Sunday, 13 December 2009

Sunday Times Quote

Thought I'd share this with you from today's Sunday Times 13th December.
Five things that reshaped pop.
At number 2 "Simon Cowell. In the 1960's, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys et al transformed pop from a lowest-common-denominator business into an art form. It took only one man to reverse this process".
Don't forget to Buy Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name" and join the facebook group to stop the X Factor being No 1 this Xmas...
Merry Xmas!!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Recording, Mixing and Mastering.

I've been mastering a number of projects recently and decided I'd share a few thoughts on the various processes in getting to the finished product. It can take lots of effort, trial and error, but here's how I see things. There are 3 basic stages, firstly the recording stage, then mixing and mastering.

Part 1: Recording
With recording its important to take time and set things up right and if you can, experiment with different mics and different mic positions. If something sounds good in the room then providing you are recording it properly it will sound good in your project. A badly tuned drum is a badly tuned drum and all the eq' in the world won't fix it. An old drummer friend of mine used to say "you can't polish a turd" meaning if it sounds terrible in the first place then that's what you'll be stuck with as an end result. A cheap set of drums tuned properly will often sound far better than a badly tuned, more expensive kit.

Try your best to get the sound of each instrument (including vocals) the best you can in the first place and things will fall into place much easier when you come to mixing. A quick note on vocals, try and give the singer confidence, relax and encourage them as much as you can, rather than say things like "that wasn't very good". Build them up and they will deliver a much better performance. You can also try out different mics (if they are available) as certain types of mics will suit certain voices better.

For the bass I use 2 tracks if possible, one for a mic on the speaker cabinet, the other for DI straight into the desk or through a processor then into the desk, giving you options when you come to mix the 2 signals.

Again you can experiment when recording guitars. For acoustics I have used 2 mics to record the sound hole and to record the sound on the neck, or if the guitar has a pick up, record the di'd signal as well. Move the mics around to find the sweet spots and do some test recording to see what positions sound best. You can do the same when mic'ing up the electric guitar amps. Move the mic around and find out where it sounds best rather than just sticking the mic in front of a speaker cone. You'll be surprised at the difference in sounds.

I tend to use a click track with my own recordings so I can easily sequence keyboards as I'm not a great keyboard player and the quantize button is a great tool if your playing is not quite as precise as you'd like it to be. I love the soft synth "Reason" for keyboard sounds.

Its also great to record a band all playing live in the room as more often than not, if they are quite well rehearsed you can capture a great performance, once you have settled them into the environment. Again its important to help them relax and enjoy the experience especially if they are not used to a recording studio.

Anyway there's a few very brief points and I hope its of use to anyone reading. Just remember there are no rules and experimenting with different ideas will, with a bit of luck help you come up with something fresh and original. Good Luck. Parts 2 & 3 to follow...
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Original Post at
http://musicalthoughtsfornought.blogspot.com/


Saturday, 12 September 2009

Breathing Space's New Album - Below The Radar

Breathing Space from York have just released the 3rd album and here's some news from Trevor Cotterell of the Official fan Club...

For anyone who hasn't seen it, Classic Rock mag (Geoff Barton) have nice things to say about the new album! Go out and get a copy... and order the next Prog edition whilst you're at it too!

"The handy pocket-sized dictionary of prog is dominated by words such as 'convolution' and 'pretension' - and we wouldn't have it any other way. But occasionally we hanker after a little light relief. Something that soothes rather than assaults the senses. Enter Breathing Space, who combine the worlds of prog, pop and AOR to fine effect.

