Tuesday, 8 December 2009

April 2009


The shows in Edinburgh were a mixed bag; with the first one at the Forest Cafe being by far the best of the lot.
A volunteer-run coffee shop and art space, it had a similar vibe and ethos to the Star & Shadow, with candle lit tables and vegan food served at the counter. A venue definitely worth checking out should other Libris acts want to tour north of the border.

Edinburgh was having a rare fit of sunny weather, and you could cut glass with the daylight there. Plenty of exploring second hand book shops in the New Town area, including picking up a couple of Michael Jackson LPs in mint condition for £1 each.

The second show was one played to nobody but our touring companions, in a dreadful underground bar. However the day’s busking off from Princess Street had made Ian and I cocky, and we thrashed through our set with gusto. Things got kicked over, vocal chords were broken. Excellent stuff.

The final day was spent in coffee shops and pubs, with a quick detour to another splendidly alternative venue The Roxy, which is housed within an old church and run by an art collective. The bar is in the crypt, which is well stocked with strange ales and antique furniture, while the upstairs doubles as a gallery and gig space.

Also had time to visit an art gallery just by Waverly Station and see pictures by Francesca Woodman, before heading to the final venue. My voice was shot by this point and so the performance wasn’t much to write home about, but Patrick Snape and Ian Breidis performed well as ever. Thanks to Robert for organising the gigs and making us feel welcome in his hometown.

The first recording session of Milky Wimpshake’s 5th album began on Monday 6th, at the abandoned Tyne Tees Studios. Roots and Wings rent a small space there, and are happy for bands to rehearse and record in the room that would once have been a television studio. The band raced through most of the rhythm parts for the songs, including bass overdubs – with some numbers being quite literally arranged, learnt and then performed instantaneously.

By halfway through April, Brian was in town for a second Future Loss session. Drums were done for three songs in The Cumberland Arms hall during Saturday daytime. Fortunately Stuart only needed the one day, so we spent Sunday laying down the bass and Monday saw Adam’s amp being employed to blistering degree for the guitar overdubs. A radical departure from the more ‘rock’ orientated stuff from the last session; this time the songs that emerged are pared to the bone and mainly bass-driven.
There was also the first Libris webcast.

The following weekend saw more recording with Milky Wimpshake, with Pete laying down cello, violin, guitar overdubs, vocals and acoustic guitars. We also played around with some of the Balao world percussion instruments and the resident church organ there. Pete and I reconvened mid-week in the Rui rehearsal space for a gruelling, but extremely productive, overdubs session where most of the lead guitar parts were tracked. We started around 9pm, and by 2am were completely spent by the time we left, but his playing was so exacting it won’t require much comping.