Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Loopy Christmas Do

Venue: The Sweet Olive, The Chequers Inn, Aston Tirrold, Didcot

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Gi and Tom


View Larger Map

It was snowing and fogging. Tom picked Ad and Fea up from Newbury. Tom keeps his music equipment in his car because he has no room in his house to keep it. Ad got in the back with a large and heavy keyboard on his lap. The phone call came through that Eg needed picking up too. He squeezed in the back with Ad meaning the vertically placed guitar had to be laid flat on top of the keyboard across both back seat passengers' legs.

Fea would have been giggling in the front had it not been for Tom's 'interesting' driving.

Gi was already at the restaurant when the steamed up vision of Tom's car appeared, snow-crunching its way into the car park.

Starters, Mains and Desserts.

This year's Cracker Special provided by 'Santa Claus' contained mechanical Brussel Sprouts and a racing circle in the form of a drawing of a plate. The sprouts needed to be wound up, placed in the middle and let go. The last sprout Out [off the 'plate'] gets knocked out.

Fea won.

It was Gi's birthday too.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Rare December Rehearsal.

Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios, Winchester

Low key rehearsal involving some new songs, some current songs and some oldies. Held in the old control room at the back of the original unit. Huddled around the sofa at the end, sitting on amps and stools. Ad gives Tom the chords to one of T's favourite Fountans of Wayne songs 'Leave the Biker' Tom sings it to Ad and Fea. It remained unrecognisable.

Ben has finally moved into his flat in Winchester.

Post Practice Pint Prattle: This Year's Loopy Christmas Do; Google Latitude;

Saturday, 31 October 2009

The Halloween Gig at Rowledge, Sue's 40th Birthday

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom and Dom

Venue: Rowledge Village Hall, Rowledge

It was Sue's 40th Birthday. And Rowledge Village Hall has no real distinguishing features other than two large bay windows at the front. Very much, in fact, like all the surrounding houses in the village. Which is why Eg ended up zooming past it, Ad only got as far as the village Pub and Fea sat around waiting for help in a nearby layby. Miraculously, inexplicably and somewhat suspiciously Tom and Dom pinpoint it precisely. [Tom confesses later that he had actually been there before.]

Ad, Dom and Tom arrive earliest and set up. The organisers finish their setting up and leave telling the boys to help themselves to the booze while they're gone. Two speeding humanoid blurs desert Tom during one of his many sentences, cometting to the bar.

Eg and Fea arrive wondering where the beers came from.

Tonight the performance took place on a proper Town Hall style stage with footlights and overhead theatre lights. The banner was wonkily taped up above the drummer's stool by Tom and Dom, while Eg assembled his brand new microphone stand - one with a circular weighted
base, one with which he could dance. Everyone had a play. The Sound check was made and while Loopy waited for the guests to arrive they sang 'Love The Way' to pass the time.

An interesting start to Mustang Sally caught Ad off
guard while Eg forgot the ending altogether for Back For Good. Is She Really Going Out With Him won the audience over again.

Happy Birthday was sung when the birthday cake was brought out in between sets and a healthy amount of pretty ladies danced at the feet of the boys for most of the night.

The Buffet
Three types of home made curry were available; vegetarian, chicken and beef. These were accompanied by shop-bought small naan breads and little bhajis.

A well laid out and comprehensive completion of catering configuration that couldn't fail to conquer one's palate and one's appetite.

Bravo.

Overall score: 7 out of 10. After being negotiated down from an initial eight - due mainly to the number of peas in the chicken, the lacklustre [shop-bought] naan, the ever-so slightly watery vegetarian option and the fact that it repeated itself rather unnecessarily on both Ad and Fea later on. A new way of scoring buffets is proposed to make it more like Strictly Come Dancing.

The gig finished with most guests remaining on the dancefloor shouting for more.

