2005

23/dec/05

We haven't quite ground to a halt yet for Christmas! We started a proper recording of our newest song today: 'Living By Numbers' although we've still got plenty of older ones to do.

On this mp3 is a guide vocal from Dave with a guide guitar, guide bass and guide drums... i.e. everything you hear will probably be modified and replaced at a later date, but it gives us a starting point.

basic track with guide vocal for 'Living By Numbers'


21/dec/05

We've gone back to look at the basic feel of this recording of 'More I Cannot Say' from a while ago. You'll find the original down the page a bit.

For all my conviction about drum loops at the time, I have come to the conclusion that it was too ploddy and not enough variation. So now the loops have been replaced by a slightly latin feel and also some piano.

The main worry now is whether parts that were in the original have the right feel for the new version. Jury's out right now...

We're going to do a bit more tomorrow and then it's Christmas, so I guess an enforced break is obligatory! Shame how everything has to grind to a halt.

working mix of new treatment of 'More I Cannot Say'


15/dec/05

We've been doing a lot of recording lately including a lot of work on 'Who Can Be Certain' as you will hear. It's a quirky little number mainly in 7/4 time, but seems to be well received when we do it live. Here is an almost finished master.

We have lots more to do on the recording front so stay tuned to this page and I'll put stuff on whenever I can.

Oh and happy Christmas!

roughish mix of a smooth version of 'Who Can Be Certain'


1/dec/05

Dave was on holiday in Brittany last week. While he was away he finished a song whose basic idea was featured on Nov 1st.

Click on the mini disc recording to hear the song being whipped into shape today. It's called 'Living By Numbers'.

mini disc tryout of new song 'Living By Numbers'


11/nov/05

We were working on a new version of 'Need To Know' today with Boo singing it. A rough mix but this is now fairly near completion.

Our new keyboard (see below) makes its first appearance on this song. The guitar part sounded like a piano in the first place so we thought we'd go the whole hog... The guitar is there if you listen carefully, doubling the piano.

rough mix of a new version of Boo singing 'Need To Know'


3/nov/05

Dave singing 'Need To Know'

We've already recorded a version of Dave singing 'Need To Know'. However, we've now changed the vocalist and added some piano on a completely new version which we started today. There will be a rough mix shortly.


1/nov/05

There's been a lot of work going on - mainly arranging for piano. Dave has discovered that he can play a fairly basic keyboard part into the computer, print it out as a score and get Boo to play some fiddly bits using the dots. This sure does open up some possibilities!

We did manage to work on a bit of a guitar idea today in between playing piano. The mp3 is an idea using a banjo picking technique on the guitar i.e. with the bottom string being use mainly as an off beat in the rhythm. This is a bit reminiscent of one of Dave's (unrecorded) tunes from years ago called 'Hawkwind Dancer'.

Anyone got a long enough memory to remember that one?

new idea laaaaed to on the minidisc.


6/oct/05

The keyboard renovation department has now finished its hunt for the perfect production tools ending in the purchase of a beautiful stage piano (a Kawai mp4) which can also be used as a controller for recording purposes.

This has inspired both Dave and Boo on the keyboard playing front, although it may take a little longer before they are proficient in using the new gear... as you can hear if you click on this mp3.

Having fun though!


21/sep/05

Still not got going again yet since the summer hiatus although we have done a couple of very enjoyable gigs.

We've taken the opportunity to update the keyboard department for recording and Dave has bought the item opposite (Triton rack) as well as Atmosphere which is a soft synth for the computer.

Between the two of them there is a vast potential soundscape for our work in the studio, although of course we are basically acoustic and we will try to keep our recordings representative!


23/aug/05

Dave has been looking after Rocky (pictured right) while Boo went off to Spain. Yesterday owner and guinea pig were emotionally reunited and the song below was completed.

It's still called 'Who Can Be Certain' and we've now knocked it into shape. We'll be doing it at our next gig (Crouch End Queens, 8th Sept).


2/aug/05

'Who Can Be Certain' - a rough idea - hot off the minidisc

This is Boo working on this hideously complicated and idiosyncratic 7/4 idea just before going on her hols to Spain.

The tune is provisionally called 'Who Can Be Certain'.... and who can be? The title could well change as could just about anything else at this stage. Not many words yet. Mainly la la ing.


20/july/05

Today we intended to record 'Windfall' which we've been doing at gigs for the last few months, but we found that the middle 8 was still not right, so we decided to rewrite it.

This might not be finished yet!

'Windfall' new middle 8. Rough version.

