Showing posts from 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
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…
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

(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 on…
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 lon…

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 arti…
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 …
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 …
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 th…
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 kin…
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 an…
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

Jessica EP by All Living Fear
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 festi…
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 …
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 D…
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
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 lo…
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 r…
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
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 a…
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 ro…
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 s…
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 …
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
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…
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
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.
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 th…
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.

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
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
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…