December 06, 2019, 11:49:24 PM

Author Topic:  1973 [charlie]  (Read 165 times)

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Oliver Rigby [ Artist ]
71 Posts  •  21  •  played by gage
1973 [charlie]
« on: November 24, 2019, 03:36:16 AM »
Being in a studio was familiar. Familiar in the same way that it made Oliver feel like he was on another planet. He landed on his dream so young that he had time to run through every scenario like a movie in his mind. This particular moment had been cast so many times, in so many different settings, a puzzle board of various people and places that he thought would change his life, that it left him feeling otherworldy to be there, in the flesh. This wasn't what he had expected. It wasn't as glamorous. It was work. In the best kind of way.

The band had come together slowly. He'd convinced George and Leona, but they were still short a bassist. The role was harder than he thought it would be to fill, with no one in particular quite filling the void. He hated to be so picky, it felt such a selfish luxury, but he knew what he wanted from the sound, from the energy. And he hadn't found it yet.

In the meantime, he was working in the studio to lay down vocals on the songs he already had written before signing with the label. Night after night, they were here, clawing through songs, tearing them apart to build them back up again. There were growing pains at first, of course, but Oliver had really started to get into his comfort zone.

On this particular night, it was just Henry, the wizard from the label who was producing the record, and Oliver. They were working through a ballad that had come to life late one lazy morning. It was everything that he knew would pull a record together. It was drawn out, painfully so, and filled to the brim with everything that he had to give. They both knew they had stumbled upon the single, the one that really had it, but Oliver was struck, paralyzed even, by the fact that it needed to be perfect.

Frustrated, tired, he stepped outside of the recording room. He'd gone back and forth on the cadence of the bridge to the chorus so many times that he couldn't see straight. "Don't you think, though?" He referred to the rambling thoughts he had in the booth before singing through at an increased tempo, both hands raised in the air as if he was playing the piano to the tune. "Just that bit higher," He pushed his voice at the word he wanted to emphasize but stopped abruptly when he saw Henry glance to the corner of the room furtively and out of his own control.

Oliver’s grin faltered. He straightened up under the gaze of Charlie Baker.

Charlie god damn Baker had sat there and endured Oliver going off another one of his musical tangents, exploring every what if, every lyric tweak and every change of tune, change of pace.

“Sorry, did you..." He cast a glance at Henry nervously. "... need this space?  He pushed waves of hair from his forehead as everything came crashing down. He'd been living in this fantasy for so many sleepless nights that he almost forgot who he was. “Oliver, “ He paused, taking a half step forward to extend his hand. "Rigby," He stopped just short of saying 'the one sleeping with your best friend' as he finally got a good look at Charlie. Did he always look this tired? He'd have to ask Liam.

"Nice shirt," He couldn't stop himself. The Smiths were up there on his list. Not something every wizard appreciated.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 03:37:08 AM by Gage »

Charlie Baker [ Artist ]
518 Posts  •  27  •  babes & batmobiles  •  played by laura
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 04:48:40 AM »
The label had not been exactly impressed, but it was done now; Kate’s resignation was sealed and they would get a new manager in the coming weeks – someone the label would be supplying, rather than allowing the band to recruit like the last time. He supposed that was only fair, given what a stellar job they’d done so far – Liam, Kate – but perhaps less fair on Sam, who’d had no real input on either of them. It was also, in hindsight, unfair on Liam and Kate. Liam had done a boss job up until things had started really taking off and he’d had too much to juggle. Kate had never stopped doing a good job, Charlie had fucked that up all on his own.

That done – rather cloak and dagger, he’d been asked to come in at night, to avoid further leaks to the likes of Witch Weekly – Charlie was in no great hurry to head back to his room so he thought he might linger, see if it would help stir anything in him. He wasn’t sure what that train of thought said about his priorities. He made himself a cup of tea (wisely, there were no beers or other alcohol within easy access) and headed down to the studios. Only one light was on, indicating the room was in use – coincidentally, the room he and the boys had used to record the last album.

Like he owned the place, Charlie entered the control room silently, nodding in greeting at Henry. He took a seat in the back, waited until the kid in the booth started singing before asking “Who is ‘e?” The man at the controls didn’t turn to look at him. Oliver Rigby, new signing. Charlie’s eyes went round in surprise. Oliver – as in, Liam’s Oliver? He sat a little further forward in his seat, sipping at his tea as Oliver – it had to be him – ran through his vocals. Then again. And again.

