Saturday, 31 January 2009

Quecia....the end

I have to report the demise of the band I have worked with on and off for the past 8 years or so, Quecia. After 2 albums and a single, it seems we were unable to move to the next level and finish the 3rd album, for reasons beyond my control.

I was hoping to get that finished, to give the band a push and move us in the right direction and also to start to introduce more new material. We'd built up quite a lot of interest from the acoustic shows last year and had some excellent gigs lined up for 2009, but it was destined not to be.

Sadly, it was never going to work as people are not prepared to put the time in to realise the potential of the band and you can only take so much time being wasted.

The positives from a personal point of view are that I can now finish a project I'd put on hold for over 12 months for Quecia and continue writing and recording myself and maybe join another band. I will also release the songs I've written and helped write for Quecia and hope to keep on blogging and supporting the music I like and try and share a bit of the knowledge I've picked up along the way.

Thanks for all the support in the past and the emails I've received in the last few days.


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Friday, 30 January 2009

The Reasoning - Check out this great band

One of my favorite bands at the moment are The Reasoning a Cardiff-based six-piece rock band, formed by Matthew Cohen in 2005. The band’s line-up of experienced musicians features the vocal talents of Dylan Thompson and Gareth Jones, alongside Rachel Cohen, who was voted Best Female Vocalist by the UK’s Classic Rock Society for an unprecedented four consecutive years.

Following the recruitment of drummer Vinden Wylde, the band’s accomplished debut album Awakening was released in 2006 and has garnered worldwide critical acclaim. Mixed by Dave Meegan (U2, Marillion), boasting eight well-crafted tracks and a guest appearance from Marillion’s Steve Rothery, the album is instantly appealing, highly accessible and musically invigorating, and has been enthusiastically received by fans and media alike.

Guitar virtuoso Owain Roberts was welcomed into the fold in early 2008…and The Reasoning’s highly anticipated second album – Dark Angel – has now been released. Demonstrating the band’s exceptional songwriting abilities and skilled musicianship to the full, each track takes the listener on an exciting and wholly unforgettable musical journey. Mixed by John Mitchell (of It Bites and Kino notoriety).

With widespread influences drawn from the rock, metal, folk and pop genres, The Reasoning’s music is a dynamic confluence of the classic and the contemporary. Combining dual guitars and three outstanding lead vocalists, their unique and exquisite sound embraces breathtakingly powerful rhythm, spine-tingling harmony and irresistibly captivating melody, transgressing many conventional musical boundaries.

Visit their website for more info and download the track "Talk To Me"

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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Well done Latics - no aplologies for a little soccer on this site

A great 2nd half performance last night gave Wigan Athletic a well earned point against Liverpool with a 1-1 draw. Making his debut, Mido slotted home the penalty after Jason Koumas had been brought down by Lucas, equalising Liverpool's opener scored by Yossi Benayoun.

Liverpool dominated the first half with some excellent passing, but without making Mike Pollitt work too hard on his return in goal for the injured Chris Kirkland. So many forced changes in the Latics team through transfers and injuries meant they weren't at the races first half, showing too much respect for the Liverpool team. After the break we got amongst them and showed how we can battle and play good football.

The big crowd got behind Wigan and Steve Bruce made some excellent attacking changes bringing on new boy Hugo Rodallega and Henri Camara. On the other had Torres and Gerrard were taken off by Benetez supposedly for being tired! The fact was, Scharner and Boyce were outstanding at the back and Lee Cattermole put in another fantastic performance, tackling everything that moved.

Mido and Rodallega made excellent debuts, with the latter almost nicking it at the end with a superb curling free kick, striking the woodwork.

A shame Rafa didn't give any credit to Wigan calling it "a crazy game" in the post match interview. Well done to Steve Bruce and the boys another well deserved point against a top side.

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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Panic Room Gigs this weekend

Panic Room fresh from their success at the CRS Awards 2008 where they picked up Best New Band for their excellent debut album "Visionary Position" and Anne-Marie Helder coming 2nd in the Best Female Vocalist Category, play 2 gigs this weekend. This Friday 30th of Jan they are at The Garage in Swansea with special guest Liz Prendegast from The Blue Horses and Saturday 31st will perform at The Peel, Kingston-upon-Thames.
More details at

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Sunday, 25 January 2009

iCon News - John Wetton, Geoffrey Downes

John Wetton and Geoff Downes have been busy as they put the final touches on the iCon 3 album and prepare for the tour which culminates in the recording of their live DVD in London. That exclusive show -- 21 February -- had been sold out, but management has released a few tickets previously reserved for press -- you can find them at by searching “John Wetton”, “Geoff Downes” “iCon” or “Wetton-Downes iCon”. We hope you will join us and are very pleased that we’ve been able to give even just a few more people the chance to experience this wonderful evening. Dave Kilminster and Pete Riley will be joined by Anne-Marie Helder for this show.

