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Blog: We're BACK

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Full of WARINESS re. collisions and delays and ready to be OUTRAGED by Midland Mainline's inability to handle anything out of the ordinary, i headed to St Pancras yesterday to catch me a train to DERBY for a Validators practice ... only to find that everything was completely sorted out, the train left on time, and arrived a couple of minutes early. Oh! I felt almost CHEATED for not getting to STORM around!

I had AGES to wait until it was time for us to get together, so I wandered into Derby city centre. It's strange, I've been to Derby HUNDREDS of times, but my local knowledge is pretty limited - I know The Vic, The Blue Note, Rob's house, and that's pretty much all! THUS it was nice to have a bit of a wander around and JOIN UP some areas I'd been to before, ALSO to find a SPAR that would sell me some BEER for the practice. FLUSHED with knowledge I wandered back toward the station and spent a GLORIOUS 30 minutes in The Brunswick Arms. They MAKE their own beer there which, to be honest, is pretty foul, but BY GOLLY they have the NICEST Pedigree i have ever tasted in my life, and the pint i had last night was one of the GRATEST PINTS OF BEER i have had - EVER! Indeed, it is a lucky thing that i have a photograph of a pint of BASS in my wallet, ELSE i might have got quite carried away. PEDIGREE: it is and always has been my BOOZE CAMILLA.

ANYWAY, by now it was time for PRACTICE, and we CONVENED in The Music Shed. I'd been all excited about this, as it was the first practice of the year and also the first time we'd all SEEN each other for five weeks, and it was GRATE to be back together again. After the traditional Band Taking The Piss Out Of Each Other (and any band that does NOT do this is not, to my mind, a proper band - look at The Killers, for instance, i bet they NEVER mock each other) we ran through "Quality Of Life Enhancement Device" and "Breaks In The Journey" for a WARM UP, and then LO! It was time for NEW SONGS!

The first one we did was "Mental Judo", which sounded NICE, but didn't quite GET there - as Rob said, it sounded like everyone was playing along with ME, rather than US all playing it together. I've changed the song around a bit over the YEAR since i wrote it, and everyone was DISTRESSED that the lines "Let's enjoy it for what it is, not not for what it isn't" had been REMOVED, so now they are back IN. On Tim's behest we also tried it with a heavy backbeat drumbeat A LA Stone Roses. We only tried it the once.

Next we did "The Other Rush Hour", which gradually ROCKED UP until it had 2 quiet verses, 2 medium verses, 2 LOUD verses, a BIT, and then, after much use of hand gestures to describe SONIC ARCHITECTURE, a bit where it ZOOMS over the edge of a cliff and finishes QUIET like. It also has a GOOD BIT where Tom joins in with me CLANGING "The Other Rush Hour " - it all sounded quite good anyway, and we TAPED it. I then played "Good Luck In Your New Job", and we agreed to PARK that one until we actually do the RECORDINGS (as it's not really a BIG ROCK LIVE NUMBER), and moved forward to "Looking At my Hands".

COR! This one came out DEAD WELL - Tim suggested a VERY DIFFERENT way to do it, and BY GOLLY it sounded ACE - from the HEAVY RHYTHM to Emma's backing vocals ("OLD MAN!" she sings at one point ... tho that will probably make more sense when it's finished) and ESPECIALLY when a GAP is marked by EIGHT BEATS on THE PIANO! YES! There was a PIANO there, although BIZARRELY it was exactly a semi-tone out of tune, so not much use, but at least we got THAT bit out of it.

We taped that, taped a version of "Mental Judo" For The Record, and then had a quick JAM on a rather FEVEROUS little bit of SONG, and then LO! it was time for THE PUB! We dashed round the corner and rather SURPRISED the STAFF at the pub we got into, as they'd obviously had no-one in all night and were about to shut early. HOLD FAST we said (inwardly) FOR LO! We have weighty MATTERS to discuss!

RAH! It was BAND MEETING time, and we sorted out SEVERAL things - how to get to CAMBRIDGE for our next gig, what we were doing about a Pal's WEDDING we're playing in July, and also agreed that having EDDY on board is going to be GRATE. We resisted it for a while but eventually had to say out loud "Yes, hopefully he will take us to... THE NEXT LEVEL!" It felt GOOD. FINALLY we discussed going to CORNWALL to record the next album, and i think it is going to be recorded at the start of AUGUST, and then mixed shortly afterwards at chez FRANKIE MACHINE. It's all VERY EXCITING.

A group hug, and then we all went our seperate ways - everyone else to HOME, me and Rob to a nearby CURRY HOUSE. The evening's work was not done for us, NO, we had RECORD COMPANY BUSINESS to discuss. I don't know that we got a lot of WORK done, but BY GOLLY the curry was lovely - you can't get Proper East Midlands BALTI in London (or at least not where I've been looking), and it was like seeing an OLD FRIEND again. And then eating him. With half a naan.

In summary then: HOORAH! We're BACK!

posted 23/3/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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