Saturday, December 31, 2016

Toasting the night.

The Crown Ballroom, Nantwich
There are gigs and there are gigs.
Last night I was back with my gang, The Blue Yellows for a very special one indeed, as our show was just a small part of the celebration of the marriage of two wonderful friends, Lucy and Tim... Tim being a part of the extended Blue Yellows family, having joined us on stage, and worked on production for us for some tracks coming out in 2017 among many other things.

We had a go at covering a couple of Tim's songs; You Saved Me (as requested) and Crazies, and although we are not a cover-oriented band, it also felt fitting that the last song we played in 2016 was a tribute to the late, great David Bowie.

Set List - Tim & Lucy Wedding.

Post sound-check selfie

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Rafflesia Dreams

Sample tracks and Pre-Order the new 14 track album Rafflesia Dreams, NOW!

Releases: First day of Spring, 2017.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Making of Attachment Theories.

Some lo-fi, home-made, rubishy short videos made about a professionally made, album.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

In the Arts Lab!

Yesterday I appeared on Mark Sheeky's ArtsLab show on Redshift with his brand new concept in radio, where the entire show content (including music, poetry and more) is a world premier.
I was inspired by this thought to send him a track from my next album (Rafflesia Dreams), 'Where the Golden Cornfield Light is Grown', my very first attempt in a home recorded track.

Mark is a mutli-disciplinary artist and in just a few hours, remixed this before the show to come up with his own version, 'Dreams of Golden Cornfield Light'. I'm very much the beginner here, and don't know how he does it!

Studio 1, Artslab 2, Episode Zero
New song, 1. Versions, 2!

I chatted about how my lack of ability in recording technology may have, in other ways, forced me to focus on creative aspects of the recording process. 

By the way, Mark is looking for new content of all types, poetry, sounds and more for his show. It has to have never have been published before, not even on facebook or youtube, so all you musos and poets out there, even rough demos and draft work, get it in to him!
Me and Mark pre-air.
Thanks to Redshift Radio for the pic.
Listen Again!

Monday, October 24, 2016


* Updated 27th October, 2016

My next album, "RAFFLESIA DREAMS" will have it's digital release on the 1st day of Spring, 2017. It is a lo-fi, experimental, home made album made with free software and recorded on my narrowboat via a single mic, plus some live and 'session' tracks.
Track Listing:
1. Where the Golden Cornfield Light is Grown
2. Watch Out! (or I'll stick you in my Poem)
3. Spring Will Come (when this flower opens) - Session track co-written with Jason Louth.
4. The Animals are Revolting

5. The Day I Die (live)
6. Where the Sky Meets the Sea - The BlueYellows session recorded/mixed by Tim Lee 
7. Venus Vesuvius
8. Hidden Shallows
9. Just Us Chickens (includes samples of Helen Kay's chickens)
10. Outcasts Have X-Ray Eyes
11. New Bonus Track (download only)
12. Live Bonus Track (download only)
13. Live Bonus Track (download only)
14. Dream of Golden Cornfield Light (Mark Sheeky Remix of track 1).
I will be appearing on Mark Sheeky's show on RedShift Radio this Wednesday at around 4pm to talk about it further.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cause it's worth it.

Another Sunday, another lovely acoustic afternoon of music, this time all in aid of a great cause.
Well done everyone, and good luck Kieron Smith! (See Neil Smith's facebook clip, below).

The bus can only take you so far on a Sunday!

This is what it was all about!

The Penny Dreadfuls were anything but...  Great stuff!

Dayve Dean rocked the house. Great to see/hear Nick Bayes join him again on bass!

Thanks to Matty Hughes for this  and the top photo!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Words and Music Festival, postscript:

An absolute honour to have my signature on the Words and Music Festival '16 guitar which was raffled off, alongside those of such notables as Stornoway, John Cooper Clarke, Eddi Reader and Whispering Bob Harris who also performed this year. Whoa!

The guitar was won by one Mr Ian Wilkinson, nice one him!

                   Festival volunteers Mark and Eddie manhandle the signed guitarMy signature, by Mark's thumb, among the greats!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Espresso Love

Sunday October 16th, 2016

My 2nd gig at the 2016 Words and Music Festival, and a chance to do my Joolz Holland, not on the keys,  but rather in not only playing some tunes for the assembled pizza/coffee/music lovers, but also to introduce my wildly talented guests, Soulful songsmith Tim Lee, award winning poet Calum Dwyer and the wonderful virtuoso guitar playing and songwriting of Jo Bywater

Do click on their names, above so you don't miss out when they play a gig near you or have a product to listen to/read.

Many thanks to festival photographer, Chris Driver, for these photos!

Thanks too, to the lovely, attentive music-loving audience and Enzo themselves, providers of gorgeous coffees and Pizzas, for hosting!

Lots of very talented people around at this festival, and in the audiences. I got another lovely tweet from a very talented artist, this time, Hannah White! Thanks for letting me know about this, Hannah, and err, I'm sorry!

Dan Logan on percussion with me. Photo by Chris Driver.
Poet, Calum Dwyer. Photo by Chris Driver.

Tim Lee, Photo by Chris Driver.

Jo Bywater, Photo by Chris Driver.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Crowning Moment.

Thursday October 13th, 2016

I have known Nigel Stonier for many years, at least as far back as the existence of the Sandbach Arts Festival, which he organised and, if I remember rightly, raised funds for Amnesty International

Last night was his gig at the Crown Ballroon, Nantwich for the Words and Music Festival, of which Nigel is one of the directors, but only rarely plays solo, himself. I was delighted that he asked me to do a solo slot and not only that, join himself, Thea Gilmore and Fluff for the final song! Top night.

The whole evening represented a celebration of now, nine, yes NINE successful years of this amazing festival. A real pleasure to be a part of it. Nigel received a very well deserved round of applause for the amazing part he has played in coming up with the 'mad idea' in Thea's words, of starting this festival, which now hosts some of the most incredible, international acts.

With thanks to Kirsty of KRPR Services for some of these shots (the good ones, as credited)! 

Guitars wait nervously in the
Green Room

Thanks to KRPR Services for this photo.

The finale! Thanks to KRPR Services for this photo
This part of the rider
didn't last long.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Time for a T?

Monday, October 03, 2016

Alderley and Wilmslow Beer & Wine Festival. A Festive Day.

October 1st 2016

Not only was this event our last open air festival of 2016, it also marked the birthday of the band's keyboard.backing vocalist and all-round wonderful person, Em! She and Pete brought the little ones, as did many members of the public. Not just a boozy event then, a frivolous fun-filled atmosphere with plenty of child-dancers. Always makes us laugh and warms our hearts.

Thanks for giving us a great time!

We were all impressed by Ceva (band members about 14 years old), catchy Indie band who rocked the stage before us.
Thanks to the fabulous @TheBlueYellows @LaurenLovelle @cevabanduk @ColetteTodd @EwanSim_ for yesterday. Amazing the lot of you :) cheers!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Exactly what it says here...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Scouting for the Lost Chord.

Thanks to Brave New World for this photo.

2am set-list writing to save set-up time the next day.
17th Sept' 2016

Setting; the beautiful village of Audlem, the venue, Audlem's Scout Hall, the scene of many a cool gig by all accounts.
This was a charity day of live music and stalls, successfully raising a decent amount of dosh for The Christie and The UK Scouting Association.

We had gone into this seriously under-rehearsed to be honest but our mojos appeared to be working, it being an 'in-the-zone performance after a couple of songs anyway. Also playing were an eclectic range of fabulous acts including Rivers and Kidd, Brave New Word and Bash and Strum, all very enjoyable. It was just really sad that friends of ours, Kit and The Icefish didn't get to play and were understandably upset after making the significant effort and sacrificed involved in turning up, waiting around and getting  themselves and their equipment ready. There was good will all round however, and this was no-ones intention, and it was lovely for us that some really good friends came some considerable distance to show their support. Thank you!

