After the rhythm section of Bastard spent a long evening on Saturday night songwriting in the Ness Family Care Home, we agreed that Sunday would be a long day, an early start, a generally productive enterprise. "What?!" Bastard gasped, "get back here tomorrow for WHAT time in the frost-bitten god-forsaken winter morning?!" Ten o clock. No excuses.
So, come half past ten i was standing over the mumbling, sleeping form of Mike, in Chris' spare room, while Chris stumbled to the loo in his pyjamas (I say 'pyjamas' - I'm relatively sure they were his clothes from the day before), and a sleepy Andy on the other end of a mobile phone was explaining that Sophie hadn't yet got him breakfast in bed and so they might be another hour or so. Matt, to his credit, was already at the rehearsal, but it's his damn house. That just leaves Pat.
Hi Pat, if you're out there, somewhere.
A solid TEN HOURS of songwriting later we've finished the weekend with some half-covered folk standards, a few half-written bits and bobs and two shiny and complete new songs: an original acoustic folk punk number called "Steve the Finchampstead Twat" and an original balls-out punk ejaculation called (something like) "Old Boys' State".
I think it's interesting that although the lyrics for the two finished tunes were written by different band members completely independently of each other, they both reflect the same subtle change in theme (or maybe attitude) for Bastard. Although we still haven't written a single track which doesn't at least mention drunkenness, drink, drinking or drunks (ahem), both the new tracks seem to be noticably lacking any respect for the whole old-drunken-man-of-wisdom folk tradition that you find glorified even in our own early tunes like Old Jack.
I personally wonder whether the looming prospect of making an album might be having the interesting effect of making us focus more closely on what a folk punk record from our own hometown sounds like, and on writing and saying what we as individuals and as a band have to say and write. That is, as opposed to coming from some abstract idea of what folk punk bands do or say, we might really be heading towards making our very own product.
ok, just to avoid confusion, I should point out that no matter how righteous I get about our philosophy, we're still just a bunch of cunts shouting about stuff, I just think too much.
in other news:
A tiny update: Smokey Bastard gave an official go-ahead to Barrie Barlow, signalling that we're well up for welcoming him on board as our manager subject to blah blah blah. With all his connections and experience as a real musician in the real business, friendly connections to us through the Crabtree Dynasty and an obviously genuine enthusiasm for what we're up to, he looks like just the right man for the job - let's hope it comes to pass!
Fingers crossed also that we get within sniffing distance of John Leckie producing us, though obviously who knows at this point, busy man, etc etc. Getting a really nice album made was the subject of the very first conversation I ever had with Barrie when we met in the Eldon Arms in December, and so I think he knows how much it means to us to get it right - the suggestion that Mr. Leckie might be able to have a hand is one to really get us salivating!
For those of you who aren't wikipedia: John Leckie's production credentials go in one swoop from really well crafted raw early punk (e.g. The Adverts? Well worth a listening at) through the crunchy sounds of Britpop to the modern, more slick and complex rock, punk and pop (even music chumps will have heard these names: Radiohead, Muse), to the very subtly produced acoustic sounds of artists like Rodrigo y Gabriella or Shiv Kumar Sharma, and beyond. For an almost literally insane list covering Leckie's career, look here.
That John was also involved in the only even slightly celtic offerings that The Silencers ever recorded is probably a good sign, but as far as I can see it'll be mostly the fact that he uniquely has huge amounts of experience in both punk and world music that would make him absolutely THE man to put our sound on a disk.
I said: "that would make him absolutely THE man to put our sound on a disk!"
You think he heard?