RED SKY

Season’s Greetings (as opposed to Standard Greetings – all hail Alex Lester).

Valley Brides have a new song up on MYSPACE today. Called Red Sky, it’s a dreamy little number if a little unsettling if listened to in the dark. Perfect for listening to whilst staring out of a train window as the world speeds by. Or anywhere, really.

Also, here’s a couple of new portraits:

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VALLEY BRIDES ON MYSPACE

And the link to take you there is here.

Paul and I are very proud of our music so far. If you are the sort of person for whom music means something then you may have found yourself something good.

The first album is now written. We have a title and we’ve even sorted out what’s going on side one and what’s going on side two. As we get them recorded, we’ll put them up onto myspace for you.

There are three there now. What are you waiting for?

And if the Great Dorset Steam Fair is something that does it for you or, indeed, someone you know then you/they might be interested in the audio/photo slideshows that my friend Roger Bell and I are now lovingly churning-out for South West Archives.

Oh, and thanks to the hundreds of thousands of you who visit this blog. The previous sentence contains no statements of fact but typing it is fun.

Have a good week!

40 is the new 40

Had a party for my 40th last Saturday. Seemed rude not to.

Really good set from DJ Roger Wilco and live music from, among others, the amazing Valley Brides who are Paul Machin and me. It was an awesome set although I think we had the PA up a bit too loud. That’s the first gig done and dusted. We now move onto making a record and doing more! I’m waiting to see if anyone filmed it; there were a few cameras pointed our way. Thanks everyone who came and sorry your ears hurt from the volume.

Did another gig on Saturday daytime at Bridport Apple Day with the folk-tacular Yellow Room who are David Squirrell, Emma McEvoy and me. A friend, Rich Lisney, made a recording to go with some pictures he took.

Have a listen if you want.

Are computers and the internet a load of old toss? I believe so but it’s tricky to get away isn’t it?

Have a nice day!

B-SIDE THE SEASIDE

I’m doing the photography for the B-Side Multi-Media Festival 2010.

If you’re in and around Portland and Weymouth (or can get there) over the next week and a bit, come and have a look. There are lots of thoughtful, touching, eloquent and quite frankly uncategorisable installations (my words, not those of my sponsors I hasten to add) to go and enjoy – it’s all good stuff!

I’ll put a few pictures up if I remember to.

Went to do some today and met lots of nice people, one of whom was Hywel Davies who’s a composer and sonic artist. Come and see his work on Chesil Beach, Portland. It’s very beautiful.

Also today I received a commission to photograph the artist Don Bachardy in London. Very much looking forward to that; very much not looking forward to paying for car-parking in the capital.

Last night Paul Machin and myself had our second rehearsal. Honestly, you just wait!

Hope all is well with you.

Headline goes here

Hello again.

Here’s some things I’ve been up to. Why should you care? You needn’t of course but here you are reading it so I don’t know what to think!

Last week I had a get together – a meeting of musical minds – with Paul Machin: he organises our arrangements into pop hits, I’m still trying to pass myself off as Johnny Marr. It works though! Paul is also a much smarter-dressed man than I and so I think my first in a series of mild, mid-life crises will begin with me buying some red converse sneakers. If I look a tit, I’ll know who to blame.

Also last week I had the pleasure of recording (totally separate musical project) with the musical marvel that is Robert Lee. I’d been promised a ‘go’ in his studio in return for some photographs I did a while back and last week we got started. I’m doing a song I don’t really plan to use with Paul Machin but, you never know. Rob is a very intuitive producer. I’m doing a bit more this week and will post the song here when it’s done.

Did a couple of jobs for the Times Ed. Shot the second one on film: I’m so rock ‘n’ roll it’s untrue. Also had a job photographing an author on Sunday: beautiful light, crappy backgrounds. Ha-ha, a red-herring for you there: beautiful light is the only one you have to worry about. One doesn’t notice anything else if there’s beautiful light and a definite moment.

On Saturday we went up to see my Mum and also went to see my brother in Love Never Dies. I was very excited and proud to see my brother up there on stage at the Adelphi singing with a full orchestra. Nice one Joe. He took my boys for a look around backstage afterwards too. He also showed me the script for ‘Campus’ that he’s filming for channel 4 at the moment. I only read one page but was crying laughing even so. Should be good!

Lastly, my Mum recently took a couple of photographs of me and of my brother. They are such truthful documents that I have to share them with you. We both love our families (we each have two children) and here’s the proof:

Pop music

Yes, hello. Is anyone out there? Is anyone in here? Who am I?

I’ve started writing some rather brilliant pop music with a man that I shall, for the moment, refer to only as ‘PM’ for they are his initials (and it’s not me – of course). It may be that he giveth not a toss about whether I name and shame him here on the world-wide-what-do-I-care.

What’s for certain is that I have not been as excited at the prospect of writing with someone else since I was in a band with Mr Gary Mundy: a man who would come up with a beautiful guitar part for any song and leave you feeling in love with the world because your song now ‘worked’. ‘PM’ leaves me feeling the same way and I’ve only so far heard his half-arsed piano parts (said for comic effect – they’re amazing).

What do you care though, dear reader? Well, you will when you hear it. Watch this space. Experiments in pop music coming to you sometime in the next decade. After all, there is washing-up to be done too.

Gig report

’twas a good one: my first solo gig last night (in Bridport).

Quite a few people came to see it and I even managed to squeeze in a cover of Dancing Queen.

What I did notice is that putting all my 10 songs together like that really highlights things like common tempos and such. I’d like to write more songs that ‘rock’, only, one never feels like writing ‘rock’ with just an acoustic guitar.

Robert Lee (musician/songwriter/producer) who came along said that he would be up for doing a bit of recording. I’d really appreciate a bit of input from another someone else (my wife doesn’t really say anything when I play the songs – I can never tell what this means although I must add that she made it to the gig last night so…).

Thanks to those of you who came to the gig and remember, if in doubt, get the teapot out.

Some recent photographs:

Solo gig tonight

What could possibly go wrong. Surely nothing.

Well, it turns out it’s all about perception: for me it’s a nervewracking, slightly surreal prospect; for everyone else, it’s some bloke singing in a bar.

TONIGHT: Bar No. 10, East Street, Bridport about 9.00 pm.

And here, purely because I just found it again, is a photograph of my brother Joe and I in New York (in America – you must know). We were both there separately for ‘work’ and bumped into each other near a café. All my early experiences of flying were with newspapers sending me. It was only when my wife and I booked our only real holiday abroad that I realised you had to pay for tickets yourself.

I can recommend ‘cloud cuckoo land’ as a fine destination.

When The Spirit Is Gone

Once again, a post title full of intrigue (hardly) and not all about running out of vodka.

I have written and recorded a new song and I’m very pleased with it. Although this is all coming to you via clickety-click links and internet connections, be advised this was made by a real human in real time who got sore knees from recording it whilst kneeling down on a hard floor. The fool.

It should also be pointed out that a record producer I ain’t.

Enjoy.