Friday, October 19, 2018

Suited demo out today!

I've decided to release (temporarily) this first-vocal-take demo of a new song, 'Men in Suit's.
You can listen and download for a limited period only if you fancy it.

P.S. Art doesn't always directly represent the opinions of only the artist (specifically here, I don't recommend murdering anyone!).

Monday, October 15, 2018

Savage brilliance at Enzo.

October 14th, 2018
Grace Savage performing at Enzo, which was packed out for the whole event.

Festivals come and go throughout the Spring and Summer and nearly all of them are vibrant and special, not to mention really exciting and fun to play.

But the Words and Music Festival is really particularly close to my heart, and being my 'home' festival, gives me a chance to play a full-on part in promoting it and helping out as well as performing. 

Running a whole event such as this 'Enzo Acoustic Zone' which has over the last few years become a regular fixture at the festival can have it's own stresses, especially for someone with a natural shyness (or more specifically social anxiety) such as myself, and many artists in fact. Whereas in a recent gig, I allowed myself to shake off some of the pre-gig nerves in a run around a rainy car park, at this event I have to look after the other artists, help them to keep calm while getting anything they need done for them, liaise closely with the sound engineer (my good friend and regular music collaborator Dayve Dean in this case) and politely fielding any queries from members of the public, requiring me to suppress my own nervous energy and my natural desire really to get away from everyone, find a quiet space and maybe warm up on the guitar or dispel some nervous energy in some other way, in ways that I might normally do.

Anyway, any level of draining, nervous energy more than paid off by the bucket load both due to the incredible talent of my special guests, and the the wonderfully music-savvy, listening, attentive, music-mad audience that is a feature of this wonderful festival as a whole.

The soulful, earthy, gorgeous vocal tones of and wonderful new songs from Tiki Black, poignant, incisive, witty poetry of Oliver Lomax, the perfectly crafted songs of top producer Nigel Stonier and, well... what can I say about Grace Savage, a truly incredible talent, and a privilege to introduce her on stage at a point in her career when she has just been Radio One artist of the week, and with 4 titles of UK beatbox champion... just amazing.
Please do check these artists out.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Stadium Arcadium.

Thanks to Jen Ogle for this pic.
5th October, 2018

A lovely night was had by all at a special night The Blue Yellows were asked to play in honour of our lovely mate and birthday boy Mike, of We Are Nomad, who also played their beautiful sounds before it was our go.
We were very under rehearsed and hadn't gigged since August, adding to the pre-stage nerves, in addition bassist Simon had the lurgy, and drummer Dave was missing some equipment and Em had back ache (especially not good when lugging very heavy PA equipment around is part of the job).
In spite of all this, and in my case after a little skip around in the rain to ease the nerves, I think it's fair to say we played with some gusto, and folk seemed to enjoy it.

Most of all, it was a night shared with plenty of lovely friends, plus.. two
 gigs in a row now, further bookings have come out of it.

These lovelies: L-R Drummer Dave, Bassist Simon, Keyboardist/Accordionist/Backing vocalist Em.

Didn't forget to clip my nails after last week.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

"You've just gone LIVE in Birmingham!"

28th September, 2018

Played a really fun gig with the boys of Rickety Wireless last night, in spite of a split finger-nail (a potentially major issue for a finger-picker like myself!) and following a last minute rehearsal at Rickety Towers (aka Dayve's home studio).

It was yet another reminder, in this age where you are more likely than not to be filmed by many people during gigs, of the strangely world wide nature of even lil' mini-gigs like this; "You've just gone live in Birmingham!", someone said. 

These Rickety gigs were just meant to be for a bit of extra money, didn't know they were going to be good fun as well! 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Telling 'em at Telfords

22nd September, 2018

You may have heard enough about Brexit and you may, or may not, be entrenched in your view on it, so I won't go on about the issue itself so much save to say that this was a wonderful event with a festival-feel calling not to re-run the referendum, but to have a referendum on whatever deal that our government makes (or fails to make) with the EU.

I've been feeling pretty down about the whole situation for a long time, and had practically given up on making political comments on social media because I had felt so despondent about the result, having argued continuously, vociferously and with such determination on the need to stay in the EU to preserve our rights and those of the environment and wildlife, before the vote. The EU is far from perfect, but much better than the right wing burning of rights and protective regulation that would result from leaving.

Anyway, this seemed a really well timed event, given the political circumstances of the last few hours, and it was a lovely optimistic and exciting event with some wonderful artists.

