It’s showtime! 3 tips for band practise.

Shit the bed! It only seems like a few days ago since the lovely lads of Brotherhood asked us to support them at a super secret(at the time) show at Rescue Rooms. Now it’s only a few days away! Yesterday we headed off to the rehearsal room, strapped on our guitars and grabbed the drumsticks for the last time before the big show. How are we feeling? Well, 80% major excitement and 20% squeaky bum time but thats all good. It’s healthy to be nervous in some degree before something as great as this show, it keeps you on your game! Having said that, we feel ready, and I mean super duper tight as a ducks arse ready! We couldn’t be happier with how the band is sounding right now. Not only are the songs tight but they come alive, they build, they decay, they climax and they leave you feeling good!

About the show itself, the doors will open at 6pm and Kelsey Shaw will be opening up the evening from about 7pm ish. Those little sausages of 5th Order 😉 will be hitting the stage from around 7.35pm and then Brotherhood after 8.30pm. Do arrive as early as you can so you don’t miss any of the action. Remember that the show is SOLD OUT so it will be tight at the gig and probably a bit sweaty so come dressed nice as casual.

On the night, we will have CD copies of our album for sale on the merch stand so go grab one if you don’t own one already.

All info is posted by Matt in the Brotherhood facebook group, so hang around on there if you need anything.

Are you ready?

Joey x

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Here are some tips on how to smash band practise.

1.Practise every aspect of the show

Our last few rehearsals over the past month or so have been pretty straight forward as most of the technical work had been completed some time ago and we had the structure of each song perfected. So recently its been a case of just rattling through the set as we would on the night, over and over and over again until it almost bores you. Thats when you know that you can play them on ‘autopilot’ and focus on putting on a show. We even practise walking on and off stage to the intro and outros to get the timing right. We also rehearse everything that we are going to say between songs. Everything is choreographed to some extent. Trust me it feels very weird doing this and you feel like a right bellend in the practise room but it is definitely worth the embarrassment in rehearsal to avoid embarrassment on the night.

2. Film every single session

This is so important, there is so much you can learn from watching back each session because over time you can see the overall improvement of the band, very satisfying to watch! You can also spot mistakes that might be difficult to notice when you are actually playing. Getting a good idea of what the band will look like on stage is a really powerful asset to have. You don’t have to go fancy with this either, just a smartphone propped up somewhere is fine. We are currently toying with filming our sessions on a DSLR and recording the audio from the usb recording function of our Yamaha desk. This can double up as content for social media!

3. Get together more often

It’s easy enough to understand that the more you practise the better you will be, practise makes perfect after all. For a covers band, practising once or twice per week is fine, and you can even drop practise altogether if you are gigging all weekend, every weekend and only rehearse when your learning new material. For Originals, it’s a different kettle of little fishies. Let’s say you are a post punk band (like ourselves). You are essentially competing with the like of Editors, White lies etc. I think those guys rehearse for more than 2 hours once a fortnight. Get together and play as a band as often as possible. I know it’s hard to find time, we’ve all got work and family’s and all that shit.

What I would say though, in my opinion shorter and more frequent sessions of 3 hours or so are better than huge day long sessions once in a blue moon. I don’t know if you have played a les paul for more than 3 hours in one go but my god it’s back breaking. Kills your mood. Take a coffee break halfway through each session and have a natter, talk shit and mess about for 5 minutes, loosen up.

Let’s hear your tips for a great rehearsal session,

Comment below!

 

 

 

 

Tight as ffff…

Rehearsals are going so well! We are used to playing to a click track now so we are playing very tight! It feels so good to be playing in a band again! Although it’s taken me and Chris sometime to get used to Dave’s stupidly loud drumming! It’s so lovely and quiet on stage when playing as Last Stand so we aren’t used to the bang and crash of Drummer Dave. When we turned up for our first rehearsal and had setup, the very first time dave hit his snare Chris said “I’m pissed off already, it’s too loud!”. We are not Rock n Roll at all are we?! We have suggested many ways to solves this problem, such as rolled up newspaper for drum sticks, rubber cymbals and Dave playing in an entirely different room all together. In ear monitoring is the way forward, back to peaceful bliss.

I’ve been asked many times, will 5th Order gig? The answer is, we hope so! When we are fully rehearsed and ready we will rock it. We cannot wait for this! Another question is “Will Last Stand stop gigging?” and the answer is no! Last Stand is so good and we love it, it’s our lively hood too, pays the mortgage etc. 5th Order shows will work around Last Stand until ‘If’ shit gets serious, then things may change.

