As we know most of today’s music industry lives online. No more are the days where A&R or trendy radio production teams go out and spend a few hours to see a live band, everyone watches on the internet. It’s all about social media numbers, views, subscribers, followers, how many people like the photos of your salads and cups of coffee and your never-ending collection of selfies etc. Although I’m not gonna rant about it, which is unlike me. Instead I’m saying, ‘If you can’t beat em, join em.’
When I first started gigging and forming a band there was obviously a lot of rehearsal required, which involved one very special location that has played a big part in my musical journey so far…my basement. It’s the classic band-rehearsing-in-the-garage scenario. However we were rehearsing in, what started off being, my half-built basement in our house that’s being redeveloped. No lights, no power sockets, no floor or ceiling. Just a concrete floor and four brick walls, which was fine – its an empty place to rehearse that’s not gonna charge studio fees. But I have to know you for a while before I bring you to my basement! For any new musicians that I’d start working with, I would usually book studios to look professional. But after a couple of months (past the honeymoon stage) we’d use the basement. My musicians will never forget the first time they came to my basement, especially on dark winter nights when they’d have to wait for me to rig up some flood lights, a mini radiator and several extension leads so that we’d have electricity. We’d rehearse wearing coats, hats, scarves, gloves and thermals because bricks and concrete retain no heat. A pizza delivery guy would knock on the ground floor window and someone would slide up the sash like a dumbwaiter (no pun intended) to take the delivery. That was the time the basement flooded and we rehearsed in a derelict lounge. It has a certain charm. The basement.
A basement rehearsal used to look a bit like this…
So present day, the basement has a plywood floor finish, it has a plaster-board ceiling, it has decorative lighting, power supply and a sofa! So for those internet lovers, I’ve started a new YouTube channel called…
“BAND IN A BASEMENT”
Now YOU have the pleasure of visiting my basement. Click the image to take a look…
This is a spin on “Band On A Bus” – that time when we went round London singing songs on an open-top route master…remember? It’s a work in progress. I’m gonna be recording tunes from the comfort of my basement along with some fabulous musicians I’ve met over the past couple of years. We’re gonna post videos once a week, perhaps with some special guests here and there like Dave Swift, Mo Pleasure, Neville Staple and Junior (Mamma Used To Say). Feel free to comment or get in touch if you have any song requests or ideas as to where we can put the band next (e.g. ‘Band on a Balcony’, ‘Band In A Bar’ ‘Band on a Boat’, it has to alliterate!) and remember to SUBSCRIBE to Band In A Basement!
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