Thursday, 26 November 2009

Is This Thing On Podcast BBC Special

Me just before I left for the Beeb. I may not have looked good but I smelt great!

The foyer or "Live Lounge" at BBC Sussex in Brighton

This podcast is an edited version of the live session I did for South:Live BBC radio on Sunday the 22nd November. I was invited along to the BBC Radio Sussex studio in Brighton and recorded 4 songs and a short interview. I had a great time and was fortunate to meet some great people. Kairen Kemp the presenter, Natasha Wineburg the producer and Dan bridge the studio engineer.
In the interview I mention The vinyl Project, Charles Olsen and Swineshead and Napoleon from Watch With Mothers
To listen to the podcast you can either click on the iTunes link on the right hand side of this page, use the green and play player just under it or go to my podbean podcast site and play it from there.
Normal pod-casting service will be resumed in the next 4 weeks. I'll be focusing on independent composers and artists. Why not subscribe so you don't miss out? WHY NOT?

Natasha Wineburg the producer.
This was the first show she'd produced solo.
What a star!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Hate X Factor? Vote for Jedwood!

It is astounding, but there are still large groups of the population that still believe that The X Factor is some kind of singing competition, crazy huh?
The rest of us have known the truth for years and are smugly laughing at them.
The fact that someone who could sing was beaten by someone that couldn't has forced many to have suddenly realised this truth.

It puts me in mind of the infamous "Viennagate" of 1981 when groundbreaking British electronic band Ultravox released the single "Vienna". This spent 4 consecutive weeks at number 2 in the charts. For the first week it was kept from the number one spot by John Lennon's dirge "Woman" but then instead of taking it's rightful place at the top of the charts it was usurped by the mildly racist Australian Joe Dolce and his hilarious "Shad up a you face".
It was at this point that most of us (the smug ones laughing etc) came to the realisation that it wasn't always the most talented or creative that succeed in the "entertainment" industry.

Now the time has come for many to "take the red pill" make that short step into reality and accept the fact that The X Factor is a sham of a show, designed purely to make money. X Factor creates (very successfully) a false reality where everybody EVERBODY  believes that this show matters, that it is a valid and worthy route into the music business.

If last weeks show wasn't enough, and it won't be, to convince people otherwise then the best thing to do is to do all we folk who know (the smug, yes?) must vote to kepp Jedwood in. Not only that but persuade everyone else to do the same. Slip it into conversation, write about it, mention it in every email you send, every tweet you tweet, we must with every fibre on our being convince the planet to VOTE FOR JEDWOOD.

I believe that if we achieve our aim (it's ours now yes?) Jedwood will not only make the final but win the bally thing!!

Then perhaps the rest of blue pill population (the mugs?) will realise and perhaps just grow up a bit.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Duo et Mono

So my plan was to go and play at 90 Degrees in Southampton last night (Wednesday)
It's one of those large plush clubs in town frequented by students and other bright young things. Not my usual kind of place, I have tee-shirts older than most of the people in there, but I've played there before and went down surprisingly well and they asked me back to play and so I did.
On the way there I texted friend and fellow muso Real Raj as to what I was doing and as luck would have it, he was playing just round the corner at the Mono bar and would meet me for a swifter before he went on. Mrs Nick was too tired to come out on a school night, so I was on my own.
So it was all rather jolly as I walked in to 90 Degrees, Raj at the bar chatting to another music type. I'm sure he knows just about every singer, player, promoter whatever in Southampton!
He was just about to start so we agreed to meet up at the Mono after I had finished my set.
It was a noisy 90 Degrees by the time I started and I quickly realised that hardly anyone was listening. I got a smattering of applause but I could tell that they weren't really into it. I wasn't that bothered to be honest, I was in a tip top mood, I wasusing this as a rehearsal for a bigger gig I have this coming Monday and I was looking forward to catching up with Raj at The Mono. So when I finished to a larger smattering I slipped out and was off to The Mono.

The Mono was a welcome change. Just around the corner but still right in the centre of the Southampton club area, The Mono has a fantastic friendly atmosphere. A great guy called Jack Martello was rocking the place and had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
I met up with Raj who introduced me to one of the guys that run the nigh, Martin.
Whilst chatting Martin mentioned that the next act had just cried off and offered me a spot after Jackson. Sorted!
So after 15 mins or so I got up on stage and did a few of my funkier songs as I guessed that the crowd wanted to stay up on the high that Jackson had created previously plus they were all a it pissed but that nice red wine late at night type pissed not that largered up angry pissed.
Someone requested something romantic so I did "All I Think About Is You" which went down really well. One girl actually stood up and started swaying (to my lovely music not because she was legless!) as if she was listening to a tune she knew, loverly.
I finished off with "Pale Moonlight" which is always a nice big crowd pleaser.

Met up with Raj and Jackson at the bar who were chatting with Martin and the other guy that runs the night Christian. Jackson was very keen about Pure Acoustica and will be playing at the next night at the Dolphin.
Martin and Christian seemed pleased with my set and said they'd book me for another.