Set List;

Killing Me

Big Low Copper Moon
Where the Sky Meets the Sea
There She Moves
The Owl & the Willow
Love Limpet
Toast the Night
Love is the Answer
These Boots are Made for Walking
No Tobacco, No Jesus!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Be Hep to the Jive!

You can now help support my music by ordering a range of T-shirts themed on my music. No, really! They look cool too. From under £8.
Full range at

Full range at

#youknowyouwantto #drunkenpurchases

Sunday, September 04, 2016

No one goes home humming the light show.

Sept 2nd, 2016 (evening)

Gig number 2 of the day, the setting being this tranquil little town's most bohemian pub, The White Horse, and a support slot with one of the very best bands I've ever seen in my life, the incredible Pre Sleep Monologue. Do yourself a favour and check them out! I don't understand how they are not playing big halls or even arenas, but they will blow your socks off wherever you see them. It was more of a rock crowd of course and I raucoused it up a bit compared with the earlier food fest gig.
After playing so many open air festival gigs lately it was great to hear a closer, more boomy, edgy sound back in the confines of this place, aided by the brilliant sound-guy/muso Al Dean.

Thanks all!
P.S. Thanks for the rad light show from Foxy Carl Foxley's feet!

The awesome Pre Sleep Monologue.

Cooking on gas.

Sept 2nd 2016 (afternoon)

It was Nantwich Food Festival time and I was lucky that my long set at the event happened to coincide with some great weather. I'm always very nervous before going on stage (I should probably worry if that stops happening) but I let the music flow after a few minutes, a longer set at least allows this to happen. Last year's crowd seemed more reactive on the face of it, although that was a later, perhaps 'merrier' slot and I had Dan Logan to add some extra umph. However they (you)? were an attentive crowd and polite applause followed each song, so I was really heartened by the lovely comments a lot of you made to me in afterwards, in person or on line. After all the writing, rehearsing, stressing, preparation and promotion, it makes it all worthwhile, thank you!
Many thanks to Liz and the whole Redshift Radio team who made it such a great weekend with everything going on there!

Comments like this make it all worthwhile, thank you!
Great photo by the talented songwriter, Tim Lee, who also performed.
I love the sky reflected in 'Red Severn'. Thanks Tim!
A lovely, polite crowd enjoying all the fantastic food and drink on offer.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sofa, so good.

'Little Blue' relaxing.
I was back on the Redshift Sofa, this time for 'Easy Like Sunday Morning' and that great radio-voice belonging to Paul Boniface.
We talked about lots in the short time we had including the differences and similarities we find in 'the written word' and songwriting, plus lots about upcoming gigs including those the Nantwich Food Festival, Words and Music Festival, supporting Pre-Sleep Monologue and my upcoming Autumn shows with The Blue Yellows.

Listen again here;

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Where Waters Meet.

Middlewich again, playing for those lovely, not to say award-winning folk at Middlewich Music at The Bear Wych Project 2 (festival).
The weather turned unfortunately, but at least the rain looks so lovely on the canal. :)

An official poster
Some of that lovely wet stuff falling into some other lovely wet stuff.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pedal Power.

My 'usual', portable pedalboard to the right and 'old' big one, center and  left.

I've been playing with some alternative possible pedal-board configurations for 'bigger' shows with the band. My wonderfully portable pedaltrain nano board lets me take all the essential basics to a gig or rehearsal in a highly portable little package, but I've been looking to expand things back up a bit for when the BYs have a big show and I want to make a lot of weird noises with my toys! By the way, I made a video some time ago about an earlier configuration of my 'nano' HERE.

I went onto Steve Bebe's great radio show, 'What's Happening' to chat about all things Nantwich coming up, especially The Food Festival and Words and Music Festival, and play a couple of tunes, from the start of the 2nd hour. Listen again below;

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Getting in Key. Recording with The Blue Yellows; Session 2.

Em had been absent from the 1st recording session with the band for the current record we (The Blue Yellows) are working on, as she was really quite busy with her newborn baby, Heidi! Now, she was ready though, and her keyboard sounds were the main thing yet to be recorded on the tracks we're laying down with our production maestro, Tim Lee.
It all took place in very domestic, relaxed surroundings and went really smoothly. 

