Sunday, June 29, 2014

A community do in Crewe.

Mike & Rona AKA We.Are. Nomad
who played beautifully & kindly sorted the sound for everyone.
I agreed to play a community do on this summery day in Crewe's Victorian Queen's Park. It was the brainchild of Creative Crewe and included lovely music from festival regulars The Green Smoke Hokum Band, and Darren Poyzer plus performances and PA-provision and sound engineering courtesy of that lovely acoustic folk-prog duo We Are Nomad.

The sun also agreed to come out, as stated in it's contract!

Friday, June 27, 2014

A special night at Enzo.

Pre-doors, Dan's desk.
Now Enzo has a special atmosphere going on all of it's own, they claim on their website not to be experts but that they are instead, enthusiasts striving to learn new things every day. I can't really think of a better philosophy than that in any field - music included of course. Some of the best musicians I know of, heroes of mine, often feel that they themselves are not experts, and always still learning. It's the way forward folks!

So with this philosophy I shouldn't have been surprised at how good my pre-gig espresso was ... anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of the espresso, preferably a double if I feel I deserve it, and this award-winning espresso was as tasty as the best I've ever had anywhere. Huge thanks to Enzo of course, Orchard and Warble Entertainment for organising the night and the sound, headliners The Rinky Dinks who made for lovely musical entertainment, and most of all to the friends who showed up and shared in a lovely night.

An official poster for the event.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Support slot at the Hayley Strangelove Album Launch night.

The Freebird is where it all happened, here's a bit of the ceiling!
Hayley Strangelove has been a staunch entertainer around the clubs, pubs & festivals around the North West, Midlands and beyond for more than 10 years now, for a long time keeping her adoring friends and fans waiting for her to unleash her outstanding vocal and songwriting talents in CD format. Well finally it is here, Tutti Pelliccia her brilliant debut.

I felt genuinely honoured to support Hayley with a short set of songs (the last one of which the gal herself also joined me on). The night also featured Edd K and Lenny 'Hurricane' Lane  who produced the album and plays on several tracks (Lenny also plays with Bearfoot who I shared a stage with at Middlewich, it's a small world). They were both great.

Highlights; So many on this special night, especially during Hayley's set, including being joined on vocals by her dad (who also appears on the album) and Paul Senior (also of Son of Shinobi & Baxter).

Lowlights; exiting the stage by falling off and hurting a knee, doh!

The long-awaited CD. Buy it!
Photo by Mike Willacy. Mike's daughter
kindly made me a good-luck loom band!

I mentioned to Lenny my struggles with my transducer on
my mini-acoustic, asked him about his and he gave me one!
Top muso, top chap!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival 2014

This was another of several gigs this summer where I was to be accompanied by my producer Dan, this time in his role as percussionist-extraordinaire. 
I arrived at the venue (The Royal British Legion) to find Eddie,  excellent young muso from both Bitter and Twisted AND Bearfoot), walking around the room clapping in the time-honoured fashion for finding out what the room’s acoustics are like, and proclaiming that the venue had a metal roof which could make the live-mixing interesting! The sound-check itself was also a challege in that the stage area also sounded very “clattery”.

In spite of this, although the slap-back effect on stage never disappeared, the sound out-front where it matters most seemed much better. The venue was arranged internally in a cabaret –style layout rather than the usual seated rows/standing areas and was organised by the lovely people at Cheshire Folk who put on a range of special concerts throughout the year.

Time went on, people started coming in, the show started, one-rehearsal-man-Dan was on great form as ever, and so were the bands.

Special thanks to my buddy and excellent songwriter T.J Lee who took some photos and even made an audio recording of our set. 
The cabaret style seating pre-sound-check.

Thanks to T.J. Lee for another pic.

Dan playing a slightly smaller percussion kit
than last time out (allegedly). Photo by T.J. Lee.
Headliners Bearfoot, they and Bitter & Twisted provided great entertainment later on.

Audio-by T.J. Lee.