I didn't get home till 1.30am so I was pretty knackered when the alarm went off at 6.50.
Still, had a great time.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


After playing for two hours at Borders in Southampton today, I was wondering why?
I didn't sell any cds, I didn't get any email addresses for my mailing list, nobody knew who I was, nobody made a special effort to come just to see me and I didn't make any new contacts.

"I didn't sell any cds" - I did have cds with me but I'd put them on a table away from people and there was no explanation as to what they where, who I am and that they were available to buy. I wasn't exactly making it easy was I?

"I didn't get any email addresses for my mailing list" - I may have done if I had thought of letting people know that I HAD a mailing list or even had a sheet of paper and perhaps a pen so they COULD give me their email address!!

"nobody knew who I was" I didn't tell them, in fact thinking back, I didn't tell them anything! I never said a word! To be fair, there wasn't anyone sitting watching me, folk were just wander around just like one would in a book store but I could have tried to engage them...

"nobody made a special effort to come just to see me" Apart from a few tweets and a mail-out to my Facebook group I hadn't exactly pushed the boat out as far as publicity.

"I didn't make any new contacts." Not exactly true, I did meet the guy that organizes events at Borders so I'll let myself off that one.

Never-mind, I'm not going to knock myself out over it. Hopefully I'll remember to make more effort next time and put a bit of thought into it.

I did play a few of my oldies today and had a few nice chats with Jules from Angry Badger, who organised the day, so it wasn't a complete wash out.

Oh and I gave a cd to a 10 year old who stopped and listened to about 4 songs. Increased my demographic!!


I take full responsibilty for any opportunities missed on Saturday. Jules from Angry Badger did loads of publicity and I thank him for setting the thing up and giving me the opportunity to play. I just wanted to point out that I WAS THE ONE WHO DIDN'T TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF IT

Monday, 5 October 2009

BBC Fallout

What fun we had!
Thanks to everyone that messaged, Twittered and emailed about and to the BBC thing last night. If you missed it you can listen here My bit is about half way through around 1:20:00.

Well worth the license fee eh?

Pip Pip!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Getting played on the BBC!

This Sunday the 4th, between 7 and 9 pm the attractive and highly intelligent Phil Jackson from the BBCs South:Live will be playing my track "Love Lies" to a panel of industry experts.  You can listen on your radios in Brighton, Hove & Worthing on 95.3 FM, in Sussex & Surrey on 104-104.8 FM,in Solent & Hampshire on 96.1 FM and in Dorset on 103.8 FM or Listen on-line at or 
You can email the show at  between 7 and 9pm.
This is a pretty big deal for me as, well it's the bloody BBC isn't it!!
I'll be online on Twittering about it all.
It would be quite wonderful if you could email the show and give me a bit of support.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Last Saturday

Just posted a short vid of an audio clip and some still from my gig at The Soul Cellar in Southampton as part of the Angry Badger Showcase. Yes, I'm not too sure why they asked me but I'm glad they did!
Pucka stage, P.A. and some great lights care of Glynne.
I asked Joe the sound guy to experiment with the out front sound, hence the crazy reverb.
It was interesting how some songs don't work as well with a P.A.
"Glad you Came" was a bit odd. All that picky guitar doubled back on itself but I thought this version of "How Do You Sleep?" worked pretty well.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Podcast number 13

Here we are again. It’s been 3 months since my previous pod-cast, but I haven’t just been playing in the sun honest!
I mentioned The Real Raj, open mic nights being the new karaoke, Pure Acoustica, the vinyl project and the chance of having the next podcast dedicated to you, yes you dear listener. If you want there to be a podcast number 14 then email me at telling me. Once I’ve received at least 14 requests, I’ll record it and dedicate it to the author of the 14th email, geddit?

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Busy Busy Busy

That's what I've been, all through the summer. I had the six whole weeks off work and what a difference it made. I managed to catch up with all the contacts I wanted to catch up on and do (nearly) all the things I had been putting off until I "had the time and head-space". It did pay dividends!

I had a few things I needed to do. Firstly I wanted to record all my songs. I thought I had managed that but last night remembered two that I had forgotten about, so I'll put that right this weekend.! Halfway through that process I had an idea to record a live, studio LP and release it as a limited edition vinyl collectors item. So excited by it that i actually created a blog and have received an amazing amount of pre orders and a large donation by a guy I haven't even met! You can read all about it here

I also organized the first Pure Acoustica residential gig at The Dolphin in St. Denys.
You can read about that here 
It was a great night. Join the group and you can keep an eye on what's going on with this little beauty. The next event at The Dolphin is on the 17th.
Tomorrow I'm playing in Alton from around tenish
I'm playing next Saturday, the 12th,  in Southampton city as part of this thing called "Music in the City" catchy eh? You can read all about it here it looks like a lot of fun.
And I'll be playing a grown up set on a stage with a pucka P.A. on the 26th upstairs at The Soul Cellar for Angry Badger Records 
What I haven't had time for is recording any new pod-casts which is a shame as I do enjoy them. I have some new ideas for some jingles buy I may give them to saves them pinching them eh?
Meanwhile I'm going to be recording some new videos for my YouTube channel.
I may even record one using this, it's beautiful. Made form an old cigar box and a bit of 2x1!
Pip Pip

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A Fucking Fiver!