Charlie relaxed back, listening attentively with his ankle crossed over his knee. He was good – he could see why Liam had claimed he had talent. Charlie suddenly found himself very grateful that Sam and Liam hadn’t been looking to replace him. Charlie was confident in his lyricism, getting more confident in his vocal ability – he’d pushed himself a little further on a few of their later tracks – but he’d started out just sort of shouting into the microphone, this was different. He almost sounded effortless, except when he was trying to hard – Charlie knew from experience.

Oliver set his headphones down and made his way to the control room; Charlie didn’t make any effort to leave. He kept still and silent until Oliver noticed him – or was forced to, rather. “Nah, just being a pest,” he smirked. He remained seated, taking Oliver’s hand and shaking it firmly. “Charlie,” he replied, “Baker.” He glanced down at his chosen attire for the day, dark jeans and muggle band shirt – nothing unusual for him – then back up at Oliver. “You know ‘em?” he asked, mildly impressed.

There was a brief pause. Charlie swirled his tea. “That second run through,” he said, revealing just how long he’d been sat, cloaked in the darkness offered by the control room, “your voice sounded a little more… raw.” He wet his lips, wary of giving any sort of advice but unwilling to help himself. “If it feels raw, sing it raw. Don’t try and polish it or you’ll lose it.” He assumed Oliver knew was 'it' was.

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Oliver Rigby [ Artist ]
71 Posts  •  21  •  played by gage
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 08:15:24 AM »
After shaking Charlie's hand, Oliver took a step back. He wished he had something else to keep his hands busy with but ended up dropping them into the front pockets of his jeans. There was nothing confronting about their conversation thus far, nothing too out of the ordinary, yet it still left Ollie feeling off-kilter.  Like the room was just a fraction sideways. He'd heard so much about the man — from Liam's stories, and Simone's rambling — that he'd become a mythical creature in his mind. Charlie Baker was someone that existed entirely of the stories about him.

"Na, just like the design," He couldn't stop the joke before it came out and immediately his face flushed despite the grin tugging at either corner of his lips. Oliver reached for the half-full, warm, bottle of beer he'd left at the mixing board to take a mouthful, shrugging his shoulders. "I like The Smith's," He finally spoke up again to clarify, thankful for Henry's silent, yet resilient, and comforting presence to his right. "The Queen is Dead has got to be one of the best records..." He carried off dreamily.

The advice from Charlie was just as he expected it might be. Smart, and concise, and intangible. Oliver processed it, trying to recall the exact moment he was referring as it hit him just how long the man had been sitting in on the session. Another wave of embarrassment washed over him. What else had he done within that time? Enough for Charlie to tell the label to cull him before they were in too deep? There was probably a clause in the contract he skimmed over about that. He swallowed on his now dry mouth before taking another dissatisfying drink of his beer.

"It's hard not to," Oliver confessed as his shoulders dropped, heavy with the weight of his newfound pressure. Not polish it, that is. "There's just..." He chewed at the side of his lip in tought, green eyes studying the dark wool-like ceiling. His attempt to explain his thoughts was harder than he imagined. "It's hard to bring back down to something raw," He reused Charlie's word choice. "How do you —" Oliver ventured, now half-sitting against the board. "How do you do that?" He continued with the loaded question.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 09:03:20 AM by Gage »

Charlie Baker [ Artist ]
518 Posts  •  27  •  babes & batmobiles  •  played by laura
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 08:21:46 PM »
Charlie stared for a second, nonplussed, that Liam could be remotely interested in someone who liked t-shirts for the design (above and beyond the fact that he was still trying to reconcile Liam the womaniser with Liam who bummed other men -- this man, in particular). Thankfully Oliver rescued his image -- or Charlie’s image of him at least -- when he named an actual album by the band. Charlie’s brow rose, a little more impressed by his knowledge -- not bad. He nodded. “More of a Strangeways fan myself,” he replied before taking another sip of his tea.

He continued to gaze up at Oliver. How old was this kid? Charlie had not yet considered himself old -- apart from when his age was being compared to Kate’s. Oliver had the same fresh-faced, youthful glow about him that Kate had. Had, before Charlie had stepped in and sucked the life out of her. He rubbed at his eyes, focused back on the younger man in front of him. Henry was still lurking in the corner, Charlie tilted his head at the producer and nodded in the direction of the door -- a polite fuck off please, mate. Henry got to his feet and announced his desire for ‘a piss and a brew’, then left them to it.

