Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Three more Secrets.....

The last few gigs have been a real Tour-De-Force for the band but ended up a massive success.

25th Nov – Exeter Cavern

The Cavern club is where I started to learn my craft so to speak, I played my first cavern gig over 18 years ago, and whatever I do I tend to always play there. This was Secrets first billed electric gig I had to cancel our last one there as I went to the Isle of White with Roger and his mates. We were supporting a band from London called La Nuit. Started off that the main band didn’t have a drum kit, so the venue scrabbled around for bits to put one together for them, this took a while and the sound checks over ran a little. Our soundcheck wasn’t great, was all too loud on stage, and as a result the gig wasn’t great, Marina could hardly hear herself, all I could hear was the acoustic guitar. It all got a bit messy in the middle, but we muddled through, the out front sound was pretty good though and we had a few in to see us.

To Behold
Upside Down
Got To Give Up The Ghost

The day after we played an acoustic set on Riviera FM in torbay inc a video you can see and hear it all here

Here is the link for the Radio Interview

Secrets For September - Riviera FM 26-11-11 Interview & Live Session

1st Dec - Exeter Picturehouse

After this we had a more quieter show at the Picturehouse, this is where we first performed together, our first full gig was in April and we return a lot more polished and confident than we were back then. We played

Hold Your Peace
To Behold
Upside Down
Right Here
Got To Give Up The Ghost

Its fair to day we were all a little nervous as the last gig being a little fraught but we had nothing to far this time, crystal cleat sound and by far the tightest set we have ever played a success all round we felt.

5th Dec - Falmouth Princess Pavilion (Supporting the Magic band)

Then a few days later it was off to the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth, now I have wanted to play here for years it’s a lovely venue and the sound is always really good. As It was I turned up about 20 minutes late, the drums and Bass had already had their sound check and it didn’t lake long to set up my kit, its funny but even though it a far more complex rig it takes far less time to set up than it did in the old bands days.
The soundcheck went really well, everything worked and like the picturehouse we had crystal clear sound everywhere.
After some good back stage banter including a rousing rendition of the theme tune of Auf Weidersein Pet just for JP we hit the stage at 8.30 pm. The room was starting to fill up a lot more than at our last big gig at the Islington Academy, and apart from a guitar gremlin we had a faultless set, the audience really appreciated it so much so it was our best audience reaction so far as well as being our biggest. We Played

Right Here
(Matthew played Acoustic Guitar)
Upside Down
(Extending out the end jam to include the ‘Black Night’ riff!)
Got To Give Up The Ghost

Pre gig warm up

Marina giving us the 80s :)

This is what playing music is all about and I really loved it as did the rest of us, this was the best gig I have ever played.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

South West Music Awards 2011 Exeter Corn Exchange

So tonight was the South West Music Awards. I really did not know what to think about this, we were given a couple of tickets as Secrets had been nominated for best indie act. The web site for the event was a little on the basic side, with very little info on it.

Turned up walked in, was not too many people there, saw a few old faces, bumped into Fred the promoter who after I said hello told me everything was going shit, oops that doesn’t bode well.

Me and Mike were sat at a table with some people from the band Loose Cannons who were all jolly good people, and the banter started up. We were presented with a goodie bag, this consisted of a load of CD-rs of people you have never heard of, a few flyers one party popper and one very small bag of malteasers.

So the event finally starts, there is some taiko drummers then John Robb comes on, from the start he starts to rip the piss out of the event, including making comments on who actually voted for any of the awards and who some of the bands are.

It starts to go into a Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox does the BPI Awards where he calls up someone to present an award, wrong person who didn’t have a clue what she was presenting then it all went silent, and it was rather awkward for about 5-10 minutes.

Joss Stone was there, she is one of the most down to earth people in the room, no ego, she came over to our table and asked if she could have a chair, no big minders or any of that rubbish.

So the awards started to flow, Phil Beer got best folk act for show of hands. There there was another band on, few more awards, We didn’t win but we never though we would.

There was then a juggler, quite what this was about I have no idea, anyhow, a bit of banter came along, and someone that was suppose to have been the ex Drummer of Wang (Dance hall days) Chung. Anyhow this guy walks on to the stage, and starts calling the juggler through the PA a C**T and starts threatening him. Now the first question is, where was the security, as I didn’t see ANY there at all. The evening then starts to drag, long break in the middle, a band sound checks for AGES, finally we get more taiko drums, the john robb pops on, and we get another band few more awards the another band, who deadicat a song to the short angry man, he then gets up to have a go at him, this time I film it, not as funny as the first time, but still good. Joss stone gets an award then she legs it as fast as she can.

Its all painfully slow and over running now, most have left, few more awards to go then it’s the aftershow at Mama Stones.

The Aftersow, was suppose to be free entry to people with wristbands, I still got charged a fiver because the doorman said it was only free if you got there after 1 am, when it was only about 12.

Well was there for a bit saw Simon Hall from work, and chatted to John Robb, hes a good chap.

Looking back, this could be a really good event, It was all a little un professional, and many had paid 15 quid to get in one of the acts that won even complained on stage that they paid 15 quid and didn’t even get a free drink on arrival!!!

I did hope more would have turned up, so there could be a bit more musical networking, but as Phil Beer pointed out most bands are gigging on a Saturday night, this should have been early to mid week.

Either way, I had a great time, and I would go again!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Here is a Rundown of the charts.

Well Secrets for September got to no 56 in the Amazon Rock Chart on the day traces was released, when you look at the fact that there is a LOT of new and old stuff out at the moment no least re releases from the likes of Pink Floyd and Nirvana I reckon we did pretty well.

If you have not bought our single you can get it from Amazon and ITunes Follow the links on

And while we are about it here is the video

Monday, October 03, 2011

(Me and Marina Post gig)

What a weekend.

In 19 years of being in bands, and 18 years since I first played in London (At the Islington Powerhaus!) I don’t think I have ever played a gig that has ran so smoothly as this weekend just gone.

Back in about Febuary of this year I was talking to Frank of Flag promotions about gigs, My Girlfriend had very successfully arranged a show of her own band and the Chameleons at the Islington Academy through Frank and I was inspired that this would have been a great venue for Balaam and the Angel to play. So I spoke to Frank and introduced him to Des and Jim and the gig was on. I also thought that the most obvious band in the world to support would be Claytown Troupe another band whom I’m rather pleased to say I was instrumental in getting them back together in 2004.