Below The Radar, the space's third album, is their most accomplished to date characterised by the appropriately breathy voice of Olivia Sparnenn, whose singing is as beautiful as her hair (Get a grip -Ed) the title track sets the scene: a progged-up mix of John Waite, Loverboy and Moonlight Shadow. But mood-changes also abound. The Night Takes You Home is full of fragile melancholy; the piano-led Dusk is the ideal soundtrack to a bout of sombre late-nite reflection; Drowning is like a female-fronted Marillion. They save the best until last: Questioning Eyes begins sparsely then grows in stature, climaxing in an orgy of swirling guitar. Oh - and make sure you stay the course for the surprise ending."
Geoff Barton - Classic Rock magazine 7/10

And don't forget Breathing Space are in Birmingham on the 20th, at the Roadhouse, with Emerald Sky supporting. www.emerald-sky.com

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The Social Muso

Again I haven't written for a while and for that I apologize. I intend to put that right over the coming months, but I'm full of good intentions. Feel free to have a go at me, but many thanks to the people who've kept in touch, sent comments and viewed the site.

I've got various social networking sites on the go at the moment, including Twitter and it can be difficult to keep on top of all the stuff that's going on. Twitter did seem a little pointless to me at first but once you get into it, I think its one of the essentials for the today's musician. I've kept in contact with some of the musicians and bands I've worked with, found out about airplay and licensing opportunities, not to mention gigs etc... and now find myself with over 1000 followers - don't these people have anything better to do? I'm joking of course...

Facebook again is great for your band. I'd recommend starting a Group on there which will allow you to post much more content than the fan based sites. You can have discussions, add pictures and video, invite people to join, invite them to related events (gigs) and generally keep in contact far easier. Its important not to "spam" your members for obvious reasons and keep the content updated and interesting. We have a Big W jokes page on our site, feel free to join and tell us your best or worst music related joke. (The few we have on there are terrible, mostly mine!!)

Many bands have been using myspace for years and I think it still has its place, but its going through a transitional stage. It needs to change to survive and become more flexible with its layout and give us more options on how we get our music out there. It was the dominant force for years, but has failed to evolve quickly enough.

I use Bandcamp.com for my music which is much more flexible, advert free and you get a dedicated page for each song, you can also set the price of your songs, allow free downloads and they give you the option to download the tracks in various formats such as MP3, Wav etc..

There are many more networking options out there but you can only do so much. Its important to remember that people want to be entertained and informed with good content and then hopefully they will listen to your music download a song or two and turn up at your next gig, meet face to face and continue the relationship. Its all about socializing for today's musos.

Finally, just wanted to mention Big W again, (hence the picture) as I'm very much enjoying the gigs with the boys and feel like I'm settling in. Hopefully we can move to the next stage and get some of our own music out there.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Get Your Facebook Username Now!

Just a quickie... (as the actress said to the bishop)

If you didn't get the .com domain of your artist/band name, you know what a pain it is. Same for Twitter and many others...

A few days ago, Facebook added the ability for you to have your own "username" which will take people to your profile. Visit http://www.facebook.com/username to get yours right now before someone nicks it!

Got mine at http://www.facebook.com/chrispicton

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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Live Music - How Much?

I thought it was about time I got back to writing, as its been a month or so since my last post. There's been lots of stuff to write about but never enough time to do it in, or maybe I'm just a lazy so and so, probably the latter. One thing is, I've been busy settling into playing "Live" again with the band Big W, which I'm enjoying very much.

Something that did piss me off recently though, was how little value seems to be placed on Live Music by some people these days. A couple of weeks ago Big W were playing in a local venue and a pub manager I knew spotted me on stage and asked a friend to pass his number on to arrange a booking for us. I'd played the place quite often in the past with other bands and told the lads it was a good venue and decent money.

The next day I called him and he said he'd like to book us, but could only pay half as much as before, plus it was a Sunday night (bad news for working Monday mornings). Bear in mind this is a very busy club on Fri/Sat but he wanted to get Sundays moving. I thought about it the next day and spoke to the band - they were up for it in the main, but I just thought - bollocks, by the time we've paid petrol, had a couple of drinks and got home about 1pm, we'll be lucky to come out with minimum wage for the hours we'd worked. Plus, if we had brought in punters in their droves I'm damn sure he wouldn't have given us anymore money.

I understand there's a credit crunch, but band money in pubs/clubs hasn't gone up in 20 years - some of us have been playing for 30+ years, why shouldn't we get a decent wage for the time and effort we've put in, some pubs can do it. DJ's get paid 2 and 3 times what a band gets paid per man, don't they know they can teach monkeys to put records on, or should I say - click a mouse on a laptop, (sorry, showing my age).

