… is the hardest thing to do in a band, especially in a rehearsal. Practising with the Roadworks band last night (are we really going to call ourselves that?) I exhorted everyone to play less, listen more, then restart the song. The song was much better. But it takes constant effort. Later during another song, I realised I’d drifted off somewhere and had no idea where we even were in the song. That’s why I prefer those blessed gigs where you have a good stage monitor – because you hear this band playing and there can be just enough surprise about what you hear to keep your attention. That said, our set of Roadblock songs is coming on nicely, and should be capable of creating an atmosphere at the Phoenix next week instead of just advertising the songs.
Coming back from Southampton on Monday I succumbed to the Mars Bar effect ( impulse buy, but after one bite you realise you didn’t need it and it gives you toothache). Mojo magazine had a great photo of Leonard Cohen on its front and promised a substantial article as well as a CD of covers. I snapped it up and wolfed down a sandwich so that I could open it and read it in the cramped airport waiting lounge. There was plenty of information, but hardly anything I didn’t know already and as for ‘all his albums reviewed and rated’ well fine but don’t I know my own opinion of these albums? Why do I need someone else’s? I’d thought there might be a current interview but tucked in the article was his new manager saying how his tour is only sustainable because Leonard is protected backstage, particularly from interviews. As for the covers, none were awful, some were interesting, but they all threw me back to wanting to either sing the songs themselves or hear him sing them. I’m not saying the articles or CD were bad – just chiding myself for grabbing the sugary sweet when I didn’t really need it.