Sean Hyde – lead vocals, guitars, bass
Mark Wallis – guitars, vocals
Kim Ono – drums
Sean Hyde – known to his intimates as Shorn Head for blatantly perceptible reasons – was in purgatory. After 17 years and four children, his wife came out as a lesbian and initiated divorce proceedings. In fear of losing his children and home, and unable to afford a solicitor, Hyde was nearing a nervous breakdown trying to fight the might of Money and Court. During a heart-to-heart phone call to Paul Hamilton, Sean plaintively asked, “What can I do?” Knowing nowt about the law, but perhaps a little bit about distraction tactics, his former drummer suggested, “Why don’t we make an album?”
Invigorated by the idea, Hyde set to work composing music for lyrics written especially for him by Hamilton (who was also thoroughly enjoying a marriage breakdown) during a week spent at Hyde’s home in Bridport, Dorset.
The result, undoneup, was recorded in Hyde’s front room (a pair of tights acting as a microphone’s ‘pop’ guard) with the assistance of childhood chum Mark Wallis, two of his daughters providing backing vocals, a sax-tootling music student at the school where Hyde taught, and Hamilton making tea (which was always welcome) and musical suggestions (which wasn’t). The result could have been a thoroughly miserable collection of tear-stained self-indulgence but – mercifully – it is shot through with optimism and not a little sardonic humour.
Musically, undoneup comes across as a looser Fairport Convention or a tighter Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance. It is with some regret that Loudsneakers stalled after this album – Sean had to concentrate all his energies on the law courts and the music had to stop – but it is a tantalising and intriguing creation, borne of bad times and made for good.
undoneup [9-song d/l and CD album] (2010)