Sunday, 4 September 2011
Work starts on new Inca Babies album
The switch-on seemed to go quite well though the lights only came on halfway up the prom at first. When they eventually came on there was a big cheer from the crowd of people walking along it: then they flickered off again. Deep groan. Lights back on: big cheer. Lights off again.. deep groan. On. Off.. until finally.. on. Hurray.
Anyway. On a four-band night we finally took to the stage at 2330, with a midnight curfew, so had to cut chunks out of our set to finish in time. That's always a shame because you shape a setlist for good reasons and having to whack ten minutes out because of a slow changeover or because one band went on ten minutes later than planned (who knows what the reason was?) is a bit of a drag.
We had a few new ones in the set from the album we're recording now and actually they're shaping up really well. There's only really one way to get a song in shape and that's to play it live. That irons out all the shaky bits because you have to make it work in a live situation.
The gig was fine and the people were great so we headed back from Blackpool quite happy with the night's work, though a bit disappointed that we didn't get to work through the full forty minutes, as we have a hectic autumn coming up in Amsterdam, Italy and Warsaw and it really helps when you're slick with the order.
So just ten hours after we arrived back in Manchester from Blackpool, Harry (guitar and vocals) and Rob (drums) reported for recording duty at Courtyard Studios in Stockport (above).
Nowadays no-one remembers the Stockport air crash and only a pair of troll-like stones just before the turn for Gorsey Mount Brow marks the disaster, still one of the worst in British aviation history.
Strawberry Studios is just up the hill too, so it's a pretty famous part of Stockport we're talking about here. Round the corner from the Rhythm House.. you know...
We recorded our first album of this Incas line-up with Tim: Death Message Blues, starting the winter before last, and we've played it through Poland, Italy, Los Angeles, in Milan, Manchester, Brighton, London, the Lake District.. all over. So it seemed a reasonable idea to go back there.
And then I looked at the tuner I was using to tune up with and realised that actually, yes, that really belongs in a museum. My old bandmate Keith Curtis - yes, Keith from Goldblade - gave me that in about 1985 and I've used it ever since. It's about the only thing he did ever give me but I'm grateful for it.. and I've got good use out of it. And, as you'll see in the days to come, it's not the only piece of ancient equipment we found in Courtyard....