I am thrilled to say that the Sonics are coming to Glasgow.
I am even more thrilled to say that the Primevals will be supporting them. I can't remember if "He's Waitin'" was in our very first set or if it came in after a few gigs, but they have always been a touchstone for us.
Hope to see some of you there!
As part of Record Store Day, Love Music in Glasgow are putting on 13 bands in the shop.
Some of the bands (including the Primevals) have records out as part of Record Store Day.
If any of you are in Glasgow, do come along - it will be a blast. We're onstage at 5:30
These lovely people - Mark Ellen, David Hepworth and Stuart Maconie are coming to your town
Deaf Insittute, Manchester - Tuesday 6th May: Live and In Person
be quick for tix
I’ve published a fourth novel on Amazon for the Kindle.
It will be free to download worldwide from early Monday 14th to late Friday 18th this month.
The download will work on all computers, mobile phones and iPads with a Kindle app.
Also five of my previous books will be free for the same length of time. Just click on the author’s name on the Amazon page to see them.
Actress Andrea Maitland, a highly successful star of family films, accepts the lead role in an art movie as one half of a lesbian couple. After she signs the contract she learns of a disturbing hidden expectation concerning her part in the film. Also she will enter her co-star’s life and body in ways that will defy rational explanation.
Enthusiasts of surrealist films by Luis Buñuel (The Exterminating Angel, Diary of a Chambermaid, Belle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), David Lynch (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive) and Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre) should find a lot to enjoy in this novel.
I have known Shev for many years now having first met him when some friends and I were looking for a singer for the Beatles Specialist band I was in, our John having just left, and he was the only guy who answered the ad. Turns out he'd done some other pretty impressive stuff before hooking up with us (there's a link to a potted biography just below) and we ended up sharing singer-songwriter nights, long car journeys, and on one occasion, talking down our drummer from his avowed intent of circumnavigating the hotel on the third floor ledge. He also maintains that Cher only covered Walking in Memphis because he was playing it in a bar near the Wembley Arena when some of her crew came in for a restorative post-soundcheck pint and must have mentioned it to her.
He's made an album with a local record comapny, and after talking about going to Nashville for more years than either of us feel comfortable recalling, his long-suffering wife one day asked him why he didn't just go? Through the auspices of his label he's set up a couple of shows over there while he's visiting and is blogging about it.
I'm keeping up with it because he's a mate. I'm sure there may be others here who also might like to imagine Stephen Fry doing the voice over as a shakily focussed hand-held camera follows him down the street in order to rent a guitar. His first entry is here - http://www.ohmercyrecords.net/#!blog/cjqt/post/1/81909260363
I have two tickets for Nick Lowe at one of my favorite venues, the Union Chapel in Islington.
Unfortunately have managed to book a holiday for same week, so they are available.
Face value £65 for the two. Let me know if you want them.
One of the things I think about during the recording sessions for my album is the question of just how far I should try to push the musical envelope. By that, I mean: how much time should I devote to experimenting with the sounds? My songs invariably start out as chords strummed on a guitar or vamped on a piano, but the recording studio is a creative space in which basic ideas can be re-imagined and transformed, given flight by the power of imagination and a degree of technical nous. The limp little caterpillar of your home demo might become a beautiful soaring butterfly once the studio witch doctor has worked his gadget-magic, evoking the software gods of sonic sheen and sparkle. So why spend time, one might ask, making music that sounds a bit like some other music that folk will have heard a thousand times before? Perhaps I should set my sights on creating something unique, something so idiosyncratic and personal that only I could have made it?
To read more on this topic and to hear a track from the album, please visit my blog:
The next London Mingle will be on Friday 16th May at the King and Queen on Foley Street in London, W1.
Everyone welcome. Newcomers will be warmly embraced and forced to eat cake.
The Mingles will be quarterly from now on; if you can't make this one, there should be another one in early September.
Hopefully see you there
I'll be making an appearance as a member of The Tuesday Club. Here is the blurb....
Thurs 6 March, Doors 8pm
263-267 Old Brompton Road
“Utterly fabulous ... Damn Vandals, they are amazing!” Shaun Keaveny, BBC 6music
The Tuesday Club
“One of the most exciting acts I’ve heard all year.” AAA music
“Burst of freshness and vitality … one to watch” The Sunday Express
Donate what you can! No cover charge, but any donations will be gratefully received on the night.
I will be fifty this year. What better way to celebrate than by going to the pub with some mates? In fact, why don't I go with those mates I used to play in a covers band with? And take all our gear with us?
So, after a few "...and Sex Farm has gone to number four in Japan"-type chats, emails and phone calls, we've decided that we're going to go to The Steamboat, New Cut West, Ipswich and we're going to do our thing one more time. We'll be playing in the bar though, not the toilet like some other chancers do.
If you want to know the sort of thing we'll be doing there's a Spotify playlist of the originals here; http://open.spotify.com/user/1163801448/playlist/4bdLXkCgiTu8Qq7mguCVRe
...and the slim but attractively-priced book I wrote about our time together is still available here;
Other than that, if you can't make it you could always send a card.
As part of his upcoming tour, Rick Wakeman will be performing Journey To The Centre Of The Earth at Sheffield City Hall on 8 May.
