Friday, June 27, 2008
Last Saturday (21st June) I travelled down to deepest Devon to celebrate the wedding of my friends Frog and Victoria. It was a simple but beautiful ceremony followed by a fun reception at Victoria's parents place. The afternoon was made all the more surreal by near horizontal drizzle, gusting winds and the strange twilight you get on the Summer equinox (for that is what it was). The reception itself was in a marquee and the drinks were in two adjacent gazebos, which meant a trip out into the rain every time you wanted a refill, that certainly helped peg back the drinking. It wasn't until about 11pm that someone actually had the idea of moving the drink into the main marquee, we should have thought of that earlier!
I wasn't just there for drinking, mind you, I was also performing. The happy couple had lined up a few acts to play, and as they deemed my the least eclectic I was happy to step up and go on first. I had planned to use my vocal effects and looper, but in the end plumped for a more simple approach which more fitted the occasion. I played All I Want Is You, Do You Want To Dance? (with a cunning reference to Frog's Angry Badger song thrown in) Lightkeeper, When The Snow Fell On Denver (which is Victoria's favourite song of mine, curiously it is about not getting married?!) The Fool I Am and I Need Your Love. We ended with a rousing chorus or three of It's Summertime which went down very well with Frog's sing-a-long lyric sheet.
Following me there were a few other performers working their way through a collection of covers and original songs (including Angry Badger, and Large Sofa). Which was all very well received. Finally the band Skrewworm reformed for a special tribute performance. Apparantly they were playing when Frog and Victoria first hooked up at Frogstock (I could be wrong). In an emotional finish at the end of the set they declared that they had a present for the newly weds and then proceeded to present them with the guitar they had used which was signed and specially decorated. I think Frog especially was quite overcome by this and wanted to play something, but as he didn't play, I suggested that his brother Theo fretted the chords whilst Frog strummed. It worked a treat and the band even joined in! I have to say it was a super present, I'm thinking of asking The Police to play if I ever get married, perhaps Andy Summers will give me his guitar after their set... what do you think!?
The rest of the evening was spent talking and drinking and then sleeping in a tent that was being blown and rained on from all directions. Somehow we stayed dry and after bacon sandwiches and coffee the following morning we headed off across the wilds of Dartmoor to drive home.
So, all that's left to say is CONGRATULATIONS VICTORIA AND FROG! Thanks for letting me play on your special day, and I hope you have many years of happiness together. See you in Whitstable!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
On Sunday I played 15 Minutes @ Probibition Bar and Grill. This is pretty much as it says on the tin. The Prohibition is a modern bar in St. Katharine's docks very close to Tower Bridge (I'd forgotten what a great landmark the bridge is) and the idea is that five acoustic acts perform for 15 minutes each. In most cases this is about 4 songs, which is more than your average open mic night, but less than a full set. The evening was hosted by the charming Lisa Theunissen, who played some songs on the keyboard and sang first. After her was a singer from Down Under called Louise, who got the drunken elements of the audience very excited! I would have more information on her, but she left her CDs in her guitar case!
I was next up and a little nervous as said patrons were getting even more drunk and there was no barrier between the artists and the audience... so I had to impress or face some heckling. Fortunately it all went okay and I played I Need Your Love, Lightkeeper, The End Of The World and The Fool I Am.
The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and enjoying the two bands that followed. It was a really fun night and I'm looking forward to doing it again.
Next gig is a private one... I'm playing at the wedding of Frog Morris and Victoria Belfield! Should be good fun, as I'm hoping to use all the effects and do a good half hour set.
I've also just recorded a fantastic young folk singer by the name of Eddy Jay, lovely song and great guitar picking, I'll post a mix here once we're happy with it.
Oh, I almost forgot, I also had a fun night on Saturday when I saw Jack Stafford and Jasmine perform at the Bull & Gate. Great show!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
We're mad we are... Thursday night was another great fun event. It was Old Chap evening at the Montague Arms, and many a fine moustache was seen paraded in this truly unique venue. Frog Morris kicked the night off with some readings from a particularly spooky looking pulpit. He was followed by Will Noble on piano and Daniel Lehan reading from his childhood diaries (1957 - 1972). Following on from that it was my turn to entertain. With Frog pointing to lyrics pinned to a coffin lid (don't ask, I have no idea where they got it from) I proceeded to lead the crowd in a rousing chorus or two of It's Summertime. After that was the world debut of my version of the well known folk tune - Angry Badger (Arr. Frog Morris) - with increasing amounts of chaos I used my VoiceLive processor to add choruses of mice, and a doom-laden deep voice for the final line of the last verse! This is all a bit different from what I usually do, but great fun, in fact I had to stop myself laughing from the stage as it descended into farce towards the end.
