Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Compass in one's eyes.

Another gig at a new (to me) venue, another fabulous night. This time all sails were set for North by North West and the fab Compass venue in Chester and a lovely acoustic evening run by Dan of The Core, and featuring the formidable talents of Alex Green and Connah Evans. It was also great to bump into super-talented Sophie Morgan in the audience, who was fantastic at the recent Shrewsbury gig.

A print-it-out and draw-our faces poster...... if you like! ;)
Photo by The Core.

Songsmith Connah Evans wows the crowd.
Alex Green captivates with a bit of slap-tapping guitar & great songs.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Review of Attachment Theories in The Musician magazine.

I got my copy of The Musician and inside was this! 
From The Musician, Winter 2014 edition.

For further press coverage and reviews click HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A platform for live music.

Back to The Railway which Barrie & Sarah have transformed into a great, quality bar and acoustic music venue and the launch-venue for my album launch (cupcakes may have also been involved) a mere six weeks ago or so. Sadly they are moving on so Dan called up some of his musical regulars for an open mic 'farewell'. I hope whoever takes over treats the place, and it's customers, as well.
Photo by Mike Willacy of
The Shop Sessions.

Friday, December 05, 2014

A Beautiful night at The Bellstone.

A showcase of acoustic music at the rather lovely Bellstone in Shrewsbury, run and hosted by the wonderful Heidi Browne (UK Open-mic winner, recent play on BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music).
Below are some of the acts I got to enjoy!

 I played There She Moves, Big Low Copper Moon, Galleries and Beachcombing.

Beth Prior, just back from her Europen tour, holds the attentive audience.
Sophie Morgan was brilliant too! She recently played a slightly less intimate venue-
The Royal Albert Hall!

Musicians set up before the night begins under the leadership
of Heidi Browne.

One of many highlights for me had to be seeing Heidi play this, one of my favourite songs ever, by anyone.

Monday, December 01, 2014

A great new album out today - Headspace.

Ardent readers may remember that back in August I blogged about playing a session for Tim Lee and the album he was then working on. Well that album is out now, and I for one love it. It's a beautiful collection of notable songs. 
The emotive opening violin strings set the scene beautifully as a perfect introduction to the whole journey this album takes you on. Great songs, imaginative arrangements and hooky backing vocal organisations.  If you're looking for bombast and hedonistic escapism this might not be for you, these are often simple, deeply reflective songs with a direct honesty which anyone with even half a heart will surely love. 
Plenty of variety here too from the groovy but bittersweet Seven Lies to the almost Golden Brown-esque History, the bouncy bass-line and catchy riffs of the title track, and you can even hear a little of Tim's punk background in the anguished Little Tests. Personal favourites include the lilting Masquerade (one of the tracks which fellow BYs muso Hayley plays on), the lovely, heartfelt simplicity of True Love Starts Today and the outstanding The Source; a song which I think all artists of various kinds will empathise with, in it's understanding of the need to go back to artistic roots and original influences from time to time to feel again what they meant to you, so that you can progress forwards. 
Consciously or not, You Can't Keep a Good Man Down is a fitting description of where Tim is, on his musical voyage right now. 

Playing on the album back in summer
Photo by Tim.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A bit of Country.

November 9th.

On Sunday night I had the pleasure of supporting Aussie Country star Rory Ellis in a big function room in Middlewich. As one of the Cheshire Folk promoters, organisers of the show said; his voice is like rolling thunder. I didn't realise until this night what a funny guy he is, with plenty of comedy in his songs too!
A shot taken during sound-check by Lynne Barnes
Thanks Lynne,
Rory Ellis entertaining.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

The Levenshulme Festival 2014

The lights of the big city from my train window on the way home.

Last night I opened up for an evening of acoustic music for The Levenshulme Festival organised by brilliant blues-guitar-man Zacc Rogers, I say organised; he set up the PA, was sound engineer and performed - top man! 

Following me was anther great stomping blues player Ged Wilson, in fact the first 'notes' of his set were his foot stomping on the wooden pub-floor before his grooving, slide-dominated blues-playing kicked it,great stuff!

Then came the band Summer Cross, with beautiful, lilting folk tunes with a contemporary feel. Poignant, expertly played and acutely targeted too - songs about the disappearance of those key centres of our communities; pubs, one about a great long-lost music venue at Levenshulme; The Palace, and songs featuring Irish community history, something which clearly still resonates very strongly in this Greater Manchester town.
He probably wouldn't want me to say this but Greg Mulholland, the lead singer from Summer Cross also has another public role he plays, as the MP for Leeds North West. You don't need me to tell you that MPs get a lot of bad press, but there are those who do go into it for all the right reasons, because they want to make the world a better place, and Greg is definitely one of the good guys!

