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For some reason the train companies have had a VOLTE FACE re. Bank Holidays and APPEAR to have decided to make trains run QUITE WELL on such days - I don't know WHY they've decided to completely revise their usual plans i.e. "Hey HEY! We don't want MORE people using trains, so lets make sure they're AS BAS AS POSSIBLE on days when people who don't absolutely HAVE to use them travel - HA!" but my trip to scenic DERBY on Monday evening, and indeed my one back this morning, was DELIGHTFUL.

Also, it being a Bank Holiday, i DIDN'T have to go ludicrously early so arrived in time to pop and get something to eat (a COB, as the chippie was closed) before meeting a SPLENDIDLY BEARDED Mr McClure and heading to the PUB. We were soon joined by The Pattisons, who came bearing me the GIFT of a Ctrl-Alt-Del T-SHIRT and then by Mr Frankie Machine, and LO! We were QUORATE!

There was DISCUSSION on many issues, notably deciding that we'd do our GIG at The Boardwalk as a BAND, and also that we'd try and book some recording time in October, thus to BREAK THE BACK of album sessions. It felt GOOD to move on, and so we moved FURTHER ON, all the way into the Music Shed for our scheduled practice.

They've started booking us in a DIFFERENT room than usual, which is REALLY GOOD as this one is slightly bigger and ISN'T half full of computers, amplifiers, and, for no good reason, dainty chinese screens. For some reason it means you can hear the vocals much better, which is always nice. We got set up and i found that i was the only person standing up - Tim, of course, occupies the HOLY STOOL, but the rest of the band had found DECKCHAIRS. They popped in their EAR PLUGS and leant back, so what with all the "EH? What did you say?" going on it felt like Tim and i were playing an afternoon gig to a coach party in BOURNEMOUTH.

We LAUNCHED into the SESSION with a surprisingly (to my MEMORY) SOULFUL version of All The Good Men, following by the STERNLY PACED EPIC that Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something. It all sounded DEAD GOOD, definitely a different FEEL to it all, and this was continued with the BIG BAND LEG-KICKING HOOPLA of One Of The Walls Of My House Fell In. I'm hearing TROMBONES.

Thinking about it, it may just be that we DID most of the INDIE ROCKERS in the first set of songs, although there is still one left - Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid which, once again, we spent a lot of time on, FINESSEING the moves into the different sections. This one featured rather nice HARMONIES between me and Emma - by this i mean that i managed to actually DO them for the most part, instead of getting confused and just singing the same as Mrs Pattison.

That done it was BOSSANOVA TIME, as we FINALLY tried out Tim's long proposed THESIS that It Only Works Because You're Here would work in a BAND ARRANGEMENT if we did it BOSSANOVA - we'd tried it previously in a more straightforward way, and it had sounded HORRID, but Mr Pattison had splashed out on some HOT RODS which he brought out especially, and BY GOLLY it really worked! I TAPED it on my exciting new four track and, though it needs some WORK, especially in the GUITAR DEPARTMENT, it does sound rather GRATE!

That done we took ten rather strange minutes to tape Tim doing some drums for me to sample for a couple of songs on the solo album, during which the pensioners... sorry, other Validators started to drop off. NEXT Emma and I went next door and got her set up to practice and record some (rather lovely) backing vocals, again for said solo album, while I returned to the main room where we WORKED UP A SWEAT writing a new song, tentatively called "Kinder Scout".

It was a long old night and I was fair PLUM TUCKERED by the time we got back to Machine Mansions - HECK tho, we had achieved A LOT!

posted 28/8/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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