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Sunday, May 11

A new idea for a show?

Perhaps I've now found the perfect idea for a show and the means of writing it. Perhaps not. I've used this sort of method of writing before, though, and it works. Essentially, I can write and record a demo of a 2 minute song in about 90 minutes. More on that in a moment. Here's the outcome of today's inspiration - it's a song about Take That's tax problems:

Writing under pressure is something which works best for me. Left to mull things over with nothing to deliver if I don't want to, I produce very little. When I was writing Discograffiti and trialing material, I forced myself to write by booking myself into try out gigs and writing the material on the day of the gig, or even in the car an hour before the doors opened. I'll be honest, very little of that material survived, but it was a useful way to get me to break out of any possible writer's block.

When I was to appear on a podcast one week, I forced myself to write a 1 minute song in a lunchbreak a couple of days before. It came out ok.

At several of the Edinburgh shows we've done, I've been given a song challenge during the show - the audience were aware of it some of the time, and sometimes they thought I was going to come back after 20 minutes with a couple of one-liners based on their suggestions and I, in fact, came back with a 4 verse song.. and the one-liners. The pressure is a great way to knock something together quickly.

So, maybe there's an Edinburgh hour-long show called "Lunchbreak songs" - songs written in a lunchbreak. Or maybe not.

Today, my daughter had a nap and I used that nap time to write the lyrics of the above song, work out how to imitate a Take That track and miss, and then put it all together into a single recording. I did the "video" later, and quite frankly it all sounds and looks rushed and a bit crap, but there's a germ of something in there which was worth the time spent. I think. It certainly entertained me to do it.

To explain what you're hearing in the audio track, I recorded this using my mobile phone, sat on a music stand. The piano was playing out of some really cheap and crap portable speakers which barely reproduce the right sounds. As a result, it all sounds suitably mushy.

Mushy works for me. You can't hear how badly I'm playing, though you can hear me thumping the piano keys.

That's how I spend a lunch break. I bet Gary Barlow doesn't spend his lunchbreaks that way at all - perhaps he spends them writing jokes, or computer software!


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