If this wasn't enough - Princess Penang (Alex Staiger) was also in the house... healing people and providing advice and therapy from her stall. Amongst the items she uses are a yellow lollipop, a toy cow that poops jellybeans, marshmallows (for sculptures) and a strap-on phalus (a symbol of luck and fertility, so I'm told). Many people were healed during the night, and the picture shows the Princess listening to Frog's heartbeat during a comprehensive physical examination. Sound like fun? Well it was and we'll be doing most of it again, plus more in Whitstable Biennale during the weekend of 28th-29th June... do come along and join in.
The evening was wrapped up by Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer... who previewed new songs for us. Tell me, where else can you get that much entertainment for £3?!
Other news... Many thanks to Giggles! for a great review of my CD on her blog, I'm still happy to send a CD to anyone who would like one... click here for details.
Don't forget I'm playing tomorrow 15th June 2008, 7.00pm at the 15 Minute Club @ Prohibition Bar & Grill, Unit 1 Tower Bridge House, St. Katharine Docks, East Smithfield, E1W 1AA. I'll have some CDs with me for everyone who'd like one, so that's another extra reason for coming along.
More news soon! Have fun,
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Tonight will be another of those fun nights at The Montague Arms in New Cross. It's Old Chap Evening tonight and the featured acts include Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer (a hilarious take on rap songs, but done in the Queen's english!), Daniel Lehan and Will Noble. I have a cameo part too as I will be performing a sing-a-long of my track It's Summertime alongside Frog Morris, who will be conducting and leading the rousing choruses! We're also planning to debut the sing-a-long version of Angry Badger, so make sure you are there nice and early. Oh, and I almost forgot, technical issues permitting, I should also be debuting my TC Helicon VoiceLive processor tonight... no idea what I'm on about? Well come down and find out.
Also making a rare appearance will be the amazing Princess Penang (Alex Staiger) - a therapist and self-help guru, who cures all ills through the use of lollipops, balloons, marshmallows and trampolining to heavy metal riffs. Got a life issue you need help with? Then come along and let the princess heal you!! Her "Old Chap" will be making an appearance too... it's an unmissable night!!
On Tuesday I played a new open mic night at the Bunch Of Grapes in London Bridge. It was a (depressingly) excellent evening with many, many acts from the UK and further afield shining for just two songs each. I especially enjoyed Eddy Jay and Jo Faith amongst so many other great acts. The featured artist was NY born Bill Grady, who was a spell-binding mix of Paul Simon and Jason Mraz... fantastic lyrics, well delivered, definitely one to watch! Nice guy too, who was working his way through the English bitters... glad I was sticking to the Guiness!!
My next gig is this Sunday 15th at Prohibition Bar & Grill in St. Katherine's Dock, East Smithfield, E1W 1AA - be there from 7.00pm to catch a great set.
You can now buy You're Not Alone from Lulu - it features one of my written pieces (previously unpublished) and 105 other bloggers. It's in aid of charity too, so buy a copy for all your friends!!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Peachy has finally done it! With fellow bloggers Ariel, Desperate Sarah, Ms Robinson and Vi she has compiled, edited and published a book of short pieces submitted by bloggers from around the world... including one of mine! I'm very excited and pleased to be in the book and am looking forward to getting my copy (or two). If you would like to check out more details then go here.
The book is being sold in aid of the Warchild charity, so please consider buying a copy or a few to give to your friends and support this great project.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Despite what Peach says about the place, I can't seem to keep away from New Cross. Last night we travelled there to catch the end of year show for the music degree students from Goldsmith College. They were performing at the Albany Theatre which is a really nice venue. The music was of a high standard. Hannah was first up with a few nerves, but nice songs, good playing and some super harmonies. Next was Joe Bentley, who confused me somewhat as his singing style was soul, funk, Jamiroquai style - but he and his band appeared to be dressed as posh farmers. Still it was a pretty good show.
Finally Katrina Simon took to the stage and produced the most professional display of the evening. She has a great voice and performed some moving songs.
Live In London
My friend Tudor who came along to last Wednesday's gig had a go at recording the first half of the set, and the results weren't bad at all. So if you missed it, or were there and want to hear some songs again, here you go:
I Need Your Love
When The Snow Fell In Denver
Happy listening, next gig:
15 Minute Club @ Prohibition
15th June, 7.00pm
Prohibition Bar & Grill, Unit 1 Tower Bridge House, St. Katharine Docks, East Smithfield, E1W 1AA
15 Minute Club is a bit different. They feature lots of up and coming acoustic acts from London and the surrounding region... everyone get just 15 minutes... and so do I. Come along and check it out.