Showing posts from November, 2009

New tracks...

All of which made their live debut at the Libertine gig. Gypsy Waterfall Solo Sunday

Christmas shopping... DONE!

In the spirit of the cult of done we have done the Christmas shopping. A full paced blitz through Maidstone and Amazon on-line shopping and by lunch Mrs F and I could head off to a Mexican restaurant for a Burrito! I need to just pop out with Daughter-of-Furtheron today to get some bits with her but then that really is in essence it. I'm off to USA on Monday - typically I've had some vertigo issues this week after at least 3 weeks clear. But it's no big deal and I'm sort of looking forward to the trip to catch up with my team mates in USA and to have the first face-to-face with my boss since he became my boss in June - apart from us having dinner with the family and some of the team whilst on my summer hols.

Brought up by The Booze

I finally got around to watching this programme yesterday. I was off sick as I've been back to having mild - moderate vertigo attacks again which is flipping annoying. Anyway this documentary was about Callum Best the son of legendary football and drinker George Best and was a Children in Need special about the effects of alcohol abuse on the children of the alcoholic. I'd recorded it as it had been promoted within the AA fellowship. However I'd sort of expected something very typical without much substance. I was very very wrong. It was brilliantly done. Unfortunately as it was over a week ago it doesn't look like it is on the iPlayer which is a shame - they have space for so many complete series of popular things it is a shame that they can't find space for this one programme. Any how - Callum Best talks very candidly about his relationship with his Dad and how alcohol affected it. He meets the children of active and recovering alcoholics and people working in

Living the Dream

I'm having a great time at the moment. On Saturday one of my songs appeared on the infamous Drunk Punk show . If you listen I appear about 1 hour in and at the very end. I've got stuck into recording some more material using the Boss BR-600 which I've had about a year and not done enough with. All I need to really figure out now is programming the rhythm machine in it. Some new material will soon be released via Divshare again no doubt. Watch this space. So recording, played on the radio, a gig in Feb lined up, writing new material... and madly a possible interview for Scooter Forums radio . It's mad I really am living the dream right now! :-)

Catch up

So it’s all been a bit hectic recently... I think this’ll continue until Christmas probably. Still it’s good really isn’t it? Firstly this weekend was our daughters 14th birthday. That meant a night out with a load of her friends at the local ice rink, me cooking a Chinese meal with her for Saturday night and then a big meal out and going to the cinema to see Christmas Carol on Sunday. BTW I thought the Christmas Carol was really good, the animation was stunningly good and they kept really true to the Dickens story - worth seeing. She got a load of presents that she wanted including the web cam we’d promised her – in fact I’d bought 2 of the same one so we could install one on the family computer as well. So Sunday morning ended up with us waving at each other in different rooms in the house on web cams... at times like these I wonder why we bother with technology. Oh no I remember one thing is so that hopefully we can have the odd web cam waving session with our son in Wales...

Gig video

I screwed up the link I think

Video and Photos of the gig

By way of my son for the stills and Mrs F's camera for the video. Video Photos

New creativity

Suddenly I found myself spurred on into new realms of creativity – the gig clearly did me some good. As per the previous post I already have finally got my act together and started using the digital recorder I bought a year ago. On more than one occasion in the last year I’ve pulled it out looked at the manual, poked a button or two, scratched my head and gone off to do something else. Most of that was just my lethargy but I didn’t have the drive to get on with it . Admittedly my first attempt was simple only three tracks and a quick fiddle with pan settings then mastering to a stereo mix and getting that onto the PC and from there converted to MP3. But hey it was a success for me. I do intend to do some more as soon as I can find the time. I’d like to figure out using the drum patterns better as well. But I think at least a couple more simple ones. Secondly last night I had some time on my hands as daughters regular swimming practice wasn’t on. So I sat down guitar in hand an

Getting brave!

So in for a penny in for a pound. Flushed with success of the gig on Sunday I've taken the plunge dug out the BR-600 (digital recorder) and the tome of a manual and recorded one of the original pieces that debuted at that gig. This is "I Used To Know Her".

Sunday 15th Nov – gig at The Libertine

So I did the gig. Let me just put some of this into context as for many people this’ll be one of those shrug the shoulders and mutter “So what?” moments. I’d not played live at all since stopping drinking. It had become a slightly stupid thing in my head about whether I could do it sober. I’d never played an acoustic gig like that, i.e. me an acoustic guitar and my voice only. I have in a couple of bands been the second lead singer – i.e. taking the lead vocals on one or two tracks but never the guy singing for the whole thing. The set included a smattering of my own material all (expect one) had never heard the light of day outside of my practice room. Here is a summary of my reactions. Venue – the venue is a nice cozy little place with a small but adequate stage, it managed to host three piece Strange Behaviour at the end complete with drum set without any issue. The staff were friendly and helpful and the food (Sunday roast beef) was excellent! Organisation – big thanks a

..the one in which my wife lies to me...

In a good way. Last night I'm cooking a curry wondering why my wife had insisted on 3 Naan breads, Bombay potato, samosas etc. The door bell goes and she asks me to get it. Stood there grinning like a Cheshire Cat was my son!!! He'd come all the way back from Wales on the coach to be able to be at my gig. To say I was touched is an understatement. I'm so lucky to have the family I have. Yesterday morning my jitters about this whole thing made me question why I was doing it. Now no longer a problem.

