Smart Arse Band has Smart Arse Fans????

pAlrighty then – br /br /a href=”http://uk.tickle.com/inv.html?inv=4921063634225192017″CLICK THIS YOU LAZY SWASHBUCKLERS YOU?!?!/abr /br /It’s an IQ test, so lets put on your classic Nike and have a little competition shall we? I got 133, whilst the Lady Libby got 135, but what can YOU get you naughty horse tea-leaves?! Post ein bischien comment below with your score onbr /br /Oh, and be honest!! ‘Cos we’ll know if your not, and we’ll laugh at you for at least 6 or 7 days, and eventually you start to blub like a little girl who has lost her pocket money. So there.br /br /Peter/p

Armageddon those good vibrations.

pQuick note – ting! – to say that the demo/EP/album thing is getting increasingly nearly done… so close that I can smell it, at least I could if I could smell anything with my fucking nose…br /br /We’ve managed to get 99% of the backing vocals, a couple of guitar things, a melodica solo, and an awful lot of banging pots and pans and crap like that to add ‘texture’. We’ve also (I think) nailed the lead vocals, but its always difficult to tell just how good they are until you’ve heard them all eleven billion times, until in fact you can hear the slightest fraction of a bum note on one refrain of one note of a song… and then you do it all again. Strangely, whilst those overdubs were done at Piscorp, the vibe for the sessions was exactly the same as was in Newcastle – cold, drunk, exhausting, with Mr. Piper passed out in the corner (only after working hard on his overdubs its fair to say). We’re now faced with the looming and slightly terrifying task of mixing, made more complicated by have alternate takes of things, each with different vibes which we may want to cut and paste around a track… phew! Not to worry – we’re actually well ahead of schedule (at least we would be if we had one), and we’re still dead excited about the stuff. Hand on heart, I’m really really looking forward to y’all hearing this!!br /br /Now, all together, “Cyberman – and the living is easy…”br /br /Peterbr //p

The Psychology of Gigging…

pIncorporating, PSH Go Mad @ Grapes, Wind Up Being Mean To Each Other Shocker!br /br /Hello – late night at work, before dancing off to the Showroom to do an acoustic gig for which we really haven’t prepared enough. Anyway, the Tale Of Two Grape-gigs… it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…br /br /Saturday night – a big gig for us, since the two toppest soundmen in Sheffield had invited us to play their night, alongside The Hipshakes and Beachbuggy. Sound check was a horror of hammer proportions, since the wonderful, crappy guitar that has lasted us so long decided to become nothing more than a one note instrument, the note being ‘emFIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ’/em. Anyway, swift phone-calls and good friends (heads up Wrighty) saw us through, and when we finally hit the stage, quite nervous and apprehensive… we rocked! Seriously – possibly the best gig we’ve ever played, tight and fluid, relaxed yet getting that taunt edge in that we can nail if we’re on form. Sweet…br /br /Anyway, some background here. We’re all knackered. Totally bollocksed, there’s things happening at our work places, in our private lives, and on top of that we have the Pisco Energy demanding to be stoked. The demo weighs heavy on our minds, not so much because we’re awed by the amount of work to do, but more because its draining just to have it on our minds, tapping at the back there – “emHi! I’m the future vocal for ‘Empire’! Think I should be Elvis Costello-y, or more Johnny Rotten?/em”. Add to this some spectacularly poor planning. Not just arranging a lot of gigs, but a lot of gigs close together that demand different sets, covers to be decided upon, acoustic versions, just getting us and the kit there and back usually incorporating an element of hangover, plus the daily routine of work, plus the eating and sleep elements of life that are so easily forgotten when you’re at full pelt 24/7. And we’re getting colds.br /br /So zoom in on Monday – should be more relaxed than Saturday, we’re throwing some quickly arranged, but clever little covers in, as well as our fave own tunes at the moment, with some vocal supporters watching and a crowd who REALLY WANT to have a good time. No pressure, we can do this, no bother, lets go. Approach the stage… saddle that bass… ‘The Canch’ Andy? Don’t mind if I do…br /br /We strongstank/strong. Really, seriously bad. We were under prepared, far too lackadaisical, far too tired, the covers fell to bits especially the Bjork one that SHOULD have been cool, and SHOULD have blown everybody away but which we ACTUALLY stopped after a minute ‘cos it sounded fucking awful. We missed cues, we lost faith, we let ourselves down. Heartbreak…br /br /Anyway, soon after we reconvened downstairs at the Grapes, and had a barney at each other. What else can you do in a situation like that? We care so much about it that we were just flailing about, hoping we landed a killer blow to take the pressure off ourselves as individuals, and actually just upsetting each other in the process and winding ourselves up. Andy and his Lady Anna disappeared, and Ed and I soon followed, heads bowed, eyes susceptible to the bitter cold Sheffield wind. And herein ends this sorry tale.br /br /… except to say, that PSH are good at lesson learning. The thing about our band is that it’s exciting to be in it, and we find ourselves pushing hard at what we’re capable of as individuals, learning to play that riff you imagined three weeks ago, or constructing a song that blows the other two away, and its also exciting to be part of a trio, making sounds with three instruments that you could never have created on your own, becoming total funk-meisters even though you’re a librarian, and environmentalist, and a programmer. But we’re learning that you have to pace yourself, otherwise you just compromise what you create, and we want to create the BEST music ever. So if you were at Monday’s gig, we’re sorry… we did you a disservice, and we regret it.br /br /But if you weren’t, just remember – we rock, and we’re ace, and the next time we see you from our vantage point beside two amps and a drum kit… You. Will. Dance. Whether you want to or not…br /br /Goodnight! God bless!br /br /Peterbr //p

