Monday, 20 October 2008

"Feel Good, Shake It, Shake It, Shake It, Feel Good"

Sean McGhee writes the blog: Ah, song 3, how we love you.

Seriously, it's hard not to feel very smug but we've pulled a real blinder with this one. It wasn't a song with an easy start - it began as a deliberate ploy on my part to push Rob in a certain direction to get something a bit faster happening. It worked, too - he came up with a really strong chorus very quickly, and the rest fell into place with the minimum of fuss.

Shh Shake it, Shake it, Got to Shake It, Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture!

Problem was, the music wasn't right. At all. So, what to do? Well, I did what I normally do - improvised. I started throwing a few musical ideas at the song to get it heading down a different road. First off, the bassline changed from a buzzing synth to a cut-up piano. Then some scratchy strings. Suddenly, something clicked. A touch of percussion and some careful layering of drum sounds led to a groove akin to a rowdy marching band. So, how about some brass? In it went - fantastic. And we were away!

I've learned over the years not to be precious about what I do - no matter how great a part might sound, if it's not working in context, you either have to ditch the part or change the context. The latter approach is what we've taken on song 3, as all the parts that I put in at the writing stage are still there, but performed in a very different way.

The only bugbear was the words. We had quite a few strong ideas from our various improvisations. We needed a solid direction, so we brainstormed and figured out what it could be. Great - a concept. But where to start? I was stumped. But then, Rob showed me a very interesting picture of a certain celebrity wearing singular shoes. Hmm.. could there be an idea in that? There was indeed, and, once again, we were off and running.

We did agonize over the words rather, but it was worth it - conceptually, the song makes perfect sense now, as well as having plenty of swagger and attitude. Listening back after Rob had sung the new words in, we knew we had something really special. Amazing how these things creep up on you.

So, song 3 is almost done. Vocals tomorrow, then song 4 (which I've actually already started).

No comments: