Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gigs that are not janeiro

never fear, silent watching millions. I'm not moonlighting. I'm at Ally Pally in london (holy cow, free parking!) to see, yes see, Franz Ferdinand. Late getting here, but thankfully only missed the first act. Phew. Thank you tomtom, I'd never have thought of using the M1.

In other news, the warwick pro tube ix head i use has gone phut. regular readers will know TNT totally shafted it shipping it back from a warranty job, but I got it working OK then. It's finally unresponsive to my efforts. Arse.

Another warranty jobm NO TNT this time.

Sigh. still, the ever-ready ccl combo stood in. cool.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tinker Tinker!

Good rehearsal last night, bit long - I was knackered by the end - but long for a good reason, we had a rethink of a couple of areas of some tunes. Cream of the Crop sounds MUCH stronger now, and the intro is going to have some people really smiling :)

Tonight's gig will be a test of how well I can remember things we worked out and learned while I was tired: I should really always take the minidisc recorder and a couple of mics along. I'll be doing that in future, it's a great tip to record all of your rehearsal sessions if you can, then archive off the good stuff. With that MD recorder there's a really long play function which puts about 6 hours on one disc. The quality is low, but it doesn't matter: it's still about as good as a reasonable mono MP3, which means the structures and melodies are preserved.

Currently on the Pod: Kylie(!) - "Spinning Around" - great bass playing on this track from a bass player I can't find the name of: really tight playing, with great note length choices and a neat line in bubbling octave/5th reaches at the end of a bar. I'll have to try to steal that one in the right place!



Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Totally GREAT night at Bridge!

Wow, that was SOME gig.

As ever, soundcheck was basically finally achieved with minutes to spare (this brinksmanship stuff is scary!) - Dan and I can now play about 8 bars and the guys on the desk are happy, they're really settling into a fine groove getting our sound week to week, top stuff.

And the sound?

It was REALLY good. Our best yet, Neil says! Sorry - Our MANAGER Neil. Another step to professionalism! Woohoo!

We even got a [ really positive comment from a couple of loony dancers ] on the Janeiro messageboard. Cool! I've been printing and distibuting flyers with the Janeiro website URL on all over the place. Hopefully it'll pull in more traffic. I'd like to pull the mailing list onto the site itself soon, so we can have info to hand on our legions of fans :)

I wonder how long it will be before I have to hand the website over to professionals? That event will be joyful, tinged with perhaps a small amount of regret. It is fun having some control of it!

Anyway, great gig. Lots of good comments on the Bass sound - fat, dense, not overwhelming everything else, all the good stuff I like to hear - and the monitor mix onstage was so good that I was sort of in a "pocket" - all I could hear was Dan's drums, SOME of Terry's keyboards from the drum fill and Terry's monitor. The guitars and vocals were on the other side of the stage - wierd! I was wearing emergency earplugs though, they're a bit more vicious when it comes to rolling off the top end.

Things are looking interesting on the gig front too: we've got a gig at the Jerico Tavern in Oxford: the place where Radiohead, Supergrass and Ride were discovered and signed(!), although it has to be said that was all 10 years ago. Can you believe the place was theme-pubbed???? Turned into one of those soulless "It's a scream" crapholes! Someone's taken pity on it and resurrected a fine music venue. Excellent.

Right, I'm off.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

An announcement... shortly!

It's going to be a good one, fear not. After Monday Janeiro should be fully managed by the Great Neil Ferris, a man of energy, enthusiasm and distrust for PCs (a Mac man, and the better for it no doubt!). Neil's got plenty of history in the industry, and he's been scooting around talking to friends (he's got some GREAT friends!) about us and generally (I believe the phrase is) "biggin' us up".

Excuse my dip into hoodiespeak, I am over 30 but I'll try to keep up with anything for the sake of the band. Heh!

Should be a great gig next tuesday: we've got the same sound guys, and it's good to be building up a rapport with some new guys (although we really need to get set up faster, soundchecking should be a little less time-constrained!), the sound last tuesday was great. Nic's going to come see us and take some video, which I will hopefully be able to get onto the website if I can locate the cable to stream it off the camera lol

..:: Totally different tack... ::..
My extended family covers most of the world, and I've often thought that one of the reasons we tend to get on well is we don't live in each others pockets: we've got a yahoo group which we all post to occasionally when there's news to post about, like marraiges, etc (hatches, matches and despatches, so to speak) - it's a cool family to be in.

