the buzz on stage (1 Viewer)

midlandmusic

New Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2005
Messages
65
Location
Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Website
www.bridesonline.ie
This is a small stage. It’s bigger than the last one, but the last stage had been way too small. At least this stage has steps up on the left side and there’s a little dressing room. The steps will help when you lug up the bass amp.

Sometimes you think that the best thing about being signed will be having roadies. You’d give your left ball for some roadies – imagine just showing up for a sound check at six with your guitar and your bag, everything already set up, bullshit with the engineer while he tests the mikes on the drums, do a couple of songs then split for dinner. And then, after the gig, you could go wherever the hell you want and somebody else would have to pull up the jacks, pack the fucking drums, haul away the kit.

Maybe soon. Philippe says you’re in with Polygram. Virgin thought about it then turned you down, said the first album sounded too much like Radio Head – Radio Head! Of course, maybe Polygram will just keep you under wraps, maybe they won’t produce you, maybe they’ll split up the group, but fuck, they’re your songs – at least most of them – and you can handle the guitars, you’re not a bad guitarist. You know just about all the guitarists in Paris and you’re not bad. And now that you’re living alone you don’t mind touring as much if you get signed. Before, it was a bitch, but now you don’t care if you’re on the road.

Setting up the stage is a pain in the ass. So many fucking drums and cymbals and stands. Why be a guitarist if you have to spend your life hauling around drums? And the bass amp, fucking monster, weighs a ton. And the piano – why can’t he just use a couple of keyboards instead of an electronic piano? Nice sound though. All you need is your Strat and your amp. Nobody has come close to making an amp like a Fender twin. And when you start in for the sound check, you put it through its paces and a note blasts out and hangs in the air up in the middle of the room like a big silver thing and then you shoot out a few more and the drummer ignores you and starts his incessant snare shots and the bassist makes your feet tickle with a couple of booms and the pianist starts playing fucking Chopin and you just keep on shooting out big silver notes so you can see how the sound is in this place with a stage that isn’t very big and you all make this horrendous noise while each of you ignores the others and listens to his own instrument and the engineer doesn’t care yet and your tour promoter doesn’t care yet either and is trying to pick up some woman who’s around for some god damn reason but at least the sound seems OK – that’s all that really matters. Tonight, at least.

Then the drums. The sound engineer vaults onto the stage (engineers always vault onto stages, they never use the stairs) and he starts adjusting the mikes around the drums so you get down and have a beer at the bar while the drummer starts banging away, one drum at a time; pock! pock! pock! on the snare, whump! whump! whump! on the bass drum, the toms with their round tones and then the cymbals; the ride with its ting and the high-hat with its tink and the crashes with their splashes of noise.

Then each of you gets up in turn. You show the engineer your sounds but you really only use four and they’re all pretty classic. The bassist is easy, the pianist is picky – acoustic piano sound, plus Hammond, but it has to be fucking exact. Then a couple of songs, but no life, it’s just for the sound, and you stop and discuss things and you talk about the levels on the stage and the vocalist just goes through the motions and then you go to dinner and talk about Polygram.

The place is full at ten. You’re starting to draw these days. From the dressing room door you can see them and you comb your hair again and check it out in the mirror. There’s still that little twinge, that little rush before you go on stage, even after all these years and then you think of Sophie and you wonder if she’ll be there but she won’t be there because she hasn’t been there for months and you forget about it, you shake it off, you look back out at the crowd through the crack in the door and the lights go down and you hit the bassist on the arm and he hits you and the drummer screams like he always does before he goes on stage and he runs out onto the stage and the crowd screams and the vocalist yells into his mike as he runs out and then you run out too with the bassist and the pianist and you pick up your guitar and the crowd is screaming and a spot light is in your face and the drummer comes down hard on the snare – whack! – and then you dive into a riff that makes the air explode with sound and the bass comes up from under you and lifts you into the air while the organ wails and you’re making a really loud sound and there’s that rush like no other, your blood boils, and the crowd screams louder and you come down hard on them, you slide down the neck into a mess of distortion and they all squirm and the vocalist picks them up, he sucks them in and spits them out and they scream again and you close your eyes and raise your head and clench your teeth while you churn around in the riff and the bass is there and the drums are there and the piano is there and you’re all spinning around together and making a groove and the vocalist is swimming in the middle of it and the crowd is caught in it and you’re all going around and around inside the groove and that’s all there is until you end on a dime and the first song is over.

The crowd screams and the vocalist shakes his head and yells “Bonsoir Dijon!” and the crowd screams again and you breathe and look behind you and realize that you forgot to take out a set of replacement strings. Shit. If you break a string you’ll have to run into the dressing room for a new set.

Then there’s that little roll on the high-hat and that neat little bass and drums groove and you get ready with your D major and just listen to it go by until you come in hard and the lighting guy remembered and he hits the crowd with a bath of white light as you nail that chord and the piano lays on top and the vocalist dances with the melody on your chunky arpeggio and they’re moving and you can see the crowd moving and you play that arpeggio and think about those damn strings that you forgot to take out, especially since you really get into the next song and you’ve broken strings on it in the past and that would really be a pain in the ass and you should get a strat with a fixed bridge so that the whole damn guitar doesn’t go out of tune when you break a low string and there’s that tom roll, ‘toopa toopa too’ and you shift into it and there’s a really hot babe in the front row and Sophie isn’t here – you can just tell she isn’t here – but she hasn’t been here for months and fuck, she left with your daughter but you can’t think about that, you’ll save that for a sad song, there’s one only a few songs away and then there’s the chorus and the modulation into E and that babe is really hot and they’re moving on this as well and the vocalist is rising . . .rising . . .he’s starting to get into it and the song breaks out and you all really start to move and the crowd moves more and you ride it, ride it, ride it until it ends on a lingering F-sharp-minor.

The crowd screams but you don’t give them any time.

You start the next one with a deep, deep bend and it wails away then they all come in at once and you move the neck to deepen the bend and you keep on bending until you slide down into a growl and this is a solo, this is what they want, this is what you do, this is basic, this is really just blues in E and that’s your favorite key for the blues and that’s why you wrote this one in E and it’s incredible that it was just a cool little thing that you guys used to do to warm up back when you were rehearsing in that little studio near the apartment that you used to share with Sophie before she left you but you can’t think about that now and the little riff has become a giant and what a sweet key to do the blues in because of all those open-string things and there’s one now and even if the pianist says it’s too simple, what the fuck, it’s fun and wheee, you can slide it up to 12 and do it again there and bend and then there’s that other riff, that succession of open string hammers – that’s a fucking signature riff by now and some of them in the crowd recognize it and they scream some more and you smile, you smile! And the sweat runs down your face and you hammer the strings and you love those strings, you’d never play anything but eleven/forty-nines now, fucking cables, they say Stevie Ray played even thicker strings and tuned in E flat, like Hendrix, but the rest of the band would fucking kill you if you suggested it and there’s a run, run, run, a chromatic run up and it never ends and the crowd is really screaming now and you’re taking it all the way to the top and then wail – and then you do little half chords while the vocalist comes out with those rapid-fire lyrics, they really are pretty good if you take the time to listen to them, probably his best so far, it’s a shame really that he’s such an asshole, but then front-men often are, what with the kind of ego that you need to really be able to drive a crowd and it would be nice if Sophie just came once because you’re doing some new songs these days and one of them is about her if you really listen to it and then you get to that bluesy ending when you all make a lot of noise and you draw out that flurry of strumming on the lingering E-seven and the band is waiting for you to drop the neck and end it, they’re waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . there!
 

Lefty Frizzell

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
13,432
bm6w.jpg



Okay what do i win? Gimme the prize!
 

chickenham

Well-Known Member
Since 2000
Joined
Feb 22, 2000
Messages
1,344
Has anyone actually checked out midlandmusic.com

I can't, i'm too scared.

PS give this guy some REP for chrissakes - he's literally DROWNING in unpopularity.
 

eoinbox

New Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
600
Location
dublin
chickenham said:
Has anyone actually checked out midlandmusic.com

I can't, i'm too scared.

PS give this guy some REP for chrissakes - he's literally DROWNING in unpopularity.

"Mark was founder and chairman of the Poetry Society while at college and it was from his love of poetry that an interest in songwriting developed. His songs are introspective photographs of his own life and the experiences of the people he encounters"

i think thats all you need to know
 

eoinbox

New Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
600
Location
dublin
ITalkShite said:
No, no! You need to know about these photos as well!



Ah, Mark White. You're like the Thumped gimp.

ah dont be a bollocks, he was only trying to make an entrance before he tried to drag us all to Bauld Biddy's in Crossnabuíhedge for his long player casette only release next week.
 

Lefty Frizzell

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
13,432
IMAG000A.JPG


Apart from his love of [size=-1]interpreted, interactive, object-oriented, extensible programming language[/size]s, music has always been a part of marks life. He says his life changed when he heard 'your so far away from me' by dire straits in 1998. "I knew from that moment that the stage was the only place for me. I got to meet Mark Knopfler after a show two years ago. I just couldnt stop thanking him."
 

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