And it’s magic, if the music is groovy…

pTypically, I’m about to write something that sets me up to be shot down, most likely by Misters Piper and Wood, stout musical yeomen that they are.br /br /I’ve decided to believe in magic.br /br /OK – I’ll qualify that. I’ve decided to believe in one particular magic trick, a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_rope_trick”The Indian Rope Trick/a. This basically involved a magical suspending a rope in thin air, and getting his assistant to climb it, who would then disappear. The magician would then call for his servant to come down, get frustrated when he didn’t and then climb after him, disappearing himself in the process.br /br /Then, at least in the supersized version of this little mystery, sounds of an argument would be heard, and the severed body parts of the assistant would fall from the sky! The magician would appear, climb down again, do some hocus-pocus crazy magic shit, and voila! Assistant back together in full health and everyone goes home happy.br /br /Thing is (ignoring the severed body parts bit) there’s something so perfect about this trick, especially adding in the mysterious sub-continent element, that I’ve become enamored with it, and intend to begin my training as an Indian fakir. I’m so desperate for it to be real though, an actual piece of magic that defies explanation (and all the ‘explanations’ I’ve read, including wires suspended between trees, mass hypnosis, etc etc, just don’t cut it for me I’m afraid), that the only way I’m going to be content is by heading off to BQ, getting myself a suitable rope, and getting started.br /br /Next gig should be interesting, eh?? (It’s Saturday at the Grapes by the way – see you there?)br /br /Peterbr /p

“… WELL COCKED!”

pHazy memories badger my mind as I sit here at the enquiry desk, trying to piece back together what has become a legendary weekend. Problem is, when you spend on average 21 hours a day in the same cold, flooding, stark rooms, surrounded outside by industrial decay and smoke-stained brickwork, you kinda loose track of what happened when and why. It’s perhaps fair to say that enough red wine to kill a brass band constantly imbibed over four nights can also have the same effect, and in conjunction these two time warping phenomena can completely disorientate, leaving one believing they are Napoleon, or God. Or both.br /br /Anyway, three full days of recording (and a guitar solo on the Tuesday morning which made for an effective alarm clock) – its tough work, especially when you’re fighting of irritating illness and a hangover which has to break sometime. However, we’ve done well, and are now following the mantra ‘definitely 5, probably 6, hopefully 7’, depending on how the overdubs and mixing go, and how we’re feeling. The sessions were relatively smooth, with only minor rows and problems, with particular highlights being guest-star Jim’s amazing e-bow solo on Empire, the Piscos becoming funkier than I ever thought possible, and Andy letting his ‘filth’ side shine through with a vocal take than actually makes you feel dirty as you hear it. An epic adventure, which we have to validate only by making all the tracks sound as good as they can be, which will involve standing in a tent for hours probably. It’s in good hands…br /br /Petebr //p

Here We Go Again…

pIt’s worth you Pisco-watchers knowing that its going to be a momentous and legendary weekend – EP 2 is happening right now… in fact, odd bits of notes and noise have already been committed to tape!!br /br /Tomorrow young Wood will be setting up drums in the studio, while young Piper drives us to meet him in Newcastle! I will be drunk on the way… these events require a certain synergy. Then, eight tunes all being well. Then home.br /br /Slice of piss – see you next week.br /br /Peter/p

But what about the rushes?!

pHad quite possibly the strangest night of my life.br /br /It involved acting sinister, and frightening one of our mates repeatedly.br /br /It also involved getting another of our mates to swap shoes with aforementioned mate about 20 times.br /br /It also included staying up all night, bikers, having someone chucked out of the Earl (twice), much of Sheffield, lots of walking with Ed and Andy in instinctive formation, and explaining to the police that we’re nice people really, and the tall Dutch fellow doesn’t really have a black-eye and and we don’t want to beat him up, honest.br /br /To top it all, it ultimately wound up with Pisco Sour Hour sitting on a large rock in a park, with me playing guitars, Andy on beloved bongos, and Ed holding it all together by playing the shoes. Next to a chalk-board that said ‘Pisco Sour Hour’. And singing “It’s A Long Way To Tipparary”. Worryingly, this impromptu busking at 7:30 on a Sunday morning seemed to attract more of an audience than a couple of gigs that we’ve played at the Boardwalk. Though some of those people were actually dogs, that were attached to people.br /br /And a one-eyed cat. Currently named Thomas.br /br /With any luck, the results will be available to view soon. Now off to bed to ensure I didn’t dream it all.br /br /Pete/p

