Does anybody here know how to sail a ship?

Huge fun last night. I left the day job and travelled to London for a Barenaked Ladies gig at Hammersmith Apollo. BNL gigs feed my soul in a way no other experience does. There's something about the combination of music and crowd atmosphere that eclipses bands that, in theory, I rate as 'better' for whatever reason. It didn't hurt that the support was from Boothby Graffoe - possibly one of the funniest and most talented musical stand up comedians in existence. To top this there was even a reference to Robert Fripp early on in the show.

Truly a glorious way to spend an evening. An if you're reading this and thinking 'but they're just a crappy pop band with a few novelty hits' then you really need to go to one of their show.

If all goes to plan I'll be finishing mixing of Coffee-Housing very soon. I've posted another track from it on my MySpace page. It's the most ambient, and chilled out track from an otherwise (relatively) demented album. It also shows what is possible with a Stick Bass and an Ebow.

Oh, and if the title of this post makes no sense then think in terms of Frank Zappa's conceptual continuity. Eh?


Originally uploaded by Roostar.
On Thursday, free from the dayjob, I visited my folks and made a quick trip to the local shops. On the way there I grabbed my camera, on the off-chance there might be something worth capturing. The weather was horrid so I wasn't expecting any great shots of buildings in dappled sunlight or trees illuminated by, well, anything. As you might have guessed I arrived at the shops to find a six foot man with a handlebar moustache, in a chicken suit, collecting for charity.

His name is Gavin Bennett and he's a film-maker and instillation artist. No, really, I checked.

What next?


New, old tunes

I've added some new, old tunes to my Myspace page. This is purely to give you some tidbits to listen to from the back catalogue while I try to get the current album mixed. Nothing old sounds like anything current and nothing current sounds like what I want to do next. A marketing nightmare.

In other musical news; Eclipse now have a Myspace page as well. Blimey. Eclipse are the band formed by Russ Kilmister (the first person you see when you watch Monty Python's Meaning of Life) and Martin Bilney. I'm playing bass and singing on some of the tracks.

And in other news; I've been remodeling (i.e. destroying) parts of the kitchen and doing more baby preparation work in the house. Before and after photographs will be available as soon as there's an 'after'.


Oxford at night

Oxford at night
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
Another shot from Oxford on Saturday night.

... I love to take a photograph

Luminox 3
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
It's only Tuesday but already it's been a full week. The day job has been strangely satisfying but it's the musicking to come that I'm looking forward to. As well as this, and thanks to the generosity of my folks, I have the Nikon camera I've always wanted. I've been snapping away with every kind of camera imaginable since I was a boy, but I always hoped one day to have a decent SLR (and a Nikon too) so I could have no excuse for taking bad pictures. Now I have one and the excuses have to stop. So, today you are looking at a product of a short photo safari in Oxford during the Luminox fire festival.

Tonight I felt my son/daughter kick when I put my hand on J's stomach. It was magical.



Originally uploaded by Roostar.
It's been a great weekend. I've been out with friends for a late birthday meal and a drink or two. Or three.

J and I climbed up the White Horse Hill yesterday morning and again, with pals, today. Yesterday the highlight was the running of the sheep (much like the running of the bulls in Pamploma but more wooly). Today's was the incredible power of the wind high up on the ramparts of the neolithic hill fort. It's the highest point in Oxfordshire and today, the point where breathing and walking became almost impossible. My friend David and I took turns being Kate Winslet from Titanic while our wives gazed up at us from the drained and relatively wind free moat. It was more therapeutic then a week or therapy in a therapy centre on planet therapy.



Originally uploaded by Roostar.
This is the look you get from your guitarist pal when you're trying out your fab new camera but when you should be playing bass. Sixteen bars rest and I hit the shutter button on the top of the sixteenth. Thank goodness for open strings.


Gonna be a mental toss flycoon

Airport trips, missed chances to rehearse, a returning wife, dayjob madness, an unintentional poem and lots of Frank Zappa from the iPod's random brain. That's what this week has been like.

My 43rd birthday is coming up and I'm resolving to write more poetry, finish the novel (yeah, right), try snowboarding, be an OK dad, take more photographs I can be happy with and play some great gigs.


Why I don't DIY

Although to be fair this was me trying to remove a shelf. I didn't paint the wall either. Neither did I accidentally use a nail gun to shoot myself in the heart.

This, by the way, has been a hellish week at work. Hence the silliness.