Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Last Wednesday I went to watch Sally Mason playing a set at Mono in Chorlton. Wednesday is and has been deadline day for me to have my song-a-week song written which I managed to utterly forget I had to do and ended up diving into an alleyway to write the song for that week. As anyone following this project may know I am currently working my way out of a technological slump (stolen phone/broken laptop) which means no mobile Internet and no way to send the song to the Deadline Box in time. If the song wasn’t sent to the email by midnight, I would have failed this ridiculous challenge in its 31st week once and for all.

Hannah, who was playing violin for Ben Playford that night at Mono, tried to help me which some magical Internet ‘hotspot’ thing which was a revelation to me. Apparently I could tether my iPod to her phone’s 4G. Witchcraft! Things were looking good. However Hannah’s battery died just as the song was 85% sent (O First World! You and your problems!) and with 26 minutes til deadline I dove onto my bicycle and rode home like THE WIND to send the song from there. 

Regretfully I missed Sally’s set.

The topic was ‘Venn Diagrams’ which was a suggestion from Facebook or Twitter though I regret that I cannot remember who from (make yourself known Suggester!) – listen and download here…

That oh so fleeting lubricant... Eel! I mean eel!

That oh so fleeting lubricant… Eel! I mean eel!

Deadline: Wed 2nd July 2014
Topic: The Slippery Eel of Discontent
Listen to the track here:

A suggestion for a topic from Si who plays bass in my band, The Tontine. This is week 26, the twenty-sixth song of the year. So officially the halfway point of this song-a-week exercise and the perfect time for an emotional stockcheck.

Deals with the nature of how easily the things we build in our lives can shift and disappear. That Fragile Happiness as the Super Furries sing.

The Slippery Eel itself a interesting character to develop as the harbinger of Discontent. The bricks becoming paper is an arresting image to represent the notion of crumbling strength but ultimately I find the two metaphors are whilst not at odds with each other, a little crowbarred together.

I preferably would like to find a way to rewrite this to link the themes more strongly or maybe even split this into two more fully developed songs.

Recorded on my iPod as my studio is still out of commission while my laptop is considered unfixable (still being punished for mocking the probably fictional Gods of Technology). Hopefully I’ll figure out a way to solve these issues soon as I’m keen to get to work on the first Tontine album as well as rerecording the strongest 12 songs of the first half of this ’52’ as an album as well.

Deadline: 11th June 
Topic: N/A 
Listen to the track here:

It’s been a hell of week and I have virtually no access to the technological tools I use to make music as a result. For now the only reason I can upload this song is because I demo’ed it on deadline day on a phone and emailed that to someone. So here’s the demo complete with dodgy pitching, intonation and the sound of me turning over the lyric sheet. More on my tech-meltdown next week as it forms the subject matter for that song.

This week’s song, however, concerns itself with the week of my birthday which just came and went in a flurry of bacchanal-blooz’n’booze(‘n’barbeqooz).

On the main day of celebration my housemate cut her thumb open to the extent that you could see bone and had to go to A&E before the party shenanigans had even started.

I wrote her this song on the spot to stop her from losing consciousness whilst she elevated her blood-spurting thumb wound. It’s a silly song but it did the job and both her and the thumb are fine and living healthy well adjusted lives. She suggested the kebabs/sads rhyme which to me is the best bit of the song.

Next week: A heartfelt plea to the (fictional) gods of technology

Mein Linke Blinker ist kaput

Mein Linke Blinker ist kaput

Just making final preparations before heading down to the White Horse in London on Wednesday and then onto Germany and Belgium for some live dates with Forge On! and Kev Morel who both labelmates of mine at DogFace Records.

Full details of each gig can be found here:

Looking forward to coming out to play! See you soon Germany and Belgium.

(This week’s ’52’ song is up here by the way.)


2014. Merry Happy!

By now the port and turkey should have drained from our cheeks and belly as we turn to face another New Year and all that it brings. By all accounts (and by “all accounts” I do mean the statuses I’ve read on Facebook), 2013 was simply awful for all concerned. There wasn’t one of us who didn’t receive some kind of bad news, stressful squatter or good old fashioned heartbreak so by all accounts (see above for source), 2014 will be a belter, the kind of perfect Purple Year we dream of.

Part of starting one of these years fresh, so full of promise and hope, is the business of the Resolution. A promise to ourselves to do, make, achieve or stop doing something.

Apart from the perennial “quit smoking” and “learn to drive”, I have also resolved to write a new song every week for 2014.

That isn’t to say I was a slouch in the writing department last year. Far from it. I wrote a whole album last year (it may yet be a double) but that does leave me in what I consider a risky position. I now have three albums in the ‘tank’ as it were, which does tend to make me lazy or at least, makes me feel ‘backed up’ which has the same symptom as laziness (inactivity).