Em at the Keys, Tim at mission control.

Em worked quickly, not needing to go over anything too much on keys, pretty impressive really, given how much time she has been out of the band lately. I was there to do some backing vocals with her; she used to work really well together with Hayley when Hayley was in the band and I thought it might help if we were both there to help sort backing vocal harmonies out, in the end, for technical reasons we recorded one at a time on vocals and it wasn't a problem. A really quick, productive session, and two tracks are now sounding really promising. Exciting stuff, we can't than Mr Lee enough for all his hard work!

There wasn't as much waiting around as usual in recording, but I just had time to see some niceness outside.

Recording  doobries.

Monday, August 15, 2016

When is a Garden Party a Festival?

Why not host a gig or (even mini-festival) in your home or garden?

August 14th, 2016
Connor, one of many great performances at the Garden Party event.
In The States, ‘House Concerts’ have become a big thing, but haven’t yet taken off in a big way on this side of the pond, though I know some artists who have managed to put some shortish house-tours together. This is a bit of a surprise really given that ‘staying in is the new going-out’ and that cooking for friends has become such a huge trend.
Sunday’s gig provided fantastic evidence as to why you, yes you should organise one.

Lovely hosts Martin and Elaine booked some of their favourite artists (the usual thing is just to book one artist or band, but M&E got themselves a whole mini-festival), provided the most delicious food and drink, had friends and family around. This has become something of a greatly anticipated annual event, and luckily, once again, the weather was perfect for it (though I was greatful for the shade provided, that could equally have provided rain-cover). 

This event was all about poetry, as well as music. One of my guitar students, Connor Owen was the only person to perform both poetry and music. An excellent performance poet, his newly-honed guitar skills have advanced so quickly that he would’ve still been impressive had he been playing and practicing regularly for a decade. I couldn’t ask for a better advert for my tuition (more details HERE folks, by the way)! Though of course, as with everything, as a teacher I am only really someone who can provide tips, guidance, encouragement, enjoyment in playing (it is playing after all) and facilitate the learning that really takes place within the student’s mind and hands. An event like this is actually quite a demanding prospect for an introverted control-freak such as myself (and as I know many artists are); The ideal really being a highly structured fold-out of events including a knowledge of exactly when soundcheck is, performance start and end times, set-up, running times and so on, so that I can carry out my (mostly internal/psychological) preparations. If any of this was an issue for Connor though, he certainly didn't show it. Very well done indeed!

It was the first performance by the whole band, all 4 of us that is (The BlueYellows), since Em took an extended period off for the birth of little Heidi. A quick rehearsal the day before was enough to give a good performance in a more laid-back acoustic mode, which seemed appropriate for this event, though with recording and gigs coming up this Autumn, we are well and truly back!

If you want to discuss terms for booking the band for a private event, contact us via or myself for a solo gig via

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Rickety Riot

August 12th, 2016

Had a fun gig, as the guitarist and one of the singers with a brand new cover act called 'Rickety Wireless', at The Railway Inn, Alsager. Fun times with Dan Logan and Dayve Dean.

Photo by Dayve Dean.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Recording Update...

(Copied from my facebook page, just so you know)...

Recording update; I've been too busy with all kinds of rehearsals, live shows, teaching guitar, promotion etc... & neglected this lately but have just managed to put in a couple of good 15 hourish days in and think I have now done all the recording for this experimental project. Hurraaahhh! 

It's seems to have come to a natural end in the sense that what is probably going to be the last track on the album is a significant change in direction, musically, though it fits in thematically with the album so far, if that makes sense. I think the last track, as an ending, may also mark a new beginning as I will keep on recording the next, next album, before this one is released.
I'm really pleased with the last couple of tracks I've done and not so fussed as I used to be, about the first couple (though I hope to fall back in love with them soon, especially when I work out how to play some of them, live), another reason, I think, to round this project off.

