Sunday, April 17, 2005

The end of an intense week of activity for the Subs. Spent Monday, Tuesday and half of Wednesday back in Studio 195 with Patrick Delabie, recording the latest bunch of ideas, before playing the AB Club with Millionaire on Wednesday evening. A very, very tiring studio session - it felt more like two weeks of studio-time, afterwards, rather than two-and-a-half days. Very different from the "Meet The Love Substitutes" sessions. Whereas those first sessions consisted of recording half-an-albumsworth of songs and, for the rest, a lot of improvisations, this session consisted of trying to turn as many of a shitload of sketchy ideas into real songs as we possibly could within the time constraints. Difficult for everyone, but especially so for Bert, who's been unable to attend rehearsals recently, because he's been so busy with other stuff. But the rest of us figured he's just such a good musician that he'd be able to come up with parts quickly (more so than anyone else in the band). I think we asked a hell of a lot from him. But he managed.

The new recordings are noticeably more rhythmically happening than the first album - almost funky. Almost. There's a whole load of No Wave and Art Punk in there too - This Heat, XTC, Talking Heads, Branca etc. It'll be a while before we can continue working. We'll need at least another day recording before we can move on to the mix stage, and Patrick's fully booked for the next few weeks. At least that'll give me some time to write some lyrics.

The AB gig was OK, nothing spectacular - plagued with technical problems - Rudy kept losing power and Bert's amp came over all farty. Luckily for me, all my gremlins occured during soundcheck (Wherein I spent the entire hour just trying to locate the source of one problem (everytime Mauro hit his bass drum my amp kind of sneezed)) - the gig passed by without any further nonsense (from my gear, at least). Excellent Disconnected - a new approach - dive off into improvisation and then return to the riff later. False metal died, I think, at the moment of return. Mauro's new song - Someone Like You - was also a success, Rudy generating some particularly disgusting noise, even by his standards.

Business as usual then, chez Love Substitutes.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Another Bertless rehearsal, and the last before hitting the studio on Monday. Lots of excellent last minute bits and pieces, maybe too many to be useful at this late stage. Still, it'll be interesting to see what the addition of the bass boy does to these ideas.

I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Found myself strangely unsatisfied by the Hof Ter Lo gig last night. Which I'm sure has nothing to do with the fact the other guys started without me (I was actually down in the backstage making phone calls, trying to find Mauro, when he was upstairs, onstage, playing). I say strangely because I thought it was just a straightforward bad gig - although I found out afterwards that I was pretty much the only one who felt that way - the other three and the friends-in-the-audience were all pretty positive. I just couldn't get in the zone, I suppose. Music refused to take me into its confidence, as Robert Fripp would say. It felt like a dEUS gig - I may have been there physically, but my heart was in a pub watching Liverpool vs Juventus. Oh, and the presence of my recent ex did bring me down somewhat too. Didn't stay to watch the Wedding Present - felt much more like a change of scene. But it was cute to see Rudy being a fan.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Rehearsed without Bert this afternoon - Found two or three groovy new things (I think we may have found the riff we've been missing). Mauro introduced a new Jesus-and-Mary-Chain-esque song, featuring yours truly on inadequate drumming.

Came home to find my downstairs neighbour getting his knickers in a twist over the volume with which I close my door (I swear I close it in a perfectly normal manner - no slamming). The silly old codger bangs his door closed several times in reponse to my perceived noise pollution. So now I have to either creep around like a mouse or have a minor run-in with him in the hallway every time I come or go.
Strange he's never complained about my listening to atonal music first thing in the morning. And he never seems to make a peep - one of these strange characters who never listens to CDs or the radio and never watches TV (OK, I never watch TV or listen to the radio either, but I can't imagine an entirely audio-stimulation-free lifestyle).

Tomorrow we're due to kick off at 8 pm in the Hof Ter Lo, for a forty minute set, but the doors open at seven so maybe we can start earlier and play a little longer. I'm curious to hear this new Wedding Present - I haven't heard the album yet but am reliably informed it's rather good.

Oh yes, the WEM has been back in action since the VPRO show. What a difference it makes - although I have been instructed by the Bertish one that it'll make an even bigger difference if I put some new valves in it. Maybe next month.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Succesful radio show on Wednesday night - 3voor12 on VPRO. A shortish set, broadcast live, we played an improvisation, Open, a short Disconnected, Summer of Mars, Deuxieme Tableau and The Medicine Palace (which wasn't broadcast). The complete set (ie. including the Medicine Palace) is available in streaming audio on the VPRO website (see link above right).
Failed to get to the Pox gig at the Wonderbar on time last night, only catching the last song. The Meyers has requested I not discuss his personal life on this weblog anymore. So I won't. And it wasn't his girlfriend, for the record.
Listening to Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony - quite mad.