2007

forward to 2008

31/dec/07

Getting over Christmas, colds and guitar repairs on the most depressing day of the year.

My tip for avoiding any feeling of missing out on New Year celebrations? Eat some left over turkey from the Christmas dinner around lunchtime today and by evening you'll be feeling so ill even Kenneth McKellar sounds good!

Happy New Year!


21/dec/07

Today we decided to ditch 'Mother' (see below) as we've been through so many revisions of this new song that we don't know what to do with it really. We also agreed that we don't actually like it, which is fairly crucial!

So.. out it has gone, and as Boo was the singer, the Dave and Boo equilibrium has been restored by Boo now singing another banjo song: 'Now You Tell Me'.

This is also a new one, which has the distinction of being in 7/4 and in C played in a G tuning. Have a listen to a practice tape on the mp3 opposite. Getting quirkier...

Oh and a happy Christmas to all our fan.

Now You Tell Me (rough minidisc recording)


7/nov/07

We've been working on lots of new things but the tune featured in the mp3 opposite has been very slow developing.

We have already done it at a couple of gigs but we've not been happy with it and so bits have been changing all the time - in the structure, the playing and the harmonies.

It's a Boo song called 'That's What My Mother Should Have Told Me' in which we just about manage to remember the latest revision for today...

That's What My Mother Should Have Told Me


11/oct/07

Sorry but I haven't got enough time to stick an mp3 on here at the moment. We are (happily) up to our ears in new songs and there is another one on the way now which has originated on the keyboard. This will be the fifth one since our album.. if we can ever get any words for it.

Boo can be seen here learning the keyboard part. However as some of you may know, we do not drag a keyboard round on our gigs, so the idea had to be transferred to the guitar.

This process is more successful some times than others as keyboard orientated songs are often very difficult if not downright impossible to play on the guitar. This one was unbelievably easy - although not something I would ever have written on a guitar - which is what makes it very interesting for me.

Here are some dots so you can work it out on your guitar or piano if you like...

D&B keyboard idea 11th Oct 07


25/sept/07

Another new song was completed over the weekend and rehearsed today hopefully for performance at the Poetry Cafe on Friday.

It's called 'There Are Days' and it's got quite a history! The tune was actually written in 1976-77, but the words were only achieved a couple of days ago. I say 'achieved' because there have been numerous failed attempts to write lyrics for this one as it's got a very pretty tune.

That makes it 30 years between conception of music and completion of lyrics! For some reason they happened in a couple of hours one morning last week. What's more, it seemed very simple and without too much tearing of hair out. Everyone who has heard it so far has burst into tears - which is the desired effect.

Should be interesting on Friday!


18/sept/07

Working hard to get 2 new songs in our heads for our gig in Dorking. We actually have 4 new ones on the go at the moment but these two: 'Don't' and 'My Mother Should Have Told Me' are now complete and ready to be slaughtered tomorrow night.

The other one on the lyric page: 'Now You Tell Me' is a horrendously complicated banjo song played in C in open G tuning (awkward) and will make its world debut at the Poetry Cafe a week on Friday on 28th Sept - if our little brains can cope.


14/sept/07

We've had to remove all the old mp3's from earlier 'work in progress' pages back to 2005 as we needed the space for new masterpieces in progress. The pages are still there.. but without the soundfiles. The mp3's on this page will play however.

Sorry if you wanted to groove on down to our past tortuous ramblings but there will be some new ones soon.


7/sept/07

There's been no time to update this website lately as there's been a hell of a lot of (new) banjo playing going on as well as some writing. We have loads of new ideas and have completed 2 of them - a jaunty little tune (featuring the banjo) called ' My Mother Should Have Told Me' from Boo, and a guitar tune called 'Don't' from Dave.

We're not recording them at present having had enough of all that for a while, but we shall be doing them live at our next gig at Dorking in a couple of weeks time.


27/july/07

This was Dave on his barge holiday in Wales recently having a great time.. battling the torrential rain and working on his image.

As you can see we're now back in harness. Here is Boo today working on her next epic.


8/june/07

What are we doing? Having a rest.

CD has gone to the manufacturer. Cover has gone to the printers and I'm plastering the bathroom.

See you on the 30th in Stokey!


25/may/07

We've now finished our CD and it has gone off to be mastered with the fab Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering. What is mastering? Good question. All I can say is that our tracks become much louder, sound subtly richer and feel like they belong on the same album.

So the album should be ready now within about 3 weeks and will cost £10. Of course we'll let you know when we have it if you're on our mailing list. Otherwise just watch this space.


16/may/07

Album update:

Things are looking much more hopeful this week. Our problem track is now sorted and we'll be doing the mastering very soon. You should be able to buy a copy in a month or so.

Here is a snap of the intended cover of 'Living On Light'. Thanks to Paul Howard for the photo editing and Liz Simcock for the original photo.


10/may/07

Sorry but we're going to be a little delayed with our album. We're re-recording a track and removing two others from our initial running order. This is all in an effort to make something we're proud of, rather than just something to sell!

There will still be about 40 mins of running time (if you buy your music by the yard!) and we feel that there was too much content as it stood. Less is more sometimes you know?!!

So please bear with us and we'll let you know what we're up to a little further down the line. We are working our socks off in an effort to get the thing finished though.