When will it come out? I don't know is the short answer!

The BlueYellows are also recording. Preparing an album for release; including promoting it, sending off press copies for review, organising launch events and sorting everything for physical copies (if there are going to be any) is a very time consuming and expensive process and I think I will need at least a 6 or more like 8 month gap between the release of the next BYs thing and my solo thing, and I don't even know which one will come first yet.

Next,/in the meantime; lots of live very exciting live stuff, including Autumn shows with The BlueYellows as well as my solo ones. Stay toooooooned.

Well done if you got this far, by the way, just felt like telling someone and there's no one here apart from the friendly sounds of Helen Kay's Chickens (in my headphones)!
See you out there somewhere!

Monday, August 01, 2016

A Big Day.

A Big Day Out sometimes needs a big tent or two.
July 31st, 2016

A return to the grand open spaces of Dorford Hall for another gig there, this time, for the fabulous South Cheshire Big Day Out where I was, once again playing on the Redshift Radio stage. I say the Redshift stage, I should say that commissioned by them as it was a completely different stage set up but I was well looked after again, so all good!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Say 'Cheese'.

July 27th, 2016

My second year performing at The Nantwich Show, on the Redshift Radio stage, thanks guys.
As usual, such a long commute on the train ;)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Attachment Theories T-Shirts!

Available HERE.
You admired the photo, bought the album (didn't you?!), now buy the T-shirts, available on my brand new music glue page HERE

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Brave New Worlds

23rd July 2016

I had the potentially daunting prospect of standing in for the regular front-man in an established band. Psychedelic rockers Brave New World being the band, Chris the regular lead-singer/guitar-slinger being on his honeymoon. So I was brave enough to join The Braves (or rather it seemed so far away when I agreed to it but time soon sped by far too quickly). 
In the end, I had needn't been so nervous, the band are a lovely bunch and, in spite of a few technical issues in the first part of the set, we rocked our proverbial socks off. I know that I certainly was far from my technical best, being severely under-rehearsed for this,  but we certainly made a beautiful noise, and lots of it. It was also really well run by a friendly lot, and the bands were well looked after (which is sadly not always the case at such events).
Great fun!

Addendum, 26/07/2016; A net  £1698.72 raised for Guide Dogs for the blind, top work everyone!

Happy Campers near the front of the stage.
Backstage at Castlewood Rocks...

BNW guitarist Derek tunes up
in the back-stage area.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Different Skies.

June 17th, 2016

I always enjoy sharing a stage with Debbie & Kurt.
So great to have a packed out live music show in a pub featuring all original music. Pubs seem to be the notorious denizens of endless repeats of ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’, ‘Superstitious’ and various other rock hits played over and over again by endless cover bands churning out ‘what the public wants’. Maybe that’s not entirely true though as, as I find so often these days, there does seem to be a strong taste for quality new music, it’s got to be an exciting change to the usual stuff, surely?
So, a packed out crowd then and a support set from me, this being the album launch of a good friend of mine. You really couldn’t meet a more honest, trustworthy, principled guy than Martin. He really has a generosity of spirit which the world could do with a lot more of. Martin Rivers has his great new album out, ‘Different Skies’ and had assembled a special band just for the occasion (though who knows, will we see them again)? The band consisting of members from a range of local groups from various genres including SkeletalDamage, We Are Nomad and Green Bullet. It’s great to see Martin at a new zenith, having had a journey in music which has taken him from punk to prog, folk, singer songwriter shows and duets. A new epiphany seems to have been reached with this wonderfully dark, yet compelling and uplifting album. Do treat yourself and check out THIS LINK.

I am a little late with this blog post for various reasons, and I must now add to this that shortly after this great show, Martin had the sad task of letting his friends know that his partner in crime, musically for a number of years Dan Kelly, had sadly died. Dan was the other half of Rivers and Kelly, a very special duet, who together, had a sound reminiscent of the cozy feeling of putting on a favourite old vinyl classic from a bygone era, fabulously absorbing. Dan was a real gentleman, a gentle man in fact. He was a staunch socialist who lived by his strong principles, a lovely person who everyone who knew him will miss.

