Yesterday was a big day…
So, I got up early and watched most of the Olympics opening ceremony. Which made me bawl like a baby. There’s something about hundreds of thousands of people coming together in peace (or in this case, peaceful competition) that just gets to me. I thought London, Danny Boyle, and everyone involved did an amazing job putting the opening ceremony production together.
I loved the way that the entire evolution of modern Britain was acted out. It was very Lord of the Rings-y. I also got a kick out of the ode to children’s literature (I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so it was kind of a squee! moment to see a big puppet of Voldemort, and J.K. Rowling reading from Peter Pan.
There was a wonderful range of British music represented…some notable examples were The Clash, The Beatles, Bowie, Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols. The performances of ‘Tubular Bells’ and ‘Chariots of Fire’ were amazing – I’m not much of a Mr. Bean fan, but Rowan Atkinson was a complete crackup during ‘Chariots of Fire’. Not to mention the Arctic Monkeys’ rendition of “Come Together” and Sir Paul Mc Cartney himself “Hey Jude”ing it all over the place. I also teared up at the magnificent drumming display, led by profoundly deaf drummer Evelyn Glennie. Apparently she often drums barefoot, because she can feel the music’s vibration through her feet. What an inspiration! And the national anthem “God Save the Queen” was sung and signed by a partially deaf children’s signing choir. It was such an inclusive ceremony, encompassing England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. What an incredible celebration of the human spirit.
So, after all of this, Ross and I traveled to our drummer James’ house to have a practice session before our gig last night. We met our guitarist Ged there and had a really nice jam/practice session. Ged’s friend Matt Williamson, a photographer, also met us there, and we had our first photo session as a band. Basically, we just need some promo band photos that aren’t craptacular live shots. James’ house is a hippie wonderland, and we got some cool shots in his outdoor treehouse, next to his abseiling wall (!), playing on his giant African drum and by the multicoloured old piano in his backyard. Something weird: I dreamed Friday night about jumping on a trampoline, and after exploring James’ place, I was amazed to discover he actually has a trampoline I’ve never noticed in the backyard. I had so much fun during my brief bounce around on it.
Matt has given us one sneak peek black & white photo so far, which you can see below. I’ll post the best photos later when we receive them!
After our jam, it was straight to our gig at Ric’s Bar in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Ross and I have played Ric’s in our previous band, but not so far with The Halls. We had a really good time, and a pretty great gig! We tried something different, and decided to open our set with an instrumental jam. There are so many riffs floating around in our ‘bank’ right now, which we haven’t turned into fully-fledged songs yet. So we just improvised on one, and I think it went really well. We’ve had a few comments so far at our gigs that describe us as ‘atmospheric’, so I guess we’re elaborating on that. The instrumental got a really good reception from the crowd.
I stuffed up at this gig, in that I didn’t realize the backline was fully provided. So we all brought our amps over for nothing; we had to use the amps Ric’s Bar provided. Oops, Bec! In my defense, I really thought the backline was OPTIONAL, but, oh well. All of our songs went pretty well, although there were issues with the bass in a few songs, which made it hard to hear. There’s one song I’d really like to cut out of our set, “The Sea is Red”…I can sing it no problems usually, but somehow at gigs, with all the weird sounds floating around, it’s hard for me to get the key entirely right. I feel like I drift around it vocally. An idea I thought of AFTER the gig, was to put earplugs in while singing just that song. I think I’ll try that next time.
I can’t wait to write new material, and I know the band feels the same way. We got a great compliment on our improv jam; someone said that it reminded them a lot of The Jezabels, an Australian band who I LOVE. So that was a nice comment. I feel like our newer stuff is moving in yet another direction, and can’t wait to flesh it out. We have a gig gap coming up between the 7th and 30th of August, so we’re going to find a full weekend where we can all take our time and write new songs. I can’t wait!!!
Lots of friends turned up last night to the gig, so I was really grateful and happy to see them. Next week is our gig at the band competition finals, so that’s another big one coming up!
Thanks for reading! Until next time…