Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Simpering Twats

What a ridiculous and shameful event this whole Sachs, Ross and Brand balls up is.

The gutless and cowardly BBC instead of sticking up for "their guys" decide to kowtow to the gutter press and a has been actor famous for being in 13 episodes of a sitcom.
The BBC SHOULD have said

"We wholeheartedly support Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross in their defense of the pointless complaint from Mr Sachs"

"Furthermore the Daily Mail can just fuck off!" or somesuch.

He was supposed to be giving an interview to messieurs Ross and Brand regarding a documentary he was appearing in and he couldn't even be arsed to be in to do it!

Is there anything else that Mister Sachs objects to?

Perhaps the credit is a tad too crunchy for you?
Should suspected terrorists be held for 87 days without charge?
What do you think Mr Sachs?

Shall we all hit ourselves on the forehead with spoons?
Would you like me to keep a hamster called Basil?


The Beeb will now have lost millions of "yoof" from Radio 2 who would have tuned in on saturday night to hear what old Russ would have had to say about all this.

I tried to leave a comment on the BBC website earlier and after being asked to remove my offensive language, 1 bloody and 1 sod, and was confronted with the message that informed me that my 99 words would have to be moderated before it would be deamed fit to appear on it's hallowed pages. No doubt incase I happened to offend Mr Sachs any further.

You may be wondering what I am on about and why there is nothing about me and/or my music and what relevance this has to me,well dear reader here it is.

Independence.

Ok I don't get paid a fortune for what I do but I can do what I want, when I want and how I want. Whether it be a podcast, a blog or a song.

So I pity Russell and Jonathan. I felt sorry for them as they struggled, like frightened rabbits, to get out of a situation that should never have happened. I suspect that they felt let down by the beeb for turning on them. I admire Russell for quitting and hope that Jonathan will do the same, stick two fingers up to the BBC and fuck off to Channel 4.
But he, unlike Brand whose own company Vanity make his radio show, is under exclusive contract to the BBC and will probably want to hang around.
So who is the loser?
Millions will now watch The Bill documentary (on ITV for christs sake)
Millions will watch Russell Brand's Ponderlandstarting a new series this week.
Kazillions will watch wossy's friday night show.
Well the losers will be the people who listened to Russell Brands Saturday night show on BBC Radio 2. I've been listening to the podcast of it since he was with Radio 6!
So the loser is me, thanks!

Shame on you Mr Sachs and shame on you BBC, shame on you..




Saturday, 25 October 2008

Podcasting

I have always wanted to do this.
Actually I have always wanted my own radio show.
I love the radio and always have. As a 7 year old I used to tune in my tiny radio (with the single earpiece!) late at night and listen to Radio Caroline, The World Service and a plethora of crazy European foreign language stations. When I got to about 15 I fell in love with Radio 4. I thought it was cool to listen to The Archers, a kind of rebellion in a sea of punk and Bay City Rollers. 

So now to the podcast (I could talk about the 70's for hours LITERALLY ). 
After spying on fellow reverbnationer (yes that is a proper word...now) Matt Stevens, I noticed that he had a podcast available on iTunes. 

I am a big fan of the podcast having been given a "pod" by Mrs Nick some 2 years ago although one doesn't need one to listen to a podcast, oh no.
So on emailing him he directed me to www.podbean.com and I signed up.
I got all profiled up and then went about making my fist podcast. I had an idea of what I wanted to do. I had recorded some of the Chaplins gig and wanted to play some of the songs from that plus a little chat. After much faffing I decided on a format. 
1) Scripted intro......I tried to do it straight "off the mic" but found myself drowning in a sea of "ahh's" and "ums" and hitherto unknown habit of smacking my gums before each sentence. 
2) The tune
3) An unscripted conversational chat with "The Secret Guest".

 "The Secret Guest" has to remain secret as they get enough publicity as it is and don't want anymore so best keep mum eh?
So after a little editing and tweaking here and there, I loaded it up. I'm still waiting for the beautiful monster that is iTunes to show it but it's only a matter of time.
If you've never heard of podcasts and aren't sure what the are, the Wikipedia definition is the best
So if you have ten minutes to spare click on the purple widget (yes I know I just can't help myself!) on the right
Here is my Top Ten Podcast list
3) The Archers. See higher above
4) Jonathan Ross. Much better than tv Ross
9) Radiohead "In Rainbows" podcast. You didn't know? Shame. Thank me later.
Do you podcast?
What do you listen to?
Have I whetted your appetite?
Any other business?