Between Set Prattle:
Eg's arrival in a Nissan Micra with flowers on it; Tom doesn't like people who play golf; when does not paying for something change from 'an oversight on the part of the cashier' to 'outright thefty shoplifting'; the unhealthiness of hankies; the repeating curries; the guest appearance of SuperNanny; a full set of Humax owners; the repeating curries; the revelation that Fea managed to copy a file from Humax to his computer without Ad's help; the repeating curries forcing Fea to repeat in the gents; two drunk ladies plotting to give Tom more female attention than ever before; Dom buys tickets for his family to go to a Christmas Strictly Come Dancing adventure just as his kids start to prefer The X Factor.

Set List
Set 1
Happy Days
Somersaults
Best Friend's Girl
Mustang Sally
Tainted Love
Evel Knievel
So Lonely
Corner Of Your Mind
Wonderwall
Just Can't Get Enough

Set 2
Is She Really Going Out With Him
All About You
Shakin All Over
Too Late
Help!
Saw Her Standing There
Kids In America
Teenage Kicks
Town Called Malice
I'm A Believer

1st Encore:
Back For Good
Take On Me
2nd Encore:
Ever Fallen In Love


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Final Practice Before Halloween Gig

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Uprising Studios, Boundary Road, Newbury

Dom joins the boys on drums.

Apart from the usual rehearsing of covers and poppy originals required for the gig on Saturday, three new songs were worked through again. 'Sparkle You', 'Lie Detectors' and 'Sky Above My House'.

Dom went home before the rest of the boys headed down the Hog's Head for their Post Practice Pint.

Pub Prattle: House hunting; how 'mature' many of the punters were in the Hog's Head; extending one's house only to move home immediately afterwards; charging for the album

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Penultimate Practice Before Halloween Gig with Random Guest Drummer, Jamie

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Uprising Studios, Newbury

Expecting a full practice with Dom on drums, the band turned up only to be told by Tom that Dom was ill and couldn't come. The disappointment reflecting the desire to play with the highly talented ex-Chesterf!elds drummer [pictured], of course. While awaiting the studio room to vacate, the album boxes were distributed and the cover was pawed over. The accidental omission of cellist Rufus's name being the most obvious disappointment.

Rehearsal began with a run through of some of the covers that will be expected to make an appearance at the gig next week. Then with a knock at the door, a young looking lad asked if he could sit in on the vacant drum kit and join in. His name was Jamie. He was 19 years old. After an initial uneasiness we did a couple more covers including 'Just Can't Get Enough' - much to Jamie's amusement.

New songs 'Lie Detectors', 'Sparkle You' and 'Sky Above My House' were worked on with the last two enjoying Jamie's drum accompaniment.

The evening ended down the Hog's Head for the...

Post Practice Pint Pub Prattle: Fea's former pupils serving him in a pub; Loopy [not] entering X Factor; Self-congratulating over the album, Doing Somersaults; The forthcoming Loopy Christmas Do; How lucky the band have been with stand-ins; Rick the Hungry Drummer; Oxford Magnets being a corporate leaf off a branch off a much larger parent company tree.


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Friday, 16 October 2009

Picking Up The Album


Present: Ad, Tom - but separately

Venue: Unit A, Lutyens Industrial Centre, Basingstoke

Ad and Tom don't quite meet at the venue. Tom gets there first and leaves a box for Ad to pick up when he turned up 10 minutes later. The excitement palpable in both.

Was there a thumbs up for the cover quality?

Oh yesh.

Ad flogs four that night.

Practice for the Gig Later in the Month

Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios. A very busy Valley Studios.

The threesome ran through some of the favourites they cover for private functions including their pop favourites that always get an audience up and dancing.

Had a lengthy mid-practice break talking to Ben, interrupting his DVD viewing. He's on the verge of setting up a new studio in a new building 2 miles up the road, whilst keeping the current set up as rehearsal space.

Post Practice Pint Pub Prattle: Fea's fundamental demands of his children as they grow up; a possible hung parliament potentially changing British politics forever; Dom's drumming; Dom's flask of coffee he brings with him to gigs; picking up the new album tomorrow; being exhausted at work; competitive parents at school events;

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Practice

Present: Ad, Eg, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios

Worked on the new songs and deliberated over the logistics of rehearsing with new part-time drummer, Dom. And the gig at the end of the month.

