Thursday, 6 December 2012

Gamut - The Sorcerer

Back in 1988 we decided to do a tour in England and call it the "Situation Vacant Tour". Because of the tour we knew we'd need to have some of our music available for purchase at the gigs so we embarked on a proper recording session at a studio which was called "Grannies" in Islington, London. Whenever we performed live there was one track that everyone always wanted us to play time and time and time again (we did three encore's with it once!)so we chose that piece as the track to "lay down" and record properly. We spent the entire weekend up there getting it all down on tape (no digital recording back then). we played it "live" first so we would all have guides from each other and then the slow process of recording it time and time again, track by track began. The drums went down first and Russell being the pro that he was nailed it all withing a few takes. Then Rick spent a few hours getting his mad bass lines down and in place. Pat was then brought it to play his keyboard part which took forever and day to get down as there was so much going on and it had to be perfect. And then it was my turn. I knew the track inside out (I should do I helped write it) and it was par for the course for most of the recording until the end section...the solo. Originally the solo was only a couple of minutes long and the rest was chord work for the ending. The engineer in the studio suggested that I drop the chord work and instead make the solo longer and play "it out" into the fade. Pat, Rick and Russell loved that idea and all gave it the thumbs up which was all very well but that meant I had to come up with something then and there to make the solo longer, I had about three minutes to fill. Take after take after take went into the end section with me playing different solo parts and experimenting my way through until we finally had it all down. We went back the following weekend and sat in on "the mix" to make sure t was what we wanted. And that was how "The Sorcerer" came to be sold (on cassette tapes) at our concerts. The only thing I had to do was learn the solo that i'd made up in the studio so that on the night I'd play it like it was on the tape...and that took ages to get right!!!

Gamut were : Pat Gordon - Keyboards, Rick Willis - Bass, Russell Haynes - Drums and (myself) Justin Hill on Guitar.