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Blog: In The Zone

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I headed back to DERBY last night, to continue preparations for ALBUM THREE with another Rhythm Section Practice. It went really really well.

Last time we learned up "The Fight For History" and "The Lesson Of The Smiths", both of which we played a couple of times last night, and both of which BLOODY ROCK. We inserted a sort-of-stop bit into "Lesson Of The Smiths" and a DRUM WORKOUT (ish) into "The Fight For History", and it all sounded PRETTY BLOODY EXCITING, also SCARY - Rob pointed out that the noises he and Tim were making sounded SUGGESTIVE of Nuclear Paranoia, and it FRIT ME UP!

Also last time we'd spent AGES trying to work out "Never Going Back To Aldi's". This time Tim pointed out that maybe we'd been trying too hard to make it "different", and perhaps we could try RELAXING and playing it however it came naturally. He was CORRECT! We played it again, and it sounded GRATE! In theory we were doing pretty much what we'd tried to do last time, but THIS time it worked, from Pretending To Be Dido in the verse (NB do not panic, it doesn't actually sound like that) to BREAK IT DOWN in the BRIDGE, to the VALIDATORS MAXIMUS chorus, it was ACE! HOORAH!

The plan all along has been to Jam Some New Material, so i brought a HALF FINISHED song to the GROUP - it's called "Zipcodes" and it's about wanting to buy sea monkeys and things from the back of Marvel comics in the 1970's... honestly, it is Quite Good despite what that sounds like, and so far I've only written the first two verses, although i know what the rest will be ABOUT. The main thing it has is a bass line, which Messrs Fleay and Pattison used to create a TITANIC FUNK SOUND that was... rather THRILLING. I guess I'd better get the rest of it finished!

Now we were on a ROLL, and moved on to "Girlfriend Alarmed", which sounded pretty much RIGHT the first time we played it through. Mr Fleay suggested some JUDDERING, we did it a couple more times, and we were SORTED. As he pointed out later in the evening, normally it would have been at THAT point that we'd have gone next door to Kev's and recorded it for POSTERITY, it felt GOOD, yet ODD, to know that we'd have a bit more time to FINE TUNE it before then.

And STILL there was more, as we moved on to "Breaks In The Journey". Tim developed a METRONIMICAL, ROBOTIC BEAT, which Rob played along to until we discovered - AHA! - it sounded MUCH better if he left half the bass line out. AGANE, this took things in a DECIDEDLY FUNKY DIRECTION, and OH! what a joy it was to be alive and playing it. This one'll need a bit of working UP to get it a bit more DYNAMIC, as mostly it was us REVELLING in our own funkadelia (NB as above do not worry, gentle reader, if it sounds funky in my MIND it does not necessarily mean it will sound like PARLIAMENT to anybody else), but it was GOOD.

We then ran through What We Have Learned at HIGH SPEED, and that was that! Tim, having been at work at 6AM that morning left to KIP, Rob and I headed off into the night, murmuring EXCITEDLY between us about how well it had gone. For LO! It really had!

posted 6/10/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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