Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Scouting for the Lost Chord.

Thanks to Brave New World for this photo.

2am set-list writing to save set-up time the next day.
17th Sept' 2016

Setting; the beautiful village of Audlem, the venue, Audlem's Scout Hall, the scene of many a cool gig by all accounts.
This was a charity day of live music and stalls, successfully raising a decent amount of dosh for The Christie and The UK Scouting Association.

We had gone into this seriously under-rehearsed to be honest but our mojos appeared to be working, it being an 'in-the-zone performance after a couple of songs anyway. Also playing were an eclectic range of fabulous acts including Rivers and Kidd, Brave New Word and Bash and Strum, all very enjoyable. It was just really sad that friends of ours, Kit and The Icefish didn't get to play and were understandably upset after making the significant effort and sacrificed involved in turning up, waiting around and getting  themselves and their equipment ready. There was good will all round however, and this was no-ones intention, and it was lovely for us that some really good friends came some considerable distance to show their support. Thank you!

Set List;

Killing Me

Big Low Copper Moon
Where the Sky Meets the Sea
There She Moves
The Owl & the Willow
Love Limpet
Toast the Night
Love is the Answer
These Boots are Made for Walking
No Tobacco, No Jesus!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Be Hep to the Jive!

You can now help support my music by ordering a range of T-shirts themed on my music. No, really! They look cool too. From under £8.
Full range at

Full range at

#youknowyouwantto #drunkenpurchases

Sunday, September 04, 2016

No one goes home humming the light show.

Sept 2nd, 2016 (evening)

Gig number 2 of the day, the setting being this tranquil little town's most bohemian pub, The White Horse, and a support slot with one of the very best bands I've ever seen in my life, the incredible Pre Sleep Monologue. Do yourself a favour and check them out! I don't understand how they are not playing big halls or even arenas, but they will blow your socks off wherever you see them. It was more of a rock crowd of course and I raucoused it up a bit compared with the earlier food fest gig.
After playing so many open air festival gigs lately it was great to hear a closer, more boomy, edgy sound back in the confines of this place, aided by the brilliant sound-guy/muso Al Dean.

Thanks all!
P.S. Thanks for the rad light show from Foxy Carl Foxley's feet!

The awesome Pre Sleep Monologue.

Cooking on gas.

Sept 2nd 2016 (afternoon)

It was Nantwich Food Festival time and I was lucky that my long set at the event happened to coincide with some great weather. I'm always very nervous before going on stage (I should probably worry if that stops happening) but I let the music flow after a few minutes, a longer set at least allows this to happen. Last year's crowd seemed more reactive on the face of it, although that was a later, perhaps 'merrier' slot and I had Dan Logan to add some extra umph. However they (you)? were an attentive crowd and polite applause followed each song, so I was really heartened by the lovely comments a lot of you made to me in afterwards, in person or on line. After all the writing, rehearsing, stressing, preparation and promotion, it makes it all worthwhile, thank you!
Many thanks to Liz and the whole Redshift Radio team who made it such a great weekend with everything going on there!

Comments like this make it all worthwhile, thank you!
Great photo by the talented songwriter, Tim Lee, who also performed.
I love the sky reflected in 'Red Severn'. Thanks Tim!
A lovely, polite crowd enjoying all the fantastic food and drink on offer.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sofa, so good.

'Little Blue' relaxing.
I was back on the Redshift Sofa, this time for 'Easy Like Sunday Morning' and that great radio-voice belonging to Paul Boniface.
We talked about lots in the short time we had including the differences and similarities we find in 'the written word' and songwriting, plus lots about upcoming gigs including those the Nantwich Food Festival, Words and Music Festival, supporting Pre-Sleep Monologue and my upcoming Autumn shows with The Blue Yellows.

Listen again here;

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Where Waters Meet.

Middlewich again, playing for those lovely, not to say award-winning folk at Middlewich Music at The Bear Wych Project 2 (festival).
The weather turned unfortunately, but at least the rain looks so lovely on the canal. :)

An official poster
Some of that lovely wet stuff falling into some other lovely wet stuff.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pedal Power.

My 'usual', portable pedalboard to the right and 'old' big one, center and  left.