I have come to come view writing as a muscle that we have to exercise to keep in peak physical condition. A lot of this is based on a Burt Bacharach interview I once read where he stated he writes a song every day, that it doesn’t matter if people hear it or not but he writes just to write; to keep in shape (apologies for the semi-colon, KV).

Every album I write these days, tends to have some kind of theme, story or notion running through its entirety, I’ll refer to them as ‘song cycles’ (and in a really pretentious voice too). Really it’s an excuse for my obsessive nature which will allow me to write about one subject from many different points of view until I utterly exhaust it (or probably some time after I’ve exhausted it). It’s in between these song cycles that I become lazy/backed up/inactive so this Resolution may well keep my songwriting muscle in shape until my next obsession.

Every week I’ll be deciding on, or have decided for me, a topic on which to write and record a song, the deadline will be the same every week, no excuses, no cop outs, the dog cannot eat my homework. To keep it interesting, sometimes there will be other stipulations – “it must include a middle 8” or “write it on an instrument you cannot play”. I haven’t decided whether they’ll be available to hear on the Internet yet but I am leaning towards it. Most likely in their unpolished-as they’re recorded state on my bandcamp page.

By this time in 2015 I should have 52 new songs (and hopefully at least two of my three album current albums recorded).

Here’s to 2014, activity and Resolutions! What are yours?
(Reading this back, I really went overboard with the brackets on this entry.)

Do you Like me?

Posted: November 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


Since starting to record music on my own I have shied away from having that thing which seems to define an unhealthy portion of the unknown musician’s working life… the facebook page (side note – I am never sure whether to capitalise ‘facebook’ or not.)

The amount of time spent adding and inviting to one page or another when I was in thee Uncomfortables or Johnny5thWheel just so I had a line to the outside world that I could share the music I was making with it seemed exorbitant at times. Not to mention that the revelation of the ‘edge algorithm’, meaning that not everyone would even see your heartfelt post about about the new, sprawling, thirteen minute, lo-fi epic you’ve just lovingly crafted or the pop-up gig you’ve set up in a telephone box. The realisation that, maybe only 5 or 6 of the 500+ people you’ve browbeaten into clicking that ‘Like’ button would even see the post did suddenly make the hours you’d put into promoting your facebook page seem like time wasted in a cruel and pointless multi-verse.

It’s gotten harder too. No longer can you invite all of your friends to ‘Like’ in one fell swoop or get your nearest and dearest to embark on invite sprees on your behalf to their friends lists. Understandably facebook have introduced countermeasures to stop the 23 billion musicians constantly spamming the seeming remaining 3% who aren’t in a band. It’s not altruistic, facebook just don’t want people pissed off with their experience of their product. They want them to keep using it.

This difficulty makes us music-types pushy. Needlessly needy. When watching in my capacity as a sound engineer, time and time again I groan audibly when a band starts pothering on about how you can find them on facebook at “W W W dot facebook dot com forward slash Omnichord sex swing”…

Anyway, long ramble cut down in its prime, when I finally embarked on this solo period of my music making I asked the opinion of fellow musicians, promoters, venue owners, etc. if they thought I should have a facebook page to which the resounding answer was “No”. That all I needed was a website. This website, in fact. So that is what I did.

However I have found that I wasn’t quite ready to go cold turkey. That to bookers and bloggers, the facebook page seems to add some legitimacy – it’s a first port of call for them to link to and to see how many ‘Likes’ you have and thus gauge how successful you are as an artist (obviously not really). Despite the fact that facebook’s day is over, no one has really stepped in to fill the vacuum, it’s still where everybody goes to argue and post about food, cats and kids.

So I have a facebook page as of this week.

It’s here at

At this time I have 146 Likes.

908,305 less than Outkast.

3,065 less than Thomas Truax.

94 more than France.

And 146 more than Omnichord Sex Swing.

It’s been a while…

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

…and it has been a while since I posted.

Mainly because I’ve not had my usual access to Mister Internet.
Which, sadly is because my laptop was stolen from my final tour date in Birmingham on Sunday 29th September.
Along with a 1TB hard drive which contained 2 full albums I was working on and countless demos for future projects.

Here’s the facebook post I’m trying to share around:

Hello all
Putting out an appeal for information about my laptop that was stolen yesterday from the Sun On The Hill in Birmingham.

I played yesterday (Sun 29th Sept) at the Sun On The Hill for the Free Love Club at about 8pm. I was travelling with my bag containing a black 15″ HP laptop and a black 1TB Samsung external hard drive which was also stolen.

The bag was put in a store room behind the performance area and at some point between 5pm and midnight, someone has gone into the bag and taken the laptop and hard drive.

If you have any information or saw anything please get in touch with me on here or contact the West Midlands Police.

Anyway, hopefully it’ll turn up some information. Please contact me at if you know anything. In all honesty, the hard drive is more valuable to me than the laptop – it has the every bit of work I’ve done in the last four years so to say it’s inconvenient to have lost is an understatement.