Doug Melbourne's 'The Lamb Diaries'

Chapter Three

So, we had a line-up and obviously, a set list. The next step was putting together some sort of show.


Rehearsals started in earnest in the back half of 2015 and it was immediately apparent that this was a line-up with great musical potential. Tom and Nick brought with them talent, dedication and a worrying enthusiasm for new gear! Tom's amp had WiFi!

Nick had a set of Moog Taurus 3 bass pedals, pretty much a clone of the original might bass pedals except now with added features such as the ability to arpeggiate! Why you'd want to play automated arpeggios on booming bass notes I'm not sure, unless you were happy to stand on a couple of pedals for ten minutes while they loosened any unwanted fillings, or cured a particularly harrowing bout of constipation.

My keyboard rig also underwent substantial changes from the previous tour. In fact, only my trusty Nord Electro (the big orange/red one which I used for piano and organ emulations) remained. My trusty Roland XP30 finally packed up at Christmas, to be replaced with another Roland, the thoroughly up-to-date FA06. A distant descendant of my old XP, it was possible to download any sound you wanted from Roland's vast online sound libraries and then edit them to your hearts content, so new mellotrons, new RMI pianos and much more besides! The FA06 also has a built in sampler which was extremely useful for triggering specific sounds or effects at crucial moments. Or for triggering completely irrelevant and silly noises. Heh. Heh. Heh. 

My trusty Korg MS2000 (note to self - stop describing all of your keyboards as "Trusty!" - if they were that trusty, why are you replacing them all?) was replaced, initially by a superb Dave Smith Instruments DSI Mopho SE. Dave Smih, for my money the greatest synth builder of all time, had recently returned to constructing analogue synthesisers with the same warmth and punch of those classic instruments of the Seventies. After a good deal of programming I was able to get a sound very close to the original Lamb synth sounds which came from an ARP Prosoloist synth. 

Close... but not identical.

A friend of mine in Finland (Jaoachim Verghese) had an unusual hobby of making synthesisers and had recently constructed a rack mounted emulation of Tony Banks' ARP Prosoloist! I purchased one and then triggered the sounds from the Mopho. Perfection! Not only did it sound indistinguishable from the original synth, but the ability to save certain settings and accessing it from the Mopho's excellent keyboard made it much easier to play than the original instrument. 

With a new mixer and effects unit, I was ready to go with the best sounding rig I'd ever had in ReGenesis!

Similarly, Nige had created a large kit with all manner of weird and wonderful bits, and an electronic percussion pad for things like vibes, glocks and the occasional explosion. 

And Tony had bought new socks!

Rehearsals were lengthy and punctuated by a great deal of biscuit consumption. But slowly, things came together. I felt that we needed to do a couple of warm up gigs in order to bed everything in, and they were duly booked for early March in 2016 - The legendary Half Moon in Putney, and the legendary Robin 2 in Bilston! (Not to self regarding "legendary" - see earlier comment regarding over use of the word "trusty").