Friday, February 29, 2008


It's bloody windy tonight.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shadow Puppets

Some of you may remember a song I put up here before (lyrics) called Shadow Puppets about insomnia.

I've now worked out a melody and rough arrangement with my keyboard player. For those of you interested in hearing the tune for this song click this link

Shadow Puppets

I always welcome feedback at this stage before it's finally recorded!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Well living in safe old England I didn't think I'd be reporting on an earthquake today!!

Last night I got back from the Miners Arms open no mic and had a quick catch up on line of various things. It was quite late, sometime after 1am and I was lazily lying on my sofa in my study with my Mac. I was kind of drifty awake/asleep when the whole sofa started vibrating and I thought that maybe the neighbours were shifting furniture or something. But it went on for quite a long time and there was no noise associated. I jolted properly awake and thought I was going a bit mad because we don't have earthquakes here!!

Anyway - once it was finished I started wondering if I'd imagined the whole thing then I saw on Wozza's Facebook that he too had felt it in LONDON!

I went to bed and this morning on the news it was confirmed that we'd had the strongest earthquake for years reported all over the country with the epicentre in Lincoln - phew - I'm not going mad after all. I wish I was though - I don't like the idea of earthquakes over 5.2 on the Richter Scale!!!

Fleece and Firkin

As promised a few words about last night's gig at the Fleece. It was a singer songwriter night so was mainly acoustic songwriter's with their own backing bands.

The warm up act was a solo female singer called Lenny Savage. She had a great voice but although I thought she was very good, I can't remember a thing about the actual songs - maybe I'd need to hear them a few more times for them to make more of an impression.

Lenny Savage

There was another act then Ryan Inglis who was the main guy I'd gone to see. He writes funky, memorable songs and has a great voice and lots of energy. He has an album coming out soon so we've done a swap!

Ryan Inglis

The headline act was a woman called Sally Ann Langton and although she was good, for some reason I'd had enough after a couple of tracks and came home!

I went down there on my own but a couple of people I'd texted joined me, which was nice - it's good making new friends.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I had a good tennis session this morning - I really enjoy playing tennis - it de-stresses me, keeps me fit and is a good social group as well.

This evening I'm going to a free gig at The Fleece and Firkin, a songwriters night with at least 3 performers - I'll take my camera and post something tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to planning my new proper website - it'll have a forum facility for people to discuss songwriting, lyrics etc etc as well as everything to do with my music - less of the personal stuff more of the music. This blog will then remain mainly personal though of course, music will always be an integral part of the topics as it's what I do!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Hi - I thought I'd grab a minute to post something up about this week so far.

I've felt quite flat after all the excitement of getting the CD finished and the gig done although I've still got so much to do!

The next stage is getting the CD played on local and hopefully national radio and I'm going to start compiling a list of places to send it! Any ideas feel free to suggest them or any contacts any readers have.

I had a good meeting with a young website guy whose going to help me build a proper music website as at the moment I have three blogs, a Facebook AND a Myspace. That's not a problem but the boundaries of which is for what is blurred and I don't want friends here for example to feel I'm spamming them to buy my album so the music website will be separate. That doesn't mean I'll stop blogging about songwriting etc here (though I'll move my lyrics to the new website and videos etc) so people who are interested can go and visit there without feeling pressured to buy my CD etc!

I've also had a lot of work to do this week in regard to a couple of organisations I work with, including having to make difficult business decisions. Can't write about it here for obvious reasons of confidentiality!

Last night, I had a great evening. One of the guys from our songwriting group is leaving Bristol and heading off to live with his new girlfriend in London so we organised a goodbye party for him and as I have a big house we had it here!

There were about 15 people and as we are all musicians it turned into a tremendous jam sessions (pity the neighbours!)

Tonight I have a couple of friends coming to dinner and tomorrow I have a guy coming to do some drumming and see how it works out!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Several things have happened recently to make me really think hard about friendship and what it means to me.

Who are my REAL friends, who truly cares about me, who do I truly care about etc etc? What would they do for me and what would I do for them? Where do I draw the line in the sand?

None of these questions have clear or easy answers.

Sometimes, people I don't really think of as close friends (or hadn't) suddenly do the most amazing, kind and thoughtful things and you realise they really care about you and are prepared to put themselves out for you in a surprising and unexpected way!

Other times, someone you thought would be there till the end of time, just completely lets you down or worse is cruel and unkind.

Other people that I see in real life really often - like my closest couple of girlfriends who I see virtually every week and couldn't imagine not being there are my absolute anchors. My close family are sometimes more like friends than family too and I am so lucky where I live to have wonderful neighbours in my street who I know I can call on when I need to and they know they can knock on my door any time.

Others again, I see maybe once or twice a year and yet when we get together it's as if time stopped and we just pick up where we left off.

My spiritual teacher/guru is like a friend to me too although I only see him at a distance maybe once a year!

