Sunday, December 23, 2012

Secrets For September live in your living room?

Had a bonkers gig last night.

Ellie from the band was asked to play some covers at a friend’s party, initially JP and some people from his covers band were going to do it, anyhow I ended up doing it, I had a couple of weeks to learn pushing 20 songs most of which I didn’t really know and the venue was a front room. 

As it turned out I was able to get a small PA in there and we got a very good sound and somehow managed to get our way through the set, we did of course throw in a few Secrets originals for good measure.
It did give me the idea of the concept of House gigs if you are not familiar with the idea then you can read about them here .

It may be a bit tricky to do as a full band, though Mike with his Djembe or even his mini drum kit we could, or play as a duo or trio either way it’s an idea that we are considering for 2013 maybe a small tour of places that otherwise we would never be able to get to.
So anyone like the idea of Secrets For September in their living room? Then drop us an email 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

BBC Radio - End of the world.

So yesterday it was supposed to be The End Of The world and in celebration of this, I played 4 tracks all called the End of the World. 

They were songs by The Cure, Mostly Autumn, Aphrodite’s Child and Gary Moore. An very fine collection of songs won’t you agree.  

You can Iplayer it from this link go in about an hour and 10 minutes

Friday, December 14, 2012

BBC Radio 14th December 2012

Dear readers,

Sorry I have been quiet on here, I really must do more blogging.

Just a quick note that I will again start posting what I play and talk about on the BC Radio Devon show with Vic Morgan on BBC Radio Devon.

Tonight we talked about Huw Lloyd-Langton and played the Hawkwind track 'Dragons and Fables'.

Then moved on to Thomas Dolby and played '17 Hills' from his superb 'A Map of the Floating City' album.

Lastly the new Gilmore & Roberts album and the track 'Doctor James' probably my track of the year look them out here

More soon.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mastering with Mr Jaggs

Yesterday was a good day I did some mastering for my old friend David Jaggs he’s a classical guitarist and sells a lot of CDs. This is a clip of him off the telly when I first knew him when I was 14! 

His website is

Monday, September 10, 2012

HMV - Secondhand and bust

So I popped into the local HMV the other day to get a dvd, the dvd in question was in stock in the 2 for a tenner range, so I found a  CD I also wanted to get so a cd and a dvd for a tenner that’s very good value in my book.

On the way to the till I noticed a section of cds marked as ‘pre owned’ and in contained such classics as Pink Floyds ‘wish you were here’ and Nirvanas ‘Nevermind’ for 2 pounds a pop. 

Now I have a big concern over this HMV is the only new CD chain in the uk left everyone else has gone bust. I have seen that a lot of people are now offloading there unwanted music on web sites like music magpie where they buy in cds for next to nothing typically 50 to 75p per cd then they sell them on either via ebay, or now it would seam through shops like entertainment exchanger or maybe now HMV. 

What this is doing is in my view detrimental to the music industry on several levels. 1 it makes it harder for the few remaining second hand record shops to obtain stock where they usually pay more for cds than somewhere like music magpie and as most are  small businesses some of which also stock new music many also help support independent artists by selling direct from the artist this is not a massive part of the music industry but small second hand record shops do benefit the music community as a whole. 2 if HMV now sell cds at 2 quid a pop its going to dramatically undervalue the retail proce of a full price CD. I personally view ten pounds as a reasonable amount to pay for a new cd its been the standard proce for years, but supermarkets started the discounting of cds by importing albums from abroad and set a culture of reduced price music carried on by the likes of cdwow hmv gurnsey and so on. The consumer now feels that all cds should be priced at no more than a fiver. Thankfully people that value the music that artists and new artists make are still willing to invest in the artist and buy an album for a tenner but this is getting less and less.

Now HMV have set the bench mark price of CDs at 2 pounds a pop yes they are secondhand buy many will ignore the fact and just believe that cds are now worth that amount and no more.
What really will be the knock on though is to the independent second-hand record shop the place that will sell you a good condition CD for 3-5 pounds this subsidising them being able to afford to stock new independently released music so no only will HMV be putting themselves out of business they will also do their best to kill off what few remaining record shops we have left.

Well done HMV Nipper would be so proud.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A day to Bristol 12th August 2012

I can’t believe it’s been best part of 2 years since I played a gig in Bristol. So having a free day last Sunday I contacted my friend Mark Venus whom promotes a lot of acoustic gigs in Bristol and arranged a couple of shows for a Sunday afternoon. Mike wanted to tag along for the ride so he came along with his Djembe.

