4. Cappuccino Crowd

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I think we all view ‘The Café’ as a great escape from life's pressures. The song was written in a few weeks in 2001, with the fourth verse being added just after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. Since then the coffee culture has really exploded in Australia. My own tipple is a Flat White (hence my recently named album), but "cappuccino" is the universal metaphor for the cafe vibe. While I was re-imagining this track, I spoke with Mike, my co-creator/co-performer from this 2002 album. It was a tough journey trying to make it sound 'different' from the original due to the then simple guitars + voice, and 4 identical verses with no chorus. But it finally took on its own character when the whistling riff and accordion were added (which reminds me a little of 10CC's 'One Night in Paris'). For the start I imagined a melancholy busker being brightened by getting a few coins – perhaps for a coffee later. The original music arrangement was one voice plus two guitars. The current version adds: • a prologue • accordion and whistling • percussion • bass and vocal harmonies • two guitars, one picked, the other strummed • final verse in the minor key • tempo changes I experienced a massive roadblock in the early days. After mapping out the timeline with the tempo change, things would constantly fall apart when recording with the downbeat ‘drifting’. I finally discovered the trip wire … one of the bars in every section was half the length of the other bars! E.g. “To get those grey cells circ-er-ling round” … instead of being three bars of 4 beats, it actually is 4, 2, 4. Quite unintentional when we wrote it, and natural to play/sing, computers require explicit guidance or else you end up with a jumble.

 


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