We are on a jolly boys outing next week for my Stag do, all day on the mild down Notts. No bloody nightclubs or tying me up to a lamp post naked thank you! Nice and civil please boys! Again, so rock n roll hey!

I’m sure there will be lots of pictures posted on our page so keep an eye out.

Right, I’m off to get ready, local show at the Bentink in Kirkby tonight with Last Stand. Come and join us, we shall be rocking it up a bit!

In a bit ducks,

Joey x

ps… A quick shout to Yusten, The Music Guru, your copy of the album is on it’s way to you!

The 5th Order Studio Experience.

Another gloomy morning in ‘darkest’ Nottinghamshire – it’s nearly July apparently! Ah but the rain will not deter me from telling you about our studio time for the album ‘Motion Owl’. So, with the curtains still drawn, still tucked up in bed with a shih tzu across my legs, we begin.

Having nailed down the ultimate compromise with the Mrs regarding the choice of our new laptop (Macbook Pro; Superb for producing music and she thinks it looks pretty) We had the basis of our recording studio. It’s a simple studio set up, but does the job and leaves just enough room on my desk for a coaster and the biscuit barrel (for when Chris comes round).

Let work commence! We had 13 or so songs written and ready to go so we recorded basic demo’s of each of them, listened to them a heck of a lot to try and get an idea of where they would go or where they wouldn’t. Two of the songs didn’t make it sadly. They just didn’t cut it. Thats how writing goes though, for every good few songs you write you also write some right old shite! I must say though that the two ‘dead’ songs have been recycled into another great song for the *cough* second album maybe baby?

The demo’s that had survived were then used as guides for the actual recordings of the songs, for endless overdubbing, chopping and changing. I find that recording and mixing vocals is the hardest part of any project, many would probably agree. Getting vocal to sit in the right place in the mix is a delicate balancing act. I got it wrong a lot of the time and it was up to Chris to moan at me repeatedly “that lead vocal is ripping my face off!”.

On the subject of recording vocal… Myself and Chris had finished all of the recording parts and had drummer Dave round to have a listen to the first draft of the mixes. “Dave, I’ve heard you sing, why don’t you sing a few lines on that last song?” Asked Chris. Oh the beauty that unfolded from there! Dave is a master at singing – but only when he’s taking the piss. It’s strange, you whack Michael Jackson on and he will sing like a bird, all the lyrics, phrasing and pitching is perfect. Now, chuck him in front of a microphone and it all goes tits up. Fucking hell, me and Chris were listening from the ‘control room’ and could not contain ourselves. The combination of Dave’s over emotive singing face and the Tarzan like notes coming out of his gob were too much for us! On dave’s vocal track, the recorder picked up a tiny squeal in the background of Chris absolutely howling ‘ooooohhh maa ribs’. I know, I know it sounds like me and Chris are horrible bully’s but we are all mates and good mates take the piss don’t they? Thats what they are for, right? Dave finished his nine hundred takes and walked back into the room as we were still wiping the happy tears from our eyes. Needless to say I left Dave’s vocal on the track, it’s extremely low and you’ll need bat ears to hear it, but it is there.

Chris loved playing with our little midi keyboard, you can play and record any sound you can think of. From the standard piano to a cat in a washing machine, literally anything goes. When it came to the production of our songs, the midi keyboard would always push the biscuit barrel out of it’s place, and would have Chris hammering away at the keys over and over and over until he got the sound he wanted and until he could actually play the little ditty he had in mind. His little ditties on Kids and Rising up are amazing, they make the songs! Getting there though was a long and frustrating process, to the point of wanting to chuck said keyboard out the fucking window. If either of us were to hit one more wrong note and have to do another take it would have been good night Vienna.

Mixing the album was a long slog, the hardest part. Three of us sat in the studio trying to make sense of all these sounds (cat in a washing machine) flying at us. We must have done about four different mixes of each song until we got them right. The biggest difficulty is getting a great sounding studio mix to translate well to say a car stereo or headphones, it’s all a compromise I guess.

So theres a little insight into our enjoyable, frustrating and overall productive time in the studio. The Official release for the album will be sometime in August (will confirm).

To see Dave doing his superb MJ impersonation, got to our Facebook page and give it a like! Click HERE!

I’ll drop in same time next week,

Joey x