Songs: Mental Judonotes / gigs / releases
I did a gig
Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Like Let The Weird Band Win this song came about because of a gig I did with The Hector Collectors at The Caledonian Backpackers in March 2004. It was the third gig in a row I'd played with them and this last one was also their final gig together, so it was quite an emotional night. Nobody came and the people already in the room completely ignored us, and I ended up talking to Duncan from the Hectors afterwards, discussing what a great night it had been and how we shouldn't let what it wasn't spoil what it actually was.
It's something I think about quite often, not necessarily by choice but through necessity. For instance, the second verse is all about the time my Voon co-workers Simon and Neil tried to arrange a big meet-up for my birthday a few year years ago. They planned it as a bit surprise and if they hadn't told me I wouldn't have noticed that nobody else had turned up, but instead they started to go on about it, getting more and more worked up until I had to ensure we got stocked up on enough BEER to get us through a night which did indeed end up with Indie Dancing.
I wrote the song a few weeks after the Edinburgh Gig when I was using the Voon Birthday as an way to explain to Tom how he should grasp the good things about his life and use them to overturn the bad as at that time he was having troubles with his job. I was speaking to him about it on the telephone on the evening of March 26th 2004, on the way to fetch a curry, and by the time I got home I'd finished the verse pertaining to his situation and had written most of the rest of the song around it by morning of March 28th. I keep notes!
At this point the song was called "Not Not For What Is Isn't" and although I quite liked it it still felt unfinished. Nearly three weeks later I realised that I was using the phrase "Mental Judo" all the time to try and cheer people up (e.g. if only 2 people turn up for your birthday drinks you use the small number of people to your advantage and go on a lightning strike pub crawl, freed from the responsibility of having to wait for loads of people to drink up - mental judo) and that it would fit EXACTLY into this song. With that in mind I expanded the song out further and considered it DONE.
It wasn't ... I played it live a couple of times and worried that it went on a bit, so brutally hacked out a completely different section in the middle and made the whole song follow the same verse/break/chorus structure. This worked, but then I got an email from somebody pointing out that "Not not for what it isn't" was grammatically incorrect. The chap who said it meant well, but goodness knows why I listened, because the next couple of times we played it as a band without that bit in it it just sounded flat.
FINALLY I sat down with all the words and re-wrote it yet again, extending the whole thing out even further, moving bits around, until finally it flowed properly and made sense. I brought it to the next rehearsal, Tim did that "Not Not" bit on the drums for the chorus and suddenly it was working. Working with me all these years has certainly changed him, when we were first in bands he'd never have even entertained the idea of doing something so Show Tune, but by heck it sounded good.
Still, the fact that I'd extended it out so far meant we needed to put some variation in, and so we came up with the idea of Emma actually getting her own verse. We should do this a lot more often than we do, as it sounds so great, although she did get THE FEAR a bit when we were practicing it. Like the phrase "M People" in Nothing In Common Except, Maybe on the last album we found that our ways of singing COLLIDED. UNLIKE that time, however, we managed to sort it our rather nicely and get something that WORKED, rather than me drinking too much Stella and shouting. This was much nicer for all concerned.
The recording passed on quite easily, although I do recall my fingers really hurting from playing so much guitar, but we never got the full violins sorted out. Those were done several months later when Kev went in with Mr Reverb.
For quite a while this was going to be the title track for the album, as the idea of securing victory over your problems by changing your MINDSET is quite a common one on this CD, but the title sounded too Self-Help Book after a while... probably because it IS the title of several self-help books!
An Artists Against Success Presentation
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