Things are looking up; I'd spent the last couple of days slightly concerned that we only had one dedicated RPM rehearsal left before recording started, since the focus of this week's practice was to get our gig skills up to scratch for our gig with The Features in London. Was that enough?
However, even with time set aside for running through our 30-minute set three times (which sounds really, really strong now), we still had a productive RPM bout. Of chief note was a newsong that John pretty muchcomposed on the spot from two snippets he'd had earlier in the practice. He handed round the chords, demonstrated the beat, and it immediately fit together. In fact, it's probably the best thing we've done for the RPM yet. The feel is really cool- very hard to describe. Hippyish new-wave would be my feeble attempt. But it cooked on first attempt, so we hit record on the four-track for the second run-through, and now we have it preserved to work on.
James brought in two demos of songs he'd recorded over the weekend (with snippets of an article from Grazia instead of lyrics!), plus he brought his guitar to play us another new song. However, since James's guitar approach doesn't involve knowing the names of the chords he's playing, we agreed it'd be easier to get the demos sent round so we can familiarise ourselves with the songs and chords instead of getting immersed in the process of transcribing the whole lot there and then.
Nonetheless, this means we now have pretty much the basis for most of our album. I've dropped a couple of my untried contributions to the lineup since they were slightly inconsequential next to the wealth of material on offer (including the Eno one I was trying to write), so what we do have is very strong indeed:
1 John's New One
2 James's First New One
3 James's Second New One
4 Thom's Acoustic One (Working title: Never Land)
5 The Tindersticks One
6 The Hold Steady One
7 Martin's One
8 E Minor Jam
9 The Kraftwerk One
10 James's Third New One
The last two haven't been heard yet (James didn't get time to show us this), but The Kraftwerk One will present an interesting challenge; I'm really pleased with how this has come along, but don't want to waste time in rehearsal or the studio putting together a track that the others won't have much input to.
So, in a fit of bold experimentation, I've booked myself four hours at Studio Klank next Friday to put the track together myself. This will be a first in many ways; the first 'proper' recording for the album, but also the first Flyers song not recorded at Soup Studios, and the first to not have every member playing on it. It may be that the rest of the band will feature in some respects - it'll definitely need a singer and probably some guitar parts that are beyond my capabilities, but I'm quite looking forward to flying solo. Andy from Wintergreen (the band who co-own Klank) has offered up the use of keyboards and drum machines, so I'll be interested to see what comes out of the session.
In the meantime however, we have a prestigious gig at Water Rats to play tonight. See you there?