The Brute Chorus Live Album Recording @ The Roundhouse, London

April 18, 2009 by  

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Recording an album can be a lengthy and expensive task. Just Look at the millions wasted by record companies throughout the years. It took 13 million dollars and 14 years for the mediocre return of Axl Rose to come to light, and an astounding 30 million dollars was spent on Michael Jackson’s album Invincible. Production costs aside, for any new band it’s always going to be difficult to find the time between gigging to actually make it into the studio. So in these time of economic gloom why bother trying to sell yourself to the record label execs in the hope of getting an advance of a few thousand, just so you can get a decent set of songs on your MySpace?

This is by no means a new concept. Mike Skinner made his name by recording in his bedroom and Women created their Beach Boys do indie sound, by purposely recording at home on old cassette players. So what else is left that will save the pounds and get you noticed? Simple turn your recording sessions into gigs. The mere suggestion of recording live would have most bands running for the hills. Could you imagine the look on the Klaxons faces if their record executives suggested it to them? However, not all bands need a year to learn an album they’ve already recorded. If your live show is tight enough then there shouldn’t be any problem, but how many bands can boast that? Far too often I find myself at a festival waiting to watch the latest indie darlings, who are set to change the face of music, yet when they get to the stage they can barely play – anyone who saw Black Kids shambolic set at Glastonbury last year or even the Klaxons the year before will know what I’m on about.

So maybe it should be mandatory for all bands should record live and without overdubs. Well as idealistic as this might sound, it is already taking place, in front of an audience! The Brute Chorus are so confident in their live show, that they claim they’re able to record their debut album live, in one take and in front of an audience. Impossible you may think, but to be fair if a band is good enough live it shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. Inside the Roundhouse’s makeshift Dr Martins Freedom studio, they performed their album in front of two hundred fans and recorded it in one take. I know what you’re thinking; recording sessions can be tedious to say the least, therefore the prospect of watching four guys making sure they hit every note doesn’t sound like the most exciting gig in the world. Well of course, but that will always depend on the band.

The Brute Chorus are one of those bands whose reputations live precede them, so as they worked their way through the surf pop of ‘Hercules’ and latest single ‘She Was Always Cool’, with their usual zeal and fervour, you soon forgot that it was in fact a studio session. I’m sure there will be a few overdubs and hours spent on mixing the record, but from what I can tell the album sounds like it will have journalists and fans falling over themselves to get hold of a copy. With so many bands complaining, they can’t transfer the energy of their live performances onto record, I think The Brute Chorus have clearly found the answer.

By Chris Cummins


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