On Always Awake and why we’re a band of brothers

Tuesday 19th April, 2011

Always Awake

The most beautiful thing in orange and black this side of Bengal

I’m finally back in Hull after quite an intense 6-day round trip. With the Latitude concert out of the way, I headed down to Headline Studios in Stockport for a quick recording session with my band, Always Awake.

These guys are amazing: not only are they wholeheartedly committed to what they do, but each of them looks out for the rest of us, which makes for a tight group that works very hard but never too hard.

Now, a quick bio. Twins Zeb and Theo Bowyer have been writing and performing with Ben Wood for 9 years, but the band has existed in its current state – with Kelani Koyejo on drums and percussion, and me on bass and cello – since December. Our sound is a tricky one to describe, but our Facebook page calls it ‘Inventive, emotive and anthemic – a perfect blend of smooth sophistication and Mancunian grit’, so let’s go with that.

The reason for recording this EP in such a short space of time is that we need something to play to potential audience members for our first ever gig together, on Thursday 5th May. It has to be something that isn’t heavily produced but that at least beats scratch recordings on mobile phones, and is a good representation of our live sound.

So we recorded all the instruments at once, as opposed to the slower, cleaner method of recording every layer separately, from the drums up. This not only saves time, but will hopefully capture something of the raw energy of live performance. The vocals will be done over the next few days, then the guys will work their computery magic and that’ll be it – four shiny new tracks!

Having never recorded with a band before, what struck me most was how intensive it was –how nerve-wracking it was to know that the way I played in those few hours was going to be permanent, either forever to my credit or forever held against me. But despite my nerves, everything went miraculously smoothly, mostly thanks to the expertise of engineers Ryan Searle and John Wood. I’m very much looking forward to hearing the finished product – keep your eyes/ears peeled…

When musicians aren't making music, we eat food and play with our phones.
When musicians aren’t making music, we mostly eat and play with our phones

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