Rivers & Kelly. Dan Kelly R.I.P.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Alsager 2016.

July 9th, 2016

The Alsager Music Festival seems to get better year by year, this year I thought would be a major blip in that trend due to some torrential rain earlier on and on-and-off-rain through the day. But, no. The crowds flocked, set up their own seating, tents and awnings to make a full and indeed great weekend of it.

I sadly missed Kit and the Icefish, (do click on the artist names in this post to find out more about them) but heard lots about how good their set was. I enjoyed Katy Galloway's uplifting set before it was my turn, and afterwards Dayve Dean who did a sterling job headlining the the acoustic stage in the mini-amphitheater of the Sunken Garden in the park where it all took place. Thanks to the professionalism of the sound guy Marc from MG Audio Solutions for a great sound as well as all the lovely people who came to stand, or sit on the hay-bales or their own impromptu seating to watch.

Thanks Jane from Kit & the Icefish for this pic.
It was great to bump into lots of familiar faces including Simon from the band. We had some time to enjoy a couple of bands with Dayve and an old friend, Caroline.

Majenta is the colour.

June 8th 2016

A year on from the Lyceum and I was gigging again at that bonanza of international dance and music that was Lailat Al Raqs 2016, this time at Nantwich Civic Hall.

Delighted to be a part of it, many thanks to Majenta for organising the whole thing, and sound-man James.

Pre-show photography with one of the dance troops.

Not an award-winning documentary.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Recording begins with The Blue Yellows; Session 1.

26th June 2016

Our friend, top-songwriter guy Tim Lee kindly offered to do some recording for The Blue Yellows. A large and windswept haunted hall near the Cheshire/Shropshire border was the setting.
An inspirational message had been left for us on the door.
 The only downside of the whole thing was that Dave, our poor drummer was really suffering with terrible back issues, lugging equipment about and drumming itself, doesn't help. Get well soon! Em wasn't available yet at this stage, having recently given birth to little Heidi but will add her keyboard parts and any backing vocals sooner or later. :)

Tim Lee in Red, mixing for us, Simon prepares on the bass
while Dave runs through a track up on stage.
The night before, Tim had been preparing the
guide tracks I had made.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Magnificent Middlewich! (2 Festivals in 1 day, Part 2)

June 18th, 2016

I have often played the wonderful Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival, one of my very favourite festivals of all, and often had the pleasure of being able to take in many of the other artists, bands, stalls, boats and very lively but friendly atmosphere. Not this year sadly, as my rushing from a previous festival, in Chester, and limited time prevented me from enjoying much time as a punter. Similarly, there was no time to take the boat (I live on a narrowboat, do keep up p-lease)!... this year and both use this as a base, and an excuse to really feel a part of it.

The organisation, atmosphere, lively but music-mad audience could not be bettered though.
Shortly before 'kick off'.

 Many thanks to the lively audience who were up for a bit of fun, and even on-stage hugs in some cases! The organising team were a friendly, calming and proficient bunch in spite of working night and day to make this happen. The Stage organised by and around the lovely folk at Middlewich Narrowboats, seating area and surrounding stalls and bars made a lovely sheltered zone for enjoying live music with the family. 

I was lucky enough to catch The Roamin' Jasmine, a fabulous band on tour from New Orleans to sunny Middlewich playing some dixieland standards to a very high, well,  standard - as you would expect from 'the real thing'.

A special mention too must go to ace songwriter Tim Lee (do click on his name to treat yourself to details of his music and live shows), who not only helped me out but also took some of these photos. Keep an eye on this blog for more about him, in collaboration with The Blue Yellows very soon!

Thank you - you lot! The audience around the Middlewich Narrowboats Stage.

Many thanks to Tim Lee for this photo.

With 'Red Severn'.
Photo by Tim Lee.

With 'Small Blue'.
Photo by Tim Lee.

It was great to make
Middlewich Music's
'Picks of the weekend'.@middlewichfolk 😊