Rock ACTION was held up by traffic issues this evening, with everyone in the band except me falling prey to various impediments, including the feared Double Train Crossing Barrier Delay (where one train is delayed by 10 minutes and the signal box operator has to leave the barrier down). At first I thought I might have missed a meeting, but then I figured I’d enjoy having the space to myself. For the first half hour or so I was set up and experimenting with different distorto-squeal pedal settings and throwing shapes like Ann Wilson.

This messing brought about three different chord sequences I hadn’t expected, and also revealed that the channel I thought was totally stuck on treble boost had somehow managed to return to clean again… only to now have developed a random fade-out. When Jason the bassist got there I said ‘Hey, I’ll play you what I was just doing then, check this out!’ and the guitar went kerrronk. “Yeah, it probably needs a trip to the repair shop,” he said.

Gah! Luckily it mostly stayed on after that, but the uncertainty seemed of a piece with the freeform punctuality and a general air of kit exploration. Gordon was taking issue with a China Splash cymbal (‘It’s on its last chance, the wee bastard,’) and Linz was experimenting with notebook, pen and lots of wordless melodies. Jason had fixed the mild feedback issues from the previous week, and everything just locked in really quickly.

Somehow, even given the short time we had left by the time we’d got everything set up, we managed to plough successfully into the two songs we’ve been working on, and cranked out a rough sketch for another one. The chords have been floating round for some time, but it’s always lacked a section, so perhaps my favourite moment of the evening came when guitar and bass locked into the very notes required, as if by mind sync.

Song of the (start of the) evening:

[Voiceover] The China Splash did enough to earn a reprieve.