Above Nigel Constable,
below Dave Levett, keyboards
RA: As a covers band we often have to rewrite endings, especially recorded fadeouts, for live performance. I don't think it pays, or is artistically logical, to go out on a tangent (you wouldn't play a modern cadenza to a Mozart concerto, as Schnabel notoriously did sometimes). Learn To Fly does diverge to a degree but does so artistically because it was intended to depict the final ascent into flight that the song had long promised. Being up in the air is different from being on the ground. It looks and feels radically different.
But Kaleidoscope is short and therefore the ending needs to be prompt. Compositionally it needed very much to be organic, an instant growth out from what had gone before, so I picked up on the accented second-beat rhythm of the verse, put it in the bass, doubled by the guitar, Procol-style, and built it quickly, with a little melodic interest, into an upward climax with progressing chord in the keyboard right hand. The momentum of the song had to be maintained at all costs.
Dave, the main keyboardist, thought it ought to end with the two penultimate chords stretched out and he offered a different ending chord. My ending had seen the song as short and therefore not calling for any pomp. It had gone headlong through towards the final bottom note, followed by the chord in the right hand. We kept Dave's more grandiose two penultimate chords, then we considered his final chord against mine. They had different ambiences and left a different final view of the song, and presented us with a serious artistic decision. Dave neatly resolved the dilemma by melding the two together and we got an improved result from it!
It was gratifying to see our singer getting into words he'd never read or heard before and arrive as fully on-board, and motivated as the rest of us. Andrew keeps us all young and in touch with new popular songs 'cos he's ten years younger than most of the rest of us!
Keyboards: Alesis QS6.2,
Korg SP200; Bass guitar: Blue Vintage; Clarinet: Buffet E13
Andrew's guitar: Squire Strat with Cry Baby wah-wah pedal; Richard's guitar: 1970s Kawai electric with old Korg effects unit; Drums: an 80s Premier kit (well, BJ was a Premier endorsee) with Remo Pinstripe heads (Powerstroke3 on the bass) and Zildjian cymbals. There’s also sparing use of a rather evil Wuhan China cymbal.
Recording achieved on Cubase SL. Soundman Steve Hawkins (right) is in his third year with Outcry, having been at music production college when he answered our ad. He has wide tastes, including the heaviest rock tendencies in the band. The youngest of the contingent, he assisted Dave Levett at the recording stage of Kaleidoscope.
All pictures by Stephen Goodger (Worthing Herald) except that of Lucy, by an unrecorded photographer.