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Blog: An EXCELLENT Evening

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I was back on the train heading for the Midlands yesterday afternoon, ready to PROPERLY get going on our new album - we had a practice of new stuff a couple of months ago, but then due to STUFF it all peetered out a bit, but THIS time around we have three practices and two GIGS all in the space of about five weeks, so it definitely FEELS as if we are LIMBERING UP... for ROCK.

I was due to stay at Hotel Tiger in Leicester, so I got me a return THERE rather than to Derby (also because of PEAK HOUR TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS it was better that way), which meant that rather than wandering the lonely streets of Derby (edge of) I could pop into Leicester City Centre for a bit of a wander and some TEA, before hopping BACk on the train for Derby. It was a NICE way to do it, and I ended up sat in The Brunswick having a frankly FANTASTIC pint of Pedigree. Mr F A Machine arrived for a swift half, then we went over to the practice room to meet the rest of the Vlads, therein to ROCK.

It all went VERY VERY WELL INDEED. We spent the first half hour or so on our usual warm up exercises i.e. saying hello, plugging things in, and trying to stop The Rythmn Section from playing Fall songs. We then had a couple of goes at My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once, trying to FINESSE it a bit, but mostly ARGUING (gently) about how fast it should or shouldn't be.

That done we moved on to the first of the NEW new songs of the evening, We Can Start Having Fun. It's one that Tim seems to have been quite keen on but which has WAVERED in my affections, but GOODNESS ME it sounded BLOODY GRATE when we did it. Ooh, the DYNAMICS! The BUILDS! The shivery feeling all down my back when we got to the TRIUMPHANT ENTRANCE of the ORCHESTRA! It was very very exciting and we were all QUITE aware of it, and LO! we were pleased.

Next was Best Behaviour (or "the one with the good bass line" as it was previously known) which, on first run through, sounded FAR FAR too LONG. We had a brief debate about cutting out verses or COMPRESSING sections, but instead did it without any INSTRUMENTAL INTERLUDES, and LO! it sounded much better, especially, I thought, the middle bit. Mind you, that's the bit that i wrote MYSELF (with the rest being JAMMED) so BIAS may be present.

By now operating on FULL POWER we moved on to Do The Indie Kid... and that was REALLY REALLY GOOD. And when i say REALLY REALLY GOOD i mean REALLY REALLY REEEEAAALLLLYYY GOOD. This is the one that we JAMMED at the end of the last practice with the INTENT to write a poppy song with a proper chorus - I wrote some other lyrics to it which were SENT BACK as they weren't GOOD ENOUGH, so all along it has been a bit SPECIAL to us, and - let us not assume false modesty - this is probably because it is GRATE.

We were ROCKING ALONG through the verses and the choruses and had a couple of goes at it where we had to stop, consider the number of BARS to certain sections, and try again, always aware that we had yet to reach the AVANT JAZZ FREAKOUT section. On the third or fourth attempt we reached it, each of us i am sure gripped with FEAR as to how it would turn out, but in actuality it was ACE - i believe this is going to be one of THE songs for the next album, also for The Live Arena, so hopefully it won't be long until you can hear it, it was a THRILLING EXPLORATION into THE MUSIC OF THE FUTURE.

And after THAT bit we had the attempted FIVE PART HARMONIES of the final bridge AND the mass dancing singalong at the end, it was FAB - so much so that not only were Emma and I doing the DANCE that goes with it, even Frankie had CLAMBERED out of his deck chair to BOUNCE HIS HIPS.

We were, in fact, feeling pretty pleased with ourselves and decided to have a go at a bit more JAMMING. IDEAS were not exactly overflowing, however, until we had a go at what turned into a Twelve Bar Blues... with RIFFS! I almost never play a proper RIFF on the guitar, but used to do them all the time on bass, so it was an EXTREME PLEASURE for me to have a go at it again, and we all had a THOROUGHLY good time. DOUBTS were expressed as to whether I'd be able to sing and play it at the same time, or indeed FIND words to fit, but Emma was singing away on the other side of the room and we did TAPE it, so we should be able to get SORTED.

There was just time for a quick RECAP of what had gone before and then it was time to HIE into the night, with myself and Tom enjoying our traditional discussion about HOW GRATE WE ARE on the way back to his house. It had been an EXCELLENT evening!

posted 21/3/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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