Ged Wilson - stomping great slide-blues.

Poignant lilting folk from Summer Cross - fronted by Greg Mullholand.

Monday, November 03, 2014

The Radio Tour continues...

Last night I enjoyed the sqaushy sofa and funny banter of the Marmite Junction dynamic duo Andrew Faraday & Sam Smith on ALL FM

I also met comedy film-maker & fellow guest Daniel Hutchings, who is making 'Django Away' Check out the trailer at the bottom of this post!

I was of course there to chat about Attachment Theories and next week's LeviFest!

Nowadays a major focal point in Manchester - The Manchester Eye.
I went for a wander and met up with some very good friends before the
evening show came along.

A sofa-selfie. A very squashy Green Room sofa.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Birthday Beats.

Not all the most fun gigs are playing to big music festival crowds, sometimes they're ones which are more personal like this; A surprise birthday party gig for photographer Tina Newbury of Simon Newbury Photography. Indeed, it was The Newbury's who feature as the Photographer for my portrait on the back of Attachment Theories.

Many of the talented usual suspects performed including Angus McTwangstick!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Attachment Theories Launch Party!

Album launch cupcakes were made a special one-off appearance on the Merch table!
Photo (and more importantly CAKES, by Mel Brennan.
I was genuinely chuffed by all the people who made the effort to come along to the Attachment Theories Launch party!
I was also honoured by my special guests who not only performed on the night but had all played a part in the album as follows;

Dan Logan - Album producer plus drums on tracks 1, 3 & 6, percussion on tracks 2, 4 & 5, additional guitar on tracks 1 & 3, bass on track 4 and banjo on track 2. As I said on the night, it's as much his album!

Dayve Dean - Backing vocals on track 7.

Hayley Strangelove & Paul Senior (Baxter) - Backing vocals on tracks 1, 4 & 6.

Tim Lee - Rhythm guitar on tracks 1 & 6 and Bass on tracks 1, 3 & 6.

Emma & Simon from The Blue Yellows - Track 7. 

Plenty of friends turned up to The Railway Inn, Alsager.

Great to see Dan perform with Dayve Dean again!

Hayley & Paul; Baxter were great.
Tim Lee perfomed his own version of
"Forget Her" as well as his own great songs.
Thanks Tim!
Photo of me  by great songster -Tim Lee.

The album is now also out on iTunes as well as bandcamp.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jonathan Tarplee solo album, Attachment Theories - OUT NOW!

"..this observational journey, sometimes reflective, sometimes questioning and sometimes well, sometimes capable of taking you another place for a second or appealing and engaging record."  - FATEA RECORDS MAGAZINE.

"Full of melody & honesty"  NIGEL STONIER.

Click on the image of the album above to download the album for as little as £4 or get the CD posted to you (plus the download) for £5.

The album also features the musical brilliance of Daniel J. Logan, Tim Lee, Hayley Strangleove, Paul Senior, Dayve Dean & The Blue Yellows.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Words, Music, Emotions.

I'm delighted this year to have some serious involvement with The Words and Music Festival. The biggest small festival I know of & one which is held in my adopted homelands in the market town of Nantwich. A small festival by some some standards, but one which punches massively above it's weight. The hard work of the main organisers attracts some of the most iconic and interesting names from music, poetry and comedy in the country, nee the world, as well as giving an airing to a good array of under-the-radar talent. To give you an idea at just how heavily this small-town festival punches, this years line up included Ian McCulloch and Badly Drawn Boy, the latter of whom played a beautiful, intimate performance from which my heart and soul are still singing, from having experienced it, as I write, last night. Check out the full lowdown on this year HERE.
Photo; Chris Driver

I played a few tunes at The Vine's Acoustic Cabaret night following an astonishing set from the hilarious, cutting-edge performance-poet Luke Wright. Then the main gig of my own was at the lovely Enzo coffee shop, providers of officially (and actually) the best coffee in town (as well as pizzas, cakes, beer and pretty much anything else you might want). I hosted the event which also included very special guests & brilliant song-writers Chris Capel and Tiki Black who held the audience completely under their spell. A lovely event, a delight!

Please check out my brilliant special guests; CHRIS CAPEL & TIKI BLACK !

Thanks to all who came down, I saw many friendly & familar faces, to Tim and Dan for their help and to Chris Driver for the photos.

Nantich News also reported on the event HERE.

