Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Loopy Christmas Do

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Gi, Tom

Venue: Bella Napoli, Abingdon

The annual Christmas backslap involving the entire band and some poor unsuspecting small restaurant near one of the band members' houses. This year it was Gi's turn to source, book and disown the subsequent food quality of the eaterie he had chosen.

It receives the thumbs up from all.

Teetotal Tom gets roped in as Taxi driver for Fea but can't quite make it to pick up Eg. Ad scrounges a sofa off Gi for the night.

The Christmas crackers, as supplied by Minty again, fail to top last year's football themed cracker snapping bonanza. This year, each cracker houses a santa sitting on different coloured sleighs that zoom along the table after a short pull-back. When all the other diners finally leave, the restaurant owner and his wife look on bemusedly as the Loopy boys set up the cardboard race track and jostle for the perceived best lane.

One race. Winner claims glory.

All sleighs crash into each other in the middle of the track apart from Eg's whose outside missile zooms past the finish line and into the wall to take the podium.

Great food. Great company. Appalling crackers.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Present: Ad, Fea, Gi, Tom

To warm up, the boys managed a few old favourites including Small Town Boy, Starting Out, Change, Someone, Some Summer's Day and Blue Cortina. Couldn't remember OX4 though.

Tom used a new pedal sound, Ad had to tune for the first time in months and Fea & Ad's voices were shot to pieces by the end of it. Edgar audibly missed, of course.

Secrets & Lies, Corner Of My Mind, Smile and Doing Somersaults were all brought out for a polish and progress was made on the jammed song which is on the way to being titled This Life or Beautiful Day or something equally Loopyish. Sparkle You continues to grow promisingly.

Post-Practice Pint Pub Prattle: Gi needs a Humax; Tom is rescued from airport hell by the latest Smashcast; Ad has bought some new shoes; Gi's daughter's, Polly's, Birthday today; Fea's 'Guess The Name of the Bear' guess was 'Polly', in her honour - she's 22 now!; Being unnecessarily competitive; BBC Licence Fee, is it a subscription?; Tom doing things to married ladies on coaches around Eastern Europe while their husbands' best friends are the driver; Fea's Ofsted inspection; Ad rescuing a scruffy acoustic guitar from a local amenity tip for the price of five pounds - a new set of strings later and it's as good as 'almost new'; Martin Potter worked for Unipart not Unilever; Work Christmas Dos; The Loopy Christmas Meal in Abingdon in two weeks time and Tom defenestrating himself into the snow, followed by his clothes, when a highly protective unexpectedly father returns home. He was fifteen and loved the excitement.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Present: All

Ad returns from Zambia, Eg returns from China. Apparently both trips had nothing to do with secret international trade negotiations. Fea has the Ofsted Sword of Damocles hanging above him. Tom has a sickly daughter [and has to leave early to tend to her] and Gi gets a high hat clamp cross-threaded onto his cymbal.

'Sparkle You', 'Gallery of You' both successfully worked on.

Post-Practice Pint Topics of Conversation: the Hungarian music festival next year; the Loopy Christmas Do in Abingdon; Eg's accurately pessimistic estimates of band members' ambitious Home Improvement plans; Fea has never been to Tom's home - he hasn't been invited.

Returned to studio to pay the previously absent Ben and to return the high hat clamp still attached to Gi's Cymbal. Cymbal subsequently freed from clamp using Ben's tool. Because....

...he got pliers,
Going in
He got pliers
Coming out of his skin...

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Recording: Rescuing last week's session

Present: Ad, Eg, Gi and Tom

Bass fixes completed on 21 and entire bass line re-recorded on Hearts Pumping.

Gi's percussion completed on Wild End. Started off with adding some Cowbell. But it quickly became clear that it wasn't really the sound we were looking for.

Tom's guitar on Secrets & Lies along with a Gary Numan style keyboard sound for the chorus. He's firmly told by Eg to not bounce.

