Outside of band stuff – Carl.

So as you may have gathered from our other posts. I (Carl) enjoy a spot of photography. With that in mind I decided to take a picture a day. For one whole year. This year as it happens. A leap year. I am posting them up on my personal WordPress page. http://thebastardtalks.wordpress.com/ with a little story to go along with each picture.
I am enjoying it so far. This first month is on my little digital compact camera. The rest of the months will be film, so there will be a delay. I will keep some of Januarys pictures back to help fill the gap that will be Feb. I am not looking forward to my medium format camera months. Especially the box camera one. They will be expensive months! So far I have a camera a month, for 10 of the 12 months. So I think by the time its finished, I will have bought another 2 cameras minimum!

Anyway. If this is something that interests you then feel free to follow my personal WordPress or follow me on Twitter. @Chappers_ma where I will tweet everytime I post a new photo. Or just follow the band Twitter and every now and then I will tweet about it on there.

I hope you will enjoy my year of pictures and understand my reasons for not posting daily!

Much love. Carlos.

James McCartney gig – Carl.

Well I have to say. Wow that was a fun gig!! Oddly, even the load in was fun. Got to use an old school service elevator. You know the type. The sliding doors and buttons on the outside to send the lift down whilst you take the stairs. I don’t know why, but it made my day 🙂
Sound-check went great, even though we were down a member (Andy was working in Wales so could only make the gig) for it. I tried my best to sound-check my bass and his keys at the same time. :p Once sound-check was done we chilled in the dressing room for a bit. Got stuck in to the rider ((how rock and roll) and just Continue reading

Musings – Carl.

So I’ve just sat and watched Shutter Island and I actually really enjoyed it. It was one of those films that I felt I wouldn’t really enjoy so I wasn’t that drawn to it. I love it when something pleasantly surprises you.

So the album is coming along nicely and we are hoping to be able to put some demos online soon. Just a case of getting the last pieces of the puzzle together really! If only we didn’t all have to work.

As you have no doubt gathered by now, I love to take photographs. Below are some of my favourite that I have taken using my friends Zenit EM slr camera. It’s heavy as hell and a little old school but I really like the shots that I got.

The songwriting process. – Adrian.

The songwriting process. – Adrian.

So, it’s been a busy few days for me, as I promised in my last post. In short The Decemberists were awesome, Sheffield continues to keep up it’s side of the bargain; oh, and Rotherham is different. Special almost. Onto the subject matter of this post that the previous had promised. A visible, tangible (if you fancy printing it out), impetus for the trains of thought that lead me to writing a song. Continue reading

My Gu Go and Me – Carl.

A seed is planted.

For as long as I can remember my step dad has had 3 cameras that he basically used as decorations. Two were box cameras and one was a slightly more conventional looking camera. I never really paid that much attention to them other than I thought they looked pretty cool in a retro/vintage sort of way.

This all changed in November of 2010. I had just started to get into photography after an amazing trip to Japan, and really fell in love with film cameras. I loved the whole process that came with film. This new love of photography and film cameras specifically lead me to ask my step dad if the cameras on display were functioning models. His answer, rather unassuringly was that last time he used them they worked. However, that was at least 30 years ago. I did not let this fact deter me from my mission.

The resurrection.

The first camera I decided to try out was the GuGo as this looked more like the cameras I was used to seeing. It was covered in thick grime. I assumed that this was what happens to dust that never gets dusted off. The camera was also missing a few screws and at first, the focus wheel would not turn at all. I got myself a thin needle and removed the grime that was on the focus wheel runners and managed to turn it to three focus points. Being very new to photography I wasn’t sure what the numbers referred to distance wise. Was it feet, meters or centimetres? I again asked my step dad, and the answer was even less helpful than last time. “I have no idea” came the rather frank reply.

After an hour or so, I had removed all the grime, got the focus wheel turning as much as I could and was extremely excited to try it out. The only major issue with the camera was the fact that the viewfinder was incredibly dirty on the inside so it made picture taking pretty difficult to say the least. It was going to be more of a hope and pray process!

All bets are off.

I took the camera down to my local camera store to see what they made of it. After amazing a couple browsing the store about how old it was (initially a guess of around the 50 year mark) and the fact that you could still get film for it I spoke to the staff for a good 10 minutes or so on the best course of action. They concluded that it would be best to try out colour negative film. That is, black and white film that uses the same chemical process as colour film (C41) so that the cost wouldn’t be sky high to develop and also the fact that they doubted that the lens on the camera would be able to pick up much detail with colour film. The patience I had to see if the camera functioned at all was nonexistent. I walked out of the camera store, around the building to China Town and back again, with a finished roll and a very excited feeling.

I waited a few days to collect the rolls of film (I had also got one of the box cameras up and running. The Ensign all distance to be precise and shot a roll on that too) Myself and the staff at London Camera Exchange were very impressed about how clear and crisp the pictures were. Light leaks aside, the camera functioned surprisingly well. I just needed to find some screws for the body and clean the viewfinder up.

The rebirth.