The artwork for the iCon 3 album cover has been released. You can check it out at or

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Breathing Space Info...

It's good to see the official Fan Club growing week by week - now it's nearly time for 2009 to begin for you all and for Breathing Space, with their first appearance of the year in Hartlepool next weekend. The gig is at The Studio on Saturday 31st January.

Those that went last year called it one of the best of the year, not only because the band turned in such a good performance but also because the acoustics were excellent and sound engineer was superb.

So hopefully as many of you as possible will be able to make it - and please bring a friend!
Thanks to Trevor Cotterell
Breathing Space official site
Breathing Space Facebook Fan site

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News - Anne-Marie Helder with Icon.

In addition to all her solo work with Panic Room and Mostly Autumn, Anne's been recording with John Wetton and Geoff Downes on their iCon 3 album and will perform with them as special featured vocalist. It includes a special DVD recording on 21st of February. ...A few new tickets have been released for the London DVD recording of the iCon limited audience ... For More on 21st of Feb. go to Cover art for the new studio album is available now and you can learn more about a screensaver contest that will allow you to win a pair of tickets, meet the band and get some great merchandise, too! Check it out at or

Check out official website
Anne-Marie's Facebook site

Thanks to Ellie Schwartz for the post

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Saturday, 24 January 2009

Music and the Internet

By way of an Introduction

I've been thinking about this blog for some time and I'd like to open the debate with anyone interested in what seems to be a subject that is increasingly closer to my heart. To put into context and make it easier for me to get my point across I'll talk about something that I am more familiar with. The musical genre that is much ridiculed by many and loved by few, namely Progressive Rock. Although this is the genre I am a fan of, I love many areas of music and I would argue that this debate relates to many forms i.e. Jazz, Punk, Ambient, Metal, etc...

I've been a working musician all of my adult life, playing in many bands over the years. I grew up listening to Genesis, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes and many more. I aspired to be in a band like those guys. I recently read the book "Pigs Might Fly - The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd" by Mark Blake, which I would highly recommend, the detail is superb and the book is so well researched.
One of the many things I learned from that book was, how much time bands were given to develop their craft. By their own admission Pink Floyd were not the most accomplished musicians when they started, but they were given time to develop their craft, time to experiment with new ideas and sounds and more importantly they were able to take risks. Okay its may not be everyone's cup of tea and you might find some compositions difficult to listen to from the early days, but you would always find some piece of inspiration on one of those albums, something that would either make you think or make the hair on the back of you neck stand up. After that development they went on to produce 2 or 3 of
the classic albums of all time with "Dark Side of The Moon", "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall".

I may be biased, but particularly in the UK we are fed the kind of music that seems to be the same format repeated over and over. It may be tweaked for a particular artist or to fit the genre, but it is essentially the record companies and artists settling on a song formula they know has worked in the past and believe will make them money. Check out this video if you don't believe me. In my opinion far too much emphasis is put on fame and celebrity. Also we have lost sight of what is most important, namely the music. Hence the idea of Pink Floyd building a Wall between themselves and the audience.

This is where the internet can be the saviour of music. No longer do bands need to get a record deal, or book expensive studio time. Now with a limited musical knowledge and skill and the right software, you can create a great, well produced song or piece of music. With the advent of the iPod and other mp3 players it can be distributed throughout the world in a matter of minutes. There are no production costs and the music is free to be reproduced, endlessly for the rest of time. The only thing missing to some extent, but a requirement for the working musician /songwriter is the changing hands of a little cash to enable that composer to carry on doing what he does best. How we solve that problem is still open to much debate and not for today!

I must say I do not blame the record companies, they are in the biggest music revolution ever, possibly since music recordings began. They have to adapt and develop to this new world order of file sharing or crash and burn. No longer can they give an artist such as Pink Floyd 3 or 4 albums to develop before they hit profit. I'm sure they will find a way to move forward and I am certainly not going to feel sorry for them.

What the internet allows, is that any true artist can now take time to develop and make the music he or she wants to. They can release as many pieces of work as their creativity will allow. They can digress into other genres, experiment with new ideas and sounds and hopefully find a niche, which will allow them to exist and continue their chosen art.
The negative side of course for the true music fan is that the internet abounds with an endless volume of music, some good, some bad and some indifferent. Whereas in the past the record labels would edit the wheat from the chaff, we are now forced to trawl through many, many sites to find the cream, but that is not such a bad thing. What is considered crap by one is a gem to another.

Finally I'd like to say, I hope that's given you something to think about. There is some fantastic music out there, being made by some very talented bands and individuals,.Music that you're never likely to hear on the radio or see on MTV or the like and as I remember from my school days, (many moons ago), there is nothing as good as finding a new band , no-one else as heard of and championing some great original music.



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