Galleries, filmed by sound-man on the night, & ace songsmith, Tim Lee and joined on percussion once again by Dan Logan.
Introducing Tiki, Photo; Chris Driver.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A review of Attachment Theories by Fatea Records Magazine.

A Fatea-Records Magazine review of Attachment Theories and the..  "..observational journey, sometimes reflective, sometimes questioning and sometimes well, sometimes capable of taking you another place for a second or appealing and engaging record". 

Read more on the "Worldly musings" of this album HERE

A screenshot of the review - read it in full HERE.
See/Read the full review at

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Bear Wych Project.

I've said before that i've given up trying to predict which gigs will be brilliant and which ones disappointing, though you can't help looking forward to some more than others. To be absolutely honest, I wasn't expecting too much of this one, at least not during my daytime slot anyhow, but it was great; a lovely, music loving, friendly crowd who were really up for it, organised with time in hand, nice. All sorted by Middlewich Music,  Cheers chaps :)
The Edits were mezmeric

Lovely atmosphere

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Radio Daze

Red letter day, a tweet by Master song-crafter and producer Nigel Stonier was re-tweeted by none other than the legendary 'Whispering' Bob Harris!

If that wasn't enough, this was immediately before my first radio interview specifically about the album including some premier track plays on the Coffee with Kirsty show on The Cat Radio! Listen again here;

Friday, September 12, 2014

'In the Booth' with Ruth Jacobs.

I recently did an 'In the Booth' session with writer, broadcaster & campaigner, Ruth Jacobs

I've done so many utterly banal interviews (and always up for them too!) but these questions drew some uncharacteristically very personal stuff out of me (well done Ruth).

Read it here

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Food for the ears!

Sept 6th, 2014

The Nantwich Food Festival was, as well as food, the setting for large helpings of live music served in generous portions on various stages around the town. Once again, Dan was with me, not knowing quite a few of the songs we played this time, but as reliable as a metronome (but a lot more creative), as always.
With Dan on percussion on the Love Lane Bentley Stage.
Photo by Carl Foxley.

Love Lane - No entry!

The songs wat we done played.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Liverpool Acoustic at the LIM Fest.

Photo by Adrian Wharton.
 Aug 24th 2014

Another gig in Liverpool, a city which never ceases to amaze me in terms of it's positivity. The whole place is has a great vibe! Thanks to getting there a bit early and some very good friends who turned up, I had the chance to have a bit of an explore and everywhere there were fab and unexpected sights and sounds. What a place! If I had to live in a city, this would be the one.

I was guest of the great team and live music promoters Liverpool Acoustic and this was one of the many gigs going on as part of the Liverpool International Festival, this gig being outdoors in the courtyard of the very impressive Bluecoat building which functions as a vibrant arts center, Liverpool's creative hub, no less.  Luckily the monsoon season held off for it. 

A lovely, listening audience made it a pleasure and I was also lucky enough to be snapped by the talented photographer, Adrian Wharton. 
Many thanks to all who came along and all involved! 
A lovely atmosphere in The Bluecoat garden.

The Narrowboat Sessions.

Aug 22nd.

Facebooking music fans should definitely check out The Narrowboat Sessions

Well I unfortunately missed  Mark, Kira and the boat Carriad IV when they went passed my own boat, but I caught up with them in Llangollen. They have been in the process of traveling around the Northern canal network, recording all manner of acoustic artists and bands with a view in the run up to an eventual release of a live CD to raise finds for Cancer Research.

I'll post more on here if and when any photos or a video is published from the day (I took a couple of pictures but they wouldn't save for some reason).
Anyway check them out, some wonderful artists videos shown, a fantastic idea & cause too!

LATEST; The Narrowboat sessions official fb post and video of this is HERE.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Heard a lot about this place, The Tiger Lounge!

With thanks to Tuesday Tony for the gig
and the photo!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Attachement Theories - Preview tracks and pre-order the download and/or CD!

Monday, August 11, 2014

New live video!

You may remember I played at Enzo Coffee shop recently. Well the lovely folk at Orchard and Warble recorded and videod this respectively. 
It was a particularly hot and sweaty early evening (and to reduce the sounds from people outside, the door had to be shut for the recorded song) so I'm a sweatygonzalez!

Another lovely garden-party gig.

Last year I had the pleasure of attending a lovely garden party hosted by the equally lovely Martin.
Well it's all happened again thanks to his hard work and he played host to several wonderful acts. It was particularly fab to see Paul Howard Ellson perform again. I look forward to his poetry book coming out - wonderfully moving and insightful material.

Incidentally, house-party gigs have really taken off in the states, there something I am more than keen to do more of, if this interests you, please ask about it by email at :)

The wonderful Paul Howard Ellson
performing a poem.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Attachment Theories - About the Cover Photo.

