Over the summer holidays Ed and I recorded a few of the punk-rock covers we’ve been working on together in recent months. I thought it would be straight forward; clear the furniture to one side, set up the camera, stand in front of it, play. It wasn’t.
As soon as the camera was rolling we’d take it in turns to mess up in 100 different ways. I’d forget how to play in tune. Ed would change chord too late. I’d forget a verse. Ed would drop his plectrum. On and on it went. The one time we had a recording where neither of us messed up, it wasn’t something I could use as I’d blown the highlights in camera by metering off Ed’s skin tone. When the sun came out mid way through the song, my already very fair skin turned snow white. Frustrated, hot and fed up with playing the same song over and over again, we gave up.
With a little bit of time and distance I’ve looked at the recordings, and found one that I dislike the least. Ed’s playing is great, mine isn’t, but at least we’re both in focus and the highlights are intact! The song itself is one of our favourites (Alkaline Trio – This Could Be Love) and was one of the first covers we worked on earlier this year when we started playing together.
Hopefully the next few songs we record will be even better. I think my strangled tone and stiffness is just a simple matter of being a bit camera shy. The reason I picked up a camera in the first place all those years ago is because I am more comfortable behind it than in front of it, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise. I really want to record more songs together though. We play together most evenings after Ed’s been running and I’m home from the gym or pool, and it’d be nice to have recordings of them too. ‘Second City Strings’ is our loose duo name. It was a toss up between ‘Second City Strings’ and ‘Strings Attached’ but we both liked the reference to our adopted home town of Birmingham so ‘Second City Strings’ won.