Gi suggests tuba for Wild End bass riff. It's liked.

Beer provided by Eghe's not asleep, honest

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Recording: Phoebe joins her Dad

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Gi, Tom and special guest, Phoebe, Eg's daughter.

Recording can be really boring when you're a 13 year old Loopy groupie as the beautiful Phoebe Rayner was to discover this evening. It was either that or an evening being babysat by the grandfather. And we can all see the appeal of choosing the recording studio with Dad over that. So thank the lord for Nintendo DS, the teen pacifier.

And who could blame poor Phoebe as the only other entertainment on offer was watching Uncle Ad and Uncle Fea go into one recording booth while Uncle Gi was in his own with the drums. Eg was providing the guide vocals via microphone from within the control room where Phoebe and Uncle Tom twiddled fingers.

The priority was to come away from this session with the drums recorded, but Ad and Fea weren't exactly making the job easy for Gi. Neither of them seemed to be at the top of their game with Ad forgetting how the songs were structured and Fea playing, well, really badly.

Fea had to be forcibly removed from the studio and Tom had to be asked to not try out his backing vocals during the recording. His presence eventually being employed to silently conduct Ad through 'Secrets & Lies'.

Eventually managed to come away with drum and dodgy bass for 'Wild End', '21', 'Secrets & Lies' and 'Hearts Pumping'.

Eg tried to use his learned Management Tools to diffuse the potential stress of the situation by requesting we record a simple, and inevitably slick, version of the old Loopy classic, 'Someone'.

Which we did.

But it didn't.

Interesting to see how a bored teenager and a tired and frustrated drummer show remarkably parallel behavioural deterioration patterns.

Open track surgery had to be performed by Dr Ben in a few places. [Cheap] beer provided by Ad.

Job done.
"I want to go home"

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Practice: Pre-Recording

Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

Gi not present due to an interview the next day, Eg not present due to him needing to wear a tie in another foreign country.

Songs were practised with a view to recording them next week. 2 new songs jammed into a better shape. Work done on Secrets and Lies, Gallery of You, 21, Wild End, Sparkle, Take On Me, Hearts Pumping.

Post-Practice Pint Topics of Conversation: Job Interviews, Fea's new word that he almost doesn't know how to pronounce - it means being a headmaster when you're not a headmaster. The releasing of small mini-albums being better than traditional ones. Tom on Jonathan Ross's Radio Show on Saturday. Lots of website hits. He urges the others to do the same.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Full Practice

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Gi, Tom

Fea turned up in his £10 suit that he wears for work and Tom had to read out the 'Thank You' note from the Bride of the wedding from the previous gig to each of us as we turned up.

Hearts Pumping, Secrets and Lies, Gallery of You, Take On Me, 21, Wild End.

Fea learns the correct way to pronounce 'Flautist',

Post-Practice Pint: Much self-congratulatory back-slapping over the last gig's conditions with which the band marvellously coped. Gigs from the past; St Cross College, The Jericho Tavern. How many tracks make an Album as opposed to an E.P. Eg thinks 7. This Year's Band Christmas Do. The blog being A Good Thing. The Sziget Hungarian Festival next year where Tom will try and get us a slot. New covers to do. WOrking 9 till 5 and Morning Train being particularly good ones.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

The Jeremy Irons Gig

Venue: Barn, in the middle of nowhere somewhere perhaps around Winchester.

Well, it was when Tom confessed that it wasn't actually Jeremy Irons's Niece that was to marry, it was his Step-Niece, if there is such a thing. So, no, Jeremy was not there. Everyone booed Tom.

The Sound's the Limit
Now in the past, the band has played venues with sound limiters. Where once the noise levels have reached a certain point the power for the band cuts out. Usually, these sound limiters come in the form of a small 'traffic light' box in the roof or on the wall. Once it hits red, you know you have a few seconds before the power will be cut off. Well, at this venue the power cut off without warning. All of the time. The limiter was set to 60dB. Even the bride apologised to the band.

