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So the new Funk outfit are ready for the road. Two weekends ago we spent Sunday in the studio cutting some demo tracks.
Then last Sunday we used a village hall to dress rehearse the set and our PA/Lights as cobbled together (essentially my old monitor rid as FOH and monitors
So we are ready(ish) for any suitable gigs now and it's all systems go.....or indeed stop until the works comes in. Quite like working with this band, very pro attitude and ability.
Good luck ES, i'm sure the bookings will soon come flooding in.
Have you any demo tracks from the band? I love a bit of funk and would love to hear you play.
Also, as I'm sure you are aware, demos (audio or video) are a great way for people to get a feel for what you do.
Mike the tracks are being mixed later this week (without me sadly) but I have no way of hosting them. Maybe once the website is functioning I can add a pointer. The Sunday recording was the usual rush, it was expected that we would do 6 tracks in as many hours (Yea really)! So after 8 hours 4 tracks were bearable and two were just side lined. On the finished article the guitar will just be the guide parts I laid down through a pod of some kind with the intention of using my amp to do it properly after, no such luxury available I just wish I'd insisted on doing it properly from the off. Anyway it's acceptable for purpose but won't stand scrutiny or broadcast.
Time I put something else on this 'ere Diary type thing.
I was lucky enough to go to dinner (a very rare event indeed) at a friends house last week. This friend and I were in a band together in the late 80s and early 90s and were great friends at the time. Since then he ran a music shop for a while and during that time he amassed a few classic telecasters which customers traded in. When the shop went he retained a few of these and still has a few for personal use. So I took my 52AVRI and Korean Lite Ashe tele for him to assess. He let me play a refinished 62 candy apple red with a wide range humbucker in the neck and rosewood fingerboard (my favourite to play). A Black 72 custom (again humbucking neck and single coil bridge). Lots of poly on the maple fingerboard but surprisingly comfortable to play. Another Tele of note was an early MIJ in a blue paisley type finish (but it wasn't called paisley) which was another lovely guitar with a RW fingerboard.
Anyway the evening ran too fast and we parted way to late considering it was a skool nite.
Also for those that have been paying attention, the funk/function band have their website up and running so I'll just leave this here.
Comments and critique are invited.
Like the site and the great "party" set list.
Hey ES, great site, and great band.
I'm just enjoying working through your sample tracks.
The left hand column of your example set list was instant nostalgia, taking me straight back to running my mobile disco back in the second half of the 70s and into the early 80s.
Time for a small update.
I've not gigged now for several months but that's about to change with Panto week from 15th to 23rd February and first band rehearsal is tonight. Then I need to revise the country rock band set for a gig 7th March and then revise the old soul band set as most of us are getting together for a one off charridee revival gig on 21st March before going back to the new bands set list again, so four complete sets in just over 6 weeks! I need to lie down just thinking about it.
I've not played in public for over a quarter of a century. But my goal this year is to do it again, most probably via a folk (my normal playing genre) club floor spot (or blemish).
Hearing stories of others getting out there and doing it provides great inspiration to keep my goal in focus - thanks to you and others for sharing your exploits
My recentish investment in a recording set-up shows a couple of major areas that need polishing up - mainly, er, my playing and singing. Funny how you can fool yourself something sounds pretty good until you have the facility to listen back critically! Also practicing not singing with my eyes closed recalling my first ever public performance when singing, eyes closed, I managed to unconsciously shuffle myself round so my back was almost towards the audience - I thought the tittering was uncharitable in the extreme given they knew it was my first ever performance, until I opened my eyes.
Let us know how the gigs go!
Reg don't be too self critical of recorded YOU. In a live setting the realities are quite different and you can perform with artistic tendencies that don't conform. Anyway playing to people is a great buzz and you will realise how much you've missed it.
What ESBlonde says is quite right.
I can generally hide behind our old-gits band's other four members - but two of us have recently started doing some pub jam nights together. We used to be announced as "two fifth's of The Grey White Band" but now we call ourselves "The Ritual Humiliation"
Talk about out of our comfort zone. Funny thing is, the more ad-lib we have to be to get out of the messes we get ourselves into, the more the audience applaud!
It's a huge buzz (especially once it's over!!!). Like you, the break between regular performing was around 35 years. Doing it again is the best thing I've done in years.
Doing a pub jam tonight and I've been asked to play sax with the house band as well as with my buddy. Poor devils - they don't know what it's like being chased out of a pub by angry locals...but they will soon
Mmm. Perhaps I should bill myself as "Two Fifths of F-all". People might get a clue!
