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How do you mix the life of a recording artist with a love of cycling?
In Paul Cheese’s case, by recording your albums on epic cycling trips.
Carrying 40kg of portable recording studio, Paul tackled some of the greatest cycle routes in Europe and, inspired by the locations he found on the way, recorded tracks for his albums. He even takes his bike to performances, playing on stage with his carefully planned road rig and bikerophone.
Although he is an experienced recording artist and accomplished studio engineer, Paul discovered this approach when on a snow boarding trip in the Alps. He tried recording a track 7000ft up a mountain and was blown away by the way it sounded. ‘It’s the way voices and instruments bounce back at you and how you feed that in the way you perform. Also it’s not just the sound of the space, but the feeling it creates. You can get everything in the studio but you can’t press a button called soul. Some locations can be uplifting and that influences the sound you make. When you have a big grin, it changes the shape of your voice.’
Fired by this discovery, he embarked on a 2000-mile cycle ride to the four furthest points of the British mainland. Taking his miniature-recording studio with him, Paul made recordings at locations he encountered along the way and the best of these found their way onto his first solo album.
‘Listening to the performances again takes me right back to the places they were recorded because I captured the feeling that was there at the time. It made the album a very special collection of songs and it was the experience of a lifetime. I met so many great people along the way who were so supportive. I want to thank them all because they helped make it happen.’
For the second album, he took his bike to Europe and covered 4000 miles and called at cheese related destinations including Edam, Gruyere, Gorgonzola and Camembert. On both trips he captured his performances whenever he found an inspiring location. Lighthouses, phone boxes, tin mines, electricity pylons.
Just For The Record Too.
Just For the Record Too, album release 28/05/2106
This album was written and captured during a 5887km cycle ride across Europe.
I carried 45kg of equipment on my bike & in my pannier bags. I started in Edam,
then down to Gruyères, over the alps to Gorgonzola, across and up into the Pyrenees,
then through France to Camembert to finish.
Just For the Record, album release 13/01/2013
My first solo album 'Just for the Record'
Was recorded during a 2000 mile cycle to the furthest points of mainland Britain.
Cycle exploring, I found inspiring locations to capture the performances.
Including… 100 feet underground in caves, 152 feet up in light of a lighthouse,
in an old tin mine, in a phone box and a gondola going up and down Ben Nevis."