Breaking Down Recordings
4th December 2011 - New Radio Session for Dandelion Radio
It was Tim's birthday, so what better way to celebrate than to head to Rocker's to record a session for his superb show on Dandelion radio.Three songs recorded, and a real sense of Rocker's skill and sensitivity in all three.
For those of you that don't know Rocker or have never visited his house, it is basically full of recording equipment, amplifiers, CDs, records and cardboard boxes. Most weekends he can be found in there recording a band for his radio show or putting together the show itself with a bottle of red wine and a curry. His work rate is phenominal!
Simon, Tim and Geoff arrived about mid-day - the late start being due to the fact that Rocker had been out DJ-ing the night before until about 5am. We set up the drum kit in the kitchen (not a lot gets cooked in there mind you!), the bass amp half way up the stairs and the guitar amp at the bottom in what might, in some houses, be called the lobby.
Rocker set up remarkably quickly (a lot of studio engineers would have taken four, maybe five times as long and not got a better sound) and then we played through all three songs. As Steve and Kay had not yet arrived we had to blag it slightly on Angry Young Man as this is one of Steve's compositions and, as is Steve's nature, never comes out the same way twice. Still, we guessed at a structure and put it down. The other two songs were Bored in the Darkness and Falling Star, both of which have, let's say, more stable structures so they wen't down pretty easily.
By about 2.30pm we had all three backing tracks down on Rocker's digital recorder. While he transferred these over to his computer, Geoff did a sandwich run down to the Gloucester Road, Simon packed up the kit and Steve and Kay arrived to do their bits.
In the next few hours we put down Steve's rhthym guitar, a few lead overdubs and Kay's keyboards on Angry Young Man and Falling Star. We then helped Rocker down the stairs with his old Vox Continental keyboard, which has a great sound and turns almost any song into a winner. We put this down on Bored in the Darkness, with Rocker suggesting some additional layers for the keyboard (he really knows his stuff.)
Last on went the vocals, which took hardly any time at all, and a bit of tambourine on Angry Young Man which never made it to the final cut.
By 7pm all three songs were recorded. Tim came back a couple of days later to help Rocker with the mixes, and it was all done. Not quite the salubrious surroundings of Maida Vale, but the spirit of John Peel and his sessions definitely lives on..