Monday saw us move in to the Wood Room at Real World to begin the recording progress. Pete had been struck down with a cold over the weekend so was left at home to try and get over it whilst Nick finished off some of his parts and Ben, Jay and Kieran came in with all of the equipment for a day of setting up. This initially consisted mainly of building dens (officially 'booths') within the studio for each of us. The Wood Room is a beautiful and intimate space, and certainly a lot cosier than the rehearsal studio we've been cooped up in for the last 2 weeks.
Set up days in studios are always relatively drawn out affairs, and with the mix of instruments we are using on the album, it meant there were a lot to do, from housing the drum kit to microphone placement, building boxes to put amps in and finding somewhere for Nick to sit! The end of the day saw us run through some stuff as a band to get all the levels sorted for Tuesday - when the red light would get turned on for the 1st time.
We knew from the outset that we would have to be working hard over long days to get everything done in the time we had. This means we had to hit the ground running on Tuesday and make the most of every day. With Pete still not at 100% this meant starting without him singing and working on stuff that Ben sings lead on and songs we were planning on doing the vocals for afterwards. As mentioned in previous blogs, Steve's approach to getting the best out of the band is all about getting the vibe right within the band and with each song. This has so far meant everything to dancing sessions in the studio, football analogies and watching belly dancing videos whilst playing; all a bit mad but it seems to get results!
As the week progressed we got into a good groove of doing the basics of two songs a day - the pace we had agreed we would need to work at in order to leave enough time at the end of the final week to do various overdubs and backing vocals etc. Each song is different though, and requires different amounts of time. Sometimes this is because we're trying to capture the live sound in a relatively artificial environment with no crowd and only headphones for company. Sometimes it has been because the recorded versions contain lots of extra parts that we want to do straight after the skeleton of the song has been laid down so that the vibe of the song is still fresh in our minds when we do them. Sometimes, it has been simply because various members of the band needed some whisky.
The week ended really well with everything on schedule and all of us very excited about the way everything was sounding. We all know that the final week is likely to be even more intense as it gets closer to the end of the session, so a weekend off certainly felt deserved, but we're all already excited about getting back in on Monday morning to carry on!