Many thanks to the folk at Chester for Europe and Rock for Europe of course as well as this wonderful venue, Telford's Warehouse.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Happy Juice Records

Note that all music by Jonathan, The Blue Yellows and any associated artists will now be available directly from Happy Juice Records (as well as the usual, but more expensive online music streaming/downloading sites);

Saturday, September 01, 2018

My 1st Record Shop Gig (about time!)

A modern, if not even hipsteresque trend I am absolutely in favour of is that for record shop gigs. No hipsters here though; just friendly, down-to-earth people and seriously good songwriters, what more could you want?

An unexpectedly seriously hot day (when you take into account lots of walking and lugging equipment around), but a lovely event at 81 Renshaw Street in the might Liverpool; A record store which also has a bar, cafe, and seriously decent live music venue in the basement, and what's more this was an event organised by the fab folks at Liverpool Acoustic.
Just lovely to be a small part of this today.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Another lovely Garden Party gig.

Once again The Blue Yellows and many of the musical great and good in these parts and beyond were asked to play at a private garden party with people our talented hosts; Martin, Elaine and family who have become good friends. The day also included another partner in crime Dayve Dean working hard on the (great) sound all day as well as playing a set of his enchanting self-penned songs.   

A real highlight, I think all would agree was poet, and guest of Helen Kay, Joy France. Joy said that when people see her at a poetry event, "..they expect daffodils" and when at a slam or rap/slam event, the other artists involved (if they don't know her yet) have been known to inform her that she ended up in the wrong place, and politely tell her where the loos are...

Well, if you are in any doubt of the poetic powers of this woman, check this out!

A snippet of our set..

Saturday, August 04, 2018

GlastonLee Festival - Made of Love.

I know it takes a dedicated team of people to work on a festival as a full-on commitment for the best part of (if not a full) year to make it this sort of success. Well this, Glastonlee Festival one was put lovingly put together by family members of Lee Belsham (of Dr Phibes fame), in his memory and honour, and to raise money for St Luke's Hospice which did so much to care for Lee, as with so many others. A festival indeed, made of love.

The ongoing heatwave, which has been making life so uncomfortable in many ways, was of course a further blessing for an event like this, and although tickets sold well online, plenty more paid on the gate as the day went on. A great day, and night!
A pleasure, an honour,  to be a part of this.

Evert act I head sounded great! This was Brave New World, kicking the whole day off.

Mark Barnett with relaxed audience.

Not needed thankfully.

Our salubrious back-stage area.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The BIG Day Out, just across the road.

Memphis, Chicago, California, Birmingham, Andalusia, the North West of England.

Sometimes we need reminding that if you are a music fan, and you live in the North West of England you are in an incredibly lucky minority of the World's population to live in one of the globe's capitals of popular music.
Even though here in Nantwich, I'm in a relatively countryfied, indeed gentrified backwater, if I stand on my narrowboat roof, I can actually see Manchester, and Liverpool is just as near (or even nearer if train fares are anything to go by). Both iconic cities on this planet's musical map. Birmingham, the birth place of all things metal, is less than half a day's bike ride away (if you're serious about bike-riding anyway). Some of the world's biggest music names on this little planet of ours will play within an hour or two travelling time of here every time they tour the world and we should NEVER EVER take that for granted.
I remember an interview with one of my musical heroes Flea (he of The Red Hot Chili Peppers fame) recently, saying that it's pretty tough playing in Manchester, England and even in their home town of Los Angeles, as such cities are so blessed with mega-heroes of music playing in these places week in and week out, there can be a tendency to for audiences to feel quite blasé about it, whereas if they play in Mexico, or a country in South America, the crowds are absolutely wild with excitement; dancing, crying and singing every word at the top of their voices and in a two hour joyous state of pure ecstasy in their one and only chance, in their one and only city in which they can ever see their heroes.


Anyroadup, although there weren't too many about for my set at Big Day Out Cheshire I felt the surrealness and the pure luck of being born in the right place to have an experience like this, of playing my little set, then walking a few steps to a see a band whose music I have grown up with as part of the background soundscape to my life/our lives on the radio at home, on the coach or wherever. What a thing!

I also greatly enjoyed a superb set by Tim Lee, especially a new song which I think was called 'Performance', the always brilliant Photo Booth Smile and the inimitable brilliance of Baxter!

Thanks to all involved, especially that very busy Lizzy and the whole team surrounding Redshift Radio who seem to have a lot to do with it all.
Tim Lee in great acoustic form,

The ever-awesome Baxter!

The expanded line-up and even bigger sounding Photo Booth Smile.

I played a lot more than is on my surliest here!

Many Thanks to Tim for this photo!