“That’s the secret,” he revealed as the door closed. “Not overcomplicating things.” Easy to say, much harder to do. “You focus too much on perfecting every detail and it’ll come out sounding too clean, robotic.” He paused, wondering if Oliver would know what he meant by robotic -- he didn’t know how well versed the other man was in muggle terminology, but he knew muggle bands so he maybe he’d get it. “You wrote this because it means something to you, right?” He got up from his seat and finished his tea, eyes closed, head back. When he looked at Oliver again from this new, closer angle he was surprised to find he was taller than he’d thought.

He stared again, longer this time, at the man one of his best mates was shagging. He cleared his throat and averted his gaze to set his empty mug down. “Think about why you wrote it when you’re singing, rather than focusing on hitting every note perfectly.” There were pros and cons to that method he supposed; how would he perform next time he had to sing any of the tracks he’d written about Kate? Last time they’d broken up he’d forgotten the words halfway through the set -- though he liked to blame that on the booze as much as his heartbreak.

He moved to the panel and touched his fingertips to some of the sliders. “How you finding it all?” he asked, glancing around the booth and then back at Oliver. He couldn’t imagine doing this alone, without Sam and Liam by his side -- especially not when starting out.

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Oliver Rigby [ Artist ]
71 Posts  •  21  •  played by gage
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2019, 07:39:54 AM »
More of Strangeways fan. Of course he was. Oliver half nodded, half shrugged. He thought of opening his mouth, and started to, but stopped just short of speaking. There were a dozen reasons that he could make the case for the album — assumedly so would Charlie — so he decided to let it be.

Green eyes flicked back to Henry at the sudden announcement. Since when did he feel the need to share his every movement? Oliver's eyes narrowed. He'd only just missed the clue from Charlie. He was too busy studying his shirt — trying to put an age to the level of fade in the cotton fabric that hung over him.

It dawned on Ollie then that Henry walking out left only him, with Charlie Baker, in a recording studio. His heart picked up in his chest. He was confident in the work so far, even venturing on proud, but not so much that he felt prepared to share with an international rockstar. Somewhere, he'd forgotten that Liam, too, fit nicely into that box. What he wouldn't give for him to come crashing through that door about now.

"Right," Oliver thought through each of the words as Charlie spoke them. Soaked them in. Aware of the now more pointed gaze at him, he sat back against the ledge of the soundboard with his arms tucked over his chest. He chewed on the side of his mouth. It all seemed so simple coming from him. As if it were just that easy.

His next question tied nicely into the feeling that came to mind when confronted with the foregoing of perfection. "Honestly," He caught the wizards eye as a grin spread over his lips. "I love it," His shoulders dropped as if he'd just let go of some big secret. "Don't get me wrong —" He paused, eyes shooting to the ceiling. "— it's pressure," He began wistfully. "But in a good way?" He was certain he wasn't making sense.

“What are - “ He stopped short of asking the original question that came to mind. What was Charlie Baker doing here in the middle of the night? Aside from having tea and listening to Oliver record in secrecy.

The Divorce. Of course. How thick could he be? For all Ollie knew, the poor bloke was sleeping here on the couch. He tried to hide any hint of knowing from his face and quickly backtracked. "Were you, er, recording tonight?" He finished off what was left of his warm bar, thankful for something to close his damn mouth. He knew they weren't.


Charlie Baker [ Artist ]
518 Posts  •  27  •  babes & batmobiles  •  played by laura
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 09:12:43 PM »
Right. Charlie’s mouth twitched up into a smile before he wiped the expression from his face. Who was he? Dishing out fucking guidance like he was some messiah of musicianship. He had two albums under his belt, he was nobody compared to the likes of-- well, Morrissey and Marr, for a start. He chewed on the inside of his cheek, suddenly feeling like a bit of a twat for thinking he had any authority to tell anyone anything. Whatever, wasn’t like he wasn’t known for being an egotistical prat.

Charlie had only been standing for a minute, maybe, but he found himself gravitating to the chair Henry had recently vacated. He sat, grimaced at the warm feeling under his arse, scratched at his ear. “Yeah?” He smiled again; the younger man’s enthusiasm was infectious -- a smile counted as enthusiasm from Charlie. “Yeah, it is,” he conceded. It was many other things, too, but there was always that pressure looming overhead -- whether it was in the studio, on stage, or -- as Charlie had discovered more recently -- at home.

