Sunday, 30 June 2013

Glastonbury - Why All The Hate?

Reading Twitter last night there were a lot people getting irate about bands they hated or loved who were playing at Glastonbury. Especially the Rolling Stones. 

The Stones aren't my sort of thing, but if it makes people happy good on 'em. One guy got quite upset when i said it wasn't my sort of thing, it's not aimed at me. It's not that I hate it, as Morrissey said "It says nothing to me about my life". It's not for me, i like Sympathy For The Devil and they're magnificent characters but I don't really get it. It's not like The Left Banke, Guapo or Bobby Conn are gonna be up there, I have wilfully obscure tastes and if you want to accuse me of cultural snobbery you're probably right. 

I want Mahavishnu chords with Jellyfish singing, played with the energy of the Dead Kennedys. I would imagine a band like that would have quite a small audience. Just me and a few of my friends.

I'd rather talk about the music i do like than pissing about moaning about the stuff I don't get. I don't feel qualified to talk about a lot of this stuff, I haven't really listed to much popular music since i left HMV three years ago, except to say I think a lot of it seems a bit safe and the mastering makes a lot of it very flat. I have about as much interest in these bands as i have in toasters, ice skating or Scandinavian furniture. As you get older you learn to focus on the positive. 

I can talk about lots of new stuff I love Trojan Horse, Knifeworld, RM Hubert, Dementio 13, Wilco, Marnie Stern, St Vincent and loads more. No one is forcing me to listen to Beady Eye or The Vaccines anymore so I don't get annoyed about it. 

I'd still love to play at Glastonbury. I remember that all the brilliant wonderful stuff about the festival was NEVER on the TV (apart from the odd moment like Radiohead or Bowie). The interesting stuff takes part in the fringe weird areas with hippies off their heads at 4 in the morning in Tee Pees, where Ozric Tentacles could play at any moment. 

One odd thing, my generation seemed to listen to more extreme music than the current one, that doesn't seem right to me. Where are the new Carcass or Napalm Death? 

Shineback: Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed


I played on my friend Simon Godfrey's new album Shineback - Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed. Simon is best known as frontman of Tinyfish. It's released tomorrow. 

I'm on the songs Bedlam Days, Here Come The Envoys and Rise Up. We did it in one session, great fun. One of those make a funny noise here sessions, perfect for me. I really respect Simon and his attitude to making music, he's got a brilliant sense of the ridiculousness of it all. It's a great record and really brave. Talented sod, as is lyricist Rob and the other musicians involved. 

It's released on BEM who are also putting out Fierce And The Dead 2. But more of that later. 

If you need more convincing David from BEW wrote this, well worth a read.

Here is some actual stuff about it:

Titled Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed, this is the brainchild of Tinyfish’s Simon Godfrey, who tells us of the new band’s musical approach.

“For reasons I’ve never understood, electronica seems to be shunned by a lot of prog bands. They’ll play seven-string guitars and think they’re right on the cutting edge of music, which is nonsense. I decided to put away my guitar and not use it at all on the Shineback album. Instead, I play keyboards, computers and some synth. There are moments of guitar work, but not from me. I thought I’d get in people who could really play.”

Simon is joined by guitarists Matt Stevens (The Fierce And The Dead), Dec Burke (Frost*, Brave New Sky, Dec Burke Band), Hywel Bennett (Dec Burke Band) and Andy Ditchfield (DeeExpus). There are also contributions from drummer Henry Rogers (Touchstone, DeeExpus), bassist Paul Worwood(Tinyfish) and vocalist Danny Claire (Ion Blue, Michael Angelo).

Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed has a concept running through every track, with lyrics written byRobert Ramsay of Tinyfish. “It’s about a woman who takes a video camera inside her dreams, and films what she sees for a blog. Except that things go badly wrong for her,” explains Godfrey.

I like this photo.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

RM Hubbert wins Scottish Album Of The Year

So pleased my friend RM Hubert won the Scottish Album Of The Year award. Hubby is a lovely fella and an amazing musician. His album was my record of the year :) This song is heartbreaking and wonderful and his live show is really moving. The guy is such a great guitar player. 


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Todd Rundgren talks to Mark Powell of Esoteric Antenna about his latest ...

Really interesting to see Mark from Esoteric interview TR, if you'd told me when i used to listen to his stuff when i lived in Rushden 20 years ago I'd be signed to the same label as him one day I wouldn't have believed it. It's  an odd world sometimes.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Information Overload A blog post about time management.

One of my main week points is time management.

I'm at a point in my life where I have a fantastic opportunity to make the music i want to make, to collaborate with some amazing musicians and people to actually hear it.

I also have a wonderful wife and son. And friends and other stuff happening and a job where i get to be a musician working with people with Autism.

I'm bloody lucky (and this time last year I was in a pretty dark place so I will never forget that).

But i still piss away the time I have on Facebook, Twitter and other stuff on the interweb.

Not that talking to people online is a waste of time, it isn't and the relationship's I've built online via these sites have given me friendships and opportunities I truly value (you know who you are).

No what I'm talking about is:

Checking emails more than twice a day
Reading blogs i have no real need to read
Youtube videos
1000's of distractions

(you know what i mean I'm sure it happens to every bugger).

Stuff that sucks the time away. And if you research it they are deliberately designed to suck your time away.

So I'm trying to stop that and spend my time on the things I really want to do ie be with my family, make records, spend time with friends offline and online and create other useful stuff.

Have you got any good time management tips?

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Manchester Gig Cancelled/Last Day

Hi Blog Readers

Hope you're OK. 

The gig in Manchester has been cancelled due to reasons beyond our control, really sad news as i love playing in Manchester. Refunds available from the venue...

Today is the last day to get my album RELIC for a £1. Get it at:

The critics said:

"a work of beauty and genius, which is why I'd strongly encourage you to listen to the whole bloody thing."

"His music is increasingly hard to ignore: A singular voice speaking a new language and getting the message across with skill and fierce intelligence...frequently takes the breath away" Classic Rock Presents Prog 

Has the iPod changed our relationship with music? - Bill Drummond

Massive inspiration

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Positive Mental Attitude

To be in anyway successful as a musician you need to be somewhat deluded to be brave enough to get up there are do it. You need to believe in what you're doing and that's really hard. You need a Positive Mental Attitude.

What I do is write a big list and work through it. It's not easy and some days my belief goes. But you need to believe. 

Anyway Bad Brains say it better than me....


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