A Party at Yellow Arch Studios

As musicians we often have to say yes to jobs far in advance when they’re offered to us and that is just a given. Juggling family, work and gigs sometimes means that we can’t always roll out our usual line up.

As a pianist with his digits in a number of musical pies, our drummer Andy is sometimes unavailable at short notice.  It turned out that just such a pie needed fingering on this occasion. When I messaged him to ask if he was available for a party at Yellow Arch Studios in Kelham Island on Friday the 13th, his response was…

Friday the 13th? I'm busy.

If I have implanted the haunting image of Jason Voorhees seductively fingering pies in your mind then I am not sorry… not even a bit.

I have an address book full of musicians (mostly drummers if I’m honest) and I was able to find a dep for Andy without too much trouble. Load time at Yellow Arch was 6pm and Lawrence, our sound tech for the night, helped me carry my gear from the car. Adam and Ben weren’t far behind and we were set up in 20 minutes or so.

Yellow Arch had helpfully provided a shell kit but said “bring breakables” which is basically the rest of it. Our replacement drummer Nathan (Insta: @nathanpeers__) was coming from Manchester and hit some traffic on the way. When he arrived we encountered a mistranslation of the word “breakables”. To Nathan “breakables” just means cymbals and snare, to Yellow Arch “breakables” means cymbals, snare and STANDS. Fortunately, Yellow Arch, being a recording studio, Lawrence was able to locate some stands and we had Nathan set up in no time.

For sound check we ran Dreaming of You (The Coral) for a backing vocals check. Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl (because it has a lot of stops and is a bit of a test for the rhythm section), and Heavyweight Champion of the World as it was the only song on the set list Nathan wasn’t familiar with. All concerns about whether this was going to work with an untested drummer quickly evaporated, Nathan is really good at hitting stuff with sticks.

We had an hour before the first note so we found some beer and food and welcomed Nathan to the collective. 8:30 rolled around and we started set one with Song Two. Adam broken his G string (fnar fnar) during She’s Electric and had to switch guitars mid-song. Aside from that, lots of eye contact saw us make it through the first set without any issue. We did some mingling with the crowd and were back on by 10 o’clock. The second set is all killer no filler and lured many more party goers onto the dance floor. Ben delivered the finale, Seven Nation Army, from atop a stack of speakers. Nathan lent a very different vibe to this final song, giving it a house beat which essentially turned it into a dance track.

We were done by just gone a eleven and had some lovely feedback from Sue and Jeff who had booked us. Thanks go to Nathan for being an outstanding dep and for Lawrence for doing such a great job with the sound and taking some photos for us. Never been so nervous going in and so happy coming out. Not smiled that wide in a while.