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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Tuesday, 29 March 2005


Well, the weekend finally came to a juddering end on Sunday night - I left work half-an-hour later than normal because of, well, a diminutive pop singer spilling tea down a Radio 2 desk.

My delayed journey home was then extended a little by the coach driver having a bit of a senior moment; the journey up the M1, outside peak hours, is punctuated by a brief detour to a small bus stop in the outer reaches of St Albans called Bricket Wood, which takes us off the motorway for about a mile. (Apparently it's a money-spinnig exercise by Arriva, who can claim a substantial grant for making the stop).

I was writing up some notes on my laptop, and only occasioned to look up when I'd finished. I was quite surprised that I didn't recognise the buildings that were next to the motorway - I suspected, as it was Easter Sunday, that there was a diversion in place. Then, however, we passed a junction for the A1, my brain recalled that there isn't a northbound exit, and I realised that the driver had rejoined the M1 going the wrong way.

It was rather strange that nobody else had noticed (although it's an airport coach, plenty of people got off at Luton bus station) but I approached the driver and said "Did you know we're going towards London?" His puzzled expression gave me the impression that he did; "We're supposed to be going to Luton." I said. He tapped at his little ticket machine thing and then made quiet cursing noises to himself. I don't think I've ever seen a driver try to make up for lost time so quickly... it was quite hair-raising at times.

Still, I made it home in time to put the eleven broken keys back into place on my keyboard (an antiquated Roland D5) after yet another fall off its stand in the studio, in preparation for a band rehearsal on Easter Monday.

Jude - rehearsingIt's been such a long time since I've met up with David and Joanne for a rehearsal (and a fair while since I've spent more than about half an hour playing my instruments) that I was a little worried that I would be severely out of practice.

As it happened, though, I managed quite quickly to pick up the three new songs we were practicing. For the first one - On my knees (600kB MP3) I played acoustic guitar It's got a slight mid-90s feel to it, and we managed to weave in some nice backing vocals. Unfortunately (or perhaps it was better that way!) I was playing into a microphone, so it didn't come out particularly loudly on the recording...

After popping home for the afternoon - having missed spending six days out of the last seven with the children, I didn't want to lose the chance to take them for a run around the park and a milkshake at McD's (I'm glad we did - it's been dull and overcast today) - we worked another couple of songs, the first of which was my favourite new song of the day. Best Instructions Before Life Ends (704kB MP3) has a slight Manic Street Preachers feel to it, and I played the loud rhythm guitary bit and the solo at the beginning with a good degree of mediocrity.

It's amazing how quickly time goes - half-past nine came far too soon, but fortunately we managed to make our way through the epic Grace (980kB MP3, on which I played the proto-U2 style rhythm guitar (plugged in, this time, so it could be heard!)

All in all, it was a really good session - it's a shame my work commitments prevent me from doing it more often, but when I do get time, I will try and get together with Joanne and David for the another session. Perhaps my fingers will have stopped hurting by then!

Links of the day:

Posted by james at March 29, 2005 1:58 PM

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