Category Archives: Music

My solo set at the Mitcheldean Festival

I’ll write separately about our band’s prog-tinged gig at the Mitcheldean Festival. Here I just want to report back briefly on my solo set in the evening. last Saturday.

image_14-cropped-rotated

I had a half-hour, which was enough time to get through eight songs. Continue reading

Final programme for the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

As noted previously, I am doing both a solo set and (with my wife, son and next-door neighbour) a band set in the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival next Saturday. Here is the final program (click through for a PDF of all four pages):

program-inner-spread

It would be great to see any of you there who can make it.

 

Desert island albums #2: Rainbow — Rising (1976)

[This is the second in my series of Desert Island Albums -- eight albums that I would choose to take with me if I were to be stranded on a desert island.]

rainbow-rising-83825980479

Aside from experiments in individual tracks — the Beatles’ Helter Skelter, the Kinks’ You Really Got Me — The genesis of the musical genre known as heavy metal is generally agreed to rest with three British bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.

Continue reading

Also coming up (and more exciting): band set at the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

As I noted last time, the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival will be held on 18th-20th July this year. Not only did I get a solo slot in the evening, but — much more exciting to me — we have a band playing in the afternoon:

Mitcheldean Fete Concert Listed Flyer Afternoon Events Finalised-500px

Continue reading

Coming up: solo set at the Mitcheldean Folk Festival

I’ve been going along to Mitcheldean Folk Club in the last few months. And it turns out I got involved just in time for the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival, which will be held on 18th-20th July 2014, but mostly on Saturday 19th.

Mitcheldean Fete Concert Listed Flyer Evening Finalised-500px

Continue reading

Cinderford Music Festival fundraising gig

This afternoon, I did my first solo gig. Up till now, I’ve done a few gigs as a part of combos (including as a jazz singer, bizarrely) and plenty of short solo spots at folk clubs, but this was the first time I’d done a complete set, with just my guitar and voice.

It takes a certain amount of courage.

Continue reading

Desert island albums #1: Joni Mitchell — Hejira (1976)

In BBC Radio 4’s venerable programme Desert Island Discs, a guest is invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island, and allowed to choose eight pieces of music to take with them. (The quaint “discs” in the title of course refers to gramophone records; I for one welcome the BBC’s refusal to retitle the programme Desert Island Digital Audio Files.)

desert_island

I think this is a fascinating exercise, and one that I’ve often toyed with doing myself. Continue reading

Jerry Springer: The Opera: the review

Because of a cancelled flight, I have a very rare evening of solitude (sitting around in an airport hotel) with no immediate demands on my time. Being an enormous fan of Stewart Lee, I took the opportunity to watch Jerry Springer: The Opera, which he co-wrote the words for (along with composer Richard Thomas).

jsto

Well, that was two hours wasted.

Continue reading

Paul Simon: There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973)

From the very first bars of the first song on Paul Simon’s second post-Garfunkel solo album, there’s a completely different feel from the previous year’s self-titled album. If I had to pick a single word to summarise how that album feels it would be “weary”; for this album, that word would be “sunny”.  [Listen on Grooveshark.]

Continue reading

Spotify’s recommendation engine could use some work

Hi Sauropoda, we've found 7 music suggestions for you on Spotify. Enjoy!  Since you follow Yes, you might like Yes. Yes - 53k followers  Since you follow Dar Williams, you might like Dar Williams. Dar Williams - 5,700 followers  Have you heard this song by One Direction? Give it a try. Little Things

Right. Because someone who likes 1970s prog rock and 1990s-to-contemporary singer-songwriter neo-folk is probably the sort of person who will also like One Direction.