Saturday, December 08, 2018

Organising a €{$$ up in a brewery!

December 7th, 2018

*What could possibly go wrong, as they say!!? Well..

*The previous venue owner mistakenly deleted the event (which she was still tagged into- my fault d'oh) meaning that 50 or so folk who said were going or interested were informed the event was cancelled...
*At the end of one song, the 'dramatic ending' involved me falling into the guitar rack and symbols behind me!

Other than that it was a lovely night playing for Rickety Wireless, Sean and Jacqui at Tom's Tap and Brewhouse were great hosts who were friendly and really looked after us.

Thanks to all who survived the cancellation notice and came along!

Because of the working environment of a brewery,
 and the stage being immediately in front of the big, brewing casks, a
lot of the general, malty crud from the floor had trasfered onto
my effects pedals, warrenting a good clean the next day.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

We name this ship...

It's getting closer (March 1st, to be precise), the new album I'm making with The Blue Yellows has been recorded, was mastered this very week (see insta' post below), CD distributors and printers have been contacted with issues discussed, as as I write, artwork is being tweaked to fit the necessary criteria. The plan is to get a batch of CDs ready by January to send to out reviewers, magazines, bloggers and so on as the serious players are mostly focused on reviewing material 6 weeks or so before release. The pressure's on.

We are also planning on doing a facebook-live broadcast in the near future, answering any of your questions on the album, or anything surrounding it. So feel free to let me know ANY of your questions on this, don't worry about it being too daft or not knowing enough about recording or music, anything at all - fire away here or on social media! 

Questions so far include; "Will The Lorax be on it?" and "Is the album a girl or a boy?"...

What's your Question?

A post shared by Jonathan Tarplee (@jonniegitahhr) on

Some different moments in the recording of this album.. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Savage brilliance at Enzo.

October 14th, 2018
Grace Savage performing at Enzo, which was packed out for the whole event.

Festivals come and go throughout the Spring and Summer and nearly all of them are vibrant and special, not to mention really exciting and fun to play.

But the Words and Music Festival is really particularly close to my heart, and being my 'home' festival, gives me a chance to play a full-on part in promoting it and helping out as well as performing. 

Running a whole event such as this 'Enzo Acoustic Zone' which has over the last few years become a regular fixture at the festival can have it's own stresses, especially for someone with a natural shyness (or more specifically social anxiety) such as myself, and many artists in fact. Whereas in a recent gig, I allowed myself to shake off some of the pre-gig nerves in a run around a rainy car park, at this event I have to look after the other artists, help them to keep calm while getting anything they need done for them, liaise closely with the sound engineer (my good friend and regular music collaborator Dayve Dean in this case) and politely fielding any queries from members of the public, requiring me to suppress my own nervous energy and my natural desire really to get away from everyone, find a quiet space and maybe warm up on the guitar or dispel some nervous energy in some other way, in ways that I might normally do.

Anyway, any level of draining, nervous energy more than paid off by the bucket load both due to the incredible talent of my special guests, and the the wonderfully music-savvy, listening, attentive, music-mad audience that is a feature of this wonderful festival as a whole.

The soulful, earthy, gorgeous vocal tones of and wonderful new songs from Tiki Black, poignant, incisive, witty poetry of Oliver Lomax, the perfectly crafted songs of top producer Nigel Stonier and, well... what can I say about Grace Savage, a truly incredible talent, and a privilege to introduce her on stage at a point in her career when she has just been Radio One artist of the week, and with 4 titles of UK beatbox champion... just amazing.
Please do check these artists out.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Stadium Arcadium.

Thanks to Jen Ogle for this pic.
5th October, 2018

A lovely night was had by all at a special night The Blue Yellows were asked to play in honour of our lovely mate and birthday boy Mike, of We Are Nomad, who also played their beautiful sounds before it was our go.
We were very under rehearsed and hadn't gigged since August, adding to the pre-stage nerves, in addition bassist Simon had the lurgy, and drummer Dave was missing some equipment and Em had back ache (especially not good when lugging very heavy PA equipment around is part of the job).
In spite of all this, and in my case after a little skip around in the rain to ease the nerves, I think it's fair to say we played with some gusto, and folk seemed to enjoy it.

Most of all, it was a night shared with plenty of lovely friends, plus.. two
 gigs in a row now, further bookings have come out of it.

These lovelies: L-R Drummer Dave, Bassist Simon, Keyboardist/Accordionist/Backing vocalist Em.

Didn't forget to clip my nails after last week.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

"You've just gone LIVE in Birmingham!"

28th September, 2018

Played a really fun gig with the boys of Rickety Wireless last night, in spite of a split finger-nail (a potentially major issue for a finger-picker like myself!) and following a last minute rehearsal at Rickety Towers (aka Dayve's home studio).

It was yet another reminder, in this age where you are more likely than not to be filmed by many people during gigs, of the strangely world wide nature of even lil' mini-gigs like this; "You've just gone live in Birmingham!", someone said. 

These Rickety gigs were just meant to be for a bit of extra money, didn't know they were going to be good fun as well! 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Telling 'em at Telfords

22nd September, 2018

You may have heard enough about Brexit and you may, or may not, be entrenched in your view on it, so I won't go on about the issue itself so much save to say that this was a wonderful event with a festival-feel calling not to re-run the referendum, but to have a referendum on whatever deal that our government makes (or fails to make) with the EU.

I've been feeling pretty down about the whole situation for a long time, and had practically given up on making political comments on social media because I had felt so despondent about the result, having argued continuously, vociferously and with such determination on the need to stay in the EU to preserve our rights and those of the environment and wildlife, before the vote. The EU is far from perfect, but much better than the right wing burning of rights and protective regulation that would result from leaving.

Anyway, this seemed a really well timed event, given the political circumstances of the last few hours, and it was a lovely optimistic and exciting event with some wonderful artists.

Many thanks to the folk at Chester for Europe and Rock for Europe of course as well as this wonderful venue, Telford's Warehouse.