Plumbers and Electricians are skilled individuals who get paid well, are musicians not the same? The trouble is we love what we do so much that its hard to say no, but sometimes it does you and your band good. Its about time there was a minimum fee that venues should pay before they engage a band. We have the Musicians Union, but its too much time and effort to get them involved, it could be incorporated when the venue applies for its music license which would make things a lot simpler.

I used to get paid very well for playing in a Rod Stewart Tribute Band, but when I was in Quecia, having written, recorded and produced our own music we'd be expected to play for nothing or expenses just to promote the band. This seems crazy to me as there are plenty of people out there willing to pay a fair price to see a good band (see my post on House Concerts).

The trouble is there is not enough pub and club owners with the business training or common sense to pay and put on a varied selection of whats out there, whether it be Original, Covers or Tribute Bands. Pubs are closing left, right and center these days and are turning to Live Music to save them, so come on - pay the bands what they deserve...

Rant over!
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Saturday, 16 May 2009

House Concerts

I was recently reading an update from Francis Dunnery (ex - It Bites) I received about the upcoming series of House Concerts he's undertaking in the USA. It struck me, what a great way for musicians to make new friends and fans and put across their music in an intimate and interesting setting. Having done quite a few acoustic shows myself its quite a different experience having the audience up close and personal and within in touching distance, almost being part of the band, if a little nerve racking at first.

House concerts have been very popular in the USA for some time and seem to be growing a little here in the UK. A House Concert is a private party which requires an invite as opposed to a public music venue without all the hassles of setting up a tour.

The venue I have heard the most about is in York which has places for around 50 people with donations to the artist made prior to the event of no more than £10. Its a chance to see great artists who are often only over in the country for a very short time.
"The concept behind the concerts is that rather than making a fleeting connection with tens of thousands, the aim is to make a far greater impression on a select few". - York Post Sept '08
http://www.houseconcertsyork.co.uk/

I'd be interested to hear of any venues elsewhere in the UK, in particular the NW of England, may even set one up myself and ask Francis to come along, now there's a thought!!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Breathing Space get new guitarist

A Note from Trevor Cotterell - At last I can reveal that Breathing Space have a new guitarist. If you want to know who it is, go to the Breathing Space web site www.breathingspaceband.info and all will be revealed!
Also, just in case there are any tickets left, don't forget that Breathing Space, Mostly Autumn and others will be playing at the Duchess in York this coming Sunday May 3rd in aid of the Andrea's Gift charity.

Friday, 24 April 2009

My New Track needs Lyrics!

I've just uploaded a new tune on my Bandcamp site called "Fakin' It" First of many I hope. It's an instrumental - unlike the music I usually write. Its kind of jazzy for me and something different, not the usual Rock or Prog. It started from the drum loop and kind of grew from that. If anyone out there wants to write some lyrics or play some guitar or maybe sax on it, please feel free and let me hear the results, that would be great. Its free to download as a basic mp3 or you can set your own price and get the quality version.

For those of you who need to know stuff:-
I played everything on there except the drums. It starts with a drum loop from a program called Reason (probably a hip hop beat, OMG.) and the keyboard sounds are from the same soft synth. The main drums later in the song I programmed from EZdrummer in Cubase. There's probably 3 guitar tracks on there played with a fender strat and the bass line kind of follows the piano - ish, with a bit of twiddling at the end.

Hope you enjoy it - and like I say if you want to play about with it, remix it, solo over it, whatever you like, get in touch and we can have a little collaboration going on.
Cheers
Chris - http://chrispicton.bandcamp.com/
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Monday, 20 April 2009

First Gig With Big W


It was good to start playing "Live" again at the weekend after a few months off. It was my first gig with "Big W" and it went very well. The pub was the Standard Mower in Leigh and was an interesting venue. Just a small pub with a varied age range. Although a little rough around the edges it was a pretty friendly place and everyone seemed to enjoy the music we played. Big W is a Classic Rock covers band, the line up being Waz on Lead Guitar and Lead Vocals, Glyn - Lead Guitar & Vocals, Ian - Drums and Vocals and yours truly on Bass.

We played 2 sets and introduced 4 new songs to the Big W's set list - numbers by The Foo Fighters, Black Crows, Bowie and Cream. Although all the songs were new for me it was good for the guys to play something different as well. We plan to put more new songs in, as we progress and I look forward to that. It was nice to be appreciated by the younger elements in the audience too who were up rocking at the end, although a little too close for comfort a times.

The next gig is the 9th of May at the Market Tavern in Altrincham - hope to see you there. For more gigs and updates you can checkout the website at www.myspace.com/bigwuk

Cheers - Chris
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Sunday, 12 April 2009

Mark leaves Breathing Space

Here's a copy of a post I received from Breathing Space.

I'm sure most of you will already know this, but Mark has left Breathing Space. Iain and the band are currently considering potential replacements. Recording of the new album should also still be going ahead after Easter, possibly with an interim guest guitarist. Here is an announcement from Livvy:"It is with regret that Breathing Space has to announce the departure of Mark Rowen from the band. We would all like take this opportunity to thank him for the wonderful contributions he made to Breathing Space, both in the studio recording ‘Coming Up for Air’ and during live performances. We sincerely wish him all the very best for his future endeavours.This is a new dawning for Breathing Space, and we are looking forward to entering the studio – initially in April, to start recording our next album."
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Thursday, 2 April 2009

Panic Room Update

Here's a copy of the latest Panic Room update I just received...

So what does 2009 hold for Panic Room? Firstly, we have an album to record! We've been playing quite a few new songs live and have several more in the pipleline, so we'll be spending the next few months finishing off writing, and then recording, our second album for release later this year. More news, and maybe an exciting offer or two, coming soon!

The downside of this is that we probably won't be playing live too much until the album is done but are planning to hit the road in September and hope to get to as many places as we can. If anyone has any suggestions for venues that might be suitable, please get in touch.

In other news...we are featured in the new Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine which includes a live review as well as features on women in prog music ( including pics of Anne-Marie) and a review of the Icon gig in London ( also featuring Anne-Marie). If that's not enough, the magazine also includes a covermounted CD which opens with an exclusive edit of Elektra City from Visionary Position.

Also, did you know that as well as the official website (http://www.panicroom.org.uk - but you knew that, right?) and here(obviously!) , we also have pages on
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/panicroomuk and Reverbnation , http://www.reverbnation.com/panicroom, so please pop in and say hi if you use these sites ( Anne-Marie and Alun also have music pages on all these sites).

There's also the forum over at http://panicroom.omgforum.net/forum.htm and both Anne-Marie (LilRedRockChick) and Alun (alunvaughan - not as creative!) can be found on Twitter, allowing you an insight into our adventures ( amongst other things).
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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Dream Theater "Progressive Nation" EuropeTour

DREAM THEATER TO TAKE THEIR “PROGRESSIVE NATION 2009” TOUR TO EUROPE / UK IN THE FALL WITH SPECIAL GUESTS: OPETH, BIGELF AND UNEXPECT

New York progressive metal veterans DREAM THEATER will take their PROGRESSIVE NATION tour overseas for the first time with a run through Europe and the UK throughout Sept, Oct and Nov 2009.

PROGRESSIVE NATION founder and mastermind, DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy, once again hand-picked the bands based on musicianship, originality and diversity…not necessarily by popularity and marquee value. He comments: “After the excitement of putting together two very cool PROGRESSIVE NATION packages for North America, I knew it was time to bring the concept overseas and share some of these other great bands with our amazing fans throughout Europe and the UK”.

Joining the tour will be DT’s tourmates from PN08 (and Roadrunner Records labelmates), the legendary OPETH from Stockholm Sweden.

Los Angeles band BIGELF will bring their unique brand of psychedelic, progressive hard rock to PN09.

