Round up

Hasn't September come to an end quickly?

I'm no further forward on the new album. Well, I am in my head but I still have to find the time to record.

Plenty of new ideas for future projects. Bridge Street is about to get going again, in more directions (possibly) than it has before. The only other Soul Beaver gig of the year is now not happening (boo!) but an extra project (studio based) should come about if I can persuade someone of its merits.

The good news is that dayjob 2.0 is giving me enough time out of the working day to read books again. Being a college based English teacher was great and challenging, but I never seemed to have a moment to think. Now I am working my way through books for the sheer pleasure of reading. This lets me go back to my old habit of reading a wide range of subjects, which was quite hard when I had to focus on literature. Hurrah for brain food.

This year's been a good one for my photography habit. I've won some competitions, been in an exhibition and even sold a few prints. I'm going to try and experiment with a new lens and a different philosophy of how I take pictures soon. Best of all I'm off with pals to see the Annie Liebowitz exhibition in London.

What else? Freya is now 15 months old and forming a distinct personality. Uh-oh, as her friend would say.

So, healthy family, great pals, stuff a-plenty to keep the brain going. Could there even be a dark side... ah.


Mystery Picture

Mystery 3
Originally uploaded by Roostar
Name the mystery picture and win a (probably virtual) prize.


Dreaming of new music, new collabrative ideas and chocolate.

Details soon.


Hole in the Wall

I've had this private joke for years about television programmes that become even more improbable. "Just when you thought television couldn't get any worse' I trill to myself. Not that I don't love telly. Bad shows have a certain charm and whenever I go to Italy I'm addicted to the live variety shows they excel in but which we no longer have in the UK.

So, today, while browsing the listings on teletext I spotted the following on BBC1.

Hole in the Wall

Dale Winton host this entertainment show in which celebrities try to force themselves though holes of differing shapes and sizes.

You can't make this stuff up. I had to watch, just in case someone at the teletext office was slipping a few jokes in on their last day. I wasn't disappointed. Two teams of C list celebs dressed in hard hats and silver spandex had to... well you can probably work it out for yourselves.
What happened? Did someone at the BBC just put it on for a bet? Sadly the wall was made of easily breakable plastic, not bricks - which would have been a lot funnier.

Maybe this means Celebrity Enema might be back for another series.

(While researching this I found the Hole in the Wall show originated in Japan. There a lovely YouTube clip here).



Today seemed to be National Pull Out In Front Of My Car While I'm Driving It At (let's say) Sixty Miles An Hours Day.

The good news is that I've had a great idea for a new piece of music. It will involve a very good friend saying "yes" but I'm confident.

Only one piece left to record for the new album. It's just about arranged in my head (and on paper) but I'll be interested to see how that version compares to the one that everyone else can hear.


Every Gig A Challenge

Saturday's gig was an experience. Actually it was several experiences.

The venue was lovely, a big country house with large, beautiful grounds. We played in the lobby. A very nice lobby but, none the less, a lobby.
The people were terrific. Not a snotty attitude amongst them. The hosts and guests made up a willing, enthusiastic audience of the type we'd be happy to have at any gig.
The downside was that we had no opportunity to sound-check so the first note we played was the first note I'd heard at full volume. It was horrible. I wasn't singing the first song so I played the bass from memory and tried to deal with the fug of noise all around me. I could just about hear our excellent drummer so I had a reliable beat to work with. The second song had me singing and it didn't go well. I couldn't hear my bass, I couldn't hear my voice but I could hear the tune being played in what sounded like two different keys. That's when my brain went into meltdown. I couldn't pitch my voice (something I usually do to the bass) and if there's something I can't stand more than forgetting words or basslines, it's singing out of key. So my brain crashed, I lost all confidence and, out of nowhere I started singing the first song. The song I never sing.
We had to stop the song and stat again. I felt like a fool but persisted and survived.
Luckily, form then on, with work form various band members running out front to check the sound, we started to improve. My bass went up in volume but then I was having to play it delicately because it was now too loud. That wasn't very satisfying.
But if Soul Beaver had a motto it would be "Every Gig A Challenge." And there hasn't been a gig to defeat us yet. After a break we came back and with the help of good sense, beer crates, gaffa tape and gumption, we rocked out. By the end the floor was full of people dancing and generally having a good time. Lots of positive feedback and maybe even some future bookings. All's well...

I love this band, it's like a second family and on the drive home (during which I only got lost once) I counted my blessings, again.



Last night I rehearsed with Soul Beaver. Alive, alive, alive! That's what I was saying to myself while we were playing and even when we finished. I was tired, achy and full of cold, but most certainly sparking with that strange energy music can bring.

No keyboards or trumpet last night, but lots of great playing (with the occaisional train wreck). Richard Guitarist added Voodoo Chile to the mix, which I was very happy with. I love playing this song, it seems to have a power all of its own which we tap into.

A gig is iminant, so hopefully a few photographs to share from that.



Back to:

207 emails
Many updates at the Myspace page
Doings at Facebook
Lotsa downloads (great podcasts) at iTunes
Flickr updates
Music with pal
CD from the US of A to enjoy
A cat to pick up from the cattery
A gig to prepare for
Memories of sitting at the cafe by the beach with waves like these crashing in while I sipped my coffee.
The future!



I've been away on holiday. No internet access and no phone reception(except on a tiny part of the beach).

News, photos and, more importantly, plans for the future here soon.

Nice to be back.