In years to come, when we look back at the Covid pandemic of 2020/21, the question for many up and coming musicians will be, what on earth did you do when the music stopped? Angry Baby attempted to tackle this question in 2020, taking a look at online gigs which proved a lifeline for many musicians and music lovers alike, but London based band Mamas Gun, went one better, becoming the first band to perform and stream a whole concert absolutely live whilst stationed in separate locations to each other.
The band, comprising Andy Platts, Cameron Dawson, David Oliver, Terry Lewis and Chris Boot, played this concert in May last year, with the help of some ground breaking technology Mamas Gun’s long term sound engineer Doug Hunt. When the pandemic hit, Doug started looking at ways to help bands perform together remotely over the internet. Desperate to continue to make music with the bands he loved, Hunt set about creating what became Tin Pan Studio resulting in unique technology that combines ultra-low latency server-based monitoring for the musicians, with studio-quality audio for the engineer to mix. Four tracks representing the band’s journey since their 2009 debut were then chosen for a live EP, released in November 2020 and named the Tin Pan Sessions.
The EP kicks off with a ‘I Need A Win‘, a song that encompasses the band’s signature sound and strongly redolent of classic soul of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Classy and smooth as velvet, it’s hard to believe these tracks were recorded live online in separate locations. When live music is able to start again, it would be fantastic to hear a few tracks recorded with a live audience.
All the tracks are eminently listenable, with the stand out being the final song, ‘This Is The Day‘. A gentle intro leads into an exploration into vintage soul territory of change and looking to the future:
“I can feel a change coming…hear the voice inside you…what you waiting for?”
Immediately preceding ‘This Is The Day’, ‘Red Cassette‘ has a rockier edge to the soul and has the most toe tapping danceability of the EP, taking a look at the old tech of cassettes – it’s a product that has been almost consigned to memory and considering how The Tin Pan Sessions was recorded, it’s a nice ironic touch to have it included here.
Although this EP was recorded and released using new technology that bodes well for online gigs in the future, the takeaway is the smooth fluidity of Mamas Gun’s music.
This week, we have the treat of a plethora of tips for aspiring musicians as three members of Mamas Gun have put pen to paper:
Andy Platts (lead singer) –
Someone once said to me ‘honesty never goes out of fashion’. It’s kinda stuck with me ever since. I figure you can’t go wrong if you’re always honest with yourself and others, even if at times it might not be what people want to hear. From the quality of your work to the way you conduct yourself with friends and colleagues, if people know where you stand then that’s as sure a foundation for progress as any.
Dave Oliver (Piano) –
To be a musician is to work hard at your craft and try and be as versatile as you can. You will find that you’ll work with all sorts of people whom you won’t necessarily get along with. The saying is so true that “never judge a book by its cover” as you never truly know what people have had to deal with in life. Accept them for who they are. You may feel vulnerable at times when something new comes along but this will only make you stronger from performing in front of your first small audience, leading an ensemble or a workshop to rocking out in a stadium to thousands. Remember you can never stop learning. Keep working hard and never give up.
Chris Boot (drums) –
A combination of openness for what life throws at you and enjoying it whilst it’s in front of you, keeping positive and patient. In the lowest moments the highs and ecstasies are sometimes right around the corner. Riding through the peaks and troughs, n’ all that. Listen to lots of music, new & old, and keep the drive to learn alive. Try to be resilient to the negative and take the constructive criticism.
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