1/may/07

We're doing the last bit of recording on the last song 'Living On Light', which has quite a few BVs on it as you can hear here:

We're starting to climb the walls a bit now and can't wait for the album to be finished. The rest of the tracks are in the can and mixed, so we'll be done with this soon won't we? Let me out of here someone!


18/apr/07

We're still in the studio, mainly doing final mixes for the new album (there is still a problem track) and we'll probably be done with that by the end of next week. After that we'll be into the mastering and manufacturing process which will be a lot quicker than all the interminable faffing which goes on artistically.

We had a photo session last weekend, during which nearly 200 shots were taken. Here's one we actually agree on - and that is quite an achievement!


10/apr/07

After a really enjoyable gig at Hitchin FC over the weekend, we'll be listening to mixes and fighting over the cover today. A photo session is lined up for Sunday as we need a specific kind of photo of ourselves we don't yet have!...?.. mysterious huh?

All the tracks bar one or two now have final mixes and we project a release date in June, so keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned...

OK back to work.


24/mar/07

Work has been halted for a quick holiday (sorry fan). Here's a snap of Dave enjoying his day out in Cleethorpes.

However we are now back in action ready to tackle one or two awkward mixes for our new CD which is provisionally called 'By Numbers'.

Most of the mixing is done however, and there is now some cover artwork plus a pretty good running order. We're aiming to have it available within the next couple of months.


2/mar/07

We have been adding some finishing touches to one or two of the earlier tracks we recorded for the forthcoming album. There are now some extra backing vocals plus big changes in the mix on 'Your Heart Says NO', and various alterations have also been made to 'Living On Light' - one of my favourites.
A running order is now being seriously thought about (always a headache) as well as what we're going to call the damn thing - not to mention the artwork!

Here's a (not that) rough mix of 'Light' with flanged compressed bass, way back telecaster and shaker added - all with a view to giving the track a bit of a groove. Oh, and a tiny little bit of oboe...

'Living On Light' rough mix.


20/feb/07

Oh no the oboe!
We were rearranging 'Will You Be Mine' today, making the woodwind instruments more prominent to give the track a little more character.

Now, in addition to the clarinet and bassoon, there is an oboe played by the maestro (left).
It now sounds convincingly Elizabethan - to the extent that when the 12 string (tuned to 5ths of course!) enters, it sounds more like a harpsichord - probably because that's what you're expecting.

'Will You Be Mine' woodwind intro.


13/feb/07

Antidote is now pretty much finished. Here is the end result with Harry's piano on the track (see below).

With the banjo and now the mad saloon type piano, it does actually convey the noble sentiments of the song, which is all about falling in love and not wanting it to go away again - no matter what. A football crowd has got in there somehow as well!..

We have now finished recording our new album but there will be some titivating to be done before we want to release it. There will be a fair amount of remixing and some overdubs yet to be done before mastering, so don't hold your breath!

The 14 tracks recorded (not in any running order and not necessarily all going on with a total running time of 46 mins) are:

Antidote
More I Cannot Say
Catherine (instrumental)
Who Can Be Certain
Your Heart Says NO
I Will Never
Internet Blues
Knifegrinder From Ontario
Living On Light
Need To Know
Living By Numbers
Will You Be Mine
Windfall
Nothing's Going Wrong


2/feb/07

So much for 'not a keyboard in sight' (see last entry)...

Our good mate Harry Bogdanovs was round today putting down some ace piano on 'Antidote' which really was the biz.

We were left with 10 takes in various stages of coherence but all of them added loads to a track which in our humble opinion already sounded fairly happening.

MP3 to follow soon when we've done a bit of editing.


26/jan/07

Work continues on 'Antidote' today. The backing track (consisting of bass and drums plus a guide banjo and guide vocals) was done yesterday. Today Dave redid the banjo, added 2 acoustic guitars panned wide and later a bit of shaker.

Next week we shall re-do the vocals and then probably some backing vocals (try and stop us!). Not a keyboard in sight so far (except in the photo that is). (a lot of brackets in this aren't there?)


23/jan/07

Here is Dave using a new pop shield today. It certainly stops the pops, however it's not great for nods and winks. Also new is the mike suspension holder which means feet can clomp mercilessly throughout a recording and not be picked up through the mike stand.

We were recording a banjo version of 'Antidote' to a 132 BPM click (picture). We were also editing the arrangement a bit to cut out a bit of chaff in the middle.

Rhythm will be added in due course and the banjo, bass and vocal will be re-done after that.

This is now the 14th new track recorded for the new album which gives us more than enough to choose from...


11/jan/07

Well... another year, another song. Just back from New Year in bonnie Scotland - as seen on the homepage.

Just lately we've been thinking that we need a banjo song for the new album. Recently we also resurrected an old song from our album 'Snaps' called 'Antidote'. The two things were not connected, but Boo came up with the brilliant idea of making 'Antidote' into a banjo song. This seemed next to impossible at first, as the song starts in E (not good for a banjo tuned to open G tuning). However the chorus modulates to G, which is where the banjo needs to do its thing.

Here's a snippet of a try out...

Rough banjo version of 'Antidote'

Have a listen to the original Antidote here.


back to 2006