I just wanted to add a small cross section of videos on this page to give an idea of some of the projects that I have helped create - there is a little explanatory text to accompany each individual clip.
Diego Guzman recently contacted me to produce his Christmas song 'Merry Christmas Everyone' - when I heard his initial demo, something about the song kinda sounded like it could have been on the list for John Lennon's 'Double Fantasy' album (at least it did in my head) - but also slightly reminiscent of a Sound Garden tune.
My feelings were that if we redesigned his song arrangement a little and I put together a kind of Beatles Sgt Peppers pastiche, it would appeal to the silver pound market place and of course all their offspring too.
So I got to work on the arrangement - brought in old friend Marty Craggs (ex Lindisfarne) and also my daughter India Foskett sharing the lead vocals - and Bingo! - we gave birth to this great record.
The next move was to create the promo video to accompany the record - lots of acting musician friends were brought in and the 'Col. Kringle's Christmas Hearts Club Band' was formed.
Once I'd made everyone aware of my directing suggestions I was completely ignored Ha ha ha - So on the first day I spent a couple of hours hanging out of the upstairs window of 'Jack and Alice' in Tring with a snow machine, blasting liquid soap suds down past the first floor window to give the desired 'snowing outside the window' effect whilst the acting musicians went through their paces.
The second day was filmed in a 1950's school hall in Caddington which had the perfect old stage for the vibe required.
The banner was designed and printed up specifically for the shoot as was the kick drum head - other assorted junk was nicked from the school drama department and spread across the stage for everyone to trip over.
A lot of great fun!!
I originally dreamed up and pretty much single handedly put together this project as a band aid record for the anti drugs campaign in the mid 1980’s. The artists I managed to pull into the project through twisting arms up backs, blackmail and other assorted devious avenues were as follows : - Holly Johnson - Frankie Goes to Hollywood / John Parr / Elkie Brooks / Cliff Richard / Bonnie Tyler / Sheila Ferguson - The Three Degrees / Kim Wilde / Suggs - Madness / Jim Diamond / Madness / Mike Peters - The Alarm / Fish - Marillion / The Thompson Twins / Steve Harley / Bobby Tench / Elvis Costello / Hayley Mills / Crispian Mills / Nick Kershaw / Hazel O’Connor / Hazel Dean / Polly Styrene / Tommy Eyre / Mel Collins / Tony Beard / Robin Gibb / Julian Littman / Phil Fearon / Drummie Zeb - Aswad / Edwin Starr / Sinitta / Nick Heywood - Haircut 100 / Roger Daltrey / Zak Starkey / John Entwistle / Dave Stewart / Barbara Gaskin / Bobby Whitlock / Jonno and Denis / Pete Wylie / Ringo Starr / Bill Oddie / John Cleese / Dire Straits / Roy Harper / Feargal Sharkey / Chris Rea / Saxon / Banarnarama / Boon / Big Jim Sullivan / Eddie McDonald / Meatloaf / Ian McNabb / New Model Army / Jimmy Pursey / Tom Watt / Anti Smack Band / Bucks Fizz / Vince Clark / Chas and Dave / Eurythmics / Herbie Flowers / Brinsley Forde / and many more.
Other than Bob Geldof (‘Band Aid’) and Nile Rogers (‘We are Family Foundation’) there aren’t many ‘one man bands’ who have achieved music projects of this enormity.
Around this time I also got to co-produce tracks with Paul and Linda McCartney, writing songs for Kim Wilde, Ringo Starr, John Cleese, Bonnie Tyler, Elkie Brooks, Fish from Marillion and producing Elvis Costello and Loudon Wainright 111.
The song Winter Solstice was originally presented to me by songwriter Patrick Hayes and it was not much more than a collection of verses with refrain - I liked what I heard and I dug the subject matter too so I got to work co-writing and came up with the chorus structure, added the middle 8 and wrote all the backing vocal parts. Originally an acoustic folk type song, I just knew there was great potential here for a full rhythm section throughout and a breakdown sequence cutting the drums to bass riff in the middle.
