Bar of Lost Souls Session (Day 1, Monday)

So we’re in the studio to write and record some songs for a new show by the theatre company I work with, imitating the dog. The show is called Tales from the Bar of Lost Souls and is going to be made in Greece in September and will tour in the UK in 2010. Ed, Rich and I are writing, recording and, mixing a song a day for 5 days. Interesting. Or impossible. We’re trying a new way of writing and aiming somewhere in the Nick Cave
/ Tom Waits / Beirut territory. It’s still Hope and Social all over –
can’t help but be.

The day starts slowly but enjoyably. We pick up the gear from Merlin’s house after leaving it there on Sunday night. We did three Living Room gigs in three days (Edinburgh, London, Yorkshire) and ended the tour at Merlin’s on Sunday. Great great fun all of them – so privileged to be invited into people’s houses like that, and once again humbled by generosity, kindness and good will. Thanks to all for a marvellous time and for making Hux leave his breakfast on the hard shoulder of the M25 in a massivley undignified manner. Anyway, Merlin cooks us lunch and we chat for a couple of hours… late start but you just can’t leave that man’s company. Legend.

So into the crypt at 2 and decide to start in at the deep end on a sort of Roll-up, Roll-up, circus meets Rufus Wainwright track. It has practically nothing when we start – 4 chords and a tune for a verse…of sorts. We are not firing on all cylinders. In fact Hux is barely ticking over. Long weekend has left our concetration span in tatters and there’s a lot of browness around. Finally manage to bash out a format and get a piano take down by about 7. Guide vocal and percussion follow quickly then Ed puts down a quite outstanding keyboard part. Just wondeful and it saves the day. It just follows the vocal melody but the combination of the sound and the spiralling around the notes is magic. Inspiration starts flowing and the early bath is postponed. Preliminary title of Animals Dine With Me. Finally do a vocal and rough mix and get out of there for 1:45am. Send the track to James to write some brass for a very brief recording session on Thursday.

Bed for 2:30 but no sleep until about 4. Up again at 8 if I can.

Mail to say my application for the Artists Taking the Lead commissions has been unsuccessful. Glad really – just can’t fit any more in – but really need to find a way of bringing that idea to fruition.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

August 5, 2009 at 11:12 am

Great blog si. Sounds like you guys are having a great time on those Living Room gigs. This is too strange though, I cant believe you mentioned Beirut! I just logged on with the intention of asking you to cover Postcards From Italy by Beirut (or Into My Arms by Nick Cave.) After reading your last blog about the ukulele making an entrance, and then remembering how much the brass around the middle of Postcards just blows me away…..well, it just has to be….. come on, come on its an incredible tune!

You dont even need to work it out on the uke, this guy tells you how:

Bad news about the Artist Taking the Lead knock back, but look forward to seeing whatever it is you have in mind one day. By hook.

Hope And Social
August 10, 2009 at 9:26 pm
– In reply to: bendenison

By the way that’s the commission for the public art work that we had that drunken “discussion” about once upon a time. Shame shame…