Anyhow I put the bands name forward and again that was all sorted out. Thinking this would make a great gig, I left it at that, but then I thought? Well Balaam still owe me a gig from the one that got cancelled in 2008 because of Des breaking his foot, so I thought sod it and I put Secrets for September forward as opener, as this unlike most of franks gigs WASN’T a goth scene gig I knew musically we could get away with it.
It took a little bit of persuasion but as the whole event was my Idea he couldn’t argue haha!

So on the day of the gig, Picked up martin and drove in, didn’t hit much traffic and we arrived only 15 minutes after the time I had hoped to get there, Got unloaded and parked up, One thing I like about Islington on a Saturday afternoon is plenty of free parking in the side streets.
Balaam hadn’t started to do a sound check as Jim had some hassles with the hotels for the families that had come down (remember Balaam are 3 brothers so everyone inc Mum and Dad all come down).
So we toddled off to the Lloyds bar for some lunch.
Met up with Milton and Graham they were both doing stills photos for us, Graham is Andy from ALFs brother and Milton is a friend of mine via work, both had chuffing big camera setups never been so use to this pro thing haha. Got back and set up some of the camera gear and watched Claytown sound check had I not been playing I would have been part of there crew.
We then set up, which was dead easy as CTT were using Mikes drums and JPs bass amp so all I had to do was set up my kit. The in house crew as usual were tip top professionals and we were up and running in no time. My guitar was sounding really sweet and having the new EQ Pre amp on the Fishman bridge made all the difference to the acoustic sound, the sound guy though it was one of the most convincing acoustic sounds he had heard in a long time.
Once we were all done it was back to the dressing room to get ready.

Come to stage time and bang on 6.30pm we start, as soon as Mike hits the 4 beat count in of To Behold everything fits into place perfectly, I have not had such good on stage sound for a VERY long time. The set was 40 minutes and was over far too quickly. I fluffed one note BADLY in the solo of traces, and had a tuning malfunction during got to give up the ghost, other than that it was a great set and we had a very appreciative audience was also really cool to see all of Balaam watching our set, seldom does a headline band even stand in the same room as a support band let alone watch the entire set.

The rest of the night was great, Claytown and Balaam both did faultless sets. I filmed all of it, and I have put a bit of Balaam on YouTube and will put some other bits up later. It was also really cool that at the end of Balaams set Both Mark and Jim thanked me for putting the gig together. So was smiles all round. After the gig some of us popped over to the slimelight for an hour, well Martin wanted to go we were all knackered! Then Sunday travelled home via the New Forest for lunch at The Fighting Cocks in Godshill the best pub in the Forest.

Sunday evening, I played another gig, and literally only just made it. I did a similer set to the picturehouse gig the week before, it was a charity gig for Bands for Land a worthy cause, it was a shame that the Venue View2 in Plymouth wasn’t to charitable. The turn out was low and they forced the gig to end early, they also had the most horrendous drinks prices of any bar I have ever been to, £2 for soda water out of the tap? £3 for a half of Diet coke? Never going there again!!! Great weekend so very happy with it all. Now roll on Wednesday for the release of the new single!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just a Reel of tape?

Apart from the spools my Dad had I have never seen any R.T.C. tape anywhere like to know more info on this brand if anyone knows.

Well this was a strange thing, it was almost like the nearest thing that I will ever experience to a ghost, not that ghosts exist you understand.

I was over at Mums today, and I dug out an old reel of tape that was Dads, It had some classical music on it, and I wanted to see if it was any BBC stuff that he recorded off the radio as I knew that some of it was. Anyhow I dug it out and played it into my PC. I though it must have been BBC as it had an announcement someone reading off the sleeve notes of the LP before the album began remember in the late 60s you didn’t have flat bed scanners!

On closer listen to this announcer I realised it wasn’t a BBC continuity announcer but it was my Dad. I literally had to sit down after this, it was 12 years since I heard his voice, and much as I can remember his voice to hear it again after such a long time was quite mind blowing to hear it again.

I thought Id share this as though it doesn’t mean much to anyone other than me, it is an event that I want to document.

Above the rear of the Box

The Voice of Mike North by Matthew North

Monday, September 12, 2011


A little observation from a thread on facebook where someone is not happy that the copyright laws have been extended because he wants to fileshare stuff he doesnt own.

When a piece of music is made:-

When the artist has an idea – No Payment
When Artist writes lyrics – No Payment
When Artist makes demo – No Payment – Though Artist has to make Demo and their expense
When Artist records track – No Payment – Again artist may have to pay for this too
When Track is released – No Payment
If the track sells after the labels ‘Expences’ – Appx 10% is paid to the Artist as a whole

Promotion for song – Artist foots the bill

Playing live – at most gigs the person that normally doesn’t get paid is the artist, specifically if they are on say a support tour they are paying the headline act to be the support to get the exposure.

Advertising to promote the product – All gets taken out of any royalties made.

The Gamble is that if a song has longevity then over time this will create an income for the artist in other words this is a very LONG TERM investment made by artist.

When a House is built ;-

Artist makes a sketch – Get Paid
Architect makes plans – gets Paid
Builder starts work – Gets Paid
Building suppliers – Gets Paid
House is finished and electricians / gas fitters come in - All get paid

Monday, August 29, 2011

In a field of freedom?

So on Saturday Secrets For September headlined the Freedom Fields festival in Plymouth, this is a much small affair than the one they have in June that boasts an audience of about 3000 odd people.
We got there, saw there was a tent which was a plus as the weather has been pretty rubbish the last few days. A Small Pa and an audience of people. As some of you know Dave is unable to perform live with the band due to other commitments and we have a new guy JP playing for us, though he has only been practicing for about 2 weeks with us. Also we were without Mike as he was on holiday, so we played this gig as an acoustic set, which in hindsight was exactly the right thing to do as it was a much more laid back type of gig.