I wonder how many of you wonderful people follow independent artists? The ones who possibly suffer from the tag "unsigned". If you don't I understand, I mean there's so much great music out there in mainstream land.

There's, probably, a sexy girl band, some solo rapper types, the odd make up daubed fey (?) guitar band, an Irish boy band all singing the same note, a competition winner as well as the plethora of assorted female American lunatics. Spoilt for choice eh?

You may be forgiven for thinking that these un-signed acts must be shit, otherwise they'd be signed right? Well, if you carry on that line of logic then the statement "signed bands are all great, otherwise they wouldn't be signed, right?" would also apply and we know that's certainly not true.
There are many dreadful acts that reside under the tag "Independent" or "un-signed" I'll give you that.


There are many more that are bloody wonderful but how do you find the good ones?
How do you find a band who are at the level when you can still go and see them for less than a tenner, where you can get an email from them (not some industry lackey) letting you know when they are playing and what they are up to and where you can start collecting their early works before they got signed and it all when it bad!

I give you this The Showcase Sett Limited edition 16 track compilation cd
It's been compiled by Xan Phillips and Jules from Angry Badger Records and iconic -culture and I went to the launch of this last night and heard the whole thing, twice. It's bloody marvelous, no really.
I defy you, DEFY, to find a duff track on it. There may be a track or two that may not be too your taste but that's to be expected. It's got one of my favourite bands in the world on it, the mad and beautiful Wise Children. Their track I featured in podcast number 11 is just pure Joy!.
Last Night Andrew Foster played his track "The Alchemist" live and was quietly and poetically profound. He later joined up with the amazing Loz Bridge from Loz Bridge & The Box Social and totally blew everyone away. Loz is a legend. Think Gomez (remember them?) hugging Keene.
There are plenty of great tracks on this album, yes yes yes one of mine is on there but you can forget that, you can still download it for free by clicking that little widget thing but as I've already been paid for it I don't give a bugger either way.
I guarantee you will find at least 3 bands that you will want to hear more from and if I'm wrong, then you have no soul, no soul at all.

All for a fiver, a fucking fiver!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Now that's a plan!

After a weekend of beach, gardening and chopping wood, it's a new day and I'm working in my pj's.
Plan "C", recording all my songs see previous post, has now escalated into the most exciting idea I've ever had! That is, to record a live solo album and release it on vinyl. I've been in conversation with Angry Badger who have some very interesting ideas, so interesting that I won't mention them until certain "things" are in place.

As you can see above, the first of the regular Pure Acoustica events at The Dolphin is all loaded and ready to go. It's a dodgy time of the year to start something like this as so many people are on holiday but I know it will be a great night and the people playing are fantastic so it will be a great night. I made a Facebook event for this if you want a peek.

The windows sponsored free download thing has gone a bit crazy, read about it here. I only needed to get 100 downloads to get paid and so far 1330 people have downloaded How Can it Be Wrong, which is nice.

Heading down to the Soul Cellar tonight for the launch of Angry Badger's compilation cd that "How Can It Be Wrong" appears on. It's got some legs on it that song eh?

Looking at totally revamping my website I would really appreciate your opinions good and bad on how it is now.

So today will be spent recording new tracks for Plan "C", publicizing the Pure Acoustica event, picking up Mrs Nick's dry cleaning, taking another door to be stripped and other sundries.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Catch Up..

I'm mindful that I've neglected my blog of late and have made the decision to do my best to use it more.
There are people that follow it as I follow other people's blogs.
I am actually interested in what people are doing whether it's trying to sell their book or stumbling their drunker lezzbot way around the capital.
So, what am I up to?
At the moment I am enjoying the fruits of my new contract and am half way through my six week summer break from my day job.
I have begun plan C which is recording all my songs in the simplest way possible i.e one mic straight in to Logic, press record. No effects, no click track not even any reverb. I love the results!
I've been attending a few open mic and acoustic nights around Hampshire to see what works as regards songs and regarding the set up and success or otherwise of these events.
I have the subject of a new pod-cast developng on this subject so I've also been using these nights for research.
Today (Friday) I shall be carrying on with Plan C. I've recorded 5 songs already so that means only 25 to go. I'm playing at Borders in Southampton tomorrow afternoon so I'm burning some cds to give away there. I MAY record a new podcast as I have enough stuff in my head to talk about.
I will also clean the kitchen floor, do the laundry, wash up, play a little on-line poker and hopefully go to a jam night tonight at The Arts House in Southampton.
We shall see.

Monday, 27 July 2009

The Swines!!!!

