SES­SION SHENANI­GANS

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

Guitar Techniques - - Intro -

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.

Mitch Dal­ton’s

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