In preparation for our January show, I met with the Shin Jin Rui rhythm section (Alex on drums, and James on bass) several times prior to our rendezvous with Brian, so that we could rehearse the songs without guitar.
When Brian arrived on Tuesday evening, we went straight into an electronic, headphone-only rehearsal using Alex's MIDI drum kit and a quartet of headphones going through my mixer. After James and Alex had been properly introduced to Brian, we had a cup of tea from the adjacent kettle, and then got down to work. In a truly surreal moment, the first time we played together saw the song 'She Shouldn't' go without a hitch. Dumbfounded at this victory over the Irish Sea, we continued until the set was complete.
It was very strange pulling off my headphones during a song, and hearing just the scratch of plectrums on guitar strings and the thump of Alex's sticks on his pads; when compared to the all out noise in my headphones. Practicing in kitchens is underrated: you're nearer the kettle and the cupboard with the biscuits in it.