Monday, 19 January 2015

The Leeds Pals

It's nearly midnight on an icy January night, and we're only just leaving the recording studio after a twelve-hour day spent reining in hundreds of male vocals on the Brass recording. It's been both amazing and horrendous, utterly exhilarating, yet shattering in the extreme. I started the day with three pages of lists of sequences we needed to record and ended it with just one number yet to do, which is pretty good going, all things considered. We'll need to record the missing vocals at some point in the near future, because the thought of one of the most beloved songs from the show not making it onto the album is troubling beyond words.

Still, the majority of stuff we recorded today was beyond exquisite, and as yesterday, there wasn't a single person who didn't achieve something utterly spectacular, from Andrew Smith, Harry Hickey and Huon barking their military commands in perfect three-part harmony, to Andrew Nance's pinging top F sharp in Letters. Jack McNeil kept everyone laughing and Alex Cardall's fruity baritone voice shone it's way through the session like a chocolatey Brummie beacon.

Every now and again we'd hear something in the general mix which we'd recorded at a previous session, some of which seemed like forever ago! I heard a wonderful 'cello swoop today which was recorded before New Year, and then, soaring like a young Olivia Newton John over the roof of one of the songs, the dulcet tones of Hannah Lawson. When I auditioned her exactly a year ago I wrote on her notes that she was "one catch away from perfection" hardly knowing what a journey we were about to embark upon. And because of me, she'll always have the word Titty written on her CV!

One of my favourite moments today was hearing Robin duetting with the vocals his show-sister and homophone name-sake, Robyn, had recorded in the same tiny booth exactly 24 hours before. I love that the magic of recording technology can allow that to happen.

Just like yesterday, we were visited by many NYMT friends, including Victoria Bracey and Hilary Williams; two of the company's most generous supporters, a host of fabulous parents, Julie Clare and Little Michelle. Towards the end of the day I got a little fractious, and then a entirely delirious... but we got there. Well almost... And now we're heading home.

As we drove across Tower Bridge tonight, we saw a fox, as brazen as you like, trotting along the pavement to god knows where. Foxes on Tower Bridge? Whatever next?

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