Last week was a fun one in Crow world.
On Wednesday I got to open the Ted Baker fashion show at the amazing Farmiloe building up in Farringdon. I was “busking” in an entrance tunnel to the venue playing some Ramshackle Crow tunes to the fashion cognoscenti coming in, then had to play a version of the Lumineer’s track Ho Hey to kick the show off. It was a lot of fun. I’ve never in my life seen so much attention to detail as the team there applied to create the “Take the Scenic Route” theme. Big thanks to Catherine, Siobhan, Hannah, Lucy @ Regent Street and Polly for making it such a great day. The Lowden was just singing – such a great guitar for that purpose as it is such a deep rich sound.
Then on Thursday I took a meltdown Overground train up to see my dear friend and resident genius Leo Abrahams, and we started to mix the album! Starting at the start, with Jumping Ship, the general idea is not to change too much from the versions we’ve been listening to during the recording process, but just to clean things up and stick the tracks through some of Leo’s deliciously sexy outboard gear to glue it into more of an analogue-sounding mix. And I am pleased to report that plan A is working just perfectly – I’m particularly delighted with Riversong which just sounds so much more organic and three-dimensional.
We’re taking a short break from mixing any more until August. But work continues here – getting the live three-piece band going, which has been great fun so far. Today Jez and I had a play through a song using guitar and his mbira, a large thumb piano. It’s quite a departure from the record, but I think it will work, as it’s such a visual and textural feast.
I went to see Beck last week, as my friend Vincent Taurelle from the AIR days was playing piano with him (how random!). It was one of the most shambolic, eye-opening and beautiful gigs I’ve ever been to. He had a couple of drum machines which he either didn’t know how to work very well, or was deliberately bewildering us by playing the same beats at varying tempos that were totally inappropriate for the tunes… but his charm, humour and overall vibe just meant that it worked. I made a mental note to myself to keep this live stuff free enough for all of us to really run a bit wild, never knowing exactly what is going to happen next. A bit like deliberately getting lost in some exciting foreign city but with a map in the back pocket and enough money to get a cab home if it all goes tits up.