Wednesday, September 01, 2010

This is a public service announcement – with guitar!

The second rehearsal of the all-new Electric Blue House Revue, and things are definitely looking rosy for our unique foray into the world of electronical guitars. Firstly, of course, I wasn’t driving this time and so the enchanting, if time-consuming, tour of picturesque North Essex villages we undertook last week was eschewed in favour of getting to rehearsal in good order and in advance of the first cup of tea of the afternoon. This meant that co-member of the Ipswich contingent Mr. Gibbon was able to refresh himself fully with a nice brew before starting work, which helps a great deal when you otherwise exist principally on a diet of chocolate and cigarettes. The whole afternoon broke down into easily-manageable hour-long chunks of time; one for revision of last week’s work, one for tweaking The Falling Song, which we hadn’t previously exhumed since its initial outing at The High Barn gig many moons ago (when Our Beloved Record Company’s representative on earth said it was their favourite of the bunch), one hour on tea breaks (wherein at one point I got to play the drums while Our Glorious Leader whacked out the riff to “Walk This Way”) and one on everything else – which is not as tardy an effort as it seems, as that was mainly the chunk of stuff we’ve been playing regularly anyway, and so it was pretty simple for That Nice David Booth to stick some percussion on underneath, using his unique series of aides memoires in order to allocate the appropriate rhythm to the proper track. Keen lip readers among us may care to watch out for when he mutters “Don’t Stop” under his breath at the start of one song, as this is not an instruction to himself in terms of keeping a stiff upper lip and carrying on in the face of adversity, but in fact refers to the Fleetwood Mac song from ‘Rumours’ with which one of our new numbers shares a jaunty shuffle. The Fragrant and Charming La Mulley meanwhile, having not really been through the whole hanging out in a rehearsal room trying to figure out whether there should be four bars or eight before the guitar solo in her teen years (which she spent singing eight part harmonies on interminable roundelays in smoky folk clubs instead) is enjoying herself tremendously - drawing breath on another single-note harmonica part in one instant, and suggesting that there should be eight bars before the guitar solo the next, while Turny Winn remembers that he might have a melodeon in his attic with which he could play both of the notes that the arrangement actually in truth demands and makes a mental note to have a rummage when he gets home. Our Glorious Leader regards my replacement offering for the fiddle solo in Turny’s “The Girl with The Scrambled Yellow Hair” with barely suppressed opprobrium. “You haven’t really finished working that one out, have you?” he enquires with admirable propriety. “Or, to be fair, started...?” Fortunately we are rehearsing on the eve of a Bank Holiday, which leaves me plenty of time to annoy the family with a repeated sixteen bar guitar figure which slowly morphs into something resembling a melodic phrase in ‘G’ over the course of the next day, rather than bordering on a faithful transcription of the sound of a cat being dropped into a wheely bin, which was what it had most closely resembled previously. If I'd ever heard the sound of such a thing, that is. Which I haven't.

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