Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Hope you like our new direction..."

To lose one group member may be regarded as a misfortune, however when we in Britain’s finest East Angliacana beat combo Songs from The Blue House decided to regroup, refresh and start warming up for our scheduled date at The High Barn in April with a series of limb-stretching casual get-togethers, two of our constituents decided that they would rather not be considered for selection for the forthcoming series.  The disaffected duo, Fiddly Richard and Gibbon, have been with us since our very first tentative moves into recording – Gib as founder member and de facto contributing editor of the original triumvirate and Fiddly, among his many other treasured contributions, as fellow musical bodhisattva, somehow trying to join the dots between Bobby Valentino and Bob Mould.

To try to encapsulate the joy that they have brought me between them would be pointless and unworthy – a glance back over prior blogs will reveal innumerable mentions of both their names in connection with some dry observation, a baffling non-sequitur, or an unexpected pleasure connected with some in-transit musical treat delivered between chocolate bars and smoking in cars. Gib’s remains one of the few collections which will swoop between the Scylla of King Crimson and the Charybdis of Plan B without necessarily pausing for breath, and Fiddly remains a host of unrivalled generosity whether by dint of sharing his shed-based rehearsal facility or the comforts of his table. Musically, of course, their contributions remain unrivalled. Gibbon, for whom rehearsal was generally anathema, is capable of pulling breath taking improvisations out of nowhere and Richard (for so long the polar opposite, wedded on stage to his faithfully transcribed arrangements) composed the most beautiful parts for our recordings and then learned to bluff solos for a bewildering number of outrĂ© requests thrown carelessly his way by us at the front. He also remains beloved of sound engineers across several counties for his bespoke stage amplification and monitoring system based, it is rumoured, on the original blueprints for the CERN Large Hadron Collider, not least in terms of its scale and complexity.      

With SftBH, of course, no door becomes irredeemably closed – as an institution we have more in common with the Hotel California than we do The Sugababes, on many levels - however this latest opening of the shutters and beating of the carpets gives us a wonderful opportunity to explore some of those other ideas we’ve had. At The Luton Palace we were talking about a musical based on the life of Jack the Ripper, for example. People should envy us. I envy us… 
You can hear Fiddly doing the solo in the middle of our version of (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, which also features Gibbon on harmony vocals (it’s essentially a duet) here -

1 comment:

Philb said...

..and if in leaving they generated pieces like this we owe them a debt beyond that they are already due for the Reaper