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!