Big Strides were signed to EMI, toured endlessly, and had their own Paul Smith clothing range in Japan ! Tired of touring, and having suffered a mental breakdown, Marcus set about recording this delicate and intimate collection of songs playing all the instruments himself. The result is a mysterious and moving album, which can be both uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. Lead track “Regrets, Secrets” is an infectious little song which treads a fine lyrical line between despair and hope.
As well as his usual guitar, vocals and song writing , Marcus stepped out of his comfort zone to play piano and double bass on several of the tracks:
“I was staying with friends in Austin, Texas, which is a really inspiring musical town, and someone had moved to LA and left behind a big old grand piano. So we wired up the room and I plinked away on it, and that pretty much transformed this album. I had never really played the double bass before though. I borrowed one off a guy called Thin and dragged it across London to the studio. As well as cutting your fingers to shreds, it’s quite amazing how many people stop you in the street to say stuff like ‘that’s a big guitar’. I’ve got a lot of respect for double bass players”.
The video for “Oilseed Fields And Innocent Dreams” features Marcus’s new backing band, ranging from an 8 year old drummer to a 3 year old guitarist. As great as they look on film, he insists that it is currently not practical to tour.
“Way Beyond The Sugar Beet” is out on 12th May 2014. / www.marcusoneill.net