Friday, March 16, 2007

And She Spelt My Name Right

Someone obviously taken with one of my lyrics! Thanks for the plug Cutienix.

If you'd like to hear the song, you can find it here:

I Don't Miss You

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Keeping it in the Family

I owe my mum lots of things, and it seems not least amongst these is what little musical talent I have (har, har). My brother and I were reminiscing last week about our childhood, and one overriding memory we have is of forming our own bands as small children and writing songs to perform for each other. In true Spinal Tap style, I can even remember a couple of the songs I wrote way back then and could attempt them for you now (I won't).

It would come as no surprise that as soon as we are able we started playing real instruments. Haydn had always wanted to play the drums, and after an initial experiment with a keyboard (not loud enough), I started playing the guitar (ah, that's better). I've never had a guitar lesson in my life, but almost immediately after acquiring my first one (a white Strat copy, it was pretty bad and was soon traded in for a Candy Apple Red Fender Telecaster) we performed at our local church, playing an original keyboard and drums composition and (somewhat obscurely) Wrapped Around Your Finger by The Police (my all time favourite band, Blog on their reunion to follow soon)!

After this we went on to form Air with a friend called Chris 'Kris'Holdsworth on synthesizers. This was in 1986 and we went on to play with two different bass players (stand up Steve Gent and Andy Philips) for 10 years. This included some fun support slots and even a play on Radio 1 by Steve Wright. Another 10 years later I'm still strumming and Haydn is still playing too, although his tastes have moved into the more muso Jazz world. Check out his new outfit here:

The Haydn Callow Trio

He's also a sight-reading teacher for Drum-Tech and you can see him speak here:

Haydn's Video Profile

So what does this have to do with my mum? Well for many years I have wondered why my brother and I seemed so interested in playing music, but no one else in our extensive collection of cousins and cousin's kids seemed to be following our lead... until now! And, of course, the person in question is on my mum's side of the family, so now we know where the genes came from!! So if you haven't already, please check out my cousin Murray's kid - Tim Pennels and his band Freedom of Expression. As an added bonus, I recorded and mixed all the tunes you can hear.

Freedom of Expression

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Modified Toy Orchestra

On a whim Alex and I went to see the Modified Toy Orchestra supporting Tunng at the Southbank Centre last night. I had no real idea what to expect, but was delighted to see a stage covered in toy robots, speak and spells and a panoply of garishly coloured toy instruments. Then there was the music itself! Invoking the spirit of Kraftwerk, Ultravox and early Depeche Mode, they were truly amazing. I've never heard such good music in a long while, and the video backdrops were excellent too.

Don't just take my word for it though, check them out:

BTW, Tunng were a kind of trance-folk outfit... I should have been worried when all the guitarists were sitting down! Kinda fun to begin with, but after 3 songs sounding pretty much the same I started to doze off. Needless to say, we left.