Monday, 20 July 2015


I have my first solo set booked for September 5th at The Castle Grounds in Bridgnorth.

It is a free gig. 

I am playing a 30 minute set from 2:40 to 3:10.

Not sure how much solo material I will play, hopefully something.   So there will be some new cover versions (which I'm working on) and possibly one or two Hair Thieves tunes.

So that is a bit scary, given I haven't played live in two years, and very exciting.  So in August, I will try and play a couple open mic nights to get some practice in.

A winter's memory has now been recorded and is ready for mixing.  Given this is a piano led song, I don't think I can pull it off on guitar with any real justice.  Though I will at least try and work out an arrangement for guitar and try it.

Still not decided on the b-side yet.

The plan is to release it to coincide with the gig, so I suppose, the b-side should be something I play at the gig.  I'll decide in the next day or two.

Exciting times!



Saturday, 4 July 2015

A Winter's Memory - A Mid Summers Problem

It has been a couple of months since the last update.

A lot of the time I have had for music has been taken up with finishing the writing for the new Hair Thieves EP.   This has now been done.  Though I have one song to mix for the EP, we are currently having a couple months off, due to festival season and house moves.

So I am hoping to finish A Winter's Memory this month.  Musically and lyrically it is complete.  I need to add one more part to the arrangement.  Re-record the vocals and it is ready for mixing. 

It isn't a million miles away from the demo. 

I have tweaked the piano, to add some variation.  Changed the tempo a bit.  Added a middle 16 (which is where I need the new part).  Just noticed the demo doesn't have the drop d guitar part in the choruses.  It was recorded before the bass part, so it should have been on the demo.

I was also hoping to re-record Tabanid, as the b-side, but I trawled all my songwriting notes and cannot find any notes on how to play it, nor the lyrics, so that does mean me revisiting the song from scratch. 

Essentially, I can see me ditching the music and starting again musically with this. 

So I am in two minds whether to ditch Tabanid for the moment and use Sour Grapes and Sweet Lemon Mechanism for the extra tracks on this release.

My thinking for that is also that Sweet lemon mechanism is quite electronic which at the moment might be out of place on an album.  But without finishing more of the album, it is too early to say.

So that is a problem for another day.

In the meantime, (whist looking for the Tabanid tab) I came across a set of chords. So I have started writing a new song.   So seventeen tunes on the go.  I may be sometime.

Friday, 3 July 2015

A Musical Journey - Part 4 The 2000s - Grown up

This post and the subsequent post will be shorter than the last, purely since I have an idea to do a weekly discuss a song a like. But I need to finish this post and an up to date one first.

In 2000. I turned 30.   Now if the press is to believed, in your thirties, your taste in music stagnates.

In my case, it was in my thirties, listening to both music from my youth and listening to non mainstream music.

Two bands helped me achieve this.  The first was a support band who blew me away. I can remember the gig, but can't remember who they supported.  It is a rare support band, that makes me go and buy their merchandise, let along a copy of all their releases they were selling that day.

The band in question was Oceansize.

 Music for a nurse

Women who love me who love drugs.

They quickly became and are still my favourite band, (though they are sadly no more).

The second band, came about due to a change in  job in 2002, where I went from coding embedded systems in Gas meters, to a rock no roll job, writing software to control live music mixing desks and PA systems.

It was during this time I was introduced to Porcupine Tree.

Arriving somewhere but not here.

Blackest Eyes

I was lucky enough to spend a day with their sound engineer on the Fear of the Blank Planet tour (when Amplifier supported).  

So this decidedly put me musically on a more prog orientated mode.   Saying that there are not many more prog bands I actually like other than Marillion (whom I'm liked since '84). 

The Mars Volta

Since you've been wrong

and The Pineapple Thief - 

All the wars.

The other thing I started when I was thirty was releasing my own music.

Shorewards (from EP2).

So I was spending more time messing with my own music than actually listening to music.  Plus I stopped watching MTV as it declined from music television to dull reality TV channel.

So yes my musical tastes veered away from mainstream and more towards.

The final piece of the puzzle, I suppose, we regard to my thirties, was my interest in photography.  I was going to lots of local gigs in pubs and clubs (as opposed to big acts).  So I was listening to a lot of unsigned music.

Recording my own music, meant I was hanging out a lot on websites like and soundclick. Bands like Red Delicious (whom I was listening to just the other day) were quite big in the unsigned world back in the day.

Red Delicious -Untouched

Obviously, there were more mainstream bands I got into like Biffy Clyro and Elliot Smith.


Elliot Smith - Between the bars

Biffy Clyro - Living is a problem because everything dies.

Goldfrapp - Strict Machine.

Goldfrapp supported Duran Duran.  Another band I went out the next day and bought their back catalog.

So that is the Naughties.  I was still listening to the things I loved in the the '80s and actually, still going to see some of them live.  

I will leave you with this tune from 2000, which is one of my favourite tunes of all time.

A Perfect Circle - Judith.