Days in the life of a songwriter 29

Right, it’s been 5 weeks, how did that happen? I went to two Jordan Reyne gigs in that time, one at the Dublin Castle in Camden and one at the Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell. I probably prefered the second one but only because the sound was better. Jordan was great on both nights. Amphibic played a gig at 93 Feet East on 29th of February. We had Ben on the drums, Nick on piano, Imogen on cello, Rachel and Tom on violins and myself on singing and guitar duties. The sound was good, even though our sound check was slightly compromised by not having everyone there and Ben managed to arrive during the first song and blend in halfway through that tune, which actually worked really well. It was an early slot and some people missed it because of that. We were on from exactly 8pm till 8:30. A friend got in touch the next day, saying they got there at 8:29 and were told, we were only playing for another minute!! And sadly, they were bloody right.

Met up with our Finnish drummer friend Jari the next day and had a drink with him and his grilfriend down Notting Hill way. He’s going to supply some drum recordings from his studio in Finland.

We also went to see the Tall Poppies at Home House, which was a night set up by a lady called Sefe Greg. There was also someone who would be fantastic on any X Factor type show (but very good really) and an offering more to our liking, called ‘The Cellophane Flowers’. Just checked the gig was on March 6th….

On the 14th of March I went to the Phoenix, off Cavendish Square, for a day of songwriting-master-class-fun with Martin Sutton who has been doing this very thing (writing commercial songs) for a number of years. Met a few interesting characters and some nice folks and had a pretty good day, including writing half a song amongst about 17 of us, within about 15-20 minutes. I was quite impressed by our collaborative effort. I have since dug out some old and good songs of mine and am giving them a once over ‘Martin Sutton’ style. The main thing for me, comes down to, ‘not settling for the first thing that springs to mind’ type of approach. Trying different lyrics (or melodies) for a given line in the song. He told us he was pitching a song to Barbara Streisand at the moment. I thought, wait a minute, I’ve got a song for Barbara too ……Oh, then I left my guitar in the pub, which i noticed when I was going down the escalator’s at Oxford Circus, ahhhhh.

My mate Atul had his musician’s meet up at the Comedy Pub on the 18th, so I went along and gave my two cents’ worth of wisdom if asked (and also when i wasn’t asked, well you know if you know me….) There’s a link to Atul on the right hand side here.

Finally got round to repairing an old Drawmer Compressor (DL231 since you asked) and I might keep it as it is a pretty smooth sounding piece of kit in engineer speak. Might sell my Symetrix instead. The Amek BC2 strip is working but it’s not as great as I was hoping it would be. So will stick to the old Alice preamp for the time being. This week I’m going to up the ante by buying a version of Komplete (Native Instruments virtual instruments collection). Almost enough of the geek talk, but also got my old Oktava MK219 out, which hasn’t seen any service the last few years, upgraded the transistor in it and a few capacitors (the grille went years ago), and it really is a fantastic mic. Just waiting for some brand new brass mesh. I will be doing a mic shootout over at Tigersonic studios with Felix Macintosh there in two days’ time. I will take along my Royerised MXL 2001 and the modded Oktava 219 and possibly my Sennheiser MD421 which works great for me on vocals too.

I think that’s it for now, next installment in about 2 weeks I reckon, be good.

Forgot to mention that Aussie company Hook, Line and Sync has accepted some Amphibic songs for their catalogue. So hopefully there will be more synching going on soon.