Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Drums and bass

I did half a day in the studio yesterday. Julian, my producer, came down with a chronic migraine during the morning, so we had to call a halt to proceedings, which was a terrible shame, as I felt that we were destined to end the day ahead of schedule and we now seem to be behind. Poor lad could hardly see the computer screen. We were attempting to record me playing the melodica. It's quite a piercing sound which can't have helped Julian's head. When I started practising the night before, Nathan was forced to leave the room!

Today is a big old day. It's the first point of no return; the stage at which we have to commit to keys and tempi for all the songs. The session involves recording drums and bass. We layer songs from the ground up. After drums and bass comes the guitar, then piano, then strings and then finally, the vocals. As you journey through the various sessions, the songs start to come to life.

So in the absence of a session yesterday afternoon, I did a heap of admin. There's still a heck of a lot to sort out. I'm still trying to track down two performers for the album (a cellist and a singer) and don't really have enough time to deal with the questions which have started to come thick and fast from the performers I've already booked.

I'm very much enjoying being in Crouch End, however. It's such a genteel place to mill about in, and there are some wonderful little cafes and restaurants. The place is laced with memories for me. I lived here, a life time ago, in 1996 and it really hasn't changed that much. It was a funny period in my life. I was at drama school and living in a miserable bed sit. I had a little fridge, a sink, a baby belling oven and a mattress on the floor. The bedsit was in the attic of a rambling Victorian mansion. Bathrooms were shared. An enormous window looked out towards Ali Pali and I used to sit and enjoy watching the tiny matchbox-sized busses passing in front of the building.

I was desperately lonely. Coming to London is a a major shift for anyone. It comes with the sudden realisation that you are utterly insignificant in the world. I used to walk down to the 7-11 (now a Costa) just for something to do in the evenings. I also used to listen to late night radio, and for the first (and last) time in my life, I understood how some people become obsessed with radio presenters, and start to view them as their friends.

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