Just a quick note to let you know I’m playing a solo set this Friday night at the Queens Arms Hotel, Fortitude Valley (Brisbane). A few old songs, and a few new ones, transformed from my usual lush arrangements into a single guitar.
I’m supporting Nik Phillips who’ll be performing a showcase later in the evening, so it really would be the height of rudeness not to stick around afterwards for all that entertainment (and the many opportunities to enjoy alcohol responsibly).
Would be great to see you there!
Damn straight, I told them. So I quickly wrote a song, to spec, in between recording sessions for the new album.
It’s completely different from anything you’ll hear on ‘Great & Terrible Potions‘. It’s not multi-layered, indulgent, pompous, or completely over the top.
But it still has some redeeming features!
Let me know what you think. You can hear it opening the clip. I should probably get in there and finish it.
Fancy a sneak preview of the new album?
Sixty seconds is all it takes…
An extended period of silence on the blog-posting front can only mean one thing.
I’m ensconced in the studio.
The next album is coming along swimmingly now. All the instruments have been recorded, and just this last week the vocals were completed.
Now I’m in the final mixing stage. And I’m struck with a strange sense of deja vu reminding me of mixing Two False Idols. That is, I went into it expecting sonic clarity, before discovering just how much sweeter echo made everything sound. Vocals, guitar solos, squeaking brakes, you name it. Vocals, guitar solos, squeaking brakes, you name it.
But on this new album, some of the musical arrangements are so completely over the top that, without a dry sound, the individual instruments just get lost in the mix. So as a rule of thumb I’m taking more of a documentary-style approach. I’m simply reporting on all the tracks that have already been recorded and trying to bring them out in the best light.
Man, but this slide guitar here sure sounds great with a bit more delay. And geez this lead vocal has so much more presence with a bit of echo. And these band-shifted radio signals sound much scarier..
Just back from seeing Guy Pratt at the Sit Down Comedy Club in Brisbane.
Guy is of course a bit of a hero of mine, being the bloke who had the nerve to play slap bass over songs where Roger Waters previously hadn’t. And then twenty years later, Guy chose not to.
Seriously I love the energy of those precious few live performances of Echoes from 1987, and I still remember double-taking when I heard his solo on One Slip. And check out what he did with Any Colour You Like in 1994. That was a revelation.
Guy also makes it cool to like disco.
Anyway the show was hilarious (like his book) and the bass interludes were fantastic.
(On the minus side, it never ceases to amaze me how some people can spend good money on tickets, take a table right at the front of the stage, and proceed to talk to each other through the whole show!)
Guy was right decent enough to have his photo taken with this happy chappy from the front row, whom he reckoned didn’t look like Comic Book Guy. Which must be one of the nicest compliments I’ve received from anyone.
First up, I’m pleased to report there were no train wrecks.
Secondly, here are some fantastic photos taken on the night by Michelle Aziz. I’m sure you’ll agree the execution more than makes up for the photogenic limitations of the subject matter.
And thirdly, if that wasn’t enough to knock all of us to the ground and leave us panting for more, here’s a bona-fide bootleg-quality video of the first live performance of Golden Band, well, ever.
“My name is Ben Craven and I write songs for 10-piece prog rock bands. Then I massacre them by playing them solo.”
Enough About You
If You Knew
Not Me It’s You
Ready To Lose The War (new song!)
More on my gig at Ric’s Bar (Brunswick St Mall, Brisbane) next Monday night…
I’ll be stumbling out at 9:30pm, hopefully after the consumption of several confidence boosters.
Highlights-to-be include the live debut of Golden Band, the acoustic premiere of Not Me It’s You, and a sneak preview of a new song, Ready To Lose The War, from the upcoming album. As long as I finish the lyrics in time!
I’ll also be introducing my new second guitarist, Bruce. He plays exactly what I tell him:
Breaking news is that I’ll be playing a solo spot at Ric’s Bar (Fortitude Valley, Brisbane) on Monday the 20th of July, supporting my new best mates, Disnae Matter.
Which means now I finally have to figure out how to do justice to songs originally arranged for, inconveniently, five guitars, two keyboards, Chris Squire, a string orchestra, and a virtuoso triangle player. So Golden Band will either be delicately glorious in its intimacy, or a train wreck. Be sure you’re there when we all find out which!