Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The 2010 Loopy Christmas Do

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Strada, Newbury

Tom late, Eg early. Ad and Fea on time. A beer while awaiting Tom. Christmas Crackers supplied by Santa (Minty) with a very exciting Bingo theme.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Twas the practice before Christmas...

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Head Teacher's Office, Winchcombe Primary School, Newbury

More run throughs of the latest collection of songs with an emphasis on structure.

The new acoustic bass has arrived, a semi-acoustic - which was a nice surprise - Fea tries to nick the supplied battery for his tuner. Ad tucks in to it while Tom gets out his rather nice looking new keyboard. He places it on the rather low coffee table and spends the rest of the evening bent over it, experimenting with the buttons.

Yes, Tom was fiddling with his organ in the grounds of a primary school again.

Post-practice Pint Pub Prattle:

A cheap round this evening; the price of flights for a family travelling to New Zealand; the race to find the phone number of Newbury's Strada restaurant; would you stay in China for a year and not take the kids?: how much are family members actually worth in the pay-to-visit stakes - Eg fares poorly; and 'unfair' cleavages - is it ok to glance?

Is it really though?

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Re-entering Broken Boiler Territory

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea

Venue: Winchcombe School Headmaster's Office

Tom's absence is due to his boiler breaking down. At which news, Fea's eyes light up as Eg and Ad glance at each in near panic.

Post practice pint prattle at the pub is now a terrifying prospect.

Another well marshalled practice taking the three attendees through the latest offering ensues. The staff room iss locked but Fea manages to cobble together some hot drinks via the coffee machine on his desk.

Photocopying facilities are used to copy all the song lyrics for each person. Paper clips were used. Ad shows Fea that his desire to use a shared Google Calendar for his staff is possible from his school desktop computer but is probably going to be thwarted by proxy server restrictions. Fea's mind wanders to Broken Boilers.

Fea locked up the school - apparently it was his first time carrying out this rather important task so he seemed quite nervous about it.

Post-Practice Pint Prattle At the Pub
Phoebe's singing; what it might be like to go to a Talent School in London at the age of 16; sewing machines; Christmas presents; doing a voiceover artist's website; the difficulty of being considered Posh with short vowels, impossible.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Bass-icly it's a toy

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Winchcombe School Headmaster's Office

Apart from an unblogged practice with Eg, Tom and Fea two weeks ago, this was the first Loopy practice for two months.

There are reasons, of course, for this lack of pop-making. And these reasons include a trip to Africa, a trip to Scotland, a very ill mother and moving house. Now it's up to you match the excuse with the band member.

In the meantime, it is probably sufficient to say that it was good to have everyone in the same room again, guitars in hand, melodica in mouth, ladies practising self-defence in the assembly hall down the corridor etc.

A new album is taking shape. Working title: Chubby Little Loser. Don't worry, working titles always get changed. Usually at the last minute.

And the boys (Tom and Ad sporting non-Movember inspired beards) ran through all the song candidates.


Post-Practice Pub Prattle

Fea found someone at work who's having boiler problems; Tom's been off work to commit crimes against DIY; Eg's been getting those computer virus scam phonecalls; Loopy purchase acoustic bass for Ad to use from eBay via Tom's mobile phone - post-purchase analysis of the description seems to indicate it's a child's toy; New Zealand; where to hold this year's Loopy Christmas Do.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Deep, Posh and Sexy

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios, Winchester

Seems to have been a week of bad news. Which makes this weekly occurrence of pop purveyance even more significant in the lives of the lads.

While they record the Portugal v Spain World Cup match in their respective homes for later viewing the Loopy boys turn up to endure the hot, hot, hot sweatiness that is the studio. Half way through a break was needed in the cooler air outside for a while.

Ooh, it was hot.

Post Practice Pint Piffling Prattle:
The Willow Tree had closed early again tonight so the boys begrudgingly trudged up the road to the First Inn Last Out and sat out on the pews in the garden.
"You can ask at the bar for the Bibles" called one jolly lady.
Eg recounted his Glastonbury experience - The National were the ones to see apparently; Fea's radio interview; England's miserable showing at the World Cup; It was Rhodri, not Rodney; Sziget being eagerly anticipated by everyone accept Fea who hasn't done his homework and won't be coming even though he won't actually officially say it - probably makes him feel he's still part of it; Ad is off to Zimbabwe then Zambia; And finally, causing most of the laughter for this evening...

...according to Tom, he's got a deep, posh and sexy voice.

Or so he's been told.

So much so that he's actually signed up with a Voice-over website.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The England Flag and the Barmaid

Present: Ad, Fea, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios, Winchester

Ben's found the band a potential drummer to help out. The details were handed over whereupon nothing will happen until the paper on which the details have been written turn up disintegrating in a pocket of a pair of Tom's newly washed jeans.

For some strange reason the Willow Tree pub, now famous in the local press for having an enormous England flag draped over one side, has taken to closing early on a Tuesday night leaving our boy band gasping for refreshment before toiling home. Tonight their luck was back in.

