Concert: Steel Panther

Yesterday evening was the Steel Panther concert in Wiesbaden’s Schlachthof (slaughter yard). The original Schlachthof has been razed and the current building is effectively a modern, rectangular storage building with room enough for two thousand people. Steel Panther were supported by The Lounge Kittens.

The Lounge Kittens, three ladies with unmistakeable British accents, hammered out their original cover song versions with strong, harmonious voices and single keyboard/piano, which one of the girls played whilst she sang. The sound was incredibly full and rich, the timing (with no percussion support) spot on, and I didn’t catch a single bum-note from the vocals or on the keyboards (and she was playing it standing up in a rock ‘n’ roll (not quite Jerry Lee Lewis) style. Not quite what you’d expect to be supporting Steel Panther but very impressive and entertaining. Continue reading “Concert: Steel Panther”

Influences: Robbie Williams

In fact, even though they were local lads and my German sister in-laws were wild about him, Robbie William’s music only started to interest me around 2006. My listening is still restricted to ten songs, but his influence is probably reflected in some of the tongue-in-cheek lyrics. I believe it was Strong’s

“My breath smells like a thousand fags and when I’m drunk I dance like me dad”

opening line, with a hint of a Potter’s accent, which bought a smile to my lips and was the reason why I started to listen to more of his songs. Continue reading “Influences: Robbie Williams”

Songwriting: Influences

As a child I listened to the music of my mother. Rock ‘n’ roll – Elvis, Buddy Holly and co. (interestingly no Beatles) and when my mother met my step-father, there was lots and lots of timeless Country and Western. Of course we had every ABBA album, of which I still am a great fan, but chart music singles in our household were pretty few and far between.

Of course, at school, you had to pledge allegiance to one faction or another (heavy, mod or, God forbid, popular – admitting to ABBA would have been a death sentence), otherwise you condemned yourself to be a none-music listening nerd to be persecuted by all and sundry. So I opted for heavy rock – although it wasn’t until I was 16 that I fell in love with AC/DCs Back In Black, that my step-cousin had lent to me. And my love affair with the album quickly led to me acquiring all AC/DCs albums) .

My late teens were exposed to a disproportionate amount of time in discos (where I (was once forced) to see the newly formed Take That perform). At the time the majority of the disco goers were not overly pleased at having an impromptu performance of a no-name boy-band thrust upon them. Had Take That and local boy Robbie Williams not made it big time, then the memories of the band wouldn’t have remained so etched in my mind. But, apart from that, the disco/dance/house/trance etc. music didn’t really have a shaping influence on me.

All quiet on the practice front

Having just written the title I decided to check my E-Mails and it looks like practice this week is cancelled, but is planned twice in the first week of April. Erich is going to try and get David, from the recording studio, to visit us on the 10th.

I haven’t been listening none-stop to our songs for the last month or two, but occassionally have them on my MP3 whilst I’m jogging. My voice from the last session is (finally) coming across louder (it was getting lost amongst the others up to that point). The problem we have, with the small practice room, is feedback.

The drums effectively dictate the loudness of the group. I have a dB Meter and we measured Frank at 93 dB. Tobi comes in at around that too, and the guitars should be a little more (95/97). In order to get my voice heard above the others, I can’t use the amplifiers, as they start to feedback, so I effectively have to use a lot of pressure in my voice. This is ok, as it suits my style of singing, but not how I should be singing ballads.

Anyway, for whatever reason, after the band practised without me last week, their sound level appears to have been reduced – my amp settings certainly haven’t changed – and as a result the recordings from our practice sessions are generally more listenable (up till that point they sounded like typically 70’s bootlegs, with a single microphone too close to one of the guitar speakers).

 

Steel Panther

Next week, on Thursday, Thomas, Tobi and myself (Frank had to drop out due to work commitments) will be going to see Steel Panther at Wiesbaden’s Schlachthof.

I stumbled across Steel Panther via YouTube – “Gloryhole” and “Death To All But Metal” videos. I laughed and guffawed at the crude and coarse lyrics and sent Thomas a link with a note to say that my lyrics effectively convey the same message – but just not so in your face. Continue reading “Steel Panther”

Appointment with recording studio will be postponed

Shame. But the fact that Frank’s work is taking him away on business until the end of April means our appointment with David, from the recording studio, will have to be postponed. Worse still, the fact that Frank is away on business during the week means that practice sessions are in danger of not taking place until after Easter.

As a singer I have it somewhat easier than the others. In the car I can play a CD from the previous practice session and sing along. That’s not possible as an axe-man or drummer.

Maybe we can shift the practice dates to a weekend (Saturday) otherwise we’ll just have to sit out the time.