With things hotting up on the music front – see previous post – I thought I’d try and record a weekly summary of what I’ve been up to music wise.
It’s all happening at FO2 headquarters!
We’re squeezing in one more rehearsal this week before going to the rehearsal studios in Pease Pottage to record some video for the website. With some of the songs being over 11 minutes we will probably produce a montage of them, or at least extracts from as many as possible. Last time we were there we had recorded the session, but it really was a ‘work in progress’ day, in preparation for the Borderline gig. This session is aimed at just producing some useable material for the likes of Youtube, hopefully giving a taste of the band live.
Elsie and I are doing well with the new material and we’re looking at having a complete set under our belts pretty soon. Tracks that are stage worthy are:
Sonata in Z (original FO)
Have I Left The Gas On? (original FO)
Skeleton In Armour (original FO + ‘stage ending’ by FO2)
Tracks we’re nearly ready with:
Secret Shadow (FO2)
Leaving It All Behind (FO2)
So I’m hoping the Pease Pottage session will include some of nearly all of these. Watch this space!
We’ve also begun updating the FO2 website, beginning with the large sized pics taken by David ‘Chinky’ Hewitt at the Borderline gig. These should be appearing on the website as we speak (read/write…whatever).
Plus (!) with an eye on an album release as soon as possible, I may be laying down a drum track at Ben Bell’s home studio – where we rehearse – this week. At this stage the idea is just to see what sort of quality we can get. If it turns out to be a no, we’ll be looking to lay the drum tracks down somewhere else, preferably before the end of July and before the Jackdaw Festival.
Oh yes! Next gig is at the Jackdaw festival, Colchester. Click here for the link!
Moving on to…
A great rehearsal on Friday at Sound Central Studios in Burgess Hill. As I mentioned in the last blog, Runaway Jack is nearing readiness for getting out there and sharing our stuff. Just one of the things I find really enriching about Jack’s music is the variety. So, as we ran through what may turn out to be ‘Set 2’, or the second half of our set, we had a couple of numbers featuring guitar virtuoso Graham on Mandolin, a steamy and heartfelt vocal from Paul on ‘Live and Learn’ and Gary’s very soulful rendition of a new number – “Runaway”. All topped off with the funk jam that Jack has taken as his theme tune – “Runaway Jack.”
As you can see from the pic, I use the studio’s pared-back kit for these sessions, partly because of limited time to set up and break down my own kit but also because it really suits Jack’s rootsy sound. Where FO2 push skill to the max, Runaway Jack is all about the feel of the song.
(I’m just a bit concerned that I haven’t actually seen Jack for a little while. I hope he likes what he hears.)
This week we worked on “Runaway” – extending it a little and adding in a repeat of the drum intro to round off the structure. For me this is a chance to pay homage to Cozy Powell, one of my influences. (Purists will point out how he was influenced in turn by John Bonham but we’ll go into that another day.) Cozy had a knack of rolling the bass drum licks of even the simplest beats to produce lots of energy – which is what I’ve tried to emulate on this track.
Have a listen – Runaway Jack Website – this weeks Tune!
I’m going to have a go at doing some sketches for the Runaway Jack logo this week and will post some up if the technology will allow.
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll leave you with something that made FO2 smile a few weeks ago. While discussing how Elsie could make use of the instrumental solo sections someone suggested that she play some percussion…more cowbell anyone?
- Musician or Manager? (rattledrum.wordpress.com)
- Runaway Jack Rehearsal (rattledrum.wordpress.com)
- Bands on the Run (rattledrum.wordpress.com)
- Reviews for Borderline gig (rattledrum.wordpress.com)