Friday, 17 May 2013

Jodie Prenger

Knackered beyond words. Struggling home from Limehouse with a suitcase and four Sainsbury's bags filled with the ingredients for two large vegetarian lasagnes that I'm going to have to make tonight as I'm in the studio all day tomorrow and won't have time to cater for our Eurovision party otherwise. 

Trying to be as zen as possible about the situation, but these bags are bloody heavy and this is Bank Station at rush hour on a Friday night and there are queues of people everywhere, many of whom seem to think I'm deliberately bumping into them with my bags. To cap it all, I need a wee.

We've just finished a long, gruelling, tiring, yet ultimately exhilarating session in the studio, which started at 10am with a very special guest: Jodie Prenger, who I can now reveal is our soloist for the Four Colours EP. I didn't want to say anything before she'd done the session in case I jinxed it, or disappointed anyone if it fell through, but she's in the can and she was fierce! 

More than anything else she was a joy to work with; unassuming, unpretentious, unflappable. We drank tea. She told comic stories. Her favourite swear word is "fart", so every time she made a mistake we heard the word reverberating around the studio. I was proper thrilled with her work and some of the phrases she sang were absolutely beautiful. There's a Streisand-esque quality to her high chest notes which  I found particularly attractive, particularly when it cracked slightly. Singers often despair in me because it's always the quirks and mini-flaws in their voices that I find most alluring. I welled up on a number of occasions during Blue. 

Jodie left at 11.30, and our session with Ivor, the guitarist extraordinaire, started at noon. We worked through lunch so that the BBC didn't end up paying for any studio time spent recording Jodie, and finished at 7. That's a long session, but there was a heck of a lot to do. Ivor is playing on 5 of the songs in a mixture of styles, and switching between acoustic and electric instruments. At one point I thought we were going to time out but we got there in the end. 

There's one song about the estate in the 1970s which came alive with a Pink Floyd-meets-Twin Peaks guitar riff and 40 Second Warning, our bizarre tribute to Ian Drury is getting more exciting by the minute. Bring on the strings! 

I suspect I may have to work late again tonight to write and format the last song in the piece. Quite how I'm going to survive tomorrow, I've no idea. I woke up this morning, jumped out of bed when the alarm went off and realised I didn't know where, or more worryingly, who I was!! 

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