I thought I'd give a mention to the old flue of the swines. Poor pigs, what did they do to deserve this eh? Designed to scare the crap out of us, keep us in order and generally take our minds of the fact that politicians have been fleecing us since time immemorial, "they" (the government and their associated lackeys) have spent the last few months trying to scare the crap out of us with the spectre that is Swine nee "Mexican" flu. From the information I have gleaned I have come to these conclutions. 1- Swine flu is no more dangerous than any other kind of flu, in fact it's quite mild. 2-It can be spread quite easily from person to person, like other flues. 3-It's new, so non of us will have any antibodies to fight it so we'll probably catch it at some point. 4-There is a good chance that we may all catch it at the same time resulting in loads of people taking time off sick from work simultaneously. 5-This could be a bit of a pain in the arse. 6-But then we will all get better in a couple of weeks or so. 7-It will be all over by Christmas. 8- By which time we'll have forgotten about the MPs expenses, Barack Obama, Eco towns, the fact that despite the "credit crunch" we all still have a few quid so what was THAT all about and "What are we doing in Afghanistan again?

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Podcast number 12

About bloody time eh? Well this one has been a fucking epic. I've downloaded videos from Youtube and stripped the music off it so I could play a great track from Matt Stevens, jumped through hoops to grab a brilliant track from the great Steve Moyes, had a game of email ping-pong with Joe Potter from the exquisite Jouis extracted a funny line from James Le Blond the Rambling Canadian, grabbed a familiar jingle from Watch With Mothers and I even wrote and performed a sketch. What more do you want?
AND included a new song of mine, Love Lies.

Well that's your lot for another month. I'm knackered.....

Cracking shirt eh?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

It's ironic


That as a longtime Apple user, Windows is running a promotion using one of my tunes.
Not only that but you can download this tune for free and Windows will pay me cash money!
So, add to the irony by clicking on the pained looking girl with the headphones and download this, frankly, marvelous tune.
Just see if I'm as good as I make out eh?

Ha ha ha ha

Monday, 15 June 2009

Home Alone

Mrs Nick is now away until Wednesday. She does this a lot, she has conferences and the like.

I am left to my own devices.

This involves Jack Daniels, online poker, late nights, listening to the radio at bedtime, eating mushrooms, gherkins and assorted pickled lovelies and listening to loud music.

Do you live with someone?

What happens to you when they are away for any length of time?

Do you go Ferrel?

Friday, 5 June 2009

Yes, this is me.

I have decided to show myself here and not hide behind a picture.

I think it may mean something, this new picture thing.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


This is what I and I know other songwriters and performers suffer from. It can be triggered by many things, a bad gig, review, criticism but more often than not self doubt. Is it all worth it? Most of us have regular full time jobs and that can be the great leveller. One can play a great gig in front of an enthusiastic appreciative audience, get a great review or comment about a song or performance, write a great new piece of music THEN then next day return to an often humdrum 9-5.

For me it's not a long term thing, it happens maybe three or four times a year. It's not a clinical depression or even depression. I prefer to call it MELANCHOLY because that's what it is. It doesn't last long, 4 days at the most. It doesn't always happen after a great gig or a non glowing review.

Last night I wrote a new song, it's my second in seven days. They're both great, the first one probably one of my best ever. The second one I like too, I'd like to spend more time working on it but I have to be here today. Yes I have time to type this and I'm luckier than most in that respect but I'd rather be at home working on these new tunes. Recording, mixing, uploading and promoting.

What about you?

Do you get this?

What triggers it?

How long does it last?

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Podcast number 11

Finally got round to recording pod-cast number 11. It's been far too long but there you are.
Possibly the quickest and easiest I've done yet.
I rant about so called "acoustic" music and Pure Acoustica
I played music by the amazing Julia K ,the delightful Wise Children and earworm specialist Matt Blake. I urge you to go and check out their sites and join their fan base.
I also sing the praises of independent internet types including the quite wonderful Watch With Mothers I should also have mentioned W.W.M. contributor Dave but didn't. I also mentioned two very funny ladies who make hysterical videos Yournottheone
You can access this pod-cast by click on one of links on the right. If you have iTunes then click the iTunes link if not click the widget link or click here to go straight to podbean and listen to it there

Monday, 18 May 2009

Birthday Boy (man)

Today is my birthday. I love my birthday and always have done ever since I can remember.
To me it is MY day. A day of treats and favours.
This year is slightly different to other years of late, I shall be spending this evening on my own. Now I'm not after any kind of sympathy as I am perfectly happy about it.
Mrs Nick is at a conference for the next 3 days, I dropped her at the train station this morning at stupid o clock, but she is whisking me away for a holiday weekend so that more than makes up for it.
However this does leave me with a bit of a dilemma.

So, what do I do tonight?

I'm think about a few JDs and a drunken Ustream gig interspersed with some online poker but will welcome suggestions..

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Who the hell blogs on a Saturday?

