Last Saturday was the first (of hopefully many) ‘open jam’ sessions. Seven friends, all musicians from different bands, came together for the first time to play some tunes and see what happens. The results were… unexpectedly amazingly!
No matter, I’m just glad to get the ball rolling. Part of my idea was along these lines: “what if a group of musicians got together, not necessarily as a band, but as a kind of ‘fraternity’ of musicians to create something fresh and completely different to what we may have done in our regular bands”. Not quite an original concept on its own I admit, but for me it’s part of a broader plan that I’ll talk about in later posts. The point is, I just thought this would be heaps of fun. When you’re in a band that plays all the local venues, you naturally get to know a lot of folks from other bands. I’ve sometimes wondered what it must be like to play in a band with these people, or better yet, what if we rolled them up in to one band? In a way, this is almost a throw back to the sixties, kinda like my very own hippie jam with Melbourne’s unsigned finest!
So about two weeks ago I sent out Facebook invitations to
victims and booked the venue for our cacophony of sound… and since then it’s been a lot of emotions rolled into one. Excitement that this is actually going to happen, but also anxious about how the hell I was going to pull this off. Five guitarists and four drummers in one room would seem like a recipe for certain disaster, right?
The day finally came, and all my fears were set aside. The event actually went REALLY well, I even Twittered straight afterwards something about it being a “great success” (I had a Borat moment). Only four guitarists, two drummers (including myself) and one singer were able to make it on the day, so it was somewhat more manageable than I feared. Most of the participants already knew each other, some met for the first time, but all seemed to mix really well together when the amps started wailing (not quite the cacophony I feared). The players for the day included:
- myself (of course) and Gaz (of Crimson Face) on drums and percussion
- Frankie (solo artist and from Lustre), Ash (from Back Nine and Nitidus), Jake (from Spark Iris) and my good friend Catherine on guitars
- The inimitable Suzy (from Exile and Lustre) rockin’ the mic
- And finally on bass we had the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man… ok, we didn’t actually get any bass players showing up for this session, but we did have a pretty massive wall of guitars, so ya gotta be happy with that!
As host, I tried to keep things as casual and fun as possible, I even brought beer (the traditional social lubricant also works as music inspiration). We jammed on a few covers to warm up, but it wasn’t long before we wrote our first song. Yes, we actually wrote a freakin’ song! And if memory serves, it wasn’t too bad either! Pretty good for a group of musos jamming together for the first time. The only real hitch in the whole event was the realisation that I lost my drum stick bag at the last Nitidus gig, and thus when Gaz broke my last pair of sticks, I had to make a quick drive home to find spares. In this case it was a blessing to have two drummers because the jamming was able continue in my absence (thanks also to some quick gaffer tape repairs by Suzy).
Big props to all who joined me for six hours of musical madness, and a special shout out to those who couldn’t make it. I had a blast, and there was definitely a great vibe amongst everyone there, so I’m pretty confident there’ll be an ‘open jam’ number two in the near future. Can’t wait!