Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Playing the Fiddle

There are several pub venues around London that tower above the music scene like sentinels standing atop their individual long and solid histories of British Rock music. These have long been associated with quality live rock music and fondly invoked as being the cradles and melting pots where many band started out who are now household names. The Fiddler's Elbow in Camden is one of these.

So it would seem that one of the many websites we signed up to months ago to get us gigs finally came through with goods last week - a gig tonight at said Fiddler's Elbow! Whilst the assumption is they had some bands pull out last minute and needed anyone they could get quickly, they have put us in the headline slot - I trust that means they must have listened to our stuff!

This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to at least one major venue that we can put on a proper professional show with great songs. If we get everyone enjoying themselves we might get asked back to do Friday/Saturday night when we can play to some seriously packed audiences.

Either way it should be a blast - if you're reading this, come along and see us play this iconic venue!

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Recording Progress

A couple of weeks ago we headed into the SAE studios to record a few tracks. We had been invited by Francis and his team as a recording project for assessment as part of their audio engineering course.

Below is a quick look at the sessions so far (including a mini snippet of our new song Version Of You)...

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Back into the Studio

Yesterday I had a Facebook friend request from someone I didn't really recognise and having no mutual friends I was about to delete when I noticed he was also a member of one of the same musicians' networks as me. He was also trying to send me a message which I decided to accept, given the mutual membership. It said - "Would you be available next week to record?"

I suddenly remember a week before I'd replied to a request on Facebook by an audio engineering student called Francis looking for bands to record for free. I looked at his profile a bit more and realised it was the same guy!

I must have been one of fifty acts to reply to the message so didn't think for moment he'd choose us. So much so that I hadn't even taken the time to enthuse about how wonderful it would be to have the studio time. I just wrote "We've got some stuff that needs recording and no money" and included a link to our videos page.

One phone call later and we're all booked to go into the studio next Wednesday! I had already booked a rehearsal for the same time so I knew everyone was available - it couldn't have worked out much better really. And then we will have a few days afterwards to finish things off as necessary, so we don't have to walk out with a half finished job.

Of course it won't be quite the same as going into a professional studio. They have an impressive equipment list but the guy recording it is still learning his craft. What works out well for us though is that all five of us have had extensive studio experience and both Bora and I have been professional audio engineers and producers. And that means we can guide the session to get professional results out of it which is great for us, but also great for Francis as he can spend some time working with experienced recording engineers and learning from our experience too!

We've got a lot of stuff to record. Now we have new arrangements of  "Chasing Rainbows" and "If You Can't Join Them Beat Them", we need proper studio recordings of these, and we need one of "Never" too. I also want to get some new songs down, particularly "My Version of You", "Missing Pieces"- a song I wrote with some input from Mike, and a totally new one called "Killer of Your Soul" (which isn't quite a sinister as it sounds...)

It's been a while since I've been in the studio so I'm really looking forward to it. It should be a blast! (As well as a chance to get into doing some seriously good recording!)...

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

New Words, Old Song

At Saturday's rehearsal with Bora and Gary I introduced a couple of new songs to them - "My Version Of You" which I posted about on Sunday, and "Permanent Distraction".

Permanent Distraction is both an old and a new song. It used to be called "It's Not Real", a song I wrote and recorded a while ago but was never completely happy with the vocal part. A few months ago I decided to just scrap the original words and wrote a whole new tune and lyric over the top of the original music.

Like "My Version Of You" this was the first time we'd all played this song together and the first time Gary had heard it. Once again, as you can see above, they did a pretty amazing job with it. And I'm much happier now with it as "Permanent Distraction".

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Version of a Rehearsal

Having some major gigs coming up including nearly an hour and a half show in July we need to keep on top of rehearsals. But with band members busy with holidays and other projects, we must sometimes make do with smaller groups of us. Both Gary and Bora were available yesterday which was ideal, as being our two newest members we could go over any stuff they were still unsure of. It was also a good opportunity to introduce a couple of new songs to them which both Paige and Mike have already worked on.

Gary offered to host the rehearsal at his place and suggested we set up a video camera in the corner of the room.

Above is the first recorded public "performance" of my new song 'My Version of You'. To give you some idea of how good these guys are, I had only jammed this with Bora once before (just the two of us) and Gary hadn't heard the song at all. We just spent about half an hour on the song before making this video - I recon they smashed it!

I'm looking forward to playing this with the full band. It should really rock...