"Hiding in PublicÂ subscribes to the long lineage of British pop songcraft, starting of course with the Beatles but also the Small Faces and Squeeze," oozes Billboard and "displays the same unaffected yet sophisticated leaning of its predecessors." The band features the soulful singing and tasteful guitar work of Jamie Moses.Â Jamie has been hiding in plain sight for years as one of the UK's top sidemen having toured with Queen + Paul Rodgers, Mike & the Mechanics, and most recently Tom Jones. When not standing on stage at events such as the Queen's Jubilee or Nelson Mandela's 46664 concerts, he is Hiding in Public with veteran collaborators David Holland, Kevin Poree and John Tonks.
The band's fourth album Inner Anarchist was recorded in London's Berry Street Studio. Urbane alienation and dark humour are recurring themes backed by "singalong pop so smart and direct that you can't help but fall in love with 'em" (babysueTM). Hints of the Police can be heard in the reggae influenced "The Road To Happiness" and the masterful pop of "After Today". Obsession is painted in strikingly different sonic colours in the delayed guitars and hooky chorus of "Torn Apart"; the stylish, poignant jazz pop of "Finished"; and the trippy, post-Beatles mania of "One Last Night".
Existential dilemmas riddle the political, Jackson Browne inspired "Inner Anarchist"; the searching paradox of "Turned Out Right"; and the sarcastic power pop of "Going Places". Hope springs eternal in the gospel-like retro punch of "Rise" and then gets overthrown in the surreal indie edge of "Swedish Tales" and "its singalong chorus which could get any pub crowd on its feet" (Music Connection). Inner Anarchist is packed with timely and timeless songs for lovers of sophisticated lyrics and vintage pop/rock.
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Hiding in Public are:
Jamie Moses: Vocals, Guitar
David Holland: Guitar
Kevin Poree: Bass, Keyboards
John Tonks: Drums, Percussion
Guest artists on Worlds Away, Yards Apart:
Matheson "One Man Band" Bayley: Brass on She Was Mine, Bikini Blue Sky and Sangria Evening; Woodwinds on She Was Mine; Strings & Arrangement on Save Me
Rachel Davies: Backing Vocals on She Was Mine, Sangria Evening and Save Me
Paul Jordanous & Tom White: Trumpet & Trombone on Picture Of Me With A Portrait Of The Queen (well done, lads!)
Melvin Duffy: Pedal Steel on Under A Waving Flag
Sam Horwill: Backing Vocals on Under A Waving Flag
The Duke Of Kent Boys Choir: Backing Vocals on Bikini Blue Sky and Picture Of Me With A Portrait Of The Queen
Guest artists on What Lies Ahead:
Melvin Duffy: Lap Steel, Pedal Steel & Weissenborn Guitars on Satellite, Closing In, Mr Greenswamp & I'll Save Myself
Greg Harewood: Bass on Everything You Need
Harvey Browne: Violin & Viola on As The Sirens Sang
Special thanks to:
Neal Snyman for his recording assistance on our album Silent Exchange & the song Bikini Blue Sky
Malcolm Dixon for his recording assistance on our albums What Lies Ahead & Worlds Away, Yards Apart
HIDING IN PUBLIC
WORLDS AWAY, YARDS APART
If you're looking for the chronicle to an extraordinary journey, you won't find it here. Essentially, a group of talented guys met in London, conspired over a pint and started recording music.
It was no accident of luck when David Holland, founder/songwriter/guitarist of Hiding in Public, reached out to his pal Kevin Poree of Berry Street Studio: Poree came complete with stalwart mates John Tonks and Jamie Moses. Tonks is an accomplished drummer who can tag Neneh Cherry, Sugababes, Fish, Duran Duran and Paul Oakenfold among some of his past employers; Moses is a well-known UK session kat with a resume that reads like a racy novel, and with whom Kevin worked on the Los Pacaminos album (with Paul Young). Jamie is a player's guitarist, but it's his deep soulful voice that Poree and Holland were after.
Despite these credentials, success was hardly guaranteed.
The band's debut, Silent Exchange, sported songs like "The Best That I Can" and "I'm Running Late" which won enthusiastic attention and aptly demonstrated both a sophisticated songwriting prowess and the top-shelf chops expected of a group clutching such a resume.