The rest of the evening was spent with the amps sometimes being off, sometimes being on but the Loopy show carried on regardless. Gi's drumming could be heard throughout and the crowd were drunk enough to just sing along and not really notice that our amps had stopped working every now and then.

Girls who suddenly think it's a Karaoke
And talking of drunk crowds. Ad had to suffer, yet again, a determined stage 'presence' grabbing at his microphone. This time Eg had his hands full too with another one. But she wasn't as drunk. And neither was she an oddly shaped Irish girl [or was it the way she was standing/just about the fall over backwards]. Her hips deadened the bass strings, and her saliva splattered over the cheek, but, like real pros, the band carried on.

Gi wasn't too chuffed with the sandwiches and lack of Champagne making it stealthily into his bass drum.

The Catering Staff. The Sandwiches. Big Red. The Girl with her iPod. Mike Davis and his new Girlfriend. Fea and Eg borrowing Ad's jackets. A ukulele session out of the boot of Ad's car while awaiting the start of the show. Man falling over. The full moon. Fea's chocolate chewing gum. Cokes for the way home.


Mustang Sally
Best Friend's Girl
Happy Days
All About You
Tainted Love
Meet Me In The Corner
Too Late
Saw Her Stand there
Shakin All Over
So Lonely
I'm a Believer

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Practice for the 'Jeremy Irons Gig'

Present: All

And the winner of the "Who Can Keep Their Woolfire Festival Artists' Wristband On The Longest" competition is won by Ad.

The practice was dedicated to preparing for the Jeremy Irons Gig.  Plenty of the usual covers and Loopy's very own pop classics.

Ad splits his nail.

Post Practice Pint Topics of Conversation: What TV/Home Phone/Broadband package Gi should sign up for.  Humax [the joys of] and Eg's inability to download and install the latest software for his.  Why the Live Popcast idea just wouldn't work.  The forthcoming album was also mentioned at some point.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

The Woolfire Festival

Present: All

Venue: Woolfire Farm, Somewhere off the A33 in the Hampshire Countryside about 15 minutes from Winchester.

A few rain drops and a cloudy sky did not dampen the new experience of playing at a proper festival on a well equipped stage, with tents in the distance, and a handful of audience members.

Eg's earring. Fea's earring. Ad's leather trousers. Tom's weather map cloud T-shirt. Gi's nice Marks & Sparks sweater that he probably got for Christmas one year. The Liars from Stoke. Gi casting a critical eye over the catering facilities [two old ladies and a BBQ] and judging that they would have been far better off with a buffet. The Shed with the instruments in it. Daphne legging it for the free CD that Ad had tossed onto the empty grass in front of the stage. Eg using a Penguin wrapper that he found at his feet on stage as a link to the Found By You song. Then discovering it had belonged to the Sound Engineers behind us. An interesting start to The Smile by Fea and Ad. Eg using the stage. The woman doing the crossword in the picnic chair. The two ladies massaging each other's heads. Ad implying they were lesbians. One of them was Daphne.

An overall sense that perhaps more practice might have been better.

Set List:
Some Summer's Day
Ordinary Life
Evel Knievel
The Smile
Meet Me In The Corner
Found By You
Too Late
Teenage Kicks [not on set list -wooo]

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Woolfire update: Loopy now playing on Sunday (August 31st)

After a lot of shilly-shallying we now have a slot at the Woolfire Festival. Loopy will be on the Main Stage at 12.30 pm on Sunday (August 31st) ... a perfect lunchtime slot (bring a picnic).

For directions etc ... got to http://www.woolfire.co.uk/

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Squeeze Another Practice In Before The Gig

Present: Ad, Eg, Gi, Tom

Eg turns up in work clothes, looking very smart.

It turns out that after endless emails asking for the time of the Loopy performance at the Woolfire Festival next week [where we also said that we couldn't really do Friday] we finally hear that we've been booked for 5pm on the Friday to open the festivities.