Yes well I do!
My weekends are often like a work day for me.
Today I am preparing for the Winchester Mayfest.
It has so far involved, printing and burning promo cds of myself and a comp of some of the other acts playing this afternoon, tinkering with guitars cleaning and the like, hunting out minidisk recorder blank minidisks leads etc and printing and cutting card inserts for the cds.
My wet-suit arrived today and the surf at Boscombe looks great, typical.
It is also clean up day in our street. Folk move their cars, trim their street trees and generally tidy up. Then men and street cleaning lorries come and take it all away leaving the neighborhood looking neat and tidy.
In stark contrast, I intend to return from Winchester beery and disheveled!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Le Weekend

I love weekends. It difficult not to. I have tried to get out of the habiot of wishing the whole week away and just focusing on it (the weekend)

This weekend is going to be a humdinger.

I have organised for a group of musicians (most of whom I have never met) to play at the Winchester Mayfest. They are members of a company I started a year ago call Pure Acoustica. The whole idea is that no amps, microphones or p.a.s are used, it's all TOTALLY acoustic, geddit? We will be playing at the Discovery Centre (yes, it's the library) from 2 until 5 pm. After which I shall be heading off, guitar in hand, to a few pubs where other musu types will be playing traditional folky type music and hopefully joining in.

Those who know me will know my attitude to folk or "fulk" music. But this is different. It's a spontaneous almost improvised, natural kind of music. There will be fiddles and banjos, penny whistles and flutes. OK, I know what you are thinking but the ale will be good!!

My daughter is down for the weekend which is always a delight although she will want to get home in time to watch Eurovision.

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, 14 May 2009

The Power of the Post-It

I have a huge list of things I need to do. I find that with such a huge list, actually getting started on anything is a daunting task. However, earlier this week I acquired a pad of Post-it notes (does anyone actually buy them from shops?), wrote out a few of tasks I had to do, then stuck them on my comp at home.

Magically within 2 days, I had the satisfaction of throwing 3 of the notes away, muttering to myself (inner dialogue Clarry?) "Job done!"

I'm now wondering if there is an innate power in the Post-It note.

Does it discretely urge one into action?

One can even get them for ones iGoogle page

Could the bald write a "Grow Hair" post-it?

The fat write a "Lay off the Pies" post-it?

Perhaps the poor could try a "Earn more Money!" post-it?

What would be your post-it message today?

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Do you have webfriends? People that you have met on the web. You may have come across them on a forum, social network, seen a video or heard a piece of music that they have made.

Webs friends are great.

I have many.

Most of my webfriends I have never met or talked to. I have met a few but I've found that once I have met or spoken to them they lose their allure, their mystery.

I re-recorded a track of mine for the guy who made the video. Originally the track was 4:32 but he needed it to be 3 minutes. Over 2 months or so we swapped many email and even recorded messages to each other, tweaking the track here and there, suggesting ideas for the video, that were sent as email attachments.

I have webfriends that I've had for over 8 years! In America, Canada and all over the shop.

I catch up with them sometimes via messengers and the like.

I have webfriends at as well finding some new ones at Twitter and

Do you have webfriends?

What are the advantages/disadvantages?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


In a shameless attempt to garner followers to my music type blog and therefore encourage people to listen and then buy my beautiful music as well as watch me on the Ustream, I have thought of an interesting and popular question,as well as constructing possibly the longest sentence ever.

*Deep Breath*

Which is the king of jams?

Is it the humble strawberry jam? The tarty raspberry jam?

I put it to you that it is most certainly the Peach Jam, combining the tart and the sweet in one wonderful concerto of fruity preserve

Ear Worm

I think that's what they call it, whoever THEY are. Lets say it's what WE call it. That tune that burrows into your head and sits there blooming and spreading it's essence through your very soul. At the moment this songs floods my every waking sense, it's my theme music accompanying everything from ironing (yes IRONING! Ir scares me too) to holding my wife.
Now I share it with you.
She's great is Joan as Policewoman. I found her randomly. All her songs are intricate and subtle.
Spotify her, as WE say. But first just let this lap over you....

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Master Plan

So this is part of my master plan. I found this piece of software, I forget the name. You can expand branches and group things. So I spent most of easter doing this plan. This is just the website part, there is a much bigger plan that this is just one part of.
So now I get down to actually DOING the plan.
And to be honest, it's all a bit daunting and is it realy worth it?
Will it be a success after all the work?
It fucking better be!!!
n.b. click on the picture to see it in it's full glory....

Saturday, 9 May 2009

It's been a while

I know it has been a while but I have been a bit busy and have lacked luster and enthusiasm when it come to blogging and pod-casting. It can be hard work keeping all this stuff up. The blog, the pod-casts, the ustream gigs as well as writing and recording and publicizing myself. Sometimes I feel that there is so much to do, it's hard to find somewhere to start.
The summer holidays will soon be upon me and I will have six weeks to produce stuff as well as hitting some waves on my new body-board. 
I'm still as creative as ever. New tunes, new ideas and opportunities flood my mind.
I just get a little worried sometimes that I'm not producing enough actual material and that it's all a bit pointless. We all get like that though, don't we?
that's me that is!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Me playing live in your own house!

I can be playing in your own house this Sunday if you let me in. From 9pm I will be playing via ustreem all over the planet.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

What is your favourite cake?

Adam & Jo keep teasing me, saying that they're going to run a "text the nation, text, text text!" on what is your favourite cake but never run the item.

Therefore I shall attempt to start this contentious topic in my own inimitable fashion.

As a child, Saturday nights meant one thing; a "mixed grill" consisting of lamb chops, kidneys, sausages, bacon, fried eggs, chips and cream cakes, Cholesterol hadn't been invented then, thank Christ!

The cakes where purchased from Holts of Shepperton, the local (only) bakers in my village.

My mother bought 3 chocolate eclairs, not the finger shaped, these were great blobs of choux (?) pastry topped with sticky chocolate filled with thick whipped cream!! And 3 apple turnovers, also filled with the aforementioned cream, this was the 70s after all. She would then cut each in half so that we could sample both.

I'm my later obese days I would purchase whole cakes and greedily devour both but then fat and cholesterol were discovered along with smoking related diseases and I had to give all that shit up.

Therefore my favourite cakes to this day are chocolate eclairs and apple turnovers.

What about you eh?

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Podcast Number 10

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This has been one of my favourites. I interview independent artist, musician, dancer, actor and great friend Charles Olsen. He talks about visits to, the now notorious, Branstons Farm in Surrey in the early nineties. Meeting Dave, Paul and myself in the early stages of Drunk on Logic, almost winning the Saatchi prize and living in Madrid. As he lives in Madrid , the only way I could do the interview was to record our Skype conversation and it turned out pretty good.

I found myself without a clip of Charlie playing Flamenco so had to Skype him to send one, only to find that he didn't have one either. Fortunately he was able to record an impromptu piece on the spot and email it over. What a pro!

His web presence is amazing and has many a site to see as he does so much. Including a blog written in Spanish!

If you use iTunes to download this podcast then you will also be able to see the pics I added, screen grabs showing our Skype/recording session.

I also included one of my tunes as well as a 12 year old recording of Drunk On Logic's first paid gig.
If you don't have or fear the iTunes then you can listen or download by clicking here

Friday, 20 March 2009


Ladies and gentlemen of the web. I put it to you that in the majority of sitcoms, be they animations or real life, the male lead is always characterised as a bumbling flawed idiot.
How come this is not the case for women?
There is one exception and that is To The Manor Born

Saturday, 7 March 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

I'm generally annoyed with TV shows for one of two reasons.

One - Annoying presenters

Two – Aforementioned annoying presenters doing something pointless and banal.

Which is why “It’s not Easy Being Green” has achieved something special. It has made me despise not only Lauren Lavern but also Phil Jupitus.

It also made me question this whole idea of trying to live a “green lifestyle”


Group Captain Strawbridge, was the hero in the previous series. It used to be a quaint way to pass 30 minutes. I’ve watched him digging ditches, moving chickens, and helping old ladies water their sheep and in a small way aspired to this country type lifestyle.

Now there has been an obvious change in the production team


Last weeks show openes with “fresh meat” (organic!) in the shape of Phil Jupitus (chubby funster and down with the kids, kind of) and Lauren Laverne (accepatable, fragrant and vegetarian) towing “The greenest caravan in the world”. Unfortunately this wonderful aluminium (recycled) Airstream was being towed by the two in a huge 4X4 monster thus negating any “eco” credentials it may have had, with Phil constantly taking his hands off the wheel in some form of green deathwish.


Then, inexplicably, we cut to some posh people buying an old door. Who are these people? Why are we supposed to be interested in them buying a door? As this clip pans out it appears that in earlier episodes we (you?) have been watching these folk do up their house in an “eco” stylie. We’re not told this until about 10 minutes in by which time I don’t care who they are as they’ve already annoyed the hell out of me.


Then we cut back to Phil and Lauren who are eating food that has been “cooking” in their engine whilst they have been driving. So what amazing culinary delights have they concocted? Gypsy style hedgehog? Pheasant in olde Englishe Cidre? No, pasties, warmed up pasties no doubt tasting of diesel. Great, thanks!


That over we’re whisked off again, via another yet another flowery graphic please, please no more, to grumpy author and skinflint Hunter Davies who shares with us his sad and crazy life of eating rotten fruit, stamping on toothpaste tubes and creeping into the first class department of airplanes and pilfering the discarded socks left by its passengers.

“They just leave them behind” he bemoans.

It’s because they’re cheep and sweaty Hunter, leave it!


Then the most pointless part of the program.  A freecyclist (what’s wrong with buying food?) makes some bread. Well, actually he doesn’t. He scrounges some flour from a miller and gives it to his mate who makes it. How? We are not told but he is very funky and he has a beard. Then it’s sold in a market. Which market? Who knows but a passing French women nods her approval so that’s ok then.


