The original incarnation of Captain Van Zanten (later Van Zanten) came together in the winter of 1999 whilst I was helping Gaz Bailey with a college assignment the task of which was to produce a song under the theme ‘The High Life’. It came out as a Black Grape style rock rap effort with me adding falsetto yelps, drums and Guitar despite the fact I could play little more than open E and G, all recorded onto a Tascam 4-track.
The original band name came about after I watched a documentary on the Tenerife air disaster in which two 747 jumbo’s collided on the runway, one Dutch and one American.The Dutch aircraft was piloted by ‘Captain Van Zanten’.
The band rehearsed in a converted garage of a neighbour in Gaz’s home village Bassingham, it was freezing and the presence, colour and smell of a grim looking mattress on the floor was never fully explained to me. The line up consisted of Gaz’s long standing Twin Lizard collaborator Martin Collins on drums and Danny Hagan AKA ‘Danny the Punk’ from nearby Norton Disney on the Bass,(he appeared to hang around the village bus stop and sneer at the elderly so we offered him temporary refuge from that).
Our one and only Gig took place at the Sugarcubes (formerly Lazers) nightclub in March 2000,supporting a metal band formed on the Access to Music course Gaz and I had attended. Memories are a little hazy to be fair, there were two power cuts to the P.A and Martin disappeared for two hours prior to the gig(a ritual of his perhaps) We performed maybe 4 songs to a bemused audience but sufficiently impressed resident DJ Dave to the point he requested a demo tape.
Anyhow the tune I present here was recorded initially at my home studio (signal chain: Yamaha DTX electronic kit > barely functioning Spirit Folio Mixer>Cool Edit Pro Two DAW) during the balmy summer of 2006.
The second song linked above ‘Tokyo’ was written after watching the film ‘Lost in Translation’ and was my attempt to capture a groove similar to ‘trippin on a Hole in a paper Heart‘ by Stone Temple Pilots and imagining the jet lag and culture shock Japan may have on it’s visitors. I roped in my good friend and bandmate Alan Kissane to do the vocals some justice as I had no concept of Keys and/or my vocal range. Special mention to the excellent arrangement skills and mixing of Mr Gaz Bailey (with whom I run the net label Needle In The Groove).
Just before Christmas 2012 I discovered two other tracks from the Van Zanten sessions Gaz and I did in 2006,a jangly Posies style effort about the patience of Nurses call ‘She Smiles’ and an angry swipe at consumer culture ‘Easy On Yourself’.