Album

So as the recording process reaches an advanced stage, I am sitting wondering how it is you go about sorting out a label to help you put the album you’ve slaved over out to the world.  I know I’m not going to be able to address this issue until we have a sampler available to send to various labels but it’s knowing where to look, knowing who might just like what we’re doing enough to help us get it out there on a wider level.  I won’t lie.  Financially this is going to be a very difficult release for us.  I personally do not have a significant amount of cash lying around for such purposes so the support of a label in terms of production etc becomes increasingly important to me.  And as I look around at all my friends bands with their deals or labels helping them release things, I realise that this album may, once complete, sit on my shelf or on a hard drive for a significant period of time.  It’s truly something that worries me.  I guess I’m just not sure how to get interest from people and I suppose without generating interest there is little chance of labels even noticing what you are doing.  I  do have contacts who I know will help me out, but I would love to have peace of mind and know that there is a label out there offering their support at this time.  I have been thinking a lot recently about this issue and know that the only option available to us might be to set up our own label and put it out on that.  It’s something I have to seriously consider and something I will be sitting down this week with a friend to discuss in more detail.  So whilst the recording is going great, the actual reality of what happens after that is something quite unknown and quite concerning.  I guess I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands to figure out the next step, I just wish I knew where to begin to be honest.

Glissando at Trampoline – 6th February 2009

I’ve never really written much about Glissando on this blog.  I think I reviewed their last Trampoline show, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually expressed how much I rate this band.  If I’m honest about their debut album “With our arms wide open we march towards the burning sea” – it’s an album I find challenging and sometimes a little too challenging to listen to on a regular basis.  I say this, not because I find the songs particularly strange.  In actual fact, the songs themselves are haunting, dark, beautiful, sparkling gems.  But the album has a lot of space, a lot of endings to songs, which sometimes feel unnecessarily long or drawn out.  This is not necessarily a major problem, but it does make listening to the album more of a process and experience than an album of 3 minute definitive pop songs.  To be perfectly honest though, that’s the only (slight) criticism I have of the album and I actually believe that I would not make such an observation had I not had the pleasure of having them play Trampoline twice now.  I think my point about this whole thread is, that regardless of what you make of the album, the band are something special live.  Last time out at Trampoline they produced a performance I’d rate as good as any gig I saw last year and I fully expect their show on 6th February to be something even more special.  First time out they played as a 2 piece, last time as a 4 piece and this time there will be 7 of them on stage.  It’s going to be amazing.  I know it is.  And I can’t wait.  If you can make it along, I highly recommend this show.  Not only for Glissando, but for The French Quarter who The Kays had the pleasure of touring with at the end of last year and also for The Japanese War Effort, Jamie’s – of Boyfriend/Girlfriend fame – solo project.  As usual, the gig takes place at the Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh Art College.  Doors are 7pm.  And it’s £5 entry.  I don’t think you’ll see a better signed band this year than Glissando for a fiver so please come along and support them as part of their UK tour.  It should be something special.

Cancel the Astronauts, Team Turnip, Endor @ Trampoline, Saturday 17th January 2009

Saturday night was something to behold.  81 people through the door at a Trampoline show.  I have to be honest, I’m a bit stunned by the number of folk who braved the wind and rain to make it to the show but I am delighted they did and very grateful too.  It was a nice way to kick of 2009.  Though a little noisey at times, I guess that comes with the territory of so many people being there and having not seen one another since before Xmas but it was a nice feeling to see so many people there for the music.  And it was a great night of music.  Unfortunately, I cannot review Cancel the Astronauts because I was not still around for their set having had to get home after Russell played.  But if you are interested in what I think of these guys then you can check out some older posts as I have reviewed them before.
 
Anyways, first up were Endor, well 2 of Endor.  I have to be honest, it’s been a while since I saw Endor play and I really had forgotten how fucking great they are.  Even as a 2 piece the songs are just brilliantly constructed, thought out and delivered with such energy and enthusiasm.  In a way I wish the full band had been available because they are definitely one of my favourite Scottish bands – I just forget they are because I have no recordings of their stuff and the last time I saw them live was at Gimme Shelter in 2007!  So, yeah, totally loved their set and thought their closer of Dancing in the Dark was spot on.  I openly admit to not being a massive fan of the cover version, but it was a high energy ball of fun.  Excellent set from an excellent band.
 
