Friday, July 20, 2018

The taming of Shrew(sbury)

Played a pub gig tonight in an (at last, to be honest) very rainy Shrewsbury  with those consummate professionals, Dayve and Dan in Rickety Wireless.
Although we finished loading out in the early hours Dan had studio work to do on some equipment immediately following the gig and Dayve had an early start to get to Surrey for his next solo gig.
There's just no rest for the wicked!
The Rickety Rack!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Alsager Music Festival 2018

The really rather wonderful Alsager Music Festival once again in high summer and another gig in this extraordinary heatwave of Summer 2018.
It was great fun doing it last year with the full band, always more fun with your 'gang' of course, but this time, although solo for much of the set, I enlisted the help of some very talented youngsters on guitar and backing vocals for 'No Tobacco', a couple of very talented students of mine, namely the Bugg brothers, Owain and Dylan Bugg.
They have so much raw talent and charisma... Watch out world!

Many thanks to the multi-talented music-man Marc Gallagher for doing such professional and efficient work on the live sound (and photos, including the ones of me here and the close-up of my acoustic which I can't seem to caption right now, do check out what Marc's up to though, via his social media pages, especially his own gigs).
Special thanks to, to the old friends and new, who turned up to my set.
Big crowds in the sun.

The crowd  in between sets at The Sunken Garden Stage.

Many thanks to Marc Gallagher for this photo.
Soul and his good friend Joe came along 😀
The Bugg Brothers stole the show.
L - Owain, R - Dylan

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Mixin in the Kitchen.


Last night our producer for current recording project with The Blue Yellows,  Mr Tim Lee, was back with us to do some sterling work getting some tracks fixed up and mixed down.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

When The Piper plays...

A free gig like this can go either way, or indeed along any point between those ways, so I
Photo: Will Riding
was thankful that the sunny weather brought a fair crowd out. I was also thankful that the more extreme heat that we have had at times over the Spring, and is perhaps back on the way again, kept at bay for today at least, making lumping two guitars around on public transport and on fair walking distances much more pleasant than it could have been.

Chester Live Festival, of which this was a part, is a well organised affair if this, the Acoustic Summer Party at The Piper is anything to go by, with lots of calm and professional staff (or volunteers) doing their work calmly and expertly, making sure the sound is good and the public are well informed and so many other things that have gone on for months before the event.

I was also really knocked out by the wonderfully poignant and beautifully considered songwriting skills of one Will Riding, I especially loved a song inspired by his autistic son, 'Favourite Shoes'. Do check his stuff out.
Thanks as ever to those who listened, commented and bought CDs.
Until next time!
A content summer crowd enjoy Will Riding.

I also played 'Flamingos', not on the setlist...

Sunday, June 17, 2018

F-A-B ... 'Thunderbirds are GO!'

"FAB Fest" is an obvious reference to the heritage of this great event (as the Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival) as well as being a decisive break from it, such that it will never please everyone, as change never does.

In some ways, the kind of weirdness factor of all the different types of bizarre and wonderful morris dancers around this town at festival time, along with many dyed-in-the-wool folkies who would appear en masse from all over the country, with feathers in hats and other quirks that set them out as 'trad-folkies' is to be missed, although there were still a few to be seen, just not in the great numbers that there used to be when this was more of an out and out folk festival with just a few other types of acts that were perhaps more on the contemporary side of things.

On the other hand, a huge fan of folk music who used to run a record shop in Chester used to say to me "What is 'folk music' anyway?.. It's music for folks, it encompasses all kinds of music".

Nevertheless, plenty of the same vibrancy and excitement in the crowds remain as does plenty of quality music from all kinds of acts, from folk to rock and even pure pop, such that this is one of the key music festivals of the whole region, ranked in the Top 10 of the smaller festivals by The Guardian a few years ago.

This year's event was headlined by Peter Hook and The Light, and our fringe event by the enthusiastic hardworking and talented (not to mention award-winning) bunch that are Middlewich Music. Our set went a bit off piste in places a few times in the first half, we are still pretty under-rehearsed for lots of new songs and sounds we are putting in the set at the moment, though things improved through the set and by the second half we seem to have found our form (which is definitely the right way round to do things if you're going to have a couple of dodgy moments!), but our finding ourselves back in the flow again was not least in thanks to an enthusiastic crowd, good friends and new ones who turned up and gave us a good time.
Thank you all! XX

Set list FabFest 18

Venue Poster
Our Poster
Pic by Adam Roberts