New TCSO single – “No Way Back For Us”!!

The second in a “once a month or so” series of tracks from TCSO, a cover version of the great song written by New Zealand artist Rob Smith of RPJ called “No Way Back For Us”.

Featuring Mathew Szkup (guitar), Rob Lundgren (vocals) and Dennis Leeflang (drums and mix) alongside Chris Szkup (guitars and bass), this song was originally intended to be used for GONE WILD when a third album was being discussed a few years back. However, when plans changed in regards to that album, Chris obviously had fun on the track and asked the question “can we do the song anyway”!!! Luckily Rob Smith being the great fellow that he is, agreed to it.

Once again, mastering on this track was done by Andy VanDette at Engineroom Audio in NYC, while artwork was done by Dan Verkys.

Check it out right now for free on Bandcamp, and if you feel like purchasing it, then thank you so much but either way, I hope you like it…….especially you Rob Smith!!!

First new music in three years (and more too)!!!

Introducing The Claremont Symphony Orchestra (TCSO), with the new song “Ride”!!!

Artwork for the single "Ride", by TCSO by Dan Verkys!!!

The first in a “one a month or so” series of tracks from TCSO, or The Claremont Symphony Orchestra – the baby of Australian songwriter Chris Szkup, featuring core members Dennis Leeflang (drums) and Rob Lundgren (vocals) along with himself, as well as guest players on certain tracks, so far including Mathew Szkup (guitar) and Paul Jolley (piano), with possibly more to come. This song, and I hope all of them will be, was mastered by Andy VanDette, while the artwork was done by Dan Verkys.

Due to the geographical distance between the members and the guest players on some songs, Chris felt it necessary to adopt a “collective” type name for the project, and at the same time wanted to use it to pay a little nod to where he grew up in Claremont, Tasmania – it’s meant to indicate in a way that as these songs were for the most part composed by him, these songs were born in Claremont. Some of them literally were.

All of these songs will gradually be revealed as time (and finances) allow, and when complete, will form a “collection” type album which will be available on the usual digital outlets and on the store at www.cs-songs.com however until completion, the best and fastest way to purchase the songs as they are released will be via the bandcamp site. You also have the option to throw in a little tip if you desire and pay more than the listed price for the song. This will help future songs be released faster, however this is completely optional, and you can even just listen to the songs in full for free and not buy at all – up to you!

 

GIGS:

For a while I’ve been wanting to throw myself in the deep end a little bit and play some piano live. I had done it very briefly one time earlier in the year, but September was the time that it REALLY finally happened. I had two weeks in a row of playing a piano set at Compass Pizza in Brunswick back to back with a guitar set at Whole Lotta Love, just up the road also in Brunswick. Check out some pics and video from both nights below.

(So far three gigs are confirmed for the month of October, solo, duo and band – waiting on the word before I can announce the details on them!)

 

 

“Cool Dry Place” (Traveling Wilburys) Sept 13, 2017:

Strumming some Traveling Wilburys at Whole Lotta Love tonight!!

Posted by Chris Szkup on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

 

Snippets of whole set – Sept 06, 2017:

Live at Whole Lotta Love on September 06, 2017!!

Snippets from my set at Whole Lotta Love on Wednesday night!!! In order "Slackers and Wankers" ( The Feckers), "Born" (Chris Szkup), "October 22" (Chris Szkup) and "Here Comes The Sun" (The Beatles).

Posted by Chris Szkup on Friday, September 8, 2017

 

“Lost Soul” (From “Pieces of Eternity“):

"Lost Soul" – Live at Compass Pizza on Sept 06, 2017!!!

Some of my song "Lost Soul" from Compass Pizza on Wednesday night. Was great to finally get to do this one closer to how it sounds on the album – just gotta learn the guitar solo on piano haha! 😀

Posted by Chris Szkup on Friday, September 8, 2017

 

“Slackers and Wankers” (The Feckers):

A little improv leading into "Slackers and Wankers" earlier in the week at Whole Lotta Love!!

Posted by Chris Szkup on Friday, September 8, 2017

 

Far From Done” (The Feckers):

A little bit of "Far From Done" from my piano set at Compass Pizza two nights ago!