We played a 35 minute set that had

Hold Your Peace
To Behold
Wandering Minds
Upside Down
Right Here
Got To Give Up The Ghost

Our on stage sound was great, we could hear everything crystal clear. The people watching really enjoyed it and I felt we were making real progress as a band, Hats off to JP as well for learning the set so quickly.

Shame the weather put off a few people, but that didn’t dampen the spirits at all was a good day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Secrets For September at the Passage House Festival 7th August 2011

Last Sunday was the second day of the Topsham Ferrymans weekend. Take a nice little pub by the side of the river, put up a stage with a small PA fill the place with people and hey presto you have a festival.

I wasn’t there for the Saturday, but I hear it was all good fun. Arrived on Sunday, there was a band playing when I got there not knowing what the PA situation would be I was pleased to hear they had a good sound balance. So once unloaded (And managed to bash my head on the scaffolding!) Parked up and managed to relax a bit before the gig. Saw a good few friends there Simon, Deb and Jackson, Vic who I do the radio show with who I haven’t seen for ages (were back on air first week of September btw) Kal and Ant a good mix. As we are still bass player less at the moment I played the bass with my feet. I recently bought a set of Roland Bass Pedals here is a little video from out practice the other day.

Before our set there was an entertainer on that did fire juggling and a whole manor of other tricks. The sun came out and we played out set this wasn’t an Acoustic set, or an electric set but something in between.

Hold your Peace
To Behold
Wandering Minds
Upside Down
Right Here
Got To Give Up The Ghost

I had a few issues with playing the bass at the same time, but I had only owned the pedals a week playing the tape of the gig back it sounded pretty good mix.

After we finished it started to rain so we finished just in time. Thanks to Martin for putting us on It was a fun show.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Toots and the Maytals – An utter disappointment

I was delighted to find out that one of the greats of reggae Toots and the Maytals were to play the Phoenix in Exeter and I was also lucky to have been one of the last to get tickets for this event direct from the Exeter Phoenix box office.

We arrived around 8.45 ish thinking the doors were open and the support act were probably already on stage as the times of the gig were 8-11. When we got there the doors were still locked, so we were sat outside listening to some great reggae tunes, I was well excited to hear House of the rising Dub by International Observer being played too. Time went on, and on and on, before we knew it it was 10pm door still not open. We started to get a bit worried about this. Eventually the doors opened at 10.30 thinking well if he goes on now then we will get to see most of the set before we have to go home. But no, it had got to about 10.50 and still no sign of any live music. So we decided to ask for a refund then go home.

This is where it got messy. We asked the box office whom we bought the tickets from if they could refund the money to our card. They said they couldn’t because they had already paid the promoter and we would have to get the money from the promoter. I questioned this is it was the point of sale that I bought the tickets last Friday. I asked if the promoter was around they said he wasn’t. I then asked to see a manager, by this time there was over 20 people that wanted refunds and it was building. Eventually the promoter turned up. He said that Toots wanted and extra hour in bed and that’s why the gig was running over 2 hours late. I asked him if we could have a refund, he said no. many others were getting annoyed by this, and the promoter called over a security guard. He then went on to say that he had to pay the band in advance, 5 minutes later he was changing his story and said that the phoenix had all the money and were paying Toots a cut directly and when they do that he would be able to refund people that had to leave without seeing any of the show.

We left our phone number and had to go by just after 11 the band without Toots started up and apparently toots took to the stage about 11.15. I would estimate a good 60-70 people had to leave before Toots took to the stage. Hopefully we will get a refund but this was a very annoying incident for us, I also felt very uncomfortable when the security guard was shouting at some ladies that were asking for a refund, when they were just saying that they could not stay because they had to go home and his excuse was ‘Well I got to get up at 5 am tomorrow you know’ someone replied ‘Yes but your getting paid tonight’ he then got very shirty and started waving the ticket in their face going on about the terms and conditions in the small print on the back of the ticket. I had my camera phone ready in case anything mad kicked off thankfully there wasn’t.

Anyhow got home well after midnight having seen no music at all, what a waste of a night. I hope we get a refund tomorrow.

As a Follow up I have just spoken to the Phoenix Box Office and they have promised a full refund on return of the tickets. Still upset I never got to see the band.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Last week was another busy one.

Thursday it was Andrew Padders birthday, and for it a load of us formed a Cure covers band, we did 8 songs, and considering that we only had one rehearsal I think we played pretty well. I also did a solo set when I also played an improvised number, haven’t done anything like that for ages.

Solo Set:-

Natures Land (Never done solo before)
Tres Desole (Again never done solo before)
I See You (New song, only second live outing different arrangement to last time)
Love Is A Spirit

Live Improvisation 21st July 2011 by Matthew North

Friday during the day went to Tiverton to record drums with mike, this is actually the last session we needed so all the bass and drums are recorded now. And 75% of the vocals are done and about the same in guitars so all good to go soon.

Friday evening we went to an old school indie night, all the stuff you liked to hear at clubs before Britpop came along and killed it all, Stone Roses, Smiths, Ride etc great night at the kings, they are going to have another one in about a months time.

Saturday was my mate Bernard’s birthday, I have known him since I was 8 years old, and we played music when we were kids, we did 2 gigs one in 87 and one in 88 and never played in public since, until Saturday night where I played about 6 songs with his covers band inc Route 66 a song that we did back in 87 / 88.

The Fabulous Thorvertones & Matthew North - Route 66 (Live Bootleg Recording) by Matthew North

Yesterday was a day at home ending up watching Rainbow DVDs are reading that Rod, Jane and Freddie were in a love triangle!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Strumming in the Street
Well on Tuesday I think it was Marina email me about an event in Exeter called the ‘Exeter Street Performers Festival’ and asked me if I wanted to take part, the idea was that there would be 16 or so acts from all over performing in the Princesshay area of Exeter. I was game and so was Dave, Mike alas was teaching so alas couldn’t do it.

The first set we did was in the wrong place, we found the person that was on before us and just assumed that was where we were playing, though it turned out he was some sort of pro busker and that was his normal spot! So we played a set of our songs acoustically outside some shoe shop! Marina gave it 110% though, and it was quite a fun thing to do, and had a fair few watching us, was the first time that I had ever played in the street.

Marina at the first set

The second set was in a much nicer area, outside some old building with gothic arches it was also quieter so we could hear each other play. The set was quite tight actually and we did every song that we have written its kind of cool that you can do this, mark of a good song and all.

