Introducing The Palfreyman Collective

❉ Songwriter David Palfreyman and an array of talented musicians make up The Palfreyman Collective.

Songwriter and musician David Palfreyman.

The Palfreyman Collective is a group of musicians and singers put together by songwriter David Palfreyman. Long-time We Are Cult readers will recognise David as one of the two minds behind Decades, the ambitious, genre-vaulting concept album he concocted with Bowie expert and multi-hyphenate polymath Nicholas Pegg (joined by a constellation of talents including spoken word contributions from We Are Cult icons David Warner and Jacqueline Pearce, both sadly no longer with us) and which we covered extensively in our pages.

Nicholas Pegg and David Palfreyman at work on ‘Decades’.

David told We Are Cult of the The Palfreyman Collective album’s origins:

“A lot of the songs on the Palfreyman Collective were recorded during and after the release of Decades. I wrote around sixty songs for the Decades project and was still writing and recording new stuff with Ian Caple even after the sessions with Nicholas Pegg had ended. So it was just a case of finishing what was left to do and basically aim to put them out.

“Like Decades there are various different styles of music within The Palfreyman Collective, but this wasn’t specifically intentional; this is how I write music and don’t follow a pattern and it all depends what mood I’m on when I start writing something. On the ‘Malf’ album that I put around 10 years ago, I do remember some people just being unable to fathom why some tracks were totally different styles to the next track? I mean, did the classical composers not have loud, fast, quiet, up tempo and noisy parts of the music that they were writing popping up here there and everywhere within their compositions? Music is music however you dress it up and try and stick it on a particular shelf!”

Musicians include Martin Barker (Shriekback/Marianne Faithfull, Tim Robins), Matt Hector (Iggy Pop) on drums, David Clayton (Simply Red/David Bowie/George Michael) on keyboards, Greg Hart (Cats in Space) and Rodger Hanna (Decades) on guitars and Dan McKinna (Tindersticks) and film & TV actor Ben Miles (Coupling, V For Vendetta) on bass.

David Palfreyman and Ben Miles.

Vocalists include Paul Manzi (The Sweet/Arena), Jesse Smith (The Classic Rock Show/ Gutterdammerung), Damien Edwards (Cats In Space), Californian singer Allegra Shock and Sarah Jane Morris (Communards).

“As usual with whatever I record, I use whichever musician is available at the time and who fits the track. I use different singers because I think some people’s voices suit a song more than my own voice would. Same with guitarists, drummers and bass players.”

Here is the first promo video from the album, Once I was Here.

The video has an interesting history, as the vintage footage it utilises boasts appearances from a certain Doctor Who and Emmerdale legend and a star of 1970s British comedy films and sitcoms, captured in their late ‘60s, early ‘70s heyday. David explains how he came about this footage and weaved it into the promo video:

“I have a video and film transfer business and the use of cine film has always been something I am keen to use in my promo videos. For the promo of ‘Once I was Here’, I had just transferred some home cine footage shot by the actor Frazer Hines and some parts of it I was really keen to use. So when I asked Frazer if I could use any of the footage within a musical video, he very kindly said I could. Also in the video is Carol Hawkins and another actor whose name we are unsure off. Carol more or less looks like what she does in the 1971 Bless This House film, so it’s safe to say that it was shot sometime around then.

David goes on to say: “Apart from the cine film footage, I shot it all myself one evening against the backdrop of a blank wall. I had to start recording, quickly take my place in the hope I was centre-shot and then sing the song. I must have shot it about 6 times! It’s always much easier to have someone operating the camera rather than do it all yourself. I also edited it together myself, but that was the easy bit! (laughs)”

The Palfreyman Collective album cover has been designed by Steve ‘Krusher’ Joule, another name familiar to We Are Cult readers after we chatted with the legendary sleeve designer about his time co-presenting late-night ITV rock show Raw Power. Krusher has produced artwork for artists such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Japan, The Sex Pistols, Blondie, Motorhead and many more.

We Are Cult can exclusively reveal that the track listing for the album is as follows:

  1. To Die, To Be Really Dead – Feat. David Palfreyman
  2. Invaluable Soul – Feat. Damien Edwards
  3. Downtrodden Boy – Feat. David Palfreyman
  4. In This Little Place – Feat. David Palfreyman
  5. Isn’t it so – Feat. Damien Edwards
  6. Once I was Here – Feat. David Palfreyman
  7. I Can’t Be With You – Feat. David Palfreyman
  8. Slowburner – Feat. Paul Manzi
  9. Jaded Zone Driver – Feat. Jesse Smith
  10. Who Am I Today? – Feat. Allegra Shock
  11. Afraid Of The Morning – Feat. Sarah Jane Morris

❉ For more news and updates about The Palfreyman Collective album, follow The Palfreyman Collective on Facebook.

❉ Check out David’s video transfer site:

❉ Jay Gent (they/them) is editor of We Are Cult, graphic designer and digital marketing & social media freelancer, and theatre critic for Wales Arts Review. Jay has contributed to a number of magazines, websites and books including 1001 TV Series You Must Watch Before You Die and Scarred For Life Volume Two: Television in the 1980s and edited (with Jon Arnold) charity anthology Me and the Starman (now available by Cult Ink on Amazon).

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