Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blog Holiday

Don't be surprised if you don't see a post here for a few days - things are hotting up this end with final preparations for Friday's gig plus I'll have a houseful of people for the weekend and I need to do the usual shopping and cleaning stuff too.

I went to song writing today and it was just what I needed after a particularly ghastly day yesterday as a result of someone I thought was a very good friend dumping on me from a very great height! Luckily, I have wonderful supportive friends and family and I feel better today - though still very rattled as it made me feel quite ill and I don't need that right now. I wish this person had waited till after Friday to spew vitriol on me.

Anyway, enough of negative stuff; last night, after drumming, I met some friends for someone's birthday bash and did a couple of songs at Presence, one of my regular open mic spots - I felt like smashing the guitar up but managed to restrain myself ha ha!

So, hopefully people will take lots of pictures on Friday which I'll post up here and anyone who'd like to buy the album will be able to shortly - I'm just sorting out the Paypal thing. Anyone from the UK can just pm me and send me a cheque the simplest and cheapest!

So........that's about it for a few days - none of you will ever realise how much your support has meant to me over the last few months of organising this gargantuam project and I thank you again.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend So Far

Last night I played flute and djembe for a friend at a great little gig in Bristol. We were on first and there were a couple more bands then a DJ and I had a great night dancing my head off and it was good as I needed to let off a little steam though I have bad headache this morning - I didn't drink a lot really but it hasn't done me much good - I had two pints of Guinness actually!

Today I'm having coffee with a friend then will do some more practice of my songs for Friday ...the days are ticking away now. Tonight I'll do a couple of open mics - that's all I can do now.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Gigs and Practice

The last couple of evenings I've gone out with various pals to a couple of gigs. The first, at the Prom, was a folk rock band whose name escapes me. Last night I had a band practice for MY gig then we went to a punk gig at The Croft.

Very noisy, so I used earplugs, that way you can actually hear the words surprisingly and not end up deaf for two days. The band was called The Disseminators and are very good though not my favourite kind of music. The drummer was very good (and fit ha ha) and the lead guitarist is a friend from songwriting and is extremely good!

The practice went pretty well though it's hard to imagine what it will feel like on the stage as we've never played together before - I think it will be alright - and if it isn't - well all I can say is I couldn't have tried harder to get it the best we can.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I need a dream by Malusi

This young poet is called Malusi and he comes to our songwriting group - he's brilliant. Judge for yourself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Quote For My Life

I heard this just now on the radio and thought it would be the quote of my life as it resonated so strongly with me:

"When your heart speaks, take good notes......"

If you see something that really moves you and you feel you might be able to do something about it - then do!

If you wake in the night and think it would be a good idea to write down your thoughts - then do!

If you think you can make a difference - you can!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Quiet Weekend

Well - unusually for me, I had a really quiet weekend. The weather here in Bristol UK is absolutely foul. We wake up every morning to what feels like the twilight zone - constant grey, grizzly skies and non-stop rain and wind - at least it's not particularly cold. My garden's a bog though.

I saw one of my best friends for a proper girly chat yesterday afternoon and another friend in the evening.............

This morning I played tennis and I've spent most of the rest of the day parcelling up CDs for CDbaby (the other place I'll be selling the CD), sending copies to various promoters and friends.

I'm practicing hard for the 1st and in a minute will go and run through my set AGAIN in my studio.

I'm looking forward to playing some of my other songs once the gig's over ha ha!

I'm very happy that our own Wozza is coming up to Bristol for the gig - hurray!

OK that's it for now.

*heads off to studio*

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gig at The Cube - Femmes Fatales

Just got back from a great gig at The Cube - an old arts cinema in Bristol which also hosts music gigs.

I'm not sure of the name of the first performer but after her was Bela Emerson, an amazing cello player who generates extraordinary sounds using loop and effects pedals. Following her was the amazing Emily Breeze who is a very raunchy rock musician and she did a great set despite breaking a bass string and appalling feedback - I'm half deafened and am glad I had some earplugs with me to protect my ears!!

A great night all round. Here's a link to some photos of the evening.

Gig at The Cube

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Good Day

I thoroughly enjoyed today. It was the first Songwriting Group day of 2008 after a 6 week break due to the guy who runs it having a big gig before Christmas and not being able to run it, then Christmas and New Year and last week he had a cold.

It was a big group today and high energy! Everyone was excited to see each other and hear about each other's gigs and new ideas etc.

I then had a practice with the people playing at my gigs (it's a kind of temporary band consisting of a guitarist (my producer), a keyboard player, a couple of backing vocalists and a djembe player). It went pretty well and hopefully will be fine by the 1st - we have two more practices.

Here's a copy of the new flier for the gig which the person doing the visuals for the gig designed based on my original idea. I'm hopeless at graphics but good at ideas!

