Watershed: Life, Times and Dreams uploaded

The Life, Times and Dreams cassette EP by Watershed has now been uploaded to the Archives section of the Wud Records website. Released in 1990, this recording features four of the songs from the mighty pen of Al Shalliker that were regularly performed live by those Grand Ubermeisters of Skank. These songs are Capital City Hero, Friendship and Life, Crusin’ in Contours and Living in the Gap. If the artwork for Life, Times and Dreams is anything to go by, this is the fourth cassette EP by Watershed, after Are YOU Normal?, Do It and In Niceness.

We have spent many years hunting the web for signs of this great band from Plymouth and found very little. As far as we have been able to tell, there is one more cassette EP called If The Sun Don’t Rise available to listen to on Youtube. There is also a more recent recording called The Eyes of Eli Wallach, which you can hear on on Myspace.

By the time the band recorded The Eyes of Eli Wallach, their sound had changed completely from reggae and funk to rock. Although we were still able to recognise Jo’s voice on a couple of songs and snatches of Al’s guitar and Mark’s bass, this was nothing like the Watershed that we knew and loved.

We believe that Jo may have suffered some kind of vocal damage due to the band’s constant gigging and become unable to sing very much, which would explain the apparent change in gender on the vocal front. Such a shame, she had a fantastic voice, full of power and expression. We also know that the awesome talent of Dave Gregory on keys will never be heard again live. He sadly passed away a few years ago.

Life, Times and Dreams has an interestingly light and fresh sound and is reasonably representative of the way the band played these songs. It was recorded around the time that Mike Baldwin on saxophones was leaving Watershed and Dave on keys was joining, as both of them make an appearance together. We are not certain if this ever happened in a live situation, although there must be somebody out there who can confirm or deny this fact. Dave’s signature sound in the band was the Fender Rhodes, and at the time of this recording he played a grand piano instead, suggesting that he had not yet integrated that particular instrument with Watershed’s sound.

Somewhere out there in the universe are copies of Are YOU Normal?, Do It and In Niceness. We would love to hear these wonderful collections of songs again and have the honour of hosting them here in the Archives of Wud Records. If you happen to be in possession of one of these cassettes, please contact info@wudrecords.co.uk as we would be very interested in hearing from you.

On top of all of that, Al used to keep a big box of cassettes under his bed on which there were recordings of just about every live performance the band ever did. Watershed would listen to these tapes after shows to analyze the performance and listen for possible improvements or adaptations. If those tapes still exist, there is an absolute gold-mine of fantastic live performances just waiting to be edited and compiled onto some web pages for the world to enjoy. Such a tantalising thought. Down in our ancient cassette vaults we have a very small amount of this live material and hope that we can bring it to you in the next few weeks.

Should there be any further developments with regard to Watershed-related discoveries, we shall let you know in our News service and on Twitter.

If you would like to hear Life, Times and Dreams by Watershed in the Archives of the Wud Records website, please click here.

If you prefer to listen over at SoundCloud instead, please click here.