After the second set

Once this was over we had a break for a bit and Dave had to go off to play another gig. There was a kind of an after show thing at Oddfellows bar, so we then played another set, though this time there was a PA. My mate Levin Winsor from work was about and offered to play some percussion, and I did have my bongo drums with me, as it turned out we had a great sound with looped guitars and bongos made a good end to a good day of live music.

Oddfellows set

There was more to come though as after we headed off to Padders place for a rehearsal of ‘the Unholy Hour’ a one off Cure covers band that will be playing in Exeter on the 21st July at the Picturehouse.

I was rather knackered by the time I got home!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

All Living Fear Re Releases Jessica

As we will be coming up to our 20th anniversary we will be re releasing via digital download all our CD albums.

One item that has never seen a digital release is the bands first ep Jessica. This was recorded in 1994 and is so far the only recording with a live drummer (John Macklin of the band Legend along with Steve Paine also of Legend on Keyboards whom also produced the EP).

You can now listen to in full and download the EP from here


Friday, June 24, 2011

Sonic Rock and other tales

(I should have posted this blog last week)

Well this has been a rather extraordinary week music wise.

A few years ago I was at a musical crossroads, There was so much I wanted to do, but I never had the confidence to do what I wanted, this all changed on the 8th June 2009 when I did an open mic in Richmond at a place called the Watermans, this was the first time that I had ever sung in front of anyone and I got away with it from this point on I knew anything was possible, I just needed to find the direction.

The obvious one was for the band I was In, but that ended up in a mess, its one thing being in a band that isn’t that popular in its genre, but when there genre has little popularity in the world then you are on a loosing battle before you start. So I feel it was the best decision I have ever made to walk away from it as far as being a touring musician is concerned.

There has been one thing that I have always wanted to do, and that’s be a band on the festival scene, I have been to so many festivals with Arthur in recent years, and they have all been great, and I wanted a slice of that and the only way to do it was to start something new. Now you all know the story of how Secrets For September was started, but before we had the live band together properly I got the Sonic Rock solstice gig booked, even before we had a singer, the initial idea was to be a kind of Ozric Tentacles kind of dub instrumental prog / space rock band. And with this in mind the demos that I had recorded secured Secrets a slot at sonic rock.

So by the time the festival came round, Secrets was a totally different band, was I worried? No because I believe passionately in that this band has all the elements that a good band has, and we are all performing with a united front, something I never had with All Living Fear not in ANY line up with the possible exception of the time that it was me and Paul but again there were other issues that prevented the band from flourishing.

Me and Lee-Anne got there the night before, as we like camping, it was pouring with rain on the way up but it cleared enough for us to get the tent up and the kettle on the go. Sonic is not a massive festival but its very well run, there is good sound and lighting, and everyone we met was friendly. Didn’t seen many band on the Friday, but Alan Davey’s ‘Gunslinger’ were very good.

Saturday and it was the day of the gig. Setting up was a relaxed affair everyone else turned up on time, and we had a fun soundcheck, this was only our 4th gig and first ever gig using something more than a vocal PA, It was bliss to play a gig with proper monitors again. It was also the first time we played where Mike had his full drum kit.
The set was to include

Is Space Found
To Behold
Wandering Minds
Upside Down
Paint The Picture
Got To Give Up The Ghost

The set went down really well, I’ve not played anywhere for so many years where people have come up to me afterwards and told us how much they enjoyed the gig. Looking back over it all it was a great achievement, that with the Amazon chart success wrapped the week off nicely.

Me and Lee-Anne did intend to camp over for the Saturday as well but I wasn’t feel too great with all the muggy weather, and we decided to come home and have Sunday to relax.

Sonic Rock Solstice is a really fab event and long may it continue and grow.
Un expected night at the Picturehouse 23rd June 2011

So last night we went to the Picturehouse to see Anthony Smith do his ep launch, and ended up playing a little set, with Andy B playing drums.

The night kicked off with the Morrisons doing a bass player less set, its bad to loose 1 bass palyer, they have mislaid 2 haha, still didn’t matter they played a fine set. Rupert Bath was on next another local singer songwriter was a good little set from him too.

Now the big news is that the Picture House now to Pizza’s they are top notch and I feel the Silent Whistle in Ashburton has some serious competition on its hands.

Last on officially was Ant himself, who has been planning his ep as long as its taken for the Olympic Stadium in London to be finished off, and finally its here. He played a set of 8 songs inc the ep naturally ably assisted by Andy B on the drums. After his set there was some time left, so the drummer of The Morrisons did a couple songs on guitar, then I was egged on by Andy B to do a couple numbers. Never been to a gig before where I didn’t have some much as a plectrum on me. So anyway in at the Deep end.

Wasn’t sure what to do but ended up doing this.

Love Is a Spirit
Close Down
(Here Comes the) Rain (Yes the Cult Song!)
Fortunes Light
Blues (Interesting tempo changes in this!!)
To Behold (With Kal playing Drums, not sung this song for almost 6 months!!)

Was a fun evening, as it always is at the Picturehouse.

Andy B on Ants Set

Myself and Kal

Above Anthony Smith

Monday, May 30, 2011

Secrets For September - Crumlin 28th May 2011

So Wales it was,

We got asked to do a gig in Wales, well it was more the promoter put out a Facebook we need a band type post. The gig was billed as things, A Festival Camping, Vice Squad headlining and Family Friendly all for charity.

So in my mind was a field, a Marquee, Camp site, side shows and someone going round with a collection bucket.

What it was when we arrived was pub in the middle of a housing estate full of Hells Angles, all very polite and friendly but not exactly the mini Beautiful Days that I was expecting and no sign of a camp sight anywhere, there was a food wagon with nothing Vegetarian on it at all, Drink prices though, happy days a round for under a fiver!

Anyhow, this gig was initially going to be an acoustic show, at the time the gig was booked the band consisted of just Me, Naill and Mike. If you have not been aware, Secrets For September had a bit of a re think, the band is actually Me on Guitar, Dave on Bass, Mike on Drums and Marina is the singer. We only do 1 song from the last year + of the bands official existence everything else is new.

