Man at the Gig

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Bill Saunders

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« on: July 23, 2020, 03:26:28 PM »
Here’s a new song for you, along with a video:

If you prefer audio only:

Been a while since I posted – forgotten how scary this feels! Rather like visiting a dentist, it’s worse if you haven’t been for a while...

I will dip into what you have all been doing now, and give some feedback.

Best wishes to all

Winter in Madrid, the man at the gig counting down his working days
Regaling stories of bundled regrets, a lifetime’s malaise
 A banker of decades standing, release in his creative writing         
Took 20 years, 800 pages, his friends didn’t read it and the irony is biting

The man at the gig, he loves the band, but
Just 10 minutes in he offers his right hand, he says     
“It’s time to go, I’ve seen it all before, and the singer he can’t sing anymore”   
And like the Man in the Restaurant, the Man at the Gig,
Is losing his internal fight, he turns around and disappears into the night

37 years, she’s been the only one but she hates his new tattoos
He’s given his all, always been there for them, but should he twist now and risk losing it all
Should he hide in his music, his books and allotment, or get lost in the sequel
Will it be enough in the golden years, is he equal to what lies ahead?


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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 04:11:51 PM »
Super intro and overall great production. Love the use of synths / choir like backing.

I think many on the forum will identify with the theme of the lyrics!



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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 01:09:12 AM »
Such a good song 8) loved the synths, the  choirs and the semi narrative vocal....just thought the snare was a bit upfront compared to the rest of the drums...other than that.. super work. 8)


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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 03:26:36 AM »
Positively epic!

Loved the dynamic production. Great video work as well.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child



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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 05:22:58 PM »
Funny, I was reading about Santa Pola on Thursday (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/23/roman-amphoras-discovered-in-frozen-seafood-shop-in-spain) and along comes this (set in Madrid though!).

From the off we know this is going to be interesting - the ghostly chimes and churchy swells, really atmospheric and foreboding.

Great melodies, great solos. Great production all round.

But the (superbly told) story is a real punch in the gut. Brilliant and sad details really take us there. I think personally he can have it all, but it's never simple and the internal fight takes us all in different ways.

Fabulous song for your return!


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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 10:16:23 PM »
Hi, loved the dramatic intro and the synth sounds, nice production too. Made me think of the sort of song Mark Almond would sing (but you have a better voice 8)). Nice lyric well delivered!

Nice one!



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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 10:23:18 PM »
This is what you call coming back with a bang, Bill. Well more like a nuclear explosion - what an impactful song!

Nice intro build with the luscious pads, but you wouldn’t know you were about to hear the forthcoming conventionally structured narrative song with all its interesting mult-layerings and dramatic twists and turns. ‘Epic’ has been used above, and I agree with that for this arrangement and production. The chorus is great and the story quite moving, so the epic treatment suits this idea of a lifetime of reflections.

It’s great to hear you writing about later stages in life, something I have done myself, but it seems quite a few older songwriters shy away from giving away their years. Daft really, as there should be more stuff for more mature listeners who still want to hear a cool song that they can relate too. I very much related to this one. So welcome back!   ;)


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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 07:56:35 PM »
Hi Bill
A very accomplished track, beautifully played,produced and arranged.Very interesting and brave lyrics; a sad tale of one mans angst ridden mid to late life crisis.Great semi spoken vocal It reminded me of a 21st C Jacques Brel, I liked it a lot.


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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2020, 08:46:54 PM »
Great intro and beautifully put together arrangement. This is a complex song completely free of the lyrical cliches many of us cling crutch-like to. Some lovely lines which conjure up some great images. I can't make any suggestions as you are clearly operating a plain of musical ability far above my own.
Very accomplished and a great comeback track.


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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2020, 02:02:42 AM »
I was sure I'd reviewed this but it would appear not... A very interesting lyric - you paint a great story and I can feel the dilemma he faces.. I want to know what decision he took in the end! Love the "tattoos" line...  All in all great production - written, played, arranged so well..

I really really enjoyed this!



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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2020, 02:11:51 PM »
Hi Bill - Great to see you around these parts again. Love the dramatic introduction, in fact the who;e thing is pretty dramatic. Great use of synths and vocals sounding of top form. Nice touch to drop down to acoustic / drums in the second verse. Lots of use of light and shade. A quality comeback indeed  :)

Bill Saunders

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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 04:48:12 PM »
Thank you all for taking the time to listen, it really is much appreciated - I cannot believe the overall quality of the songs folk are coming up with here. Having had a break, I can confirm - it is higher than ever!

@pompeyjazz you, and a few others have mentioned the synths - do you know they are totally free to anyone who has an iPad - the synths are all included in the free GarageBand app. Still used my desktop DAW (Studio One), but with a simple £5 Y-cable, it's easy to get those sounds from the iPad into your normal audio interface.

@MonnoDB I would like to know which decision he took - we may never know I am afraid! The unanswered questions serve the song I guess

@montydog such praise coming from a talented artist such as yourself is truly humbling. You make top notch music yourself Sir!

@Grubstar I had to look up Jacques Brel - wow! and thank you

@MichaelA Writing about later life - now that's a gap in the market possibly! It makes sense to me to write about something I can relate to - not much point in pretending I'm 25 anymore eh?! Thank you for your very kind encouragement.

@Jamie Not been compared to Marc Almond before, but I will happily take it, cheers

@adamfarr Cheers Adam, nice to be back

@Unclenny Thanks for mentioning the video - I only got Adobe Premier Elements a week earlier and it probably shows! BUT - for anyone who uses a DAW, the learning curve is very shallow, and it was great fun to make.

@shadowfax Thanks for your kind words and careful listening - I had another listen to the snare. When I mixed the drums, I had added a bit of EQ to the snare, dipping some mid-lows and raising the mid-highs slightly. It gives it a bit of bite which I felt was missing before when it was a bit muddy and lost.

@kevysc Much appreciated, thank you for listening
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 04:49:53 PM by Bill Saunders »


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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2020, 03:13:23 AM »
Hi Bill...

This is great! Caught a couple of listens today whilst driving around...really enjoyed it. Vocal was a highlight for me especially with it delivering such a great and intriguing lyric. Nice guitars too. I thought I'd maybe pull a few of the cymbal crashes out as they got a tiny bit intrusive here and there? Not a big deal at all...just a thought.

Keys underpin it all very nicely and I really liked the way it builds up to that crescendo.

Great to hear some new stuff from you!


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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2020, 12:36:14 AM »
@Bill Saunders

The introduction is ethereal but impressive and when your voice appears the story is outlined.
Good song, good arrangement and good production.
There are very interesting lines on your lyric
I did not know that to live we had to die so many times
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