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Lowdown Live

GIG PIC 1

I trundled down to Birmingham last weekend, Cajon strapped to my back (very useful as a seat when waiting around) for a gig with “The Lowdown”.  I posted the songs we recorded back in August HERE before I moved and since then they’ve carried on rehearsing (having beers and chatting) and have come up with a new set.  So eight months later I was sent the new songs, we had a very quick run through them on the stairwell of the Lamp Tavern in Dudley and on we went!

Pete, a long time friend and recent band member, had his gigging and guitar/vocal debut and it went really well.  I took along my Zoom R16 – the soundguy took a single feed from the desk straight into a mono-track so there wasn’t really much mixing I could do afterwards.  We only played five tracks and the soundguy forgot to send the guitar to the track for the first couple of tracks so i’m not going to post those.   Soooo……. here are three of them.  Much beer and sore head the following day to say the least….. folk’n’roll…….

I Don’t Know

Biding Time

Coming Home

Onto other things….. Part 3 of the bionic tentacle trilogy is currently being re-programmed and will be up sometime soon.  I’m still trying to juggle learning piano/recording/synthesis/software/drum programming/writing/theory/photography/drawing and spending too much time not doing any of it!

I’ve also added a links page HERE to just a few of the pages or places I enjoy, so check it out!

Lowdown

Just about squeezed in before i move, this is the first official “release”  by Lowdown.  Featuring Alistair Davies (Guitar/Vox), Mat Jamieson (Bass, Ukulele, backing vox), and Dan Stinton (me) on Cajon and other percussion.  All recorded live (with a few sneaky overdubs) on 15th June and mixed by me thereafter – it was a steep learning curve as I’m used to recording “line” instruments so suddenly having everything recorded via. mics is a whole new skill in itself.  I’m pretty pleased with the results though but have loads of “lessons learnt” for future projects.

Al/Mat > Its been really cool to do something not quite so noisy as our other bands.  They’ve all been great too of course – I am gutted that I can’t do it any more.  I’m sure there’ll be a few more jamming session to come….  I may also need some session musicians in future for the Bucket of Tentacles 🙂

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Coming Home

Two to Three

Wake Up Now

Bottles in the Bedroom

Million Memories

I apologise

Roxanne

Knocks and not the Breaks

Call off the Rescue

Here is a few pics of the recording session, all stolen from Mats Facebook page.

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Get on with the singing will ya!

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Backing vox sponsored by Carlsberg

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Psychedelic tambourine playing

 

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A jumble of wires – hoping its connected right

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Should have stood him on a thick book

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DJ Sticks in the house

Bucket of Tenatcles EP

It wouldn’t be right to have a musical blog without an official release, so here it is, the very first Bucket of Tentacles EP.  The anticipation is all my own, but this is a collection of my favourite pieces over the last year, along with a very limited edition CD cover (limited in that there is only one).

Bucket-of-Tentacles-EP

Bucket of Tentacles (17.5 hot minutes)

“My short collection of sounds inspired by, and dedicated to, the underwater world.  Like animals and habitats around the world, constantly under threat of destruction.  The majesty of the ocean and all that is within it should be preserved.  Let the tentacles rule.

All music taken from the Bucket of Tentacles blog, which has, and continues to be, a gradual progression of musical learning and exploration.”

Next steps are …… more piano practice, more composition practice, more mixing practice, and hopefully another EP…..

The Life Side

1. Tentaculus 

2. Batoidea

3. Perseus

4. Interlude

The Death Side

5. Big Mouth No Voice

6. Trecena

7. Last Chance to See

www.bucketoftentacles.co.uk

I’m now the proud owner of www.bucketoftentacles.co.uk

None of your worldwide “.com” stuff here! Mainly because the “.co.uk” was cheaper……

It was quite unbelievable that no-one else owned it (i need to point out the sarcasm there)!  I snatched it up quickly and as I have zero web development skills I just linked it direct to this WordPress site.

One thing about having a unique (or perhaps just rubbish) project name is that the domains are actually available and it dominates a Google search if anyone happens to type in “Bucket of Tentacles” ! Even the original Tsukiji fish market picture is the first one in Google images.  World domination next.

A few piano lesson songs to come up shortly and i’ve also recorded the basslines and cajon for Tentacle 6 which I’m hoping to have a very natural, earthy vibe.  That may all change if i sneak some synth onto it…. we shall see…..

Practicing and Spending

I’ve stop recording for a while as I decided it was time to actually dedicate a bit more time to learning to play. A couple of longish recording sessions was taking away valuable practice time in these early stages.   I’ll be recording a new piece i’ve written soon.  Just for a change, i’ll upload the sheet music first.  I just need to decide what instruments/sounds to use to record it!

Sheet music – Batoidia

Gear head alert !! I’ve also had a little spend!!

An all new mini-mixing desk – Behringer Xenyx 502 – a bit less bulky on the desk so frees up my other mixer for things going in whilst this deals with things going out, I thought Victoria would find it cute as its a small version of a mixing desk, but for some reason, the ladies aren’t so impressed with musical gear!

Purchase two is the Schlaagwerk FPS10 floor percussion set  The idea being to utilise my left foot bouncing up and down when playing the cajon by putting this under it! Shown in the pic below with my other percussion including a homemade cajon.

Tentacle 3

Tentacle 3

Here commeth Tentacle 3.  I’ve had loads of short ideas buzzing around and finally got round to getting some of them recorded.

The details: I originally played the rhythm on v-drums, but it didn’t quite sound right for the laid back vibe i wanted, so I had a quick mess around on the cajon played using Vater cajon brushes

In the interests of going completely over the top, I double miked it! A bass drum mic at the back and a shure instrument mic at the front.  With a lather of reverb, I love the result!  I didn’t think a wooden box with a hole in could sound so cool!

I’ve also done my first ever short piano “solo” and, randomly, a shamisen solo (on keyboard of course).  These were unplanned or rehearsed, so are left in with warts and all.

Credit also goes to the Blackbird in my garden who features in the track too.

Acoustic Band Recordings

Had the lads round the other day to do a bit of recording (i.e. have a few beers).  We tried a “proper” recording layering the separate tracks and whilst the sound quality is slightly better it lost all of its vibe.  So we stuck a mic in the corner of the room and just went for it.  Nothing is too loud so it tends to work quite well.  Back to basics with vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, cajon

So here they are!  All songs written by Alistair Davis, I can only claim credit for hitting a box.  Sometimes in time.

Bottles in the Bedroom

Call Off the Rescue

Wake Up Now