I filmed the introduction sequence with Patrick in the snow - I wanted to create that Lawrence of Arabia effect where Peter O’Toole is nothing more than a fuzzy dot on the horizon through the heat wave of the desert and slowly comes into focus riding a camel - It would have been hilarious having Patrick on the back of a camel slipping and sliding down an icy British country path covered in snow - so the ten foot log over his shoulders made for an interesting shape slowly wandering towards the camera from a dot in the distance.
I wrote and produced the music to the intro visuals using orchestral samples and live mandolin and later, after locating the magical old barn, directed the whole video for ‘Winter Solstice’ using a Steam Punk styling.
There wasn’t much of a treatment written for this but I had the overall picture in my mind’s eye throughout and just followed my intuition.
The Sand and Water video was quickly filmed and recorded using two cameras - Lauren’s vocal was a first take and everything, both visuals and audio went down in one! I used three microphones in all, one on the acoustic guitar, one on the upright bass and Lauren’s condenser vocal mic - She sang in the booth for separation and with the addition of a small light in the vocal booth and a camera guy in her face we had it nailed. I used the little clips of the acoustic guitar and upright bass as cross fades so not to distract from those emotive feelings facially portrayed here.
At this point it was all down to Lauren delivering that meaningful and heartfelt performance of this Beth Nielsen Chapman classic - Lauren succeeded in doing so by the truck load!
Alan Hull - the late songwriter and front man of British legendary folk rock band Lindisfarne was a dear friend of mine from the early 1960’s. We hung out together, gigged together and on the odd occasion got ourselves into trouble together. I remember him coming home from his day job as an orderly in the nearby St Nicholas mental asylum and singing to me a new song idea he’d just conjured up on the way back to his then flat in Gosforth - ‘Hey Foskett listen to this’ - he proceeded to sing to me what I thought was a nonsense lyric at the time - ‘Seeing the sun as it wants to be seen by everyone - Melting the sky through a hole in your eye where the magic comes’ - it was the summer of 1966, we were all hippies and his song in the making was ‘Clear White Light’ - Lindisfarne’s piece de resistance!
When I got to produce the Art Green (Dons) album for Platforma Records in Latvia I had been taken out to some weird weekend concert in the Latvian forest - There were thousands of people dressed up in long floral robes and wearing flowers in their hair - for some reason I started singing to myself Hully’s ‘Clear White Light’ and imagined in this unreal situation all these Latvian punters singing along.
I just had to cut the track with Art and produce it the way I’ve always heard it - Heavier, more punchy, distorted bass riff and African highlife guitar licks coupled with regular rock guitar and of course an outstanding sing along backing vocal in three part harmony. Also I couldn't forget to bring in the one and only drummer to hit the hell out of those toms the way he did on the original - Mr Ray Laidlaw from Lindisfarne.
We were originally commissioned to write "This is Our Time" for the Greek Olympics and then as luck would have it, Vangelis the international Greek artist pipped us to the post for the theme song at the last minute. I had always envisaged a choir performing this song with its uplifting and positive lyric about winning the game - a sentiment for everyone looking to do better.
When the opportunity arose to record and produce "This is Our Time" with Rock Chorus I just couldn't say no and jumped at the chance - I knew from word go that they would make a fantastic job of it and the finished performance and production would stand up along-side any of the great popular choral records out there.
The Chris Isaak song Wicked Game was always a favourite tune to cut as a cover - I’ve always known that if an artist records a cover version it has to be a whole lot different from the original and also hopefully have a better musical arrangement and production too.
When we were looking for a known song to cut on the ‘Modern Woman’ album Wicked Game just fit Lauren Field’s vocal delivery like a glove (a very velvet glove at that).
I wanted to originally use a flamenco guitar style on the track but then had a bright idea to use the upright bass to play the improvisational licks and add plenty of top frequencies and pan it to the right of the stereo - I then had the same bass player lay down a simple foundation part in the middle of the stereo as usual; It worked a treat along with the dreamy flugelhorn and Lauren’s seductive and intimate vocal delivery making it a very sexy noise indeed.
I was approached by Alexandre Magno, Madonna’s choreographer and film maker for Sting and other luminaries to see if I’d agree to him producing and directing a short film to accompany our version of Wicked Game - Alex told me we had created magic with our production of the song and he wanted to create an equal visual magic to accompany our sound track - of course after seeing some of his work and knowing his credentials how could we refuse such an offer.