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Assembling the band, and listening to demos

I’ve been thinking recently about how to turn a bunch of demos into a living breathing album. Fantasy Bridge grew organically out of the demos as I painstakingly replaced the guide tracks I’d laid down on keys with performances from real people. This process worked reasonably well and might work again, though I have to say, starting with a blank slate does have it’s attractions. However before getting to that decision I needed to decide who was going to play on the new album.

 

 

Fantasy Bridge was something of an international affair, with collaborators from across the globe. Which was extremely good fun, but when it came time to actually want to perform any of this stuff in public, it became a bit of an issue. Paul, the drummer was local, and so was Adam my nephew who played bass, but for most of the other members of the virtual ‘band’ getting together for a gig wasn’t a possibility. So when it became time to launch the album, I hastily put together the Fantasy Bridge live band. Therefore I decided that for this 2nd release, I would see if I could build on this team to create the 2nd incarnation of the Mark Green Band (or whatever we decide to call ourselves) entirely from musicians closer to home…

Once again lifelong friend Paul Fuller will be taking up drumming duties. Itching to use his new and rather splendid Mapex kit on the project.

Brendan Dykes who joined us for the Fantasy Bridge launch gig will be playing guitars… And mandolin if he gets his way!

Adam is taking a hiatus from music right now, and while I was wondering who we could get to play bass, Brendan mentioned his son Elliott who just finished his music degree was rather a handy bass player (and guitarist, and composer, and audio engineer, and… well, you get the idea!) might be interested. And sure enough, he said he was up for it.  So we have a bass player.

Now though I took on all lead vocal duties for Fantasy Bridge, and though I love singing, my voice isn’t the strongest instrument in the world, and some of the reviews for the album made mention of this. Mindful of valid criticism I set about thinking about a lead vocalist.

As serendipity would have it last year I discovered one of our friends had an amazing voice, and was lead vocalist in a couple of local bands. When we talked about the album she was very interested in being part of the project, so on vocals we will have the rather splendid Maggie-May Riggs.

So it was on Friday evening that this brave troupe of musicians assembled at our house to listen through my demos for the 2nd album.

We listened through the songs I have been developing, taking notes, thinking about instrumentation, etc.  Partly, I wanted to just gauge their reaction on hearing these songs for the first time, but also wanted people to input their ideas as well. I hope this will be a highly collaborative effort.

So we have a band, we have seven songs to record,  we have the seed of a plan…

Let the fun commence.

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