'Windfall' old M8 from a while back (see below)


30/june/05

We've been recording a master version of a brand new song 'Nothing's Going Wrong' over the last couple of days. We decided to record this one before we've even gigged it in the hope of capturing some of its freshness... but could we play it? The answer is yes! Very quick for us.

This was take 2 - vocal and guitar done together by necessity as you will hear. We aimed productionwise for a Don Partridge feel on this bluesy number - with Beatle overtones.

'Nothing's Going Wrong' new recording rough mix


21/june/05

Dave's prolific patch continues and today we tried out another new tune called 'Nothing's Going Wrong' (as if we hadn't got enough to remember already!) whilst running through the other new numbers in preparation for St Neots Folk Club this evening.
As you will hear, the song is only an initial tryout and is nowhere near ready for any gig yet. The huge clunk in the middle is Boo getting carried away with her shaker playing and accidentally hurling it across the room!..

'Nothing's Going Wrong' minidisc tryout


31/may/05

A new tune written by Dave this week. This is called 'Living On Light' and you can hear the dynamic duo working out some harmonies and bickering as usual on this mp3>>>>>>>

'Living On Light' minidisc harmony 'discussion'


25/may/05

This is a tune we've been recording this week, again using drum loops for the foundation. Boo ended up doing most of the harmonies on this one (as the harmony below didn't sound too grand when we recorded it) giving it a nice airy feel.

We now have 2 tracks more or less in the can for the next album. I think we're going to record and produce a song anytime there aren't any gigs, so we're not left with a huge mountain of work to do in one go further down the line.

'More I Cannot Say' monitor mix.


The scene at Doghouse this week


6/may/05

A rough mix of our work on 'Need To Know'>>

New recording of 'Need To Know'


24/apr/05

We've been recording 'Need To Know' this week. It's been the first serious recording we've done since our last CD and we've really enjoyed it.

Two things have made this a bit of a milestone for us. Firstly the purchase of a Mesa Boogie preamp for recording electric guitars which makes that whole process a lot more accessible. Secondly and most importantly, we've used a drum loop instead of a click to start a track we want drums on. (Live drums are NOT an option in a home studio!)

Click tracks are very hard to play to and you generally have to put the instruments down roughly in order to then program a drum part. You then have to go back and record the instruments again. This going back and forth can go on for ages before the track starts to sound coherent... by which time you've lost interest in the track altogether!

This time the loop has immediately inspired a good performance from the instruments and the song sounds great almost instantly. Also, if you can find the right loop (played by a real person of course) the drum part sounds a lot more convincing than programmed samples could ever do.

I'll put an mp3 on this page when it's a little further down the line.


18/mar/05

After a lot of running through the new numbers they're beginning to sound like songs, with the parts and harmonies worked out (if not always in tune!).

'Will You Be Mine' has so many words and so few breathing places that there is not enough oxygen going to the brain - at least that is reason given for not being able to remember the words!

Boo's new song 'Windfall' taking shape

Dave's new song 'Will You Be Mine'


8/mar/05

We're continuing our efforts to get our own new songs under our fingers. As soon as we feel like we've got one sussed, another comes along and puts us back to square one. One of the consequences of writing new stuff I guess, especially when it is pretty complicated like they are at the moment.
We have been working on a new Dave song today entitled 'Need To Know'. This is the fourth one since our last CD. Other new songs are: 'Windfall', 'Will You Be Mine' and 'More I Cannot Say'. We'll be doing them all at the gig at Stortfolk on Thursday. We won't be recording them until they have settled down a bit via a few gigs, but hopefully before we get too used to them!

Here's a snippet from the minidisc...

Need To Know - basic idea


29/jan /05

We've finished off two new songs this week. Boo's song is 'Windfall' and Dave's song is 'Will You Be Mine'. We will be rehearsing them for next week's gig in Wivenhoe where we hope we'll be able to do them justice!


19/jan/05

Our gig at the Liberals last Friday (14th) went well and we introduced a drum machine for the first time to a folk club. We only used it on about 4 numbers as opposed to 14 numbers at the Queens on 6th, and we thought they'd throw a fit (there are some clubs where they would). Nobody blinked and not many even noticed!
Both the gigs this year have gone really well using our mechanical friend and have given us some inspiration and a certain amount of groove not possible without it. It's made one or two pub gigs much more viable - venues being scarce.

Boo came up with a new song which we worked on today (she only writes one a decade), and it is quite folky and will probably be called "Windfall"


This is as far back as it goes!

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