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Debut A Messy Start

Debut A Messy Start

Who: The Mess Hall
Where: The Cambridge Hotel
When: Saturday September 24, 2005

NOT even a case of vertigo or a fire in the studio could stop The Mess Hall from recording their debut album, Notes From a Ceiling. The band's singer, songwriter and guitarist Jed Kurzel was recording his vocals in church steeple in an attempt to achieve a different effect when he looked down and vertigo set it.

Things became even more interesting when Kurzel was visited by a doctor but discovered he was more interested in knowing whether the band was touring with the Big Day Out than curing his ailment.

Not long after this the band ran into trouble again when drummer Cec Condon almost set fire to the studio while trying to light up the barbecue.

Despite a few setbacks the album came together and was released last month.

``We approached the recording of this album as honestly as we could and hope that the final results reflect that when people listen to it, it may surprise people that this is a Mess Hall record, which is what we wanted to do,'' Kurzel said.

One track that may surprise those familiar with the band is the epic Red Eyes and Sunshine which closes the album with an ambient blend of guitar and soft vocals.

But as a whole the album mostly serves up the short and ferocious mix of drums, bass and Kurzel's blistering vocals.

It is a sound that The Mess Hall has created as its signature.

``The writing took about a year,'' Condon said.

``But I think Jed had a lot of those songs for a while.

The actual recording took about two weeks, and the mixing about a week.

``There are a few differences in the way the album was recorded. We used a lot of room sounds, things like that, rather than close mics.

``I used three different drum kits. We really mucked around with it, we got the sound we wanted.'' The Mess Hall have built up a huge live following over the past couple of years sharing stages with the likes of The Strokes, The Von Bondies, You Am I and Dallas Crane. The band is on the road as part of its own headline tour this month and will play the Cambridge Hotel on Saturday night.

Tickets will be available at the door.

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