Kaotican Alphabet

Roadie #42 – Blog #123

#42 goes for smiles and smiles

I guess it’s inevitable that after a couple months away from the recording process, the first couple of weeks back would feel a little like being thrown into a wind tunnel. When the fellas get the bit between their teeth, things start to move very quickly.

And then they accelerate.

As detailed previously, "the plan" has again been shaken up like a fizzy drink can. Once they decide to bend back the ring pull, you’d better be on your toes…

The immediate plan has shifted to one very specific thing, to the exclusion of all else.  Brian has often claimed that limitations are very useful in the creative process and in this case it’s like a huge shot in the arm. The past week has been like watching one of those time lapse movies of a tree growing. Rather than a tree of course, we have a song. One song in particular.

The extreme focus and the speed with which things start to come together results in an unmistakable giddiness within the studio. Despite there being nothing stronger than a decent espresso in evidence here, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there was something chemical at work.

The excitement elevates the mood to the point where everyone is completely on form. Jokes crackle back and forth between takes – and the takes themselves are quite clearly keepers…

Davide Rossi joins us for a while. He’s the immensely talented young man who put down all of the strings on Viva. He brings with him equal parts breathtaking virtuosity and supreme stand-up comedy. Pretty soon, he and Andy Rugg are in the Bakery laying down his army-of-one string section.

Upstairs, Jon Hopkins is sitting with Dan Green weaving laptop magic that will swell and glow throughout the track. From the bottom of the stairs, you can make out an acoustic guitar and Chris singing at the top of his lungs from through Phil’s office door.

The ring pull has clearly been lifted – and the tune is exploding all over the place. What a lovely mess to witness. Moments like this come out of nowhere and a huge amount of progress is made very quickly. Sustaining this rate inevitably becomes the goal, which means the poor old Pro-Tools trackball is slowly melting under co-producer Rik Simpson’s fingers.

I’ve escaped upstairs to my office. I’ve been given a backup task. Every hard disk involved in the recording process is backed up religiously on a daily basis. There’s other media involved though. Chris has gone back to pen and paper recently and has been stuffing a notebook with lyrics, doodles and random thoughts.

Obviously, losing this would be disastrous, so I’ve been scanning every page, every scrap and every sellotaped addition. "The next record" exists in several forms within the Beehive walls. This, in many ways, is as pure a representation of what’s coming than the stack of firewire drives sat on the Pro Tools rig.

So, ladies and gents, I give you the next Coldplay record: