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Blog: In, Out, Job Done

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I got on the train once again last night for CATFORD, and then down the road to Orange and Blue Studios, where i was booked in to record THE UBERSET!

The idea, as I've already GONE ON ABOUT, is to have a CD of my LIVE SET, so that when I do gigs and people say "Ooh, can I have a CD with [SONG A] and [SONG B] on it?" i can actually GIVE them something, rather than saying slightly pathetically "Er... well [SONG A] is on [ALBUM C], in a completely different format to how you've just heard it, and [SONG B] isn't actually on anything yet. Sorry." Hey! I don't like to disappoint people! ALSO i can use it when I need to send a CD off for getting a SOLO GIG, rather than, again slightly pathetically, saying "Well, i do do SOME of the songs on this CD, but not with a band, and a bit faster. Sorry."

ALSO, and most importantly for my COMFORT ZONE, I'm going to get them done in those little CARDBOARD WALLETS, as they are approx. 3,000,000 times easier to LUG AROUND in a rucksack than the equivalent number of CDs in cases. HOLA! Everyone's a winner!

The CD will also feature a small MULTIMEDIA SECTION - Mr Pattison has questioned the wisdom of selling people purely SOLO CDs, as that doesn't provide much GATEWAY to the brightly coloured world of The Validators, and he is CORRECT, so as well as the usual LYRICS for each song there'll also be information about the album from whence they came AND for each album one or two FREE SAMPLER TRACKS! This is, i think, GOOD VALUE, no?

That was the idea anyway, and things looked GOOD from the off when I turned up and was offered a cup of TEA. NICE! Orange & Blue is basically Malcolm's living room, converted into a PROPER STUDIO with every bit of KIT you could wish for, but still a living room. THUS there were SOFAs in the room with me, and also PEOPLE. Malcolm had suggested getting an audience IN, and though i must admit i found it a little off-putting to start with, once i got used to it it was a BLOODY GRATE idea, ESPECIALLY when we got to songs with Audience Participation. It was like doing a LOVELY GIG, and it was also much less LONESOME than recording can sometimes be.

Also there were two small kittens. Aaah! Surely Mariah Carey's agent must be booking a stint in Catford even now?

I started off by doing a few quieter songs, including "Fly Me To The Moon" and "We Only Ever Meet In Church" which AREN'T for the album but ARE to be part of my session for Marcelle Van Hoef's programme. As well as these I did "The Perfect Love Song", "Good Luck In Your New Job", and "I Come From The Fens", before THE AUDIENCE officially came in. We then ROMPED through another ELEVEN songs, and a mighty fine time was had. It WAS like doing a gig, except i was allowed to stop and start again a couple of times when i cocked up (though sometimes I didn't bother - "The Lesson Of The Smiths" goes a bit wonky at the end, for instance, but it FELT so good I've left it as it is), and I even did SECOND TAKES for "The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B)" and "Work's All Right (when it's a proper job)". Here's the full list of EVERYTHING i did, in APPROXIMATE order of recordings:
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • I Come From The Fens
  • Fly Me To The Moon
  • We Only Ever Meet In Church
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Red & White Sockets
  • Things'll Be Different (when I'm in charge)
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Work's All Right (when it's a proper job)
  • Fucking Hippy
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It's a LOT isn't it? As I say, it felt like a GIG, but this did mean that i felt rather GUILTY when it came to COACHING the audience. For instance, i quite fancied having some Audience Participation on the "This Is Not A Library!" bits of "Things'll Be Different", as otherwise that section sounds a bit DAFT, so PRACTICED it with everyone first whilst things were being set up. We did similar with several other songs, and though it DID feel a bit like cheating, it sounded GOOD. We DIDN'T do it much with "Boom Shake The Room" though, which ALSO worked nicely as it's a lovely way to END things, a bit raggedy and OBVIOUSLY at the end of Quite A Long Session. The audience, they were GRATE!

    Malcolm, Simon (Malcolm's cousin and APPRENTICE) then retired to the other room, where we spent a couple of hours MIXING. MOST of this time was spent deciding which bits of cheering/other audience noises to keep in, and also DELIGHTING in the VERITE of hearing bits of CREAKING CHAIRS and, at one point, my HEAVY BREATHING as i played a Difficult Bit in "We Only Ever Meet In Church". We finished just after midnight, and so after some MANLY HANDSHAKES I headed off into the night for a Mini-Cab back to Leytonstone.

    Now I've got a bit of a RUSH on to try and get it all finished, but i'm well chuffed with how it sounds, and soon, dear reader, you may be able to hear it too!

    posted 20/9/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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