The show commemorates the 40th anniversary of the release of the original album and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Jules Verne's novel.
The show will be in two parts. Part one will feature Rick at the piano recounting the genesis of the album, and the trials and tribulations he faced while recording it. The second half of the show comprises a full performance of the album, accompanied by orchestra and choir,and now incorporating recently unearthed material omitted from the original recording.
This may well be the final opportunity to witness this classic epic album being performed live,so don't miss out!
Tickets are, of course, available from all the usual outlets, and from the link below.Go get 'em!
As part of their upcoming tour, Yes will be appearing at Sheffield City Hall on 7 May.
The line up now features the core of Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White,together with Geoff Downes and Glass Hammer vocalist Jon Davison.
The band will play three classic albums in full - The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Going For The One.
This will be a night for fans to hear once more some of the bands best material, such as Awaken, Close To The Edge, And You And I, Starship Trooper, Yours Is No Disgrace, I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change to name but a few, but it will also be a great way for new listeners to get acquanted with the band's catalogue and sample the dazzling muscianship on show.
A good time will be had by all !
Tickets from the usual sources of course.
I have published my fourth novella on Amazon for the Kindle.
It will be free to download worldwide from around 9am on Monday 10th to about 9am on Saturday 15th this month.
The download will work on all computers, mobile phones and iPads with a Kindle app.
God or The Devil? Choose Your Weapon
A mythical hit man accepts a contract to kill the top members of a criminal organisation.
My previous novella Eyes Drift Back will also be free for the same length of time.
For people with American Amazon accounts* I have managed to put a promotion on a collection of my first two novels and three novellas. From 11th to 17th this month it will be 99 cents (plus tax I assume):
* It’s too low a start price for the UK apparently.
Record Shop City is a guide to the record shops in and around Manchester and the surrounding towns, of which there are surprisingly quite a few. It's fast becoming *the* best place for music shopping out of London IMHO, there's everything from the iconic Indie store Piccadilly Records, to record shops that double as Cafes, hidden gems like Endless Music in Prestwich and curious places like Record Shack in Whalley Range which appear to have no set opening hours and are perhaps not for the faint hearted!. Anyway, do have a look in as we've just done a big revamp of the site, and should be easier to navigate on your smartphone or tablet of choice so you can use it on your next record shopping expedition. Do check it out and let me know what you think.
Vienna Ditto - "Portishead doing a Tarantino soundtrack" (Huw Stephens). Or "Lily Allen doing Goldfrapp" (the FPO).
Support by The Holden Girls - Cambridge teens literally recording their album with paper-round money.
The Sun Inn, Waterbeach.
Doors 8pm, entrance is free.
I’ve had some interesting feedback since my previous post about the decision to record an album and to write about the various issues associated with that process. One correspondent suggested that I was approaching this from the ‘wrong direction’, because true artists shouldn’t be bothered with financial considerations; this person stated that, if filthy lucre was at the top of my agenda, I would be better advised to stick to my day job.
I’m intrigued by arguments about the ‘purity’ of art. It seems to me that, unless you have a benefactor (or can survive on just the occasional bowl of steam), money will impact on how and when you produce your work. If you can’t make a living from it -which is the case for the majority of artists- then whenever you spend time and money on your art, it is time and money you are not devoting to something else; it is time you are not giving to your loved ones and money you are not spending on essential bills or other items.
Should I spend a couple grand making an album because I feel the need to, or should I put that money towards my mum’s hip operation? Should I hire some really good session musicians to sprinkle fairy dust over my stupid little songs, or should I use that cash to give my kids a really good holiday? It’s a difficult call.
To read further musings on this topic and to hear another work-in-progress from the album in question, please visit my blog:
I've been on some terrible, terrible dates, which I write and doodle about here:
Hope you enjoy it
We make our first visit of 2014 to the McMassive's spiritual home (The Laurieston, Gorbals) on Friday 7 February. Come one, come all! There should be AWers there from about 4.30 onwards.
Bring your CD compilation too - the theme is "science & nature", so let those Caledonian creative juices flow.
If you've never been to one of these, don't be shy, come and join the gang - and don't worry about the location, it's a perfectly fine, decent, proper-style Glasgow pub.
On Sunday 9 March the magnificent Camel appear at Sheffield City Hall to perform their seminal 1975 album The Snow Goose in its entirety.
Now that keeper of the flame Andrew Latimer is mercifully restored to full health, this classic prog band are once again able to embark on live activity.
Fans will of course be more than familiar with the album, based on and inspired by Paul Gallico's story, which was rerecorded last year with new arrangements and artwork, giving the piece a more contemporary feel without losing any of its original beauty and majesty.
The concert will be in two parts, one half comprising The Snow Goose, the other showcasing a variety of material from throughout their illustrious career,encompassing classic albums such as Mirage, Moonmadness, Nude and I Can See Your House From Here.
This may well be the final chance to see this epic piece performed live, so get yourselves along to Sheffield City Hall, one of only four UK shows, and join Bargepole to catch this unmissable experience!
Tickets are available from the City Hall box office by the usual methods, and start at a bargain £25.