Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Bonnie Time on The Radio

Studio swamped with the trappings of partydom
23/06/2017 
(Updated 27/06/17 to include listen again feature).

Last night I was delighted to be asked to guest on a special Redshift Radio show celebrating the birthday of the brilliant veteran broadcaster Paul Boniface.

As well as having a perfect, velvety radio-voice, he's a lovely and interesting fella.

Catch him when on air when you can!

The great and the good from planet Redhshift were there and when it was my turn;..

 I played Watch Out! (or I'll stick you in my poem) from Rafflesia Dreams ..

and There She Moves from Attachment Theories

Then Paul and I chatted about everything from long-distance walks to Paul's champagne breakfasts!




Listen Again here:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Home made.

Updated June 4th 2017

I'm going to be doing some home made films about 'The making of'... my new experimental album Rafflesia Dreams as I roll it out hopefully over further formats. Here they are so far:


You will only ever be able to get all 14 tracks, including bonus tracks, via the bandcamp link here. So have a listen and get downloading if you like it!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

On the Offbeat, Off the Rails.

Many thanks to Tim Lee for this photo.
The creative Crewe people at, well creativecrewe.co.uk put on a fab festival, The Big Event Festival, in the huge hanger-like former railway 'shed' that is now Crewe Heritage Center.
It was lovely that so many old friends turned up, not that I had much time to spend with them in my pre-gig tension or post-gig emotional exhaustion.
I did get to enjoy some fabulous artists before our set however including the jangly rockers with Beatlesque vocal harmonies The Continental Phase.
Good friends and brilliant songwriters Tim Lee and Dayve Dean both performed lots of as-yet unreleased material and it was great to hear their fine vocals in a place with such a huge, natural reverb.
You can also read Tim's experience of the occasion HERE (a blog-post within a blog-post I tell you, it's all here).
Raven's Way had a kind of post-folky retro thing going on and did an incredibly moving version of 'Who Knows Where the Time Goes', a wonderful Sandy Denny song. They were minus a (poorly) fiddle player but all sounded great, especially my fellow finger-picker guitarist Pete but then, I am biased.


A typical thing happened with me during our Blue Yellows set, and I should know better by now. A couple of songs in and I had lost so much of my vocal ability that I felt as if I was singing through a narrow straw, so wasn't able to go for the songs in the way that I wanted to, yet a few songs later and I had recovered... proof of lack of vocal warm-ups (again!). MUST DO. The gang did me proud, as always though, I'm very lucky to have you, thanks guys (and girl).
The Continental Phase opened the day.
Dayve Dean arrived in time to play a great set.
Me with drummist Dave, who'd had the
Purple Yellows treatment.
A very appreciative crowd, thanks all, and to all the friends I hardly got to speak to at all.
The Blitz team did a superlative job on the sound as we have come to expect and the Offbeat Beers were very nice indeed, I look forward to more of them when I have a few more pennies.
Tim Lee with great new songs.
(Sorry about my rubbish photo, Tim).

Monday, May 01, 2017

Lymelight Festival 2017


Fierce crowds were kept back by the security fencing!
Most of the band seemed more than a little bleary-eyed on arrival in Newcastle Under Lyme, our tiredness probably matched by the dull, drizzley skies which greeted us. We enjoyed the brilliant Kez Liddle's dreamy music before we went on. Finding we had a slightly longer slot at this, the fabulous town-center music and arts extravaganza that is The Lymelight Festival than we had originally been told,  so after a quick chat we added 'Love is the Answer' to the set list.

And... the Sun came out!


We added 'Love is the Answer' to the setlist
after the Radiohead cover.


We were super impressed with dreamy singer songwriter
Kez Liddle.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Making it Up in CW6

A pre soundcheck shot
  Sat, April 22nd, 2017

The CW6 Festival was the first Tarporley gig (well, nearly) for this Tarplee, here!

With The Blue Yellows, we were playing this picturesque and incredibly bijou festival, complete with pristine weather and plenty to do for all, especially if you love getting your sparkle on (most of the band did!), as it was all run by the lovely people at The Make Up Project and for a wonderful cause, St Luke's Hospice.

Thanks for having us!

A big thank you to Rik too, from event planners Speeches and Cream,  who did a superb job with stage management and sound engineering on the PA with top-notch equipment. Check the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/speechesandcream

It was nice that my sister Suey, and music-mad niece Indigo (who was in a Merry Hell video shoot today!) could make this one, too.

Chilling with the band
A rough stage-plot 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tip of the iceberg. What do musicians do all day?

The gig, the show, the concert. The album, the EP, the single. All just tips of giant icebergs.

What lies beneath?

Hours and hours of daily;

Rehearsals,
Songwriting,
Emails and social media messages to venues, promoters, sound engineers, radio stations, fellow musicians,
Form filling: Performing Rights society forms, Sound technician tech-specs, contracts.
Researching and communicating with good potential venues, festivals, promoters, media-makers,

Designing and creating posters, videos and other promotional material.,
Preparing and repairing instruments and other equipment,
Maintaining/trying to advance social media presence on various popular platforms,
Website updating and maintaining,
Maintaining 'peripheral' websites such as musicglue, BBC Introducing and dozens of others so that you keep/advance your presence there,

Problem/issue solving; Dealing with issues relating to the logistics of a specific show with all the people mentioned above,
Writing press releases,
Getting advance copies of recorded material to music mags/bloggers and other acclaimed reviewers,
Traveling to rehearsals and shows,
Practicing your instrument(s),
Studio work; recording, messing with files, production, contracts, liaising with studio managers, producers, fellow musicians.

