Former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton releases a new solo album Back In The Room next month (1 October). The album was not only recorded at the studio owned by his old frontman, but see Paul Weller playing on it. In a guest column, Foxton explains how the pair (plus some other special guests) got back in the (same) room. Working with Paul was a real pleasure. Our friendship was renewed from around 2008, the time my wife Pat was very ill. She sadly passed away in March 2009, god bless you darling. During Pat's treatment Paul asked me if I'd be up for playing on his Wake Up The Nation album, naturally I jumped at the opportunity and in the end, two tracks were done; Fast car, Slow Traffic & She Speaks. It was fantastic to be with Paul, doing what we do best, playing great music and having a laugh. When Paul then asked me to play the Royal Albert Hall on his birthday in 2010, 5000 people went nuts and it was a memory I will cherish forever. After that it made sense that he would get involved on our new album as well.
Once we had most of the songs for the album I asked Paul if we could use his studio? No problem. As well as the use of his studio, I also asked Paul to guest on the album which he was happy to do. Paul gave us 100 percent. Three songs later, Number Six, Window Shopping & Coming On Strong were done. Guitarist Russ Hastings, drummer Mark Brzezicki and myself had got them sounding good but when Paul started to add hammond, piano, guitar, flute and glockenspiel (not all on one track!), they took off.
Once Paul had done his bit we had to fit guitarist Steve Cropper in as he was over from the states touring here. Unfortunately the day he was due to record his guitar part on Don't Waste My Time he was asked to go into record The Ronnie Wood Show and then was back on the road touring so he suggested we send him the track and he'd record it at his studio in Nashville which he did and we are so pleased with what he's done.
The album was now about three months in and taking shape. The relaxing atmosphere at Black Barn studios meant we could really get on as no-one was breathing down our neck and giving us unnecessary pressure!
A good friend of mine Steve Norman the sax player from Spandau Ballet heard what we were doing and said he'd love to come down and play some brass on a couple of tracks. So I sent him a few tracks and arranged a day for him to come in. Steve did a great job and so after we'd finished the session, we treated him to a curry in the village. We also ended up having Tom Van Heel from The Moons playing on two or three tracks, as he's a great keys player, and was hanging out at the studio at the time so got involved.
We had a lot of fun recording the album. We all get on so well which really helps but as anybody that's recorded an album will tell you, you go through lots of different emotions along the way.
In the end, It's been worth it and the final result? I've 12 great songs that I'm extremely proud of. Bruce Foxton @brucefoxton
For more head to Brucefoxton.com.