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Chaplins....I should have known, all the signs were there.

I should have done this gig a month or 2 ago but the person that ran it had a great tragedy and decided she couldn't carry on, so I got cancelled.


Bugger!
Shame, it was a nice place to play.
Then I got an email telling me that Jase was now promoting and after a few back and forth email he booked me.
We arrived (Mrs Nick and me) a little early only to find that there had been a flood and that the gig would now take plae in the cellar bar underneath Chaplins. I did think "Food upstairs yet downstairs is dry?" but carried on regardless.

Jase is a friendly soul, he runs other venues in Bournmouth and has a gentle relaxed way of working so I felt at ease and pretty chipper.

The place did have an odd feel to it, the crowd all seamed to be hidden away round the corner and no one around the "stage" (read balconey see pic).

It felt a little wierd to be plugging in and it was cramped fitting the mic stand and leads aropund the chair etc etc etc you get the picture.

Well finaly it was time to begin, Mrs Nick had been joined by 2 hairy student types who sat alone at a table next to Jase.

I was a little unsure about about playing a ballad first but I cracked in to "I just Can't Get Happy" nevertheless. I was a bit unsteady and didn't as good a job as I had hoped but it picked up towards the end. As I played the last chord I looked up to see the reaction form the "crowd" and was greeted by the sound of.....well fuck all really. Mrs Nick just kind of looked at me with a "er?" look on her face. 
I wasn't expecting rapturous applause but I though a little clap and a cough wouldn't go amiss.
This non reaction continued for the next 4 or 5 tunes, I sort of zoned out into my own little world. I made the decision to play the best gig I could despite the flat reaction. To be fair Jase, hairy students (2) made the right faces whilst I was playing, Jase giving me the occasional reassuring nod and Mrs Nick smiled in a "What the fuck?" kind of way.
Then came the pissed women. 
Now 90% of the audience where hidden round the corner of the bar and couldn't see let alone hear me, but as the night (it seemed a very long night) progressed the odd drunk woman leered around one of the pillars to see what that noise was (me). Eventually one of them employed the same "Kestrel" principle as the drunk in the Eclipse 
and tried to focus on me as I ripped into "That Woman" the results of wich you canhear on the video cunningly inserted below.
I finished the set early, I couldn't see much point in carrying on, I'm no prima donna (anonymous, take note you shit!) but I had travelled 30 miles and was doing this gig for no money to an audience of 4 one of them being my wife, so.....
Jase seemed pleased regardless and offered me some more gigs at the other venues that he runs in and around Bournmouth, so not a total waste of time. I would like to just mention tat Jase was a star throughout and was totally unfazed by the lack of audience.
On the drive home Mrs Nick and I reran the gig as we usually do and decided that no one would have roused that crowd and that we put it down to a one off odd one. Mrs Nick commented that, ironically, I had given one of my best ever performances (bless her) and if people weren't into it fuck 'em!
So there it was....
No 
Not at all.
Those shits.
What then followed was 6 days of depression and self doubt.
Yes, I had played well (had I?). Yes the songs are great (are they?) How did the second band get on? We hadn't stayed for them. Did they bomb too? Who knows?
It's tough sometimes, you sit and write and craft the songs you try and believe that you're worth it. You rock up to a strange place full of people that you don't know and you sit there and push these tunes out and hope ...........

It's the self belief that's what you (I) have to have otherwise you (me again!) may as well stay at 
home and strum on your own.
So I lost it at Chaplins, but I got it back. 
I WILL lose it again and again I know I will, that's the way I am.

In other news I have become a great fan of Matt Stevens
of whom I will talk about next time. Check him out.
Now enjoy the video.....dum dum dum......






video

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Catch Up

The Edge of the Wedge Southsea.....is a nice little bar. I played there before earlier this year and loved the place. It's situated on the main drag in the seaside bit of Portsmouth next to The Wedgewood Rooms. It had changed a bit since I had last played there. It had more sofas and it was dark outside. Not the bars fault obviously just the time of year. I was given the choice of when to go one and decided on the second slot. There were 3 acts on (supposedly, I'll get to that) so the second slot was the obvious choice. The first guy could soften them up (the audience), I come on and blow their minds and then the poor sap coming last has to "follow that!". Yes, cold and calculating, that's me.

