New TCSO song – “One Half Of Two”!!!!

The fifth in a “once a month or so” series of tracks from TCSO, a mellow acoustic song written by Chris in his Mount Stuart unit up in the hills in 2001 on the old Tascam four track, where he would sometimes write and record three songs in a day. Not having a job had some benefits.

Featuring fellow Fecker Paul Jolley (Piano), and Rob Lundgren (vocals) alongside Chris Szkup (guitars, bass, cajon, shaker, backing vocals).

“It’s a song about being a very single goofy guy that is wondering if there is anyone from the better gender that would even notice any of these things which he thinks he has underneath the long hair and taking the mickey out of himself”, says Chris.

For a long time there wasn’t a title for it, until inspiration came from the Sara Bareilles song “Manhattan” from “The Blessed Unrest” (2013) – killer album by the way!

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

Listen and purchase (if you wish) via the Bandcamp site!!

New TCSO song – “I Will Wait For You”!!!

The fourth in a “once a month or so” series of tracks from TCSO, a very personal song, “I Will Wait For You”, and as Chris will tell you, one of his proudest moments as a songwriter.

Featuring TCSO regulars Rob Lundgren (vocals) and Dennis Leeflang (drums and mix) alongside Chris Szkup (guitars and bass), due to the content of this song, Mathew Szkup was high on the list of people that Chris wanted to try and get on the track. While his schedule was tight, he does appear on acoustic guitar which was an awesome touch, and makes the whole thing “complete” in a lot of ways.

“Lyrically the song talks about the whole dealing with losing loved ones, and also what it means for the people left behind, really trying to make sense of everything and offering some thoughts on it all, as well as some personal recollections of people that were close to me who are no longer with us”, says Chris.

Another thing of note with this song is that with the “bridge” of the song, which to me was meant to be a bit of a Beatles esque jammy section, I realised that the lyric “Come Together” was in that section followed by a gap, so I had Rob sing “shoot me” as a little nod to the masters. Great fun to do that, and I think it sets the section offperfectly.

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

Listen in full and purchase (if you wish) via Bandcamp!!!

Free David Bowie Cover – Roy Bratbakken and Chris Szkup – “Moonage Daydream”!!

Moonage Daydream cover artwork by Dan Verkys

Moonage Daydream cover artwork by Dan Verkys

A cover of the great David Bowie song, written of course by him, originally appearing on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars from 1972.

This release is dedicated to Dan Verkys’ father, who is currently recovering from a stroke. It came about when Dan was starting to get the itch for a new exhibition of his amazing works, and mentioned the idea of having some music tied in with it, and this song quickly came up being a favourite of his. He mentioned that as great as the original version is, he could hear a heavier version of it in his head. No blast beats or death metal grunts, but just an overall bigger amount of “grunt”. Neither Chris nor Roy were familiar with the song unfortunately at that time, but definitely up for the challenge, and adding grunt is pretty much what they do in their “Dungeon Sessions” songs, so it was a goer!!

Vocals – Roy Bratbakken
Guitar, Bass, “Drums” – Chris Szkup
“Mixed” by Chris Szkup
“Mastered” by Roy Bratbakken
Artwork by Dan Verkys

Roys vocals recorded at The Dungeon, Skedsmokorset, Norway.
Chris’ guitars, bass and “drums” recorded at CS-Songs, Melbourne, Australia.

Grab it for free right now from The Bandcamp Store (or stream it below, but we reckon you should download it damn ya!!), and make sure if you’re in Victoria you get along to see Dan Verkys’ newest Exhibition “Archipelago”, launching at The Mad Gallery on Sunday June 10th. More info at his site, and the Facebook event is here.

We hope you enjoy listening as much as we did recording it!!

Free Deep Purple cover – Roy Bratbakken and Chris Szkup – “Stormbringer”

Stormbringer Artwork by Dan Verkys

Stormbringer Artwork by Dan Verkys

Cover version of the great Deep Purple mkiii song, written by Richie Blackmore and David Coverdale.

When looking for the next track for their “Dungeon Sessions”, Roy had mentioned that he always had wanted to attempt to sing the song, but he wasn’t sure if it could be done. Afterall, he’s singing the parts of both Coverdale AND Hughes – no easy task, but it sounded like a good reason to make this the next song in those sessions.

Chris liked the challenge of being able to build a track for him to attempt his vocals on, and got to work on things when this came up, while he was probably having some of the same thoughts Roy had along the lines of “holy shit, can I do this”? The results are obviously a new take on things that hopefully pay respects to the original as well. We’re certainly happy with it.

Visit the Bandcamp store from here, or click the embedded link below to listen / download!!