Opening the show each night will be Canada’s UNEXPECT who will surely blow people’s minds with their insane musicianship and avant garde style of extreme progressive metal.

A festival and headlining run of Europe in June, followed by the two PN09 tours will be the first treks across the globe for DREAM THEATER in support of their newest Roadrunner Records release “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” which is slated for a late June 2009 release.

For more information, including dates to be announced soon, visit:
www.progressivenation2009.
com (coming soon)
www.dreamtheater.net
www.myspace.com/dreamtheater
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

What is Spotify?

Its been over a week since my last post, I've been reading lots of blogs and listening to some great music and learning songs for my up coming debut with Big W,which I'm looking forward to very much.
Anyway my point. Thanks to my eldest son Jamie, I've been reintroduced to a music site called Spotify. I don't know how long its been around, quite a while I would think because I'd registered as a user at some point in the past, but never downloaded it.

Quite simply its brilliant, it allows you to search for an artist or band and then stream their music immediately from the interface (no buffering involved and the songs aren't using up valuable space on your harddrive). Amazingly its free with the occasional advert, by my reckoning about every 20 minutes. There's also options for day and monthly passes for relatively small fees which allows you to stream ad free. Its all legal and artists are compensated for the use of their work

I would agree that this will probably be the way forward. Okay at the moment you need a PC to stream the music, but with the increases in technology (3G wireless and 4G coming) you will soon be able to stream music anywhere. If thats the case why would you want to own or even pay for a CD, when you can already hear it on the net. Everybody's album sales are in decline, even top artist like U2 can consider their album sales a flop for their latest release. Also why do you need to make an album anymore, songs can be released individually, instead of the same old format. Its more important to let people listen to your music and engage in what you do, hopefully then they will come and see you play live and buy your merchandise.

Music is now free and the new dilemma we face as independent artists is - how are we going to get people to listen to our music, because thats the way we'll be paid in the future, not by selling our CD's but by how many streams we have over the internet. I would rather have people listen to my music than not and if thats the case I will let it be streamed for free.

The good news is - our destiny is our own hands, its up to us how we address the problems we face, there are no constraints imposed by record companies and I can create what I want..

Some of my creations are at chrispicton.bandcamp.com/ with new ones coming soon.
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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Bandcamp - Great site for Musicians

I'll keep this one brief, as I wanted to share with everyone a great site for all the muscians and bands out there I came across.
Its called Bandcamp its FREE and it allows you to create your own page and upload your songs in a lossless format, such as a WAV file and then it converts them for you, to a whole load of different formats such as mp3 etc.
I don't want to get too technical because the site is really simple to use. What it means is the tracks you listen to are as they were intended to be heard, but can be downloaded in whatever format the listener wants. It takes a little longer to upload your music, but well worth it I think you'll agree.
There are different pricing options, so you can give away for your music for free, set your own price or let the listener pay what he wants. Its also really easy to share your music on blogs and facebook etc.
And the best bit, no adverts all over the place, your site is your own, unlike myspace etc.
Anyway that's enough from me, head over there and check out the video that explains it much better than I can and maybe check out some of the songs I wrote while in Quecia....

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

"Live" is bigger than Record sales

It's now official…the demise of physical music sales, as artists aren't making as much as they used to
According to the Performing Rights Society (PRS), the value of the 'live music scene' has officially overtaken record sales for the first time in the UK.
"We have all the data on live music at the PRS because we license all the live performances that go around the country, so we're actually able to put a number on how much live music is worth," the PRS's chief economist Will Page told BBC 6 Music.
"We now have a situation where live has officially taken over recorded."
How much? The 'number' in question was £904 million (including VAT and booking fees).
It's not all doom and gloom, there is good news for the music fan, if Bands have to tour, we get more gigs to go and see.
Happy Days...
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Saturday, 14 March 2009

New Dream Theater Album

Dream Theater's new album "Black Clouds and Silver Linings" will be released on the 22nd of June and I for one look forward to owning it. The band have a world tour planned to promote the release, which includes 3 UK dates before they take on the North American leg of their Progressive Nation tour.

