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!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Video Killed a Barbeque Star.

Last night we descended on the location for the first video-shoot for The Blue Yellows   since  'No Tobacco'. The setting was a real-life BBQ at our very own drummer Dave's place with Rob and Ang behind the cameras.
I travelled there with Rob and Ang who, like me both suffer from Social Anxiety,  so normally the thought of going to something like a BBQ could be quite a daunting ordeal. In addition Ang and Rob were both exhausted after full days and I was still feeling ill(!).
Nevertheless our lovely hosts and jovial atmosphere made it a joy, now the real work begins, the endless hours of editing for Rob! Thanks mate!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Thank you Dr Stage!

'Dr Stage' refers to the phenomenon known throughout the music industry (and, presumably, the other performing arts) whereby no matter unwell you are, once you hit the stage the adrenaline, public expectation, nerves and excitement will mean you can still  perform with great gusto, in spite of how you felt moments before. There is also of course the famous adage, 'The Show Must Go On'. You just don't cancel a gig unless it is a physical impossibility. There are just so many people you would let down, it's just a no-go unless it really is impossible.

This wasn't the most Ill that I've been on stage either, that was at a Boxjam event a few years ago when I really thought I might collapse on stage at times.

Having done the previous gig with a sore throat and general achyness (see previous post), by this one the virus (assuming that's what it is) has developed into something really quite weird, while having general aches all over, in addition to this I seen to have one tendon somewhere that is so sore, I can barely use that part of the body, yet the next day it is completely fine and another area is afflicted... Well weird!
I'd so far had a left arm that couldn't even lift an empty bag, on gig-day it was absolutely fine but my right wrist really hurt on show-day. As I write now (the day after the gig, though technically it finished this morning) my right ankle is so sore it feels as if I've badly sprained it and can hardly put any weight on it, though my wrist is fine.

Anyway, this was the big city bar of Flanagan's Apple on the famous Mathew Street in that mega focus of music worldwide, Liverpool, with Rickety Wireless
It was a long gig, 10pm until 1am but I like that, bring more like this on, and consequently we had rehearsed a whole extra bunch of tunes to perform, in fact the 'newest' ones seeming to go down best with this big, raucous party-mad crowd. The crowd were really, really up for it, even getting worryingly raucous at times with stage invasions and some (really bad) singing by uninvited guests on stage,
Great fun over all, thanks to everyone there!

Of course the second I stepped off stage I felt as if I'd just been in the ring for 3 hours with a selection of histories greatest heavyweight boxers, and even stepping back onto my floating home in the early hours was something of an agonised move. 

One reason I do this though, is that every gig is something of an adventure, and long after the shivery skin, the aching bones, the waking in pools of sweat has gone, the memories of this great night will live on.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Sublyme in the Windy City.

Photo by Pete Alcock

Soundcheck-selfie by Dave
L-R; Me, Em, Simon, Dave
Although May, and following some exceptionally warm weather, the sunshine belied the freezing cold Northerly winds, exacerbated by the fact that this part of the world is very hilly, windy and has it's own micro climate. 
This was the Lymelight Festival in Stoke On Trent, we arrived early, some using the extra time to catch a local cafe. Both Em and I were a bit under the weather, Em with some stomach pains and me with a sore throat. This didn't effect my singing though at one point, in between verses I thought I felt my throat feel as if it were about to disintegrate or something, but it lasted the set, thankfully, though not the following day!

Harder to deal with was finger dexterity for playing, I don't think I made any mistakes but may have missed out some of the 'notes in between the notes' sounds and the like. The weather also ensured that the crowd was both smaller than you would expect and very wrapped up! I should've worn my extra-warm beany hat, I'd assumed the sun would've managed to make a bigger impact on the temperature.

Nevertheless, a well organised gig and a great sound on stage too. Thank you Lymelight!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Party Central.

Rickety Rehearsal space.
Frogs and toads have their spring mating frenzies, the Easter Island crabs have their thing and the people of Cheshire and beyond have the Nantwich Jazz Festval, an incredible 5 day Easter Party that not coincidentally, generally comes along with the return of the warmer weather.
I played here again for Rickety Wireless, having not played together for months, so we booked out the afternoon for a rehearsal.
It was a great fun gig and we even managed to put some extra tunes in.

Thanks to Tim Lee for this photo, read more about Nantwich and this festival on Tim's blog post at

Thursday, April 18, 2019

From here to Ftumch!!

Download the brand new debut track by FTUMCH!!

Rob Collins was first (to me) a photographer who appeared at one of the Words and Music Fest events, I then got to know him as a festival organiser, a Ukulele tutee and a friend. He has been involved in music for a long time, not least as the bassist in the awesome award-winning punk band Imbalance.
Somehow, Ukulele lessons evolved into getting involved in this exciting new music project with Rob as a co-writer. Rob is a prolific creator/producer of tracks, tending to release about a track a week.
I think it's fair to say, that what we have started doing with Ftumch!! is some kind of music that neither of us would come up with individually, which it makes all the more exciting to be involved with.