All these little segments are rushed through at such a pace that there is no time for any useful passing on of information it’s style over content,  fast cuts, flowery animations and quirky music.


There is an earnest nodding of heads whenever the holy words are spoken; “carbon footprint” “eco friendly” or the more simple and meaningless “eco”.


The final “working out of how many planets would it need to support the world if we were all Phil Jupitus”. *Insert joke here* was just insulting.


The group Captain sits with a laptop (not paper or pencil) asking our Phil about his car “is a 4ltre engine big?” he asks coyly, how much air travel does he take? Does he know Hunter Davies is probably wearing his old socks?

He doesn’t ask if Phils house is insulated, if he recycles, how old his car is? That would be a little to deep for this show.


I know it is easy to cynical about all this “global warming nonsense” but I’m not. I do try and do my bit and, without going into details, I do ok. I look to programs like this for information and the reassurance that there are a few folk like me, just doing or bit, recycling our cans, not driving everywhere and not buying beans from the moon ect. but this show managed to trivialise the whole idea of sustainability and make a mockery of anything “green”.


In truth, Lauren is too cute to hate and Phil has earned a lifetime of kudos from appearing on Buzzcocks so I can never actually hate him, but they haven’t done themselves any favours by appearing in this flowery drivel, especially as later on Phil admits to an £8000 gas bill from leaving his pool heated for the winter!

The thing is it IS easy being green

Friday, 20 February 2009

View from the other side

I have recently started an independent record label called Pure Acoustica 

As well as doing all the things that labels do i.e. releasing cds and tracks Pure Acoustica is also putting on purely acoustic events (geddit?) in pubs, festivals and a plethora of other interesting venues. I also feature them in my pod-cast It This Thing On?
All the artists are original independent types, not just solo singer songwriter types but bands , poets, comedian and the like
This departure from my usual pursuits, I'm a composer and performer, has given me a slight insight as to the "industry" experience. I have been trawling through numerous Myspace Music and Reverbnation profiles and found some cracking new acts. The process of selecting and rejecting is an interesting one. 
My criteria is , at present, profiles that fall within a 50 mile radius of Southampton as all the events will be in that area. Not the widest of net casts I know but it still gives me plenty of acts to chose from.
So here is my Top Ten list on maintaining your profile. Bear in mind that folk aren't sending stuff to an overworked, underpaid and jaded industry type, this is me enthusiastically actively wanting to find good acts.

1 Remember to put where you're based. For me it's imperative. 
A photo is important. I wish it wasn't but it is. When I'm a trawling through dozens of Myspace profiles the first thing I look at is the profile pic.
Have at least three tracks available. I need some context. Don't worry if the recording is bad as long as the performance is good then I'll carry on listening, even if folk are talking in the background or it was recorded on your phone on the bus.
Select 3 of your most diverse tunes. If I listen to 3 tracks that sound the same I think that's all you've got.
Make sure you visit your site at least once a week. If I come across a myspace profile that you haven't logged on to for six months I'm assuming that you couldn't be bothered anymore. You may have moved on and built your website but at least leave a link and make it obvious.
If you think it will look more impressive if you make up your own little label eg "Nick's Bedroom Records" DON'T. I'm only interested in independent "unsigned" acts. 
If you have any video of any quality (remember it's the performance that is important) put it up. It's all about content.
If you blog then put them all up there or post a link to your blogsite. DON'T just have one old blog that you thought was a good idea once and then just couldn't be arsed to carry on with it so it just sits there 18 months after you forgot that you wrote it and that bass player has left now and you all had your hair cut since then etc etc etc.
Chose tracks that will grab me in the first 10-15 seconds. Long intros have to be more than just strumming the verse for ages, get into the tune. Edit the track so it starts in the chorus if necessary. If I'm hearing the same thing after 20 seconds I'm out of here and on to the next profile.
10 I'm not impressed by pretty "pimped up" myspace profiles. They tend to take an age to load up by which time I'm thinking about having another JD or Stephen Fry has scratched his arse on Twitter! 

This has been an interesting experience and has made me evaluate my own web profiles.
There may be heaps of other types scooting round the web looking for various acts for their particular projects. I've done a few events for folk that have found me by searching for acoustic, independent, 12 string, stunningly handsome ect. So it may be worth going back and looking at your profile through the eyes of someone like me.

If you want me to give you a quick no holes barred opinion of your profile or 
you think you are someone I should listen to or you think I'm talking a load of bollocks then lob a link in the comments box.

The pic is from my good friend Charles Olsens myspace site and possibly one of the best profile pics I've seen. What does it all mean? 

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Podcast Number 9

My longest pod-cast yet! I managed to cram in part 2 of my conversation with the very successful Neil Drinkwater creator, manager and leader of The Red Stripe Band (Jools Holland on Speed!)

Some interesting information on how to make it as an independent musician. He's been managing his band professionally for the past 6 years and has some funny and very useful insights, as well as some startling revelations.

