Sunday, July 14, 2019

Broken, but a blast!

The Blue Yellows at the Alsager Music Festival.

Having had a weird virus giving me the strangest bunch of uncomfortable and exhausting   symptoms since May the 3rd on and off, it was nice, at last, to play a gig while feeling well (though the virus had ‘gone under’ for a couple of days at a time in the past before returning with renewed vigour so... touch wood!).

In an ideal world, bands would get an hour or so to sound check, and I’ve even worked with pro bands who have taken up to two and a half hours to perfect their sound to the venue and iron out any problems, so these festivals we often play where you get a really quick turnaround, it’s a big challenge to try and get it right for all involved, and our sound engineer Matt, stage manager and whole team did a great job!

However, I did manage to snap a string in the first few seconds of the opening song (first time in quite a while as I’ve been using these NY Elixir strings which have an extra carbon component, and so are extra strong ((and expensive!)) ). So while I ran off stage, grabbed the spare guitar and tuned it, Em played the intro to the next tune over and over for a bit, until I was ready.. such pros, this lot on The BYs

We also got a brand new song into the set, ‘Who put Bella in the Witch Elm?’ and the gang played it so well, sounded pretty raucous from where I was anyway, in fact the whole set did.

It was great to catch good friends in The Dying Lights who sounded more laid back and melodic than usual, but in a good and groovy way. Good friends were all around the seating areas in fact, so nice to see you all and have at least a tinsy catch-upette. 
The Dying Lights on flowering form.

It was a blast!

Spot the new song?

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Dialing it in at the Altar of Sound.

I guess you're not supposed to plug straight into a brand new PA that you've never tried out before, minutes before you go on, but first impressions are good!

This was a quirky, unusual gig for us but good fun, taking place as it did at the fabulous vinyl-emporium, cafe and community hub for like-minded-folk that is The Electric Church ! A place I can't recommend enough. When you get the chance - go!

It was also a significant one for us because we (by which I mean Em!) had collected for us a brand spanking new PA system!

We only bring our own PA for gigs like gigs at pubs, cafes, hotels and the like whereas many of the gigs we do are at festivals or bespoke music venues with a house-PA system and engineer. Our original PA system plus all the important stuff that goes with it like mics, mic stands, leads and so on was bought in n incredible hurry just before we got our 1st pub gig. We'd never been entirely happy with it's frankly quite 'muffly' sound (a factor which was really brought home to us when we tried to play some MP3 files through it for some 'walk on music' but it just sounded way too aweful). The speakers are incredibly heavy too which doesn't attract any further love from us before and after a gig!

Although Em checked the PA had worked and so on last night at her home, at this gig we were literally plugging all our instruments in, setting everything on 'center' choosing what kind of reverb we wanted (an unavoidable choice to make), then doing a volume-only-level check for a quick sound-check, then a quick toastie and an epresso and we're on. NOT the way to do it really, but we got away with it! 

Happily the vocals sounded clearer than ever before with the old PA, and I'm sure after a forthcoming rehearsal where we can get to dial in the right settings for each instrument, things will only get much better still.

Our good friend, indeed producer of Kitchen Sessions and occasional BY, Tim Lee wrote his  own blog post on the event on his site at  (Thanks Tim!) You won't be repeating yourself if you've read it as I've mainly blurbled on about the PA (look, it feels like Christmas, OK!!?).

Many thanks to Jimi and all at the fantastic Electric Church and all her lovely church-goers!

A happy upshot of the gig (originally scheduled for release week) is that you can now buy CD copies of Kitchen Sessions

Thursday, June 06, 2019

The best thing since sliced bread?

Watch the brand new video for Toast The Night!
Premiers June 7th, 2019 at noon.

Monday, May 27, 2019

All kinds of Audlem!

By which I mean 'awesome' of course...

And IT IS; from the very enthusiastic, friendly crowds who braved the 'traditional' Bank Holiday weather, to the wonderful team of music professionals who do everything possible, to not only help this festival punch far above the weight that any picturesque country village of this size ought to, but a with a helpful team who can and will do everything to sort everything possible for the artists in a calm and thoroughly 'unflapped' way, giving us a great sound of course too. Thank You!

Our good friend and collaborator Tim Lee was among the familiar faces in the crowd, and he composed his own blog post on our set at thank you Tim!

Audlem - we love you, and hope to be back soon!
Rain didn't stop play

Crowds already gathering at sound check.

Pic by Tim Lee

#YC19 Festival

We were festival virgins for Your City Festival, set among the still fairly numerous (for today) music venues in the centre of Stoke On Tent.
For those who don't know, the city centre is Hanley, though most from other parts of the country have never heard of it, confusion added by the fact that the town of 'Stoke', though in Stoke On Trent, is today a bit of an offshoot from the main centre of things in Hanley. On top of this 'the D-Road' is an A-road duel carriageway... Oh I'll shut up now..

Anyway it was a pleasure to play #YCF19 in the tasty environs of Mart's Brewhouse and Tap and we felt like we were on form and playing well, albeit just to other musicians who had just been on, or were about to go on.
Good fun nonetheless!