurant, I'd hear all the laughter from the room next door. 'Clarendon food and wines' was a few doors down - that's where I'd buy my beers. I'd walk around all the posh houses at night deciding which one I'd buy when I'd sold a million records... usual stuff! I just wanted to capture a young person at a loose end with all the freedom in the world. A bit mixed up in the head, missing someone but still seeing all the beauty in the London night.

The first person I remember playing it to was guitarist George Vjestica. We were sound checking for a gig we were gonna play that night. George plays in Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds now but at the time we were doing loads of nightly duo gigs together in all the bars around Notting Hill for beer money. He liked the song and thought it had an Everly Brothers thing to it and put lovely harmonies on the 'dream dream' part. He encouraged me to play it later in the set that night and I remember its first performance to an audience going down really well.

I recorded the song at Rockfield Studios in Wales with Sean Genocky producing. We tracked it with Dom Greensmith of 'Reef' on drums and Graham Knight on bass. Sean and George later overdubbed guitars back in London at Sean's Studio. The owner of Rockfield, Kingsley, kept popping his head in when we were tracking to hear how we were getting on. He told us that Freddie Mercury had written and recorded 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in this room and Oasis has recorded 'What's the Story Morning Glory.' I remember thinking, "Come on then chaps...Good arrows!"

I recently shot a video for the song with my wife Anna Gabriel. It really summoned up the spirit of how I felt writing the song. I spent a lot of time on all those streets in the video figuring songs out in my head and dreaming, so it did feel like capturing something personal.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself right here!

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