Liaising with peripheral producers; music distributors, CD/sleeve designers, artists and graphic design companies,
Maintaining records for HMRC, doing tax returns from various income streams including different record distribution services, music tuition, royalties, music sales and more,
Getting involved in symbiotic promotion of festivals and other bodies you are involved with,
Fitting in all the other 'stuff of life',
Writing this!
All good fun though of course, if that's your thing! :P
From a Blue Yellows rehearsal (from instagram)

From a Rickety Wireless rehearsal
(pic from Instagram)



Saturday, April 01, 2017

Rock'n The Box

Photo by Tim Lee
A gig at Crewe's proper rock n' roll beautifully 'distressed', graffiti-bejeweled much loved venue, The Box. A fantastic team in operation here from Glyn, the captain of the good ship Colossus Productions at the helm to Tess, Harry, Stevie P who was recording it all (and interviewing us) for The Cat Radio and not least Adrian on the sound. 


This was significantly the best sound we have ever had at this venue on stage, and presumably out front 'in the room', given how good the other acts sounded. If you're in a band, you will know that sometimes you have to deal with terrible sound-scenarios on stage. Imagine singing but not being able to hear your own voice other than perhaps a faint, heavily echoed, fractured effect off the back wall of the venue which is now out of time with the 'live' instruments around you. Imagine hearing only one instrument where you are, harshly drowning everything else out. imagine not being able to hear another instrument that provides vital cues to where you are going next, musically. It shouldn't happen but it still does. 
If, like at this event, you have a great sound on stage, it means you can really dig into the sound, really enjoy it, and it gives you the confidence to perform really well. So often, a good performance is so much to do with having a good sound on stage. If it sounds crap on stage, no matter what 'form' you are on as a musician, or how well you might be communicating as a band, you're probably screwed, but the public probably won't why, and will think it's you.  I think I've made my point, thanks team - thanks Adrian!

We, that is of course The Blue Yellows, were there to support our stoner-rock friends Brave New World who were on the best form I've seen (heard) them in, do check them out! Again sound-guy Adrian would certainly have helped with their fab sound (and everyone was talking about the sitar effect afterwards)! They're onwards to The Cavern Club, no less, next. You can read more about their night from the point of view of their ace-of-bass (not to mention incredible songwriter and producer guy) Tim Lee on his blog at https://timleesongs.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-middle-aged-rock-n-roll-bass-player/


Also in support role was the brilliant James Johnston, sporting a Bob Dylan T shirt, a powerful, gritty vocal and superb songs. Inspiring stuff. Do yourself a favour, go to the bottom of this post and listen to his new EP, Before I Lose My Mind.
Photo by  Kirst of KRPR Services




The rest of my gang enjoying a truly rock n' roll pre-gig ritual

Great to have such smiley company in the Green Room

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rafflesia Dreams is OUT NOW!

LisUpdate ten & donwload here:
Listen & download at https://jonathantarplee.bandcamp.com/album/rafflesia-dreams

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Two Pints of Lyrics and a Packet of Riffs.

Had a couple of recent trips to Runcorn, somewhere I've passed through so many times on the train on the way to Liverpool but never actually visited before until these occasions; the point being to visit a lovely bunch of young people who had recently been bereaved by a close family member, who had asked for some support with ideas on songwriting.

The bereavement of someone as close as a parent or brother or sister is a terrible thing to go through at any age, yet alone when you are a young teen to mid-twenties this group are, a time when there's a sort of assumption that your loved-ones will somehow be there forever...
This group were the subject of support of a wonderful organisation, Child Bereavement UK, who work hard to do all they can to help these youngsters come to terms with the strong emotions and difficulties they have as a result of the catastrophic loss they feel.
I can't say enough good words for them.


Saturday, March 04, 2017

WOW Macclesfield! You won't find a better venue than The Swan with Two Necks in Macc.

 March 3rd, 2017

Just wow! On my stays in Macclesfield in the past I have always tried to make it into The Swan with Two Necks as the atmosphere is so good, and I'm really glad to report that it's still as great as ever.
A clean, well presented place that also has a bohemian character (not to mention characters inside). Clean stylishness and bohemia are sadly not common bedfellows in the music-venue world, but they are here.


So a lovely place to be in, super-friendly and helpful staff and the people who came along were also dead friendly and up for a good time.

Thank You All!

In short, THE perfect place to play or see a band!
They are pretty active on facebook so please do check them out at 
https://www.facebook.com/TheSW2N oh and treat yourself to a night out there!
First time using my two-in-one guitar bag from Gear4Music

We pretty much stuck to the planned setlist
this time, other than modulate 'There She Moves' into
'Jolene' (by Dolly Parton) when some enthusiastic
folk started singing it!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Photo-Shoot with the band.

11/02/17

We really needed this as we realised we (The BYs) still hadn't got a single decent photo of the band since Dave The Groove Coomer joined us on the bangy things.

Kirsty and Chris from KR-PR Services did a great job on a freezing February day. They made it great fun doing it too, in spite of the cold, as you can probably tell. Dave also did us proud!

Below are some of our favourites from the day, and you can also see the whole lot HERE):
Photo by KR-PR Services
Photo by KR-PR Services
Photo by KR-PR Services
Photo by KR-PR Services
Photo by KR-PR Services





Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Spring Dates with the band...

There's been more going on than I've been able to keep up with on here to be honest, in the meantime though, here's some Spring dates with The Blue Yellows!