SATURDAY 5th JANUARY
This was one of those days where songs start to arrange themselves. One particularly satisfying surprise was a new tune called You’re On Your Own Now. When I wrote it I was very conscious that it would probably come to be filed in the “guilty pleasures” category rather than “high art” – being, as it is, essentially folk rock. Early run-throughs with the band very much took this line, Cleg was on mandolin and Biff on the cello, giving it a sort of Oysterband feel ending on a heavy instrumental gallop, almost Lindsey Buckingham / Fleetwood Mac Big Love territory.
Well now it’s become a spaghetti western. Don’t ask me how. That’s where the song wanted to go and so that’s where it has gone, we just followed it there. It’s even got the sound of an old Mexican church bell in the background (Dan and I pitch-shifted our dinner gong – well one has to amuse oneself somehow). Admittedly the only thing that makes this bell sound Mexican is that I was imaging the farm village in The Magnificent Seven as I struck it. Sometimes the only special effect you need is imagination.
We had a guest join us today. Sam Moffitt is a superb trumpet player, semi-finalist for Young Musician Of The Year and about to start a masters at the Royal Academy of Music. Gifted swine. He’s been working away with Biff on some wonderful brass arrangements.
During the day we also got the last of my rhythm guitar parts down, some of Biff’s cello and three more of Cleg’s lead lines. In the evening we turned our attention to kitchen percussion – sampling the boinging sounds of woks and water, along with the usual bottles, pans and utensils hit with cutlery. We discovered (much to Dan’s dismay) that one of the best sounds on Earth is that of a metal tray striking a bass player’s unsuspecting skull at high speed.
Ah, the unmistakable, unfakeable sound of cartoon violence…