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


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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Monday, 16 February 2009

Music For Free Or Pay What You Want?

Should an Artist or Band give away their music? There seems to be more evidence to support the argument that if a band gives away its music over the internet, they will make more money in the long run via merchandise and physical CD sales at their live performances. Also a recent experiment carried out by Benjamin Taylor (son of James Taylor & Carly Simon) showed that, people are likely to pay more, if they can pay what they want at Live Gigs. They are more willing to support the artist, if they are caught up "in the moment" of the concert and will still want to own a physical CD, even if they have downloaded the tracks in the past. Of course you will always get someone wanting a free CD, but this will be outweighed by the fans who have loved the show and want to meet the band and continue the growth of their relationship with that artist.

Live Music is resurgent and is one of the few ways the songwriter or musician can start to earn a living in this file sharing climate. In that respect it makes sense for an artist to use the internet to distribute their music as far and wide as possible and to build a loyal fan base via the many outlets available over the web. Building a close relationship with true fans is seen as key to success in this modern music industry. Although physical CD's will still be available over the internet they are becoming less important.

My own opinion is that there is still a massive market for music which is evolving almost daily and at times is difficult to keep track of. There is still a place for musicians to sell their physical CD's over the internet, you only need to see the success of CDBaby which since its inception in 1998, has paid out $98million to independent artists through CD sales, with a growth of 2% in 2008. In contrast major labels suffered a fall in CD sales of 14% in the same period. Its horses for courses, I believe a balance can be struck between giving away mp3's for free and making CD's available to people who want to support and own the artists work in a physical format.

On a personal note I am happy to have joined the rock band Big W and look forward to working with them in the near future....

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Friday, 13 February 2009

Gabriel won't perform at Academy Awards

Peter Gabriel says he will not be performing at the Feb. 22 Academy Award telecast in support of his best song nominee "Down To Earth," from the film "Wall-E." Check out full story here

New York progressive metal veterans DREAM THEATER will take their PROGRESSIVE NATION tour back on the road for its second incarnation with a run through America and Canada in July/Aug 2009.
In addition to a headlining set by DREAM THEATER, this year's package will feature the outstanding musicianship of ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA as well as two incredibly talented imports from Sweden: PAIN OF SALVATION and BEARDFISH.
PROGRESSIVE NATION was created by DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and its successful inaugural run in 2008 also featured OPETH, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and THREE

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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

'A Night For Heroes'

Here's a post from Olivia Sparnenn lead singer of Breathing Space who will be performing alongside Mostly Autumn and several other bands on Sunday May 3rd at the Duchess in York. This Evening is called 'A Night For Heroes' and is in memory of her dad - Howard Sparnenn.
Tickets are priced £12 + booking fee in advance or £14 on the door, they can be purchased by calling ticketweb on 08700 600100 or by going to
All proceeds are going to Andreas gift brain tumour charity.
As some members of Breathing Space are unfortunately unable to attend this gig there will be a slightly different line-up on the evening, we are honoured to have Bryan Josh and Andy Smith of Mostly Autumn performing with us and also Harry James from Thunder.
All details of times etc are also on the duchess website.
Hope to see you there
Livvy xx

Monday, 9 February 2009

Spinal Tap to record new album

Great news for all musicians and fans who love the "Spinal Tap" Movie. Reports state the band are recording their first songs in over 20 years. For those people who may have missed this classic spoof, here's my favorite clip from the film.

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Thursday, 5 February 2009

Jam Nights - Better Than Karaoke?

I had a great evening yesterday. I visited a pub that had a Jam night on. Basically a couple of local musicians had set their gear up, small PA, a drum kit, amps for the guitars and 3 mics. At 8-30 when I arrived there was no-one in the pub, but by 9-30 the place was packed with punters, several bands and their friends and family. This is a Wednesday evening by the way when Liverpool and Everton are playing in the cup and no sign of a big screen!

The proceedings began with the guys who owned the gear performing 3 songs and then inviting other bands to get up and do likewise. I was asked along because one of the bands is losing its bass player and looking for a replacement and at this present moment I am bandless!! It was good to get up, not having met the guys before and playing "Wish You Were Here"and "Comfortably Numb" by The Floyd and "Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi (sorry about the last one, but beggars can't be choosers and we'd had no rehearsal). The band are called Big W and are an excellent covers band from Leigh in Lancashire. I thoroughly enjoyed the songs we played, Cheers guys.

After Big W the other bands got up and did their stuff and a great night was had by all.

The whole point of me telling you this is that, in these times of the "credit crunch" people will still turn out, on a freezing cold mid-week evening, (when the footie's on), to be entertained by some excellent Live Music. In my view it was far better than the endless karaoke most pubs seem obligated to put on these days, plus the younger bands get to play and gain some valuable experience in front of a packed house. Everyone's happy - including the pub.

I know people love to sing on Karaoke, but why not sing with a Live Band, its far better. Get onto your local landlord and ask him to give it a go and support the local music scene and Live Music.

The Pub in question was The Plough in Hindley, Wigan.

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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Mostly Autumn Gigs

Mostly Autumn are playing at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London on the 28th of this month (February.) They will be running a coach from York leaving at 8am in the morning and returning about 11.45. Price is £40 for the gig and the coach. If you fancy a great day out in London and coming to see the gig please call 01904 630424 or contact The band are also playing Manchester Academy Friday 27th of Feb. See website for more details.

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Monday, 2 February 2009

Breathing Space and other news

After a fantastic return to the stage in Hartlepool at the weekend, Breathing Space's next gig this coming Saturday 7th of Feb at Lowdham (near Nottingham) is heading towards a sell-out. There are, at time of writing, only 29 tickets left we've been told by the promoters. So if you were thinking of going, get your order in now to the venue.

Sadly it has been agreed between the band and John Hart (sax and wind synth), who recorded on the "Coming Up For Air" album and has played with the band since the album's launch, will in future, only appear as an occasional special guest musician. Breathing Space wish John every success with any new ventures he embarks upon.

An artist I've been listening to and admire very much is Livia Palone a singer songwriter from Rome who is also an architect, photographer and painter! Livia's work has been selected as "portfolio of the week" on the website "" . You can also check out her music at and Livia's facebook fan page

The four original members of Asia will be playing their first-ever concert in Russia on March 19 at the Rossia Concert Hall. This show brings the forthcoming March/April tour to a total of 19 dates, with more to be announced shortly. - here's the link to their website for a full list of dates, I'm sure I'll be attending one of the UK shows

Soccer News - Thank goodness the transfer window has closed and Wigan Athletic have not lost anymore players. We've made some great additions, to make up for the loss of Palacios, Taylor and Camera. Most recent being Charles N'zogbia from Newcastle. Next game is Saturday 7th of Feb at home to Fulham. 3pm kick off - see you there.....

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Sunday, 1 February 2009

My favorite video at the moment....

I love it when bands and artists come up with something new and original and this is certainly that, well worth a watch. Its by Oren Lavie and the track's called "Her Morning Elegance" Check out his myspace site for more info...

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