Thanks for the encouragement guys - it does help.
Still 11 months to reach my goal so still room to tidy stuff up. I know I'm probably being over critical but I have found recording useful to actually hear what I'm sounding like generally. It's not all bad, but not quite passing the "would I like to hear more of this bloke" test just yet.
I aspire to entertain rather than impose
Is the plan for a floor spot at a folk club, Reg? Or maybe just a few songs at an open-mic. If it's the latter round these parts that means just three songs. That's three months per song with a break for summer
Hey, some of these songs have had a 30 year gestation period!
Two or three songs was the usual Folk Club floor spot. But usually you couldn't just walk straight into a floor spot on a paid artist night, you had to be a known regular. But most clubs periodically ran an "All Comers" night, which is Open Mic by any other name, just genre specific. So having been out the scene from a performance point of view I'll look to one of those. Or the alternative is an informal tune session night that usually occur in pubs where rather than wall to wall diddly dee they'll also entertain the occasional song.
Funnily enough I don't feel any dread about doing it as I've done it before and during my career I've presented keynote speeches to some large conference audiences so the "public" thing isn't an issue for me - I actually quite enjoy it. But the last point in my last post was the main factor - I'd like to be up to snuff enough to actually entertain so that much like you've found yourself, it has the potential to lead to other things.
ESBlonde - whoops, sorry for the unintended hijack of your diary.
So this not being in a proper working band is hard work at the moment.
Just finished a week in the Panto Pit band
I'm the one in the cowboy hat
Tonight a rehearsal for a one off reunion of the old soul band or as many former members as we can get up ready for the 21/3. then rehearsal next week for the country rock band (first this year) for the gig 7/3 then it all goes flat for the foreseeable future.
The stage was set, country with some Rock n' Roll for the people in this RBL club.
I took 4 guitars but only used 2 (tele and 335) in the end. Acoustic was a spare for singer (who is always under prepared for gigs) and the strat in case the tele got to be hard work.
Note the stool to rest a cheek on and relieve the discomfort in my back from standing too long (3 sets of 75 mins 30, mins and 65 mins). It was nice to have as a stand in drummer someone I worked with over 35 years ago, great guy and wonderful drummer.
Fuzzy shot of my patch
3 hours - that's a proper gig.
3 hours - EEEK!!!! That would be me unable to use my hands for a day or two.
Your stage arrangement looks all very well organised and professional. Sounds like you enjoyed the gig.
Mark my back was more uncomfortable than the fingers, they are well 'ard innit. Getting old has it's compensations and when I find what they are I'll let you know.
Years of gigging have taught me to have everything I need and spares (note the spare jack leads in front of the tele on pic 2) and be properly organised and then be prepared to wait. That's just the best way and produces a professional performance apart from the cack handed playing :-0
The mini pedal board is Radial Hot shot input switcher, kork Pitchblack tuner, Blackstar HTdrive, Danelectro Cool Cat Chorus, Boss TR2 Tremelo, Boss RE20 Echo. The floor fan is 'cause I 'glow' a lot on stage and the other pedal block on the left is the standard drive/selector for the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe combo. The combo sits in the bottom tray which is stacked on the top section of the Hard case semi flight case. All quite neat and usable with the sound up near your ears and the controls handy too if needed.
That's a good point about the back - yes, mine would seize up after that time with a lump of wood hanging round my neck. That I wouldn't be able to get off due to my fingers seizing up! There was a notice went up at work about a golf outing and my fingers started aching just at the thought of it - last time I tried I could hardly hold a club by the final few holes.
I look forward to hearing about those compensations for getting old!
I like your thoroughness and organisation. I guess it's like most tasks - they're made much easier and more likely to be successful by good preparation.
OK Busy month or so now completed. Success with a sort of reformed soul band plus deps.
Charidee gig raised over £1,400 and a roaring success.
fuzzy fone pix.
Again small pedal board and HRD combo. It gets a bit loud in front of a trumpet and sax blown hard! still they had my guitar amp behind them so fair do's.
Now I need to recover some sanity before getting back into the funk scene.
Quite a line up there.
Yes Jocko some real talent the likes of which I feel unworthy of.
Dep trumpet is 75 years old and still hot. Keys player started in the early sixties doing ballrooms! Drummer is a retired RSM army bandleader.