Then there are the internet friends and bloggers who have become as much a part of my life, and sometimes an even greater part in that I talk about stuff here that often my real life friends don't necessarily get to hear, also give me genuine kindness and feedback and encouragement and I try to do the same.

I don't know where this is going - I'm just rambling on - but as I said - some things have happened to make me really appreciate the nature of friendship recently and also how sometimes people can just turn from being your friend to being something else or from not being a friend to suddenly supporting you at an unexpected moment.

One thing which I know is probably not a good idea is to rely on just one person to be your only friend and that can happen very easily when you're in a relationship with someone - I know people who when they are in a relationship they forget their other friends until something goes wrong then suddenly they'll call you! Only human of course ha ha!

I'm rattled at the moment but I am so grateful to my real friends for being there whether it's off or online!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Song - No Friend Of Mine

Here's a little video of the rough idea of my latest song called No Friend Of Mine which I wrote at the beginning of the week. Sorry if you're on dial up!

It needs a few more chords and I'd like to record it with bass and simple drums - really bluesy! You can hear the tambourine rhythm which I do with my foot while I'm playing!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Strange Week

Hello again! This week has been good but I felt very strange. Firstly, after all the frantic preparation and nerve wrackingness of last Friday's big gig I felt a bit flat. Don't get me wrong - it went fantastically and I couldn't be happier as to how it went and it was wonderful to have my closest friends, family, neighbours etc at the gig. It just felt strangely quiet afterwards.

Also, I was still very upset about something a friend had done and I needed to process those feelings. So I did what I usually do when I need to think - jumped into Moon Palace on a whim and went off for a couple of days!

I went to a small campsite near a bird reserve which I love called Slimbridge.

On Monday, I sat and wrote a song about my feelings (I've posted the words already in my parallel blog here Song Lyrics - see link on right) and worked out how to play it. I hear the songs in my head first then have to find the notes and chords on the guitar or piano.

On Tuesday, I spent a few hours at the bird sanctuary until the tipping rain forced me to leave!

This was the biggest swan I've ever seen - this doesn't convey it's size but it seemed nearly as tall as me!

On Wednesday, I went to songwriting group as usual and had a band practice in the evening. It was good to start working on some new tunes. Tonight I have a meeting with a successful Bristol singer and she's going to give me some much-needed advice about getting tracks played on radio etc.

Amazingly, this week I've slept like the dead - this morning I woke 10am - absolutely unheard of for me so I must be much more tired than I realise! Usually I sleep maybe 6 hours if I'm lucky and this week I've been sleeping about 8 hours every night - weird!

Anyway - I've sold quite a few CDs and it's exciting sending them out to different destinations round the planet!

If you want a copy just click the Buy Now button on the right.

So - have a happy weekend whatever you're doing - I'll be going to some gigs etc as usual and hopefully trying to organise some new smaller gigs to keep the momentum going.

Bye for now xx

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Album Launch Party

I've finally got some time to sit down and write about the album launch party on Friday. It was FANTASTIC - I couldn't have asked for it to have gone better. I know that I played as well as I could and that the other musicians involved were all BRILLIANT.

My son and daughter did an opening set then I performed with the small band I'd put together for the night (keyboard/flute, lead guitar, percussion and backing vocals and me on acoustic guitar/keyboards).

Earlier last week, someone I'd considered one of my best friends virtually sabotaged the whole thing by a very unkind act but I was able to get past it and the show went on as planned - I came to the conclusion that he had his own issues rooted in jealousy and envy and that there was nothing I could do about it.

We had wonderful visuals comprising slide show/movie clips which synced up to the set and really made the show something special - everyone said how much they enjoyed themselves. The venue is a Polish ex-servicemens' club here in Bristol which is a great little place which holds about 200 and it was packed out - thankfully it was a sell out!

Getting ready on the night was hectic, especially as it was my first "proper" gig so I was on a steep learning curve! After my son and daughter had played, we played the title track off the album - Full Circle - then the MC and I had an onstage chat about what had inspired me to start writing and the main message I was trying to get across was that it's never too late to try and follow your creative voice (I didn't write my first song till I was 50) and follow a dream.

Then we played our set of seven live tracks from the album, the first on keyboard with flute:

The rest was on guitar with various combinations of the musicians. We finished off with a rousing version of People of This Earth (one of the tracks on myspace) and it was very, very exciting with everyone seeming to really enjoy it!

All my nerves seemed to evaporate once the first track was done and I thoroughly enjoyed playing the rest of the set.

After a short break, the wonderful Helele band played and everyone let their hair down and danced their socks off till chucking out time.

It was fantastic having all my close friends and family there plus lots of people I'd never seen in my life before!

I was also very aware of the support of those people who couldn't be there that I knew would have liked to have been.

There are loads more pictures on my facebook album so here's the link to that

More Photos

If you'd like to read a review and/or buy a copy of the album you can do so at CDbaby