4. Cappuccino Crowd

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Greg: Mike developed the whole ragtime thing, and I massaged the instrumental breaks from Mike’s main idea. This is Mike’s style at its strongest. My wife and one of her friends both complained bitterly that one of the phrases got on their nerves. Mike and I thought “Lattes and canapes, the catering is sound” sounded precisely supercilious, but hey, married life demands a few strategic surrenders and I changed the last phrase to “nothing ordinary is allowed”. Mike works wonders with a mouthful of syllables – this must be the most wordheavy song on the album. Although I wrote the lyrics, I can barely get through it without frothing at the mouth and gasping for air. When listening to this track it also strikes me that, although we have very similar fingerpicking styles, they are different enough so they complement each other as we tend to accentuate different notes and different beats. Don’t forget we played this right through on guitars in one pass (without click tracks) before Mike sang solo. After listening to the first mastered CD a dozen or so times, there were slight clashes in guitar tempos in the first verse and break that started to get on my nerves. Rather than replay these parts (and perhaps stuff up somewhere else), and we didn’t have the luxury of re-recording, I simply dropped my guitar from the mix and reintroduced it midway through verse two. I also got Adrian to raise the levels on the rag breaks to make them stand out like mini-choruses. It’s amazing what a simple change in the mix can do to improving the overall effect of a song. Mike sings “people waiting at the tables” (meaning the staff ) although the original lyric was “for” - I had visualised the clients queuing just like they do to get into a popular nightclub. Such a simple word changes the intended meaning in any song. The fourth verse was added after the 9/11 attacks. It seemed so incongruous being out having coffee straight after being bombarded with those awful scenes and, we all expected more planes to be plummetting from the skies.


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