First rehearsal in over a year!

We finally got Jamulus working and after showering (bike ride left me covered in mud!) I set up the PC and prepared for a rehearsal with the new project band (name to be decided).

I can’t believe how well it went! Apart from the lag, which to be honest you do adjust to, it was a really beneficial songwriting session. I finally got to contribute some ideas into the project including both rhythmic and chord progressions and we’ve pretty much structured the final piece at last.

I’ve already changed a couple of previously written pieces too (including adding a rather Sowetto feel to one of the songs – I do love the African and Caribbean rhythms). For Sowetto think Gracelands.

We recorded the session using the only inbuilt recording technology too!

We reconvene next week… Who knows what will happen then!

Why didn’t I do this years ago?

I’ve used all sorts of recording methods over the years, each of them having various complicated cabling paths.

Now it turns out there’s a really good one shot gizmo to do it all.

Its a Focusrite Scarlett solo. Perfect for me! I don’t need any fancy stereo for my setup.

I’ll be doing some work on Ostalgia this weekend!

Fishy Happenings

My third gig with Strangefish last night. It was a long day…

I started at 7:30am – I had planned to be at the venue at around 10:30 and with a 2 hour journey ahead I needed to be ready.

Freshly showered and breakfasted I set off – only to make much better time than originally planned. Aren’t the motorways dead on a Sunday morning (apart from the mandatory middle lane owner’s club).

My route took me down the M6 Toll… And since I was on the “posh road” I thought I’d call into the country’s most exclusive service area. Only because you have to pay a toll to stop there.

Norton Canes Services. Britain’s most exclusive motorway services.

After a brief stop I carried on to The Robin, arriving there at about 10:15. The organisers and sound guys were already there so I loaded my gear in (my bass amp was being used for all bands).

The rest of the morning was pretty much spent waiting for the rest of the guys to arrive, and since we were partaking of a full soundcheck (our gear was being used by a few bands) we were rather lucky!

The rest of the day was pretty much spent fooling around and socialising, although I did have a walk into Bilston in an attempt to find a sandwich of some variety. I failed. It was closed. All of it.

Mexborough or Bilston? It’s hard to tell. One has trams…

Come 6 o’clock we started getting ready for our performance. That, of course, involved blowing up inflatables (we have a thing about inflatables in this band)

Bob found the golfing supplies…

The gig itself was superb. I’m sure more photos will be coming soon, but for the moment all I have is a few camera phone ones. There were some seriously good cameras in there though.

We take our bows.

From a heatwave to flash flooding.

The song four seasons in one day was very apt yesterday. From waking up to a little drizzle; then spending a couple of hours walking in warm sun, to the day ending with torrential rain and flash floods.

I played around with my new DJ software yesterday. It’s called “djay 2” and although it’s not as comprehensive or pretty as the 3D one I’ve been trying, it does allow you to load stuff from Spotify and use it in your sets.

A bit of It Bites on one deck with some Genesis on the other (not their best album, but Domino is for me one of the last breaths of a dying prog band before they became full pop).
I connected my bigger PA up and ran it through the 12 channel Behringer. It’s much nicer sounding than the tiny practice PA I have, but much less portable.
This will come in useful for Spirit of Prog gigs!
Speaking of Spirit of Prog – we now have posters!

Two of these gigs are doing very well. The third is concerning me. We can’t afford any failures whilst we still have no money in the bank.

Rehearsing with the Fishes… Again!

Yesterday was our final rehearsal before the forthcoming Sheffield gig. We went through the usual stuff, and had a couple of runs through Delicate.

The decision stands that it is officially in the set!

Also compared body sizes… Paul has huge hands!

But short arms!

I wonder if that means he’s a particular creature?

I also got a photo of us with the chimney

But the short video was more fun!

Wardstock!

Oh yes our annual return to Wardstock. A great little private festival with 6 bands playing.

We just did a short half hour set due to the nature of the event, but we went down well as usual.

I was very brave! I wore white jeans, and then spent the evening avoiding grass stains!

A bloody hefty weekend!

Again a hefty weekend. It all started on Thursday when I did my talk for the Astronomy Club. It was called “Take it to the bridge” and was all about movie and game fictional space craft and if their technology could work.

Friday was a long day of fixed wire electrical testing. A seven board job with poor paperwork so I had to do a major investigation.

The journey home was a two hour slog due to major traffic problems across the county after a fatal accident at junction 34 to 35 on the M1.

The planned Rock the 80’s rehearsal for that night didn’t happen as you can probably guess.

Saturday was Hannah’s auntie’s 70th down in Oxford.

I wore white jeans. Then I remembered why I don’t often wear white jeans! Mucky arse!

After arriving home at after 9pm and going to bed later than planned I had to get up the following morning for the Strangefish rehearsal. 7:30am on a Sunday is quite painful…

Arriving in Bury for 10 we spent most of the day running through the new songs, plus we introduced three additional faces to the band – a couple who will be joining us onstage in July, plus Jake our sound engineer who will be sorting us out!

It was a hot sweaty day. We ate cake. We rehearsed. We went home.

Great gig!

It has to be said that Saturday’s gig was probably one of the best we’ve ever played! The crowd were brilliant and really up for it. The venue was a nice place and we played so well. Tight and sounding great. We’ve since had a few posts go online and a review which always makes it feel worthwhile. We’re still on 100% verified 5* ratings.

It was the hottest gig in ages. The suit in the first set was dripping by the end. I’m glad I remembered to take a second suit though – I always remember at weddings (strictly it was a vow renewal) that there will be at least 3 cobalt blue suits in the audience. You don’t want to look like the guests do you?

It was a 10:30 finish for us, although Jake couldn’t finish DJing until half past 11 so we broke down the stage whilst he finished off and got all the cases ready to go, and then whilst the guys loaded the van I packed down the PA and wrapped all the speaker cables.

Of Giggage the First

I presume you’re wanting to know how the first Strangefish gig went? After all the build up has been huge from my point of view. About 6 months since I joined the band and we’re doing our first big gig.

Ok so the arrival time was rather early, 2pm, as is always the case with these things. Bob was later than the rest of us but soundcheck went incredibly smoothly. We ran through my most nerve wracking song “Progress in Reverse” and then disappeared off the stage for John Hackett and then Encircled to do their sound checks.

At 9:30 we took to the stage for my first gig with the new band. I can honestly say I’ve not been as nervous to take a stage in years.

Continue reading “Of Giggage the First”

Strangefish Rehearsal the ER… Fifth?

So we are now dangerously close to our first gig in the lineup and I’m looking at it thinking “wow that’s close!”. It’s next Sunday!

Yesterday was our final rehearsal before the gig and we had last runs though the material, tweaked a few bits, and generally played very well.

Unlike the last rehearsal where Steve was poorly we were up to full band again. All six of us.

To see the photos you’d think all we did was wore silly hats though!

We also discussed stage wear, which for the guys is an interesting concept. They’ve never really done the “specific” clothes before. Of course I have the Strange Fish trousers, and the Shark/Kitten shirt. But it’s now becoming a confusing matter of what to do…

The problem with the strangefish trousers is that I can’t actually find anything that goes with them! The shark shirt, on the other hand, makes anything you pair with it look ridiculous.

I have an idea though…