I decided to call into ‘The Real Camera’ shop around the corner to pick up some expired film and see if they knew anything about the cameras history, as I couldn’t find anything on it online at all. Interestingly, the guys there had never seen my camera before, or even heard of it for that matter. This had them rather interested about it. So much so that he let me sift through a box of screws to sort out the light leaks. He also got an encyclopaedic type book out on cameras and actually found out a bit of information on the camera. They were made in the 1950’s in the US Military zone of Germany, which meant that the camera was 60 years old and still shooting strong! Oddly, this date contradicts the story of how the camera came to be in possession of my family.

My step dad claimed that his brother received it whilst on a Naval boat in the war from a German soldier that they rescued from the Ocean. The camera was given as a thank you for saving his life. Obviously this tale could’ve been shortened over the years to become something a little left of the truth. I have an inclination that it was a gift from after the War and it was sent as a thank you. Not received on the ship itself. However that is all just conjecture and assumptions on my part.

Whilst talking to one of the staff members there, I suggested he look through the viewfinder to see how bad this was. He thought for a moment, and then asked if I was in a hurry. I was not and told him so. He then said that he would give the glass in the viewfinder a quick clean, as he always likes seeing old cameras restored to usable conditions. Whilst cleaning the glass he said that he normally charges for this service, but seeing as he offered to do it, it would be on the house. Once he had finished up I took another look through and was amazed at the difference. A few scratches, but otherwise very clear. I bought some expired black and white film and said my goodbyes.

The improvements to the pictures after visiting ‘The Real Camera’ shop have been vast. Hardly any light leakage now and I can actually see through the viewfinder. I have since tried a roll of colour film in, and every picture came out fine. It’s such a quirky little camera that has an amazing history to it and a very unique shooting style due to it’s half working parts (the 1/25th shutter speed sometimes sticks open so I only use 1/75th or B mode, plus it can only focus between 3ft and 15ft)

A very fun weekend for all – Carl.

So this weekend was divided in two. One half of Marry Another played a gig, the other half went to Wales for a stag do. I am in the stag do half!

So myself and our keyboardist Whisky went to our friends stag do in Wales. A weekend away with the lads and the alcohol. Friday night was spent drinking and watching the worlds greatest action movie. Black Cobra. If you don’t know it, IMDB it, and be blown away!

Saturday came, as it often does after Friday. The plan of action for Saturday. Paintballing. I had never been myself so I was very excited about it. I was also a little unprepared. Note to self: bring gloves next time! So it was 4 and a half hours of shooting at each other and strangers. Got the stag in a dress and high vis jacket to make it easier to see and therefor shoot. I was actually pretty good at it and hit numerous head shots. The evening ended with more drinking and the watching of Severance.

As we were going to bed for the night, I realised that we hadn’t messed up the stag as much as we ought to. A brief team meeting was held in the bedroom furthest from the stag and a plan was hatched. A spare mattress was to be put on top of him and he was to be duct taped to it. As a finishing touch, boxers on the head. We executed the plan perfectly I am happy to say.

Sunday brought with it an even earlier start than Saturday as we had to be out by 10am. Then it was off to the Go Kart track. I had also never done this before. So much fun. Really want to go again now. I think I caught the bug!! Got back home in time for tea, then it was back out again to carry on the drinks. Ended up somehow getting a lock in at a pub. A very messy but very fun weekend!

Productive Day II – Carl.

Yesterday we were back in the studio again. This time we were sorting out the keyboard parts. Managed to get five laid down in just under 2 hours. We are killing this album. Honest to God killing it! I really can’t wait until all the songs are done and we can share with the world the songs we have. 🙂 It’s been a long time coming and a winding road of a journey to get to this point, but I wouldn’t change anything as I think all these little upsets and mishaps have shaped the bands sound and determination to get to this point right now. 🙂

I took a few photos whilst we were at the studio the other day tracking the drums that I thought I’d share with you now. Taken on my friends Zenit EM SLR. A beast of Russian engineering and slightly confusing to use at first!

 Peace and Love.

Carl.

Zebra on the loose in Manchester! – Carl.

Did anyone see the Zebra running wild around Manchester today. It was crazy. It was in and out of shops and everything. If you know why it was loose please let us know!!!

Just in case you all don’t believe me, I managed to get a picture of it in Urban Outfitters.

Reflections on a day in the studio… – Adrian.

So yesterday went exceeding well over at Banter Studios, and I’m pleased to say I can now post a list of the songs which we managed to drum track. Expect the album ‘The Enlightenment’ to be out later this year!

The titles of the songs are:

The Spectator

A Widow’s Lament

In A City Under Siege

Grave

We All Fall Down

Elixir

Cut To The Quick

Gravity

For Years

Bad Bookbinding [LOVE + LOSS = LIFE]

This Descent

The Champion

It’s tricky to tell from the picture but lately I’ve been compulsively listening to The King Is Dead, the new album from the Decemberists; and also taking photos and doing some writing. I seriously recommend checking TKID out, it’s a great album.

Adrian.