Given that the band had not gigged for 4 years, they had never had that line up ever, the 8 people on stage had never been in the same room together before that night and there were three rehearsals but only drum and keys made it to all three!
Stunning performance if I say so myself, I am unlikely to play in such a band ever again and feel very privileged and somewhat unworthy.
There you go folks, take on the challenges and the opportunities will come.
Well more reunion action this week.
The pop rock band I was in late 80s early 90s included two brothers (keys and bass) and the older one will be 50 this weekend so some of the band met Tuesday night to see if we could do some material for the party this Saturday. Singer, keys and self spent 2.5 hours and pulled 15 numbers out of our heads. Bearing in mind it's about 23 years since we all played together or did that materiel, it was quite remarkable how much we did and how good we thought it sounded.
So we will have added bass on Saturday (but no drums). Whilst I would not like to reform the band ( remember now why it ended) it was very exciting playing and singing with these guys again. It will be a largely acoustic affair but I will report back if it's not too embarrassing.
Sunday Evening back in the rehearsal studio with the funk band, one of our lady singists has pulled out for personal reasons so we will audition another new one and brush up ready for a gig 12th Sept. That is a way off yet but summer holidays will eat up some of that time faster than you realise.
Reunions can be great fun, especially where a band is involved. My brother's old band get together at the drop of a hat
Well the garden party reunion gig went OK. It reminded me how little I like Brit Pop and it's associated spin off's. I managed to stay awake but won't miss never having to play those songs ever again. We did some nice stuff to like Crowded House and it was lovely to see some old (and I mean old) faces after all these years.
Sunday evening rehearsal with the funk band was much more enthralling, apart from the lack of aircon in the enclosed soundproof room. We wedged the door open and ran a fan to avoid passing out and grooved away.
how little I like Brit Pop and it's associated spin off's.
It's been a while since I posted anything here so a little update.
Not been gigging much, new funk band did a beer festival and this weekend we did a wedding at the ancient Blue boar hotel in Maldon Essex. Turned out only one of our two girl singers made it but we were only required to do two 30 min slots so a bit of an easy night. I was back home before midnite and with the extra clock adjusted hour it was a good night. Sunday I was invited to a friends Jam about half hour from home so once I got through my allotment chores I popped over for an hour. I just played my 335 into someone elses BOSS multiFX into an HRD combo. Mainly the guitar amp and occasional boosting of the drive chanel. It was one of those days when you are free to blow solos and the guitar just sang for me. Even the amp owner asked me what I'd done to his amp because it sounded gorgeous. I even found myself bending in front of the combo holding the sustaining/feeding note through a whole verse at one point because - well I just could.
I nearly didn't go because I had other things to do. So glad I did in the end.
This weekend is another country band gig, that'll be two this year then!
Funk band website features a couple of pics from the recent beerfest in the gallery.
Well, we played a local town hall early December for a party. One of our singers teaches music so throws a party for all her students and families.
Then this Saturday we spent the whole day in the studio laying down 4 demo tracks (well 3 and one awaiting vocals). Great fun with the band, I like the enthusiasm they bring to the whole thing. Just need some gigs now.
Panto Season came and went. This year it was "May the Farce be with you" a modern take of Jack and the bean stalk with added menace of Garth Vader (a distant cousin) and some storm troopers.
Set list went like this:
Overture Star Wars
Bad guys ( Short )
I Can Go The Distance
Super Trouper ( Short )
Like A Virgin
I Will Follow Him
Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell
Master Of The House
I Enjoy Being A Girl
Close To You
Mamma Mia ( Short )
Love Is In The Air
So thats what we learned for the show, one band rehearsal then 3 weeks later 3 dress rehearsals and show week. Nothing silly complicated, just having your witts about you and being on Que. i used my 335 the first night intending to use different guitars each night, but i loved it so much I used it the whole week.
I decided I enjoyed the pressure of that and started cruising the 'musicians wanted' adds looking for dep jobs that might suit me. Nothing yet, I still have my other two occasional bands but think the experience of depping again might raise my playing standard a bit.
The thought of doing the occasional pub made me jump in (after only 8 years or so) and buy a Hiscox case for my 335, The original Gibson case is now boxed in the loft so it can be sold complete if I ever sell the guitar. It is a great comfort to know the case will survive a fall and being stood on.
This Sunday we will rehearse with the funk band and try out some new material, it's been a few weeks so I'm looking forward to that.
The recently recorded demo tracks are now on the website: