Category Archives: Music

what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, what it sounds like

The dead cat and the return of the man who…

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Hello. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on here.

Sometime just before the summer I got into a rut which isn’t a rut. I get these periods of time where I am busy and just don’t have the inclination, time or energy to make or perform music. I do other things – live, love, go out, have fun, work, be deliberately lazy because I can, shop, sleep, watch Game Of Thrones. Problem is, I then pause and realise I haven’t been doing one of those things which I feel is a purpose in life for me – music. And then I beat myself up about it.

But this time I’ve decided not to do that. I’ve had a great summer, done loads and had lots of fun and, hey, we all got a summer didn’t we, which is a minor miracle in itself for this country.

I have been playing live so I kept connected but in the last few weeks I’ve felt that pressure, that creative constipation that won’t stop nagging at me and I felt there were signs that pointed to me having to get back to it.

I was getting into my friend’s car to go to work and I saw a cat laying by the fence alongside the car. I soon realised it was dead and it became a potent reminder of all mortality. Everything dies, nothing lasts forever, seize the day!!!

Still I didn’t get back to it!

But fittingly, in the end, it was music that begat music!

I heard Travis on the radio – new single, album to follow. Exciting, hope I like it…

I did. Like all of their best music, I liked it on the first listen, I couldn’t stop humming it on the second listen, and I’ve loved it ever since with every listen after that. Same with the other two songs they released and with the album which I’m listening to right now…

I think my music has a connection to their music in some way – the emphasis on melody and something catchy that snares the listener. Where You Stand has tingly moments all over it, and it keeps making me feel something that’s just a little elusive, that point between the notes that tugs at your heart, which you can’t quite grasp and makes you need to play the song again.

And then, this Sunday, I’m walking across Charing Cross Road with my friends and Fran Healy walks past us. Another sign!

I wanted to communicate all this to him but, of course, he was just another person walking down the street and very quickly gone. Still, I felt the burning again – I realised I wanted people to feel about my music how I felt about Fran’s. And that ain’t gonna happen without getting back to it!

I wrote my first songs of the summer a couple of weeks ago and they’re good and last night I started recording Without Words, a song that gets asked after wherever I play it. So I’m back in the game, and it feels gooooood! 🙂

Thanks Fran.

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Jazz

Watched a couple of programmes about jazz and swing with my Dad tonight. It was good.

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On the road again

Opened computer: no piano, no sound; read lots of internet forum advice about software instruments; eventually realised I had to load Garage Band sounds; loaded Garage Band sounds; piano worked; realised I didn’t need internal speakers to work as sound went through interface; rejoiced; made music; sang; was pleased with result – back on the road again! Woo Hoo!

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Superhuman degrees of patience

I lost the plot today – about 3.30pm. My patience, for today, had just about run out. For three weeks I’ve been duelling, coaxing, battling, pleading with, swearing at a computer that despite my bravest (sometimes stupidest) efforts, would not open up. Tonight, for the first time since then (and thanks in almost 100% of the recovery to Brian Gardner) I have a working ‘puder with sound and music software – PHEW! Now I’m just too tired to do any…hahaha! But at least we’re back! Three weeks of holiday, hey everyone needs one, ask Fran Healy, he was singing such a thing to me today (not exclusively you understand).

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Option

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 17.29.02I have turned into a pretty ineffectual IT guru in the last 2 weeks to try and get the gear I use for recording to work. Currently its been to no avail but I haven’t given up yet. I almost made a breakthrough tonight and have higher hopes for tomorrow. And then back to the music…hopefully.

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Watch That Man!

ImageDavid Bowie is back! I don’t know if you noticed? I was not in the slightest bit alone in wondering/worrying if he ever would return again to the music world.

His new song is utterly beautiful. I think it also walks a similar path to many of his other works in having an ambiguity and a mystique about it.

I love the cover for the album, it seems there are original ideas out there after all, and I absolutely adore the single cover.

When I watched the video for the first time, I was confused and entranced by the doll/dolls and disappointed not to see Bowie ‘properly’ and almost as soon as I thunk it…there he was! Looking glorious. I remember gasping slightly and was delighted when my friend did exactly the same when she watched the video tonight for the first time. She also did the same as me by going back to the bit where he’s standing by the wall and pausing it to get a good look at him.

What would David Bowie do? He would elegantly do what you hardly expect with panache.

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Music I loved in 2012

Love And Its Opposite – Tracy Thorn

Beyond The Neighbourhood – Athlete

The Ghost In Daylight – Gravenhurst

Station To Station – David Bowie

The Haunted Man – Bat For Lashes

Is Your Love Big Enough – Lianne De Havas

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