Unfortunately, Hiding in Public's rocket was shot down before it got in the air. Straight after the release of Silent Exchange, Moses got hired to tour with Queen + Paul Rodgers and play 2nd guitar to Brian May. Did Moses suffer guilt? "Yeah," he says, "I do feel bad if recording schedules get screwed up because I'm off swanning around the world. But we're all grown-ups and we find a way 'round it."
So, while Jamie toured the globe, David hid away penning a fresh set of tunes. When Moses returned, Holland was able to turn the band's attention to recording a full-length album already eagerly anticipated by a growing international group of fans. The band emerged with What Lies Ahead, a brilliant long-player featuring warm, haunting melodies and well-crafted pop-rock loaded with thoughtful lyrics.
Buzzle.com said of What Lies Ahead, "You know something special is happening when you feel you developed a relationship with people you have never met before, good music accomplishes this, and this CD gets it done." And Smother Magazine quipped, "Hiding in Public manages to deliver a great tune after another great tune. Strong and mature songwriting that will reinvigorate even the most stumped musician." The CD registered radio play in markets as diverse and distant as the USA, Brazil and Australia. "Satellite" was an instant winner attracting fresh ears and "Closing In" was a Finalist in the 2006 USA Songwriting Contest.
Almost immediately on the heels of What Lies Ahead, Hiding in Public broke ground on the recording of its next full-length album in 2007. The band recorded in periodic bursts until Moses got called away in August 2008 to do his thing again with Queen + Paul Rodgers. Holland says, "If Brian May calls, you're not going to say, "Sorry dude, I'm busy, let me get back to you." So, while the rest of the band worked through the fall, Jamie didn't re-enter Berry Street Studio until December.
The new album would be called Worlds Away, Yards Apart. The title track knocked Holland out of bed, McCartney "Scrambled Eggs" style, while in a hotel room in New York City. The song is pure pop magic juxtaposed against black humor. The theme of alienation suggested by the title recurs throughout the CD. Speaking of Holland's songwriting on the new record, Poree says, "David has explored new territories with his songwriting. He's found whole new writing styles, and whole new sonic palettes have been brought to the project."
The album features so many special moments that it remains incredibly hard to find the highlights. "She Was Mine" will immediately make you think of Randy Newman, Leon Russell and perhaps Warren Zevon with its ragged romanticism and New Orleans style horns. "Bikini Blue Sky" continues with a glimpse of cheeky attitude from Moses and an upbeat retro feel heard in the music of such smoove dandies as Neil Hannon and Scott Walker.
The album then swings from dark, racy pop to a contemplative, heavy mood. "Free After Free Fall" offers a seductive, swirling melody with a cathartic chorus that won't let go. "Sangria Evening", a Holland/Moses collaboration, is the tune on the album that Moses is most partial to, palpably channeling Gordon Lightfoot and rounded out with a superb horn arrangement by Matheson Bayley.
If this were vinyl, side 2 would start with the power pop muscle of "Anyone But You" written by Holland and Moses. "Can't Find The Key" is not a song for the faint of heart or the recently heartbroken. Its languid, yearning quality, wistful lyrics and haunting melody is a wound-opener: sure to resonate with anyone who has felt the pain of a lost relationship they didn't want to end.
Recorded in the summer of 2008, "Under A Waving Flag" is possibly the most curious tune of the bunch. The song possesses catchy power pop elements and lyrics that may lead the listener to ask "Is this about love or war?" Well, both," Holland says. "It's a song that follows the transition from a position of strength to one of weakness. Soldiers or lovers surrendering might do so under a white waving flag."
"Waste More Tears," which is simply Jamie and an acoustic guitar, encapsulates the same melancholic beauty of earlier tracks in an uncomplicated, poignant manner. "Save Me" is a Lennonesque beauty, featuring the orchestral talents of Matheson Bayley this time playing all parts of a string section.
During the Fall lull while Moses toured with Queen + Paul Rodgers, Holland penned the album's "Her Majesty." "Picture of Me with a Portrait of the Queen" relates to an episode in Holland's life. He says, "There is the world's most ridiculous picture of me, the mayor of the London borough I live in (dressed in his mayoral robes and chains) and a giant portrait of the Queen. You have to see it to believe it, but that's the story behind the title. The song itself is about London and a night on the tiles. It has references to Cockney rhyming slang which was a great challenge. It took me days to finish the music and months to finish the lyrics, but it was worth it."
So, the journey actually begins now... right? Right.