Sunday, 29 January 2012

"If It Ain't Stiff It Ain't Worth A ..."

Started off the week designing posters and flyers for my upcoming gig at the Curfew. Im rehearsing a half hour set, mainly originals with a couple of covers to make it palatable for the audience.  
Wednesday night I played an open mic in Bath. The football was on and a lot of musicians were wanting to play so I played a late one, going on past 11pm. On the bill was a local poet, a duo from Cirencester, (who were gigging no stop round the country anywhere they could), a rocker with a big voice, and a student who scatted sax solos over his songs. I went on after the rocker and over sang my set. I felt uptight, I need to somehow practice centering myself.
Had a car service that cost a lot of money which reminded me of last years plan of getting a few paid cover song gigs every month alongside playing my original music. So next week i’m back to convincing pub landlords and landladies that paying me to play "All the best hits from the 60‘s to present day" is a great idea. Wish me luck.
Thursday night with Scott resulted in him laying down some relaxed atmospheric organ, Fender Rhodes and bass on ‘Sad Stories’. The focus is still to have a four track release available to the world by Spring.  
The song I have been listening to mostly this week is Elvis Costello-I want you, an awesome song writer. 

Sunday, 22 January 2012


Monday 16th was the most depressing day of the year, statistically. The radio kept banging on about it in every bulletin so by the end if you wasn't feeling at an all time low you weren’t normal. I was a bit gnarly but no more than usual, I think...

I then attempted to play an open mic with a cold...

In spite of not being in the mood for winning over strangers in a big city I left for Bristol straight from working a 8 hour shift at the leisure centre of dreams stopping for petrol at the nearest garage, breaking into my last tenner.
Sticking to a long tradition of mine I got mildly lost and ended up parking where I had to pay. I now broke into my last fiver at a kebab shop, buying a can of coke (i didn't want) for change. I then promptly over paid the parking meter.
Walking to the venue in the persistent rain, i heard half a dozen police sirens, saw a super sized family about to have a fight, and tripped over the kerb.
Getting into the venue I used my last shrapnel to buy a half of lager and surveyed the lack of activity. The bar lady informed me the sound man and the host were always late.
After waiting half an hour, sending nonsense texts to friends to look busy, I threw in the towel and drove home, and I'm sure a speed camera went off.

I worked on ‘The Dunes’ session from last week at home. It ending up getting a bit too “urban” somehow. I bounced a track with a few ideas to Scott and we a had another session on it at his studio this week. Scott played in an interesting rhythm on his V drums, and we laid down a real bass take. Hopefully the song will eventually reveal itself to us to what it wants to be.
Decided to to have a go at making a video of one of my new songs ‘Sad Stories‘ at home. I filmed myself playing it acoustically in the shed. I got the colours right and got a good sound from my mic but unfortunately, (as pointed out by my girlfriend), I got a bit too into it and looked mental. So no link supplied. I will have another go in the future.

Been offered a 30 minute slot at the Curfew Pub in Bath from Mark Venus on Wednesday 1st February, so if your about people it would be lovely to see you.

Statistically next week will be a better week.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Midweek Maracas

Monday I had day off from the mad world of selling gym memberships and spent it round Scott’s studio. I expected nothing and got something. We recorded a guide piano and vocal for ‘The Dunes’, and rewrote the middle 8. Scott was not happy with his piano part but I bullied him into laying it down as it is in the right ball park and it means I can develop ideas for it in my humble home studio, and we will record all the parts again anyway.

Had my first live outing of 2012 at an open mic in Bath. The compere was playing when I entered the bar, he was in his late 40’s with a ruddy complexion, tracksuit bottoms (no socks), and an ear ring. He stopped singing the song (he was half way through), carried on looping the chords on his guitar, and started to talk (/shout) over to me...

“Good evening, looks like with have another musician in the house!” (I was carrying my guitar)

“unless that’s a sub machine gun!” ( It looked like a guitar )

I nodded his way and turned to the bar to order a ….

“ SO! going to come up here and play us some songs?” (I nodded, feeling eyes on me from all around from the bar), I nodded again, there was a long pause then I was about to say...

“Great we are all looking forward to hearing them....HEY MR TAMBOURINE MAN!”....and he was seamlessly back in.

Cruise ships were built for this man.

Two mates came from work, one is actually an x work colleague and lives in Japan, I was very impressed with his effort. I played three of my own songs and had a fairly nice time, especially when the compere jumped on stage and started rockin’ his maracas, (not a euphemism)

My tickets arrived for Roots Manuva at the roundhouse. Really looking forward to a London trip, hopefully also going to see some live jazz and achieve a hangover.

Much Love

Saturday, 7 January 2012

New Year Hi-Resolution

Very busy at work, as you can imagine all the people in the true spirit of their saviour’s birthday have committed the cardinal sin of gluttony and now need to repent by joining a gym and coasting on a cross trainer to early march (then cancel their gym membership for another year)

This week I have been listening non stop to Brahm’s 2nd Symphony in the car traveling to and from work. Its a bit dangerous as the ending is so powerful, (when it eventually comes after at least three deceptive cadences) it makes me close my eyes! Only briefly so please don’t panic and report me to the DVLA.

My you-tube exploration of ‘electro’ has included Boards of Canada, RÓ§yksopp, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Plaid, Venetian Snares and The Knife. The pieces of electronica that moved me most this week were Squarepusher- iambic 9 poetry, Plaid - New Family, and Boards of Canada - Julie and Candy. Always in the back of my mind is a hope that some process of listening to brilliance will diffuse into me but I know its mainly sweat with a bit of vision,(for most mortals anyway), that is going to result any decent work. If anybody has any pointers to an other great music please comment.

Started trying to read up on synths again and tinkering on logic with with a new track called ‘Cracks’. Printed the user manual for the Yamaha's 80-v (thank you to the work printer), and been dipping into ‘How to make a Noise’ by Simon Cann. Feels like im stumbling in the dark most of the time but im having go. Meeting with my mate Scott Fitzgerald on Monday to work on the 4 track ep for Spring.

Love to all

blair x

Sunday, 1 January 2012

into the stream

into the stream (demo 1/1/2012)

Happy New Year

Right, it nows all under one name, my own.
This years either going to be the end of the world (north korean's fat son pressing a button he wasnt supposed to) or a good year of music for me. My glasses are in focus, my guitar in tune, and im ready to roll.
I'm finishing my four track ep at Scott Fitzgerald fancy home studio. Its going to be a sparse, poignant marriage of acoustic songs and restrained elctronic (hopefully). Im still building on getting more paid 'cover song' gigs and doing a few open mics to get me going again, the next one is going to be at Mr Wolf's noodle Bar in Bristol, this Tuesday (3/1/2012). I've also started a new sound cloud-and uploaded another version of 'Into the Stream' on to it.
Big fat new year love to all
Blair x