The barmaid that was befriended last week was awarded a copy of Doing Somersaults [sourced by Tom, presented by Ad]. This seemed to make her evening. She'll be on holiday next week. Going to Cornwall.

'Just make sure you switch off the lights and the water fountains before you go.'

Post Practice Pint Piffle:
The stress of work and looking for new jobs. Fea's forthcoming radio interview - something to do with his school. Nobody cares.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Drag Me To The Liberty Ballroom and get served by a former pupil

Present: Ad, Fea

Venue: Head Teacher's Office, The Winchcombe School, Newbury

Uke and a guitar, that's all you need.

Fea discovered some lyrics in his Loopy folder on his laptop.  Neither Ad nor he knew where they had come from.  So, based on some chords mined from World Party's 'Put The Message In A Box', they came up with a brand new song.

A second new song was born with the words 'Drag me to the Liberty Ballroom'.  Before going down the pub which the band used to frequent when they regularly rehearsed at Fea's first Newbury School. 

They walked in on a Pub Quiz and were served by one of Fea's former pupils.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Where Do You Go when it's Tom's Birthday

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom [later]

The evening was dedicated recording a new song called Where Do You Go.

Ad laid down the guide ukulele and vocal and Eg added a piano intro before putting down his lead vocal.

Fea added guitar using his niece's 'baby acoustic'.

Birthday boy Tom and Bex [still both unmarried] turned up after their celebratory meal in Winchester.

Tom added a distinctly non-choppy piano to the proceedings and Bex refused to add her backing vocals which had earlier been heartily cocked up by Tom and Fea.

Eg and a double-tracked Ad saved the day there.

Overall, a rather good evening's work.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Mini Audience stimulates Practice

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea and Tom

Guests: Sarah, Joe and Hannah

Joe took over some bass playing, Ad on broken drums, Hannah hit a tom tom and Sara tambourine

Post Practice:
Fea convince Sziget attendance, Flight cancellations, Ad Thai

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios

This evening involved mulled wine, as warmed in the filthy microwave in the rehearsal area while listening to some band playing a great rendition of Phils Collins & Bailey's Easy Lover. Tom jigging around so much he nearly spilled the wine down the back of a stray amp.

It also involved the recording of a track called Kingmaker. Supposedly an album filler, but with the Loopy perfectionists on hand it turned into a bit of an opus.

Fea laid down his rhythm guitar to a click track. Always a bit of a hit and miss exercise but success was achieved in three takes.


Eg put down his vocals. Ad his bass. Then came Tom's dodgy guitar, Ad's dodgy backing vocals and Eg's rather fine new Toy instrument, the melodica.

More backing vocals later and there was something resembling a mixable track for the boys to take home and assess.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Someone's Here, Not There, in The Sky Above My House

Present: Ad, Eg, Tom  

Venue: Winchester

The plan was to continue recording. Experimenting with Sky Above My House and seeing if Ben could find that old tension-relieving recording of Someone to finish. Also managed to get a brand new song finished: Here Not There - written by the Noizees, fronted by Eg's youngest daughter Jessie, aged 10 - started with Tom struggling to keep obedient to the click track and ended with his low and laid back voice beautifully fleshing out the rather jolly harmonies.

Does Tom buy a ukulele and a cheap banjo? Or just a ukulele? And can Eg's tambourine skills keep up with the click track? Bottle of white wine to help the creativity flow and Ben's been thinking about buying yet another Cortina. He's also only gone and cleaned half his mixing desk and half the studio. Something's half in the air.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Ben's Foster Child in the Sky Above My House

Present: Ad, Eg, Fea, Tom

Venue: Valley Studios, Winchester

Time for some more recording.

With the lack of regular drummer the boys are left with the desire to just Do Some Recording. Hence this evening.

Tom has lost his voice, or rather, seems to have found it behind a dusty old shed, in the dark, gravelly back yard. Everyone is unsure if it's as sexy as it should be. Singing is out for him this evening, however. Which possibly explains the light mood all round this evening.

Fea and Eg turn up with Eg providing the cheap German 'Champagne' in order to celebrate Fea's Fortieth, last week. Tom gives the group the benefit of his tasting experience by critiquing it.

All the more funnier due to his loss of voice. For example...

Ben informs that his new son, born two weeks previously, is called Foster.

Loopy inform Ben that the track for this evening, born some time last year, is called 'Sky Above My House'

The recording is actually started by working out how the evening should pan out. The initial idea begins with laying down a click track. Fea puts his guitar down and tries to keep in time with the robotic, perfectly paced 4/4 high-hat hit that Ben's desk generates.

It's not as easy as it might sound and after Ben does some jiggery pokery with his editing skills the guide track, with an Eg guide vocal, is laid.

Ad puts his tenor ukulele over the top of that and adds a simple bass line. Eg adds a confident vocal on his second run through and leaves a pleasing impression on the promise of what could be a nice evening's work. Ad harmonises, somehow, and Fea shouts tunefully thereafter. Tom rasps out some rather nice harmonica before midnight strikes and everyone scuttles home, pleased with the outcome so far. Ideas are flying around about how the recording can be developed. Cello, Choir, Brass?

Being in a band is a good thing.