31.3.10

Mousehole


Mousehole
Originally uploaded by Roostar
A sunset shot from my Cornish break.

And on bass...

There's a new release with me playing on it available (for free!).

Go here to download 'Three Songs' by the Eclipse Trio. I'm playing fretless bass on all songs and singing on 'No More Walking'.

30.3.10

Back

Back from a holiday in the tiny Cornish village of Mousehole. Key words for the break would be: healing, peaceful, wet, budget, wet and happy. If you asked my daughter the key words would be:Mr Topsy Turvy, fish, seal and wet.

On the way to Cornwall we stopped in Exeter and I was lucky enough to visit to wonderful Manson's Guitar shop. This is a beauty of a shop, staffed by friendly, knowledgable people and, crucially, owned by two bass players. I could have stayed in their bass department all day.

This week I re-start my work on the Spingere/Marcell project, load up some new contributions to the enourmous voice/music project and (in theory) test out a new PA system with the trio.

Pictures and a funny story or two from the holiday will follow shortly.

16.3.10

Spingere comes to Bandcamp

All the Spingere albums are now available on Bandcamp. You can get them for a bargain price until the end of March. Spingere is my musical venture which began in the 1990s as a banner for all my odd, sonic experiments. I made three albums which I felt didn't deserve to be released and then, in 1997, made 'Coffee-Housing' as a result of a tortuous year in a new house. Many odd and disturbing noises from next door, sleepless nights and general stress pushed all my musical ideas into a series of increasingly psychotic sounding pieces. the opener is quite jolly (once you get past the intro) but the penultimate track is something of a nightmare. A friend who heard an early copy telephoned to check I was feeling OK. Happily, by the time the album was complete the problems were over.
The next proper Spingere album was 'Perfetc' which has had some of it's birth documented here. It's far more upbeat than 'Coffee-Housing' although still a bit spooky in places. It's also a showcase for my beautiful Warr Guitar.
The other album being flogged off for almost nowt is 'The Best Way Out Is Always Through' which was written and recorded in response the RPM Challenge. This is a short album of, mostly, short pieces. The theme on this release is 'shit, I don't have much time left to get this done'.

I hope you enjoy listening to and maybe even owning this music.

10.3.10

Is it Spring yet?

After a busy weekend of catching up with friends and celebrating yet another birthday I'm trying to get on with current musical projects. The Eclipse trio has now completed recording its demo CD (produced, in a fashion, by me). Months of regular playing made the recording a relatively simple process with only two drop-ins for three songs. Having only three instruments to record probably helped too. Now the band has its own PA system gigs should follow soon.

The speech and music project is just awaiting the final voicesand then should be ready to go. I've written some segments which will/should fit around the voices I already have, but with things like this there is always the possibility it will all have to change. There is, as ever, the possibility that it will sound ridiculous and need a major re-think. It is exciting though.

Other musical oportunities - the return of Bridge Street, Soul Beaver and/or a possible third band feel like they are around the corner. MOst of these depend on my ridiculously hard working drummer friend getting back from his adventures with Marillion.

Oh, and there's some news to bring you soon from the world of Spingere. Check back soon.

5.3.10

It's a good job I love the rain.

Some years ago I was lucky enough to live in the northern Italian town of Vicenza. On my second day there I was wandering around in the early evening and spotted a restaurant. I went up to the door to find it was shut. Next to the door was a sign with the opening hours and I could see I was about 45 minutes too early. As I turned to walk away a man opened one of the windows and spoke to me, presumably to confirm the opening times. I thanked him (that was about all my grasp of Italian allowed me to do at the time) and prepared to walk off. But then, working out I was an ignorant English type, he called me back, opened the door and ushered me in. I was given a table to sit at, a glass of wine and a chance to watch the pizza oven being fired up.

I loved being in Italy.

This last weekend my wife, child and self went for a walk in the rain and made our way out to the next village. I suggested we call in to the pub (recently under new ownership) to have a snack and dry off. When we got there we could see a big sign saying "We Are Open" andf I confidently walked up to the door to find it locked. We walked away, disappointed, and then heard the front door being opened. There was the landlord, calling after me. "Are you open?" I asked.
"No." He said, flatly.
"Your sign threw me off a little." I said.
At this the landlord got huffy and told us the sign was left out by mistake. Then he marched back in, locked the door and left us to walk home in the rain.

I loved being in Italy.