Once more into the breach, dear friends…

So tomorrow is phase 2 of the recording, a lot of time and effort gone into arranging parts and it is going to be a hard week. It’s also going to be a full house as we hae 2 violinists and Grant staying for most of the time. Eszter is coming all the way from Cluj-Napoca in Romania and Bettina, from Bath -not quite so exotic but still a fair old trek to play – so very grateful to both.

But tomorrow is guitars and cello, by the ridiculously talented Nigel Rippon. I can’t wait to get started! We’ll also be getting some more trumpet, this time from Duncan Fraser. More on the musicians another time, I think.

I was sad to hear that we won’t be allowed to use Vettriano pics in one of the artworks for the album booklet. Shame, seeing as the artwork in question was for Jack, which is essentially a song about him. Not to worry – we have had worse setbacks, and perhaps it is a blessing in disguise.

Now I must go and print the scores for the week so people know what to play.

Going to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches…

Well, I’m up in Cammachmore and have been for a few weeks now – being my alter-ego and earning the dough. I’ve been doing a lot of walks along the cliffs and beach and generally regenerating.

I did a gig last night, which was ok – I played Friend, Lay With Me and Faster in the Dark along with other Overtaking on a Bend tunes and some oldies for good measure.
Playing a gig without the band there after listening to the roughs over and over was slightly odd but there we go.

So the next session is booked 15th-19th July. This is going to be a hard week, guitars, trumpets, strings and vocals. I’m not sure if we will succeed but I’m going to give it all I’ve got.

Jason’s been working on string arrangments in my absence so things are ticking over nicely.

That’s all for now :0)

This is a Low

Gratefully stolen title from Blur.

This is the hard bit, waiting to hear the stuff again after a week out. Knowing how much it’s going to cost to finish it and knowing how much I don’t actually have. It would be so easy just to stop now, make my excuses. Plus it means you’ll never get to judge if it was good enough – if I was good enough.

But the hard bit is to carry on, when you think you’ve lost your way a bit, when the great times of the week before have faded a little from memory, and all you have is the vague recollection you’ve done some recording and nothing really to show for it.

Overtaking On a Bend is a monster by nature, 21 tracks in varying states. Some I guess could stay as they are, but others require “treatment”, thought, precision, time, and money.

And on top of that, I have to complete the PGCE part of my MA before August is out.

So it’s time to get the head down, do the hard work, push and push and push some more. It has to go out there, for better or for worse. Overtaking on a Bend is my baby. It may turn out rather ugly, and it may not make any friends; but it’s mine.

The End of Week One

Some of this is written from notes I took on Friday, so please forgive jumping around of tense should it occur.
So week one is over. It feels like a month or so, however – long days, evenings, loud and even louder drums ringing in my head. Fabulous. You won’t believe how good it sounds, and I haven’t got the words to describe it. But imagine if you will, a delighted Jo leaping around a studio in total glee.
21 tracks are now done, slightly differing from the original line up, we have:
Tears 1995
Jack (previously entitled Amateur Philosophers but that was awful)
Dangerous Ground
Becoming Myself Again
Can’t find Love
Easier Said than Done
Faster in the Dark
Friend
Half of One
If I Say
Lay with me
Love 2
Nothing Room
Page 94
Pieces
Poseidon
Waltz
Running Out of Air
Sleepy Man
Waiting
Won’t let you down.

Not necessarily in that order.
We’ve done all the drums and bass (these guys were AMAZING) some cello, percussion, vibraphone, trumpet, piano and of course guide vocals and very bad guitar a la Jo.
I’m now collapsed on the sofa (well I was when I originally wrote this on Friday afternoon) while Rob (c/o Ford Lane Studio) and Grant get all the audio off the studio computer and onto my hard drive.

After that we’ll get a copy on to my computer (in fact this didn’t happen til Saturday, the drive got wiped by an errant helper and we had to go back into the studio and retrieve all the tracks again the next day. Luckily Rob had not deleted the files. You can imagine the fear though – all that work for possibly nothing!) and Grant will take the mobile hard drive north for mixing.

The next task is the keyboards, guitars and string arrangements. I am hoping to woo Nigel (percussion and cello) back in for some guitar work…

I am hoping to get a small string section together for the strings rather than programmed stuff. There is a real, for want of a better word, “vibe” to this album and I don’t want to spoil it with plastic violins.

Vocals, well, they’re a long way off but will probably happen up in Scotland.

Next though, it’s back to work to try to pay off all the money I’ve spent this week, and in a couple of weeks time, some photoshoots for the covers.

Speak soon!

jo

Update!

I’m shattered! Just a quick one, lots of drums down, some great percussion – but a very long session last night has left my head buzzing like crazy. So I’m sitting here at the kitchen table contemplating one more cup of tea before heading out.

Yesterday was nuts, technical problems meaning the session was pushed back to nearer half two – much stress abound. However Dave and Duncan rose to the challenge and fired out some cracking takes.
Then, for an evening session we had Nigel Rippon in for some percussion on Easier Said than Done, and a new one. Finished round about 10 and collapsed in a heap.

More drums today!

jo
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