In February, I produced some live session videos for the the band Pink Hotel, which they planned to use for promotion of an upcoming iTunes release of their EP ‘Miracle‘. The location was Nine Volt Leap Studio in Wiltshire, where the band are recording their debut album.
Pink Hotel are Sam Gotley (Vocals/Guitar) Finn Mcnulty (Bass) and Jamie Wales (Guitar/Vocals). They have an authentic Americana rock ’n’ roll sound, with influences of The Gaslight Anthem, Bruce Springsteen and The War On Drugs. Their music combines Led Zeppelin-esque riffs, heartfelt lyrics and soulful melancholic rock vocals to create soaring anthemic tunes.
It’s always been a pleasure working with the guys from Pink Hotel, they are very down to earth, professional and fun. They were the first band I recorded when they went by the name Carousels & Limousines, inspiring me to start a live sessions YouTube channel called BPM Sessions, as a showcase for up-and-coming local bands. It struck me that they had something special, along with the rock ‘n’ roll looks, talent, and songs to go far and be successful. As a fan of the band and a keen videographer, I felt I wanted to capture their live sound on video to be shared with as many people as possible.
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to watch the band play many gigs and open mic nights around Bath, most memorably a triumphant headline slot at Bath Carnival back in 2014, which was a storming performance with incredible lighting and sound.
Pink Hotel’s hometown debut show at Moles (in April 2016) showcased a slicker sound and a set of brand new songs. Sam Gotley opened with an acoustic solo rendition of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ on the day of the singer’s untimely death. A haunting, goosebump-inducing tribute gave way to a blistering performance of songs, new and old, the new songs notably characterised by stronger lyrical narratives and a prominent lead guitar bringing to mind classic western soundtracks, reminiscent of Ennio Morricone.
The tracks at Nine Volt Leap Studio were recorded live in a stripped back way, the band nailing the songs in one or two takes. The audio was captured with multiple microphones and then fully mastered by producer Dominic Bailey. Multiple camera angles of each band member performing were included in the video for ‘She Doesn’t Know’ and the clips were synchronised in post production. The song has quite dark lyrical themes of love, betrayal and murder, with the catchy yet chilling refrain, “Love is a river, come to the water watch us all shiver, love is a killer, yeah”.
For the song ‘Miracle’, we decided for the video that a single wide shot was best to focus on the strong solo acoustic performance from Sam Gotley. Again, a murder theme is evident in the lyrics, “I bet you got a gun, that you never learned to shoot, you better keep your head still when you get your first kill, you’ll be howling at the moon” hinting towards a possible concept for the album in a similar way perhaps to The Killer’s ‘Hot Fuss’.
Upon release of the ‘Miracle’ EP, the band caught the attention of NME Magazine, who wrote a profile on the band for the NME website and featured a glowing review in the magazine. The profile includes one of the live videos ‘Miracle’ that we recorded at Nine Volt Leap Studio.
The NME profile can be read in full here.