Eg produces USB stick with band photos and footage from the A34 Schools tour. Ad wrestles it off him.

The CDs of the album will be physically available later this month. Actual release is to be scheduled with iTunes availability.

Post-Practice Pub Prattle: Painful foot massages; flying long haul in economy seats; looking for new jobs; the 1970s father on average spent 20 minutes a week with their children compared with 2 hours today; mobile phones for children; the disastrous Dingwalls gig; the website; Gi's son's new band - The Dead Jerichos.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Practice

Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios

A three person rehearsal developing and practising the new songs for the next album. Ad's Italian Job story is long and boring while Tom continues as Ben's tobacco mule.

Post Practice Pint Prattle: The Friday gig; the house viewing hobby of Fea; Tom's searching for a new house...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A Miniature Version of the Album Cover for Corrections

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios, Winchester

Ad arrived early and added a backing track to 'Love the Way' before getting Ben to master it. All in preparation for the album master disc to be sent off for pressing.

Tom brings a miniature of the mocked up album cover. The rest of the boys think it's because he wants to make it really difficult for them to spot any mistakes.

That done, red ink all over the shop, the loopy boys went through some new songs with an eye on the next recordings. 'The Sky Above My House', 'Sparkle and Shine', 'You Are The One', 'Lie Detectives','Gallery of You', 'Wild End', 'Whatever Happened to Sunday'...

The landlord of the Willow Tree welcomes us with a "Where have you boys been all summer?"

Post-Practice Pint Prattle: Fea reckons that Angelina Jolie is quite an attractive woman, Ad points out that she looks a bit like her Dad; there's a potential gig in Octobe; Fea repeats a story we've all heard before; planning the Loopy Christmas do; band money; Ad's Italian Job; Duty free tobacco

Friday, 10 July 2009

Schools Tour

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venues: Stanmore Primary School, Winchester; Winchcombe Primary School, Newbury; Hagbourne Primary School, Hagbourne; Rehearsal Studios, Newbury

An early start for a gig saw the band turn up at Stanmore School for 0900hrs. The boys made their way straight to the assembly hall while teachers made cups of tea and coffee as a welcome. There they hung around for the children to file in before being introduced to the school. The rapturous and enthusiastic applause was a bit of a surprise, but set the boys up for the rest of the day. Though it was very worrying to hear, and quite difficult to play through, some very out-of-time clapping by a few hundred children.

Oh, and by the way kids, no. It's not a violin, it's a ukulele.



For the next venue [Felix's school] Dominic joined up with the show to play drums. The band set up with plenty of space and when the children came in and settled Fea turned the whole show into a lesson of music and of co-operation. Nice. As an example of how awful not cooperating can be, he [seemingly off the cuff] asked each band member at a time to play a song that was different from what any of the others were playing. The cacophony got the point across before the set was embarked upon.

The children were so excited they were becoming 'unsettled' and the teachers who were sitting next to their classes, down the sides of the hall, were often making incursions into the crowd to get variously excited kids to sit down properly and behave.

The applause and cheering after each song was loud, appreciative and uplifting. It was as if Loopy were a proper pop band doing a proper gig to proper fans. Not that any of the band members would have admitted this, of course.



And onto Hagbourne. Eg's wife Shelley's school. Again, a similar reaction to each and every song. There was one kid who sat in the middle of the crowd with an amazing hair do. Like a white man's afro. One little boy came up to Tom afterwards and started talking 'Guitars'. One girl came up to Ad and looked up at him to ask if he was Scottish.

Not all the children in the front rows enjoyed the experience all of the time [front left].



The day ended with a rehearsal at Uprising Studios, Newbury - in preparation for the Gig at the Bear. Every one tired, exhausted and realising they couldn't possibly be a proper band doing proper tours.





Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Final Practice before the Schools Tour

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom and Dom

Venue: Uprising Studios, Boundary Road, Newbury

Ran through the songs to be performed at the three schools this coming Friday. All written on the lovely, fresh-smelling whiteboard. Using the pens with the unloseable caps.

Dom bought the boys a can of pop each during the break, seeing as they had behaved themselves so well.

Eg went home to write reports. Dom left at the same time. Ad, Fea and Tom went to a local pub for their post-Practice pint. They talked about the album cover; the arrangements for Friday's giglettes; Loopy-influenced nostalgia for the WAGs and Ad using North Moreton's The Bear as a kind of launch party venue. Tasteless.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Tobacco Mule, Kevin Whately for drummer and Massive TV Screens

Present: Ad, Eg, Tom

Lots of out of tune guitars this evening. Eg's scribbling down of all the wrong chords didn't help matters.

Eg's return from Dubai sees him playing Tobacco Mule for Ben. Ad and Tom's estimations for the non-duty-free price are way off Ben's reckoning. Eg wishes he'd charged him more.

Post Practice Pint Pub Prattle - Vegetable bar snacks; Loopy the Musical; Loopy television show ideas; how Eg could use Facebook; putting letters after your name; Job titles on business cards; massive television screens on back of aircraft seats - try not to be put off by what your neighbour is watching; Massive television screens in small hotel rooms; Eg's MBA presentation; Tom's busy work schedule; new Loopy T-shirts; the Chesterfields; which actors would play the band in Loopy The Musical - Tom imagines Kevin Whately would play Gi - Ad hopes for Jake Gyllenhaal for himself - Eg proposes Graham Norton for Fea.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Assembly Sessions Mixing and The Tommy Cash at Fulsomski Prison Gig that never was

Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

While Eg is nomadically roaming India marketing his merchandise to the membership of the Mumbai Magnet Massive it's time to mix and master the Assembly Sessions.

[Hmm?]


Problems encountered included things like;
  • Ad, having tried to compensate for his backing vocals' volume by moving away from his microphone, has left Ben trying to compress them without picking up the rest of the noises in the room - something like that anyway;
  • a very squeaky piano pedal halfway through the tracks;
  • a terrible & rushed rendition of 'The Smile'.
Remarkably, Ben managed to remove the popping distortion of Fea's over-enthusiastic intimacy with his microphone during 'Hearts Pumping'.

Still, the intention continues to be one that foists this output upon the band's unsuspecting fan base. Whoever she really is. Or he.

Ben rightly points out that these 'Assembly Sessions' should be released after the album is ready/released/available/'out there'. Otherwise people will associate the songs with these versions rather than the actual superdooper studio versions. The boys reluctantly concede this point.

Ben's always right.

Git.

While Ben mixed and mastered, the three Loopy attendees scuttled off to the back room to rehearse for the Schools Tour on Friday 10th July. They think they've licked that tricky middle eight in 'Just Can't Get Enough'. Well, Tom thinks he's licked it at any rate.

'Sky Above My House', 'Sparkle You', 'Kingmaker' were also worked on. Interrupted by red wine and Tom's recollection of the time he was invited to play for a Polish Prison Warden at his prison in Gdansk. The Tommy Cash at Fulsomski Prison Gig. Perhaps.

Ben and the boys also tried to work out why there was a consistent 'dropout' at 4m 21secs on the 'Hearts Pumping' recording when it doesn't appear in the original Multitrack Session. To be continued, no doubt.

Some 'Karaoke' versions of the tracks were mixed for popcast bedding music purposes.

Other Practice Prattle: Loopy Number Plates; Deputy Head interviews; £36.30 a week for two people to live on; M&S bean salad that everyone could enjoy a little while after Tom had eaten it; Coach Trip on Channel4; putting on gigs with kids; pregnant ladies and their heightened sense of smell; ukulele'ing a campire sing-a-long.

[pictured - Coach Trip Tour Guide Brendan: Felix in 10 years]

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Assembly Sessions


Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

You're ten. At school. It's morning. Before lessons.