Free Soundgarden cover – Roy Bratbakken and Chris Szkup – “Fresh Tendrils”

Roy and Chris had discussed this song going all the way back to the making of The Feckers “It’d Be Rude Not To” album from 2013, both sharing a love for the album, and great band, being Soundgarden’s “SuperUnknown” album from 1994.

The guys had kept in touch since that album’s release, and in late 2016 had revisited the idea and started tracking the song, not really sure what the end result may bring, but being driven purely by their feelings for the album, and track in particular. A full “band” version was tracked during this time, with Chris playing guitar tracks, then building the “band” around those, adding bass and bad drums, that were tweaked a little bit, hence the quotation marks around “Drums” in the credits.

Fast forward a few months, all instruments, and Roy’s vocals had all been recorded, and the guys were talking about throwing the track out there when the tragic news of Chris Cornell’s passing broke all around the world. Devastated, the guys didn’t feel it was the right time to put their version of “Tendrils” out there at that time, although Chris did do their song “Spoonman” a bit with his duo partner Dylan Beast at live appearances as a nod to the amazing talent that was Chris Cornell.

Fast forward again to early 2018, and it’s time!!! It felt right to keep this version raw and “demo like” in some ways rather than hiring drummers, mix and mastering engineers etc – Music purely for the fun of it. We hope you enjoy it!!

Listen and / or download for free at the Bandcamp store here.

New TCSO single “Nobody Knows”!!!

The third in a “once a month or so” series of tracks from TCSO, a hard rocker called “Nobody Knows”, which sees the founding members of The Feckers reuniting for the first time since that album’s release in 2013, with lyrics here being written by Richard Anderson, and the music by Chris Szkup.

Featuring Mathew Szkup (guitar), Rob Lundgren (vocals) and Dennis Leeflang (drums and mix) alongside Chris Szkup (guitars and bass), this song was once upon a time going to be included on a 2nd album by The Feckers, however when those plans were halted due to life getting in the way, Chris was very keen to still have the song be heard and released, especially with a new ensemble that he felt could do good justice to the track. The rhythm guitar track on the left hand side is Mathew Szkup, while on the right is Chris, which is “a mark of respect” says Chris – it seemed like when we were growing up that all the great rhythm players in the metal bands we were listening to would usually be panned to the left hand speakers, and anytime a riff would “break down” to introduce a song or so forth, it would always be panned to the left hand side. “As I owe a great deal to my brother in terms of rhythm playing, it felt right to have him panned left on the songs he plays on” says Chris.

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

Listen in full and purchase (if you wish) via Bandcamp!!!

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 bands, music, a return to the stage in Hobart, art exhibitions and new vids!!!

Cunning

(Photo above from the Cunning Stunts gig at the Republic Bar and Cafe, Hobart – thanks to Colin Mahoney!!)

Welcome to the first update in a while! My apologies for that, but here’s the latest!

  • The Szkup, Lundgren, Leeflang, Szkup collection of songs is still happening!!! Sometimes life happens and gets in the way of the plans you’ve made, but rest assured that this stuff will be coming out. It’s some of the best stuff I’ve ever done by a long shot. Here’s a short vid from guitar tracking today!

  • Recently I also made my return to the live stage in Hobart for the first time in 11 years, as part of a
    Cunning_Stunts

    Post gig shot photobombed amazingly by Colin Mahoney! (Jake Cowburn, Brett Collidge, Mathew Szkup, Chris Szkup)

    Metallica Tribute band Cunning Stunts, featuring Brett Collidge – Drums, Jake Cowburn – Bass / Vocals, Mathew Szkup – Guitar / Vocals and Myself – Guitar. The night was an amazing success and totally took us by suprise. So much so that we’ll be doing it again semi regularly as we’re able to find free dates in everyone’s schedules. Will keep you posted!

(Photo courtesy of Shot By Slaidins Photography)

 

 

  • Over the past handful of months I’ve been getting a line up of guys together slowly. It’s intended to be very heavy and aggressive thrash metal, and we’re writing for it as we speak. Still on the hunt for a singer and a bass player if anyone is out there.

Here are a couple of vids from us jamming!

  • Back in February I was honoured to be asked again by the mighty Dan Verkys to provide music for his latest exhibition called Chaos Dreaming!!! Was a great day as always. Here’s a few pics from the festivities!!

(Photos by Daryl Bean)

Waiting_Henchmen

The Waiting for Yesterday Henchmen / Women!!! (DJ Bun DMC, Amber, Dan Verkys, Chris)

cs_exhibition

CS noodling away during the exhibition!

cs_exhibition1

The selfie wall!!

dv_cs_exhibition

Dan and Chris catching up before kickoff!!

Here’s a vid of me playing there on the day!