We were always down to being the first band on, this has a big advantage that we can sound check properly this was also our first show as an electric set.

The PA was well below what we had been promised, more or less a vocal pa with some sub standard monitor and no reverb. Still we managed to get something resembling a sound. It’s a totally different dynamic to rehearsing, and using the excellent facilities at Sound Gallery meant that we have made a lot of progress as a band in the last 6 -8 weeks.

So by the time of the set I was quietly confident that it would go ok. We did just over a half hour set, nothing technically went wrong, Mikes happy playing to the click now because we have keyboards on a backing track, everything else is totally live. There is some great interplay with Dave and Mike, they really hit it as a rhythm section. I was starting to feel a lot more comfortable playing this material, I mean it’s a real change from playing the best of ALF for the last god knows how many years. Marinas confidence is getting there too, she was nailing bits that that were a bit iffy at the last acoustic gig, so all in all the band is progressing well. The high point for me was the funk song we do called ‘Wandering Minds’ that was the best song we did for me. I think once were in a better venue with a decent pa then its just going to get better and better for us. And my now all analogue pedalboard was great and the Acoustic pick up on the Les Paul also worked well.

Here is a video of the gig with the sound from another of our new songs.

After the gig we all headed off our separate ways, Myself and Lee-Anne ended up eating Soup and Panini's at the Picturehouse was a good day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Radio Playlists..
Missed out on my recent things on the radio.

Friday 13th May Arthur Brown Special

As I had done that gig with Arthur I thought I would play some of his tracks as well as mention his South West shows later in the year.

Fire - Well it had to be played
There then was an Interview by Vic with Arthur
Devils Grip - Live at the Picturehouse
I Put a Spell On You

Friday 20th May - Bob Dylan's Birthday

I wanted ot talk about electric Dylan, the 65-66 era some of his best work IMO.

Maggies farm
Outlaw blues
Leapord Skin Pill Box Hat

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Wall in Dublin 23rd May 2011

So we get to the 02 Arean Dublin, from the outside looks like an old factory. We were well early and I had the mishap of falling over a paving slab and hurting my finger, something Lee-Anne found highly amusing. There was only 1 pub nearby called the Green Room, total rip off, 10 euros for a coke and a cider! Still it passed the time, they were showing the bootleg DVD of floyds 87 hanger rehearsal.

We ended up right at the front of the queue, there are very few shows on the wall tour that have standing, so once we got in we were on the barrier. Very happy with this.

The wall is going to be massive, there is a mannequin on stage with Rogers coat on it, and I spot Dave Kilminster showing someone around the stage.
The show was delayed by 15 minutes, I guess because of the Obama visit. I’m not going to give away too many spoilers here but the opening was quite spectacular with amazing effects and fireworks. The sound was crystal clear and not too loud.

Roger looked happy, all the way through the gig he was saying that he was a miserable git 30 years ago and now hes very happy. Strange to think there are only 2 people on stage that played the original wall shows (Roger and the ever dependable Snowy White). The attention to detail was what impressed me the most, as a brig goes in an image appears on the brick. Some thought provoking images of people that have died in war, more were projected during the interval, Roger really has though long and hard about this show. Its NOT the show about the washed out rock start that the original show / film was about, its about now, its about Afghanistan and todays issues, this show could have been written today.

Its not all doom and gloom though, its about musicianship of the very top end, Dave Kilminster is every bit as good as David Gilmour, hes probably the best ‘NEW’ guitarist of the last 20 years to be honest.

Roger has schoolchildren on stage for the chorus of Another Brick in the Wall, how cool must have that been for them, this is something roger started at the Live Earth gig in 2007.

Second half was all about the projections, so magnificent, Comfortably numb has this amazing but where roger punches the wall. Then they all re group on stage for the Run Like hell / Waiting for the Worms section.

The the wall falls down, the security don’t want any hands over the barrier, I did want to punch a brick but couldn’t quite reach oh well!!

This is the best gig you will ever seen yes it really is.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Its been a mad musical week this week.

Monday it was Secrets For September rehearsal in Exeter at Sound Gallary studios, this believe it or not is the first time that all 4 of us have practised as a band normally we have practised where someone is not in attendance, Marina has been busy with a show she has been working on that I saw last week, and now we all got together. Having a solid set of 8 songs now means that we have something concrete to work with, not band given that 4 months ago this band didn’t exist and only one of the 8 songs was written. It all went reasonably well few things to work on but nothing that isn’t going to be too much hassle.

Then on Thursday Arthur brown came to visit, he has given me all the Kingdom Come mater multitrack tapes inc some of the Puddletown sessions as well to get transferred and then to be archived in a digital format. Anyhow I had a gig at the picturehouse nothing new there, but Arthur came along as he was staying here. While I was getting ready, it was mentioned by a few people was Arthur going to perform so we ran through a couple of ideas and then decided to do some numbers.

Above Martin, Roger (The Cure), Lee-Anne,
Simon (The Mission), Arthur and Me

So the set went like this.

Fortunes Light

The Widow’s Blame
(As Arthur had sang this on the last ALF Album)

All Living Fea
r (First time this had been done live since the early 90s)

Love is a Spirit (One of Arthurs songs he wanted me to sing it so he could hear me do it!!) I managed to cock up Love is a Spirit it was a bit of an ordeal to be honest!!

Me and Arthur

Devils Grip
That’s How Strong My Love Is

Arthur was magnificent I have never been to a picturehouse gig where every single person in the room stopped chatting and were fixed on watching every note that Arthur sang. And the audience wasn none too shabby either good turn out as it was Andy B’s from the Picturehouse’s birthday too.

After my set I went to jelly I have never done this is 20 years of gigging, and its not like it isn’t the first time I have played with Arthur no stage, I guess I wanted it to be perfect and apart from one note in the solo of Devils Grip it was.
We had a relaxing rest of the evening with National Pastime finishing off the night, and then we were delighted to an impromptu rendition of Goth Detectives by the Superpunkmuffin.

A perfect way to end a perfect evening.
The Friday I played Arthur some of the new music, he really liked the new Secrets For September stuff and I also played him the miserylab track which he also liked. He then met up with Vic Morgan from BBC radio and did an interview for the late show before heading back to Sussex. All in all a great few days.

