Six songs! SIX SONGS!

Happy days! Or rather, happy day! Per our last blog entry, we set aside some time in the studio today; John's off gallivanting around the country so there was just four of us today, and even then Sharon didn't show up until 3pm. So, with little else to do, James, Martin and I managed to work our hardest in the studio pretty much ever.

We initially planned to try and put down the three tracks that we have scheduled for our new EP. One track is already in the can (albeit in need of a minor tweak), so the other three were our top priority.

We managed to put the first one song down in two takes. The other two went down in pretty much one take each. It was barely 12.30 so we still had five hours left and Sharon wasn't showing up for another three hours! Not only that, but there was a tasty looking hollow bodied bass I wanted to try out.

So, after a break for bagels (mmm, salt beef with mustard and pickles) and a chocolate eclair, we resumed work. In one take, we got the bass and drums down for a fourth song. Martin got his guitar down on that, and we started song #5. Once we realised that we really did need John for the intro, we skipped that bit and came in on the verse where we all play. Again, one take. I got to play the hollow-body bass to give it a nice clunky sound, which suited the slightly loping groove.

There was still half an hour before Sharon showed up, so we had a go at James's newest contribution, this time with a nice fuzz tone on the bass. Alas James and Martin got it in one, but I had to re-do my part just as Sharon arrived. Needless to say, she was good enough to get the keyboard parts on five of the songs down in record time.

And yet, it was still only 5pm. I managed to indulge myself and put down some electric piano and glockenspiel. Always a joy!

We've got another session scheduled to finish off the most pressing songs, but there's still plenty of work to be done on them, not least of all John's guitar bits, the singing (sometimes more than one version as there's a couple of songs that we want to try with James singing lead whereas Sharon or John sings them live) and the extra fun bits like percussion and other twiddly bits.

I guess you'll get to hear them soon enough, but for us, it's almost unbearable to not be able to get them out to you now! You'll love em, I'm sure.

Have a nice weekend,


Being The Bloguine

Hello all,

I’m writing this to the soundtrack of multiple versions of Begin The Beguine; my granddad once told me a story about how when he was on shore leave and at a dance, a sailor hopped up to the bandstand, gave the band a key to play in, and sang a version of the song so brilliant, it topped any other version he’d ever heard.

Fast forward 60-odd years and we have no similar stories, since no sailors on shore leave have invaded our stage and asked to sing (were they to do attempt such a feat, I do believe Martin would give them a thorough shoeing, and rightly so). What we do have is a satisfying, energetic result from the first third of 2009. In short, it’s been a helluva success; since the last blog, we’ve played five more gigs, meaning that we’ve already played more gigs this year than last, and we have a few exciting ones coming up. The best gig of the year so far has probably been 93 Feet East at the end of last month, not least because we’ve got to tread the boards where Radiohead and plenty others have previously trod, but also because we sounded terrific and shared the bill with three ace bands, namely Little Ghosts, Strange Fruit and 18 Carat Love Affair. It wasn’t until after we’d played that we found out that Peter Perrett from The Only Ones was in the audience as his boys are in Strange Fruit (and used to be in Babyshambles apparently). One can only ponder what he made of the Another Girl Another Planet-esque intro to Blackwall Tunnel. 18 Carat Love Affair were definitely my favourite band of the evening though; they’re a bit Art Brut, a bit New Order, a bit 586 (Stephen the singer’s old band, funnily enough) and other things I can’t bring to mind right now. They also have an electronic drum kit, complete with fab drummer. And a bassist with the same bass as me. And they’re jolly lovely people, all of them. Whether they do a cover of Begin The Beguine, I’m not sure. Top marks.

We’ve also ventured out to Oxford last Friday, uncharted territory for us. It went well enough that we were asked for autographs. If you missed us, we’ll be back.

In the meantime, it’s all rehearsing and songwriting. It’s been a while since we debuted any new songs, but the three that we have – Taggart, Trouble At The Garden Centre, Your Friend – have all started feeling like old friends already. I submitted five new songs back in March, and we’ve finished working up one of them, which we may play next Friday if Sharon’s as confident with it as the rest of us are. Speaking of Sharon and next Friday, she’s taken the plunge and finally written us a song. And, as we all knew it would be, it’s ace. It’s very Flyers, but also something totally new – I certainly don’t think anyone else in the band could have written something similar, so it adds a new string to our bow. It’s called Weekend Works. Look out for it.

More excitingly, we’re returning to the studio on Saturday. It’s been over six months since we recorded anything, so the backlog is growing again. We’ve got a new four-track EP in the pipeline, so we’re recording for that, and if we’ve got more time, we’ll put some other backing tracks down. I’m especially looking forward to walking along Brick Lane in the sunshine and grabbing a bagel for lunch. James, meanwhile, is looking forward to three or four lunches from the food stands near Rough Trade. Alas, there’ll only be four of us in the studio as John’s away, so we can’t finish anything, but it’ll be nice to get some songs at least half finished.

Oh, by the way, what do you think of the website? Isn’t it pretty?