The first album had been breezy, almost, because there had been no expectations other than those they’d put on themselves. The second, Charlie had still been riding high on the response to the first. Their American stint and subsequent hiatus had provided plenty of time and muse to go towards that. The war had, in what was perhaps an inappropriate way, been a blessing for them. This time around it was all seeming that bit more impossible. He tapped his fingertips along the control panel. “Don’t let it get to you, if you can.”

He glanced up at Oliver. What are— It occurred to Charlie at this point that he had no idea how much or how little Liam was divulging to his boyfriend (he was his boyfriend, wasn’t he? Maybe Liam would prefer the term ‘partner’, he’d have to ask next time he saw him). How much did Oliver know about the band dynamics, about Charlie -- about his divorce? Oliver was either blissfully unaware or very good at being polite, because he didn't bring it up. Yet, Charlie supposed.

“No,” He replied honestly. Charlie licked his lips slowly, weighing up his options; he supposed even if this did get back to Liam he didn’t really care -- serve him right, or something. “That pressure,” he started,  frowning softly and not looking Oliver in the eye, “it doesn’t go away. At least, it hasn’t for me.” He smiled ruefully. “Trying to get some....” he waved his hand around absently, “spark.” Again, his priorities -- as always -- were in spectacular order. "Didn't mean to interrupt," he added as an afterthought, looking up at him. "S'good though, what you've got. Won't mind if I use some of it, would you?" he asked seriously.

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Oliver Rigby [ Artist ]
71 Posts  •  21  •  played by gage
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 01:02:42 AM »
Oliver studied the man. Maybe he was always this brooding—frontmen seemed to perpetually have that going on—but it was clear there was more to it than that. And it wasn't just because he knew that there was, either. Hell, half the wizarding world knew. You couldn't go five steps without seeing his face on the front of the papers, smiling happily next to his once wife accompanied by a ridiculous and far-too-serious headline.

Charlie's face was pained as he absently toyed with the soundboard before, don’t let it get to you, if you can. Oliver couldn't help but think that somewhere along the way that he hadn't heeded his own warning. His mouth closed to a straight line, then nodded. He certainly didn't plan to.

The pressure the wizard spoke of was a kind of pressure that Oliver couldn't exactly relate to, he imagined. Not yet, anyway. This was just the start for him, and he wasn't even sure that he would make it anywhere beyond here. Would he ever get to the point where he caught a glimpse at the weight of responsibility that he imagined all of Banshee carried? It seemed as unlikely as being here at all.

"That's alright, " Oliver reassured, his voice lazy and slow with thought. There was a part of him that wanted to get back into the booth now, lit with the fire of proving something to this person he'd only just met. As Charlie continued, though, his face fell. Use some of it. Use some of what? Of his music? Oliver's cheeks went hot at the realization. He cast his eyes nervously to his shoes.

"I—" He began, struggled, and paused to suck in a deep breath of air. He knew he should have read the fine print of the contract.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 01:07:36 AM by Gage »

Charlie Baker [ Artist ]
518 Posts  •  27  •  babes & batmobiles  •  played by laura
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 02:45:20 AM »
Oliver didn’t verbally respond, and Charlie took that to be wise rather than rude -- it would be easy to brush off the mention of any pressure, foolishly confident in his ability, as Charlie had done in the past (and now lived to regret it). Gracefully accepting his (unwarranted) advice bode well for the younger man -- maybe he would keep a level head on his shoulders through all of this, even with Liam leading the way.

Charlie smiled, finding himself pleasantly surprised by Oliver’s politeness. Liam wasn’t a complete twat (depending on who you asked), but Charlie couldn’t ever remember him being described as ‘polite’ -- so the fact he was hooking up with someone so… uncorrupted, for want of a better word, was somewhat startling. Then again, hadn’t he spent the last three years with Kate? Maybe it was a case of opposites attract. Charlie only hoped it didn’t nosedive the way his own relationship had.

