I always look forward to talking with Neil. I’ve told him we sound like a couple music nerds sitting down for a beverage. He is so insightful and knowledgable about music and culture that predates his existence I forget he is 35-years-old. Neil and his partner in music and life have an interesting backstory that is featured in previous episodes. Her name is Bee Brogan and she has a vocal talent that connects. An effortless alto voice that just gets better the more you listen.
This conversation encompasses not only Neil’s passion for songwriting but recording as well. We drift off into a talk about Geoff Emerick, one of the recording engineers that worked with the Beatles. Geoff was one of the mad scientists that invented sounds that add to the mystique of masterpieces like Being for the Benefit Of Mr. Kite from the Pepper album.
A bridge over troubled water? The underside of the Young Street Bridge, Aberdeen WA.
My hometown Aberdeen Washington also came up when Neil referred to Seattle as the birthplace of Nirvana. Although never a personal friend of mine, Kurt Cobain is an iconic rocker that comes up in conversation almost daily. And yes, he started the band in this small lumber town with fellow Aberdonian Krist Novoselic in the late 80s. Neil asked if Kurt slept “rough”, or somewhere other than in his bed while still a kid. Who knows? I shot this pic in 2016 of the bridge near Cobain’s childhood house where he allegedly crashed on occasion. Ah, the things of legend. The house where my band rehearsed in the late 70s was about 100 feet from this now shrine. We used to stand under it to BS and stay out of the rain. Who knew?
Neil Fitzsimon and Bee Brogan were both members of the band, Pretty Blue Gun, who were signed to an indie label licensed to Sony. They released two albums which were critically acclaimed. Some of the guehttps://codex.wordpress.org/Excerptst musicians included members of The Art of Noise, Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton’s bass player), Tobias Boshell (Moody Blues) and Pip Williams who played guitar on the Walker Brothers’ track, ‘No Regrets’. The albums were produced by Pat Collier, who produced Katrina and the Waves’ international hit, ‘Walking on Sunshine’. The band went on national tours across the UK until disbanding.
Neil Fitzsimon, the songwriter, and Bee Brogan, the vocalist, then went on to form a song writing/production partnership that led to placement of their songs in Film and TV. They also wrote a musical, Jack Dagger, which was showcased at the Greenwich Theatre, London for the Musical Futures Award. It was also showcased at the Bridewell and the Royal College of Music in London. They have also just had a song placed in a USA Sci Fi Feature film. They recently had a track reach number 3 in a French national download chart.
All songs are written by Neil Fitzsimon. Vocals, keyboards, drums and engineering by Bee Brogan. All guitars played by Neil Fitzsimon.
Fitzsimon and Brogan see themselves as a studio act much in the vein of Tin Tin Out and Talk Talk. Their influences range from The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb, Jacques Brel and David Bowie. Their aim is to produce pure pop for now people.
Neil Fitzsimon actually introduced me to the term “Indie Dream Pop” and no one is sure where that originated but one thing’s for sure, the world of music needs a new genre title…LOL. The songs featured in episode 39 are simply good songs, and good on one listen.
The first track is Girl in a Gilded Cage from the album Big Blue World. It’s a showcase for Bee Brogran’s voice, layered and beautiful. The second track we selected is The Cutest and the Cruelest from the first album by FaB Productions (Fitzsimon and Brogan Productions). The album was mixed by Pat Collier, the producer of Walking On Sunshine by Katrina and Waves. The Cutest and the Cruelest is the single from the album and reached number three in the French national download chart. To translate to French…”c’est énorme.” To translate into dog years? It’s a huge pup.
The third track is The Girl Who Shouted Love from the album of the same title, to be released this autumn.
Fitzsimon and Brogan’s influences range from The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb, Jacques Brel and David Bowie. Their aim is to produce pure pop for now people. Their aim is true.Listen to the full episode