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With the relocation of My Attorney to the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, new personnel were required to satisfy the band's desire to play live. Stuart Stone - who had already completed some session work for fellow label-mates Future Loss - was an obvious candidate for drums. Ian Leaf, who had played for Libris act Rebecca Jones' live ensemble, was recruited on bass. The band would rehearse sporadically as a four-piece throughout 2009, playing adapted versions of the LP2/3 material that seemed to work live.
By April 2010, the band had recruited the final piece of their line-up puzzle in the form of Sophie Robinson, who was to manage keyboard, percussion and backing vocal duties. She would also ensure the rest of the band were kept hydrated with a dazzling array of teas.
The run-up to the initial Tech Support recording session in February 2011 was a formative time for My Attorney. Now rehearsing weekly in an abandoned office with no heat or windows, the five-piece began to move away from adapting the existing material on previous albums, towards writing new songs. The fashioning of the Tech Support material saw the band become more cohesive as unit; sharing ideas on their influences, attending concerts together and swapping mixtapes. Slowly, the musical vocabulary of the group grew.
An ambitious plan to record a record in a remote cottage in Hebden Bridge was conceived and organised by Ian. Off we all went, with four cars of gear, bags of shopping and sea salt to wash ourselves with. What elapsed out in the country was a... strange set of events. It snowed outside. The fire wouldn't light. The guitars kept going sharp during takes because the house was so cold. There weren't enough beds because much of the living and sleeping spaces were occupied by racks of gear. The bass amp lived in the bathroom. Many chopped vegetables were put in a small saucepan, and Sophie put oranges in Ian's mouth and then photographed him. We all came back and quietly promised never to do anything like that again.
Despite all this, the musical spoils from the week's recording were rich. The rhythm parts were complete, and the arrangements locked. All that was required was the lengthy march towards completing the guitars and vocal overdubs. These were done at various junctures throughout the following two years, hampered yet again by other professional production duties taking precedence. At times it seemed as though it would never be finished. The months ticked by, during which time My Attorney began to evolve once more. LP4 remained on the shelf, its unfinished status becoming a running joke within the group. True to the band's form for absurdly long gestation periods, many of Support's overdubs were done in parallel with studio sessions for the fifth record. The bulk of the mixing was done during Easter and Christmas of 2014; with mastering finally completed at Hallowe'en, 2015.
For a band whose story has always been told via studio releases that fell far out-of-sync with the lives of its authors, Tech Support is no exception. It captures the band at a very specific point in its evolution, just as they began to understand how to write and record within their expanded line-up. Later recordings would see Attorney move away from song-based writing, towards a more open-ended Krautrock experimentalism. However this record stands as a succinct take on the band's "weird pop" mission statement they held so dear.
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My Attorney were:
Andrew Gardiner - lead vocals, keys & lyrics
Andy Warmington - guitars & brass
Ian Leaf - bass & synths
Stuart Stone - drums, MIDI & high-hats
Sophie Robinson - backing vocals & keys
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Additional backing vocals & percussion are performed throughout by members of the cast
On 'Narrative Thing' Sophie sings lead vocals, Andy plays rhythm bass as well as guitar, and Andrew plays the piano and sampler
On 'Sticks It In' Ian also plays guitar
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'Chino Necker [band]' appears courtesy of Steve: From Fragment, available in three other permutations:
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Written by My Attorney
Recorded at Colerabbey Studios between January 2011 - December 2013
Produced by Andrew Gardiner ≈ www.unimbued.com
Sleeve painted by Emily Hair
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Released digitally with honest prayers of calm souls, on Monday 2nd November 2015
© 2015 Ex Libris Records Ltd ≈ www.exlibrisrecords.com
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Dedicated to our much-missed, and much-loved, bassist
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released November 2, 2015