It doesn't look great.

Still, at least we've got what is rapidly becoming known as the Jeremy Irons Gig.

Post Practice Pint Topic of Conversation: Did I lock it? Going back to check the door.  Eg's popcast idea [a live streaming of the band].  A festival in Hungary - we five can stay at Tom's parents' flat.  Gi's Killer B-Sides again.  Tom embarrassing his mother in front of other mothers on a walk in the park when he was young.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Pre-Gig Practice

Present: Ad, Fea, Gi, Tom

A quiet time in the Valley. We were the only band playing tonight, even the Taxi firm opposite seemed a little quiet this evening. All the better for the band to use this time to prepare for the end of the month gig at Woolfire Festival. Oh yeah, and the wedding in September that we're supposed to be doing. Jeremy Irons' neice's wedding.

Of course he'll be there.

Tom had a list of songs for us to practice. Always tricky without the cues from the lead singer but Ad and Fea did a good enough job of sorts to get through the evening. Interesting to hear the 'off the top of the head' words used when the actual lyrics aren't remembered.

We went through the songs again in batches of three.

Post Practice Pint Topics of Conversation: Radio 4. Smoking in front of parents. Poor memory. Short-sightness plus long-sightedness equals good-sightedness. Trevor MacDonald's infamous blooper and that it wasn't about Josie Lawrence's attempted murder. Because Josie Lawrence is a comedienne. Poor memory. Dungeoness. Deal. The Evolution of the B-Side. Gi's theory on the shape of table that makes the best buffet's at gigs - not ones that are stuffed in the corner [clogs up the flow of food-gatherers] but the inverse of that. Tom tries to describe a chevron shaped situation. And poor memory.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Recording Somersaults and Love the Way

Present: Ad, Eg, Tom
Guest Musicians: Ed, Ben

Ed graced the boys with his presence and produced some rather superb Sax work on 'Somersaults' with Tom conducting.

Meanwhile Ad and Eg fiddled with 'Love the Way' in a practice room.

Recorded 'Love the Way' with Ben on bass, Ad on ukulele and on Ed's banjo ukulele. Tom plonked about on what Ben had been informed by its maker as a 'belaphone'? We thought is was a marimba or glockenspiel.

A wooden xylophone at any rate.

Tom wanted more tracks again.

Recording went on till way past midnight as more and more tracks were used up on impulsive instrumental and vocal harmony inspirations. Reassuringly, this will keep the band busy for months to come during which they shall be stripping out everything they whimsically crammed in.

Latest Betting
Tom to try a new slightly different harmony [5-1]
Eg to re-record flat vocals [6-2]
Gi to want to beatbox the bridge [1,000-1]
Fea to ignore the need for input by talking about his boiler/job [evens]
Ad to be the one to write the blog post [betting suspended]

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

First time practice after Ad's back operation and Fea's school inspection.  Both events refusing to inspire the mining of any decent seams of conversation. 

A-Ha's 'Take on Me' successfully given an outing, while two new potential songs were jammed into existence.

Post Practice Pint Topics of Conversation: 
Speed limits, school inspection, mobile phones [Tom's new whizzy courtesy phone Vs Fea's faithful original he bought in 1974 - which he still doesn't know how to use].

Saturday, 7 June 2008

The Horrible Harmonies Episode

A new Loopy Popcast has been released and is available here.

It includes the Edgar Interview and some exclusive recordings; a ukulele special and a Rihanna cover among them.

You'll also hear the latest Loopy News and Loopy Before Loopy.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Gig: Philly's Phortieth, Winchester Rugby Club

Venue: Winchester Rugby Club, Nun's Road, Winchester

Present: All

Directions, directions, directions. Down the back of a side street after a private road, behind some mobile units, next to a cricket pitch that you can't see.

We give thanks for mobile phones.

No problems for Eg though. Honest.