After the practice, I came back here with one of the backing vocalists as I'M backing HER in a gig on the 26th playing flute and drums and we had a curry then a run through of her songs. Finished at 10pm!

No rest for the wicked - but a great way to spend a day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008


Well....where to start! Yesterday was a very busy day, some of it too boring to bother writing about here, such as meeting a builder re the windows and a work meeting - but the evening was great. I had my first proper rehearsal with the other musicians who will play with me at the album launch gig on Feb 1st and it went pretty well! I really enjoyed it and feel that it will sound pretty good by the 1st!

Today, I played tennis for the first time this year in the "bubble", had lunch with my mum, then went to the gig venue with R who is going to do the visuals at the gig. Basically she has designed a slide show to go with each track comprising still shots and movie clips which sync up with the music. We met up with the sound man for the night to discuss the stage set up and change overs, how the visuals will work with the tracks and the sound checks etc for the various performers. We also had a look round at the venue to think about how we'll decorate the place to make it look good on the night. Then I went to a local hotel to book some rooms for people who are travelling far to come to the gig.

Unbelievably, the weather was terrible today with driving rain, wind and snow leading to local flooding and all sorts of ghastliness - at one point I was driving through a semi-blizzard virtually unheard of here.

This evening, I met up with some old friends for a drink, watched a bit of TV and am going to try and have an early night!

Tomorrow I have various chores to do, various people to contact and in the evening I'm having dinner with some friends I haven't seen for years!

Hope you have a good weekend whatever you're doing. x

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Busy Day

This is just a quick post as today I have a very, very busy schedule including:

Piano tuner coming in a minute
Board meeting of an organisation I work with
Tea with a friend
First rehearsal with other musicians for my Feb 1st gig
Friends birthday bash if the rehearsal doesn't end too late

In between all that I'm doing paperwork, trying to sort out the *&!!X@**bleeping windows at my rental property, sorting out my own house, making a zillion phone calls etc etc!!

So - bye for now folks - see you all soon x

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Windows and More!

I bet you thought I meant Microsoft Windows - no - I mean Zenith f***ing Staybrite Windows.

Last year, I had the windows at my rental property replaced throughout by the above company (who did seem pretty good though EXPENSIVE at the time).

Yesterday, one of my tenants contacted me to say their windows were looking grotty and the bay below going all black and condensation everywhere. OK, no probs thought I, they are fully guaranteed and backed by an insurance policy which (naturally grrrr) I've paid for. To cut a long story short, I phoned them today and guess what (the timing of it gnash gnash) the company went into liquidation - yes - you guessed it YESTERDAY!!!!

Aggghhhhh - these windows cost thousands and now it's in the hands of the administrators. I can't leave it like it is because it's in their bedroom so it looks like I may have to fork out for the repairs myself.

Never mind, one way or another it'll get sorted but I can't believe the timing of it.

On a much nicer note, I had lunch with my neighbour from where I used to live today, we've always kept in touch - and that was very pleasant!

Tonight, we have our first drum lesson of the new term and then I'm going to the open no-mic at The Miners Arms to sing a couple of songs - much more fun than thinking about the damn damp at the flats! Will have to get it sorted though - I've organised a builder to meet me there tomorrow.

Full Circle

Just testing - this is one of the features of Vox that you can post and embed audio tracks. This is the title track of my album which will be ready mid-January. This track is very electronic, there are also a couple of rocky tracks and several guitarry acoustic tracks and a keyboard track. There are some tracks still on myspace but it's useful being able to post a track here too!

Full Circle - Listen

Full Circle

Just testing - this is one of the features of Vox that you can post and embed audio tracks. This is the title track of my album which will be ready mid-January. This track is very electronic, there are also a couple of rocky tracks and several guitarry acoustic tracks and a keyboard track. There are some tracks still on myspace but it's useful being able to post a track here too!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tail Feather

Just got back from a great gig at The Prom with a brilliant live band called Tail Feather strutting their stuff. They were an EIGHT piece with drums, guitar and bass, trumpet, trombone, sax, keyboards and a great, very large female singer with a big voice to match. They were playing really old soul tracks like Heard It Through The Grapevine, Preacher Man etc and got everyone dancing their socks off. I don't usually like covers bands but they were great!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Hi guys - I've set up another blog at Vox as it has proper comment alerts etc while Efx is down. I'll still dual post here but until Efx is sorted out you can find me at

Bye for now.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hush Hush Gig in Weston

Last night I did a solo gig in Weston (about an hour from Bristol) at the Hush Hush night at the Imperial. It went quite well for a first time, though I wasn't 100% happy with myself - but I suppose I never will be ha ha.

The other two artists were good - the first was a three piece playing original, lively ska like music, then me and finally a really young guy called Mario Ellis who is very talented.