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1999 News Archive

August, 1999

The last few months have seen BAiT busy in the Working Mens Clubs of the Midlands, from Derbyshire to Gloucestershire, the band has built up a good reputation on the circuit, playing mainly covers songs, but slipping in the originals wherever and whenever possible.  The reception has been excellent and many venues have been revisited on numerous occasions.

This 'tour' has been the ideal opportunity (along with the band's continuing hectic recording schedule) to really hone in on the musicianship and stagecraft skills.  The latest demo recorded (a 4 track EP CD, including Fixed, Clockwork, Okay UK, and Certainty Sir) has shown a further marked improvement in the band's musicianship and is definitely the demo the band has always needed to really promote itself to the people who matter.

Julian (the band manager) feels very confident that this demo is the one with which he can approach the record industry, radio stations, etc. and there is a more positive feeling about the future success of the band than there ever has been.  These guys will succeed sooner or later.

Whilst the band has enjoyed a huge amount of success touring the WMCs of the Midlands, it is now time to return attention to their own music, and with this in mind, Julian is seeking out appropriate venues for the band to play its own music from January 2000.  If you're lucky, you may even catch the lads performing an all-originals 'warm up' gig before then.  The intention is to hit the scene in January with all guns blazing.

The songwriting sessions of yesteryear are being revisited and Dan, Andy and John have all penned new songs, in preparation for the BAiT renaissance.

May, 1999

The Double A-Side: The first released product of Studio Silke is going to be a double A-Side CD single entitled 'FIXED'. It comprises 2 NEW (and quite kicking) songs, Fixed and Clockwork, which their Manager Julian Phipps has asked the boys to hurry up and finish, so he can get out and promote them. This single will be the first in the front-line battle to get BAiT noticed and hopefully signed. It will be available on CD in early MAY and can be heard in full right now on the Virtual Jukebox page of this website.

The Song Book: As a precursor to the release of the Album, BAiT have grouped together the lyrics of all 16 songs (and the new single) into a rather splendidly artistic booklet. Each song is presented on an appropriate arty-farty background, consisting of tour photos, composite images and other little flights of fantasy from the band's (largely warped) imagination. I've seen the rushes and so far it looks terrific, with a full colour cover and nifty black & white interior. There's also a little introduction and background... so watch this website for release and sale details.. as well as a couple of sneak previews.

WHAT A COLLECTOR'S ITEM!

March, 1999

The Album Project: The band are now well into the recording of their 16 song album (as yet untitled). Thanks to Silke Rausch, who has kindly let the boys set up their studio and associated paraphernalia in her house. Although BAiT have their own Roland 16-Track digital studio, none of them are too experienced at engineering and production - although Andy does his best and they've all learned quite a bit since Propellerhead. Gone are the old days of plugging in John's electronic drums and fiddling with a £5.99 Tandy condenser microphone: now at least it's REAL drums and a nice £300 condenser mic to capture the boys' warblings: May those Darlek vocals and hidden instruments be banished forever. It's powerful punchy beat, balls-out bass, crisp guitars and clear vocals all the way!..... BAiT are beginning to sound like they should!

So far - six tracks into the project - the results are pretty encouraging. John's been on the web and found out loads about micing, mixing, EQ'ing, etc. This, combined with the fully digital set-up and rollercoaster learning curve means they're really beginning to cut it. (Don't take my word for it, have a listen to the Virtual Jukebox). As a result, each song recorded is slightly better than the last, which is tricky because the project could end up like the painting of the Forth bridge, i.e. you get to the end and have to start all over again!

The lads can't wait to get into a professional recording studio, with a real producer at the helm, a lot more time and some really fine equipment, and these boys are going to fly. You can already hear the potential in their music and its easy to tell that they're just about ready to leave behind the limitations of the home-recording nest and glide off in the direction of Abbey Road (that would be nice!)

Anyway, to give you better understanding of how BAiT typically produce their recordings, here's a low-down to wet your whistle, as we say here in Blighty (Britain).

Take a song: CERTAINTY SIR (Track 14 on the Album - They're recording it in reverse... not the song you understand but the order of tracks... oh reven dnim..) Here's how they got it down!

Saturday Afternoon

John records the drums - three microphones to pick up the kick-drum, snare & high-hat and overall kit. He generally does this in 1-3 takes (smart git). Andy originally records a bass part but finds it slightly out of tune with the guitar. Dan has a go at the main guitar line.

Sunday

Andy takes the studio home so he can record the bass line and have a go at the lead vocals.

Tuesday

At practice they take time out to listen to the result. Dan reckons Andy could do a better vocal take. Andy agrees and takes it home. There is also a problem with the timing on the guitar and bass.

Wednesday

Andy re-records vocals and bashes off a new bass part.

Wednesday Evening

Dan comes round re-records the guitars. ALL MUCH HAPPIER!

Thursday

Andy drags the kit up to a drafty church hall and records some piano.

Friday

Andy ditches the piano part in favour of some very subtle synth in the chorus.

Saturday

Andy and John's backing vocals are completed and the song is mixed-down onto minidisc.

January, 1999

Entertainment Direct: As from January, BAiT have been getting floods of regular work through their associated agency, ENTERTAINMENT DIRECT. (Thanks to Ian Nash for some sterling service on the phones there). As such, they have embarked upon a tour of the many social & Working Mens Clubs across the Midlands. The great thing about this is that the boys are having the chance to really tighten up their sound, learn to read their audience and try out a few originals. Although a lot of this is predominantly covers work, the inclusion of the odd BAiT song has not been at all unwelcome. see the ever-growing gig list for details. I know the boys are rather amused at the rate at which they are having to learn new covers (sometimes 2-3 a week!). Some of these are old Rock & Roll ('uhh-huh-huh... thank you very much') classics which club audiences demand, others are more taxing, but still fun, like Rio, by Duran Duran. It is a testament to BAiT's skill that they can get 'em dancing in the aisles to that 80s Duran Duran classic, remembering that they are only a 3-piece!

Sadly, a lot of the places BAiT now play are private clubs. However, armed with the new single, their Manager is out there now securing as many BAiT only gigs as possible. The local papers are doing a bit of a spread on the boys as well, so we'll be getting that on the website ASAP.

What with 3 gigs a week, recording, mixing, rehearsing, being silly and slagging off Europe (well Julian's got to do something), BAiT are pretty bloomin' busy. In fact, their song-writing has been suffering a bit. Nevertheless, the total original material count is somewhere near 35 songs, with an additional 7-10 in various stages of completion. I don't think these boys are going to be running short of music somehow.