Changing Gear

blogdexterI’ve got a bit of a band going these days. It’s called Servo. Like us on Facebook.

It’s not much but at the same time it can be everything if I want it to be.

My mate Robbie from my teens is the drummer, my neighbor Matt is the bass player and up until a few weeks ago my niece Danielle was the other guitarist/singer.

We play garage punk music covers from bands like The Clash and The Troggs and Frank Zappa and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

I’ve always been involved in music in some way, ever since Robbie taught me to play the drums in the 70’s. Now that I’ve got the time to put into a band it’s purely for fun, but there was a stage there for a while when I thought I could do more with it and i ended up writing a bunch of songs.

I never stopped writing songs though, but not in order to seek fame and fortune. It was more to just have a way of expressing things in a way that meant something to me.

My blog will be peppered with links to my songs and videos so if you’re not used to that yet, you soon will be.

With my songwriting I usually write and record alone but recently I have teamed up with Pj Newton, who has performed at my annual farm concert at Waikaretu. I reached out to Pj because the kind of songs I have been writing recently have tended to be more suited to a woman’s voice and a softer touch than I tend to get when I move into my studio.

We came up with a few nice songs but what we both really noticed was how easy it was to work together.

So we decided to give it a weekend and see what came out of it.

It started off early on Saturday morning with us meeting up in Manukau and heading back to the farm. Light lunch followed by a relaxing afternoon of the pair of us singing songs to each other around a slowly evaporating whiskey bottle. Pj cooked an amazing feast and after dinner and more whiskey we shifted the party into the studio.

It didn’t take long to kit Pj with an electric guitar, a blond Epiphone Dot 335 with a set of Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues pickups. I plugged her into my Vox AC30 with an sm57 piping it into the deck and put a Blue Baby Bottle mic in front of her.

And away she went.

We finished late, or early, depending on what you call 5 am. Sunday was very similar to Saturday. By the time we were done we’d decided it was worth taking this a bit further.

What we’ve come up with is a foggy notion of a plan, a road to follow I guess. No one is really sure where to road is going, but it feels like the right road to be on right now.

Pj will work on her solo material with solo performances and in the confines of Servo gigs, opening with as a solo artist and building up the set from there.

It gives Pj a vehicle for her solo work as well as a band for the group stuff she has in her repertoire and it provides Servo with a much needed new voice.

So far everything has just fallen into place without any of it requiring much effort.

We’ll get the full band together soon and see just how well it all gels and we’ll post some music and videos along the way to keep the record straight.

In the meantime here are some photos, songs and a video of the weekend just gone.

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