Tales Of A Zoom H4n – Liz Frencham & Pete Fidler

Photo By Jools Thatcher
Photo By Jools Thatcher

Back in Early October My Friend Ian (MFI) scored a gig at the Clifton Hill Hotel, he was performing as a duo with Ed Bates.  BUT this isn’t about him (soon, soon my dark pet) this is about Liz Frencham & Pete Fidler.

All I can say is Wow, I remember hearing Liz play in Jigzag up at The National festival a couple of years back and noting at the time, what a cool bassist she was.  Peter Fiddler? I honestly can’t remember hearing before (and you watch – all these people will pop up and tell me all the gigs he was at and bands he played in) – I can tell you I wont be forgetting him in a hurry.

As a duo they put on a wonderful bracket, had a lot of fun (so did I), managed to showcase just how good they were (without looking like it)

I have picked out two tracks that I have had on my MP3 player since the gig.

First up is a song by Liz called All The Way Home, it’s a ripper
[audio:AllTheWayHome.mp3]

This one made me sit up and take notice, this was where they had settled down and were comfortable with the stage, the sound and the audience. When Liz and Pete hit the chorus I just knew that this was going to be a good night.

They followed that with one of Pete’s instrumentals called “Bell Street Blues“, I left his intro to the track on the recording.
[audio:BellStreetBlues.mp3]

Liz mentioned that they are two members of a trio called “Jimmy The Fish” and according to her recent tweets, they have just finished a recording – seriously looking forward to that.

If you get a chance to see Liz or Pete play in any combination  don’t pass it up. Especially Liz –  good bass players are rare, interesting ones are very rare.

ZoomH4nBoring Tech Stuff:
The Zoom H4n recorded in Stereo @ 44.1kHz/16 bit. It was sitting in a pocket on my messenger bag and just pointed at the performers. We were about 3.5m back from the stage. The room is a long skinny room with the PA at each end of the long wall.

The audio recording was edited in Sound Forge and all I did was cut out below 30Hz.

Leave Our Gigs Alone

Enda Kenny and Ian Bland
Enda Kenny and Ian Bland (photo by Jools Thatcher)

Jools and I went to see Ian and The Lamington Drive Orchestra (and yes this is the infamous MFI Ian for those of you who came in late). Needless to say I  had my bag of toys with us and for once all our tech worked.

This is one of those priceless moments where you get to capture a performance that while it was not one of  the performers best it WAS one of the highlights of the night.

Enda Kenny joined Ian and The  Lamington Drive Orchestra on stage for a song that had been written in response to some really really really stupid Victorian Govt. legislation that requires music venues to have security guards (mainly I suspect so that all the small venues will close down and their mates at the casino will be the last venue standing – but that would be me  – I may be cynical but it doesn’t mean I’m wrong – I digress)

So here it is, rough around the edges,  a PA that was struggling to keep up,  a song that had never been rehearsed before and so far from perfect that there is a gap bigger than the governments credibility on defending the arts, the musicians and the communities who are lucky enough to still enjoy the pleasure of a night down the local.

And for all it’s imperfections I love it.

Leave Our Gigs Alone [audio:LeaveOurGigsAlone.mp3]
You may recognise the tune but it is really totally different to that other song.

Recorded on the ZoomH4n and there will be some other highlights from the gig posted later.