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November 10, 2019

I decided some weeks ago it was time to get on with producing some new music. As I never really have a plan its always a surprise. This time it’s a set of Moog led Disco/Funk themed tracks under the heading of “Disco for Cars” I am currently mixing/mastering ready for release. Optimistic it may be more successful than my last two, surely it can’t be less, but you never know. 5 original pieces featuring Simon Goulding (Bass and perc) Marcus Bell (D...

November 10, 2019

Posturing

During my time (40years) as a touring/gigging musician, playing all manner of venues from Stadiums to small pubs and clubs. The after-show comments where in the most complimentary. The most regular post show observation focused on my miserable onstage demeanour. Smiling and playing did not come naturally, and to paint on a “stage grin” I considered to be a lie. This along with not throwing my head back in a show of ecstasy every time I pl...

February 24, 2018

The Old Grey Whistle test. I remember well the Boxing Night Special of 1973. Emerson Lake and Palmer. I was a fourteen year old want to be musician and these guys where gods to me. I had most of their albums by now but I had never, in the 2 years I had been a fan, seen any live footage. Actually I had been to the Plaza Cinema to see a late night showing of Pictures At An Exhibition, a film of ELP performing their adaptation of Mussorgsky’s work. I...

January 30, 2018

1000 CDs

1000 CDs arrived yesterday. Not a selection, I’m not thinking of becoming the next HMV. But 1000 identical cellophane sealed CDs in digipacks with 12-page booklet, and a CD I assume.

I have not opened one, one thing at a time.

It’s my new album “Frangible” the one I have been gabbling on about for the last few weeks.

I feel very nervous. Not having listened to the tracks for several weeks, it could be I don’t like the mixes, or worse still do...

January 23, 2018

Tommy Cooper theatre tour early 1983

As I recall it was only 5 dates. I was hired to play keyboards as part of the backing trio. Along with M.D. and drums Geoff Brain and Gary Culshaw on bass.

It was a classic variety show. The only act I can remember was a Female singing due who opened with the song “Fame” There must have been other acts on the bill but the focus of my memory is on the Headliner, Tommy Cooper!

As someone who is in a permanent state...

January 8, 2018

A call came from the management asking would I be available to act as Musical Director for Heather Smalls appearance at the Linda McCartney Tribute concert at the Albert Hall, this was April 1999.

Two songs where needed. Heather and Myself decided on a new arrangement, by yours truly, of Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World, along with the M People crowd pleaser Moving on Up.

Snake Davis was away so I called Simply Reds Ian Kirkham on sax and...

January 4, 2018

I suppose as a critic I could well have given up on Combination Head and the institution behind it and resigned myself that another album simply wasn’t going to happen? Easy for me to yearn for such an event setting aside the needs and tribulations of the artiste though it was not until November 2017 that I received a call from my friend Paul Birchall, he informed me of an impending release of his new album.  FRANGIBLE {N.O.P.A. versus Paul Bircha...

January 3, 2018

As you will know, Birchall is a music producer. He likes to refer to himself as someone who produces music no one is really interested in. In the back of his mind he ends this statement with the words, as yet.

I mention this in order that the reader may make some sense of what I, the semi-conscious dog, witnesses.

Following on from his coffee and drugs breakfast he stumbles into the bathroom then stumbles out again some 15minutes later, In one of th...

January 1, 2018

HOOTENANNY 2017-12-27 Part one

25 years of the Hootenanny. Filmed sometime in November if not before, sorry to break the illusion. Who do we have now, oh the bloody theme tunes clatters on. Bagpipes, comedy box, Jools and Jose, shuffling along like rest home residents. He’s lying, I mean how much would it cost to get Ed Shearan out on New Year’s Eve? It’s in Ruby Turners contract, the hootenanny clause, Jools is having a pianistic nervous breakdown...

December 28, 2017

EMBASSY CLUB 1980s (A TURNS TALE)

After 5 summer seasons interspersed with dance band gigs, working men’s club residences, A spell touring and recording with Jazz Rock legend Gary Boyle, and some 12 months with Manchester Cabaret Band Zoot and The Fruit, I decided to change tack.

In order to stay home and work on my own music I became a club turn, this meant I could work 3 nights, along with writing arrangements , creating backing tracks and a bit o...

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November 10, 2019