Here is a video of Devils Grip

Thursday, May 05, 2011

All Living Fear 2011

'All Living Fear' was a song that I wrote back in 1993, It was on our second Demo tape a a new version that had almost the same arrangement was released on the Fifteen Years After CD, so here is a new working of the track more in keeping with how All Living Fear sound these days.

All Living Fear (2011) by All Living Fear

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Radio Plays of the last 2 week

Just remembered I haven't updated what I played / Talked about on Radio Devon for the last couple of weeks.

Friday 22nd April 2011

As its been announced The Quireboys are one of the Headline bands of Devon Rox festival at Powderham Castle I played a couple song from the classic debut 'A Bit of What You Fancy'

The Quireboys
7 O'Clock
Hey You

I also talked about Saxons Superb show at the Princess Pavilion the day before

Saxon - Strong Arm Of The Law

And for a bit of a change, I played the title track from Kate Bush's last album and talked a little about the Directors Cut CD that will be out soon.

Kate Bush - Aerial

Friday 29th April 2011

It was announced that Roger Daltry is to peform Tommy at Powderham Castle in Exeter, as I had been to the Albert Hall to see the same show a few weeks ago, I played a Live Tommy track from the Whos 1989 reunion album Join Together.

The Who - Christmas

Adam Ant had also announced 2 South west shows for the 17th and 18th June (Exeter and Falmouth)

Adam and the Ants - Ants Invasion

as it was the royal wedding, and people were going on about The Kiss, I thought id have something with the word kiss in the title and Siousxie follows on with many connection to Adam and the Ants

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Kiss them for me

Last of all was a band that I had wanted to play for ages, and also it was also for one of our listeners that lives in Chile

The Church - Under the Milky Way

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Timepiece Exeter 29th April 2011

Its not everyday there is a royal wedding, and what a good event it was to see on television. While watching I get a text message from Garth, whom used to own the Hub in Exeter and is not the main promoter at Timepiece in Exeter asking me if I would play a short notice gig.
Timepiece and me go back a long way, it was one of the first clubs proper I started going to when I was at the end of my Teens / Early 20s, the building has moved, but in essence its very much still the same place, I regard it with great fondness and I rate it as the best club I have ever been to and still do.

It's a club of great history, great character and it is cheap / free to get in and the drinks prices are very good too.

Anyhow I jumped at the opportunity to play there though I have not done a solo set in quite some time, so once I got there and got set up I had about 45 minutes to practice in the corner with nobody looking a half hour set.
By the time
I got on stage the room had filled up quite nicely and good to see some friends there like Richard, Anthony and Kal there.

The set went like this

Improvised intro song

Fortunes Light

Close Down

Blue Sky

The Widow’s Blame
Love is a Spirit (Kingdom Come song)
Broken Dream

The set went down really well, I’d almost go to say it’s the best solo gig I have ever done. The recording I made was none too bad either, may post a track up to sound cloud later.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Skin Rock The City DVD

Im just taking a break from working on some Secrets for September tracks, as I’m home this weekend where as every body else seams to be out in the sun.

Last night Myke Gray announced that Skins Rock City gig is finally going to be released on DVD. This was suppose to be have been Skins farewell as earlier in 2009 they had reformed to play main stage at Donnington Download festival. I had offered our services to film them as they had never had anything filmed before other than a few promos and some top of the pops appearances. And we followed them from rehearsal to Download and made a bloody good documentary called ‘Skin Reunited’.
In December of 2009 I had been on tour with my old band All Living Fear, I had lost a lot of money and decided to never go on tour again, about 2 weeks later Myself and Lee-Anne had gone to see the so called supergroup ‘Them Crooked Vultures’ and though it was the most tedious load of old pap that we had ever seen, and decided that we should go and see something to renew that not all rock music had gone down the pan. So we decided to go to Skins final gig at Rock City, and while we were there we may as well film it too.
I had ran out of tape on tour to film them to it was a mad dash to tescos to get enough Mini DV tapes, I also didn’t have enough cameras so I managed to borrow a couple. Rock City was the perfect venue to film it, no busybody’s getting in out way, plenty of places to put fixed cameras. Doug Hall was mixing the sound, so we knew that the 2 track out the desk would be as near to spot on as we could get.
The band set was amazing, the best that we had seen, on the summer the stand out gig was one on Wolverhampton, much as Download was suppose to be the big one, it was too big, no connection with the audience like you have with a Skin gig in its own right.
Rock City was packed, the set was storming.
When we looked through the tapes we though there was something really special here, so Lee-Anne edited one track sent it to Myke, he loved it, and so Lee-Anne edited the whole gig.

We though they were going to release it last year, but they didn’t, because they wanted to make a new album and play download again, We did shoot the second download gig, it had a better connection with the audience than the first one, though being in a big tent, it didn’t look as good, but it was OK, we did also pop along to the Ponty warm up show, that was great, a promo for the track I was Born to Rock and Roll was made out of this footage, though it was not without its problems, the final version that was released was partially edited by me, and then re edited by someone else. In hindsight this could have been done a lot better (It was a bit short on shots, could have done with shooting one more time at another gig) also sync was an issue as live it was a slightly different tempo and a different arrangement but that’s all history now.

Anyhow a couple of weeks ago I sent DV masters to Myke, and the DVD is currently having menus edited.
There are 2 edits made to the gig as we had to remove the 2 covers from the set, though here is one of them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Secrets for September and other music

Well I haven’t done a music blog for a while, been rather busy. Just quickly I have booked a big show for All Living Fears 20th anniversary next year, nothing will get announced until nearer the time but I’m sure you can probably guess where when and what day it will be on!

Getting on to more important stuff, it has been a busy week for Secrets for September, firstly in case you hadn’t guessed, Niall was unable to commit fully to the band, so has decided to leave, thankfully we have replaced him with the excellent Dave Holwill who made his debut with the band last Thursday.

The gig at the picture house went well and we had more than expected watching us live on the web stream too, I’m thinking this sort of technology is rather amazing, it was only 5 years ago that the who were web streaming some of there gigs and they were having to use a satellite to do it, where as we were doing it with a wifi connection and Roger O’Donnell’s Apple Mac!
Anyhow for the moment the gig is still online at http://www.livestream.com/dangernoisetv the gig was a good experiment, as some of the songs worked really well in the acoustic style, where as others probably missed the keyboards. Still we are writing more and more material and are preparing to record with the prospect of an album being released in the autumn.

