Recording, New Band & PERCY!

“Percy” – a huge and truly splendid Savanah cat who sits to order and is very cool. With Steve Turner.

Just recovering from a weekend of serious music with Jez Coad producing, with Steve Turner on bass and Jeff Walker on drums.  I’ve played with these guys over the last (ahem) thirty years, gigging and in the recording studio set up by Jez in an oast I had down in darkest Kent.

Steve and Jeff played in the iconic Gutter Brothers band, then in various musical iterations since – see the weblinks.

Jez Coad (left) with Jeff Walker, and 16 drums on the kit, including two ambient condensers against the wall behind me.

We set up this make-shift studio in Steve’s house in Essex, and were then driven by slave driver Jez for as long as my voice lasted – averaging fifteen hours a day. My songs were turned round, washed, spun and rinsed; so that now I’m going through them trying to remember what happened, to add guitar and vocal parts.

Presonus 2626 and Behringer mike interfaces giving 2×8 inputs into Cubase. My vocal and guitar mix comes out of Allen and Heath desk to the left.

The bass amp was shut into the sitting room, and the guitar amp (through which I did guide guitar) was in the hall. Excellent separation achieved, for 16 drum stems and the bass.

There’ll be more days in Jez’ studio in East London, then back to Essex to arrange and record further tracks.

My view of the proceedings, from beside the SM7 vocal mike booth position.

Then we’ll be gigging, while releasing a single and then an EP.  Still thinking up a good name. “HM Band” – although regal enough, seems likely to be changed. Watch this space.

By Popular request: Further Pics of Percy

Percy helping Jez with the EQ.

Hugh McManners

Oxford-based singer-songwriter and guitarist, with a love of the blues, psychedelic rock and the poetry of song. Past lives in Australia and the British Army; and a forty-year career as a writer.

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