All this summer reminds me of summer. It's summer 2008 and I'm in Leeds, getting ready to move over to Berlin in a few months. Having spent three years "studying" pop music at "music school" I thought the best way to get to grips with it would be to learn a few of my favourite Beach Boys songs. So I did. Here's me getting to grips with singing and songing, but I think they turned out pretty nice.
I did some music for this great three part web series 'Warten Auf...'. Nice chats with german authors. Episode 3 here below, and the others are out there too.
Link to the publishers site: https://www.hundertvierzehn.de/artikel/%C2%BBwarten-auf-%E2%80%A6%C2%AB_2497.html
Here we are! A new video for 'Here For Me' made by Bruno Derksen. Part Two of a mini-series of videos of songs from 'Gone Dreamin'. Thanks to Bruno and Henrike Meyer for coming along on a (very hot) day out with me. The song is a loungey version of an acoustic song from my last album, with added sprinkles on top. Big thanks to James Yates for the massive drums that come in towards the end - I think those were actually recorded in his basement in Leeds in about 2008. Nothing goes to waste here.
Thanks to Monolith Cocktail for a real nice in-depth write up on the album. Peeling back the layers, and there are a few layers with this one, to reveal the onion of music. There among some great music: https://monolithcocktail.com/2018/02/01/tickling-our-fancy-059-brickwork-lizards-brona-mcvittie-john-howard-astrid-soone-orouni/
Here's me playing a live version of 'Cocktails' in my kitchen. One of the few songs on the album that can actually be played on a guitar (*note to self: must do more of that). Video by the superb Bruno Derksen.
Here we are! Video for 'Punchline' made by Bruno Derksen. Part One of a mini-series of videos of songs from the new album 'Gone Dreamin'' out on January 19th. It was one of the hottest days of the year in Berlin when we shot this so I remember mainly sweating. Good times.
Over the past few months I have been trying to get back into playing live. I guess its strange that it isn't such a part of my routine of my project as I feel it should be. The classic way of getting out there and spreading the word. "Look it's me and I'm doing music!".
As a person standing on stage with a guitar and singing songs it's easy to be mistaken as a musician. A singer-songwriter musician. Something I'm not too keen on getting mixed up in. But then again I do write songs and then go and sing them. How is one supposed to expect anything more from this simple format. I had an acoustic guitar and then I added a delay pedal to the chain to jazz things up a bit (not literally). Still not enough. So I went electric, feeling smug with my guitar and amp, and also a few more pedals. Maybe I still wasnt getting the message across, so I bought another amp. Two amps in stereo! Now this will surely do the job and make everything ok. However I still required more, so a loop pedal was brought in to assist me in playing some drum loops I'd made. Damn, now this is a rig! All this shitting equipment. It certainly sounds great, but it's a huge pain in the elbows to transport to a gig - going by public transport very nearly killed me the other day. But I still end up being a person standing there and singing some songs he wrote. Maybe I should just go back to simpler times with an acoustic guitar and a pedal or two. Maybe I need a drummer or a full 16-piece band. Maybe all this equipment I have is there to make up for something I lack as a performer. Or maybe it legitimatelly works to try and set me apart and get my own sound going. Maybe I've just simply not played enough yet to find the magic juice.
I'm proud of the album I made 'Go Dream'. I worked my ass of trying to mix the bastard and find the right arrangements. I also shot myself in the foot trying to realise any of it live… it's simply not possible as one man. With a few gimmicks, delay pedals, and drum loops something of the mood can be summoned and can occasionally entertain a few people. I think I have to explore the area of compromise. Take enjoyment from the stripped back nature of my limits. Perhaps it will lead to more natural directions. I'm working on it...
New song maturing nicely due to this machine. Amazing to take the computer out of the equation, it's been a while! #noscreen
New Video of 'Foreign Movies' here to see! One year today after 'Go Dream' was released the plot goes on. The final video in the set of three made by Bruno Derksen and Henrike Meyer. I'm very proud of how they all turned out and fit together...Check them out!