Just to remind ourselves how to play the tunes, we decided to have a wee mini-tour last week covering both The Frozen North in the shape of a return to Inverness, and the comparitively sub-tropical swelter of the recently renamed Borisland Metropolis And Olympic Village to the south, with a few in between (mainly because we can’t abide long drives, or indeed long periods of time anywhere in a confined space with Jim and his Champ-Man Running Commentary Disorder).
We left Edinburgh for Inverness on a beautiful “Spring-has-sprung”
morning, with rabbits hopping in the central reservations and lambs
gamboling in the car park of the Gala Casino, but it was not far north
of Perth when we realised that nobody had told these highlanders it
wasn’t still winter. It was infact snowing. Luckily we got through by
the sheer momentum of our massively overloaded van, and made it to
Moray Firth Radio in time for a quick coffee and acoustic session. De
Rosa were loitering in the lobby having just done one themselves, and
our paths would cross further as they were playing the upstairs venue
of Hootananny that very same evening as we were downstairs. Spooky.
Been a bit slack on the blog for the last week, lots of loose ends getting tied up so here’s a brief recap:
had some more session players in on Tuesday doing viola and double bass
on a few tracks, they were great and got everything done in the course
of the afternoon. The viola in Nearly Home is particularly lush, and
the double bass particularly “beefy”. Awesome.
was interrupted by the arrival of Roger, Barry and Sarah, and finally
putting pen to paper on some contracts which was a great relief to
everyone given the shenanigans of the past year! Some bubbly was had
and then we all went through for a preview listen to a few of the
tracks, in their roughest state, which was surprisingly nervewracking
as it was like listening to it with someone else’s ears. I guess we’ve
been a bit over-exposed to them over the last week.
Over the last few days we’ve been pretty busy, Saturday was another new
one, working title Shabba-b, featuring Jim on the piano. When we got up
on Saturday morning a strange spray-painted ambulance had arrived at
the studio, containing Rab and Ross down to take some pictures over the
weekend. It’s all been going to plan so far and yesterday we had our
first session players in, Emma, Jonathan and Christian, playing tenor
horn, trombone and tuba respectively. They were all very pro and got
the parts down on five tunes in the afternoon, which sound great. Every
time we played them back in the control room we were all grinning, and
Dave can finally relax a bit now he’s not having to score brass parts.
‘They All Fell….’ took shape last night with Davey’s trumpet going down and
T getting his organ out (again!). We had to make a few adjustments to
the schedule due to the piano slipping back out of tune, so the tuner
Gareth was booked to come back today at two to give it a few more
tweaks (at this rate he might end up taking residence in the spare
room…). We had some pasta and chorizo for tea then hit the hay at some
point after one.
The day started with an enthusiastic Dave telling me that he had
finally got to “some action” in Tipping the Velvet, which he has been
reading for the past few days. It seems Nan was having a whale of a
time with the contents of a mysterious rosewood chest. Good for her.
After a short post-Hogmanay break, we set off on Sunday morning for
Monnow Valley Studio in Wales to record our debut album (woohoo!). I
awoke at 10:30, some three hours after going to bed, to the sound of my
doorbell ringing and five missed calls from Gill.
We arose at what I like to call “stupid o’clock” on Thursday, with my alarm going off horribly at 5am. It is that kind of time when you realise you would have been better off just not going to bed at all, but we had to set off from The Stables at around 6 to ensure we arrived in London at a reasonable hour. The journey itself followed the line of long, boring and sleepy, but we arrived on time for some of us to go to Gibson and get a lend of some lovely guitars, and the non-lutists amongst us to go on a miscellaneous bits and bobs buying mission. Myself and Arne trawled most of Denmark Street which has about 2000 music shops in it (well, it seemed like 2000) before returning to the van to head for the photoshoot.