Pretty much all last week was taken up working with Caulbearers.  We were working on our debut album, and halfway through the second day of rehearsals I was struck by how much I was enjoying myself.  There’s something about working intensively that brings out some fantastic results.  Having the opportunity to try things a bit differently, rather than the rehearsals being a quick “refresh” before a gig, meant that when we got the studio we all knew what was what and, more importantly, sounded great (in my humble opinion anyway).  Watch this space for details of releases in the Autumn.

I’m also looking forward to a similar experience with the Beats & Pieces Big Band in a few weeks.  As was announced recently, we’ve secured some funding from the Musician’s Benevolent Fund to spend a week locked away in Devon working on new material (the difficult second album starts here) and trying out a whole bunch of things that we never get the opportunity to normally, given how difficult it is to get us all together for longer than a soundcheck.  We’re also going to use the time to try recording in some different ways, to discover how we work best, which will be a great help for future sessions.

I count myself really lucky to be involved with groups of people who are all up for dedicating their time to creating music together, especially given how hard it is for all these musicians to make a living, and the extraordinary demands on time that freelance work brings with it.  And especially as I don’t think I could ever pick one band and one band only, I really am a big fan of immersing myself completely in one project for intense sessions like these.