Day Forty Six : Wednesday 17th July 2005
Tough day finishing ‘Without A Fight’ mix. George finished a mix with Martin that everyone seemed to like. While we were making a cup of tea, James said he didn’t think it was sounding as good as we had it in The Chapel. I told him to say something to George, but he wouldn’t. In the end I ran back into the studio and made everyone come in and said what they really wanted to say. It all came out, Craig didn’t like the bass sound, Steve didn’t like his drums and James didn’t like the guitars. They all seemed to be saying that it sounded better in Wales at the Chapel. It became very tense in the studio and I could see that George and Martin were feeling dismayed by the conversation. We had to find a solution or things were going to come unstuck. Firstly, I got Martin to bring back all the guitars from the Chapel recordings and cut all the new recorded instruments we had added in the Doghouse. I was working on instinct but the boys seemed to be a lot happier. George decided to leave us to it and take a break. I then got Martin to run the new mix alongside the Chapel recordings. We could all see that straight away the Chapel recording whilst having a bit more vibe maybe, sounded like a demo while the track with the new guitars from the doghouse sounded big and fat. It was make or break time. I went to the house to bring back George and I said to him that we either make this work for all of us or we will pack it all in and reassess the situation from another angle. Harsh but it was the only way. George could accept that maybe we had lost some vibe from the original recordings and so he and Martin set to work to make a new mix that worked for the whole team. We agreed to stay out and come back for a group listen when George felt he had got a mix that incorporated all our thoughts and feelings. He called us in an hour later and what a difference he had made to the track. Everyone was pleased. We now had a way forward. A sonic identity had been established. Every album reaches a stage like this, it is like giving birth, there has to he some pain, some release for the tension. The worst thing you can have when making an album is everyone being polite and not saying what they really think. At last we had some honesty and forward momentum. Next track on the board is ‘My Town’. Liam came down to the studio and we played him some tracks, he thought it was all sounding great. Good to have some feedback from someone outside of the sessions. We are definitely on the right track. Liam is going in for a meeting with EMI tomorrow and wants to play them some of the tracks so far. James and I sat outside in the garden and worked up some guitar parts for ‘My Town’. We both record together, James on Gibson Les Paul and me on Fender Telecaster. It sounds great. We make a few changes to the arrangement, mainly deciding to start th track with Steve’s drums. I get the vocals down and then everyone heads out for the pub. I stay behind to put a CD together for Liam and listen out for Dylan in cased he wakes up. When they come back Barry takes them all out on the river because we have a full moon and clear skies. Beautiful.