You 'single-file' into the Assembly Hall for the usual morning's mediocre musical moments with a resentful teacher on the piano. The head teacher spends the next 20 minutes trying to whip up a bit of enthusiasm for yet another feebly voiced rendition of 'All Creatures Great and Small'.

Well, as a treat, as a taster of the forthcoming album "Doing Somersaults", and as a gesture towards the forthcoming 'schools tour', Loopy spent this evening recording their own 'Assembly Sessions' while Ben was in the control room mastering the real thing.

These recordings will be freely available to visitors of the Loopy website.

Tom added some trumpet sounds to 'Corner of Your Mind' and a minor adjustment was made to 'Hearts Pumping'. Eg and Fea popped out to get some beer but were too late and returned with a bottle of Ribena and some tic-tacs. Ad and Tom recorded a small interview with Ben which will be available in the next Loopy Popcast.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Newbury

Present: Ad, Eg, Tom

Guest Drummer: Dom

Venue: Uprising Studios, Newbury, Berkshire

Scheduling issues meant that a room wasn't ready for us so the first half hour was spent going through the structure of songs with Dom practising on a coffee table in the foyer.



Eventually made it into a very clean rehearsal room.

Don't tell Ben at Valley Studios but this studio knows how to kit out a rehearsal room. Guitar brackets on the walls, neatly arranged guitar amps, whiteboards with pens that have attached pen tops, and, in a move to quite literally dispel the image of studios being full of smelly boys with guitars, the offer of a burst of air freshener to banish any lingering presence of the band practicing before us.

Oh yes, and lights that work.

Truly giddy making.

Dom stands in as drummer to cover the upcoming schools' tour and manages to make his first rehearsal since, well, the last time he played with the Loopy boys in Southampton some years ago.

Depeche Mode's 'Just Can't Get Enough' was worked on whilst the lads also ran through 'Evel Knievel', 'Too Late', 'Corner Of My Mind' and 'Somersaults'. Dom has to leave early but as he gets up to go he is easily enticed back on to the drummer's stool by a rendition of Teenage Kicks.

Dom finally leaves with a couple of rounders' bats handed to him through his car window in the car park outside. No euphemism there: he actually leaves with a couple of rounders' bats. They were Tom's. He needed to borrow them.

Found a pub called the Hog's Head in the centre of Newbury to prattle in, post-Practice. By the canal. Topics of Conversation: Microsoft Bar Codes for the album cover; the forthcoming popcast; using one's children to experiment with nominal determinism; overhauling the loopy website.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Twits

If, for some reason, you are twangling yourself up in the twebsite that is twitter then feel less like a lonely twool and add us to your posse of tweeple.

http://twitter.com/LoopyTheBand

Who knows where it might twake us?

Twoodbye.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Olives, turkey burgers and a black leather jacket

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

A bunch of girl guides were hanging outside the studios this evening: something to do with a recording that Ben had let himself into.

Meanwhile, back in the darkness - one bedside table lamp attempting to feebly light up the rehearsal room - songs were worked on. Lie Detectors, Gallery of You, Sparkle and Shine. Plus a rare visit into the Ska magic that is Startin' Out.

Post Practice Pint Prattle at the Pub: Olives were bought; Eg likes Ad's jacket and wore it with the scarf - he managed to perfect the round-the-neck scarf-flick with some artistic elan; Anchovy stuffed Olives vs Garlic Stuffed ones; Tom's Turkey burgers; Fea's new room in his attic; Chris Powell & Martin Potter's slightly less than magnificent support performance all those years ago - TWP and their fans legging it; there will be eyelashes, and lots of them, in your computer keyboard; Fea threatens Ad with a South Coast while Ad awaits a Half-term Whiskey Evening invite from Eg.

Eg reluctantly gives Ad his jacket back.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Practice

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Eg wisely brought a music stand this evening in order for him to better place the enlarged lyrics he had been given for the newer songs.

Rattled through the album and rehearsed Depeche Mode's Just Can't Get Enough for the schools' tour in couple of months. Practiced 'Sparkle and Shine' and worked hard on 'Gallery of You' while also getting a better feel for new numbers 'Lie Detectors' and 'Sky Above My House'. Revisited 'Startin' Out' in honour of the recent Ska revival.

