design dean butler
Last week was quite hectic with a trip to Warwick to begin work anew on the new electric project (working title The Intervention). We met up on the wednesday evening for a catch up session and then spent thursday and friday hard at it. Three electric versions of acoustic songs emerged in a more or less thought through manner. There were high lights when the three of us meshed together in a wall of lovely noise. It is so good to play a whole song with hardly a lick or riff and to keep on doing it until the arrangement begins to settle into a useful form. I have to try to keep an eye on my propensity to drift off by a bar or so as the fancy takes me. It is hard for me to be tied down to an arrangement when I have become so used to free forming, on my own, if I choose to. I enjoyed every minute of it and although progress is quite leisurely, down to me as much as any thing, and I like it very much. The only criteria is around quality and the only agenda is around having a good time. We click together nicely even after a quite long break and all bodes well for the next episode.
Saturday brought the fund raiser gig at Club 85 in Hitchin. A drive up with my very good friend and companion Dave Randell and Doris the sat nav brought us into the outskirts of Hitchin Town Centre at the doors of the Club 85. What a pleasant surprise we had when we dashed inside out of the pouring rain. the club is superb. Well appointed with top class P.A. and lighting and a dedicated staff of mostly young guys who worked methodically and effectively all night.
The first act was an outfit called Hazel Turnock and the Finger Choppers followed by POG. Now Hazel who was suffering with a cold, is a class act. With her rubber BDSM mask and stilt red heels she is a very impressive presence on stage and has a creamy blues delivery. POG has a lead singer who plays a classical nylon strung guitar that gives an unusual and appealing ambience to his distinctive vocal style. The percussion was supplied by one of those amazing electrified boxes you beat on. They have distinctive tones depending on where and how they are struck. Great idea! I thought that if Hazel got together with the box beater and bass player from POG that would be so cool.
I had an interesting show with a couple of very loud conversations throwing me ever so slightly for the first half of the gig. Still when they cleared off home to watch the boxed set of Ludicrous and unnecessary plastic surgery 2013 all was well. I throughly enjoyed myself and played for what is becoming quite a long time. I didn't play much old stuff and tried out some NEW, new things which went down well. I used some of the parts I had developed for and during the rehearsals in Warwick with Rick and Bob. Both acoustic and electric versions of songs feed into each other.
Thanks to Chris, Steve and co for putting on a great night and .... the West Indian food was so good! Special thanks to Al for getting me a great onstage and out front sound as he always does.
So after what seems, with hindsight, to have been a period of hibernation and low activity levels I am back in the saddle. I am looking forward to some relatively good weather and getting out on the bike. I am a little long in the tooth for all weather bike rides these days.
The designs at the top of the post are by a young guy called Dean Butler who is working on some new graphic designs for me. We had a chance to chat at the gig and I think our new friendship will be very fruitful. Thanks mate.
I have just picked up my lovely new Mac Book Pro with Logic 9 so every spare minute is spent getting to grips with it all. This new tool is going to make all aspects of music production easier and quicker for me.
I'm off to the wilds for a few days now and then it's back to the grindstone ha ha!