A new jingle for

I even managed to squeeze in two tunes, both from last weeks Pure Acoustica gig at The Dolphin in St Denys. Botyov 1791 singing 17 bottles of Stella and a bargain bottle of wine and me (yes me!) singing a drunken version of Pale Moonlight.

Do you, me and everyone a favour and subscribe to this loveliness by subscribing to this on iTunes. It's the way forward plus you get to see the funky pictures that I cleverly embed!!!

You may also want to check out this little collaboration I did with Swineshead from Watch With Mothers

Monday, 9 February 2009

Is This Thing On Podcast 8

This podcast includes music from Pure Acoustica artists Emmy-Lee and Botyov 1791 and  part 1 of my conversation with Neil Drinkwater a.k.a. Red Stripe from The Red Stripe Band.

Emmy-Lee and Botyov 1791 will be joining me for the first Pure Acoustica event this Thursday the 12 of February at The Dolphin in St Denys
I've wanted to interview Neil for some time. He has been a full-time independent musician for just over 6 years and manages The Red Stripe band a nine piece swing bamd, often compaired to Jools Holland on speed!
He is also a great friend.
More from him in Podcast number nine but that's another story!

Oh yeah and I made this.......

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Sleeve Notes for new Album "Bare Bones"

On listening to the first couple of tracks of Bare Bones I doubt you'll be clicking the iTunes buy button straight away.

The production is basic, to say the least, the vocals are often overwhelmed by the guitar and vice versa. Many of the tracks are short, have untidy endings, lack a "bridge" or "middle eight" or even a chorus!

This is my "back catalogue", my history. Many of these songs were recorded over ten years ago at 3am using one basic microphone and an old Mac. An audio notebook of ideas and inspiration.

But there are songs, oh yes, and that's what I want people to hear. Naive perhaps, basic even.

The alternative would have been to leave them, let them rest on a hard drive until the Mac eventually dies. But then what would have been the point? I still play many of these songs; I will often take parts from songs, a chorus, intro or theme and use them in a new composition.

So these songs are footprints, the tracks of my journey to the here and now.

No vocoders, no auto tune or expensive production or mastering.

Have a listen, you may even remember hearing one for the first time at that gig 8 years ago with that guy you didn't know in that dodgy Soho club you went to just the once to check it out but never returned. Or you may have been round my flat one night after the pub and cajoled me into playing something.

Or, of course, you may be listening for the first time in which case, don't judge too harshly as what you are listening to are just the "Bare Bones"

See what I did there?
Original artwork is by my good friend Charles Olsen

Monday, 26 January 2009

Victorian Farm

I just wanted to mention this BBC show. You can pretty much guess the format. People live and work as if they are in Victorian times. Pretty standard format except that this show is fantastic.

The people living this "dream" consist of two enthusiastic 20 something student types and possible the best example of "young crone" you are ever likely to see. They are not celebrities, they all get on, they do not moan about doing without flat screen tvs or microwave ovens. This makes the show interesting as instead of learning about "relationships" and how mad and vile people can be, the audience is entertained.

Highlights of last Saturdays show include; a fat man and a thin man cut down a tree, a man makes a basket, "crone" takes a bath (steady!), man waterproofs boots, thin man putting his hand up a sheep, ferreting and shooting pheasants.

It reminded my a little of the old schools show "How We Used To Live" without the crap child actors.
I realise that this is show will not have mass appeal (no celebs) but I applaude the BBC for putting it on prime time.
I also realise I could have been the only person to watch it....

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Podcast no 7

This week, amongst other things, I rant about buying a fridge at Comets, play some fantastic music by Matt Stevens and Simon Javens, a new advert for those great folk at Hayward Guitars in Winchester, talk a little about Pure Acoustica and launch the very first "Twitter News"

Monday, 12 January 2009

What is a Podcast?

I sent this as an email to members of my mailing list as I had people asking me what a podcast was.
Apologies if you find it a little patronising.

Ok in a nutshell a podcast is a piece of audio, usually speech perhaps with some music. Like a radio broadcast. This piece of audio has to be posted on the web so that people can hear it. You can download this podcast to your computer so that you can either add it to your MP3 player (iPods etc) or play it later. If you have an application called iTunes then you can use that to download it. You can subscribe to a podcast so that every time a new one appears, you will automatically download it.
You can also just listen to it from its source (stream).
My latest podcast has just gone live. You can stream it OR download it from It's about 17 minutes long and has me chatting a bitr and playing 2 songs from some fantastic independent artists that I have discovered.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Podcast number 6

After many failed, drunken attempts last night I have finally recorded and edited Podcast number 6 of Is This Thing On. 

People I mentioned were, in no particular order Matt Blake, Matt Stevens, Bete' deJour, Watch With Mothers, Joe Potter, Joe Woodham

All of whom are fantastic and wonderful. You should click on their name and find out all about them immediately.

As I said I will try to record another by next sunday at the latest.

I'm also planning a blog entitled "Why it's all still Thatcher's Fault" that should be ready by February. A non musical political rant. Bet you can't wait eh?