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J O U R N A L music review of the year

Weird Decibels our 2014.

Weird Decibels review of the year 2014

January

The year started with a mixture of optimism and permission; we had started writing weird decibels 2 and it wasn’t really taking off so we had to find some inspiration from somewhere. We booked ourselves a wee lodge in Oakley for the end of the month.

Before we were due to set off we had the small matter of releasing a new music video. Speak was the song we opted for.

http://youtu.be/bhh3IeKejGM

We stayed true to the black and white theme of Weird Decibels 1. It was shot down at the practise room with a mixture of stills and live footage. The idea was to have a bit of fun with each of us switching musical positions. The video did quite well; sitting at over 1000 views and that isn’t taking into account the Blank TV stats. A good start!.

The Falkirk Herald kindly ran a story about the video. Nice folk.

http://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/what-s-on/weird-combine-sound-and-vision-once-again-1-3271181

Moshville times wrote a nice piece for us as part of their ‘Band of the Day’; my favourite quote would be ‘not exactly radio friendly (!)’ and ‘ an overall undercurrent of folk’ this led us to utter a new genre Folking Metal!

http://www.moshville.co.uk/botd/2014/01/new-band-of-the-day-weird-decibels/

Spotifyimage3as January came to a close we headed off to Oakley with the acoustic guitars and a shit load of beer. We wrote 6 songs. ‘I Hear The City’, Little Thoughts Lost’, ‘Digital Takeover’, Curtain Hits the Cast’, ‘Quoted Not Voted’ and ‘Hit Me’ the latter had everyone reaching for their beers a little quicker. ‘Its a song about depression’ quipped Stu. We never played it again.

February

This took us neatly into February and Tommy Clark of the Third Class Ticket Show continued to do us proud by playing us on his show; ‘Speak’ getting the slot.

Click ‘like’ here

https://www.facebook.com/TheThirdClassTicket

March

We were looking forward to playing Stereo but the gig was cancelled. I was gutted at this news; A because I love playing live and B because its a cracking venue.

We also uploaded the remasters of One More Solo to limited success!! I’m not sure if its worth doing the other albums; the overpowering bass of the original master was swamping the album. I like the new master though.

Hear for yourself.

http://weirddecibels.bandcamp.com/album/one-more-solo-remastered

April

April was quiet for us. I was busy working on Morningday; an album I recorded with Kevin Byrne and Jemma Burt.

May

Derek and Ann tied the knot. Its good to have a least one celebrity wedding a year.

World cup fever was building, we continued to practise the new songs another quiet month.

June

We had a gig at Pivo Pivo to look forward to. We were sitting in the practise room mulling over the limited response to the gig (we would learn that gigs are best played on a Friday or Saturday); we got a phone call from PM promotions who had helped us have some cracking gigs in 2013 (Oran Mor, ABC 2). It was to be at the QMU; an old stomping ground for us. The big stage right? We asked the promoter.

Ah no its Jims Bar.

Mmm it still looked ok so we went for it given that Saturday gigs tend to be better. First gig of 2014 booked… in June… Anyway it was to be part of the ‘West End Festival’.

June would also see us attempt our own event. We booked a gig at the brilliant 13th Note with young rockers Ciceros secret, Miss the Occupier and The Dark Arts. Things were picking up!

10401915_10152485640034519_7255418438963022257_nThe 21st of June would see us play Jim’s Bar. I filmed the approach to the gig hoping to start a documentary for the band. It was a clammy summers day, the football was on and the venue was like a an oven. Not the greatest gig; our patience with PM promotions was staring to run low.

https://weirddecibels.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/pabs-gig-diary-jims-bar-qmu-live/

July

The film I made for the Jim’s Bar gig was quickly shoehorned into a video for Joker’ we hadn’t had a presence on YouTube for a while and this was a chance to get back on.

Not our greatest video by any stretch but it was a bit of fun. Views? 120 on our page around 600 on Blank TV. Very disappointing given the success of the other videos. A fickle world indeed!

Go on click the link and make it 121 views.

http://youtu.be/5GAXNtruyqA

August

I was with Lewis sipping a coffee at the Helix when the phone rang. James Trimble from the Falkirk Herald looking for an interview! So look out for our article in the next couple of weeks! Thanks James. This was a Facebook post I wrote the day James Trimble phoned my mobile as I sipped a coffee. You should have seen the looks of the other costumers as I was talking about writing albums and playing gigs!

http://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/what-s-on/falkirk-s-kelpies-are-rocking-horses-in-music-video-1-3501992

It was a very good article from James Trimble.

The heat the rock it was all there
The heat the rock it was all there

To top off this fantastic month we played our gig at the 13th Note. One of the best we played and we met some good friends old and new that night. I also highly recommend the Notes veggie burgers!!

https://weirddecibels.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/gig-diary-22nd-august-13th-note-glasgow/

Oh before I finish August we had promised for weeks to do the ‘ice bucket challenge; the Facebook craze that had went mega viral, listen close and you will hear Stu scream like a big girl!

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=868665706491852&set=vb.128933433798420&type=2&theater

September

We booked another gig; this time at Ivory Blacks. It looked very promising; although it was on a school night…

September was a quiet month of writing and recording practise sessions. We actually started writing in the old room again and the results were pretty good.

October

We launched our very own website this month in a hope not to rely too much on Facebook. Its hard to say where this is going to go. My how did we get to attached to Facebook. Disturbing…

anyway here it is.

http://www.weirddecibels.com/

The website will probably evolve to become more of a tribute to our 20 years together. Watch this space.