Roadrunner the band's label will release the album as a standard version CD, on vinyl LP and a three-disc Special Edition CD (the full album, a CD of instrumental mixes of the album and a CD of six cover songs).

A video for "A Rite Of Passage" should appear at the end of this month.
"Black Clouds & Silver Linings" track list is:

1 A Nightmare to Remember, 2. A Rite of Passage, 3. Wither, 4. The Shattered Fortress, 5. The Best of Times, 6. The Count of Tuscany.

Dream Theater Gigs in the UK are:
June 12th – Academy, Leeds
June 13th – Guildhall, Southampton
June 14th – Download Festival, Donington Park
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Tuesday, 10 March 2009

New Prog Mag and Other News

Great news for all Progressive Rock fans here in the UK. A new magazine from the Classic Rock camp entitled “Classic Rock Presents Prog”, hits the shops on the 25th of March. The whole genre will be covered from Mega bands from the past such as Pink Floyd, Genesis, ELP and Yes, to modern greats like Dream Theater, Rush and Marillion.

Up and coming bands will also be brought to the fore and I am more than pleased for The Reasoning who will feature in the first issue and will be on the cover mount CD as well, congratulations guys.

Other News, the original Asia are to headline the Sunday at the Cambridge Rock Festival which takes place on the weekend of the 6th-9th of Aug at Haggis Farm Polo Club, Cambridge Road, Barton, Cambridge, CB3 7AT. Other names confirmed are Barclay James Harvest, Focus, Mostly Autumn, Touchstone, Dead Like Harry, Breathing Space, Quireboys and others. Quecia my old band should have been playing on the same bill, so I am a little disappointed to say the least that I won’t be rubbing shoulders with John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Steve Howe and Geoff Downes – such is life!! For more info and tickets head over to the website.

http://cambridgerockfestival.co.uk/

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Saturday, 7 March 2009

Break The Rules

I was quite surprised to read about the band “No Doubt” and their plan to give away all their back catalogue with each of their “top-tier” concert tickets sold. This includes 7 albums and all their singles. 80 tracks in total. Not only do you get a great seat at the gig, but all their music to download as well. With the top price on the US tour being just over $40 that’s incredible value for money.
This just goes to show the value of recorded music is falling all the time and shifting towards the Live Music event. I can see the studio album becoming the promotional tool for the concert as opposed to bands going out on tour to promote their new CD.
It is a great incentive for the fans to go and see Live Music and I can see this idea being adopted across the board by many bands. Musicians need to reinvent themselves and think “outside the box” and there’s no doubt that No Doubt have done this. Sorry about that I couldn’t help myself.
On a serious note there will always be musicians and musicians will survive, because the simple fact is, they love what they do. If they can learn to adapt and break the rules imposed by others in the past, namely record companies, they will find a way and continue to earn a living in this shifting music market.
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Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Dream Theater at Download Festival

There's a fantastic line-up this year at The Download Festival. Probably my favorite band over the last few years DREAM THEATER have been added to the Sunday. The whole weekend consists of bands such as WHITESNAKE, FAITH NO MORE, SLIPKNOT, DEF LEPPARD, ZZ TOP and many more and takes place on Fri 12th of June till Sun 14th of June.
I was seriously considering going to Download just to see DREAM THEATER, but they have just added 2 more UK dates which are:
Fri 12th June - Leeds 02 Academy
Sat 13th June - Southampton Guildhall
If you've never seen DREAM THEATER I would seriously urge you to check them out, particularly if you are a musician. They are THE most talented bunch of individuals I have ever seen in the same band, ever. Since my son Jamie is at Leeds College of Art & Design it looks like he'll be having his old man to stay for the Friday night. Not told him yet, but Happy Days. Hope to see you there.
Other News
U2 will announce their world tour dates next week.
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Friday, 27 February 2009

Mostly Autumn, The Point. and Other News

Mostly Autumn will record the show tomorrow night (28th of February) at The Shepherd's Bush Empire, for future Live release. Get down there if you can and see a fantastic show.

