You may recall our hero has been recording ‘folkie’ tracks to be mimed by actresses for an upcoming episode of Midsomer Murders. He’s also appeared on camera as the village’s ‘wandering minstrel’, learnt a complicated bouzouki song by folk superstar Seth
Scene 4. June 6th. Interior. Village Hall. 10.00am.
Unfortunately, the wrong village hall. I’ve returned to (real village) Sydenham (where we filmed last time). Schoolboy error. ‘Lower Crosby’ (fictional village) has vanished, as if it had never been. Sydenham has been restored to its bucolic glory. Turns out that I should be in Nettlebed, apparently. Nettlebed is 15 miles away. I burn rubber and arrive late, but unnoticed.
I hang about all morning drinking coffee and chatting to Jim (the producer) while waiting for Lucie’s scene and my indispensable contribution to its authenticity (actress Lucie is miming to a piece I played, Midsomer Ballad). I look forward to a reprise of BMW limo-ness and lunch. This is the life. Except that Renny (the director) has decided that our pristine recording of the Midsomer Ballad is too long and must be rerecorded. Now. On location. During the lunch hour. “I know I told you that you were here today only as a consultant, but have you brought your guitars?”
Indeed I have. I’m not that dim and I got the hang of this filming malarkey a long time ago. We record a short version of Seth’s ‘bouzouki’ tune. We eat an even shorter lunch. We return. The new recording is promptly binned and an edited version of the original studio mix is substituted. They film Lucie’s scene a lot. Her dainty hands mimic my playing very well. She can play a bit, so it helps. Not that it matters. No male under the age of 90 will be watching her hands.
I know I told you that you were here today only as a consultant, but have you brought your guitars?
My job seems to consist entirely of telling her that she’s doing brilliantly in between every take. Which she is.
Finally, I seem to have discovered my vocation in life. I think I could do this for a living. Amazingly, after many takes, Lucie tires, forgets the odd line or two and exudes less on-screen energy. The girl is human after all. I am promptly struck off as a consultant. The day ends. I drive home. Or I mime driving home to a click track while two cameras disguised as cars film me along a track camouflaged as the M40. I can’t tell any more. Mitch Dalton has enjoyed a varied career as a studio guitarist. His credits include dates with jazz artists such as Herbie Hancock and Melody Gardot, Pop hits with Robbie Williams, Monty Python and Van Morrison, The James Bond movies, TV shows and commercials. Many of his performances have been deemed adequate. Meet Mitch Dalton And The Studio Kings is available on Regius Records.