A shaky start

Not everything goes according to plan. Our original choice for a Christmas song was “Sunny Christmas” but we ended up passing that one over to SPUKES for their group video. We also really liked Teddy Thompson’s ‘Christmas’ and decided to do that instead.

With the COVID-19 lockdown through winter and spring there was no opportunity at all for proper practice or rehearsal.

Perfect misjudgement

‘Christmas’ is a deceptively tricky song to play for a bunch of late starters like Old Spice. Poor Anne had to fever away on the bass at 167bpm to get the busy accompaniment working, while the rest of us just loped along in half-time.

When the curfew lifted and lockdown eased we thought we could knock over the recording on one Friday morning early in December, then put a video together the following week. Come recording day Anne had done her job well and there’s a nice click track for us to work from from.

Max is first up with the lead vocal. Max is usually a one-take whiz with recording, but not that day. By take seven he was getting furious with himself, and everyone around him. Trevor was getting cramps and chest pain while the ladies were outside catching up on half a year’s gossip. A couple of takes came close to okay, only to have faint infectious giggles from the garden floating in the background.

Glen laid down a couple of backing takes but freely interpreted the start and finish beats of the various bits. Lois was valiant but to no avail.

We ended that Friday with a pleasant jam session, but no recordings.

All’s well …..

The following Friday everyone kitted up for Christmas lunch, determined to get the song recorded and filmed. Max was up first. One take and the lead vocals were done. For the backing vocals we set up three mics recording on. Three different tracks but allowing a little bleed. One take, all done.

It just proved what a bit of practice can achieve.

We also shot some video but as that crept through lunchtime we got a bit off script and Trevor become a bit unfocussed, just like the filming! It’s not that we were unenthusiastic, but lunch, drink and revelry left us short of energy.

But soldier on we did, and here is the result. Christmas is a wonderful time of year!