Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Brits 2015

I'll be honest I gave up having any interest in the Brits years ago.  The whole thing is a rubbish excuse for a load of people to trot out the same gushing acceptance speech or one of the enfant terrible of the day (Oasis, Arctic Monkeys) to dismiss the award (which they are still there picking up you notice...) and then ruining a perfectly good Shure mic by throwing it to the floor in an act of rebellion (emphasis on the act) that a 60s Townshend or 70s Vicious would wet themselves laughing at.

Today this article from the Guardian appeared in my news feed.  If you can't be bothered to read it it is titled.
"If James Bay is getting a Brit award, is it time for us to shout ‘not in my name’? "

The author claims " I’ve never met anyone – anyone – who has ever said they liked James Bay." Well I think he is ok - quite good actually so I'll go into the bracket that likes him. Then they go on about Adele, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith being "The New Boring".  Ok they may not be driving musical frontiers forward but then when did Robbie Williams ever do that?  He holds the most Brits ever I believe.  Oasis who in my humble opinion never wrote an original tune in their career everything sounding like something I'd heard before often swaggered up in the old days to stick two fingers up (not really) at the industry that gave them luxury houses and cars and a bar bill to envy Oliver Read.  Is the point of The Brits to showcase new avant garde genres?  I've never seen that before - I think the first ever Brits single of the year was Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street - good song, blinding guitar and sax solo but really... not exactly ground breaking other than many subsequent hits in the following few years gave good session fees to Alto Sax players.

I listen to Ed Sheeran and Adele, less Sam Smith but I can't deny in an industry where just making a living is getting harder for performers these people still "shift units".  Sam Smith is the only artist who in 2014 sold a million units of his album in both the UK and USA.  It may not be new or clever but if he is the only one to have done that it does tell you that it is popular.

So I'm confused as to what the point of the article is about.  The Brits never were this radical entrepreneurial showcase that the author seems to aspire to.  To be honest if you listen to the early evening Radio 2 slots - Blues, Folk, Jazz I'd wager you'd hear more originality in those "old genres" than an entire day of listen to Radio 1 - which I can't do any more if I'm honest I just have to turn off before long.  I'll point any readers to False Lights a new folk rock band who use samples in a new and innovative way for that style.  But... I can't see them ever being in a hundred miles of a Brit award ceremony...   But they may well get a "Furtheron" in 2015 for their efforts.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Let there be ROCK!!!

To be honest for sometime I've been stuck in a bit of a rut musically speaking.  I've not written anything new for an age.  I've some ideas that have been bobbling but unable to get solidified.  I did some gigs at the back end of 2014 and whilst ok they weren't a stellar success with legions of new fans flocking to join my barmy army of fans.

To put it in the vernacular - "My mojo ain't working."

What to do about it?  In the end I've gone back to something I've not done in a long time.  I'm learning on in many cases relearning a bunch of rock songs on electric guitar.  Thin Lizzy seem high on the list - Emerald, The Rocker, Whiskey In the Jar.  Robin Trower - Victims of the Fury... UFO Doctor Doctor.  Marillion Kayleigh

and you know what?  I'm loving it.  I'm enjoying picking up the guitars and plugging them in.  I'm bending to my pedal board and fiddling to try and get the delay just right.  Seeing if I prefer the compressor/sustainer to be used as a drive pedal to push the amp a bit harder for the saturated sound vs a drive pedal.

No idea where this will end up - or whether six months from now I'll regret losing all my solo acoustic pieces out my brain like I've lost many of these ones that I used to know well but whatever... I at least have enjoyment back in the music room and that is all that matters at the moment.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Joe Cocker Now That The Magic Has Gone

I was thinking about Joe Cocker - sad sad loss a while back....   Then found this.  It features one of my great unsung heroes - John Miles - of Music will be my first love fame in the 70s.  John actually wrote this song.   Here he adds some of the best guitar work you'll see anywhere to Joe's incomparable vocals...  just a magic performance all round.  Enjoy...

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Revolution Saints - Turn Back Time (Official / 2015 / Deen Castronovo, J...

I have to admit that when a teenager whilst I could just about admit to my secret pleasure of Yes, Genesis etc. and Rush were acceptable to many I had to hide my liking of Boston, Journey etc. That was "that rubbish American AOR" in most of my friends eyes as we lived the the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal - Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Saxon et al.)

Whitesnake were seen as one of the great bands then with their bombastic blues rock before they went all hair metal in the 80s. Whitesnake have been revitalised over the last two albums largely by Dough Aldich on lead guitar and main writing duties. Sadly he decided to leave the band last year due to other commitments. Here is one of them the initial cut from the pending Revolution Saints album... and my AOR love is back to the fore... this is a great track - enjoy

BeatBuddy.... Initital thoughts

I've seen a bit of a buzz about this new pedal recently. I like the concept - if you are a solo or duo musician I think it may be a great answer to controllable good quality drums on stage - with some flexibility if you want to improvise - maybe make a solo longer etc. The video is the demo by the creator of it.

Impressive ...  Nice guitar Dave too!  ;-)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Gary Moore

Do you know it is just over 4 years ago since Gary departed....

Here is one of his last performances and his most well know song just blown away....