This is the place to find out about Salt Solution the band and the heritage.
Relive the Experience
Salt Solution roamed a small island off the coast of Europe from the
early 1980 until the mid-90s, in a time when electro-pop ruled the Earth. A band
years ahead of it's time, or years behind it, Salt Solution were faith-fired,
guitar-driven rock; lyrically observant, both outraged and optimistic. With a
diverse cover-free set they played concerts the length and breadth of England,
at venues as diverse as pubs, youth clubs, schools and prisons. Festivals too
were familiar territory including Greenbelt, Cross Rhythms, Kingston and twice
at the Brixton Academy. Until now the band have been something of a secret with
only a solitary single in 1986, "Your Country Needs You" on the Embryo Arts
label and a feature on the 3rd ACM Journal Anniversary CD.
If there was ever a typical concert for Salt Solution, this was it. A
darkened church hall with a single spot light and pulsing disco lights. I was
off the stage with my microphone lead trailing behind, with an arm full of
broken percussion. It was that time in the evening when I usually hunted out
likely victims to perform with the band on stage. I thrust a cow bell at a bloke
in the audience, "Can you play that?" I shouted in his ear. "I'm better on
saxophone" came the reply. "We haven't got one of those" I didn't have time for
this conversation. "I've got one in the car". "Off you go then". He was better
on saxophone, and Pete stayed with the band for the next seven years. It would
have been the stuff of legend, had we ever been famous. But fame was fairly low
on the agenda, and just a well. Not that there weren't high points to savour.
The large and enthusiastic crowd at the Brixton Academy; that hadn't come
because of us. The near Beatle mania in the small mining town in Yorkshire; but
then they hadn't seen a live band before. Then there were the schools concerts
where with kids queuing for autographs at the staff room door, asking when we
were going on Top of the Pops. Rob was on Top of the Pops once; in the audience.
There were low points too, but we won't dwell on those. Suffice to say that most
involved audiences that you didn't need your shoes and socks off to count.
Essentially the Salties were always a live band, ever conscious that we were
subjecting each audience to
an hour or more of unfamiliar music, we needed to
ensure that it didn't all sound the same. And so to the songs themselves,
eventually, here they are, on the album we always longed to make. There are
stories behind each one, if anyone had cared to ask. The oldest is Unwilling
Guest, dating back to our "Mervyn Sprocket and the Crankshaft Assembly" days. It
was played at the first concert in St. Johns Church, where we were pelted with
kneelers, and at the last concert too. Not with the same tune, mind. This was
always a Salty habit, putting old lyrics to new tunes. I was always slow at
writing. If the truth be known this song only survived because the tempo was
right for dancing, and it was a good excuse for the fire breathing. A strong
theme throughout this collection is the re-telling of Bible stories and a
gravitation towards scripture; another comments on lifestyle. In fact you have
to look hard for songs without an obvious Christian stance, but there are a
couple. Now recorded, these songs can live on, but what of those that didn't
make it? Strong, Lonely, Torn Leather Tearaway, Tarmac Wheels on Rubber Roads,
Floating on the Peddelo of Life, Taking His Own, Safe Among the Shadows,
Insurance Man, Dogs life, Tearing the Curtain, Second Fall... sorry not Second
Fall. That was a recording that I found abandoned 8 years later. We hadn't known
how to finish it at the time. But then that was before Pete started the tap
classes. Who knows what will become of this album. I would always hope for
something grander, but I suspect that they will get tucked to the back of a few
record collections, serving as an occasional reminder of a splendid evening,
afternoon, or morning assembly, long ago. Maybe of the first live band you ever
saw. And I would be happy with that. Martin.
The credits and a few honorary mentions:
Andy Clark - Drums.
Simon Bartlett - Bass, backing vocals.
Pete Milner - Sax, keyboards, occasional backing vocals, tap dancing.
Robert Bathurst - Lead & rhythm guitar, occasional backing vocals.
Martin Day - Vocals, occasional lead & rhythm guitar.
Special contributions from:
Helen Jayne - backing vocals on The Day in between & The Perfect day
Jo MacKinnon - backing vocals on Must be seen
Mags Law - Keyboards on Arctic Ostrich & Your Country Needs You
Doug McKellar and 'Brett' - Backing vocals on Your country needs you.
Tim Hawes - Mixing: Second Fall, MrX, Get Out, Must be, Unwilling Guest, Hard
Way, and Straight Furrow, and post production of all other tracks.
Nigel 'Chopper' Palmer - Engineering & Mixing: New Life, You Country and Arctic
Doug McKellar - Engineering & Mixing: All other tracks
Richard Taylor - Artwork
Heartfelt thanks to those who gave us special encouragement and support:
Julie Bartlett, Marion Bathurst and Jill Day.
For the Kids (who would love to get a mention) Janna, Stevie & Robbie Bartlett.
Ben, Josh & Hannah Bathurst. Chloe & Sam Day. Joseph & Luke Milner.
Tony Stippelmans for our single
Jon Wensley for his constant generosity
Doug McKellar for his days as drummer, manager and engineer.
© 2000 Salt Solution Music
For an independent review of this album see Cross Rhythms and for a review of an earlier demo again see Cross Rhythms
Artist: Salt Solution
Title: Arctic Frosties
1. The Straight Furrow
2. Your Country Needs You
3. Who is Mr. X
4. When's it Gonna Change
5. My Mind Has Hands
6. The Perfect Day
7. New Life
8. Must Be Seen
9. Second Fall
11. Arctic Ostrich
12. The Day in Between
13. The Art of Growing Old
14. Burried in the Mix
15. Get Out
16. Unwilling Guest
17. The Blood
19. Hard Way to Learn
Relive the Experience:
Salt Solution now has a MySpace page www.myspace.com/saltsolution which features sample tracks and video. And there are now even more Salt Solution goodies at Martin Day's website www.ShallowDeep.com
Salt Solution's definitive Arctic Frosties album now is available from , , Napster and "all good online etailers".