3rd April 2010 - Back from the dead...well, the mildly ill

It’s been 2 months since my last blog - what a slacker! In my defence I was laid up with laryngitis for about a month of that so there’s not been much in the way of progress recently on the album. I also played a one-off concert a couple of weeks ago so most of my efforts were focused on that for a while. Thought for one awful moment I would have to cancel it as I was still croaking barely one octave just a few days beforehand but lots of honey & lemon and a stiff dose of whiskey on the night got me through! The gig went really well, it’s a fave venue of mine and the audience was great. I plan to arrange many more like it once the album is released so if any of you want to recommend a great venue or a part of the country you’d like me and Katherine (my fab cellist) to visit then let me know and we’ll see what we can do…
Actually, the concert provided me with the chance to try out some of the new songs and to experiment with adding some triggered backing to flesh out the songs. I’ve always felt it’s been a bit of a drawback that I’ve not been able to recreate the kind of arrangements live that I create in the studio. I know this is a bit of a debate amongst musical types: should the live sound reflect the recorded and vice versa? Does an audience want to hear an exact replica or something more ‘real’? Are backing tracks masking songs or performances that aren’t up to it live? Then you get into the arguments about real versus electronic instruments.
For me, I’ve always felt that recording a song is my opportunity to create the ultimate version, to do all the things that couldn’t possibly be done live. It does depend on the song of course, some songs work best with a simple arrangement and instrumentation but it’s nice to add texture and colour and complexity and if you can, why not? A lot of my recorded songs feature a lot of backing vocals - I can’t recreate this on stage but does that mean I shouldn’t do it in a recording? Also as an independent artist I don’t always have the access or the means to employ lots of musicians on a tour so it’s either strip it down and work with what you have or make use of the software available to recreate what isn’t there. I realise I’m about 20 years behind everyone else in this but I’m beginning to tinker with the possibilities that Logic is opening up for me. It’s very exciting.
What do you guys think? Do you want artists to sound like their recordings or do you prefer it simple and acoustic? Be really interested to hear what you think…

26th May 2010 - The Fine Art of Procrastination

5th May 2010 - Inspiration

10th February 2010 - Building a den in my house

29th January 2010 - The Tardis

20th January 2010 - New album blog