Then on Saturday we were to Stepcote Hill in Exeter for a photo shoot with photographer Mike Alsford and with him were Alex White and Andy Robinson and a dead pro team they are too, there was lights, reflectors everything, not had a location photo shoot in my life before!
(Had a couple shoots in a studio in the 90s and had some pics of ALF done at a practice studio in london last year but thats it!) Anyhow some of the results are here

Friday, April 08, 2011

BBC Radio In the South West Friday 1st April 2011

Little mixed bag this week featured tunes

The Cult - Born into This

Last Stop China Town - Erase

Mr So and So Bi-Polar

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Whitby Gothic Weekend April 2011

Well I haven’t blogged about Whitby for a long time so thought it was about time I did. These days I only go for the main 2 days, there has been a lot of problems with WGW not least due to people trying to put obstacles in the way of the official event, well the chickens came home to roost and the rivals proved they couldn’t organise a piss up in a pavilion, I pity anyone that’s made plans to go this weekend coming as a fear it will be rather empty.

Anyhow, as you may know I have been actually staying in Scarborough as its radically cheaper, like its 30 quid a night for a BnB where as your lucky to find anything on Whitby for less that 65 quid a night.

I got there Friday afternoon still on a buzz after seeing Roger Daltry and his band perform Tommy at the Albert Hall with special guest Pete Townshend. After checking in I popped down to the spa, this is where I noticed that there was far less of the usual Mr Ben Goths about, and I quickly realised there were quite a few faces there I had not seen for ages. I got my kit set up then it was time for the evening to start. Its also worth noting this is the first ever Whitby where every band had a drummer and most of the bands were 100% live with no sequenced backing.

Dutch Order This is a new band to me, and they played a very impressive set of Joy Division inspired melodic Post Punk, This genre is very popular these days, and this lot are right on the money looking forward to seeing them again.

Black Moth I’m a bit puzzled about this lot, they are playing on the Goth scene yet there an out and out Metal band, all well played and tight, but really the wrong sort of band for WGW IMO.

Dr Arthur Krause

This is my first pleasure of the evening, this is a Swedish old school gothic rock band, and are signed to M&A so it was really good to see Andreas there whom I haven’t seen for years, he was always a great friend to ALF in the old days. Anyhow Krause played an extended set as it was there 10th anniversary show, its great to see bands like this on the WGW stage, as I haven’t seen anyone like this for years, good stuff. Fuzzbox Another wildcard, in 1986 I saw them on whistle test doing Spirit in the sky in an arty / punk way, so I was kind of expecting this as what the band would be, what we got was hummm, well it was bubblegum pop, and they even did a cover of Ms pop muzik, they went down very well and they still did spirit well.

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

Were pretty much the same as last time except that they also had Wolfie on guitar, a Classic guitar driven gothic rock band that didn’t disappoint. So after the bands did a bit of mingling, was very happy to have a few people come up to me and say the liked the new music that I was doing with both bands, this was really lovely as its something that seldom happened before! Met up with Lilly from Static magazine and a few old friend such as Plant, William Faith and Scary Lady Sarah. It was the people I didn’t know, you know the faces you see but you don’t know them, many were there this time that had not been there for some time. This ‘Split’ with Whitby where the rivals took on a separate weekend, has meant that the true spirit of the Whitby Gothic Weekend has returned, no poseurs just there to get there photos taken, it was a Gothic music festival for gothic music fans, and it worked just like it did in the 90s. A quick word about the DJs, Dj wolfman, Cyber Andy and SLS all played a great set of tunes, no EBM or bleep just proper Goth with the odd bit of 80s and post punk just what you want. On to Saturday Popped in and had a look at the stalls, and caught up with Gary and a few others there was a nice vibe, again didn’t see to many people with cameras getting in the way though I did see one pair that looked like the Paparazzi’s out of Come Fly with me. Oh I also listened to the world according to Maisey as well haha! Band wise, it was another great selection.

Pink Hearse

This was an all girl punk / gothabilly band from Blackpool, they had some catchy tunes and reminded me of a Canadian band I know called Machetes, they did a good set.

Luxury Stranger

Ok I gigged with this lot twice last year, and I got to say I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about, they were ok but nothing special to me so I thought id just be seeing the same. Not so this time, they have a new line up, now Chris Banshee I have always rated as a very good all round musician, and Neil is a very good drummer, added to what Simon does, we have one hot band, there is great interplay between the three of them, some really well crafted songs and a great performance. For me Luxury Stranger were the band of the weekend for me, and it goes to show that you have to see a band 2 or 3 times to really gauge them.

The Beauty Of Gemina

Well it doesn’t seam that long ago that they played before, I thought they were ok last time, this time they were a lot better, I think they had more faster songs too, again this style of Goth, that you had by the bucket load in the 90s you seldom see live these days, and thankfully Whitby had them, I wasn’t sure if l liked the couple of more ‘Dancy’ tracks, but the rest of the set was very good.


American Gothabilly, again I have seen them before, and quite frankly I didn’t like them, this time, I dunno it grew on me more, they were good entertainers, very lively, well played and tight the finale William Faith and Pink Hearse joined them for a cover of I wanna be your Dog.

The Damned

Well the headliner have never delivered anything other than a spot on set, I had heard they were going to do Phantasmagoria in full, but they didn’t, they also didn’t do Grimly Fiendish or Eloise still cant have everything. Its like its come full circle, Whitby arrived when Goth gigs were few and far between and there were few places to meet people into Goth and Goth bands, and almost 20 year after the even we are at the same point in time, there are very few Goth gigs these days, and the internet is all very well but it’s a very special thing to get a large gathering of these likeminded people together, and through more hassle that I could imagine Whitby Jo has come up trumps this time and its been one of the best Whitbys ever for this reason. After hung out with the Rhombus lot and had some of Robs birthday cake, very nice it was too. I have put online a webcast of a track from every band, I’m very proud of this and I did it because I was so inspired on how great the weekend was. http://www.livestream.com/dangernoisetv its on the loop at the moment.

