Tuesday, January 28, 2003

another rehearsal whizzes by but this time I'll keep it short.
We made lots of noise.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

A proper rehearsal today, though no Andy, who is off encountering the psychedelics of Love tonight (the pop group, not the emotion). When one person isn’t at a practice it always seems a little strange, you can hear the gaps where he or she would be. Funnily enough though, when you know, for example, a bassline quite well you can kind of hear it in your head even when it isn’t there. Nevertheless, it isn’t quite the same.

Tonight was good though; we played a few of the oldies, slowing cranking ourselves up in volume with each song, and Ali making idle adjustments to his drumkit and sabotaging himself in the process, via new, wrongly weighted drumsticks (sheesh, what a muso) and his adjusted bass pedal. Of all the oldies I was best pleased with Get Away, which we tried to imbue with a little of yesterday’s carefulness, and managed to find new spaces in the noise. Turning to new songs, we had a great time with Sleepwalk, which is shaping up as a great little song, churning away grungily for the first half before Pete’s guitar goes off like a sparkler at the close, leading us to a chiming countrified end. It sounds really nice.

I’d put together a couple of demos in the week and we spent a bit of time working on one of my new songs, which I think we called Islands though that might change. Victoria has accused me of ripping off XTC on this one, and she’s right. It was one of those songs which we played together quickly and satisfyingly, though it needs work. Another simple and maybe promising one. We ended, as is our wont, with an abrupt version of I want a cigarette, within which I screamed myself hoarse. It hurt.

Monday, January 20, 2003

The first in a happily active two days of Assistant activity, just when I was wondering when I'd next get the chance to play. Last week Victoria got a new job which was such good news it felt wrong to rehearse, so while the rest of the band went along as normal and played without me, me and Vic stayed in. Or rather, went out and had a celebratory drink.

So yesterday afternoon, when I went over to Pete's flat to play guitar for a couple of hours, it was, if you'll pardon the expression, fuckin' great. Really nice to do it, and strange that some of our songs seem to work so well acoustically, even Get Away, which tends to get pounded into submission when we play it as a band. Some observations though... I am knock-elbowed; shifting them outwards to accomodate a stretched-out chord is near impossible - I need someone standing nearb y to wrench my arm outwards at the crucial moment. Secondly, my fingers hurt. I sound like I'm moaning now, don't I? Thirdly, I love playing guitar with other people.

I couldn't be less like a bedroom-bound guitar-huggist. Playing alone usually leaves me irritated, unless I happen to chance upon something I like; I don't play just for the pleasure of playing. But I love intermingling the experience of playing with someone else; it's fascinating and fun. It also seems improbable, creating such an improbable sound; all the notes bouncing around off eachother.

Afterwards we went for a drink with Victoria and Andrew. The Belle Vue, the pub at the top of our road, has recently been bought out by the owners of The Freemasons. They've added some lights and hiked up the prices. Hmm. Thanks guys. But we went to The Freemasons for the first time and it's lovely. We aimed for one pint and ended up drinking three or four, as usual. My obsession growing, I talked about html. What has happened to me?

Join the Assistant mailing list here

Enter your name and email address:
Subscribe Unsubscribe

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Been spending some time working on the website, and finding it quite enjoyable actually learning something about it - went through the site yesterday adding meta tags and all sorts of instructions to robots, and enjoyed doing so. I am a techie at long last. I clearly have my priorities wrong, eschewing the rock and roll life and immersing myself in javascript. Thankfully, that's not wholly true, although the rock and roll lifestyle hasn't quite kicked in (good). Actually, you wonder whether any of us are 'living the dream' - Andy can be found extolling the virtues of Chichester Council's Rights of Way department these days (as a sliver of evidence), and Anne-Sophie is decamping to Luxembourg, leaving us with a 5 month long no-keyboards-void! She will return though and is Assistant. Meanwhile we went to the pub last night rather than a gig at Casablancas. Ah well. Happily we're not totally devoid of musical inspiration - I spent twenty minutes editing a drum loop from Can's 'Hallelujah' last night, inspired by Andrew's recent forays into Reason, a computer music tool thingy. Which brings the circle back round to computers! And now I must abandon my diary to write cover copy for a book on (eerie, this) javascript. (because i am at work, and m u s t w o r k m u s t w o r k m u s t w o r k ) ah.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Went to the pub with Ali and Carrie last night and tried to make some plans for the coming months. Some of the things that we're going to try to do in the next month or two include..
- finishing off old songs; we've got about six or seven unfinished songs which need tidying up and being sent off into their world so that new ones can grow in their place
- recording: we're thinking we might try to get a live studio recording of our set; not through an MD, a proper recording
- gigs: we'll get some - possibly trying to play with the fantastic The Feline Dream, whom we like.
- demos; we're building up a list of local press / industry / gig contacts but if anyone out there knows of newspapers, venues, clubs or websites which may be of interest, or which may be interested in Assistant, do let us know by emailing us at assistantbrighton@yahoo.fr - we're always grateful to friends, and have long memories...

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

(spots pattern emerging) No rehearsal last night as Ali's band, Over Sea Under Stone, played at the Freebutt - me, Pete, Anne-So and Sam went to cheer them on; they were loud and a bit pissed off; few new songs and um it looked like they didn't want to be there. I'd still take them over a million Electric Soft Parades or Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disasters though. But Luke, really... stop wearing sunglasses. Please.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Ah, I like Christmas carols, although I realised the other day that, the odd memorable bit aside, I don't actually know the words to anyway. Any sing along instigated in the Shipley household would mean a lot of 'hmm nnng la-la-la'ing. Luckily, no such chore was required; a few dirges buzzed away on the radio in the background, but Christmas back in London with my family was a reasurringly irrelegious affair - the nearest we got was a Bob Dylan compilation I bought my dad (Dylan was, apparently, God, but the he went 'electric' and became the Devil, something like that, I dunno, I'll ask Pete).

Well we didn't get another rehearsal in before Christmas, which is why the site hasn't been updated for a couple of weeks and the diary has no new (pretentious, I'm informed) musings. So today's diary entry is rather less band-related than usual. I haven't yet seen everyone from the band again so I dunno how their Christmasses went -well, I hope. Rehearsals and diary entries proper will resume again soon, I promise....