Saturday, May 12, 2018

Playing the Tracks.

Today I was out with the gang, The Blue Yellows playing amid the historic railway paraphernalia of Crewe Heritage Centre for Rock and Rails Festival. It was a struggle to get into the set for a while as we had a few sound issues that are sometimes inevitable at such events, but it was a good chance to practice some new songs on those who made it along.

Today we were in traditional 'national dress' The 'knotted hankey' being in jokey support of the UK for tonight's Eurovision Song contest, myself and Dave from the band having appeared in a crazy Eurovision-themed version of The Doorstep Mixtape on the radio, two nights beforehand, with Dave sporting the infamous head-gear.

The BYs Rhythm Section not messing about. Thanks to Tim Lee for the photo.

Don't laugh, you'll all be wearing them by next summer. 
Thanks to Martin Butterworth for this photo!


Thanks to Tim Lee for the photo.


Em somehow managed to look good in hers... not fair!
Thanks to Tim Lee for the photo.


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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Stanzas, Beers and a Song debut.

Chilling out at Alsager Mere, pre-gig.

Some unusual customers awaited my arrival

Copies of Petrol & Matches
A celebration of 10 years of the Words & Music Festival
were on sale too.
26th April, 2018

I've just come back from a lovely evening of poetry & pints at an an amazingly bohemian venue of the all-things weird and wonderful that prevails upstairs at The Lodge, in Alsager.
I enjoyed poems by the many talented local poets who gathered including Phillip Williams, Helen Kay who was on amazing form, and accomplished author Claire Bassi (who also runs the creative writing group and events, Nantwich Speakeasy)


I played, completely acoustically, not even a mic, to a lovely, not to mention talented, audience. Thanks all!
I played;
There She Moves
Valentine's Day (song debut)
Big Low Copper Moon

Galleries
Toast the Night
Watch Out! (or I'll Stick you in my Poem)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Storm of Crows

*14th April, 2018
(*updated 19th April 2018 to include photos & video)
Barney & friends
Just one bit of gorgeous Gordon

Last week I met back up with my very first musical collaborator from my very first band, The Storm Crows.
Barney was the founding member and co-songwriter with me, and after many years we met up recently and slid straight back into the easy jamming/writing mode we always had, as if we'd never stopped playing together. 


I appreciate even more now what a magically effortless this process was, and still is, after working with so many different people over the years. He also came along to last weekend's BYs gig.

Anyway, the jamming had some point to it, not that music-making needs any other point than itself, because I'd been invited to a big party gig of Barney's in his beautiful home village of Gordon in the Scottish Borders.
I was one of many guests, the talent in that room was something else, something special, but it was so great to be back on stage with my fellow Storm Crow for a bit.

We played together on old Storm Crows songs "2 B Loved", that I had written, and one of Barney's, "Gabrielle"... just like old times. After this I played a solo spot where I included a song called "Toast the Night", as it seemed appropriate enough for such a special occasion.

And what a night! Let's not leave it so long before next time!

Inside the lovely B&B

Pedals to the metal


Some gorgeous Gordon surroundings.

There are also a couple of instagram postings on this gig HERE and...  HERE

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Brewing up some new tunes.

Friday, April 6th 2018 (*updated 08/04/18 to include link to live review)

Last night I was out with The Blue Yellows playing long set with new songs. As we have, of late, been focusing on recording, we were under-rehearsed in terms of live performances of new songs and in some cases, any rehearsal at all of some of the longer-standing tunes in the set. Nevertheless, although our set may not have been technically perfect, we were definitely 'in the zone' as far as artistic expression, emotion and spirit are concerned, playing an absolute blinder from what I could tell. The lovely crowd packed into the bijou but gorgeous (with equally gorgeous beers and gins) Offbeat Brewery.
I dedicated a couple of songs to my good friend Alex an amazing tour de force of a character. She and her lovely doggie died in a horrible boat fire earlier in the year.
Thanks to everyone who made it along, you gave us a great night, and lovely to see so many old faces, and enthusiastic new ones!

*Marina is Red also wrote a review of this gig at https://www.marinaisred.com/2018/04/08/gig-review-the-blue-yellows/

Official Video ad'

Setlist - spot the new tunes?



Thursday, April 05, 2018

Well, Storm the Crows!

Another day, another train, this time to meet up with the founding member and joint songwriter of the very first band I was in, 'Barney'.

We did a bit of catching up and playing some old songs, including ones I wrote for 'The Storm Crows', but haven't played for many years, so some of the lyrics are lost somewhere in the deeper recesses of my memory. But we basically jammed away on some old songs and new ones, which just the 'natural' way we arranged them years ago.

We will meet up again up in the Scottish Borders where he now lives to for a special birthday gig up there next week.
Should be a bit of an adventure!