This is the photo I'll be using for the album cover. It's by the brilliant Shropshire based-photographer, Verity Gray (check out her Flickr-stream HERE).

I love Verity's work, all her photos seem to have a tremendous kind of soulful consciousness. They are often from an unusual angle (sometimes literally) providing unexpected insights. With this post in mind, I emailed Verity to ask her to say something about the photo and she simply said "Grand Central Station, New York at it's finest!".

I can look at this photo for long periods and I still see new things in it. The scene depicted here, is to me on the one hand very alienating; a bustling, all-artificial environment, people are rushing so that they are just a blur, the crowds are such that individuality is hard to engage with, no particular faces or expressions stand out. People into the far distance are swarming like ants. Shadows are as true a form as people themselves.

However, part of this photo's duality, it's innate contradiction, is that as well as being an alienating environment it remains at the same time a compassionate one. This is also why I feel it fits in really well with the musical and lyrical themes of my album... There is not just loneliness in the crowd but friendliness, perhaps even love. The light from the middle window at the back, leading to that of the famous station clock, via the intense light from our 'other' photographer's equipment within the photo itself, then reflecting off the flooring material, clearly draws our attention to the two characters hugging each other. Perhaps the photographer in the photo was a passing stranger who was kind enough to capture this affecting moment, joining and sharing this brief period of warmth. From the crowds come points of empathy and kindness. As you look around, perhaps another couple are about to be photographed hugging too. Everywhere there may be groups of old friends and new ones, sharing adventures. This is a great, or literally "Grand" railway station, thus a portal to great new adventures or the culmination of adventures coming to their thrilling conclusion, people dizzy with fresh memories or expectations. The built environment also can be seen as stark, dark, shadowy, devoid of all non-human nature, hard but simultaneously as having an old-world charm and warmth.

I particularly like the aspect of this in which we can see this as a photograph of a photograph being taken... or 'our' photographer who gives us our eyes into this world is also now also possibly within this scene, as a blurry background image for the photographer or couple in the center of the scene. This has the effect of re-aligning us from our outside, viewing, detached, alienated observance of the scene and bringing us into it. We may be touched or thoughtful about the multitude of human interactions within the scene and at the same time are somehow within it ourselves, no longer the detached people-watcher, now we me be the watched as well. 
We are innately connected to, and within the scene ourselves. We are as surrounded by camaraderie and warmth, or as alienated and lonely as the people within it.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Solo Album-title announcement! "Attachment Theories".

A Headspace Holiday

Yesterday I returned to TLC studios, aka Tim Lee's place, to put some acoustic guitar tracks down for the album of great songs he is currently working on. 

Taking this "day off" from working on CD sleaves, thinking up promotional schemes and trying to figure out the best album launch event options (none of which comes easily to the average artist in my experience - we just want to make music!)... made me realise just how stressed-out about all of the above I have been lately.

It was a genuine honour to play on 3 of Tim's tracks, hopefully my bits might even make the final edit! Tim's a great singer-songwriter. If this had been 30 years ago perhaps a record label would have snapped him up and people all over the world would have been moved by his songs. The internet is both a blessing and a curse for music and musicians. I'm thrilled for example, to have people from all over the globe who are never likely to be able to come to one of my gigs, 'follow' me and say nice things about my music and what it means to them, but on the other hand you find yourself in a vast sea of people all shouting for attention, many of whom have money to pay for pluggers and other forms of influence. Anyway, i'll cut my rant off at this point just to say  If you look Tim up Tim HERE you have the chance to enjoy his music and check out where he's playing. 

Photo by Tim Lee.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A great little pub by The Railway.

I had a bit of fun last night in taking part in Dan & Pete's inaugural hosting of a new weekly Monday night jam/open mic nights. Quite a crowd turned up eventually and a fair few joined in before I had to get a train. The Railway Inn, Alsager is a great pub too with yummy beer!

Dan & Pete host the night.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Sefton Park, Liverpool, as part of the "Artisans in the Park" event.

A few mins before the start -my rather nice office for the day.
I'm never happier than when under a large banana plant :)
Liverpool seems to have transport about right, very little car-trafic,
a bike scheme, underground, trains.
This is the Catholic Church or the Shuttlecock as I call it.
The incredibly foreboding dark lump of rock that is the Anglican Church.
I used to be able to see this on especially clear evenings from all the way from Scholar Green, near the Staffs border.
Liverpool is beautiful, some of it on less-than-conventional ways.
Some "rock-guitar cases" outside of a LIPA building.