Bex nearly has to choose which band member she'd rather be with than her own beloved Tom. She asked to see our wallets. Tom would have won that little contest anyway.

With a healthy supply of cheese, pasta, sausage rolls, bread and lentils, a rating of 8 Gi's were happily awarded to the Buffet by the most senior of Rayner brothers while the barmaid was possibly awarded 9 Fea's. The pre-performance pint topics of conversation included the fact that Tom can't remember how much we're getting for the gig; the number of GCE's and CSE's we achieved with Ad casually mentioning he took his Maths a year early; whether to push for Tom and Bex to get married; not practising on a Tuesday.

And then on to what was quite probably the most fluid set Loopy have ever had the opportunity to chop and change. Well, the preliminary observations of the arriving audience seemed to shake Eg's confidence in his carefully constructed set list.

The second set was preceded by a rousing speech from Blair, Philly's partner, thanking everyone and requesting much dancing from the crowd. We kick it off with Philly's "special request" 'Saw Her Standing There'.

The last two songs prove a muscle spasm too far for Ad's back as he plays out the set rammed up against a storage cupboard door.

Eg, Gi and Tom are recognised for packing up.

Is She Really Going Out With Him?
It's All About You
So Lonely
Some Summer's Day
Ordinary Life
Too Late
Town Called Malice
I'm A Believer

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Practice: Pre-Gig

Present: Ad, Fea, Gi, Tom

With a gig looming this practice was a necessary run through the old favourites and covers. The lack of lyrical cues caused a few issues but the chance to sing lead for Ad, Fea and Tom was taken with glee in spite of not knowing any of the words required to make a complete performance.

Valley Studios' very own Ben brought news of his proposal of marriage to a disbelieving Jeanie. All happy there.

Post Practice Pint Topic of Conversation: Lead Balloon, Gavin and Stacey, the actual population of Austria and how come the wife didn't know?

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Practise 22nd April - sax workout

Present: Ed,Eg,Felix,Susie,Tom
Venue: Ilsleys Primary School
Songs: Somersaults, Hearts Pumping, Meet Me On The Corner, Sparkle & Shine, Wild End

With more recording imminent it was time to workshop the brass section in the shape of Ed and his saxophone. With wife Susie giving encouragement from the sidelines (well ... a comfy chair at the back of the staffroom) Ed initially struggled with, but manfully overcame, some tricky fingering to pull off Tom's slightly dodgy brass lines on Somersaults, though was happily unphased by Meet Me On The Corner and Hearts Pumping. After recording a piano version of the Somersaults brass line on Eg's phone, Ed promised to do a bit of practising before the next recording session (after Eg's worked out how to get stuff off his phone and onto a CD).

Down the pub ...
Topics of conversation included:
  • Horse riding (and post-op challenges for Eg)
  • Ed and Susie's horse (called Flub) who isn't ridden anymore but was once well-trained. Doesn't like men though.
  • Upcoming gigs: possible David Soul feature
  • Future projects including: A34 tour, M4 tour, schools tour, foreign gig / tour

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Practice 3rd April 2008

Eg took control and led from the front. The next four songs to be recorded were practiced - 21, Heart's Pumping, Secrets and Lies plus Wild End. Fea couldn't remember the chords to 24 hrs but did better with Change. Adam spent most of the night playing the bass whilst crouching to the ground - an interesting rock stance.

Topics of discussion down the pub - different diary formats, Tom's Germany trip, Fea's new job, possible title for new album Second Hand Groove Machine, how easy it is to add entry to the blog!

Adam and Eg give me marks out of ten please.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Thursdays coming

Four songs:
Secrets & Lies, Heart's pumping, Wild end & 21

Gallary of you, Hold on, Sparkle & shine
Change (fea, remember chords), 24Hours (ditto), April30

Adam - put it in the car now!!!


Tuesday, 25 March 2008


Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Gi, Tom
Venue: Valley Studios, Winchester.

