Since Mike East, Ben Jones and Stuart Morrell have joined the team, we have taken rehearsals and practices to a whole other level, really dissecting the songs, scrutinising the backing vocals, playing about with the structure, adding our own flair to the tracks. We are working incredibly hard it’s certainly paid off, our repertoire is constantly growing in size and sounding better than ever. It’s great!
I think the increase in the time spent rehearsing has a lot to do with the fact that we all get on. Really well. Being in a band is not for the anti-social, you can literally spend weeks in each others pockets, you have to get on. It’s so important to have a real passion for what you do and the people you are doing with with, this really shines through during performances. Being a successful band depends creating a solid bond with your fellow band members, working for each other and backing each other up. It’s the energy that you create with a group of people all working towards the same goal. A rapport, which you feel as soon as the group gets together to perform. I’m so lucky to be able to have fun with band members who I’d class as friends. We have such an awesome time, as soon as we’ve finished one performance we’re itching to start the next one!
The space you have available to practice can often dictate how often you are able (and want to) rehearse). Jamie and the first class have tried out pretty much every single rehearsal studio within a 50 mile radius of Marlborough. We’ve also been to countless studios on the move all over the world as we travel from gig to gig. For those of you who haven’t been to a studio, they can be one of most un-glamourous, dark (and sometimes smelly) places you’ll ever come across (definitely not for the faint hearted)! A lot of equipment providing in rehearsal studios isn’t the same high standard as we’re used to (for the obvious reasons, it’s used all the time, people don’t have the same respect for others equipment as they do their own). Equipment is an important factor when rehearsing as we want it to sound like it will on the night, so if we can, we use our own.
It can be difficult to find a rehearsal studio you want to use time and time again. I like to have some natural light in a rehearsal room, Studio 91 in Newbury is good for that but its a bit too far away from us. I also like Weststar Studios in High Wycombe and its run by some friends of ours Keith and Evie who have been providing studios a long time and they are very good. Recently we’ve been able to use a local village hall Kennet Valley Hall, which has loads of natural light, a fab view and a huge floor space for us to practice our steps for our theatre shows. most of the time we’re fine tuning parts, rehearsing harmonies and talking about the songs.
Drummer Mike and I were discussing how much time is taken up by setting up, packing down and travelling to and from the the studio so recently we have rehearsed acoustically in our kitchen and Mikes Drumfish studio where he teaches drums. It takes about five minutes to get ready and we’ve been learning loads of new songs this way. We can all hear ourselves and our harmonies are sounding better than ever!
The hard work pays off in the end!
All the best