Saturday, 5 June 2010

The tracks of my beards

So the long-awaited East London Line is now officially up and running, meaning that the trendy streets of east London are now much more accessible to us SE London residents. Hmmm, why does this not excite me very much? Oh yeah, because in and around places like 'Hoxton' and 'Shoreditch' I stick out like a sore, unfashionable thumb. Everyone's just so bloody stylish and hip. And tall. How *do* they fit into those jeans?

So when I discovered that Kev - the guitarist in my band Witness To The Beard - had booked us in to a recording studio just off Brick Lane for a day I was excited that I now had a genuine reason to hop on a shiny ELL train for my short journey north. The train was indeed very shiny, and I loved the fact that you can see from one end of the train to the other because of the lack of divisions between the carriages. I arrived at Shoreditch High Station in no time.

The studio we'd booked was the Soup Studio on Hanbury Street, which is underneath the Duke of Uke shop. We'd booked the studio out for the whole day for a bargainous £150, which included a sound engineer. The engineer in question was a lovely chap called Giles, and he was an absolute star. Between the three of us in the band we had very little recording experience, and Giles put us all at ease straight away, and was very patient when we cocked up. He was also extremely diplomatic with his comments and advice, when he could have simply said 'nah, that sounded crap'. 

We recorded our tracks live for the most part, with Giles doing a few clever tweaks and edits before the final mix. We somehow managed to record nine tracks in one day and you can listen to the results here if you're of a rough-and-ready rock disposition (to hear how it's done properly you can listen to Giles's band Tiger Cats here, which was recorded in the same studio).

It was such a fun day, and I'm really chuffed that I've now got something to show from 'the days when I was vaguely cool and in a band'. I'd massively recommend Soup Studio to anyone looking for somewhere affordable to record some tracks; they do analogue and digital recording and are really flexible and helpful. It's not the biggest studio in the world, but for us it was perfect. Oh, and I am now the proud owner of a ukulele which I purchased from the shop upstairs. I have named it 'Uku-Hayley'...

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