Trip To London, Part 2

Posted in Pop Culture, Special Events on February 24, 2011 by WeeMann


Rob’s arrived and now we’re getting ready to head into town for a quick beer before the main event.

Trip to London. Part 1

Posted in Pop Culture, Special Events on February 24, 2011 by WeeMann


Spent the morning in the First Class carriage of the Virgin Trains service to Euston. Very nice trip, must do First Class again some time. I’m now sat in Starbucks waiting for Rob, whose train from Hull has been delayed.

On the way here I passed the Shaw Theatre, the location for the Live Aid rehearsals for Queen.

I can’t say more about why I’m here yet, but the above is a small clue…

Studio Blog 10

Posted in Bands, Recording on October 13, 2010 by WeeMann

21:30. Finished Devil’s Tree. Once I got into the groove it got quite easy and I realised it was quite a straightforward structure. Eventually Mike had to leave, so Steve and I finished off the final overdubs.  Again, with Steve being a bassist, he’s great with the ideas, and one of the last fills was lifted to higher levels by his insight.

As we were packing up we listened back to a track we recorded a few weeks ago. On the night I knew I wasn’t on form, but I really didn’t like what I heard tonight. Looks like we’ll have to book another session…

So, that’s all 8 tracks recorded with one that I want to re-do,  it’s been a productive weekend.  Mike’s re-recording some of the guitars but otherwise it’s all ready for mixing.  I’m not sure what his plans are for these tracks, but if I can post them on or link to them, I will – I would welcome any feedback about the bass work.

In other news, it looks like Alchemy will be playing in Hemel Hempstead in December.  A gig we were due to play a couple of weeks ago was cancelled at the last minute when we discovered that the stage was an open barn on a farm – just a roof, and that leaked – on one of the wettest weekends of the year! Still, this gives us an excuse to get together again for beer and curry while we rehearse new songs for what will, undoubtedly, be a Christmas themed gig.

Studio Blog 9

Posted in Bands, Rants and Moans, Recording on October 13, 2010 by WeeMann

20:00. Just took a short break for sustainance.

Started work on Devil’s Tree, a relaxed jazz style affair that’s right out of my comfort zone, so I’m getting Mike to direct me section by section. It’s a lovely song and has the potential for a great bass line just as long as I can get into the groove.

It turns out that Mike has had the same treatment by Ade from Usual Suspects as I did – Ade’s been rehearsing a couple of guitarists behind Mike’s back.  Turns out they were coming into the studio to rehearse tonight, taking Steve away from the desk for a couple of hours.  Mike and I listened from upstairs in breaks from recording.  Doesn’t sound that great, but I know that will just sound like sour grapes. In my opinion Ade was always the weak link of the band, but it is his band, so sacking him and getting a new singer was always going to be difficult. Suggested we form a new band with Steve and get a new singer…

Studio Blog 8

Posted in Bands, Recording on October 13, 2010 by WeeMann

12:30 As expected I’m here first.

12:43 Not as bad as expected! He’s awake!!

16:00 Just finished Perfect Moments. Ironic as there were many moments which were far from perfect in the first couple of run throughs! Towards the end of the song Mike had added some guitar parts which, rhythmically, follow the drum parts and which all differ. It took several attempts to get them right but I’m glad we didn’t take the easy route of leaving it straight, it sounds great now.

Six down, two to go.  Below is Mike looking all serious!


Studio Blog 7

Posted in Bands, F1, Recording on October 12, 2010 by WeeMann

Sunday 11:30. Just woken Steve up to see what time he’s getting to the studio. I’m betting it won’t be before me! He says he’ll be there at 12:30…

Been up since 6 as I was watching the Japanese GP so I wonder how long I’ll last!

Studio Blog 6A

Posted in Bands, Pop Culture, Recording, Special Events on October 12, 2010 by WeeMann

Sat 17:00. We ended up doing no more last night. Mike had to run and Steve and his brother got chatting to Paul, a studio owner from New York who they’ve met with and who seems to be very interested in what they’re doing.  A lovely bloke who’s worked with people like Bill Withers, Celine Dion, Natalie Cole and Michael Bolton, among others. He’s a bassist (which, based on his experience, made me a little nervous while I was recording with him in the room!) and it turns out he and I both had the same first couple of basses – a Maya and a Columbus. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s even heard of Maya before, let alone owned one! I had mine stolen many years ago, but I still have the Columbus, which is the fretless I used yesterday.

This afternoon I went into Birmingham with my mate Jason to see a bass clinic by Billy Sheehan, one of my favourite players. He’s currently recording the new Mr Big album with Kevin Shirley at the helm. Based on the results of the last album by Iron Maiden I’m looking forward to this.

Billy’s always used Ampeg amps, but has recently started using Hartke (my amp of choice). He hasn’t got his tone completely nailed yet, but it’s recognisable as his sound.  I videoed a couple of clips of him with my phone.  Unfortunately the sound was overloading the phone’s mic, but you get the idea!

The first is the solo section from Mr Big’s Alive & Kickin’ from their Lean Into album:

The second is a 5 minute solo:

For better footage of him live, check out this “Solo” duetting with Paul Gilbert:

Back into the studio tomorrow to finish everything off.

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