Team Turnip.  Well, there could be bias in this review because I’ve been playing piano/synth at Russell’s recent live shows.  However, as most of you will know, the type of music that Russell plays is not really what I would describe as my style or personal preference.  That said, playing as part of his backing band has been an absolute pleasure and a right good laugh and has been a challenge – perhaps because it has taken me out of my comfort zone.  And the more I listen and play his songs, the more I like them.  Not that I didn’t like them to begin with, just that I think that it has taken a little bit of time for each of them to grow on me.  His song ‘I want to be someone when I die’ is just a piece of simple, brilliant pop and ‘photos of the staff’ and ‘trigonometry’ are both pretty special too.  Though, my favourite tune to play would be ‘scramble eggs’, which as far as I’m aware is not on any recording.  So playing for Russell has been a challenge, has been really enjoyable and I really hope I continue to get to be part of his set up.  I thought Saturday went really well for him and the songs sounded great – if you get a chance, please check out his myspace and get a copy of his recent EP, which is a bargain at £3.
 
If anyone (other than Cancel the Astornauts themselves!)  wants to post a comment about their set that would be great as I was disappointed to have to leave and miss them.  They certainly sounded good in soundcheck. 
 
So a good start to Trampoline in 2009 and now we can look forward to the Glissando show on 6th February, which should be absolutely cracking.  Please come along and continue to support the nights and don’t miss the next show because Glissando, The French Quarter and The Japanese War Effort in February.  Cheers.

The Death of a Music Room

Over the course of this weekend the spare room in our flat, which for the last 3 years or so has been used as my music room, was turned into a proper spare room.  It’s a sad moment.  Many an hour was spent in that room just playing the piano or practicing with the rest of the Kays.   The piano has been moved to a new home in the living room and a proper double bed, built by myself on friday night, now sits where the piano used to be.  It feels kind of weird.  I feel like our flat is a proper adult flat all of a sudden and like things will never be the same again!  It’s exciting though and I am really looking forward to this new chapter in my life.  Things that were important to me suddenly feel less important.  For example,  Samamidon played the Bowery last night and this time last year I’d have been there, no doubt about it! I’d have been organising folk to go with, drinking beer, having a laugh, enjoying the music.  Last night, I didn’t want to go.  I wanted to stay in and despite knowing that all my friends and all the people I knew would be there enjoying themselves, I sat contently, reading a book, listening to good music and enjoying good company.  Not once did I wish I was at the gig.  I got glowing reviews about the evening this morning, but I don’t feel like I’ve missed out.  It’s really hard to explain but the initial feeling of ‘shit, i’m not going to be able to do all the things i enjoy doing’ has changed over the months to become ‘fuck, I’m going to be dad and will have to teach this little person all about the things I love most in life’….and to me, the thought of sharing all the wonderful things in life is far more exciting than keeping them all for myself.  So whilst a music room has died, a little persons room has been born.  And that’s put a huge smile on my face all weekend.

Teachers

Apart from being one of my favourite ever TV shows, it struck me the other day whilst watching the box set that ‘the boy with the arab strap’ has got to be the most appropriate and well thought out theme tune to a show ever.  I don’t really like Belle and Sebastian….shame on me, I know……but if ever there was a tune more suited to a tv show then I am yet to find it.  genius.

Counting the beats

So it’s 2009.  Unlike many people, I am not one for making resolutions at the start of a year.  Mainly because I know that I won’t keep them, but also because trying to think out a list of resolutions is not something I can really be bothered with.  Yes, I should use my gym more often, yes I should get back to playing football every week and yes I should drink less and eat better.  I remember the days of training 3/4 times a week, running 7 miles 2/3 times a week and being in tip top condition.  I remember being in my early 20s and being able to enjoy doing that and having the time to do that.  Alas, a number of sport related injuries during my 20s mean that whenever I try to do things like that these days, I wake up in a lot of pain.  Playing football every week was a killer, yet I still want to get back to that as it’s something I love doing.  Maybe once the recording process is out of the way I’ll be able to get back into a more normal routine.  We’ll see.  I don’t think my life will ever be the same again after February, but in such a positive and exciting way.

The album has consumed my life now for months on end.  Whether it’s actually recording, working on my lyrics, working on the songs, the structures or just thinking about what songs to record and the instrumentation on each song, it’s be a long process mentally.  It’s such a nice feeling to see things slowly coming together.  I am hopeful that by the end of this month, the majority of the parts will be recorded.   It’s been a much more fragmented process than I’ve been used to in the past.  For a start the majority of recording so far has been done by me with Neil with no other members of the band, other than Graeme, involved as yet.  In the past we’ve recorded live as a band and done it over a series of days.  If I am honest, the approach adopted this time has been a much more enjoyable experience, for me anyways.  Hopefully by the end of this month I’ll have a clearer view of how things will move forward, which songs will be on the album and when the album is likely to be ready.  Either way, at the moment I am loving absorbing everything about the process, which continues for the next 4 nights.  It’s drum time.  

Anyways, 2009 has the potential to be a big year for so many of my friends and I want to wish everyone the best for this coming year.  I’ve got a feeling there’s going to be a lot of positive things to happen in 2009.