plus: Trying to get some noise ahead of our tour; finding gigs
It goes without saying that if we can create any buzz about the band before we get there, it will have a dramatic impact on our shows. If we get some people along who are already excited about seeing “PlanB” before they get there rather than just going to a venue to measure us against the best band they’ve ever seen there, then we’re a lot closer to converting them to fans.
One of the songs we recorded in Saigon that we were planning to have ready for China is the ballad, “Images (of you)”. We came up with the idea of turning this into a duet and asking one of our Chinese music contacts, Xiao Fang, to sing the counterpart. Initially we thought it would be a good idea and kind of novel to have the counterpart sung in Chinese, so it could appeal to both audiences. So we revisited the lyrics and rewrote it as a male/female two part story and we even went as far as having them translated by Emerson Dong, a work colleague of mine.
Xiao and SouYi (our Chinese tour manager) argued against this as doing it in both languages it would only serve to exclude people who didn’t understand Chinese and would just sound odd to people who understood both. And the logistics of getting Xiang to record (even in English) made it a bit too hard. So we searched around for another singer and finally found a very soulful sounding young lady from Dubai (the daughter of one of Peter Flierl’s work colleagues) named Samira. Samira sent through an initial take and I was blown away with her sound. Unfortunately there were some sound quality issues so we had to ask her to do it again. She then sent through 3 new takes and I’ve re-recorded my vocal parts and have been working with Wayne (Baker, Sound Engineer) to bring this up to a quality that does justice to Samira.
Wayne listened to the recordings from Saigon and initially said the whole thing would need to be redone except for the bass. He has subsequently managed to salvage the horns, by pitch shifting them – for some reason all of them were a quarter of a semitone sharp. We also engaged a local Adelaide mate of Pete’s to put some haunting violins behind it.
I’m confident that this is going to be another great W&W production, but another interesting problem has arisen…
We’ll record a video for the song – it’s a story of a long term relationship that’s gone stale for one of the partners. Having a 46 year old man and a 16 year old girl taking these parts just doesn’t fly, no matter how good her voice is. So what do we do? Have Xiao Fang mime the girl part? Do a film clip that doesn’t involve the female side? Have Samira made up to look at least 30? It’s a tough one.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.