Tom had had a vegetarian meal earlier.

Post Practice Pint Pub Prattle: Fea's got a hole in his budget; Tom went to Brighton for a saucy weekend and watched three cracking birds on the beach [they were cracking crabs open by dropping them from great heights]; Ad got a new podcasting client; Eg went to Centre Parks with the family and slid down a zip wire the right way while cursing the other parents; Eastern European cigarettes; Eg will be getting Tom to translate the Sziget Festival gig guide before marching off on a well planned festival foray while Ad will follow the one that looks like they know what they're doing - the flat is further from the festival than first promised; Tom getting rollocked on a hospital balcony by the wife of his fellow smoker who had just had a heart attack and had promised her he had given up; photos of the old days

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Present: Ad, Tom

Venue: Smash Towers

In spite of a mysterious and misinformed text message from Valley Studio Manager Ben that claimed the band had a particular room already set up with four microphones etc. Practice this week occurred in Emsworth.

Eg's had familial birthday duties to attend to and Fea was off presenting The Rayner Cup to some poor low-achieving, unsuspecting, uncooperative pupil who still doesn't know what they must have done wrong to have deserved such a playground taunt-earning gong.

Little Ash was there when Tom turned up and, after fixing a string to Ad's seemingly unplayed acoustic, played on the first ditty. And then left. Rightly so.

The rehearsal focussed on the School's tour coming up in July with Depeche Mode's 'Just Can't Get Enough' covered. The presumtpion being that the very young pupils at these schools will be too young to even remember 'It's All About You' by McFly.

The evening's music playing was curtailed by the two non-Rayners talking about old times [image below: debut gig], previous bands, the lovely Aimee Rose, the Angry Maisie Moo and how good it would be to have the loopy mail coming through Gmail's interface. Ahem.

Oh and Manchester United beat Arsenal in the Champions League Semi-Final - Ad n Tom raised a sympathetic toast to gooner, Eg: Ad with a can of lager, Tom with a cup of Lapsang Souchong. Or was it peppermint tea?

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

New stuff, old stuff. The boys ran through the 8 track album, a neatly packaged pop effusion, with Fea picking up the bass rather well on 'Love the Way'.

Someone; Starting Out; Sparkle & Shine; Fiat 500; Sky Above My House; TV All Day; Extraordinary Day [a rather wordy number which Fea attempted after Ad's failed effort in a previous rehearsal]; Lie Detectives; Where Do You Go.

The boys tried to remember Skydiving, Rollercoaster and some other numbers they never got round to recording in the early days.

Post Practice Pint Prattle: the Sziget festival to which Ad, Eg and Tom are going thanks to Tom's parents' flat in Budapest; the album cover; Tom's band task list; Ad's podcasting possibilities; Fea's losing his deputy; Eg's got Shell's birthday coming up; Tom's Birthday will be a BBQ and rounders - and none of us can attend.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Mixing and Finalising tracks

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

The new album is nearly complete. Decisions made on track listing, cover art, sleeve design, names to be thanked. One trumpet needs to be added to the opening track and one song ending needs to be finally chosen. Eg adds a new vocal to Hearts Pumping.

Ad brought in a load of song books he saved from being thrown out for everyone, Fea brought in his Ofsted inspection report - one of them is in tune with the context of the evening; Ben brings up the, as yet unwritten, Loopy Musical, Eg suggests commissioning Ad to write it; Eg's support act story of the gig in Portsmouth he went to - Goth guy wailing at a keyboard while a chased [as opposed to chaste one can only assume] semi-clad girl rubbed baby oil over herself; Ben's car fetish and the time he sold his convertible BMW to a dodgy bloke who needed to withdraw money from multiple cash machines before midnight and how Ben didn't want to turn the engine off cos it wouldn't start again; Ashes to Ashes, Red Riding, Humax Changed My Life, not receiving BBC channels and selling songs to Girls Aloud, Take That and anyone who might take them.

