Wednesday, December 11, 2002

On Monday we did a song I've been working on for the last couple of weeks. It often works that way. At one point or other in the evening there's usually a stage when one or two people aren't ready to play; when Ali is sorting out his drums up or P is tuning his guitar. Tonight I started churning out the slightly sickly, grungy chords of my new song while we were setting up. Within minutes we were all playing along, trying to get to grips with it's odd-ish timing. By the time Andy has turned up (not long after; "Hi Andy, cold isn't it? The gig's off") we've added a chorus and it sounds great.

Having first started quietly and built the song up to a weighty squall, we decide to turn the formua around and start at our loudest. This means the song starts suddenly and agressively, before the calm sets over and Pete's guitar notes begin to break through the noise. Given we only played it for 45 minutes, this could be one of our best songs I think; I'll demo it and perhaps Anne-So, whose new, long, keyboard lead means she can join us in the centre of the room having previously been confined to the edges, can sing it. For the sake of reference, I'll call the song Sleepwalk, though that'll probably change. Most likely, having played it seething with the bitter frustration of losing the gig it'll never sound so taut or malevolent again. Well.

Meeting once a week with friends who happen to play in a band tends to mean the temptation is always there to put down your guitar and go and talk. While Pete, Ali and Andy worked on an old song of Pete's (yet a new one to us) which, frankly, was a little beyond my ken, me and Anne-So mucked around, settin up a second keyboard and musing on the possibilities of a six handed piano solo. Over our chatter Pete picked his way through a beautiful piece of melancholy guitar which we'll have to return to. From that we came to another of his songs, one which I think I heard him play at the Sussex Arts Club night the evening I met him. Played on Monday - at first - I couldn't quite see how such a naked song could be approached by the band, but once we got going with it and it picked up a fraction of pace it started sounding really promising - Anne So's keyboard throwing up some zig-zaggy notes which had me thinking of the clarinet lines on early Mercury Rev records. This could be a really good song for us, I think. It's when we stab at songs like this and run out of time that the passage of time between rehearsals seems to stretch on forever. I can't wait 'til Monday.

Looking back there's nothing to suggest that the rehearsal went badly; three new songs to work on, several bottles of Grolsch (sorry Anne-Sophie, I'd forgotten the KKK) and nice to see everyone. But I think we all felt so disappointed about the news that everything seemed discoloured. Never mind; we'll make up for the lost gig and when we do maybe we'll play the new songs....

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