Speaking of cool, the entire house is like one big wooden-beamed icicle. I'm freezing!!! You have to have some form of heating on all the time in whatever room you're in! I guess I need to bite the bullet and try to insulate and fill the gaps in the windows. This place seriously does leak heat like a sieve. God knows how much of the cash is going out of the windows and roof!!! I should try to take a look at the roof avec frost and see where it's melting to get an idea of how much lagging I need to do... including the end of the house with the enormous Wasp nest in it (argh) which I'll have to go cave-diving past the enormous chimnet to get to (double argh) after some daft builder put the water tanks in the gap (D'oh).

I've got to go practise now. The Korg Pandora Bass thingy I've purchased is top stuff: the aux now has my iPod plugged into it and I've been getting down to some serious playalong like I used to a few years back: all I need is a coupld of cables, the pandora and the iPod and I'm in bass heaven, plus I can do it anywhere. Even in a tour bus (crossed fingers for later)...

Speaking of tours, Students are fickle beasts, ain't they? The Janeiro tour got chopped down a fair amount when a whole load of venues didn't confirm: I suppose I should have checked before I stuck them on the website, but I was in something of a frenzy at the time. Oops!

Oh, and don't use flickr to post to Blooger anymore, it's simply not working. Extra linebreaks, the picture causes the sidebar to plummet underneath the text on the page.... anyone'd thing blogger were knobbling it so people use their mobile blog facilities instead... shurely not? Slightly paranoid, but it's got to be said I'd have expected the flickr photopost to blogger to be working right by now. It's just not working, and hasn't for months..... what is going on?

Enough of this drivel, I have to exercise my fingers in other ways.

Stop sniggering.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bridge gig comes good!

We did it! we won them over! we reeled em in with slower tracks that groove, so less shock to their systems when we started, then cranked it up, and the dancefloor stayed full!

Everybody is totally relieved. This is a tough crowd in here, we're up against a disco upstairs which plays abba regularly and the dj down here plays straight RnB through garage to ragamuffin!

And we've got a gig in a good london club, oxford ball of some nature. Must've been the drunk polo shirt lads who danced like demons, bless em!

Sigh! Happy! And Jamie wishes everybody a happy evening and wednesday. And hello to his admirer on the janeiro messageboards:)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Andy W plus StreakyRed


Adjust your perception-that's Andy with a wig!


The guys think it's wierd, it's like a badly-gelled mushroom of shiny hair with red highlights. Actually, under a hat it's not that bad, first Nic, then George couldn't stop laughing heh heh

I'll be trying it out 2night...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Rhythm Section Session... cool

FMO solo entry,
originally uploaded by Spammy Spamton.
Great evening: Dan and I had a cool time working through some stuff and locking it down. This pic is the whiteboard in the studio, with my scribbles of the drum rhythm entry into Funks Me Off's solo sections...

We locked some stuff down, like the stuff we do in the verse sections of "Are you gonna keep me waiting"...

Hours went by, with only 2 people in the studio... and I barely noticed! Lots of concentration.

Waiting Scribbles,
originally uploaded by Spammy Spamton.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Ryhthm Method....

Stop sniggering, this is serious.

Well, not really.

Tonight I intend to inject some serious fun into Bass with a session of Dan and I going apesh*t in a funky style: a workout where I hope to stretch my chops and work on some technique in a way that playing songs doesn't.

I think it's a good idea: you can actually regress if you don't push all the time, and gigging regularly can have the opposite of the desired effect, i.e. becoming a better all-round musician! My hands are the strongest they've ever been, but I need some mind-biggening :)

Dan is always up for these sessions as well: I think I've yet to meet a drummer who is so energetic and fired-up about the bass/drum dynamic. He thinks we'll end up in the pages of magazines about the close-knit way we play.

I think he might be right :)

We've got a good mind-link happening, and sessions like tonight's enhance that.

Here's to it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Exhausted but happy :)

Well, that was one hell of a gig. The new PA guys had some great gear, but I suspect it was pretty much the first time they'd used it, and their flyers gave the impression they don't usually mix live bands... so Bridge in Oxford was, of course, going to be a great way of them practising ;)

Young crowd tonight too, I think we need some contemporary covers to pull them onto the floor before we play them originals: they get chased away by our stuff. The sound we keep getting in the bridge doesn't help either!

Plus, I was knackered. I need more sleep again...

Bleah. Hot choc and bed. Night all!


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

total blast!

that was a corker! a tues night residency gig that went really well! even my solo has high and low points, but tonight I actually enjoyed it, really dug in!

All round good stuff; only jakes rapid segue into cream of the crop left me playing a 4 string bass on a 6 string track! yipe!

pulled it off though.