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.
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!

Monday, April 02, 2018

Jazz Chords and Damp Guitars

Nantwich Jazz Festival - April 2nd 2018

I realised this was the first Rickety Wireless gig outside of Alsager, no less(!) and the wilds of Nantwich Jazz Festival we did brave.
A weird combination of very cold, wet conditions outside the venue, where our instruments had been 'waiting' and extremely warm, humid conditions within, meant our instruments were dripping wet with condensation when we removed their covers and bags. This caused a number of ongoing tuning issues as wood, metals and other materials adapted to this drastic change. In fact even Dan's mini drum set was suffering tuning issues, which is rare mid-gig.


Nevertheless neither this, nor our still 'under-rehearsed' condition didn't dampen the spirits of the crowds, who seemed to love it, singing along and sometimes dancing to much of the set. Thanks you lot, you made it great fun!



Monday, March 12, 2018

From recording to rehearsals!

Stinky and me at Rickety Wireless towers.
With some two hour shows coming up in Easter with both my original band The Blue Yellows and cover-pop trio Rickety Wireless, it's been time to get down to some serious rehearsals. In fact, with the BYs, we've been so pre-occupied with arranging and recording two new songs (see recent posts) that we were a bit 'all over the place' when rehearsing a new, long set for coming show, but we'll get there!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Garage Band - Blue Yellows mini-album project, Recording Session 3

Very close followers of this blog may know that my band The Blue Yellows have been intermittently recording over quite a few months, three days in all. If you are in need a of a quick catch-up (and WHY wouldn't you be, huh?!), you can do, via these links;

Blue Yellows mini-album project, Recording Day One


Blue Yellows mini-album project, Recording Day Two

and now...

24th February 2018

Blue Yellows mini-album project, Recording Day Three!

OK, fast-forward to the freezing but sunny February day that was yesterday (at the time of writing), with the 
burgeoning 'Best From the East' tapping on the garage door, the garage being that converted into a rehearsal studio by the amazing Sheena Bratt for her fab band Venus Rising. Many thanks for Sheena and family for letting us invade the place for the day!

Once again, we were in the capable hands of Tim Lee who was actually doing all the hard work of concentrating and focusing all day, while the rest of us could mainly wait around for our turn, although in my case, I needed to learn the lyrics of the newest song going in too. Today was the most rock of the days, style-wise and Tim shot some snippets of the day for youtube;


Of the three days all together, very spread-out through they've been, I think this has been the most smoothly productive, with some of the best ideas brought into the project from my fellow bandees in the BYs and especially from Tim, with the ideas he came up with during the day. It has been especially satisfying for us to get a brand new song in, that we barely know yet ourselves, and which I was still making a few lyrical adjustments to on the day!
Thanks to Em for this pic of me at the mic.

So, a great experience for us, and as if you have not had enough blog links to read yet, Tim has already made his own pretty comprehensive account of the day from his perspective on his recording blog post at https://timleesongs.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/producing-songs-for-the-blueyellows-24-02-18/
Read more about the day on
Tim Lee's blog post HERE
Em, from Tim's Instagram
Simon, laying down the bass
Photo by Em
The brilliant Dave 'The Groove' Coomer, who else!?
Photo by Em

Friday, January 26, 2018

Wireless for Sound.

L-R moi, Dan Logan and Dayve Dean at The Railway.
Many thanks to Louise Mather for this photo.
 A fun outing with rock/pop outfit Rickety Wireless in Alsager last night saw action from the double-bass, dobro, and even more importantly the talents of Dan Logan and Dayve Dean.
This pic from Alsager Music Festival's instagram page.
See more at instagram.com/alsagermusicfst

The band, the poster.