Archive for July, 2006

Connexions troubles

Monday, July 31st, 2006

The vBP’s next gig is at a pub in Chaddesden, as part of a Connexions event.  We have known about this gig since around February, but things are starting to crop up now.  Our set is 20-30 minutes and we’re probabaly able to do:

  • Every time (own song) (emotive song)
  • Dead Man (own song) (flagship song)
  • This Pain (own song) (only about two minutes, including dodgey bridge)
  • Uncivilized (only about two and a half minutes)
  • Maus (lacks words)
  • Hand of Blood (cover)
  • House of the Rising Sun (cover)
  • Chapter Four (cover) (not ready yet)

That lot might just fill a 20 minute slot.  Two of the songs are quick, This Pain has the most awkward (and currently, frankly rather painful sounding) bridge, and Chapter Four is virtually un-doable because of Elliot’s downright stubborness towards buying some locking tuners and actually keeping his guitar in tune for a few minutes.  Without two perfectly-tuned guitars, harmonies sound ridiculous.

Another huge problem is tightness… we need several practices to get up to performing level from the lax standard we adopt whilst writing and refining songs.  OK, fair enough, we have been re-writing the songs and teaching our new bassist his parts, but we can’t exactly turn around on the night and say ‘oh, sorry for the shitness, but we’ve been busy’.

The one cure for a lack of tightness is practice time, and that’s exactly what we don’t have.  Our drummer and bassist are on holiday for a fortnight, and arrive back on the 11th or 12th.  This was fine, as it gave us a whole week within which we could practice at our leisure.  However, in a very stupid and highly irritating move, Elliot thought it would be a clever idea to book a holiday with his girlfriend from the 12th to the 17th or 18th.  And that’s commitment for you.

Our gig is on the 19th.  This gives us – at most – two full-day practices, plus the odd short one.  Realistically, I predict we will have perhaps 7 hours.  In terms of actual practice time, thats nothing, especially looking at what we need to get through.

What we’re having to do is rehearse in segments, where the whole band is never together as a unit.  This isn’t really practical, as a metronome is no substitute for a drummer, two guitars will not fill the gap of a bassist, and a 16 bar gap where a solo used to be somewhat kills the momentum of a song.

But, its the best we have and we’ll have to make the most out of it.

He Who Is Pain

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

He Who Is Pain
had been lurking about.
He saw a change to strike
and so he struck out.
With the death of the heart
there will be a new reign.
"I will be king now!",
thought He Who Is Pain

An excerpt from The Monsters in my Tummy, one of my favourite short stories by Roman Dirge.

The von Braun Project

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

The Lowlifes have had a recent reshuffle and we are now known as the von Braun Project, or the vBP.

Former bassist Andy Dean has been replaced with Joe Ford.  Joe has been sitting in on our band practices for a month or two now, as he basically lives at our drummer’s house in his spare time.  He is also blessed with better equipment and is a faster learner than Andy.  He knows half of our songs and should know the full set before our next gig on the 19th of August.

As mentioned, this is less of a replacement movement and more of a reshuffle; Andy is still a part of the Project, and is taking the role of ‘band manager’.  Essentially this entails:

  • Acquiring gigs;
  • Co-ordinating the band;
  • Organizing videos, photo-shoots and private practice gigs;
  • Helping me organize the band website.

He is doing this with some help of George’s (the drummer’s) dad, who has managed bands in the past.

Now that we have a proper band name, I can start work on the website.  I have a friend that is into photography and has a very good camera who has agreed to take some band pictures of us, and who may also agree to photograph some gigs.  Now all we need is a logo, which I have some ideas for, and work can start on the band website – which will be based on the same platform as my school’s website, if you’re interested, which is called Joomla!.

Summer romances

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

I woke up this morning with a pounding headache and a sensation in my throat akin to having a barbed wire fence dragged through my thorax, and so decided to take the day off school.  My headache is subsiding somewhat now, and as I have a SPB to work on and a geography coursework extension to plead for, as soon as this post is finished I’m going for a shower and dragging myself to school for half a day.

As I lay in bed this morning debating whether or not it would be worth downing a large amount of Ibuprofen and hoping for the best, it struck me how crap summers are.


Coursework deadlines – the bane of my existance?

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

I currently have the following projects to finish.  Bear in mind that the last week at school was ‘enrichment week’, a week of basically minimal work and maximum doing, making and dossing.

  • Geography coursework due in for tomorrow;
  • Science coursework due in for tomorrow;
  • The final trial coursework for maths due in for Friday (I managed to scrape a D in the last one);
  • A DiDA SPB to plan for and develop.

Am also in possession of the following:

  • Some acute swelling of the throat or something, that has left me with a ‘abused throat’;
  • An inhaler to cure this;
  • Huge throat pains and a pounding headache (which is a little suspicious as I didn’t have either of these before I was issued with my Beclometasone Dipropionate inhaler)


The true meaning of love

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Whilst sitting in science yesterday with Elliot and feeling immensely bored unstimulated, I decided to work out the true meaning of love.  Well, if you want me to do some real work, try motivating me with something other than photocopies mind-numbing physics worksheets.

There is a trend within the much hated ‘Emo’ subculture here in England of drawing hearts as <3.  This comes from instant messaging conversations and websites wanting a textual alternative to the heart, but some quite mislead people took it upon themselves to take this out of context and draw textual hearts everywhere – on their school planners, on posters, on cards, etc. – in an attempt to conform and feel like they’re a part of the Emo or scene subcultures.