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Blog: The Big Session

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I woke up in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT on Friday thinking "Why on earth are all these people talking in the corridor? SHUT UP! Don't they know what time it is?"

I looked at my watch. It was 9AM. BUGGER.

My vague plans to get up brisk and early, get to Derby EARLY for the afternoon's recording session, and then have a healthy walk through town were DASHED by a) my late rising and b) the LUDICROUS HANGOVER I found myself with. You know in cartoons when people walk around with ANVILS being HAMMERED inside their heads? LIKE THAT.

THUS I got the later train TAXIED across town to Snug, where I met Mr R Collins for many MANY much needed cups of COFFEE, also TO WORK. Tim has been in recently doing PRE-PENULTIMIXES of all the songs for the next album, and having identified JOBS my mission this day was to DO all of them.

We started off with All The Good Men, adding a sample of a HEN PARTY to the start, also instrumental sections, and putting down a GUIDE for some extra backing vocals I am suggesting for Emma to have a go at. Next we added the SAMPLES I'd recorded for Do More, Eat Less on Wansted Flats the other weekend, and had a brief but IN DEPTH discussion with Rich about the PHILOSOPHICAL IMPLICATIONS. I then did an extra VOCAL PART at the start of Red Black Gold which basically DEMANDS that it be the first song - it's meant to be a 1970s audio tape of someone saying "Regardez, ecoutez et repetez" and, as I don't HAVE such a thing on my person, we needed to recreate it. Rich did such a good job of making it sound genuine that it FREAKED ME OUT - it was a scary voice from the PAST, suddenly made real!

Next we added some samples of Russian Radio to the end of the next song before going on to Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid. For this I'd sorted out MORE samples, this time arranging them into the correct places (you'll see what I mean when you hear it) before doing THE MOST EXCITING OVERDUB: EVER. If you've heard us play it live you'll know there's an acapella bit in the middle, which Tim decided wasn't quite EXCITING enough. He asked for SOMETHING to go there, so I asked Rich i he could produce a RISING TONE. "Ah, Ligatto!" he said, and I nodded enthusiastically, as if I knew what he was on about. Turns out LIGATTO is Italian for "INCREDIBLY EXCITING NOISE which makes you think the entire room is EITHER going to EXPLODE or FLY INTO SPACE." It was AMAZING! When it was done we both sat their with HEARTS RACING! The NEXT album will be JUST that noise for 45 minutes!

We then used a bit of AUTO-TUNE (heresy!) on a couple of snippets of We're Old And We're Tired (and we want to go home) before adding a PAD to the middle bit of My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once. A PAD is STUDIO SPEAK for "Big sounding yet INCONSPICUOUS-ish noise which sits behind other sounds and makes it sound better/fuller" (which is why they tend to just say "pad").

Since I was at the KEYZ we next did some WURLITZER ORGAN on the second half of Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something. It's a LONG old song, and needs extra bits, and I was just adding some GENUINE Leicester Gigs In The Early 1990's CROWD NOISE to an instrumental section (take from tape of Genuine Leicester Gigs In The Early 1990's) when Tim came in and DEMANDED to hear what we'd done so far. He thus RE-DID the Russian Radio Samples and added EXTRA CACKLING to the end of Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid, while I popped to the shops for some GRUB.

I returned to find he'd added TAMBOURINE variously and we celebrated with some EGG CUSTARDS. The Tiger arrived around this point, bringing MUFFINS, causing Tim to reveal he had MINCE PIES. Egg Custards, Muffins and Mince Pies - we are like LED ZEPPELIN aren't we? It was my first Mince Pie of the year tho, it was LOVELY.

WELL FED I then went in and played GUITAR on the TITLE TRACK for the album, a new PIECE we have DEVISED. Oh yes! I did it to a CLICK TRACK, which Tim attempted to be DISGUSTED by until I pointed out that he had spent the past MONTH cutting and pasting things so could not exactly claim to be STEVE ALBINI. This song features FRENCH LYRICS - they basically SUM UP the "message" of the whole album (which, you may have noticed by now, is getting a bit CONCEPTY) but do so in FRENCH so that, well, so that it doesn't feel so WOOFY to be saying it out loud. There was MUCH discussion about correct pronunciation, but I think we got it in the end.

It was getting close to my TRAIN time by now, and all I had left to do was a new version of the GUITAR SOLO in We Can Start Having Fun. I tried and tried for AGES to get this right and just could NOT do it, so bowed to the inevitable and asked The TIGER to play it on violin instead. This he did, and then off I went.

In my absence much good work was undertaken by Tim, Tom and also Mr F A Machine who arrived shortly after I'd gone to do a TON of BRASS. I, however, was WHIZZING home where I arrived JUST in time for a much needed CURRY. It had been a GOOD day - Tim's in the studio to MIX some of the above on TUESDAY. I CAN'T WAIT!

posted 30/11/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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