Roadie #42 - Blog #40 7 October 2008 9.58 pm #42 writes from the Later studio
It's all quiet in Studio One at BBC Television Centre. Shortly, they'll be letting the audience in. In the meantime, there's just a few of the TV crew rehearsing camera movements. In an hour or so, we'll start taping a show that'll go out on telly this Friday. This series of Jools Holland is different from those before, in that there is also a show tonight - completely live, at 10pm.
TV studios are strange after arenas. Arenas make everything sound huge, boomy and vast. Even someone tapping a microphone can end up sounding like the coming of the apocalypse when it's coming through a couple hundred thousand watts of PA into a huge concrete and steel echo chamber.
Conversely, not only are television studios acoustically "dead", but for the sake of broadcast audio quality, the volume level is also kept politely low. Add to this, the fact that singers tend to "save their voice" during the afternoon and you end up with rehearsals that come across as shockingly uninspiring. It's a little like looking through binoculars backwards. Rik Simpson is in the house though, helping out with broadcast sound, so you can bet that the experience in living rooms across the land will be nicely spectacular.
I think this is the first time we've been here since we did the gig in the car park. I noticed on that day that they're not really bothered what you write on your pass once you've told them you're on a list. As a result, yesterday, I was Terry Wogan. Today, I have spent the day as the greatest comedian of all time.
Actually, whilst I'm talking about myself, I have to note that the floor is marked every two feet in correspondence with the lighting grid. I swear to god, I looked down at my feet where my rack of gear is situated and what did I see?
Right, the warm-up bloke is on, which means I should be concentrating. Later....