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
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

The band, the poster.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Software to Station.

Updated 05/01/2018

Last week I had the honour of being described as "a folkie David Bowie" and also having a song, Forget Her said to have a Frusciante-esque arrangement (by someone who would've had no idea I'm a huge fan). Praise indeed. No amount of discussions of artists of such magnitude or cultural impact can ever do them justice, neither can a cover version.

Nevertheless, having worried about how I might possibly do anything but a disservice to Bowie, having been asked by Tim to contribute a song for a special tribute show on his  radio show, I thought I'd better just do it anyway as they say. So did it, I did, in my dressing gown, late on Christmas night.

It was interesting and kind of heartening in a way to me, how many of the 16 year old students I work with regularly were shocked and felt really crushed by his death, his reach was far beyond that of music nerds and musicians, and impacted our culture so deeply and on so many levels, touching and empowering particularly perhaps, those who feel different or alienated, which is perhaps itself part of postmodern culture, therefore widespread, even if many strain to fit in.

In the face of no money to record my most recent album, it was thinking about Bowie's approaches to art that made me realise I should be creative, and go for making what turned out to be quite an experimental, home-made and nil-budget album. I started writing for this in January 2016. He has also undoubtedly inspired countless millions of course to create, to express, to be themselves and to keep on going.

I understand the show will be broadcast live in January with this recording from myself and other artists, 2 years after the great man's death. I will also post an update here, once the listen-again feature goes out. It will be on The Doorstep Mixtape, on Redshift Radio (every Thursday night).

Over the Christmas/New Year period, I should have a lot more free time than usual 
(i.e. some!), so I plan on doing some more writing and recording for what looks like being a 2019 solo album, with the next Blue Yellows release scheduled for 2018.

Listen to the whole Bowie tribute show here:

Something that might make it onto a 2019 solo album.
Cheat sheet.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

What do musicians do when they're 'busy doing nothing'?

In rehearsals with Rickety Wireless

Well at the moment, off the top of my head;
Maintaining 8 Social Media Sites, 2 proper websites and a mailing list.
*Making finishing touches to a 'home movie' style music video.

*Planning bespoke music lessons for each of my students.
*Researching appropriate material for each individual student based on their own requirements, level and interest.
*Planning a couple 'rig rundown' style youtube posts.
*Catching up on another month's worth of accounts.
*Digital marketing.
*Sending tracks to radio stations.
*Testing/experimenting with new pedal board sounds (more on this soonish).
*Recording a guide track for a potential track on the next Blue Yellows release.
*Scheduling Spring/Summer 2018 gigs.
*Writing and recording for a solo album that I definitely won't have time to release until late 2018 or more likely 2019.
*Rehearsing for 3 types of live show, solo singer/songwriter, original band (The Blue Yellows) and commercial cover band (Rickety Wireless).
*Getting some 'home made' CD versions of Raffesia Dreams made up for a mini-run.