ROSALIE Cunningham is not the Purson she used to be.

Since her band of that name folded in late 2016, their singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has been working on material for her self-titled debut album.

It arrives this month in the form of eight genre-spanning songs, still with psychedelic roots protruding through a new surface of theatricality, as can be witnessed tonight at the Fulford Arms, in Fulford Road, York, from 7.30pm.

"It's been a long gestation period because I've been making music when it felt ready, but not playing live, as I kind of needed a break, but that was out of character for me, so I really missed it," says Rosalie, who played in York in her Purson days.

The album was recorded in three different studios, using mostly old-school analogue equipment. "The approach I started with was very modern, at a high-end digital studio, but I soon realised it wasn’t for me and went right back to basics," says Rosalie. "There were too many toys, too many things to play with, when I was running a tight budget, thinking 'I could easily spend a year here'! 

"So I took it home to my own studio, in Southend, stripped it right down, experimenting with tape machine tricks, running mics down corridors and using radio-broadcasting mics to get the guitar sound.

York Press:

The artwork for Rosalie Cunningham's new solo album

"After that I went to Gizzard, an analogue studio in Bow, East London, I’ve worked in before, for the final mix; all of which was done live. Being able to take time over arrangements, without pressure, meant that everything felt right, without being contrived."

Originally, Rosalie had planned to release the record through the Pledge Music crowd-funding scheme. She even raised the money to do so, but then Pledge went under. "I couldn't re-coup it," she recalls. "I'd borrowed money to do the record and I'd made it, but not manufactured it, so I was stuck in a place where I needed to release it.

"I'd not had a great experience of the record industry with Purson, but I now knew I'd have to find a record label. Luckily, I've found Esoteric, which is part of Cherry Red, and I've signed a distribution deal that's fair, honest and transparent, where I can lease it anywhere."

Ironically, at the beginning, Rosalie had no intention of releasing these songs. "I didn't really consider them as a group of songs for an album. I was kind of just writing very honestly, as it wasn't for an album or an audience, but then I decided these new songs were a natural progression."

And so, tonight's York audience can enjoy the likes of Ride On My Bike, House Of The Glass Red, Dethroning Of The Party Queen and A Yarn From The Wheel, plus some Purson oldies too, up close and Pursonal, as it were.