Monday, November 08, 2010

Gigs and Stuff at the weekend

This weekend was really a game of two halves. Up early on Saturday morning for a trip to London, and this time for a specific reason, I noticed on Kevin Armstrong’s website that Reeves Gabrels was doing a guitar master class in London.

Well this was something I have always wanted to do , learn some tricks from the master, I have always regarded him as one of the greatest guitar players in the world, so I had to do it.

So got into London ans went to Vintage And Rare guitars in Denmark St which was where it was happening. Now there were 2 other guitar students, both teenagers and both very good players.

I had flashbacks to working at Bills where every Saturday you would have some kids coming in that could whiz up and down the fret board at 100 mph!
Anyhow, Reeves and Kevin were both really good, and I learned a lot, specifically about making the usual ‘Standard’ solo techniques more interesting, and to adding discords etc to it. It was all over far too quick.

So I had a solo show in London, I figured while I was in town id see if I could get a gig, I have only been doing this singing stuff for about a year, and though I did the ALF gig a few months ago, being up there on your own is a totally different ball game. I also had to take my own PA, this was actually a tip to the old days when ALF would tour with our own pa, some of the kit I was using I had not used since 1992!

Still it all worked, and It was nice that I had full control over the monitor!!
I did a set of all sorts, the songs I played were

Fortunes Light

Blue Sky
Don’t Look Back
(Lloyd Cole song)
Love is a Spirit (Arthur Brown Song)

Twenty Nine Point Nine

Friends Forever
(Where I also did a mid guitar change so I could do the solo on electric!)
Broken Dream

Close Down (Not played this one in a while and first time solo)
To Behold

So there was my solo songs, some ALF and a bit of Secrets for September at the end. Listening to the recording not my best set, the vocals were a bit wobbly, but that can be sorted in time all of this is experience as far as I'm concerned, the nerves are nothing like they were though playing to mates being in the front row always puts on an added pressure.
It was a good night, and was really great to have a few friends there, even if my pal Roger turned up about 5 minute after the gig ended!!

Afterwards we headed off to some pub where a few mates were hanging out at some goffs party in the other room, we stayed in the main bar and talked about the old days, that might inspire me of digging out the Karate Party video.

Graham took a great set of photos here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

40 Years of Atom Heart Mother

40 years ago my favourite album of all time was released ‘Atom Heart Mother’ by Pink Floyd.

It was the bands first UK No 1 lp and it took the band to a much higher lever than before. Its beautifully produced and has some terrific elements to it, yet the band and the fans don’t really like it.

The main port of the album is the title track, now Pink Floyd really worked at their material, so many bands no simple go from writing to recording then release it and tour it. Pink Floyd up to the animals album always played new material before they recorded it, Atom heart mother was first played live a good 9 months before the album was released. It was even shown on TV and played live on the Radio before it was released. The title track is a long instrumental in 6 parts, with Choir , Brass and of cores the band. The avant-garde composer Ron Geesen crafted the original piece (Known as The Amazing Pudding). It’s a stunning journey starting with a Brass drone (that sounds amazing on the quad mix), into a simple tune that is the theme for the whole piece, it goes through structures of ballad, blues, psychedelic oddness and back again, such a milestone of composition in 1970. Side 2 has IF, one of Roger waters best ever tunes, David Gilmour’s Fat old Sun another killer track, as is Rocks Summer 68, Both Roger and David have played their tracks on there solo tours, The ending is like a mini AHM called Alans Psychedelic Breakfast, sound effects link 3 different instrumental tracks, all very atmospheric. Add to that the cover, a great photo of a Cow and there you have it, to me the greatest album of all time. I was so very privileged to see it performed live, well side 1 of it a couple of years ago with Geesen and Gilmour.

Its well worth a listen if you like the idea of orchestrated rock music.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Exeter Picturehouse 14th October 2010

So back to the picturehouse after about a month, this show was to be a little different to normal as unlike previous picturehouse shows, Niall was playing slide guitar and not bass.

Ben Tallamy went on first, years ago he was in a band called Parasol Star that supported ALF back around 2002 he also played at the Exmouth festival a few months ago, he’s a really talented singer songwriter and plays a variety of other instruments too inc. the flute.

We did a not too dissimilar set to last time, with the exception to the last song.

We were having a before hand strum and ended up going through Just Like Heaven by The Cure, thinking it was a good Idea, Andy the manager of the Picturehouse printed out the lyrics for me off the internet and we added it to the set. Lee-Anne joined me for this one.

Fortunes Light

Friends Forever


Love is a Spirit

Broken Dream

Just Like Heaven

Afterwards came our pals Super Punk Muffins, who kicked off there Bonzos influenced set with Goth Detectives, Ben joined them on flute and they had a drummer to boot.

I handed me Guitar over to Simon whom used it for his set with Wayne at Whitby the following week. So a jolly good evening.

Our friends Marc and Steve

Niall and Simon


That be us


The Mighty Super Punk Muffin