Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Gigs gigs n more gigs...

It's all Breezy at the moment. Jamie just told me about another good gig in Witney mid-sept, which I'm happy to do. Should be a blast, a birthday party!

I've been working hard on the Warwick 4-string with heavy strings, in particular playing "parallel universe" by the Chilipeppers using the 3-finger right hand technique I use for fast passages. It must have worked, I picked up the 6-string yesterday and found it so easy to play it was a great laugh! This will now be added to my practise schedule. I'm also considering the benefits of quitting Coffee: I'm sure I read somewhere it's bad for your joints in the long term.

On that note, I've noticed a slight stiffness in my ring finger last joint - at the tip - which vanishes when I practise: perhaps this is my body's version of cold turkey. Practise or seize up! I suppose I should keep an eye out for wear and tear, after all I've been playing for about 18 years now (half my life!) and I haven't slowed down a bit (apart from not playing Iron Maiden all the time with 2-finger triplets - I was very proud of that, try playing "somewhere in time" all the way through playing all those triplets with 2 fingers! I discovered later that Steve Harris - for it is he - uses 3!) - so I should keep an eye on my joints. I'm on chondritin and glucosamine as joint-protectors so hopefully I can look forward to another 30 years of this insanity!

the kid question
The incorrigible Joseph Reeves - who is most likely the only person to read my ramblings here - posted an interesting comment to my little metaphysical notes about having children which has set me thinking once more about the whole topic. I considered this morning that the fact I haven't made a big positive decision about it (i.e. "yes, I'll do it") might indicate that I still have the same attitude as I always have, that it's just not compatible with modern south-east england existence, cost of living, loss of capitalistic comforts etc, but I then second-guessed that and remembered that I'm actually a rather risk-averse person. I tend to believe that I can't do something, so I don't start it (or it seems that way from previous experience of stuff I've done).

Joe also expressed things in a rather eloquent fashion from one musician to another - "The difference between someone else's kid and a kid you're really close to is like the difference between the loud shite music of the inconsiderate bastard next to you on the bus and performing in a band."

I hadn't thought about it that way. But it does rest on the premise that you want to bond with the kid in the first place - surely you only put up with stuff because you want to?

This is a most interesting internal debate, which is doing a great job of filling the 38 minutes to and from work (when the M4 isn't shite, that is)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Last thursday's Breeze gig... I feel like a proper...

It's not that I don't normally, but usually I'm content to keep quiet at the back and get endlessly self-critical about the way I'm playing things. Something about last thirsday was totally different though - Steve (drummer) and I were on something in the air, I think, totally wired - reading each other really well (jay noticed). And I took - gasp - a solo which - double gasp - I enjoyed!

Seriously, you've never heard such a mangled midsection in Long Train Running - I went totally batshit. Really enjoyed it, dug in hard on the Warwick. I actually took a bow at the end of the track and meant it!

Got big kudos off the crowd who wanted to yak about it as well - big shout to the bass player guy who also has a warwick, see you this thursday mate, same place, same time - 10pm at O'Neills in Oxford!

It's grand being a musician, it really is....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Embarrasment of riches...

Well, I'm much in demand it seems :) Got a first meeting of Project X (as I will call it for now until it becomes something concrete!) tomorrow evening - I'll take along my gear but I suspect it'll be something of a jam session to get to know people, which'll be fun, I haven't stretched my legs in a band scenario in a while (it's been a good few weeks since the last Breeze gig!).

Speaking of Breeze, was hoping to get together before thursday but the evenings this week after monday all got used up before we had a chance to get a room (so to speak)... still, I've done a lot of work on "tell me baby" (some of it in the car - harmonies on those choruses, very nice), Chili's latest, and I'm now pretty confident I can cover that track well enough! So thursday's gig may contain it... ? We'll see. One of the guys from Panasonic says he might drop by and check us out. The guys have that new PA as well, I'll be asking how much gear I need to bring: maybe stack jr will do... speaking of which, looks like I'll be changing the setup again soonish. If we move to a smaller place, I've got too much amp gear. Way too much! I need some lightweight cabs with lots of projection and power handling, which are smaller than the full size 4x10 and 1x15 Warwicks I have now. Could cost a bit, I'm wondering about Eden or bag end or whatever boutique crap contains those rare-earth magnets that give you big power handling. Watch this space.

Oh, and Jay from Breeze (bless 'im) threw me some dep work which I might take on - it depends on time, really, how much I think I have - all this work is in the oxford area and I live near windsor, for 'eavens sake! But a Madness tribute act with lots of work? Could be fun ;)

Either way, the late summer of '06 looks like it's not going to be boring, and you can't say fairer than that.

And Andorra, while not thrashed out in detail yet, is still on... oh yeah

Cheers m'deers

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rebirth of a rebirth??? :)

Something this way comes...
An interesting week, this one! Breeze is getting well underway in Oxford, O'neills gigs a gogo until the end of the year - and the guys have got themselves a new 3K (yipe!) PA! Total stars they are. I've also got another interesting proposal on my desk (so to speak) which might come to something interesting... won't say more now, don't want to jinx it.

I've been digging into Chilipeppers stuff HARD on the Warwick 4 string - fingers tingling at the tips every night, I'm determined to be up and ready for the first Breeze gig in 1 weeks time. Jay is cool with getting together to work on a couple of new ones including "tell me baby" - the current Chilis single - which will go down a storm! The bass is classic slap flea, really simple and grooving. I think I should be able to hold down a vocal harmony on the chorus if I'm lucky. Hopefully the PA will improve my gravelly snore-ravaged tones... :)

I hadn't realised how out-of-shape my hands were until I really started to dig in. Not fatigued per se, they just wouldn't do what I asked when told to work hard! Quick enough.... just no power. So it's bass weight training time!

And it's fun too. Just realised I should take all the CDs for the books I've got and get them onto the iPod. Why didn't I do that sooner? Could then do that slap course with so much less hassle! The portable Sony CD player I've been using has a MASSIVELY loud "beep" when you press keys - why?

Wierd. Japanese, eh? Who can fathom it.