Of all the days of the year to put this 'out there' today is probably the day: Why? - because it's National Sound Engineers Day (12.12 - 'one two, one two') One of the cliches of this blog is the 'soundcheck' photo - I must have posted at least one hundred from soundchecks all over the world.
When you're in a band, the trouble with posting anything on social media, is that most of the photos are taken during the perfomance or after the gig when you're winding down and having a drink, so the effect is that everyone thinks you're having a bangin' time - ALL THE TIME!
It's not unlike the Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts who once said - "I play for free, it's the hanging around they pay me for".
A soundcheck, for those who want to peek behind the velvet curtain is an absolutely essential part of live performance. It involves checking the sound for the performance to make sure the band can be heard clearly and that each performer is balanced (no feedback etc) and there is no getting away from it - IT HAS TO BE DONE! Some bands/musicians who are loaded can afford to get their underlings to do it for them, and it usually takes an hour or so (plus checking the lighting for the show) and involves various musicians repeating "one two' intermidably and twanging thier instruments, while the sound engineer gets the sound desk set up.
Long ago, I decided that touring (the only way to make money in music these days) will ultimately drive you insane - there was only one way to survive it and that is to impose a discipline on yourself - in my case, I decided I would only ever soundcheck to one tune - 'Blue Suede Shoes' by Carl Perkins - a masterpiece of gibberish. Over time, I realised that the lyrics would fit over a wide variety of tunes, some of which I have surreptitiously recorded on my phone and present to you here.
The voices you hear belong to Doug (our UK sound engineer) and Verena (our german sound engineer) and the warbling is yours truly. I case you're wondering (and I know millions aren't) the tunes sung to the inimitable lyrics are:
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
Autumn Leaves/Fuelles de'Automne - Joseph Kosma/Jacques Prévert
Can't Help Lovin that Man - Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein
In a Monastery Garden - Albert Ketèlbey
Etude - Frederick Chopin
That Lovely Weekend - Moira/Ted Heath
Nessun Dorma - Giacomo Puccini
Wien du Stadt Miener Traume - Rudolf Sieczyński
Gymnopdie No 1 - Erik Satie
All My Loving
Non Je Ne Regrette Rien - Charles Dumont/Michel Vaucaire
So Sound technicians of the world - I salute you!