A CROWDED RADIO STUDIO

Only a couple of days to go until our fist return show: the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool!
 
For a return show, you want to make sure you have made some changes to the show so that it looks different and better than the last time. We are making some changes to the set list and I am working on some new costumes. We’re trying to add some new things. And I feel like it’s our first show all over again!
 
We also have a couple of press moments this weeks. And for the first time I can actually say ‘we’. So far, I have done all interviews and all but one PR performances on my own. Not this time though!
 
We have been dying to be on BBC Radio Merseyside for a long time now, and today we finally were! Or actually, we haven’t been on the radio just yet. Radio stations pre-record stuff on a regular basis, and we were invited to do an interview and an acoustic music session for Sean Styles’ morning show this afternoon. And because it is our hometown, we wanted to see if we could do something else than my regular “The Man With The Child In His Eyes”.
 
We decided to see who in the band were available, and we ended up with an interesting line up: drummer Paul on bodhran (an Irish drum) and some metal part of a drum kit that can make a rifle-like sound, bass player Bobby on cello and backing vocals, guitarist Liam on acoustic guitar, Liams understudy Simon also on acoustic guitar and me on piano and vocals. Perfect for a little medley of “Army Dreamers” and “The Man With The Child In His Eyes” (really nice to have the cello too for a change!).
 
Because we didn’t know what we were supposed or allowed to do for that radio show until quite late on Monday, we had to rehearse this morning. Doing a radio session is always stressful, and knowing you’re doing one in two hours in an unusual line up makes it even worse. Luckily, everyone in that rehearsal room (ok, living room) is a very competent musician, and we managed to make it work within 30 minutes.
 
The five of us headed down to the radio station, where the girl looked at us with panic in her eyes; we looked like we were a rock band carrying a lot of gear, and both the girl and Sean Styles warned us that we couldn’t do a full performance. We assured them it would be all acoustic, and he welcomed us into his studio.
 
The actual studio wasn’t really small, but definitely not meant to have 5 musicians and their instruments. And the fact that the door was broken and needed to be wedged shut with a chair didn’t really help from a space perspective. We managed to all set up our instruments, while chatting to Sean. During this non-recorded chat, we decided to have both Paul and myself interviewed. Which was quite refreshing for me. I have never really had any media training (other than an afternoon of being interviewed by a friend to prepare me for nasty questions) and to be fair I don’t really like talking in public to start with. When we had our first show three years ago, I suddenly had to do interviews. Which back then scared me even more because I am not a native speaker and I was always afraid I would misunderstand a question or say something wrong or stupid (and back then I struggled with the Scouse accent at times).
 
The interview was quite relaxed. And I let Paul answer the questions about how we started, how I ended up in Liverpool, and whether Kate is aware of us. These are all standard questions, and I don’t mind answering them, but it’s good to hear the answer from someone else for a change.
 
Then it was time for us to record. We had hoped we would have a couple of shots at recording it right, but we knew we might have to nail it the first time. We got through both songs, and we could tell Sean was genuinely impressed. Which was a huge compliment of course. He was happy with what we’d done, so we can only hope it will still sound good through the radio (remember it was truly acoustic; we had no amps whatsoever!).
 
After some domestic chores and some work on my own songs (I’ll be recording an album in the US this summer!), I can tell that I’m tired, which might affect my writing. So my apologies if I have stopped making sense for today. I will now have a proper sleep, hopefully one without any dragon slaying nightmares or something like that…
 
Just three more nights till the Epstein!

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