For reasons yet to be explained, yesterday I found myself on the steps of the Bombed Out Church in Liverpool yesterday demonstrating to former-Pele and current Amsterdam frontman Ian Prowse the chords to my song Holly.
What he plans to do with the song at present shall remain a secret and a mystery…
It’s currently 10 to 1 in the morning. I’m in a horizontal position on a futon in a suburb somewhere outside of Manchester. Gorton? I think it’s Gorton.
The room I’m in is one that was been laid out for the specific purpose of peace, self exploration and enlightenment. It’s a religious kind of room. There are prayer mats and candles. There is a photograph of a guru.
After missing my train back to Liverpool, a kind man offered me this spare room as lodgings for the night.
He is a most religious fellow and a bloody good musician. He assured me earlier on in the taxi home that he didn’t plan to convert me. I’m much obliged. He had a song called ‘Cool To Be Kind’. I like people like this.
He has a job interview in 9 hours and I am crossing my fingers he gets it.
I’ve just had a fantastic night at The Whiskey Jar Open Mic hosted by living legend Joe Mcadam, where I was a prebooked guest.
The best (certainly the most novel) aspect of Joe’s open mic is his merciless demands of the audience that they be quiet during artists’ performances.
I’m putting it quite politely; he really tells people to shut the fuck up. It’s outwardly fierce, yet this approach betrays a heart of gold and a heavy passion for music.
A great host.
Some terrific musicians on display tonight.
My set seemed to go down well; Oh Rocko, followed by a cover of Couldn’t Love You More by John Martyn and finishing with Daisy. People came up afterwards and remarked upon it with genuine and sincere enjoyment. I am completely useless with compliments about my music and generally tend to say things like “thank you” (sheepishly) or “that’s very kind of you”. But all in good fun!
Having bought a big sod off double bed this week but not had time to put it together I am quietly grateful for this opportunity to get some shut eye in a tranquil room such as this one. So here it goes.
Yesterday I learned, or re-learned, a valuable lesson.
Which is: do not turn up to a rehearsal with musicians playing with you for free and proceed to play the same two songs for an hour and a half. Particularly when one of them only really needed the intro clearing up a bit.
No matter how much you like your own material, hearing it over and over again and steadily growing more sick of the sound of a melody of even the sound of your own voice is worse when you put that to the collective.
That said, the other recent practices have been so enjoyable it’s hardly felt like work at all, and the new songs coming together for the album are brilliant. What’s been profoundly shocking is how much of a great bass player I didn’t realise Adam Lewis was. I mean I knew he was good, but he’s even better really.
Described by the founding editor of Mojo Magazine Paul Du Noyer as “cheering and addictive”.
The video above was first shared by the makers TableTop film – please check some of their stuff out.
Launched on the day I supported Beans on Toast on The Shipping Forecast, while I was playing at The Gallimaufry in Bristol and then The Whiskey Jar in Manchester the video received over a thousand views in less than four days.
I’ve also been having conversations with Danger about a collaborative album he’s putting together in the new year with some of the veterans and up-and-comers of the local music circuit. He’s a good cookie.
This was the last song of my set that evening in the Baltic Triangle, where I had been hosting the District stage for many hours. The talented Jord Hewitt was behind the mixing console.
‘Big Love’ was a song which originally appeared on FM’s 1987 LP release ‘Tango In The Night‘, which I believe was the first album my Uncle Simon ever bought on compact disc. It was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic; reaching #5 in the US Billboard and #9 in the UK. I’m sure it was a hit on other charts in the UK and US, and in other countries, but for some reason, no one feels this is worth mentioning so it hasn’t seeped into my anorak-brain yet.
The incredible Lindsey Buckingham, who held the pen behind this track, had originally intended this to be a part of his third studio album but for reasons unknown to me this ended up being a Mac album. He can’t have been that keen on the idea though: he quit the year of release. Musicians do that sort of thing. They make these albums and then they run away.
Fleetwood Mac wouldn’t include the song in a live show until Buckingham’s return in 1997, where he famously brought the track out somewhat stripped down. Stripped down arrangement-wise anyway. That ridiculous hybrid picking he does is something I cannot even dream to touch.
Last night me and the band (bassist Adam Lewis, drummer Chris Cousineau and guitarist Dominic Brooks) did a cheeky little set at The Cavern Pub at the Monday Club. The lovely Ian Prowse was looking for a support slot for an Amsterdam gig on the 31st of May at The East Village Arts Club in Liverpool. Suffice to say we unfortunately didn’t get it, but it was great fun and we wish him for the best for the 31st. I feel Ian raised far too many expectations for the audience that night with regards to telling people I would be on later throughout each half hour as a ‘sexy beast from Shropshire’.
I’ll also be making a return to Shrewsbury to play some sets at The Dolphin Alehouse this Thursday from 7pm before their weekly open mic starts up at 9pm on Thursday 15th. I haven’t been back to my hometown for a while so imagine my Mum will probably be in the audience.
Then Friday I’ll be playing at the Commercial Hotel in Chester from 8pm onwards. Looks like I’ll be able to catch the train home if it finishes at 10pm!