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Blog: A Good Session

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It was off to DENMARK STREET for me on Monday lunchtime, as I headed over to Studio Sonic to record the latest batch of DEMOES, so that The Vlads can hear what's coming their way when we REGROUP at the end of the month to start learning some new stuff.

I had a LOVELY time. As ever I arrived to find that Andy The Engineer had set everything up for me... then, for some reason decided that I actually wanted to play at an angle 10 degrees to the left. He very patiently moved everything around, checked some levels, and we were AWAY. First of all I did The Stores Of Not To Be, which went off FINE in one take. This was HANDY as, I later realised, it's somehow ended up being over FIVE MINUTES LONG. It's an EPIC! Next I did the CONSIDERABLY shorted Dinosaur Planet which I must confess is currently my FAVOURITE. Working with a basic TUNE by Mr Francis A Machine meant i was forced to do something a it DIFFERENT and (NB according to ME anyway) the chorus and ESPECIALLY the middle bit that i added in to it came out LOVELY. It's all TUNEY, and i LIKE it!

Next it was time to say GRR! and do The Kids Deserve Better. If my younger self could have seen me he would doubtless have been STUNNED, as for the first time EVER i recorded a song using a CAPO. SELLOUT! A HUMBLING aspect of working with Andy in the other room is that he has the MUTANT SUPERPOWER of being to tell not only when one of the strings on the guitar is SLIGHTLY out of tune, but also WHICH ONE. It is a bit spooky, but most handy when using such a JAZZ piece of guitar instrumentation.

FINALLY I did my EXCITING version of "Vicar In A Tutu" by The Smiths, which I'd been WORKING UP over the weekend. It all went pretty well until i got to the "living sign" bit where i LOST MY NERVE and it deteriorated markedly. The rest of the song had been pretty good, I thought, so we did a PATCH IN over the end, ROLLICKING through, and Andy FIDDLED it so you couldn't see the join. STUDIO TRICKERY!

That done we spent a pleasant half hour MIXING it and having a chat. I always feel a bit HUMBLED in these situations, when I talk to people who are PROPERLY IN ROCK, and these days I end up getting a bit WEIRDED OUT when I realise that, actually, i TOO am fairly IMMERSED in it. It's like if i was Talking To Other Men In The Pub About Football, and suddenly realised that I actually knew what I was on about.

Or, at least, i IMAGINE that's what that'd feel like, it's never happened and i doubt it ever will, but in the world of ROCK the feeling occasionally creeps up on me that - HEY! - i HAVE been On Tour now, so can talk about it without fear of getting CAUGHT OUT. Mostly, however, we discussed Girlfriends In Rock i.e. it's GRATE to have an Understanding Girlfriend who doesn't MIND you going off on your own and doing loads of gigs, and how it sometimes gets a bit embarrassing when people see you so often on your own in faraway towns that they don't BELIEVE you actually HAVE a girlfriend e.g. IN SHEFFIELD!

So yes, it was all very pleasant and I came away with FOUR new tracks which will EITHER be used as the starting points for FABULOUS new Validators recordings OR, if for some reason The Vlads TAKE AGAINST them, can be put out as SOLO material. Everyone's a winner!

posted 17/1/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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