Friday, March 11, 2011

BBC Radio in the South West

Friday 4th March 2011 - Eric Clapton
I did a pre record for this show and talked about my hero Mr Clapton

JJ Cale and Eric Clapton - album The road to escondido
Hard to Thrill
Eric Clapton and BB King - album Riding With The king
Worried life blues
Eric Clapton - album Blues
Furthur up on the road

Friday 11th March 2011 - Mixed bag this week, Pretties due to play Ashburton Festival and Thunder reforming

The Pretty Things - Album Rage Before Beauty
Passion of Love
Play With Fire

Thunder - Album The Best of Thunder
Dirty Live

Dream Disciples - Album In Amber
In Amber

Friday, February 18, 2011

Playlist The Late Show 19th Feb 2011
BBC radio Devon / Cornwall / Channel Islands / Online

It was Folk Relief night for the Devon Air Ambulance and I played

Leadbelly - Where did you sleep last night?
Nick Pynn - The Correct Section of Gears
All About Eve – Gypsy Dance
New Model Army – Vagabonds
Pentangle – Open the Door

I will be doing some more folk relatet tunes next week.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Upside Down - The Beginning of Secrets for September

OK so after Christmas I decided that I wanted to go for it with a new band. Niall and Michael were in already, and after putting out some downloads we bagged the Sonic Rock gig, I was very pleased with this as it was always a festival that I wanted to do. Anyhow I still wanted a singer for the band, so as I had music on-line I gave Gumtree a go, within a couple days I had 2 people interested. and straight away I had a gut feeling Marina was perfect for the job, we met her a few days later, the day after she sent me lyrics for 4 songs, 2 days later we rehearsed and the following week we did a gig.

Next thing was to record, I had the basic demo of the song recorded, and I went to Marinas house to record her vocals using a laptop and a USB mixer. The vocal sessions went very well. A few days later I popped over to my other studio and put some drums down off my Roland kit, they were only rough but gave the song a groove. I then did all the guitars.

Next thing I wanted to do was to add some synth lines, I did a solo that was good but I knew the Moog was better, so I went over to Roger's place and got him to do it, in about 25 minutes he cracked it, always the professional Roger is (All the strings and other keyboards were played by me using Wavestation and Mellotron plug ins).

I did edit what he did slightly, he did a long intro (because the intro was initially longer) I sliced it up and used bits for the verses just here and there.

Last thing was some proper drums, so off I went to Tiverton to the music shop where Mike teaches drums, I had just taken delivery that day of a new USB audio interface and this was its first job. and in about 4 takes we nailed all the drums pretty much perfectly. A very pleasing recording session all round.

So here is the song.

Secrets For September - Upside Down

And some photos of Mike!

4th Feb 2011 - Calstock Tamar Inn

I find these days if I go for more than 2 weeks without playing a gig I suffer with musical cabin fever so I was asked to play some songs at an acoustic night in Cornwall at the Tamar Inn in a small village called Calstock. Neil the guy that runs it I have know for years as I work with him, and Colin and Simon from work do the sound.

I got there around 9.45 and by 10 I was on. I did a short sent as I had to dash off to the Radio station to do my show.

I played

Fortunes Light
Blue Sky
To Behold

The songs went down very well, I was far more confident than when I played to the same audience a year ago.

Monday, February 14, 2011

BBC radio 11th Feb 2011

Tonight was a Gary Moore Tribute night and I played
Gary Moore - Key To Love
Frankie goes to Hollywood - Warriors of the Wasteland (Attack mix with GM)
BBM - Waiting in the wings
Gary Moore and Phil Lynott - Out In the Fields
Gary Moore - Walking by Myself

Friday, February 04, 2011

BBC Radio in the South West

4th February 2011

Tonight I talked about Roxy Music as they are currently on tour to celebrate 40 years together.

The songs I played

Virginia Plain
Edition Of You
In every dream home a heartache
Jealous Guy

Saturday, January 29, 2011

27th Jan 2011 at the Picturehouse and the run up to it.

Had a really interesting couple of weeks musically speaking. It all started about 3 weeks ago when I placed an ad on Gumtree for a singer for the new band. I had trie before but to no avail but after getting new material out there, I thought I would give it another shot. Anyhow as it turned out 2 people applied for the job, and I kind of went with the person that applied first. That person was Marina, and before we had even practiced we had already written one song together, and she has given me lyrics for 4 other songs, one of which I have written a riff for.
I had the idea that to see how things go that she would sing a song with me at my acoustic show I had booked for the 27th Jan. Well firstly Niall was available to play so it was already a duo Then we upped it from 1 song to adding the new one as well. We rehearsed it last Sunday, both electric and acoustic and both were really good. I knew from this point that my gut instinct was right (though after the initial rehearsal I offered Marina the job based on the fact she had a good voice and a really good work ethic) even at Sundays rehearsal she had learned all her lyrics.
So then I chatted on facebook with Mike who I have had on the back burner as our drummer, Mike was in a band I really rated called Mummysmack so I knew he was perfect for the job. I suggested that he play at the gig on some kind of hand drum, he was a little uncertain but he agreed anyway, so last Thursday not only did everybody meet for the first time, but we also played a gig.
I did go through the numbers with Mike outside the venue just to make sure everything was ok. Then it was how time.
Rosie Eade was on and shes someone I really rate, she did a set of mostly her own songs, though she did an amazing version of The Whos Behind Blue Eyes.
Until the day of the gig I forgot that I had actually meant to do a solo set as well, so I went through a few old favourites. Martin suggested a few songs to do so the set went.

Fortunes Light
Blue Sky
The Widow’s Blame
Broken Dream

All were done with Niall playing electric Slide Guitar.

The it was the Secrets For September Set where we played

To Behold
Upside Down

I made a catastrophic boo boo in that I put the Capo on the wrong fret for Upside down, so we did it a semitone higher than it was meant to be, Niall quickly spotted it and amended accordingly, it didn’t faze Marina at all and she sang in brilliantly.

So all in all a very successful night all round, some even commented that I was also my best solo set that I have played, listening to the tape back, it was by far one of my best its almost like I have now mastered this singing lark!!