Report Back from Winter 2009 Spanish Jam
Written by The Saturday Morning Canasta Club
Tough job but someone had to do it — we’ve returned from our Winter Spanish Jam with a finished 2009 CD, 4 new songs and a bunch of fragments to work on … And we’re all a bit chubbier and some of us no longer like each other.
So, let’s start with the business end. We played around in the studio (Andy’s bedroom) a lot and got four songs going. The first started on the day of arrival, when Jimmy e mailed Andy at 1215 Friday morning to ask if he was still up. He was and they recording quickly a demo of Big Old Bird on Andy’s mobile phone. Not that quickly actually; the session ended at 3AM.
We then all met in Studio on Friday and the band jammed around for a good 90 minutes around a nice little song that became Invading London by lunch time. Great opportunity for our three lead vocalists — Andy, Ed and Louise — to share vocals thru the verses. We hadn’t done that before.
This was followed by lunch in the sunshine and that, sadly, back in the cave, where we did the official version of Big Old Bird. The band humours Jimmy on these occassions, passing notes that he is aware of where they re-assure themselves that his vocals will be removed by final take. With that reassurance they confidently lay down all the necessary tracks and Jimmy is left with a month or so where he thinks he’ll appear on something. Then the world is made right.
In the middle of this day, the band, as is its want, got distracted a bit and jammed around some of the chords for Misery Marmalade which was a jam session from the Summer 2009 Spanish Jam. They got a really good structure in place, which unfortunately got stuck in Jimmy’s head, leading him to get up Saturday morning to write Immovable Thing. This is our misery song! And it is miserable. Mentions chalklines on the pavement, black holes, losing friends, no sunshine, forest fires — a real pulp fiction weepie!
Having laid this down in the morning, the depressed Band enjoyed more lunch in the sun and then went back into to record a Martyn classic Big Knees. While we made need to compete with Susan Boyle, this will be the most sought after pre-order in history once we release samples. Or it might not even survive until our next London studio session. It is in the balance it is. The fact that Martyn did lead vocals puts it high on all our list and especially Jimmy’s — he got to finally write one of those notes to the others saying ‘don’t worry, we’ll pull him off the final mix, humour him.’ The best revenge of the bullied is to become the bully!
We ended our time our Sunday with a massive 33 minute jam around some blues chords. Yes, 33 minutes. So that’s side 2 of our next CD. Too bad they’re one sided! In between all this was mad mixing and fixing of lots of 2009 output. The unfortunate bit for poor Jimmy is they all axed Sat out the 15th, which was the only song in our history that still had little Jimmy playing an instrument. So his whole musical contribution is now on the cutting room floor. He’s trying not to feel too sorry for himself.
Now, that’s the work bit. The fun bit was far more interesting. We had great meals and great wines all three evenings. We played canasta, watched X factor, did wine-tastings and played a bee cell game off of Rob’s Ipod. We even celebrated Jimmy’s birthday with a grand song written by Andy and Ed. Involved Ed struggling for a surprise F chord, which was fun.
We mostly liked each other throughout, although some of us did get a bit grumpy at way too many references to Worrying Lifestock. And some of us didn’t get enough sleep because they chose the studio as their bedroom. And some of us really didn’t share their Bee Cells game enough. And some of us ate a few too many Patatas Fritas Classica.
We do like these Jam sessions and have booked June. The only outstanding issue is whether they should become quarterly!