Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year, New Post

Now that I've joined the ranks of infrequent bloggers, those chaps who crop up on your feed every now and again and you ignore anyhow, I struggle for inspiration in things to jot about.

It's definitely nothing to do with a lack of things going on in my, or your, world. There's plenty going on all over the show. Only a few hours ago we had this helicopter crash in central London and all the associated shenanigans. And of course if I'm ever really in need of a post I can always bung something out that either slags off Muslims or Islamaphobia. Either one works.

But no, it's just that I'm out of practice in the art of looking at life as it goes by and trying to pass on my observations to you, the reader. I'll keep trying, in this old fashioned blogging format that kids these days have only heard about from their grandparents.

I spent the best part of last week holed up in the recording studio of a rather famous band whilst The Breaks recorded an album of sorts too. We had a huge amount of fun and I learned loads of things about my own playing as well as things I need to work on.

The end result will be (touch wood) a mini album of eleven songs, all of which I know I'm going to be very proud of.

This was the third time I've been in a studio to record and for as many bands also. Was that a really crap sentence? I'm unsure. Anyhow, each time it's been a fairly major event for me and the people with me. I don't know if you've ever done it but I'll explain in case you're one of those that haven't.

You see first of all you bond in a way that famous touring bands get to do every day, or at least every day they're on tour. The thing is that most of us musician types aren't famous. We work, have families, jobs, mortgages and day to day shit to deal with and we fit in our passion for music around it all. So when we gig it's something that slots in between all the other stuff.

Going away for a few days with bandmates gives a rare chance to feel what it must be like to go on tour for an extended period when you're a proper music star. Except of course we don't have groupies and our choice of drugs was based around daily vitamin requirements, managing diabetes and dealing with morning headaches caused not so much by copious volumes of alcohol but by a couple of glasses of lager followed by one of wine.

And even after a few days, even though I'd have classed us all as pretty close friends anyhow beforehand, we became closer, more tight both personally and musically.

But really, it was fucking brilliant. Getting to record, to analyse my own playing in a studio environment, is so different to listening to and analysing a live recording. Gigs are moments in time that pass and are then left behind in history. Sure there might be a recording on a camera phone or a video of a gig but they're just images of moments gone by.

There's something different about recording songs in a studio. You want to do the absolute best you can for the sake of posterity. Whatever is on the final cut is there for eternity, or maybe even longer, and it's got to be good. That's just my opinion and others might differ, but I want my recordings to be good. Not perfect though. I'm not sure if I believe in perfection in music. One of the beauties in music is in the imperfections, the  gaps, the ever so slight shifts in tempo, the things that fall in the cracks rather than always on the beat.

And you also want to do your best for your bandmates. It's not spoken about as the sense of team overrides that of the individual by a large margin, but I'd be lying if I said there was no sense of competition. All of us wanted to get our individual parts done as competently and quickly as possible and no one wanted to be the class dunce, the one who just couldn't keep up to scratch. On this occasion we didn't have a class dunce. Next time it might be different.

I got back home on Sunday night and I'll confess that I felt a bit sad. All the others went back to their families; the wives and kids, to catch up on what they'd been doing, how their rugby and football, guitar lessons and things had gone. I attempted to make contact with my girls, who were both wholly uninterested in what I'd been doing anyhow, then rang my parents who bizarrely enough seemed the same. C was in Singapore and eight hours ahead so there was no chance of any interaction there. Long distance relationships would be so much easier if it wasn't for the long distance bit.

But that is one of the things I've observed about post divorce life for a mid forties bloke in London in a long distance relationship; everyone here has their nest, their castle and it's as if they're attached to it by a long piece of elastic. In Sri Lanka it's different and I know not for why. Perhaps the weather is a big factor. It's so much easier to go out and socialise if it's warm and sunny and you don't have to consider which overcoat to wear and how many layers you'll need underneath it all.

Still I booked a flight to the motherland the other day and can't wait to see so many people.

Isn't it funny. I spend the whole of my life living in London and all of a sudden I realise I have more friends in Sri Lanka, a country I've never actually lived in, than I do here.

Weird shit. Or vut to doo as you would say.

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