“Meet in the dining room at 1pm. Bring shoes.” And that was the start of something very special. Actually it started a day or so before.
I didn’t quite know what to expect going to the 2018 Outland sessions, but I knew I wanted to go. For almost a week a group of 20 musos, some of them recording engineers, took over an old cottage hospital on the edge of Pahiatua, a small country town a couple of hours from Wellington. 3 wings, 5 recording studios and spaces, a supermarket and several takeaways in town,
The focus was for people to get together, collaborate, and for each person to create and lead a song drawing in other people who are on hand and all seemed keen to help. Often that means from start to (sometimes a very late) finish. Totally absorbed every minute of the day and so inspiring to see people carrying instruments this way and that to work or jam together almost any time day and night. Energised and chilled at the same moment, with people I had never met before.
At the first gathering where all 20 of us introduced ourselves with video clips etc of each person’s style and what they could bring to other people’s music, I remember Bruce being about tenth and said, “I’m not going to bore you with videos to show what I do. I’m going to do this.” He hopped on the drum kit to beat out some great rhythms in more than one time signature.
When it came to my turn I had no idea what I was going to say, let alone what song I wanted to create. I remember looking up at these amazing musicians and suddenly thinking ‘lets have some fun’. I got everyone making percussive noises or humming, sort of like Bobby McFerrin or Fred Smith. I still had no idea what I was going to do at the event, but when I woke in the (not so) wee small hours (we stay up late, we jam, we drink and chat) the two things sort of came together. A drummer bored with beating out dull 4/4 and being unappreciated goes rogue with 5/4.
I stomped around every piece of floor in every room to find the right sound that was in my head. The sound of around 20 people stamping and clapping together was amazing and captured beautifully. Then the ‘band’ got together, including Bruce of course. I had a chat with him about drumming, just let him talk over coffee, and you’ll find plenty of drum references in the lyrics. Then on to record heaps of vocals and people noises.
It was just such a collaborative effort. I had the feeling that everyone was way better than me, and all the other musos were thinking the same thing about everyone else. The result; the most amazing collaborative week with everyone just pitching in with incredible enthusiasm and skills.
Wow. Just …. wow !
So here’s a little clip of the first, and major, part of Mr 5.
It was released as part of a 3 EP set (each EP collects the songs that go together), and here’s a rather good reveiw of the EP Daylight.
And here we have it. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the finished product – Mr 5.
And for the REALLY curious, here’s the lyrics;
Ready with the skins, and limbered limbs, he strikes a pose.
Where his head is that, it’s just a fact, God only knows.
4 is just so boring, and my beat you’ve been ignoring
My hands are alive, let’s kick it up, let’s try in 5
Says Mr 5
Ready with the sticks, cue the click, there’s one beat more
Dancing on the skins, brush the cym-bals, here’s the score
I’m more than a banker, find the root, and here’s the anchor
Make the songs alive, Starts to drive, from 4 to 5
It’s Mr 5
Let’s kick this off
Here is the hook
Here’s the fills and trims
Yeah, I’ll write the book
just sing it
I’ll just wing it
Ba da da daa ..
Ba da da daa ..
Ba da da paradiddle
Ba da da daa ..
Ba da da ba-dum tish
And if you’ve read this far, might as well do the credits thing;
Mr. 5: NZRI11802160
Nigel Parry: Vocals
Bruce Wenzlick: Drums
Steve Starke: Electric Guitars
Chris Fursdon: Bass
Nigel Parry: Acoustic Guitar
Backing Vocals and noises: Rose Easter, Charlie Phillips, Joe Harrison, Steve Starke, Nigel Parry
Body percussion: The entire OLS 2018 group
Written by Nigel Parry
Instruments recorded by Felix Nesbitt & Jake Booth
Vocals recorded and produced by Andy Woodd
Mixed & mastered by Jake Booth at Mordecai Records