I've been playing with some alternative possible pedal-board configurations for 'bigger' shows with the band. My wonderfully portable pedaltrain nano board lets me take all the essential basics to a gig or rehearsal in a highly portable little package, but I've been looking to expand things back up a bit for when the BYs have a big show and I want to make a lot of weird noises with my toys! By the way, I made a video some time ago about an earlier configuration of my 'nano' HERE.

I went onto Steve Bebe's great radio show, 'What's Happening' to chat about all things Nantwich coming up, especially The Food Festival and Words and Music Festival, and play a couple of tunes, from the start of the 2nd hour. Listen again below;

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Getting in Key. Recording with The Blue Yellows; Session 2.

Em had been absent from the 1st recording session with the band for the current record we (The Blue Yellows) are working on, as she was really quite busy with her newborn baby, Heidi! Now, she was ready though, and her keyboard sounds were the main thing yet to be recorded on the tracks we're laying down with our production maestro, Tim Lee.
It all took place in very domestic, relaxed surroundings and went really smoothly. 

Em at the Keys, Tim at mission control.

Em worked quickly, not needing to go over anything too much on keys, pretty impressive really, given how much time she has been out of the band lately. I was there to do some backing vocals with her; she used to work really well together with Hayley when Hayley was in the band and I thought it might help if we were both there to help sort backing vocal harmonies out, in the end, for technical reasons we recorded one at a time on vocals and it wasn't a problem. A really quick, productive session, and two tracks are now sounding really promising. Exciting stuff, we can't than Mr Lee enough for all his hard work!

There wasn't as much waiting around as usual in recording, but I just had time to see some niceness outside.

Recording  doobries.

Monday, August 15, 2016

When is a Garden Party a Festival?

Why not host a gig or (even mini-festival) in your home or garden?

August 14th, 2016
Connor, one of many great performances at the Garden Party event.
In The States, ‘House Concerts’ have become a big thing, but haven’t yet taken off in a big way on this side of the pond, though I know some artists who have managed to put some shortish house-tours together. This is a bit of a surprise really given that ‘staying in is the new going-out’ and that cooking for friends has become such a huge trend.
Sunday’s gig provided fantastic evidence as to why you, yes you should organise one.

Lovely hosts Martin and Elaine booked some of their favourite artists (the usual thing is just to book one artist or band, but M&E got themselves a whole mini-festival), provided the most delicious food and drink, had friends and family around. This has become something of a greatly anticipated annual event, and luckily, once again, the weather was perfect for it (though I was greatful for the shade provided, that could equally have provided rain-cover). 

This event was all about poetry, as well as music. One of my guitar students, Connor Owen was the only person to perform both poetry and music. An excellent performance poet, his newly-honed guitar skills have advanced so quickly that he would’ve still been impressive had he been playing and practicing regularly for a decade. I couldn’t ask for a better advert for my tuition (more details HERE folks, by the way)! Though of course, as with everything, as a teacher I am only really someone who can provide tips, guidance, encouragement, enjoyment in playing (it is playing after all) and facilitate the learning that really takes place within the student’s mind and hands. An event like this is actually quite a demanding prospect for an introverted control-freak such as myself (and as I know many artists are); The ideal really being a highly structured fold-out of events including a knowledge of exactly when soundcheck is, performance start and end times, set-up, running times and so on, so that I can carry out my (mostly internal/psychological) preparations. If any of this was an issue for Connor though, he certainly didn't show it. Very well done indeed!

It was the first performance by the whole band, all 4 of us that is (The BlueYellows), since Em took an extended period off for the birth of little Heidi. A quick rehearsal the day before was enough to give a good performance in a more laid-back acoustic mode, which seemed appropriate for this event, though with recording and gigs coming up this Autumn, we are well and truly back!

If you want to discuss terms for booking the band for a private event, contact us via or myself for a solo gig via

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Rickety Riot

August 12th, 2016

Had a fun gig, as the guitarist and one of the singers with a brand new cover act called 'Rickety Wireless', at The Railway Inn, Alsager. Fun times with Dan Logan and Dayve Dean.

Photo by Dayve Dean.