The first guy came on and did a good fluffing job for me. Then I hauled myself out of one of the many sofas ( they really are very comfy) plugged in and was good to go. I was a little apprehensive as I had decided to do my quiet, ballad rip your heart out songs and the place was pretty noisy. It was a youngish audience and there were a few characters at the bar who looked like they might not take to songs about unrequited love, prostitutes the odd Jeff Buckley cover.
Also, just as I was about to start the entire bar erupts into a cheer as a be-spectacled figure walks in with a guitar case nodding, exchanging back slaps and pleasantries with pretty much everyone in the place. It then dawned on me (quick see that's me) that these were ALL his friends. They had ALL come to see him. He soon collected a little posse of smokers who would, en masse, troupe outside for a smoke and more backslaps throughout my set. 
However, they loved it or rather they loved me. They were quiet and attentive throughout my set, applauded and cheered in the right places  and were more than happy as I pimped my cards and cds after my set.
I then realised that my decision to go second was a good one. Mr Popular came on and played a short (15 mins or so) set of tunes on his Uke  that he had written 20 years since and were known by the entire bar, as they were all his friends (remember? Hope you're keeping up).  Funny, witty and not too far away from the great George Formby whose wife Beryl is a bit of a hero of mine. Next up was another friend of the audience who, guitar in hand, went on to please the audience. All this, coupled with the comfy sofas, had the feeling that we were at a house party thrown in a strangers house.
By the time yet another "mate" had taken the mic we thought it was time to leave. It was all very good but yet another private joke laden set was too much for us by then and we (Mrs Nick, Bill & Lisa ) disappeared into the night
This was just before all my Winchester gigs so a nice little warm up it was. 

Not like Chaplins last sunday, oh christ no.......

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Remiss

I have been a little slack and have not yet told you of my gig at The Edge of the Wedge and my triumphant (not) return to Chaplins in Boscombe as well as the demise of The Dolphin and Original106. I will put this to rights very soon so don't lose heart. 


Whilst you are waiting why not click on the new clicky things on the right.

Everytime you do an angel gets its wings or sumink....

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Pure Acoustic

So last Friday I thought I'd try something new. I really enjoyed the whole Froggies bar experience from the week before. I did email the Frog about playing there again but methinks I may have been a bit too pricey for him. He's probably found a cheap covers merchant by now but I'm not bitter. 

But I digress 
I decided that for the gig at The Eclipse I would play totally acoustic, no amp and no mic. Just me, a stool and a guitar. Despite it being only 6.30 there was a fair share of drunk types about as well as some BLIND DRUNK people staggering about. 
It was fantastic, the feeling of just sitting in the middle of this pub "naked" was one of the most liberating feelings I've ever had and I've had a few. The sense of freedom was overwhelming . Yes, people did speak when I was playing and I fell into that same "adding to the atmosphere of the place" feeling that I had experienced the week before but the reaction after each song was just amazing. During the second half hour one of the afore mentioned drunks hovered in front of me agog. He had the look of a young kestrel, head still and eyes fixed whilst his body gyrated trying to steady itself against the torrents of alcohol pulsating through his system. Now normally this would have been a little disconcerting. You never know what your average drunk will do. Will he (why is it always a he, I despair of my gender sometimes I really do) get nasty, friendly, emotional or just vomit over you and pass out? The thing is is that one feels a little trapped, guitar plugged in and mic and stand holding one in. But this feeling that at any time I could just get up and run gave me the kind of confidence usually reserved for super-heroes. So I turned and looked at him, he was about 3 feet away carefully (kind of) balanced on a table, and sang "How Can it be Wrong When it Feels so Right?" straight at him with feeling and passion. 
I doubt if he would have remembered much about that night, seriously he was so wasted that he fell into a table later and pretty much passed out. I wanted him to wake up in the morning, try and piece the night before together and then remember this big guy with a guitar singing love songs to him. Nevertheless it was a great evening culminating with food and wine and good company

I'm at Chaplins in sunny Boscombe on Sunday and possibly shooting a promo video if I can get my act together.