We started drinking tea and coffee at practise; yes you read that right.

November

Stu rocks the ivory
Stu rocks the ivory

We hyped the Ivory Black gig as a send off to Weird Decibels 1. A very disappointing gig and a rather sad end to the live life of Weird Decibels 1. Maybe we’ll do another show and send it off in style.

As I write about the highs and lows of unsigned music life there are certain things that quickly pull you back into perspective

Our good friend and fellow musician Chris Masson passed away at the age of 37. Too young. Too soon.

https://weirddecibels.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/chris-masson-1977-2014/

On the 22nd of November the guys brought their gear around to my place and we set up the studio. We wrote another batch of cracking songs for Weird Decibels 2. This will be the way we write in the future given the success of the session.

https://soundcloud.com/weirdmusiconline/the-canine-with-no-teeth

December

Weird Decibels 2014
Weird Decibels 2014

The band has wrapped up early this year, work and the festive season have taken their toll on our practise sessions.

All is good, we have a batch of songs ready to be rehearsed and eventually recorded next year

2014 has been a mixed bag. Some highs some lows; I feel we lost a wee bit of momentum this year due to different circumstances and perhaps poor choices.

2015 is our 20th anniversary. A new album is due, new videos, gigs, podcast and hopefully a film. So a lot to look forward to,

Massive thanks to the unflinching support of our family and friends

The unsigned musicians work is never done!

Categories
music Pabs General music thoughts writing

Pabs Music Musings 3. The Blackpool Soundtrack

I forgot my headphones for my tablet. Two days in Blackpool without my music.

So I boiled the kettle and emptied two Colombian coffee sachets into my mug. Poured the boiling water straight. Black coffee done cheap. Looked out the sand smudged window of our room out to the sea and the emptiness beyond.

Coffee ready, feet up
Coffee ready, feet up

My music was the waves crashing furiously against the promenade. I looked out and thought about our new album. What do I write about where do i go from here? Where do my fellow musicians get their inspiration from? Two huge influences of mine, Matt Berninger (The National) seems to capture his lyrics perfectly, slightly off centre but enough meaning for you to relate and  Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) writes of technology, robots that almost have feelings.

We head out the arcades. The slot machines flashing, bells sounding, coins spilling into metal trays. Reminds me of the arcade scene in Lost In Translation (greatest movie soundtrack ever). I look at the people wandering around, the fellow tourists, the locals staring into the machines, automatically hitting gamble as they clutch a plastic cup of coins. A young boy wanders around with a cowboy hat full of coins asking punters for change. Cheeky wee bugger. It’s here I think of characters again, the different life’s, all colliding in a sea of flashing lights and confusing bleeps. We head out onto the prom.

The Wonder Blackpool Illunimations

Here the stalls are still open, bored attendants hoping for a sale, some make a half-hearted pitch, two for a pound and all that. A tram rolls past, a modern machine not like the old romantic rollers from the past.  Blackpool has aged but still has a bit of magic, a bit like an old 80’s light entertainer strutting their stuff on I’m a Celeb. I start to get ideas for lyrics, as my boy grabs my hand desperate for another shot on the racing car.

The next day after a full English breakfast we head further along the front towards the pleasure beach. I walk to a security gate and the burly guard asks me If I have a ticket. I meekly say no, he points me to the ticket booth. I was going to protest that when I were a lad you could walk in free.  Inside the park I am £34 lighter but still giddy with excitement. My childhood taps my shoulder as I hear the siren of the ghost train, the clacking of the roller coasters and the laughing clown. Again lyrics flood my head, the yearning to return to simpler times can be disturbing.

Inside the pleasure beach
Inside the pleasure beach a pigeon takes flight

I’m keen to show my lad round the shows but he falls asleep…So I run to the Pepsi Max roller coaster. As I stand in the queue I look at the faces of boredom as we are about to ride upon one of the tallest, fastest coaster in Europe, according to the voice over. Later I grab my wife and we run onto the ghost train and I try to make her jump every time we turn into a dark corner.

Sometimes you need a change of scene to write the next act, I often wonder how other writers pen their lyrics. I hope as the sun sets on our break I’ll go home and create some more characters that will come alive in our new songs. See you again Blackpool!

The Broken but still standing North Pier
The Broken but still standing North Pier

If you are a writer please tell me how do you get inspired?

Pabs

Categories
writing

Writing August 2013

Lyrics!

Kill it! Kill it!

I guess it started in my bored heart
Turned my blood darker than black
At first I loved the feelings I had
Got in my head, I screamed ‘take it back!’

C E C D

Kill it! Kill it!
Stamp it down
Before it grows
And eats all around

Binds my wrists onto the bed
Feel the beast sit upon my chest
I hear my life calling out my name
Try to reach her finger tips again and again

E CBAG
Stamp it down!
Before it grows
Stamp it down
Before it grows!

Some early lyrics from our latest song. We haven’t recorded it yet so there was a bit of a panic when we tried to recall how we played it last week. I had used my tablet to record a rough sketch when we first created the song but it was a mash of digital distortion. It was such a rush writing this track. It is based on a rolling riff I had fluked  on the guitar, Stu took the riff and built the verse and chorus riffs around it. Its a two minute rock rampage! We’ll need to sit down and write song longer epics otherwise dB2 is going to be around 30 minutes long!

Pabs.Image