Mark, Hazel and I (Pat) popped over to beautiful Tetbury today, to check out the venue of our next gig https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/southwestlive/1940s-sweetheart-ball/e-zzopyy
It’s all looking fab – we’re very happy with the hall, and it’s a good sized stage too. It’s very central – this famous building is just round the corner!
Such a pretty part of the country, we’ll enjoy visiting.
Ben the drummer had a holiday from us tonight, and he’ll be delighted to learn how very difficult it was to do without him! But with a combination of electronic metronomes and optimistic counting, we got by…!
And Dave, one of our alto sax players was away too (these men are so romantic, having Valentine’s Day hols!) so there were lots of…well…quiet bits in our tunes! But as I’ve said before, it’s good when musicians are occasionally away, it pares down the music to the bare bones, there are no hiding places! (Something I myself was very aware of tonight, having to count beats before starting to sing)
One person who bravely came along was Joel, our lovely French guitarist. There’s loads of music for him to learn, but he’s starting to plough through it, and making us sound much better already, a much fuller sound.
We’ve had some fairly major changes of personnel since my last post (did you notice it had gone quiet?!)
Mike and Emma have left us, due to lack of time, and John decided to go too; we’ll miss them all hugely, and for a day or so thought we might fold…but we’re not to be got rid of that easily! David has definitely joined us as a second alto sax player, which is fantastic – it allows Mark to really show what he can do, with fewer restrictions than before.
We had a brilliant, useful practice tonight – thoroughly getting to grips with four of our favourite numbers, ironing out some kinks, and polishing them up to performance standard. And the confidence levels are noticeably rising…fast!! I’m sure it won’t be very long before we’re playing in public….
We had a full house last night, all the regular members were there, and David too, trying out as second alto sax (it’s a sort of two-way audition!) Anyway, both auditions must’ve gone well, because he’s decided to join us!
This is great, as we have a lot of good music for alto sax, and it’ll help Mark out too. I had to turn my vocals pa up a bit…they’re getting louder!
All we need now is a bassist (preferably double bass) who can commit to being at most rehearsals – so if you know anyone, sing out right away! (Wait…I’ll just rig my pa so you can be heard…)
Solo, for one night only, by command performance(!) it’s the Pat Jones show!
Yes, even though room 10 is on a break over the holidays, the music goes on! I’m singing at a New Year’s Eve party tonight and it’s great fun!
I hope you all had as fab a Christmas as I had, see you soon!
No practice tonight, due to ill health and unavailability of members – and I must admit I’m actually quite relieved – high winds, deafening thunder and torrential rain don’t make for a very enjoyable or indeed safe trip across The Bridge!
As our rehearsal rooms are closed over Christmas, this might mean a bit of a hiatus now – but you never know, there could still be occasional news to share!
Friends always ask me when they can come and hear room 10. And I can never answer them! The thing is, I didn’t join a ready made band; we’re all new to it, we’ve still trying out players (why are double bassists so hard to find?!) and sourcing suitable music, then we’ll have loads of practicing to do before we’re at a good enough standard together to entertain paying customers! But rest assured, we definitely will! Some of that long-awaited music has at last arrived from the States, so our repertoire is building nicely now.
Lasts night’s practice was another humdinger, but it definitely showed me I need to practice more during the week! Some of the numbers we’re now starting are hard; tricky rhythms and difficult key changes – I can’t be relying on Emma to give me the note in a performance! But how great that we’re not taking the easy road, but trying to make good music, not boring music….!
We were talking about this the other night. So often we hear people saying “I love any music…except jazz…” This always surprises me – who doesn’t like Ella Fitzgerald, Susan Vaughan, Etta James, Peggy Lee, or even Amy Winehouse? But I think lots of people picture the discordant, rather self indulgent music style that they occasionally hear, and mentally switch off.
Of course, we’re not about this at all! If you can’t hum it, we won’t be doing it! We want our audiences to be dancing, not leaning their head on one hand, tapping a finger and nodding wisely…
At last things seem to be shaping up well. We tried the new arrangement of ‘Fever’ tonight, and although it’s tricky (HOW many flats?!) it sounded great! I also tried singing ‘Tuxedo Junction’, which the band had being doing as an instrumental, and it was great fun – I love it!
We deconstructed (now, there’s a modern word…or is that just in posh restaurants…?) a number of tunes we’re doing already, and fine tuned them – very satisfying.
Mark recorded some of our practice, so who knows – there might be a snippet or two appearing here soon…..