He watched Oliver’s face fall and fought to keep his own expression neutral. Charlie broke early, the guilt overcoming his desire to mess with the younger man;  “Mate, I’m just having you on,” he grinned. “Christ,” he ran a hand back through his hair and let out a short bark of a laugh -- a rare thing lately. He gazed up at Oliver for a moment, feeling only a little bit bad for toying with him. The Yorkshireman got to his feet and clapped the other man on the shoulder, nodding at the empty beer bottle in his hand. “Come on, let’s get a drink. Promise not to steal any of your tunes,” he teased, “don’t think I can hit the high notes anyway.”
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 02:47:39 AM by Laura »

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Oliver Rigby [ Artist ]
71 Posts  •  21  •  played by gage
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 07:05:49 AM »
It took Ollie a moment to process what had happened. Charlie was having him on, in his words. It had been a joke. Of course it had, he realized, with a nominal roll of his eyes, mouth pulled into an unwilling grin. Surely Bloody Skeeter would have happily dredged up this little tidbit of information — that Banshee relied on unsuspecting ghostwriters — before now, if that were the case.

"Merlin's sake," Oliver let out a sigh as he leaned back against the soundboard. Were all new recruits treated to this same welcome, he wondered mid-scene. He hoped not. But then again, there was something flattering about being in on it at all. His mind flickered to the dark corner where he'd hidden the thought that had plagued him ever since Liam had innocently mentioned his passing concern regarding what people would make of them. Of him. Was he here because of who he was shagging? And thus, would Charlie Baker be standing here if he wasn't?

A hand on his shoulder snapped Ollie back to the present, he pulled a smile despite the disapproving shake of his head. "Right, need that drink now," He hummed, unable to quite commit to the act. Despite himself, he was entertained. Just a moment before the pair apparated, he laughed. "Reckon not. I heard that Christmas song..." His Scottish drawl lingered a moment before they were off with a soft pop.

They arrived in a dim-lit bar, florescent with color, and positively buzzing with energy. Immediately, a server approached them and eagerly showed them in the direction of the bar. Ollie couldn't help but notice the turn of heads as they made their way through the crowd. That was new. With Liam, they stuck to places like Ray's, where even if someone did know who you were, they certainly did not give a shit.

"Frida's," He read the neon sign behind the bar fondly as he pulled out the barstool. "Liam's mentioned it," Oliver couldn't help himself but bring him up. These days it felt like any excuse to was a good enough one. The tacos, he recalled. Get the tacos. Swiftly changing the subject, he carried on. "That happen everywhere?" He nodded back to the crowd, casting a furtive glance at a few of whom were still trying desperately to make it look like they weren't openly gawking. He'd like to think he'd have never been that obvious, but that wasn't true.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 07:06:31 AM by Gage »

Charlie Baker [ Artist ]
518 Posts  •  27  •  babes & batmobiles  •  played by laura
Re: 1973 [charlie]
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 01:15:26 AM »
Charlie grinned, the expression feeling a little foreign lately -- he quelled the voice in his head that told him he wasn’t allowed to be happy, even fleetingly, in the midst of his quarter-life crisis. “You and me both, mate.” He released Oliver’s shoulder from his grip and raised an eyebrow at him. “Alright, Celestina,” he said mockingly, amused and impressed that the younger man was bold enough to comment on his vocal ability after knowing him for a grand total of five minutes.

They arrived at Frida’s, the lights already low to suit the late hour, tables bustling with patrons and the air thick with the sound of upbeat music and smell of flavourful food. Charlie nodded in greeting to the server who led them in further, Oliver trailing behind him.

Liam’s mentioned it. Charlie wet his lips, hesitating before sitting at the bar with Oliver. He usually preferred a booth or at the very least a table -- somewhere less on display. He glanced around and met several pairs of eyes on his way around the room before he looked back at Oliver. “They make a good margarita,” Charlie reasoned, raising his hand at the barstaff to draw their attention.

“Hm?” Charlie looked at Oliver, caught his nod at the small sea of people pretending to be more interested in their meals than the two newcomers at the bar. “Oh.” He shrugged. “Not everywhere, not nowhere.” It was probably worse now than it had been in recent memory. Then again, Charlie hadn’t been going out as much over the past couple of years as he was now. If he were smarter he’d lay low, wait for the buzz to die down -- but if people were going to talk about him anyway he didn’t see the point in depriving himself of a night out.

“Thought Liam might’ve warned you about that,” he said, testing the waters by bringing up his bandmate. Charlie still didn’t know what exactly the two men were to each other -- friends with benefits or was it more? Liam had never done more, as far as Charlie knew, but he’d also never been fucking men -- as far as he knew.

A woman from behind the bar appeared. “What do you want? My round,” Charlie offered. “Carafe of the pomegranate please, love.” he ordered for himself.

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