Ad's back still playing up. Tom is off with the fairies. Ad gives Eg the task of extracting from the band the four tracks that should be practised for recording purposes. He sort of succeeds. Though this band's blogger can't remember them if he had been told.

Post-practice pint prattle included: Eg's got a hard drive with loads of gig details from the band's early years. The Loopy Gig Google Map. And 'why don't we make the next album cover out of wood'.

Stupid, stupid boys.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Popcast Workshop

Present: Ad, Eg
Venue: Emsworth

Eg interviewed for forthcoming loopy popcast. A few songs were recorded acoustically including 'Gallery of You', 'Love the Way', 'Umbrella'.

Expected release time: soon. Cough.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


Present: Ad, Eg, Gi, Tom

Eg's been doing his homework on new song 'Gallery of You'. Practised the EP songs. Briefly tried to remember '24 Hours' and worked on '21'.

Ad's bad back causes a lying down in the middle of the studio incident.

Topics of conversation
The wonders of Reversing Sensors and Cruise Control in a car. Tom's Marriage, Tom's Children, Tom's never driven a car with Cruise Control. How clear are European Roads? Tom ruined a car by travelling very fast for a very long time on a very foreign road. What to do for the podcast. Gi's now got his own boiler story though he kept it short which was a popular thing to do.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Recording: Rescuing Somersaults

Present: Ad, Eg, Tom

Minor re-records for backing vocals on 'Found By You' and a decision to re-do the start of 'The Smile'. Somersaults was pulled apart and pieced back together again one backing vocal at a time. Added more voices to middle eight.

Recorded a piano version of the song which will be put on a forthcoming and overdue popcast. Also to feature will be a recording, secretly kept by Ben, of certain people trying out different falsetto harmonies. Highly embarrassing, yet essential, listening.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

More Recording: The EP

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea [late] and Tom

Fea was late because of the Future of Education.

Added Tom's guitar to 'The Smile', 'Corner of My Mind' and 'Somersaults'. Harmonica to 'Found By You'. Backing vocals to Somersaults with a controversially fun, yet completely unnecessary Beatles reference to be argued about.

The beginning of The Smile was redone with Eg on piano, Fea on acoustic guitar and Tom on Itchy-To-Do-Something-o-phone. But as this is probably the only place where individual instrument credits are given we can say that he played the very last piano chord on the song accompanying himself with a just-about-audible snigger. Oh, and just to make sure you heard correctly, that was Edgar on piano at the beginning of The Smile.

An almost vertical Ad's ukulele made a daring, yet unrecorded, appearance while poor Engineer Ben had to work with the noise of a mini-acoustic jam behind him. Sorry Ben.

More 49p Pringles and an interesting bottled beer selection by Tom. Eichbaum, mit tiefer Dankbarkeit, Herr Vamos.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

The continuation of the 'Doing Somersaults' EP [Working Title]. Vocals/backing vocals have been added to 'The Smile', 'The Corner of my Mind' and 'Found By You' [previously referred to as 'Lay Your Table'], Tom added the Rhodes to the tracks as well.

Eg nipped out to buy some Pringles [40p a tube!] and a cake as a happy birthday to Fea. He also bought some beer in what can only be a happy birthday gesture to Ad for the previous week.


Tuesday, 15 January 2008


Present: All

The evening was spent recording four tracks for the new E.P. This is the first time we've used the new recording set up at Valley Studios with Ad and Fea in one room [with Tom miming his part], Gi isolated with his drums in another room and Eg cueing us with guide vocals in the control room with Ben. All in contact with each other via room microphones and headphones.

Tracks laid down:
Lay Your Table - drums, guitar [Tom], bass
Meet Me In The Corner of Your Mind - drums, guitar [Fea], bass [with issues]
Somersaults - drums, guitar [Fea], bass
The Smile - drums, guitar [Fea], bass

Topics of Conversation: Ad's recent health issues. Being mugged. Next album name.