Tracklisting:
Corner Of Your Mind
Somersaults
Found By You
The Smile
Twenty-One
Secrets And Lies
Love The Way
Hearts Pumping

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Practice

Present: Ad, Eg, Tom

First room on the right. One lamp, two acoustic guitars, a bass and a ukulele. A few covers and six new songs introduced. Come On Eileen [cover: murdered], Hold Me Now [cover: GBH'd], Extraordinary Life, Where Do I Go, Totally Completely, Sky Above My House, Fiat 500, TV All Day. Signs of age; the typeset is too small for Eg.

Post Practice Pint Topics of Conversation: should budget airlines charge extra for heavier passengers? Personal experiences of sitting next to 'heavier passengers'; Tom's 'compulsory atendance' at Driving School, Ad gets all the questions right; Eg's discovered he can play mp3s on his car stereo, and that he has draws under his drivers' seat.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Mixing

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Ben's excellent mix of Hearts Pumping only needed a few tweaks before being accepted by the boys as complete. Love the Way took a bit longer to slim down the over-enthusiastic additions that had been made over time leaving the lads with two possible final mixes with slightly different endings. Twenty-one was more straight forward.

While Ben knob-twiddled the basic mixes, everyone else used a back room to jam and practice new songs.

Tonight's work seemed to decide for us that the new album was indeed to have eight tracks and that album art ideas were needed soon.

A very productive evening. Eg gets Ben to give us just the ending of Secrets & Lies for ring tone purposes.

We love Ben.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Gig: Mark and Catrina’s Wedding

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Cain Manor, Churt Road, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 8SRLoopy Gig at Cain Manor 002

Interesting one this one. The Bride and Groom were big fans of the band. And especially wanted the boys to play at their wedding.

News came in late that the band was a drummer down. Wedding Guest Tom left the proceedings to organise a replacement via Ben at Valley. Nice young man called Rich took on the task. He motored all the way from Winchester to Cain Manor with a make-do drum kit cobbled together by Ben and stuffed into the back of his car.

Awaiting Eg and Fea, Ad verbally took Rich through the songs on the set list. Subtly muting himself whenever a wandering guest came within earshot.

Loopy Gig at Cain Manor 003So, with no rehearsals, no idea what songs he was going to play, a few loopy originals thrown in for good measure and only Ad’s mumbled beat-boxed drum rhythms to go on, Rich was looking a little nervous.

He was also incredibly hungry.

With the wedding speeches over, the kit was set up and arranged. A small plate of sandwiches magically appeared for a trembling Rich. The rest had to wait for the buffet later in the evening.

Within the first couple of songs it was clear that the band was ‘Going To Be Alright’. Rich was a steady drummer and managed to relax enough to play some fine fills – especially in many of the covers that were played – and to start and stop, pretty much well enough for no-one to notice that much.

Two sets later, with an a capella and a couple of drumless numbers [Too Late, Take On Me] thrown in at the beginning of Set 2, Rich was Loopy’s New Friend.

In fact, you could say he was the band’s new buddy, Rich.

Buddy Rich?

No?



The Groom, also stepped up to play a very quiet guitar along with Tom while Eg sang a specially requested Simon and Garfunkel number.

The Buffet consisted of most of the usual quiche, sandwich, pizza and satay chicken on a stick options with the interesting inclusion of asparagus spears wrapped in salmon.

The Bride looked beautiful, the Groom handsome and both had apparently had a rather good day.

Other stuff: Small kids in front of the band dancing; Fea keeping his calm while talking to the Offensive Mad Midget who wasn’t a head teacher after all; Tom MC’ing. Bride’s sister using Ad’s mic in the encore to sing along to Take That’s ‘Back For Good’ while Ad sings ‘Want It Back, Want It Back For Good’; Eg getting the Maitre De to bring coffee for him, Ad and Fea; Ad getting his leg felt up; Ad performing the Kids From Fame’s ‘Desdemona’ in the lobby before leaving.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Pre-Gig Rehearsal: Curry Night at the Willow Tree

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Ploughed through a bit of everything this evening. Covers and Originals. All in the hope that the wedding guests on Saturday week will be too drunk to notice the inevitable balls ups.