What’s the news, Mary-Jane…

pEd’s unable to update the ‘news’ bit of the site for a couple of days, so since I’m (yes, you’ve guessed it) working late at the library, I’ll fill all those of you who are interested in on the gossip…br /br /(if you’ve stumbled on this and are expecting something salacious, you may be disappointed… errm… tits)br /br /We played in Rotherham the other day at Mr. Dave Shotgun’s charity gig, and a great time was had by all. I won a prize in the raffle, and got to sing on two Dylan tunes… now if that’s not a testament to a great night, I really don’t know what is. A substantial amount of money was raised for MIND, and we’ve heard a little rumour about a bootleg of the show being released to raise even more cash – therefore, two Pisco live tracks from the night might soon be available, alongside stuff by Axis Dynied, Tommy Binks and the Alcoholics, Taste of Shotgun, and much much more. We’ll keep you posted on this one.br /br /We’re playing at the Casbah for the second time ever tomorrow which should be a blast (nice little venue, The Casbah – good vibes and nice beer) and then off to Leeds next week. Let out of Sheffield!! Crikey!! Come along to both/either… we’ll get the gigs page updated soon so you can plan your holidays around when we’re playing (we have to, after all).br /br /Finally… the second EP… we’ve sorted the place (Newcastle this time), and the whole team is back together (us lot, Jim and Richard – a perfectly balanced group with a staggering capacity for red wine). We’re still deciding on the shortlist of songs, but I’m pretty confident that ‘Clutching’, ‘Canch’, ‘Empire’ and ‘Idiot’ will definitely be on there, which pleases us immensely. Quite frankly, I’m hopelessly excited about it – especially as Ed’s driving me up there, which means I can get battered on the way!!br /br /Oh… and finally, finally, ‘Where The Days Went’ is back in stock at a href=”http://www.thelaundrette.co.uk/”The Laundrette/a, so pop along and get a copy if you haven’t already.br /br /Petebr /br /PS – Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy… the dog’s bollocks. Read ‘em!!br //p

Grump

pHe is in a grump. She is grumpy. We all grump together.br /br /sometimes, like ee cumings, we grump in lowercasebr /br /And – pierced to the soul – we on occasion, grump like Emily Dickinson.br /br /But we grump, and in our grumping we strive to attain the perfect state of grumpiness, the alpha-grump if you will. We’re not sure what happens at this fabled point, though one grumpy man has speculated that a river of tears will form and take us to Valhalla where we will dine on eggs and muffins, and will be forever, gloriously miserable…br /br /… but he was a grumpy twat, and we have ignored him.br /br /But one thing is unavoidably true – sincere in our grumpiness we continue to explore the depths of our petty sadness, not down enough to be depressed, and not happy enough to be content. Just forever, unavoidably, inexplicably grumpy.br /br /He is in a grump. She is grumpy, and like a bunch of sorry fucking frogs, we all grump together.br /br /Petros Petros Grumpy Bastard/p

Financial Management for Monkeys

pIts dead easy – don’t spend all your money, don’t buy that CD, don’t go out, have fun, do the sort of things you anticipated being able to do at the thing of 27. Have a job that pays you toss, and live off job satisfaction, ‘cos that’s all you need isn’t it Pete? A smile on your face, a coat on your back (for as long as the stitching holds), a rumble in your belly, a question-mark over your credit rating. Joy joy joy…br /br /… sorry! Pisco Sour Hour are skint (I think its safe to say we all are), but resolute and driving forward… sorry, strike that… walking forward (for petrol is too expensive to be wasted) and pushing the boundries of what is known as ‘music’, ‘art’, ‘meths’, and ‘public transport’. This is just another in what could well be a recuring sequence of rambles when I’m bored working late at the library (and it has been a dreadful day here…), but here’s a treat. A couple of links to convey upon you, dear reader, the timbre, vibe and general grooviness of two tunes that we are currently boshing away at. They are going to be sweet little numbers, I assure you…br /br /a href=”http://www.angelfire.com/id2/tower7/jivaro2.htm”Strange, strangle, silky smooth groove./abr /br /a href=”http://homepage.eircom.net/~fuzzbucket/city.png”… and the ceiling throws me into a spinning screaming rage… disco style/abr /br /Pete/p