Where: Electric Theatre Onslow Street, Guildford , GU1 4SZ
(See map below)
The Living Room Sessions - 8/12/09
Here are a couple of recordings that were made on Ro's dictaphone after a weekend long party, involving much music, ale, and German Christmas sweets. Both are a mixture of traditional tunes, and other people's songs that we like a little bit too much.
Si Bheag, Si Mhor (Trad.) / "The Lark" (Kate Rusby)
A traditional Irish tune that I learned from my Daddy. You can hear a much better version by listening to the famous folk band "Planxty". This is followed by a song by Kate Rusby. and has always been a bit special for us. I just hope that Mrs Rusby never hears this recording to hear how much we've destroyed her beautiful song. Toria later pointed out that I'd been getting the lyrics to the chorus wrong. Still, at least I was consistent.
"If I Could Be There" (The Paperboys) / McMahons (Trad.)
The second recording from "the living room sessions". Again, it's taken on a dictaphone, so the sound quality isn't amazing. Both the song and the arrangement were lovingly covered from the album "Dilapidated Beauty" by one of my favourite bands, The Paperboys.
I've set up a small Cafepress store selling Waterfront merch. Since I am assuming the only people who will ever buy these things are either band members, friends, or family, if there's an item on there that you want changes made to, or there's something else, let me know and we'll make something. I should add that currently I've got all the prices set so that I'm not making any profit!
A Scientist at War - 1/12/09
In June 1940 my grandfather volunteered for the forces. Chemists were too valuable to be put on the front lines, and thus he found himself supervising the very dangerous manufacture of Cordite and Nitroglycerine.
In October 2009, my godfather Kirk and I set out to re-trace his steps, and took an HD movie camera with us. I've taken the footage along with period film, audio and recently discovered period photographs to make a short documentary which you can watch on youtube.
"The Blue Cockade" Video - 17/11/09
It's been a busy few weeks. I was over in the states for a week to play some music and go to a conference. One of the rules about this particular conference is that I'm not really allowed to talk about it... That said however, at one point, I was witness to a very well estemed programmer and businessman telling 250 people not to "yank on their monkeys". Interpret as you will. After this I fly home and rush off to London where I submit my Thesis. Four years of my life all encapsulated into a somewhat over-priced soft binding.
Anyway, in that time Ben posted another video from our session in the Bristol Pervasive Music Studio, this time of Ro and I playing "The Blue Cockade", which we got so many comments on. I actually got to see Show of Hands play this on Friday, and I think it's true to say that it was severl orders of magnitude more epic. I think the kindest thing I could say about our version is that we have "much to aspire to". Anyhow, don't let me under-sell it...
Live Session Video - 2/11/09
Speaking of reels, Ben has put together a video that he shot of us playing Scartaglen / Salmon Tails / Johnny Leary's live in the pervasive media studio in Bristol.
Note the board behind was covered in management buzzwords such as "Context => Content". That weekend was quite fruitful, and Ben apparently has a whole bunch more in the pipeline. Honestly, I had no idea that I moved my head around so much when I play.
It's going to be a busy few weeks, what with me off to a conference in California. I'm about to enter a period of enforced separation, and will only have my Bouzouki to keep me company for the next few months.
Reels - 20/10/09
It's no secret that I'm a bit of a fan of traditional folk tunes, especially when accompanied by an electric bass and drums. Thus, Ben, Ro and I have been working on three tunes for a while.
I've listed where the tunes are apparently from, however, I do find all this perokial labeling of tunes from the British Isles as somewhat amusing. To be honest, there really isn't such a thing as an "SCOTTISH!!!" or an "ENGLISH!!!" tune, any more than anyone could be called a "pure blooded American". We're all mongrals at the end of the day, and so is our roots music.
Session in London - 05/10/09
Ro and I spent a great day in London playing music with Shambolica at one of their weekly sessions in London. We turned up, only to find that the venue didn't open for another two hours, and ended up playing an impromptu gig at a nearby coffee house. We were paid in tea: as much as we could drink. We had a bloody marvellous time.
Oh, incidentally, before I go, I *INSIST* that you purchase the new album by Los Paperboys, called "Callithump". It is utterly awesome.
Thoughts and Plans - 23/09/09
Those photos from the festival got me thinking. What would be really amazing would be to have a set of promotional photos with all of the band. There is only one place that I can possibly think of wanting to have this done: the S.S. Great Britain. I have sent a long begging letter to the owners of the ship, in the hopes that they will let us come aboard and take some photos. We're also thinking of spending the day after filming a short music video to Shifting Sands, but we shall have to see! Most of all, it's just a very good excuse to get us physically together in one room, which is a rare occurance.
Ben Clayton and I spent a weekend in the studio making some tweeks here and there, and making a good start on a song called "Your Father's Son", which I hope we can post up soon. In the mean time, I've posted some pictures from the weekend, along with a video of moments probably best forgotten...
Distraction at the weekend came in the form of the Bristol Interesting Games Festival. When I picked up Ben on friday night, he was dressed as a zombie, and had spent an evening chasing people through the streets. The bizarrity continued in a bristol club on saturday night at "micro-rave" where we defeated giant cardboard robots with powerups, won by winning folk dance-offs and games of 3D space invaders. Finally, on sunday we ran a game called 60 second zoo, where children and adults alike made plastacine animals behind their backs in 60 seconds, accompanied by various folk tunes. All in all, a great weekend.
Click for Pictures...
Live Session Recording: The Blue Cockade - 11/09/09
Posted by: Rowena Gee So, resulting from the excitement of Glyn having seen Show of Hands at Shrewsbury Folk Festival, and both our excitement in the anticipation of seeing them on their current tour in October we've both been listening to lots of their music (check them out, they're awesome!) In particular, we both really like their version of “The Blue Cockade”. So, as we could never do justice to their version, we decided to arrange our own version of the song – which is precisely what we were up doing until about 2.30am last night/this morning !
For the last few years I have been writing a roots music album with my Godfather Kirk McKusick, and playing with my friends Rowena Gee, and Ben Clayton. I have uploaded two songs. Please do get in touch with me and let me know what you think!
I had yet another emotional rollercoaster of a weekend. I saw some pretty epic acts, especially Seth Lakeman and Show of Hands. I spent an entire day in a ball of nerves, entering the highly coverted Open Mic competition. I had to go to the sign up point something like an hour before hand. The sign-up started at 10, and by 10.04, all slots were taken!
I made it all the way to the final, before coming a firm second place to an extreemly talented young woman. It's always good to be humbled.
Railtown Documentary: - 21/08/09
It's high time that I posted this. Back in May, I spent a day up in a preserved railway in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada with my godparents. I think it's true to say that I am a massive nerd about many things, and trains are no exception. I know you may find this hard to believe, but yes, sometimes I do feel like a character from the Big Bang Theory.At any rate, here's a short documentary I made about the day, featuring folk music played by myself and my mate Ro.