October 4, 2008

formed a band

Filed under: Uncategorized, editorial, mr solo — mrsolo @ 6:17 pm

I’m not very good at asking for help - hence the name of my latest musical persona Mr Solo. Once there was a time when I called friends for help and imagined them holding the receiver up hand clasped over the mouth piece and turning to their partener/buddy/wife and mouthing its mr Solo whilst casting their eyes skyward. Well not anymore no sirree now I call people and say “do you wanna be in my band?” No that is a lie i would never be so crass. I might say “do you fancy playing drums for a gig?” “we could practice”. And lo so it came to pass that the oxymoronically named Mr Solo trio came to pass. Dom from Pop Art moving swiftly up the pyramid from baritone guitar (the fifth wheel) to Bass guitar and mikey from Art brut playing drums. Recently a strange thing has happened - i’ve started to notice that practicing  or even rehearsing makes a difference.  I think i first noticed this playing with glam chops. paul from guided missile put by back up by insisting that we go through the song i’d written in the barrel room before we took to the stage. By the time we began the set even i new the chords. After last night’s gig at the Brady Arts centre all we could talk about was how practising had really helped. my view is now that practising is bolder than not practising because its being brave enough to find out how something might really sound if its SOMETHING  and not everything.

Giving a band a name is one of the best things about being in a band so after finishing the biography of Charles fort I was keen to pick a name for the three piece that would reflect my new found passion. One of his books was called “The book of the Damned” -  yes that’s it i mused “The Damned”.  I mean my favourite song is even Smash it Up by the Damned. Hold on they are a band already. So how apt that i should pitch up at the sound check and turn to the fellow next to me and say hello I’m mikey to which he replied i’m rat. i did not as the fans of parisien urban geurilla art say “what as in Blek le…” no after a few seconds i turned back and said “what as in scabies?” Later I wowed said gentleman with my tale of how i nearly called the band the Damned and was able to ask him whty the single version of Smash it Up was more scintilating than the Album version?” i didn’t find time to say its my favourite ever song.

Charles fort author of “The Book of The Damned” (did i say?) speculated in book called X that our lives are predestined and controled by an invisible force called X which may or may not be transmitted from Mars.  I recently read that there is a theory that on a quantum level life truely is preordained and that the equations all add up to neutrons et al  moving along a preconfigured route. Love song was a the second single i bought and i recently learnt it for an exhibition party and was pleased to discover mr Scabies had penned the songs most engaging vaudevillian lyrics.

Later I stood talking to a Rock and Roll Friend From Bourmouth and told him how i got over nerves by reminding myself that I didn’t write my own songs really they just appeared out of the ether. This is the sort of thing I tell students in my illustration classes. My RRFFB was seen to momentarily gaze into the middle distance but was kind enough to save me with a “yes I think i know what you mean”.

Rambling now but I think the first outing of the Mr Solo Trio was a triumph. We even became the miste Solo Quintet as Simon Breed and keith TOTP joined us for the rousing finale of ‘It Makes You Wonder’.

I days of yor I was treated to some vocal coaching by Arista records (you know). On the wall of my coach’s shack  were the likes lenny henry and heather Smalls but who else should be nestling there but one dave vanian (you know from the DAMNED). My vocal coach had a very aprticular approach involving keeping your apple down and singing from the diaphram (see heather Smalls  etc). I began to notice that dave vanians later works all had this distinctive style. Mr Scabies seemed almost gratified to discover the source of the change in vocal timbre which had hitherto been a complete mystery.

And yeah Smash it up is my fave song ever.

1 Comment »

  1. Woop! Digest Hearts The Vessel.

    Comment by digest — October 8, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

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