Sadly, The Point in Cardiff is closing down "due to the burden of debt" caused by the sound proofing refurbishment and the current economic climate. I was lucky enough to play there last year and the venue has been a focus for Live Music in the area for years, what a shame Cardiff is losing such a great venue.

German electropop veterans Kraftwerk will headline Bestival on the Isle Of Wight on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Francis Dunnery welcomes nineteen year old Luke Machin to the New Progressives Summer Project “I've seen Luke at my concerts for years and years “ explains Dunnery “ I've gotten to know him really well and his talent as a guitar player is immediately obvious to anyone who has witnessed his skills. He's also one of the coolest kids you could ever meet so he’ll fit right in with all the other cool people I have playing on the project” - check out his website to see who else is involved.

That's all for now, Cheers and have a great weekend....
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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Stereophonics for Isle of Wight

One of my favorite bands The Stereophonics are confirmed for the bill of the Isle of Wight Festival 2009. It will be their only UK festival appearance this year, on Saturday June 13th.
Kelly Jones, Stereophonics frontman, commented: "The Isle of Wight Festival is gonna be a great weekend."It's gonna be rocking. Enough to make a bulldog wanna snap his chain!" which is an interesting way of putting it! He revealed that the group will spend most of the first half of the year in the recording studio, meaning they will appreciate the chance to play live when the bash arrives.

Razorlight have also been added to the festival. John Giddings, the event's organiser, said the festival is "proud" to reveal it will include performances from some of the "leading UK rock bands".Other bands to perform include Pendulum, Basement Jaxx, The Tings Tings and The Prodigy.

Last week, Download 2009 announced that shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, US metal band Killswitch Engage and blues rockers ZZ Top will play this year's event.
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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Magenta News and Me

Another great band from South Wales everyone should check out from the Progressive Rock genre are Magenta. I had the pleasure of supporting them with Quecia a couple of times last year and really loved their concerts and really love the music. They have just announced 3 more shows over the weekend of 29th - 31st of May. The venues are The Point in Cardiff, The Peel in Kingston and Mr Kyps in Poole. Check out their website for a full list of dates this year. You should really make the effort to go and see these guys live they are superb, but if you can't make it to a gig, you could always buy the album "Live at The Point 2007" seen here in the picture.

Some personal news. I have just joined the rock band Big W who I jammed with a couple of weeks ago. They were looking for a replacement for Dave Halliwell the current bass player who is moving to France. I had heard them on their myspace site and really loved the raw sound of the band and thought Waz, (that's not a mis-spelling) the frontman had a great voice. I'm looking forward to playing some classic rock covers with the guys starting in April. Hopefully I can persuade them to join me in the studio in the future and we can work on some original material together. I've also been mixing the project I started over 12 months ago that I'd put on hold under the title Angel Easy. We are determined to finish that soon and I'll keep you informed of any news.
That's all for now guys
Cheers and take care...
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Friday, 20 February 2009

IRON MAIDEN, THE SYN, PORTISHEAD NEWS

Congratulations must go also to Iron Maiden on their success at this years Brit Awards for the Best Live Act - well done to the fans for voting them in and well justified. Great to get a real band into the Brit pop scene. Dare I say it, Coldplay didn't win a thing, but how could they compare with Iron Maiden as a Live Act, it Band vs Bland in my opinion. Well Done Eddie!!

Progressive rock band 'The Syn' will show off a new lineup featuring Francis Dunnery and a new vision with their latest CD Big Sky.
The band will also embark on an extensive North American tour that includes a performance at the world famous progressive rock festival in Philadelphia, RoSfest. Stops also include Baltimore's famed Orion Sound Studios, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York and much more. The group will also be doing two full evenings of fundraising performances in Virginia with all proceeds to be donated to music, education and the arts.

A few days ago Portishead asked their fans how they should release their music in the future. A mixed response to date with some saying they should go down the traditional route and some saying why not try the Radiohead/NIN approach, i.e. "pay what you want" model. For those of you interested in the future of music, its good to hear what the fans think. Check it out


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