Sheffield’s River Don flows through pop melodies

Pete Green
Pete Green
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A Sheffield musician’s latest album features a guest spot by a city landmark – the River Don.

Pete Green’s LP We’re Never Going Home was recorded in studios in Sheffield and Leicester but includes sound clips collected on locations including Lincolnshire and the Orkney Islands. One such field recording was made by Pete on a drunken night walk along the Don from Neepsend to Hillsborough.

The babbling sound of the water surfaces on a track called 53°23’47”N 1°29’12”W – named after the map location where Pete sat on the river bank and took out his phone to record it.

“We instinctively make associations between locations and states of mind, so the idea of using field recordings on the album is partly to express this, but mostly it just sounds good,” said Pete, who lives in Walkley.

A follow-up to his 2013 debut solo album The Glass Delusion, Pete launched the collection of melodic pop songs with shows at Sheffield railway station, and beside the River Porter. More gigs are planned.

The new songs, Pete said, deal with ‘rethinking, re-evaluating, reaching mid-life and still being skint and clueless, waking in the night, making escape plans, riding impossible urges to disappear’.

There are sounds recorded on the beach at Cleethorpes – Pete’s home town – and the musician’s young son Oliver is featured.

“If you’d told me a few years ago I’d be mucking about recording rivers and traffic, I’d have snorted disdainfully,” he said. “But the field recordings add so much atmosphere. And it’s another way of distancing myself from all the boring men with acoustic guitars out there.”

Pete also fronts Sheffield indiepop band The Sweet Nothings. His debut poetry pamphlet Sheffield Almanac is forthcoming from Longbarrow Press. We’re Never Going Home is out now on Precordial Catch Records. Visit petegreen.bandcamp.com for details.