Sunday, December 12, 2004

assistant dethroned

Our reign of glory is at an end; alas - we were defeated tonight in Claire Kember's Demo Clash by Billingshurst's 'Civilian', who manifestly marshalled their troops more efficiently than we did (naturally I prefer this explanation to the one which suggests that the general public preffered them to us). So that was a shame. But just as I make a point of always supporting whoever finally knocks England out of the World Cup, I shall be lending them my vote in this week's competition, just to show that I am sportsmanlike and forgiving. In the meantime, I shall be complaining to all and sundry, denouncing their song as crap, and demanding that Claire initiate a recount...

We had a low-key rehearsal this afternoon which was interesting and fun, and - after a cold walk up to Pete's house - fundamentally necessary as it was about the only thing we could do to warm our fingers up. Eschewing rock and roll behaviour for a pre-play rider of tea and coconut creams, we worked on three new songs and some backing vocals for You Should Know and Easy to Leave.

The new stuff then: first up was a newish track of mine called Sixteen Months, which I don't think I've mentioned here - a fairly breezy pop song which kind of recalls the Kinks at times, and Pavement at others (the chorus's 'I've got a secret for you' self-consciously ripping off the latter's 'I've got a sister or two' from Trigger Cut). Pete's contribution lent the affair a slightly Suede-esque swagger, and it sounded pretty good. It won't really take shape 'til we do it in a full rehearsal, but it was a good start.

Anyone reading this who follows events closely will know that we're cursed by problems with keyboards in Assistant. We think we've finally sorted these out with the acquisition of an external soundcard for AS's laptop, so we're once again looking to use Reason's many sounds in a creative way when we write songs. Improvising something new yesterday, we started from a clattering arpeggiated synth riff which at times seemed to imitate the sound of a train, and worked out a long, rolling sequence with a bubbling Krautrock bassline, Pete's guitar and me shamelessly intoning a haphazard Damo Suzuki impersonation over the top. Momentarily deprived of her keyboard by an interfering me, Anne-So did a good drawing of a wolf, too. Probably it was meant to be a dog, and she'll correct me now. All the same, I like the association.

Lastly, I finally got to hear a track of Andy's which I never heard the first time the band played it (in my absence at a rehearsal a few months back). Getting to hear it this time involved a great deal of watching Andy twiddle around with his 303 synth, trying to put the thing back together from it's various parts and get it back in the right key (recording to tape tends to be easier), but once he did it was lovely; another smooth, krautrocky rhythm with Andy's Sonic Youthy guitar over the top. The others gradually picked up the tune and we bandied it about for a while, with just me instrumentless and not needed, watching agog.

Right. So, last week at work before Christmas now. Thank god. I actually managed to do a good deal of my present shopping yesterday, leaving me relatively well placed - I hope - for a quiet week...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

POST THE PICTURE OF THE WOLF!

jonathan said...

Ah, would gladly do so if I still had the piece of paper. Don't suppose you kept it, Pete? I rather suspect not, lovely though it was.

Powerful Pierre said...

Alas it is now in my kitchen bin, beneath potato peelings. Sorry Anne-Sophie!

anne-sophie said...

ok, ok i will draw another one by public demand; i m also quite good at fishes and pigeons if anyone has a preference,..

jonathan said...

can we have a duck please?

BB said...

Oops, first time I read that I saw "Andy's sonic Youthy guitar" (as per 'Killing Joke' and 'Brilliant') not "Andy's Sonic Youthy guitar". Nice!