The first gig was at the Hatchet Pub located by the 02 Academy, it’s a great pub and its usually the place I head to for food before a gig or if I happen to be in Bristol, they also have quite a few good alternative and 80s nights there too sometimes.
We went on at about 5pm and the set went like this.
Fortunes Light
Broken Child
Love is a Spirit
To Behold
Mike did some great percussion of feel giving it a great groove, that song is developing all the time from the simple original acoustic song that it was to start with.  We had some great feedback from the audience which is always greatly appreciated.
After this gig we popped over to Fishpond’s to play the Cross hands, a few friends came to this one as they lived nearby, and we did the same set just in a slightly different order. It was a much bigger place, so lacked the intimacy of the Hatchet still In some ways we played a lot better as we were a bit more into it second time round.
Fortunes Light
Broken Child
Love is a Spirit
To Behold
So there it was, a fun couple of shows then it was a mad dash back to Devon in time to see The Who on the Olympics. Sadly there is no photos of these gigs.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

By the time we got to Woodstock...

So while thing are going very well for secrets for September we have had a slight problem in that our Bass Player JP has been away for a long time. We had a show that our usual stand in was unable to attend as well so I had to decide whether to cancel the gig or find someone else.
One of my neighbours Andrew Leigh came to mind he is an Ex pro that was in several name bands inc Spooky tooth, Keef Hartley band and Matthews Southern Comfort and goes by the name of Andrew Leigh. So knowing that we have a few mutual friends I found him on Facebook and asked him if he fancied doing a gig, to my amazement he said yes this was only about 10 days before the gig. We had a couple of rehearsals with just a tape of the drums and then off to Kozzfest we go.
This was a great little festival that Matthew ‘The Wright Stuff’ Wright even turned up to and mentioned on his TV show.
We played the usual Secrets set minus reflections due to set time. And a good time had by all.

Set List
To Behold
Upside Down
If I Need
Letting Go
Friends Forever
Gigs like this are always good to do.   

Video of the end of Friends Forever 

The snapshot in the family album....

Last night was all a bit bonkers really, My initial intension was that I was going with my girlfriend to the Picturehouse to have a Pizza and listen to music, and that’s what we did, though as one artist postponed I thought I might do a couple of tunes, and some how it ended up being a Pink Floyd a thon.
I thought earlier that I fancied doing Pigs on the Wing, then one thing lead to another and I ended up doing.

Pigs on the Wing (part 1)
The Post War Dream
Fortunes Light
Morning Dew
Another Brick In The Wall Part 1
Another Brick In the Wall Part 3
Goodbye Cruel World
Comfortably Numb
Broken Dream
Broken Child
Outside The Wall
Pigs On The Wing (Part 2)

So 4 All Living Fear tunes and one Cover + a truncated version of the Wall haha! It was fun with Andy B Playing bongos, and Lee-Anne on the Shaky Egg. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Is the recording Industry of the 50s any different to now?

In the 1950s there were 2 kinds of musician, there was the ones that Played 5 nights a week playing anything they were asked to play, and there were the few that just wanted to do their own thing , the latter came out of the former.
2012 There are 2 kinds of musician, the ones that play whatever they are asked to (Covers / Tribute bands etc) and the ones that want to do their own thing, these mostly never went near the former.
In between the 2 era’s there was this little bubble called ‘Independent music’ This started in the 60s but really thrived in the 70s and 80s and started to fade in the 90s.
This was where major labels and smaller companies invested in artists doing their own thing in the hope that it would yield some return in many cases it did in others it didn’t, but with good marketing and product with the people at the top making some money this filtered down  and we had a healthy recording industry.
We are now back to how things were in the 50s, there was an old jazz label called 99 they were one of the first indies along with people like esquire and Tempo, they were called 99 because they only pressed 99 copies of a given album. Now we live in an era were a lot of indie labels are doing the same shirt run limited edition vinyl and CDs.
The only musicians that are making a living are the ones that play whatever they are told to play, and the only new artists that are on television are singing songs written for them or singing nostalgic oldies, just like it was in the 50s.
Just my thought for the day what do you think?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Back to the Picturehouse and the Return of All Living Fear

So last night then.

Usual fun at the Picturehouse, not played there myself since January so was looking forward to playing a few tunes, as it happened Mike was free so I dragged him along this going from really a Matthew North solo gig to an All Living Fear gig this being the first one for a couple of years. We didn’t have any rehearsal Mike was just bashing his Djembe to the beat I was playing.

Also we did one song that I had never sing before. I think we pulled the gig off rather well it was like a Goth Tyrannosaurs Rex.

Set List

Broken Child (New Song)
All Living Fear
Each And Every Way
Love is a Spirit
Last Goodbye
Tomorrow (With extended solo at end)

I really liked the sound of what we did, I was looping guitars and I was using this new pedal called a Ravish Sitar that I got for Xmas that give more texture to the sound.

No longer had All Living Fear played its set than Ellie came to the stage and we did a Secrets For September set.

This was a lot more controlled as we have been gigging quite a bit recently and are getting tighter all the time.

The set went

To Behold
Upside Down
If I Need
Letting Go
Friends Forever

It was a real shame that JP wasn’t there but he had to be on the day or rather night job.

I say this many times, but it’s a fact that Had there not been the Picturehouse I would not be playing music to the level I do now, it’s such a great place that musicians get together every week and play songs to each other. Last night was much fun.