Posted by Chris Szkup on Thursday, September 7, 2017

 

GUEST SOLOS:

Sometimes from time to time I might get asked to play a guitar solo or two on a song that a friend is putting together. I’m always honoured that someone might think of me in this regard, and therefore it’s basically always a “HELL YES” when people do ask. There is no slacking off with any of your “comfort licks” cause a fresh set of ears will always pick up on this, which makes doing guest spots a very cool and fresh thing to do whenever you get the chance. So if anyone ever reads this and thinks I might fit on a song they are doing, please ask! Here’s some vid doing solos for The Calm Before – sometimes you’re lucky enough to just hit record and go for it and something happens, which was the case here.

Working on some guest guitar stuff today. HEAVY!! 😀

Posted by Chris Szkup on Sunday, August 20, 2017

Update – 17.08.17!!!

Had a few months away from the music, doing some quick trips overseas to New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore! Always an amazing time that I thoroughly enjoy, but now it’s time to get back into the music!

As I speak, there are five songs mixed down for my new collection of songs (so far unnamed) , and while I didn’t tell anyone, I decided that when I got to this point with the mixing, it would be time to start putting them out one by one, while carrying on with the mixing of the remaining songs in the background. Dennis Leeflang has been doing an amazing job on these, and I totally can’t wait to have them out there! This morning I sent what will be the first song released to Mr Andy VanDette for mastering. Dan Verkys will also be handling the artwork, as is always the case. We’ve started bouncing ideas around for it already.

It’s a song called “Ride” and is a song I wrote in 2001 back when I was living in Hobart, but knew that I had to pack everything up to move away and start again – which I did in 2004, but that’s another story. It is interesting to look back on the song, and also hear it coming to life in this final version. It features Rob Lundgren on vocals, Dennis Leeflang on drums (and mix), and myself on guitars, bass and keyboards.

Aside from this, I’ve gotten back into the playing live thing, which felt really good to do! Here’s a few recent live vids:

Full length version of "Born" from Friday night at The Basement Cafe & Bar. A very personal song, but one I always dug from my second album "Resist to Exist" from 2014.

Posted by Chris Szkup on Sunday, August 13, 2017

(“Born” – Live at The Basement Cafe & Bar, August 11, 2017)

A song from my second album “Resist to Exist”. For some reason this was only the third time I had played it before. Always liked the song!

 

Full length "Slackers and Wankers" by Chris Szkup, live at The Basement Cafe & Bar on August 11, 2017!!

Posted by The Feckers on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

(“Slackers and Wankers” – Live at The Basement Cafe & Bar, August 11, 2017)

A favourite from The Feckers album “It’d Be Rude Not To”. One that I have been playing since even before the album was released in 2013, and one that is played at most live gigs I do. It had been a while this time, so it felt real good coming back to it!

 

Jamming the great Alice in Chains song "Down in a hole" with Dylan Beast last night at The Basement!!

Posted by Chris Szkup on Friday, August 11, 2017

(“Down in a Hole” – Live at The Basement Cafe & Bar, August 11, 2017 – with Dylan Beast)

Alice in Chains cover and wow, what a song!!! Dylan and I had started playing in a heavy band together that is still putting songs together on the quiet. We had also discussed other styles and possibly doing acoustic duo type gigs, which is how this all began. We do quite a few Alice songs as we both love them so much!!

 

Jamming the great Alice in Chains song "Sunshine" with Dylan Beast last night at The Basement Cafe & Bar!!!

Posted by Chris Szkup on Friday, August 11, 2017

(“Sunshine” – Live at The Basement Cafe & Bar, August 11, 2017 – with Dylan Beast)

Alice in Chains cover. See what I mean – we really love the band haha! What a song, and album!!

 

"Thank fuck it's Friday"!!(Cover of the great David Brent song from last week, Live at The Basement)

Posted by Chris Szkup on Thursday, May 25, 2017

(“Thank Fuck It’s Friday” – Live at The Basement Cafe & Bar, May 20, 2017)

David Brent cover. Being a huge fan of the British (aka REAL) version of The Office, I was absolutely over the moon when I heard Ricky was bringing back the Brent character and I always enjoyed his songs from the show, drawing that fine line between being a pisstake and actually being pretty bloody good! I’ve been doing a few of his songs from the soundtrack album live this year as I just think they’re really good songs. I haven’t met anyone in the crowds that has recognised them so far though sadly – maybe they think “that guy Chris writes really good songs” when I do it? Sorry Ricky – I always give you a plug when I do them haha.

