Si: In our original set of demos for this album there was a song which we all agreed had a lovely melody, but not necessarily one we’d want on one of our albums. It was a little too MOR, even for us. It was certainly a strong melody but it just wasn’t working. We agreed to sell it to The Lighthouse Family and left it at that.
Rich: It sounded like a Waterboys “Whole of The Moon” pastiche. Faster than the finished version, with a big bouncy drum beat, jangly acoustic guitars and vocals that jump up an octave at the end. So we started again. Slower, an acoustic guitar part with zero dynamics, James’ little drum machine blended with Gary’s real drums, Fletch switching to double bass, Gary taking an acoustic lead guitar part.
Si: Then, right at the end of the process I had a little chorus idea going around in my head but no verse to add it to….a quick root around in the lost property bin of ideas and the earlier idea popped its head up. Add a little bit of magic glue in the shape of some very 80s brass and a James synth line and it was almost done.
Rich: And the little Prince reference in the DI’d wah-wah guitar at the end.
Si: Although it’s really all about the gang vocals in the chorus. They were on an early version of the song and then disappeared on a subsequent mix and the song seemed to halve in size without them.
Rich: In terms of what the song means to me, I’ve a few interpretations that may or may not have been implicit on the lyrics. We were making this around the start of 2016 at around the time that my beloved sister in law was taken into hospital for emergency brain surgery. On the way to visits, I couldn’t help but get the chorus to Dig Hard out of my mind, in a “c’mon girl, if you can get through this, then from here onwards, everything’s a bonus” kinda way. So whenever I got an alone moment or two, I would sing the refrain to this to her (while she lay there in an induced coma). It was touch and go there for a while, but her recovery is ongoing.
It’s also the song I think most of my children whilst singing. Go well little ones.
Si: It’s a pretty simple song for a simple sentiment. A song of Hope.
Si: When we went through the submissions for our 9 videos project there was one which really stood out.
A man called Richard Shaw wrote to us to say that, should he be chosen, he didn’t want to be paid his fee and would rather have it donated to a young people’s group he worked with who made stop motion animation and whose funding had recently been cut. We didn’t even have to look at their work to decide he was in, but when we did we found some truly beautiful, delicate and moving work.
Rich: The decision in the room was unanimous in a “Give ’em the money, I don’t even care if they don’t make us a video” styleee. The stars and makers of the video came to the premiere at Hyde Park Picture House, and got a standing ovation. One of the best moments of the year for me. Aaaaaand you can get all sorts of Dig Hard video memorabilia on their fundraising page. The snails and the trumpetting moss-figure are for sale… the big creature! Amazing.
Richard Shaw’s still got a little way to go to hit their fundraising target, so please take a look at their website and if you like what you see then [coughs] “Dig Hard” in them there pockets and help these awesome people get their animation project back up and running here.