So, the time of year was upon us, London Road Festival weekend, we'd played there last year on the main stage and were looking forward to playing again... anyway, here's the weekend, broken down into bitesize pieces :-)
Saturday 8th June, we decided it was time to return to Tremolo Studios and do some more work on the tracks for the CD. It had been some weeks (11 to be precise) since we'd had enough free time to book a spot and do some work, such are the joys of gigging regularly! Still, can't complain, as its what we love to do. Anyway, back to the studio. Basically we were going back to overdub on the tracks that we'd laid the bare bones down to and to add in extra bits to some that needed it. Also in attendance was Katharine Luff, a rather talented brass player who had written some parts for one of the songs, all I'll say is we had given her the song and the remit "mariachi style please" and as before, she delivered, bringing life to a piece that we would have struggled with otherwise. The song "Falling" has a kind of Spanish/Spaghetti Western feel to it, rather like "Alone Again Or"..or something in that vein.. for those of you that have heard us play it live, maybe you can hear it too, or maybe not?? Anyway, its sounding really rather good, just some final touches and it'll be complete.
What I like about being in the studio, is the being able to break a song down into its component parts, and then glueing them back together, adding in flourishes, touches, depth and colour, where there was none before. The beauty of being in a duo is that, yes it can be as simple as just us two, guitar and vocals, or as complex as we like. We're adding in so much at the moment, we know that at some point during the editing stage we'll have to start taking away too.
We also worked on "That Brief Encounter", Graeme adding in Spanish guitar (some very nice pieces, if I say so myself) and the vocals..including some nice harmonies. So the newer tracks are beginning to take shape.
Another few sessions in the studio and we should be done with the CD.. but don't hold your breath anytime soon.. I know we keep saying we'll get it done, first it was May, then June.. now we're thinking September.. But we'll see. We need to record a couple more tracks for it and work on them, finish off the ones that we already have and then set about mixing them.. so who knows, maybe it'll be ready by Christmas!!
Sunday 9th June, Wow.. London Road Festival. There had been a few mix-ups with this festival initially. We'd said from the get go that we were interested in playing the main stage again, seeing as we did it last year and were looking forward to going back and initially we weren't booked to do that, nor were we booked to play in any of the pubs, then within a few days before, we were asked, could we play The Oak Tree and then 2 days before.. could we play the main stage. Being us, we said yes!
On the main stage we decided to try something a bit different. Graeme, who was trying out his friend Raj's Rickenbacker 330 (it needed fixing and Graeme fixed it so needed to try it out) and me.. with hair extensions in, did a couple of our numbers, followed by The Who's "1921" and "Pinball Wizard", which went down well with the crowd, following with "Northern Lights" and ending our set with the usual "Je Ne Regrette Rien"... The assembled crowd were incredibly receptive and even in the hot sun saw to give us tumultuous applause. The newly eletrified Rain had arrived :-). We were sandwiched between The Jake Leg Jug Blues Band and The Legendry Lonnie Band, so knew we had to pull off something different to make an impact. If the sight of me in my hair extensions wasn't enough, Graeme was even wearing shorts.. :-O
Later that day, well 7pm to be precise, we set up to play The Oak Tree, however the poor landlord was feeling a bit down, he had put on a craft fair during the day as part of the Festival, but sadly no-one had come to it.. we played for about 40 minutes and he said "Look guys, lets call it a day".. so we summarily packed up. We played well to the few folk, who were stall holders for the craft fair, that they were supportive, but we were flogging a dead horse and we knew it. Not one person put their foot through the door, which was such a pity, as The Oak Tree is rather a nice pub inside.. recently having been refurbished and looking quite contemporary now. Once packed we said our goodbyes and rather than go home discouraged took ourselves off to The Swan in Burslem for Arthur's Table Open Mic. Where we stayed for a while, listened to the delights of Arthur, Tony Roberts, Trent Vale Poet and some guy called Keith (I think, terrible memory for names!) and then played a few songs for the crowd. It was a pretty good end to a pretty busy day.
While this weekend has had ups and downs, I would say the ups have definately out weighed the downs an its all a learning curve, eh?
Anyway, we'll get back to you with more news as and when we have some..