My mum is unwell.

I've been going to the hospital every day to see my mum. She's going to be sent to an intermediate care bed soon, so she's staying in the main hospital until then. Thanks to the Alzheimers, the mum I knew has been fading away. Even though she's in the right place with great people looking after her, this process is accelerating. I'm left with a frail, forgetful, unhappy woman.

As an only child I don't have many others who remember her from better days and, truthfully, I'm finding it hard. I found a video of her and dad from about fifteen years ago and I was shocked at how different she was.

I can see in her eyes that she's had enough now but she will not give up.


Insert Oud Pun Here [ ]

While the Eclipse Trio take a break until we start work on our next album, my pal Russell Kilmister and I have been slowly writing and recording tunes for acoustic guitar and oud. It’s possible I’ve posted this before but we’re now, still, in the last stages of the writing/recording process and hope to soon move on to editing, mastering and releasing these tunes.

Once the songs are complete these final stages shouldn’t  take too long as all the recordings are direct, two track with no overdubs. At least none yet. The idea was to create music that could be played without any additional fuss or for that matter, electricity. Aside from a collection of double bass and guitar recordings on cassette my friend Mark Allcock and I made many years ago, this would be my first all acoustic project. Of course, with electricity we wouldn’t have been able to record these new songs at all, so I’m not getting too snotty about it.

Expect more news, and maybe one of the tunes, soon.


Music: Part 314

The summer is always a difficult time for the band as we all go our separate ways on holiday. In the last few weeks we had an instrumental only rehearsal as Emma went off to France. It should have just been the three remaining members of the band but, due to a work emergency, I brought my six year old son with me. He spent the whole rehearsal playing on an old PSP or reading his magazine while wearing professional ear defenders. Despite not having a key member of the band there we did flesh out some new tunes and, of course, make serious changes to a piece and create new, tricky arrangements.

On the way home from the rehearsal my son was singing the melody to one of the night’s songs. Much later, while we were on holiday the iPod randomly played the rehearsal recording of the same tune and he immediately recognised it. I’m seeing that as a good sign. While coming down the hillside of Corfe Castle my daughter also started singing a part of our song, Running Down Hill Again. If only I could get people I’m not related to do this (sing the song, not slide down… oh, you got that).

The pedal board is looking ready for a change too. I have no more room for pedals but that’s to a clever hack by my pal and guitarist, Richard, I should be able to squeeze in an Electro Harmonix Micro Synth and a Bicycle delay from Caitlinbread. And if that’s left you none the wiser I’ll post videos when I finally sort this all out.

Luckily, we should all be back in the same room soon and able to prepare the next batch of songs.