LISA AIRD - Vocals and Guitar
Brought to you by…
Tori Amos, Julianne Regan, Angie Townsend
STEVE BROWN - Guitars
Brought to you by…
Alex Lifeson, Angus Young, Steve Morse, Guthrie Govan, Devin Townsend, Frank Zappa, Mikael Akerfeldt, Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Brad Paisley, Rush, Saxon, Opeth, Husker Du, Buffalo Tom, Alabama 3, Peatbog Faeries, Shooglenifty, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Bloodhorse, Amplifier, Mastodon, Calvin Harris, Crazy Penis
DALL PHILIP - Bass
Brought to you by…
Steve Harris, Phil Lynott, Geezer Butler, Geddy Lee, John Paul Jones, Lemmy, Cliff Williams, John Entwistle, Jean Jacques Burnel, Bernard Edwards, Mark King, Robbie Shakespeare and too many others to mention including some great local musicians I have had the good fortune to know and play with over the years — Street Urchin you know who you are!
TERRY CAMPBELL - Drums
Brought to you by…
Buddy Rich, Phil Rudd, Dennis Chambers, Neil Peart and Jaco Pastorius
ANGIE TOWNSEND - Original Vocals and Co-Songwriter
Brought to you by…
Ella Fitzgerald, Jamie Cullum, Paolo Nutini, John Lee Hooker, AC/DC, Melissa Etheridge, Clapton, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Delerious, Snow Patrol, Killers, Proclaimers, Runrig, Brian Kennedy, Mumford & Sons, Levellers, Celtic and Medieval Music mixed with Folk / Black Eyed Peas, Madeleine Cave and Ceilidh Band Flamin' Nora!
Band member photography © Em V Stevie.
In the beginning…
It all started in 1987 after Steve had come back from a European tour with his Anarcho-punk band Political Asylum. Looking to form a metal band he found Angie. Many bass players, drummers, one second guitarist and one keyboard player later we formed the classic line up that recorded the debut album.
Dues dutifully paid, travelling in the back of transits up and down the country, meeting lots of great lifetime friends (now families) along the way. Seeing Red's musical milestones started with being asked to write and record an ident for the new Edinburgh Rock Show on Radio Forth, hosted by DJ Mike Sword. This was recorded during the same sessions for their first demos at Pier House Studios in Edinburgh with producer Ian Beveridge. The outstanding Follower was the main track laid down in those sessions.
This led to a management deal with EMI tour manager Paul Naylor who got a few good breaks for the band although unfortunately no major recording or publishing deals were forthcoming. Paul released the band's first single (on 7" vinyl and cassette folks!) — a double A-side “Little People” / “Angel”.
Recorded at Jimmy Page's studios The Mill in Berkshire. Paul also managed to get the band a slot on The James Whale Show on ITV in November 1991 to tie in with the single's release. We will be forever indebted and grateful to Paul for all of his help.
Earlier in 1991 Seeing Red played what would be their most prestigious gig at the Marquee in London.
After parting ways with their management the band decided to self-finance their debut album. With Ian Beveridge (who by this time was monitor engineer for Nirvana, and now works with Foo Fighters) at the helm again they locked themselves in the studio for a few weeks and came out with T.V. Degeneration — an album the band is still incredibly proud of.
And that's where part one with Angie ends. For personal reasons she had to put rock n roll on the backburner.
In the middle…
Cut to 2011 and, thanks to social media, the band members find each other and get together to perform a reunion gig in Edinburgh on 24 March 2012 — at Studio 24, the same venue where Angie and Steve played their very first gig together in 1987. Things were going great, new songs written, plans for a new album and then, the world collapsed — Angie was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
In her last years she truly lived life to the full — including writing and recording a solo album Butterfly — songs about life and love www.angietownsend.co.uk. Angie passed away on 29 January 2016 and, at her request, Seeing Red performed some songs at the “celebration” after her funeral service, with close friend Alison Wilson doing everyone proud on lead vocals.
It is our pledge to continue to promote Angie's amazing songs and recordings. The debut album has been remastered in Canada by TERRY BROWN (Rush) with some superb extra tracks, including the Angel single, and released on CD and double red vinyl with new artwork by RODNEY MATTHEWS (Magnum, Nazareth) and new title KEEP THE FIRE BURNING.
Steve was honoured and privileged to be able to say these words at Angie's service:
With Angie and I it's always been about music — and of course the shenanigans that come with it! Travelling up and down the country in the backs of transit vans, we certainly paid our dues — as they say.
We met in September 1987 in the Preservation Hall in Victoria Street in Edinburgh. Mutual friends brought Angie and I together. There were no auditions — we just clicked right away. The first song we wrote together — Take Me On — is one of her best from the Seeing Red years. It's the last track on the Seeing Red album — I know she would expect me to plug the albums so they're over there on the table — tenner each, help yourselves just throw the money in the box — thank you very much.
A wee bit about our songwriting process. In the Seeing Red years, I would come up with riffs which Angie would improvise over. She had an amazing ability to jam with words and vocal melodies. Something perhaps Bethan and Ceri-Ann could no doubt carry on — no pressure! But with the songs on Butterfly — she came to me with most of those already written — the lyrics and melodies. As most of you will know, these songs were written after she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer - an unimaginable situation which she faced head on, in her inimitable style, with strength and determination, articulating her feelings within the lyrics with real passion and empathy — always thinking about others.
One track on that album that we did write using our old technique was The Angels' Share. The idea came from my wife Catherine during one of the many great nights we had around our dining table after a long day's recording. The whole idea of the whisky vapours escaping from the barrels in these warehouses all around the country fired Angie's imagination and we recorded the song the following day. That was Angie's guilty pleasure when she came to our house in Arisaig — she loved a wee dram — usually a Glendronach 12 year old followed by a tiny sip of the cask strength Aberlour A'Bunadh.
It was an incredible experience working with Angie putting these songs together. I've never known anyone so strong, determined, passionate, genuine and focussed. Especially given her circumstances.
Angie and I both love the band Rush — the opening line from their song Afterimage really hits the spot today — “Suddenly you were gone — from all the lives you left your mark upon”. The wonderful effect Angie has had on SO many people is testament to her incredible kindness, empathy and compassion. She was totally unique and 100% genuine and we are all better people for knowing her.
One thing that never dies is love — true love. Not yer romantic stuff but true love between close friends. Angie will live on in our hearts and minds and it's an honour for me to promote her legacy through her music. I'll be organising a concert of her songs in November — around her birthday. Please keep in touch through the family or Facebook etc. We're now going to play one of Bethan's favourite Seeing Red songs — Heartland.
Cut to 2019 and we have the phenomenally talented LISA AIRD joining us on lead vocals, guitar and saxophone! Our debut gig was a half hour slot at RUSHfest Scotland, followed up by a support slot at Edinburgh's La Belle Angele in November 2019. Lisa brings her own style to Angie's songs and does them justice. Check out our videos and keep in touch for updates. An Aberdeen gig is in the pipeline for January 2020 and new material is being jammed.
If you've any stories / feedback / old photos you'd like to share, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org