More importantly though...

Rolling up at the Willow Tree at the usual Few Minutes to Closing Time the boys were greeted with the exquisite delight of a pub that had just finished a Curry Evening.

With leftovers.

Landlord offered four plates.

Say no more.

Nom, nom, nom.

Post Practice Pint Topics of Conversation: The curry, the curry, Giles missing out on the curry and the curry.



Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Practice: The Loopy Groupie Wedding Approaches

Present: Ad, Eg, Gi, Tom

Parking hell at Valley Studios. Rain, wind and more rain. The boys run through as many of the old covers and past loopy faves as possible in preparation for the wedding in a few weeks time.

Post Practice Pint: This year's festivals, the USB stick, Hungary trip this August.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Recording: Rufus and his cello

Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

Special guest, and lovely man, Rufus was with the boys tonight [he from 'Friday in Firenze' fame]. He and his cello were added to four tracks this evening: Hearts Pumping, 21, The Smile and Love The Way with intentions to use him on a further track that the band needs to re-record from scratch [Wild End].

Mulled wine was raised to congratulate Ben on his Gretna Green marriage and Fea on his new Head Teacher post. Commiserations were forthcoming however to Tom who's Eg-given USB key from the previous week turned out not to be 360GB after all. The tech boys at his work put it through its paces to discover that it was in fact 2GB. And a rather slow 2GB at that.

The making of cheese is discussed. Tom's going to give Fea a book on it. It's all Rock n Roll down at Valley Studios this evening.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Practice: Monkees Song and USB Key

Present: Ad, Eg, Gi, Tom

Had recording planned for tonight but Ben couldn't oblige. So the cellist and violinist were cancelled.

Eg has recently returned from China and brought with him a USB key that claims to have 360GB of memory. No-one believes him. Tom gets the spoils to play with.

The Monkees songbook provided the lads with an opportunity to learn Daydream Believer. Passers by would have been forgiven for thinking that this opportunity had been spurned.

Eg drops guitar and loses jack socket. 'Want You Back' - well remembered. 'It's All About You' - not so. Was that 'Dream A Little Dream' we heard on the ukulele?

Upcoming gig dates were discussed including a Schools' Tour. Basically that just means the band plays in three schools - an assembly and a couple of music workshops. And a wedding - of two Loopy Groupies - approaching fast.

Post Practice Pint Topics of Conversation: Loopy download profits declared: $15. 'Then She Said' topping the Loopy charts along with 'Ben & Jason'? What is China's currency, actually? Shooting a video of the band doing a dance routine and put it on You Tube.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Birthday at Band Practice

Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

Along with Ben the boys celebrated Ad's birthday with four muffin cakes, some microwaved mulled wine, party hats and hooty blower things.

They all, uncertainly, guess his age to within a year or two and, as with every year, work out that he is, indeed, still the youngest member of the band.

Tracks Secrets & Lies and 21 were painstakingly mixed; Ben spent the first hour doing the basics while the three band members went into a side room to work on songs new and old.

Take On Me was rehearsed while potential new songs, Live This Life, Kingmaker and The Sky Above My House, were worked on.

Ben secretly recorded Take On Me with one of the microphones in the room that was patched through to his desk.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Recording

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Ben's moved his control room again. This time to a different building. Into some loftspace over an adjoining unit.

Cosy.

Ad brings notes on previous recordings, Fea brings wine, Eg brings Fea [and Ben's tobacco], Tom brings cold and his own peppermint teabags plus universally loved Big Red chewing gum.

The team work on Secrets and Lies [Vocals], Hearts Pumping [ukulele], Love the Way [Vocals], 21 [Vocals, Ben Cymbals] and discuss violin/cello/trumpet usage.

Also discussed was how to release the current batch of recordings. Two 6 track albums?

More discussion/bribing/negotiations required.