..that I have come to accept that I will never again have the singing voice I once did. Really, this goal, which was one of the first on my list, wasn’t to “sing more” but to “sing more and sing better and enjoy it”. Well, I’ve sung more, but not well, and I just don’t get the buzz out of it that I used to. I know, I know, I shouldn’t base my enjoyment of something on how well I do it, and I should have had that concept CBTd out of me years ago. But with singing, it’s the simple truth – it was the fact that I had a gift for it that made it fun. Without that added edge, singing doesn’t hold so much appeal. And I have different creative outlets these days at which I feel more accomplished.
Obviously, I can’t say I’ll never sing again. That would be melodramatic and factually incorrect. But keeping this goal on my list long after I gave up the dream makes me feel like a cheat. So it’s gone.
My singing lesson got cancelled twice this week by my teacher – all for good reasons, admittedly – so I was a smidgen annoyed by that. But the upshot is that on Thursday I got time in the studio with Lucyann to lay down some backing vocals. I’d been having trouble with parts of the existing harmony for “Vanity” – I’m uncomfortable singing “aaahs” and “ooohs” and “doos”, and it was quite high for my cigarette-addled Madge Bishop meets Kirsty MacColl voice. I had four or five goes at it and still wasn’t happy. But around midnight, after a sleepy Lucyann had retired to her pit, I dredged my mind and remembered a harmony I invented months ago in a tab break at work. Dan and I recorded it twice, and damn, we nailed it. It sounds great – much lower and less intrusive than the previous harmony, and more in keeping with the rest of the backing vocals, plus it’s words so I’m happy as Larry singing it. Lucyann hasn’t heard it yet, but I’m sure she’ll love it. Actually, the album’s meant to be finished by this time next week so hopefully time pressures will help her like it.
I just finally got through to the singing teacher and arranged a lesson for Tuesday evening, hooray! She seemed really nice on the phone. I hope she is, anyway, the last time I spoke to a singing teacher (about, ooh, eight years ago) he put me off before we’d even met by patronising me and giving me an absolute bollocking for smoking.
No word from bongo boy’s girlfriend yet but I’ll give her a call this weekend.
Whoop whoop! It’s all kicking off!
Lucy and I are forming a band! A real band with songs and instruments and things! And maybe even costumes! We have acquired an enormously tall accordion player and I am on percussion and backing vocals, even though I can’t yet play percussion and my singing has slipped a lot. But not to worry, I bought ladybird maracas and castanets in Amsterdam to inspire me, and I’ve sent a friend a message through myspace asking if her fella would like to give me bongo lessons. I’m sure he will cos he’s skint. Plus this morning I called a singing teacher whose number I’ve had for about a year. She wasn’t in, but are we downhearted? NO! I’ll call her back later, or alternatively, another friend’s girlfriend is a singing teacher, so maybe I could try her too.
Whoop whoop! I will be famous and talented and rich and live in a balconied canalside apartment in Amsterdam with a handsome Dutch man just like my cousin (of whom I am not envious at all, oh no, for that would be wrong)!
A few weeks ago – I never got around to posting this – I went into the studio with Lucyann to record some fairly rough guide tracks, and they’ve now been put on a CD to be sent off to various places, gig-soliciting in faraway lands like, um, Switzerland. Anyway, the upshot is that they’re now on my computer and I can listen to them and practise while I do my homework – like right now!
In fact, the one I’m on isn’t on there any more, but there are three of Lucy’s songs available now on her myspace page – I particularly love “Andrew”, I think it’s one of the best things she’s ever done, so go and listen to my very talented friend, like, now.
The other day, Lucy was round at Dan’s doing some recording and she decided to record the harmony that I normally do to her song “Vanity”, just to see how it sounded put together with all the other bits. She came home going, “I think we should work out a new harmony. I tried to sing it and it’s an absolute bitch!” I’m like, “I know! Why do you think I get so despondent whenever we practise it?!” Apparently it sounded so bad that she and Dan were in fits laughing at it. I’m so glad it’s not just me having a crap voice, cos if Lucy can’t sing it, then there’s summat up there. It’s odd that I wrote it and I can’t sing it. Anyway, I was just down in the car park having a cigarette, and a little sing to myself – because smoking and singing go hand in hand, as any great songstress will tell you – and I suddenly busted out a brand-new countermelody. Oooh! I’ve no idea if it will sound any good next to Lucy’s tune, but I’ve recorded it on my phone and I’ll play it to her later, or maybe even do it live for her.
Lucy is in the midst of arranging and recording an album, and I’m designated backing singer! Hooray! So we’ve been practising quite a bit. Still haven’t been singing as much as I used to or as much as I should, but the pressure’s on to regain my voice now if it’s to be recorded for posterity. I’ve been singing in my cigarette breaks at work – the underground garage where I go to smoke has great acoustics – but for some reason the other smokers keep giving me funny looks when I bust out songs about sailors and sheep-shearing. Can’t think why. But do I care? No! Can they sing? No! I can, so nurr.
I used to sing all the time, both at home and in public, doing little slots at open mics and so on, but I’ve got out of the habit and I’m losing the ability. I need to get back into practice cos it makes me feel good.