Looking for the beginning?

Looking for somewhere to start? Check out Song 1 here!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Song Number 35: Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap

Challenge Accepted!


NEARLY THERE!  If this song made you laugh, donate some money to Parkinson's UK.  If you thought it was in bad taste, it's not Parkinson's UK's fault - so donate some money to them anyway.  Then feel free to send me a stiff letter. http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek

Right, then.  Mr John Siely, a regular at the open mic sessions at The Guildford Tup, challenged me to write a song with this title.  I said I'd perform it at the open mic two weeks later.  Of course, what happened was I ended up leaving the song til the last minute, so this was written in the hour before I was due to go on stage with it. 

And today, I was in no mood to argue with the technology in my studio, which was sulking about something, so it only took half an hour from start to finish.

On to song 36.  And of course the gig - yes, the gig.

Tuesday 27th September, The Bedford, Balham

FREE ENTRY!

Plenty of parking at the Sainsbury's across the road (at least there was last time), and the station (National Rail and Northern Line Tube) is just around the corner.

The night also features Big Mamma's Door (excellent blues band) and Anna Phoebe (classic rock electric violinist. Yes!)

This is my favourite venue in the capital, with the best sound and a great atmosphere. The gig will also be streamed live on the internet at http://www.justin.tv/thebedfordlive

We'll be on pretty late (10 o clock start, we reckon), but get down early to see the rest of the acts, too.


COME DOWN and see my wonderful band - they deserve your support, because they're all splendid musicians.  Don't believe me?  There's only one way to find out...

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Song Number 34: Ballad of a Slow Man

With apologies to Dylan fans everywhere...


We're almost there, guys - just another couple of hundred to go and we'll have hit our £1,000 target.  Please, if you haven't already, do your bit and pledge a couple of quid to Parkinson's UK at www.justgiving.com/songaweek

As you know, I've been trying to write lyrics away from the studio, which is something I've struggled with for a while.  I'm getting better, though - Me and The Morning and Fallen Down were both written before the music, and I'm quite pleased with both of them.  This time I thought I'd try something that lends itself particularly well to blurring the poetry/music divide: the folk ballad. 

Wanna buy some mandies, Bob?

So here it is, my attempt at an early Bob Dylan-type ballad.  I wanted to tell some kind of a story, but couldn't really think of anything that grabbed me.  In the meantime, I played around with the all-important first line.  Once I'd got that, the story (or rather the situation of an old man waiting for a lift - literally) presented itself readily. 

Recorded in one take, with the vocals through a Rode NTK and the guitar through an SM57 - it doesn't sound half bad, especially when you consider the strings are the self-same strings I boiled for Track 6!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Song Number 33: Fallen Down

Another one bites the dust...



We're almost there - but let's not get complacent! PLEASE DONATE SOME PENNIES TO PARKINSON'S UK NOW! justgiving.com/songaweek

So what's all this racket at the beginning about?  Well, I had a drum beat playing on the computer, while at the same time importing a CD.  Perfectly in time with the beat, the "Import Finished" noise sounded. 

And that's about that, really.  Transposed melody in the second verse - I like doing that.

Rehearsal today in readiness for the Bedford Gig on the 27th September!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Bohemian Rhapsody and other maulings!

Great fun at the Guildford Tup last night, listening to some cracking performers and meeting some lovely people.  The set included plenty from the Song A Week repertoire, as well as a dust-off of Work To Do  and a totally off-the-cuff rendering (if that's the word) of Bohemian Rhapsody!

What's wrong with Brian's face?!


Particular thanks to John Siely, who has challenged me to write a song with a particular title - come down to the open mic at the same place on 21st September to hear the result!

Also, hallo to Michael the Magpie from Apex Corner McDonald's!

Next on the agenda:


Tuesday 27th September, The Bedford, Balham

FREE ENTRY!

Plenty of parking at the Sainsbury's across the road (at least there was last time), and the station (National Rail and Northern Line Tube) is just around the corner.

The night also features Big Mamma's Door (excellent blues band) and Anna Phoebe (classic rock electric violinist. Yes!)

This is my favourite venue in the capital, with the best sound and a great atmosphere. The gig will also be streamed live on the internet at http://www.justin.tv/thebedfordlive

We'll be on pretty late (somewhere between half nine and ten, I reckon), but get down early to see the rest of the acts, too.


And in the meantime, I've got the next three songs all on the boil at the moment.  It's a busy few days/weeks/months ahead, but I'm confident about catching up and getting these songs done and dusted. 

If you're new to the site, check out the "Why Parkinson's" page, and have a flick through the songs (the "Just The Songs" page might be most useful there), and please, please, please donate some money to Parkinson's UK.  I'm not doing this for the good of my health, you know!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Song Number 32: Last Time You Break My Heart

And that's it for tonight...


There's a bonus point for anybody who can guess where the drumbeat at the beginning comes from. 

More fiddling in the studio for this one, though the title/chorus came to me in one go before I set foot in there.  The second verse ("I'm taking steps...") is a bit of a Talking Heads reference and there's a Linn drum machine clap in there I've been wanting to use for ages.


If it's good enough for Prince...

Unfortunately, over the month I've been away, having my throat raped by air conditioning, my tuning's gone to pot, my tone's back to that horrible whine I've been trying to get away from for so long, and I appear to have forgotten how to mix a track properly.  I've not been well, people.

CAN PETER PULL IT TOGETHER IN TIME FOR HIS GIG ON THE 27th SEPTEMBER AT THE BEDFORD, BALHAM?  WE'LL SEE, BUT IN THE MEANTIME DONATE SOME MONEY TO PARKINSON'S UK TO MAKE HIM FEEL BETTER!

Song number 31: Me And The Morning

Back in Blighty...


... and while I quite like how this song moves around, my throat's still not up to the challenge. 

It's about my love of the English weather, especially in the morning.  Early mornings are a bit of a novelty for me, really, so when I do see them I love them.  Even when it's cold, grey and drizzly, there's a wonderful feeling in standing there in your kitchen with a nice warm mug of tea, with that slight nip in the air.  It's one of the few times when I feel happy to be apart from the rest of the world. 

One more to go for tonight's update...

Song Number 30: Bakelite Lady

By this point, I was starting to have trouble...


Recorded in a terrifying old house in New Orleans, this one features instruments sold to me by the wonderful CJ of Amro music, Memphis TN.  However, after a fortnight of hostile temperatures and equally evil air conditioning, my throat was really starting to suffer...



I might also add that the flute sounds out of tune because I was using somebody else's guitar that they'd left in this house, and it was flat.  I didn't dare tune the thing up for fear of breaking a string, and on our month away every music shop in the US seemed to be closed except Amro, which was a 9 hour train journey away.

Song Number 29: Peppermint

SONG A WEEK LIVES!


This was written and recorded at 7 in the morning in the bathroom of a Chicago hotel room.  I can't play harp at the best of times, but when I'm trying not to wake the neighbours it's even worse. 

The kick drum is the hotel room safe.

But I'm not stopping there...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...