21 September 2011

More Chili, More Posts

This time next week I will have had my first rehearsal for Jesus Christ Superstar. I'm a bit nervous as this is my first proper musical job, but I know I can do it well. I have the music score now so I'm going to get cracking with it tomorrow.

I'm still teaching; four students at the moment and one that has inquired. Hopefully it will only grow and will eventually let me leave my day job.

American Dad is on in the background and it's very distracting. It's not even all that funny, or I'm just very tired.

Mostly listening to Eric Johnson's album So Close right now.

13 August 2011

Quick Update

It's been a while but here goes.

I've been recording with my good friend Joe after spending weeks writing material. It's a kind of cross between metal, funk and blues. It's great stuff and I'll be posting some clips as soon as I can. I've also be writing more solo stuff and thinking about how I can get an improvisation trio going soon.

I have more students and have done a show which has helped me make a bit more money and get me closer to leaving part-time work.

I've been getting into Wayne Krantz way more, I'm about to have chili con carne and go into London for a birthday party.

See you soon.

24 August 2010

Of jobs and not loosing sight of why I got a laptop in the first place.

I got a laptop so I could write and record music more easily. This is something that I've forgotten in recent weeks and is some thing I'm looking to correct. After seeing  this video and others like it I have been inspired to think what I can do on my own. I write songs all the time, even today, but without people to teach the songs and someone to record them they all stay stuck in my brain.

So I'm going to invest in some home recording gear so I can make some some music my own. Or just do Final Fantasy covers or something.

In other news I'll soon be applying for a job teaching music in a school, once I can get the cover letter and C.V. sorted in such a way that makes me look best suited to the job (which I certainly am). Hopefully I'll be able to get out of the day job and into a career.

13 June 2010


It's been a pretty strange set of weeks.

A couple of weeks ago I performed with Mike Hough at the Indigo O2. This was the culmination of months of preparation and the end result was brilliant as these choice cuts show. Since then I've been feeling pretty rough; Man-flu has struck me bad. However, my resolve to get out of my day job and start making a living from music is strengthened and I'll be spending the next couple of days putting a lot of effort into trying to make that a reality.

Finally these tracks are worth checking out: Polo Towers and  Heck of a Job by John Scofield.

19 May 2010


First off, I've changed the look of the blog. This was because the last look had broken segments and, while it did look nice, it was a bit all over the place. The new one is a bit simpler and will suit me for the time being.

This got me thinking about how much more things look affects the way we would perceive something than how something sounds. Music has been becoming more visual since the television became a staple of every family's living room. Now, with the internet a staple of every family's house, YouTube has become the greatest place to find free music of all time. Just for some examples I can see a live performance of Frank Zappa here, Dizzie Rascal playing Bulls on Parade here and The Black Mages with an orchestra to the tune of One Winged Angel here. Coincidently, I added the picture of the Ghostbusters once the blog was written, it was something that came up in Google images after searching for "Music Video" and since I'd watched this today I thought I should leave it in.

I think that while music will always be sound, the way it will be enjoyed will forever be connected to the visual. As a musician I like to see what the guitarists, drummers, singers et al are doing when they perform. For non-musicians there will certainly be a different level of understanding and another reason for watching music be created on the spot. It certainly makes me think about how I should go about getting my own music on there.

I've been playing even more Ultima recently and I think I'm probably going to end up fusing with my chair and keyboard chewing on my desk for sustenance.

16 May 2010

Sick and Tired

I've spent the past week feeling ill in one way or another: hurt my neck, got a cold, muscle pains in my arm and the list goes on. However, that's in the past I feel good and less sniffly; I'm ready for some more blogging.

I work in a shop, a big one. If you've been to England then you've certainly seen one if not been in one. Last week I was working and thoughts went through my head along the lines of how much I'm looking forward to getting out of that place and how bad it is to work there. It then occurred to me that lots of musicians (if not all) go through this transitional period from day job to career and I thought it would be good to list some point about how to approach work and what gets me through my day job when it gets me down.

The People

I've often heard from co-workers that they hate the place but love the people. I suspect this is only partially true; some people hate both but don't want to tell you to your face that they think you're an arse. I would say that I've made more friends at work than any other single institution I've been to. The experiences that you have with people are one of many that will shape you creatively, go on nights out, meet for Quasar or Go-Karting or whatever.

On top of this you'll need people to go to your shows and co-workers will function well as audience members and spreading knowledge of you through word of mouth (what else is there to talk about at work?).

You Will Need Money

I wouldn't be able to be where I am without my day job money. Paying for transport, gear, lessons and beer all adds up. The only problem you may find is the flexibility of your job. I am lucky in that my job is very flexible and I only work two days a week, but even so I find it hard some times: I work a ten hour shift on Saturdays. This makes it very hard for me to do gigs on Saturday nights and I have missed many gigs because of this.

When You Get Down Remember: You Can Quit Any Time

There was a time at my job when a manager was desperately trying to change my hours so that I was working a lot more and I'd have a lot less free time. I was told I'd have to choice and I'd be obliged to do it. Eventually, with some help from my Mother, I realised that I did have a choice: I could quit. Getting another job of the same kind isn't as difficult as people would have you think, or I could have started trying to teach. As it happens my letter of resignation was rejected and I stayed, since then I've been working less and less.

The above is just a short list of that I thought about, I hope it helps me to remember what it was like being a G.A.

On a completely different subject, I've been spending this week listening to Frank Zappa and these links here and here really show him off at his best.

06 May 2010

Back from Holiday

What a week...

I've returned from Cheltenham where I went to their Jazz Festival and ate at their lovely restaurants, although Jazz seems to be pushing it a bit seeing as they had seemingly booked any band they liked which contained a brass section or a double bassist. One such band was Polly and the Billet Doux who had a great set of songs, a bit folky with a very busy guitarist and a quite petite singer. Between songs the singer stalled for time by singing Pump up the Jam and Mr. Boombastic. On both occasions the band, when ready, joined in causing great mirth for the audience.

However, the greatest parts were seeing Phantom Limb and John Scofield. Two very different acts but equality fantastic. The former full of vocal harmonies, soft melodies and a general feeling of easygoing-ness (I actually almost fell asleep! Not a bad thing in this case. The latter a hard hitting, heavy on the improvisation, bout of real Jazz from a legend in the (Sco)field. Both were really eye opening; my girlfriend said she understood Jazz after seeing Scofield (Quote: "I get why people use notes out a scale now").

On top of this I can't recommend the following restaurants enough: Ask Italian and The Everest Curry House as well as an unknown Greek food vendour who made some of the most delicious food ever to pass my lips (as seen in the picture, it makes me drool just looking at it!).

Now I'm back it's full steam ahead with Mike Hough and his performance at the O2. Last night we had our first full band rehearsal with a pianist and I'm feeling a bit worried because she (through no fault of her own) is taking up all the space I was on guitar. I'm really going to have to have a think so I can sort out some new arrangements to play in these songs that don't let me get lost in the mix.

One last thing: I've been listening to a fair bit of Oscar Peterson since going to the Jazz festival, he really is amazing and I urge all to listen some of his songs. One such song sounds like a jazz version of Blind Date.