14 Sep, 2009 Wet Look Streets
It was water, water, everywhere, but suddenly the black rain gave way after about ten days. The familiar streets that so long glistened like patent leather boots then started to dry up as the September sun appeared and just in time too, as everyone was starting to think that it had gone forever.
When the question was recently put to me, what kind of place do you like best to work in, I found myself thinking – these days I like a city centre basement where plenty other musicians are coming and going and where you are allowed to make as much racket as needed at any old hour of the day. Oh, and all the better if there is somewhere close by that sells good quality coffee. Easy to please then, nothing fancier is needed at all, this is what we have in Glasgow and guess what – it works out even better that there is not a distraction like heaps of nice weather on a daily basis. Even better still, if the surrounding area has a “rock and roll” vibe! I wont bother explaining what that is, but I presume that you will comprehend and, in any case anyone who has ever been or knows anything about Glasgow will certainly understand why it qualifies for the description.
Idyllic posts are not good for intensive work periods. Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to wake up and feel good in a picture postcard place. To maybe take a nice walk around Taormina for example. But your heart sinks as is natural to then have to give it up and enter a boxy studio room for nine solid hours on end. I say this remembering so well that we once recorded in the chic and permanently sunny island of Capri. It was glorious being there, but useless for the work ethic and as you can easily imagine we spent as much time thinking up excuses to cut short the studio sessions as we did on inspirational chorus’s and middle eights.
Andy Gillespie worked like a Trojan last week. He spent eleven hours daily in a windowless room. Writing and programming, he was also playing drums, keys and guitars, on four new songs that we created and demoed. His effort is always impressive, but I found him to be on a whole other level, one previously unknown by me. As we wrapped up at the end of it all, I was pretty ecstatic with some of the potential of what was already created but also by the realisation that much more was possible in future.
This week we return to Milan to feature in Italy’s hugely successful X Factor television show. What are we doing on there? Promoting our album is the stark answer! After that we will start to regroup for the Singapore F1 concert that takes place during the last week of September. I am looking forward to that immensely, it is a place that I liked when we made first passed through a few years ago. Both our shows in Singapore and Hong Kong left a strong desire to return and that is why we grasped the opportunity when it arrived.
The venue in particular was very pleasant as I recall. Essentially being a park that surrounds the historical Government House, the older parts of town were equally pleasing to walk around. Of course there are many ex pats from the UK living in Singapore, Scots in particular all of whom turned out to give us a sensational welcome. Hopefully we will witness more of that this time and as always we in turn will set out to give the best that we can.
Beyond the journey to Asia, within a matter of weeks we will be back rehearsing an amount of songs that we want to introduce into the live collection – some very old and some yet to be performed. We set a decent benchmark with last year’s arena shows and that standard will need to be surpassed if and wherever possible. On that, I am entirely sure with the music, musicians and the kind of audiences that are involved that is more than likely that the challenge will be met!
‘Anniesland Cross, Glasgow’ pic by Partick Camera Club 1955