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Music to the Ear 2020

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2020 like any other year, I have bought music. Some new some not so new.  I probably have listened to The Beatles more than any other band this year. and I ended up buying 4 box sets. The Beatles in Mono is just fantastic, the best clear way to listen to those albums. I managed to get the box set at a decent price secondhand BUT be aware there are Chinese knock offs. badly made with audio sourced form MP3s. The Singles collection is awesome. All cut as well as the original singles with lots of punch and excitement. I must confess I haven't played all of the white album box yet, but the attention to detail is superb, and the book is magnificent. The last box is the 1980 WRC box set called From Liverpool. I bought this as it contains alternate mixes that are not too common plus its a well cut set of 8 Lps. and can be found at a very low price. Parologram on Youtube has some great videos on the Singles box set and the WRC one.  Also found at a good price is the Adam and the Ants Kings

2020 A year like no other?

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Photo taken outside my home by Lawrence Hyne aka Greenbeanz Photography.  This years end of year blog really is going to be like no other. 2020 was shaping up to be good. I had a small tour with All Living Fear booked, a Sell out gig at Ronnie Scotts with Mike Westbrook as well as loads of other Westbrook shows in the diary. What was there not to like? Well I will come to all of that later. A photo from Arthurs Soundcheck 2020 Kicked off with the usual January trip to Butlins Minehead for 'Giants of Rock' this year was going to be great as I had not see my dear friend Arthur Brown for a little while and he was playing on the opening night. It was also the debut of a new band so a lot resting high. It was a great show well received and also had a fine evening meal too. Saw and photographed a few other great acts too. I really love these butlins weekends, great music, always loads of friends there. I started the idea of doing some new electronic music, I came up with one track an

David Crosby - Remember my Name

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CSN in Cardiff 22nd September 2015 Croz Cardiff 22/09/15 Last night I got to see the Davis Crosby film ‘Remember my name’ a very deep and honest documentary where Crosby talks frankly about his life. He appears very sincere about his life and the mistakes and regrets that he has.   I enjoyed the film a lot and think anyone interested in music or even just a film about someones live will get something from it.  Crosby very much regrets many of the things he has said and done over the years, and with all of that he has had a renaissance in writing and recording in the last few years,  though you can tell all he really wants to do is make peace with many that he has fallen out with. And there appears to be quite a list.  Crosby shows some of the important places in California mixed with some rare archive telling his story from then to now.  There are many sad tales in the world of music, one of the saddest in recent times to me has to be the falling out of David Crosby and Graham Nash. As

Boogie Woogie ?

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Here we go Lockdown 2, well I decided that I will make a conscious effort to try and write new music and do something. I have had this massive writers block for over 4 years now. In essence every time I try to write something I feel that I am just re working the same thing. Songs in the same tempo, key and chord structure, so I decided to just stop.   This is why in recent times I have just recorded a couple covers and re worked a few old songs. It’s a strange time, I have many wonderful musicians that I can call on to work on stuff, the problem is that I don’t have the material to work with.   With All Living Fear we are working on songs, and they all have one thing in common, Andy has written them all. He’s got plenty of material, so fingers crossed we will have a new album. We are thinking of getting it on in 2022 as it will be the 30 th anniversary of the band and Me and Andy will both be 50 *(Michael and Paul might be a little bit older!!) . One thing I have never explo

The Grassroots Dilemma

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You really cant escape to notice that the music industry is in crisis since covid came along. The thing is it was in Crisis way way before that as well. So many factors that has chipped away at the industry in the post millennium age . Because that is a key moment in time, with the millennium came broadband with that came files sharing that lead to streaming and the rest they say is history.  The ability to earn an income as a musician the tradition way, that had worked for the previous 50 + years was dying.  I file musicians in three types. Firstly there is the true professional. The entire income is made from gigs, tours, sessions, teaching anything connected with music. I have many many friends that fall into this tear as well as even more connected with the business, be it lighting, sound, crew, drivers. This is were I believe all help should go first. ( I will move on to venues later)  Then there is the semi professional, these are the people and I firmly put myself in whom record

Turning off the book of faces

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  Photo by Sarah Bowers Following on from my post a couple days ago I decided to remove Facebook from my mobile phone. And I really do feel already that I am feeling the benefits of it. OK if I HAVE to find something then there is always the phones in built web browser but already I am feeling less need to look at the darn thing. As for other social networks, I do take the odd peek at Instagram , but twitter I have little to no interest in, I post stuff to it, but seldom take much interest in it any further.   It does appear to be a pool of total negativity and hate with a large dollop of fake information and frankly not somewhere I want to be.   Social media was for a time a useful tool for musicians and creative types, but these days it appears far less use, it can add to anxiety and the whole Fear of Missing out syndrome and if I was to add up the number of shows I have done based on using social media I wouldn’t even say 10% came in this way. The old school of making calls or s

GP Electronics - IC130 Mk2 Guitar Amplifier made in Bovey Tracey

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GP Electronics IC130 Mk2 from 1977 Those that follow here may have seen a little while ago I made a blog about GP electronics Amplifiers made in my hometown of Bovey Tracey. Well I was contacted by a musician called Richard from Bath whom had recently acquired a GP amp that belonged to a friend of his whom had passed away.  We had a chat about it online and I told him about the amp and so on. Anyhow a few weeks passed and he decided he wanted to pass it on and offer it to me. I popped up to Bristol at a convenient spot and I purchased the amplifier from him.  This is also an amp that I have seen before in a Combo version. The IC130 MK2 was very much designed as a Guitar amplifier rather than the more general purpose of its predecessor. The former owner of this amp was a Bass Guitarist and he had owned it from new and had used it for all his gigs from the 70s until he stopped playing.     Parts I replaced capacitors and the main inlet socket That in itself is a great testimony to how we

The Social Dilemma for musicians - some thoughts

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Tonight I just watched a film called ‘The Social Dilemma’ it was as I expected it to be a bit of an eye opener. It mostly focused on Facebook and that being the most dominant social medial platform. In the UK a population of around 66 million, 44 of them use Facebook and around 14 million use twitter.  There has been a lot of talk about the Arts and Music and the future. Well in my view Tech companies have already done so much un repairable damage to the music industry that it can never recover from.  Here are a couple of examples.  In late 90s to early 2000s file sharing was rife on the internet, whole albums being downloaded with the artists receiving nothing. This saw a massive shift in the way the industry worked. It was all about Live acts and it was about live acts that pull big audiences. Major labels lost focus on promotion new acts because they knew that it would earn less money than what could be earned from say a Pink Floyd box set or a Fleetwood Mac tour.  Apple saw this as

We had a bigger jet than Mötley Crüe

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 We had a bigger jet than Mötley Crüe (Matt Sorum, Guns N Roses Drummer)  I’ve just watched a interesting programme on Sky Arts about Guns N Roses trilogy of videos made from the Use Your Illusion albums.  Now you have to remember 1991 was a vastly different musical landscape to 2020, ok I’m going to write this in 2019 tense and all references are PRE Covid.  1991 was a pivotal year for rock music and in many ways you could argue that 1991 was the peek of the 90s. At the time there was a lot of new things around, for me living in the UK the game changer was satellite television. In 1991 I got my first Satellite receiver because one of the biggest draws for me was the availability of being able to see MTV Europe that launched 2 years previous, Yes folks MTV used to stand for MUSIC TeleVision. And believe it or now, it was also free. The other gamechanger with satellite television was that it was in STEREO. I spent the summer of 1991 in my bedroom with my new Amstrad receiver and my bran