Sunday, 4 July 2010

Recording Summer

Started today with The Doubletakes.

I spent most of the session reading Norman Mailer's 'Moon Fire' [I was there in a strictly advisory role], a book about the Apollo missions, specifically Apollo 11, and the effect it had upon the American public and the Astronauts themselves. It's full of beautiful, full page (sometimes double-page) photographs of all elements of the Astronauts' lives; their dehydrated food, shrink-wrapped with instruction labels, their custom-made gloves, their families and the huge crowds who came out to watch the mission launch. It's an amazing book. If you get the chance to have a look at a copy then make sure you do.

In other news, I played at The Amble Inn in Harpenden yesterday, alongside three members of the Waters family - Pete Waters, Ray Waters and Joe Waters. The music was mostly covers-oriented, as Pete took the lead with Irish ballads and some old classics, so I did all the folk songs I know and then played a few of my own. I was a bit rusty to be honest, but it seemed to go down OK. Apart from one woman who shouted "You're shit!" at me. I think I've come far enough, now, to ignore that kind of thing. And when I looked up, the three old blokes at the front with tattoos and empty pint glasses nodded in approval and asked me softly to play some of my own. If the people who are there for the music appreciate it, I don't care what some pissed bint thinks. I did three of my own songs in the end, and then Ray got up and did a good cover of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" whilst the sun went down. It got me thinking about the kinds of songs that seem to be above a time and place. That's one of them. You could sing that in a nursery school, in a pub beer garden or at a funeral, and people would still be moved, for different reasons, but in the same way. Those are the kinds of songs I'd eventually like to write; the ones that hold an irreducible and constant essence of humanity. Ray sang it well.

Anyway, check out Pete Waters' songs, they're pretty good.

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