Muse at O2 12 Nov 2009

The Muse gig was great! We had really good seats, at the side just about level with the front of the stage so a really great view if side on. The stage set was very impressive, huge risers for all three of the band and they opened with them on the top of these structures about 30ft in the air - i.e. level with us :-) They played a lot off the new album particularly at the start of the show kicking off with Uprising which was a great one to start with. Other stand outs included United States of Eurasia which worked well even without the orchestra. That was actually the only one where Matt Bellamy played piano - and that was again on the huge risers with a great light show using the risers as projectors. As the show progress more of of the older hits came out including the live anthem Plug in Baby which was a highlight. The final encore was Knights of Cydonia which they opened with when I saw them at Wembley Arena in 07 but frankly I've always thought should be a climax of a show


Tonight I'm off to see Muse at the O2 with a friend - sadly Son-of-Furtheron (my ever faithful gig partner) is too busy at uni and can't get back for this so I'm going with a friend of mine who is a huge Muse fan and chuffed to bits when I offered her the ticket. Oh yes and Sunday is THE GIG!! I.e. me and an acoustic and my debut as a solo performer at The Libertine Pub in Borough .

Stop being a miserable so and so....

I'm not a very happy person at the moment. I'm really not enjoying work at all... and sadly not only do I let that really get to me, I let many people about me know that it is really getting to me. That isn't plesant. I'm off to see Muse tomorrow at the O2 with a friend. I have my gig on Sunday... at The Libertine in Borough. If you are in the area come along for the afternoon starting at 1pm. I have reasonable health - it's a lot better than a few weeks ago etc. etc. A friend passed away earlier this week from cancer. I ought to be more grateful about what I have and I ought to try to be more happy about it... my life is very good frankly. The old quote from Abe Lincoln about being as happy as you choose to be (I paraphrase) feels very apt.


We went to the big free council display on Sat night. It was excellent as ever, less popular than years before but there was no big fair this time attracting a lot of the local youth. We took Daughter-of-Furtheron and a couple of her friends. No sooner were we on "The Lines" (big open space slap bang in the middle of the Medway Towns that is own by the army I believe) and they were off doing their own thing meeting up with some others that they knew would be there. Mrs F and I were left standing alone with a cup of coffee each. Suddenly I was thinking - where has all the time gone? D-o-F is 14 in a few days time, my son will not be a teenager this time next year! Next July is our silver wedding anniversary! Funny some days spark (sorry that's an awful pun) old thoughts... like my 5 year old son setting up a cash till to get his Grandparents to pay 5p entrance for our home firework display one year... which was a bit rich given my Father-in-law had supplied a signi

Royal Mail - no problem

I used to have one of these... It's a Dean Markley Promag easy install acoustic guitar pickup I think I lent it to someone a while go and it disappeared - I've searched the house. It's gone. So gig looming I thought - order one you berk! So I looked on Strings Direct and found them for just under £50. So I ordered it. I only noticed when I got the dispatch notice that I was 5p under the limit for them using ParcelForce and realised it had been dispatched via Royal Mail 1st Class. Darn I thought "the strikes!". If I'd have bought a plectrum it would have been on Parcelforce and trackable and easy to pick up (ho ho!) at the local Post Office. But I shouldn't have worried, less than 24 hours after my ordering it was delivered by my friendly postie. So Royal Mail - brilliant!!! I hope whatever the outcome of the dispute currently that great service isn't undermined.


Suddenly a really good Later with Jules Holland. To be honest this series there's been a couple of shows where I've struggled to latch onto anything. Is it me or since the BBC got rid of shows like Top of the Pops and there is nothing (other than Jonathan Ross I suppose) in the way of variety shows that Jules seems to have a lot more "chart" acts on than before - this series people like Calvin Harris for example. In the dim and ancient past I'm not sure that he'd have been on a show like Later but there is precious little live music output on the BBC any more is there. Anyway - Sting playing his latest stuff which is very folksy - deliberately so, I suspect after the mammoth world tour playing the old Police hits he needed something completely different to recharge with. Whatever people may say about it - his vocal delivery on the one piece on last nights 30 min show was frankly... stunning! Oh how I wish I had the talent of that guys little finger! The

Book Review - The Prophecy Chris Kuzneski

I think this is the second of Mr Kuzneski's books I've read - I think I read Sign of the Cross sometime back. So - fast paced interesting thriller with the added spice of being linked to the greatest of all sooth sayers - Nostradamus. The interplay between his two regular Jones and Payne frankly did begin to wear a little thin at times with me. We get that these two ex-special forces guys are inseparable best buddies and will wise crack their way through the book but can we have a break from it at times? Also I'm afraid that for me the ending was a bit rushed and frankly a little bit unbelievable but then many thrillers are plus the final punchline was a little limp. But all things considered not a bad read.

The gig is looming!!

Suddenly it's less than 2 weeks to the gig... blimey! So at the weekend I did some work on getting the set list finalised. I'm now umming and ahing about a couple of my own instrumentals vs one of Gordon Giltrap's. The problem being the Giltrap one is a bit of a challenge, I play it okay but obviously no where near his level. To still ponder I've sorted out my little folder of lyrics. I'm okay remembering lyrics but have decided to ensure I have a prompt if I don't a folder with all the lyrics in on a music stand is the way to go. So all set apart from some continued practice. I've been offered the loan of an acoustic pickup for the gig which'll be good but it's annoying as I used to have a similar one. After an extensive search, including the loft, I have to admit it's gone. I have a vague recollection of lending it to someone some years back... I doubt it was returned.