Tuesday's video shoot, with help from Ang (and watched by pusscats)..

..and here's the result..

Back in December, producing the track (more to come..)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Mixing it up for Neve.

25th March 2019

Music for Team Neve Fundraising Night
Bar B at The Market Tavern, Sandbach

To many in music, Neve is the name of a classic mixing desk/console, and The Blue Yellows were certainly mixing it up with some very diverse acts for a special fundraising night for Neve, a young child with a number of very serious neurological conditions (please see the link at the bottom of the text) for which money is needed for support from specialist American medical institutions on top of the quality health care she is receiving through the NHS.

Typically, a musical evening might be of cover acts to provide easily accessible entertainment or original acts for a more discerning music-loving crowd with an ear for new sounds. However the mix seemed to work really well, with the audience lapping up the new music along with the classics. As well as my gang, acts included host for the evening as well as sound-engineer, stage manager and singer-songwriter Dayve Dean, Tim Lee, Luke Stephenson, Bitter and Twisted, and Footsteps who also kindly lent their cajon, thanks guys!

Although Monday-night gigging provides an incredibly tiring prospect, having not yet recovered from the weekend, and having to get back into my routine of working hours through the day and night through the week as well, I'm expecting to look back on this with fondness when (if) I recover.
Please see the Team Neve crowdfunding page at:

Fabulous turn-out of charitable music-goers for a Monday Night!
Thanks to Tim Lee for this pic of The BYs


Saturday, March 09, 2019

A flood of nice words!

We've just had this ace review from one of the most highly respected music blogs around, Here Comes the Flood;

"Eccentric, funny, tongue-in-cheek vaudevillian garage rock. with enough musical references to keep the music geeks at bay, like the Take Me To The River bit in Spiral Dive. Singer Jonathan Tarplee is an old fashioned balladeer turned indie rock musician, but the band's secret weapon is Emma Alcock with her uncanny knack for syncopation on both accordion and keyboards give the music an off-kilter quality that make the songs jump up and down in a good way."

Read the full review at

Saturday, March 02, 2019


March 1st 2019 - The Blue Yellows 'Kitchen Sessions' release Show.

If you're an unhealthy combination of worrier and control freak, then the many months of build up to meeting all the deadlines on the way to the successfully release of an album on time are a prolonged struggle comprising of garnering various people, software programmes, organisations, materials, third parties and so on... all against the relentless progress of time, any one thing threatening to cause a postponement of release-day and therefore scuppering months of promotional drip-feeds, press packs sent to music press, photography, conventional press releases and so on. Such a delay would then either end up being one of many months so that it can promoted properly again, or resulting in a bit of a non-event.
So it's a real sense of contented release I find myself in now, knowing The Blue Yellows can go back to being a gigging band again. Easy! 😉

What a lovely night you lot gave us at Tom's Tap and Brewhouse though, much of the talk afterwards while signing albums and so on, was how the young duo The Bugs owned that stage and played so well, these comments coming from a very knowledgable 'music-crowd' that really know their stuff. Pretty amazing for youngsters Owain and Dylan still at primary school!

Tim Lee, the brilliant singer-songwriter, friend and producer of the new tracks on this album, provided a similarly pitch-perfect tone for the night with his honest, emotionally and texturally rich songs.

The audience was full of familiar faces from near and far, many coming from Manchester as it worked out, and from further afield, some really good friends too, the only problem at an event like this is really having hardly any free moments to speak much.

To those of you there, thanks for giving us such a great night and sharing the happiness, contentment, new tunes and sense of... release.

This is a set-list pic from Tim's own blog-post on this event which you can read, in full HERE.

Tim Lee on superb form, photo by Rob Collins

Joined for the finale by Tim and The Buggs, photo by Rob Collins
You can now get to the new album on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer or whichever is your favourite streaming or download site, or order the limited edition CD, before they go, below!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Get the Blue Yellows single 'Toast the Night' and pre-order the album 'Kitchen Sessions' now!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Buggs on Air.

Today I joined the youngest band I know, acoustic rockers and students of mine, The Buggs!
This was for a radio session on Redshift Radio with host and presenter, Kel.
Owain and Dylan did a great job, playing and singing so well!
They will also be joining us for the launch party for Kitchen Sessions by my gang, The Blue Yellows on March 1st.

Listen again to the whole show here;

Listen again to the whole show here;

Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Kitchen roll out..

So, as the forthcoming album made with my gang The Blue Yellows and with another talented friend Tim Lee on Production duties, the roll out of promotional activities has started;

Firstly, the single Toast the Night became available on Feb 1st along with the option to pre-order the limited edition CD (see link above).

On Thursday night this got it's first ever airplay on Redshift Radio thanks again to Tim and his superb Doorstep Mixtape show.

Then last night, Friday, we eschewed our usual rehearsal for a live Q and A about the album (watch at the bottom of this post).

Tim also blogged about this here (thanks Tim!):

More over the next few days and weeks too...

Watch the livestream QandA (until we got cut off) here;