You know sometimes, when you’re feeling low, and you think things probably couldn’t get much worse, it suddenly does. Turns out I am not able to take cash out of my credit card after all, meaning the money I dunked into there to make sure I had enough to pay the studio is now “not available as cash”. OFFS as my work colleagues are prone to say. Really useful. The lower echelons of the music industry work on cash, this is how life is. And now I am cash poor.
So now I have to figure out a way of making the £300 currently resting in my account into £1200 by next week. Su-fecking-perb.
I know, things have a way of turning out alright in the end but by gods does one get put through the wringer.

One more push

It’s aways one more push, one last stab, one more take. But this is it, people, the last of my money and the last of the recording. It is going to be a hard week and I hope I am up to the task. I will do better than my best. After all, this is likely to be the last from me. Life overtakes us all and I am no different. To quote myself, I’m overtaking on a bend and I don’t know what’s coming my way – but I’m counting down the days.

For those interested in the nutsnbolts side of things we will be cutting out any extraneous tracks, and deciding on takes on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday it will likely be my all time favourite (not) guitars. I am hoping we can get all the sodding guitars done on Thursday because, well frankly I hate recording guitars. I play to my own time, meaning I can’t play in time no matter how loud the fecking cans are. Then it will be synths, a lot of them, as despite Bettina, Eszter and Nigel’s excellent playing more strings are required. Also other scary noises will be added at this stage. Last will be vocals, and I hope I can carry it off. I find it easier when it is just me and the engineer so this will be “closed set” so to speak.

And then everything is down to the mix.

Wish me luck,



Quick catch up. Been doing a project as part of my masters through August and therefore been keeping my head down as far as the music goes. Once I get my head clear of the fug I shall have a listen to what is left to do (and there is a LOT). For a start the strings need sorting out, there’s a lot of work gone into those but as raw tracks they are really harsh. I am hoping Grant can work his magic and get them sounding tasty.
I also have to select sections of trumpet/saxophone that will be staying. I got the them to record loads of stuff so I guess it is my fault that that is going to take some time to work through.
Next big thing is keyboards, and lots of them – piano, string pads, etc etc. I’m hoping a lot of this can be done from home but then again am realistic about what is acheivable here, with my lack of technical abilities – or rather, perhaps I am being unfair to myself here – I could do the technical side but I find all that mucking around takes its toll creatively. That’s why I feel my best place is in a studio, with an engineer working the buttons and making sure things sound exactly right, while I pull stuff out of my head and get it out there.
So, rather than try to get all this done at home then find a place for doing vocals, I have scraped every last penny into one more session at Ford Lane Studio.
I was also considering adding another song or two but frankly I think 21 is probably enough. We shall see.
In the meantime the old muse visited me and I wrote a new song. It is technically a b&gger to play so I need to practise a lot.
Apart from that I’m off up to Aberdeen for a week in Sept before coming back down to record again. Then it’s Aberdeen for a month – hopefully I can join Grant in working on some mixing etc from time to time. Hopefully by the end of Oct we shall have the final mix and then it’s off to the duplicators to get pressed up.

Another Week Goes By

Well that’s the end of another session. It’s by no means complete, unfortunately but I guess I forget sometimes that things in studio land take twice as long as you expect.

So the cello is done, electric guitars, trumpets, strings, and some vocals. I need to figure out how to stretch the coffers to accommodate the rest of the vocals.

It’s sounding great though and I am looking forward to putting the final vocals down – you’ll be surprised for sure, different approaches, vocal techniques, pushing myself loads to show you I can do more than piss about with a guitar and some depressing lyrics. Ok so the lyrics are still depressing, but this time there are drums :0)

There are some cracking and often scary violin parts – and I really mean that – actually scary. I felt a bit bad making the violin players do it, but I think in the end they started to have a bit of fun. Either that or they were just delirious from all the work I was making them do.

The only thing that alleviated my guilt a bit was that although I worked everyone really hard, I was first up, first in the studio, last to leave the studio. It’s not like I waved my hands and said “onward slaves, get on with the work!”

I’ve learned loads as well, about how to arrange strings properly. Some of the things I had put down weren’t strictly ballroom so to speak, and I broke a lot of rules I didn’t know existed :0)

I am now, frankly, knackered and my ears don’t work anymore. Now I have to find some time to finish the guitars and keyboards and then locate a studio for the vocals up in Scotland.

Grant, after several days recording with me. A warning to all those – abandon hope at the studio door, I will work you til you go insane!