[Grief] Desertshore

Ben Waddington falsedog at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 5 21:43:59 PDT 2007

> Go to those Desert S recording sessions then?

Yes I went to the first one. It was about an hour
behind schedule and seemed to take for ever to set up:
Chris's mouse wasn't working, a replacement had to be
sent for,  a curtain had to be made for Gen's sound
booth, microphones had to be wired up &c &c. After a
while I realised that this was what they'd already
said was going to happen. Sleazy graciously introduced
the sessions via headmike and kept the audience
informed of what was going on, how things usually
worked with TG recordings, asides &c, like a
director's commentary. I would have expected Gen to
take up this mantle more naturally as Sleazy has
always been a "behind the scenes" presence in the
bands he's been in. But the rest of the band seemed
quite shy! 

"My" session had a few efforts to get Gen's vocal
right for one of the Nico songs (odd to see TG so
concerend about such exactitude), some violin, guitar
& rhythms jams, Cosey's cornet, lots of tinkering and
a tea break. Sleazy seemed keen to remember the
audience and give them some music as well as tinker
with specifics. I was surprised by Chris Carter's
"East end thug" accent, how quickly Sleazy spoke, how
well they all got on, how precise they were at knowing
what they wanted to acheive, how normal everything
seemed to be, using jokes and phrases I'd make with my
family. Maybe they really are just normal human

Midway through, Sleazy played the notorious "well, my
first intentions were to rape her" tape, which had
also turned up during the jam at the Tate Modern
performance. There didn't seem to be any reason for
this, unless it was to provide raw material for the
finished album...or keep hardcore TG fans happy. Cosey
went to the merch stall to get a "Celebration"
(choco). Sleaze announce there would be guest vocals
supplied by mystery guests for the album (none during
my session but I thought: Annie Lennox!?) Anyone able
to report?  Numerous howls as microphones were
dropped, guitars strummed. At the end, you could have
your free Desertshore poster signed by the band,
though I decided to keep mine blank...  had to run for
the train home.

On the whole, I'm glad I saw both the TG Tate event
and this: somewhat shattering the myth of what TG is
(it's very nice!) but a great idea - probably stemming
from the Astoria "record an album" event...which
wasn't quite what it said on the biscuit tin (and
still hasn't appeared). A unique (or one of 6) glimpse
into the mechanics of the band  but at no point really
felt like a gig...even during the jams. 

The CDrs appear next week. Any pro tools users may
like to assemble the finished LP on their own, years
ahead of the eventual Mute release.

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