Join the Caravan, of James

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “I would really like to see four versions of James performing an acapella version of one of his tracks”, and let’s be honest who hasn’t, you’re in the right place…

Laura and I recently watched a film called Julie & Julia (obviously I wanted to watch something more manly, like ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ but this was Laura’s choice), which had been written based on a succesful blog. It was the first film ever to be adapted from a blog.

I did briefly wonder whether my blog could be similarly adapted. Unfortunately, I concluded it would require a huge amount of artistic licence to make it film-worthy. I can’t really picture a decent trailer even… “THE NEVERENDING ALBUM. The story of a man, sitting in a room, picking up a guitar, breaking a string, changing the string, doing some singing, deleting the singing, doing the singing again, deleting the singing, emailing Scott, doing the singing again…” You see where I’m going with that.

I guess something could be made of having to drive to Trowbridge to pick up Harry, maybe it could be a race against time for some reason, or perhaps I could be chased by the headmaster of the school I work at, in a Ferrari, angry that I’m not paying for using the studio (not that I’m supposed to, but that could be added too).

Nope, it would be a crap film.

The only thing it would have going for it is the potential for a good, old fashioned montage. This could revolve around my singing. I’m currently finishing off the vocals for the album and the singing lessons I had a year ago are finally paying off.

The montage could start with me struggling to hit a note, and getting frustrated, looking up to the sky and screaming “NOOOOOOOOO”. Then the music could kick in (something along the lines of ‘You’re the Best’ from the original Karate Kid film). Over this music I would be shown doing chin ups whilst singing scales, standing in the crane position whilst practicing my breathing, improving my singing posture by some obsure method like tying a zebra to the back of my head to help me keep my chin up. Then the end shot where I’m suddenly singing like Charlotte Church.

Nope. It would still be a crap film.

Oh well. Onto the reason for the title of the post. As I said, my singing lessons are finally paying off. I took a number of things from those lessons… A greater understanding of how sounds are physically produced, a better idea of my strengths and limitations (and how to gear my writing around them), but most of all I took confidence. Lizzie (my singing teacher) simply gave me a lot more confidence in the voice I already had, and gave me the belief that if I practiced I was a decent singer. For that alone, the lessons were worth every penny. Some of the technical stuff she tought me has perhaps not stuck, I’ve found it incredibly hard to change singing habits ingrained over 15 years, but the confidence has stuck (mostly), and for me to no longer be completely riddled with doubt over my singing is just brilliant.

To demonstrate this point, I have recorded an acapella version of a song (a bit like the Housemartins, although not quite as cheerful, hence the slightly obscure post title) and uploaded it to youtube. Just over a year ago I would NEVER have had the confidence to do this.

I know I’m still never going to win x-factor (although I do appear to have the wavy hand motions you need to be succesful), but for the first time ever really, I’m almost comfortable with it.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!

(In case the video doesn’t work, here’s the link… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP9wqV_Dvq4)

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