Ampersands/Over and Over/The First Episode/Dark Passenger/Brakes/Kaleidoscope/Everything Counts^
^Originally recorded by Depeche Mode, written by M.L. Gore (Grabbing Hands Music)
This was my first public set since January, as the opening act for Skull Family from Jonesboro, Arkansas. These were all-new arrangements, created using a smaller palette of sounds for sake of better clarity in a live setting.
As for the songs … this marks the first show since 2017 that “The First Episode” was performed in any capacity. The song has never been given an electronic arrangement until now. Audio sourced from public domain works was used between the first four songs in order to maintain flow (and to minimize the time I might have to fill with banter!)
There were a handful of flubbed lyrics, and let’s not speak of the cock-up over “Brakes”, but it was altogether a great return to live music. Old friends came out and everybody enjoyed the show.
Skull Family invited me onstage to sing lead vocals on a couple of covers: “In A Lonely Place” (originally by Joy Division but officially recorded and released by New Order) and “Closer” (yes, the nine inch nails song!) I put myself under a lot of pressure to sing something from Joy Division but I would say I did a pretty good job.
I’ve taken the opportunity to use the submix sound from the show to craft together a two-track single for it, which you can find on Bandcamp here. More on the techie sound bits below.
About the video:
The video itself was taken from my iPhone XR, which I had sat on a table somewhat near the stage. I did put a filter on it, but mostly to get a little more out of the color from the stage lighting.
It did a decent job of capturing some of the room and audience sounds, but as you might expect the audio was not perfect. As I use my TASCAM recorder to effectively submix my sound onstage, I used the audio I captured while performing and paired it with the video and its audio. The result sounds pretty good.
Once you watch this, you will notice “Everything Counts” is not included. I had originally included it, but the instant I published the video it got smacked with a copyright claim. Fair enough, I suppose. I’ve given Depeche Mode quite a bit of money (or “a lot of money, a load of money … tons of money!” if you catch the reference). I just wish the process of clearing the video itself was a little easier. At any rate, maybe one day you’ll see it.
That’s about all I can think up to tell you about this gig. Hope I see you at the next one!