 

Jamming some "Spoonman" last night at The Basement Cafe & Bar with Dylan Beast!! RIP Chris.

Posted by Chris Szkup on Friday, May 19, 2017

(“Spoonman” – Live at The Basement Cafe & Bar, May 20, 2017 – With Dylan Beast)

This was the day after Chris Cornell sadly passed away. What a SHOCK! We were both huge fans, and this wasn’t planned at all. I sent Dylan a message asking if he’d like to sing something by Chris and he was into it. Some people said perhaps it was too soon, but I don’t think there is a right way in these cases – you just do what you gotta do, which is what we did here. Real glad we did!

 

Snippet of the great Bumblefoot song "Drunk" from last night at The Basement Cafe & Bar!! (Who's idea was it to try and cover both Ron Thal and Robin Zander vocals with a tickle in the throat?!)

Posted by Chris Szkup on Friday, June 2, 2017

(“Drunk” – Live at The Basement Cafe & Bar, June 02, 2017)

Have been wanting to do a song by the great Bumblefoot for a long time, but I’m human in regards to my singing range and guitar abilities while he isn’t haha! So for a long time it didn’t happen, just cause I couldn’t find one I could do justice to! Here is my attempt at the great song “Drunk” anyway. Hope I didn’t balls up your song too much Ron!!

(Never thought I’d get to sing the lyric “I see your face in every drop of golden urine” at an intimate little acoustic gig some day in inner Melbourne though I must admit haha!)

 

Posted by Sash Bar on Saturday, April 8, 2017

(“Kings Highway” – Live at Sash Bar, April 08, 2017 – With Michael Hussey)

Tom Petty cover. I’ve done this song a fair bit this year. The “Into The Great Wide Open” album it’s from is just about perfect to me. Just great songs that are to the point, great melodies and playing, no one going off on any tangents trying to steal the spotlight or anything like that. Just great rock n roll – which is what Tom and The Heartbreakers have done for over 40 years very consistently. My mate Michael Hussey joins me here for some off the cuff jamming of the tune. Great fun to do!

New music!!!! Full track – “Friendship Song”!!!!

Resist to ExistHere you go folks – ENJOY!!!!

Line up:

Chris Szkup – Guitars, Bass, Lead and backing vocals
Mathew Szkup – Drums, guitars, backing vocals

Recorded at Red Planet Recording by Stew and Jake Long

Mixed by Dennis Leeflang, mastered by Andy VanDette, artwork by Dan Verkys

“Like Yesterday” – Out now!!!

like_yesterday_lower_res“Like Yesterday” is the new single and it’s out now!! This one is also the last in the acoustic run of singles. It remembers and says thanks to my parents and talks about what life was like when they were here. To me, music, and especially rock music is about baring your soul….. after all, whats the point of listening to someones music if it isn’t honest? With this song, I don’t think you could get a more personal song or a song that I believe in more.

I get goosebumps looking at the artwork that Dan created from my concept idea. It really is beautiful. Strangely, the concept for it came from the photo of me with the guitar which existed before the concept, although it looks like I knew exactly what I was doing and was posing accordingly. As usual, Dan was able to take my Tasmanian gobbledy gook and knock it out of the park with another amazing piece of work.

I remember showing my Dad the music for this song before any lyrics existed as I had just gotten strings from the amazing Lyris Hung on a couple of my songs (having real strings in my music was always a dream when I was younger, but one that I was never really sure if it would happen), which in retrospect was a real special thing having him hear the music for this one. Obviously the song wasn’t intended to be what it is back then, but I’ll never forget that night. That was one of my favourite things in the world – just hanging over a couple of beers, playing music for each other and catching up. Will miss it a lot.

In loving memory of my folks, Bysh and Irene Szkup. Much thanks to Dennis Leeflang (mixing), Lyris Hung (strings), Andy VanDette (mastering), Dan Verkys (artwork) and Ren Reich (engineering) on this one especially. It’s available in the STORE here at CS-Songs.com, as well as iTunes and all the usual digital outlets that stock our stuff!