Sunday, April 23, 2017

Making it Up in CW6

A pre soundcheck shot
  Sat, April 22nd, 2017

The CW6 Festival was the first Tarporley gig (well, nearly) for this Tarplee, here!

With The Blue Yellows, we were playing this picturesque and incredibly bijou festival, complete with pristine weather and plenty to do for all, especially if you love getting your sparkle on (most of the band did!), as it was all run by the lovely people at The Make Up Project and for a wonderful cause, St Luke's Hospice.

Thanks for having us!

A big thank you to Rik too, from event planners Speeches and Cream,  who did a superb job with stage management and sound engineering on the PA with top-notch equipment. Check the facebook page at

It was nice that my sister Suey, and music-mad niece Indigo (who was in a Merry Hell video shoot today!) could make this one, too.

Chilling with the band
A rough stage-plot 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tip of the iceberg. What do musicians do all day?

The gig, the show, the concert. The album, the EP, the single. All just tips of giant icebergs.

What lies beneath?

Hours and hours of daily;

Emails and social media messages to venues, promoters, sound engineers, radio stations, fellow musicians,
Form filling: Performing Rights society forms, Sound technician tech-specs, contracts.
Researching and communicating with good potential venues, festivals, promoters, media-makers,

Designing and creating posters, videos and other promotional material.,
Preparing and repairing instruments and other equipment,
Maintaining/trying to advance social media presence on various popular platforms,
Website updating and maintaining,
Maintaining 'peripheral' websites such as musicglue, BBC Introducing and dozens of others so that you keep/advance your presence there,

Problem/issue solving; Dealing with issues relating to the logistics of a specific show with all the people mentioned above,
Writing press releases,
Getting advance copies of recorded material to music mags/bloggers and other acclaimed reviewers,
Traveling to rehearsals and shows,
Practicing your instrument(s),
Studio work; recording, messing with files, production, contracts, liaising with studio managers, producers, fellow musicians.

Liaising with peripheral producers; music distributors, CD/sleeve designers, artists and graphic design companies,
Maintaining records for HMRC, doing tax returns from various income streams including different record distribution services, music tuition, royalties, music sales and more,
Getting involved in symbiotic promotion of festivals and other bodies you are involved with,
Fitting in all the other 'stuff of life',
Writing this!
All good fun though of course, if that's your thing! :P
From a Blue Yellows rehearsal (from instagram)

From a Rickety Wireless rehearsal
(pic from Instagram)

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Rock'n The Box

Photo by Tim Lee
A gig at Crewe's proper rock n' roll beautifully 'distressed', graffiti-bejeweled much loved venue, The Box. A fantastic team in operation here from Glyn, the captain of the good ship Colossus Productions at the helm to Tess, Harry, Stevie P who was recording it all (and interviewing us) for The Cat Radio and not least Adrian on the sound. 

This was significantly the best sound we have ever had at this venue on stage, and presumably out front 'in the room', given how good the other acts sounded. If you're in a band, you will know that sometimes you have to deal with terrible sound-scenarios on stage. Imagine singing but not being able to hear your own voice other than perhaps a faint, heavily echoed, fractured effect off the back wall of the venue which is now out of time with the 'live' instruments around you. Imagine hearing only one instrument where you are, harshly drowning everything else out. imagine not being able to hear another instrument that provides vital cues to where you are going next, musically. It shouldn't happen but it still does. 
If, like at this event, you have a great sound on stage, it means you can really dig into the sound, really enjoy it, and it gives you the confidence to perform really well. So often, a good performance is so much to do with having a good sound on stage. If it sounds crap on stage, no matter what 'form' you are on as a musician, or how well you might be communicating as a band, you're probably screwed, but the public probably won't why, and will think it's you.  I think I've made my point, thanks team - thanks Adrian!

We, that is of course The Blue Yellows, were there to support our stoner-rock friends Brave New World who were on the best form I've seen (heard) them in, do check them out! Again sound-guy Adrian would certainly have helped with their fab sound (and everyone was talking about the sitar effect afterwards)! They're onwards to The Cavern Club, no less, next. You can read more about their night from the point of view of their ace-of-bass (not to mention incredible songwriter and producer guy) Tim Lee on his blog at

Also in support role was the brilliant James Johnston, sporting a Bob Dylan T shirt, a powerful, gritty vocal and superb songs. Inspiring stuff. Do yourself a favour, go to the bottom of this post and listen to his new EP, Before I Lose My Mind.
Photo by  Kirst of KRPR Services

The rest of my gang enjoying a truly rock n' roll pre-gig ritual

Great to have such smiley company in the Green Room