If You’re Ready

The songwriting part of Burnsong 2009 is be complete and I’m blogging this from the back of a splitter van, on the way to the Parliament gig (see Burnsong site for more info about the project). We have a luxurious 4-hour soundcheck booked today, then an evening off in Edinburgh. The gig itself runs 4-6pm tomorrow (Monday 30th Nov 2009) and will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland (the Iain Anderson show) we think between 11pm and midnight the same evening. Iain will be at the gig providing links and chatting to the songwriters.

We (me, Chris Blanden on bass and local session drummer Blair McMillan) have been rehearsing with the songwriters for the last two days, and now have two 45min sets. The first set consists of the ‘winning’ 10 songs – the tracks from which the songwriters were selected, and the ones that will be broadcast initially. These were easy to rehearse because Chris and I had time to work out the chords and structures before the project began, so all we’ve had to do is work out a band arrangement and write the backing vocal harmonies. The second set is a bit more tricky because some of the songs were only finished on Thursday, but there’s some great stuff there, including Lisa’s particularly rabble-rousing up-tempo song ‘Hey Honey I’m Home’, which should serve as a nice ending to the show (although we finally close with the even more stirring Robert Burns song A Man’s A Man For A’That). Needless to say I have not compromised on (over) arranging vocal harmonies – when you’ve got a room full of great singers who love working together the temptation is impossible to resist!

And I learn that every audience member will get a ‘wee dram’ in the break between sets. Proper Scots hospitality!

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