Showing posts from 2013

A couple of great videos

Firstly the new Transatlanic single - this is just a beautiful song off the forthcoming Transatlantic album which I'm clearly going to have to pre-order now! Secondly - the genius that is Jon Gomm and the fantastic song Wukan Motorcycle Kid - which has a great back story as to the influence that led to him writing it. Enjoy!

Book Review - Dominion by C J Sansom

Another brilliant book! Never read any of C J Sansom's before, most I believe have been set back in medieval times and are detective novels with a twist - well that's what I've assumed they are.  Anyway I've not read them as they looked large and I was so far back in the series I didn't think I'd catch up, who knows they might make it onto my reading list some time. Anyway - I saw Dominion whilst browsing in a book store and then again on the Kindle store (I read almost everything on my Kindle these days) and thought the premise for the book really clever.  So imagine that in May 1940 as Neville Chamberlain is forced to resign after the defeat of the UK forces in Norway that instead of Winston Churchill leading the coalition war cabinet into the Battle Of Britain and onwards but that Viscount Halifax had in fact won the upper hand and followed a policy of appeasement.  The start of the book is slightly off beat from what I believe is the actual facts of the

Blues America BBC4

I’ve just finished watching the two part series shown on the BBC;  Blues America . An interesting view of blues and how it moved from black sub-culture through to mainstream white/inter-racial acceptance. Some points I found interesting – like probably many European white boys I always saw the Blues as this folk music of the Southern USA black culture.  However it was interesting to note that even in the early 20 th century people like W C Handy were actually taking the raw plantation blues and turning it into a successful commercial genre just that was still for the black audiences in the southern USA states.  Some of what I’ve previously thought was authentic roots music was still produced with a commercial bias. Interesting. The re-explosion of the blues into the mainstream following the cross over of Elvis singing blues inspired rock n roll whilst Chuck Berry was singing white country inspired rock n roll was interesting.  By then of course the blues had migrated fr

Charity Single Release

Dear all readers... It is nearly Christmas - must be I've seen reindeer at the shopping centre.  Now some people are not having a good time Kenward Trust helps alcoholics and addicts to begin and sustain their recovery - they helped over 150 people last year in their residential rehab in Kent. So listen to my new Christmas Single "On Christmas Day" here - then go straight to JustGiving and donate £2 - just £2 please to go to this worthy charity Thank You

Out bid

...thankfully. I got right back into Jimi Hendrix after watching that documentary I blogged about the other week.  So I have a Strat (my venerable old 1962 JV series Squier which is over 30 years old now) but seeing Jimi at the Isle Of Wight with the Flying Vee got me slight Vee obsessed for a few days. I ended up searching for a viable "copy" option.  I came across the Vintage V60 - which is an excellent take on the Vee but with an interesting twist.  See the photo below.  Note that the bottom bout is a bit shorter, similar to the Randy Rhodes signature model that has spawned many modern copies. Also note the little lump to help it stay on your leg - actually that reminds me a bit of the Burns Flyte.  However it still retains very classic hardware set up.  I've seen variants of this model (black V60) as low as £135 - which strikes me as a bargain real bargain. My Vintage acoustics are both super instruments. However fatally whilst trawling on eBay I came across a G

great albums

I've been thinking on GREAT ALBUMS recently.  This has been due to me pulling out of the CD cupboard Steve Earl Copperhead Road - now that is just a blinding album. no duff tracks, Steve at his best songwriting and singing and playing.  Others... Living Colour - Time's Up Fleetwood Mac - Rumours Paul Simon - Graceland Supertramp - Crime of the Century Rush - Moving Pictures Joe Satriani - Flying with the Alien UFO - Strangers in the Night U2 - The Joshua Tree John Martyn - Grace & Danger Yes - Relayer Marillion - Season's End All these albums - there are more out there too, but these come to mind are ones that when I dropped then on the turntable for the first time (apart from Time's Up which arrived on CD probably... Season's End was a cassette as was Crime of the Century possibly) and they just blew me away and I had to put them back on straight away. If you don't know these do yourself a favour and try them out... also what are your list

Gordon Smith Volumax and Blacklab Booster

Found this on the Gordon Smith web site. Not only do you get to hear the very brilliant Steve Fairclough play you get to see his absolutely gorgeous 1981 Gemini - which he has had recently upgraded with the latest gizmo from Gordon Smith. Enjoy... Now I'm wondering about a retro fit to my Graduate!!!

Dario Franchitti forced to retire

I have more than a touch of admiration for Dario Franchitti.  He without a doubt in the top 5 drivers to come out of Britain since the likes of Damon Hill etc.  Probably in the top 3 actually.  Now it is difficult to do a straight comparison as the people I'd put him up there with are Lewis Hamilton (1 F1 world championship), Jenson Button (1 F1 world championship), Dan Wheldon RIP (1 IndyCar title, two Indy 500 wins) and Alan McNish (3 Le Mans 24 hours, 3 ALMS series championships). Alan McNish had a brief F1 career with Toyota which whilst the biggest budget possibly in the paddock never seemed to have a car and engine that could be regular podium let alone winner material.  But you could say Lewis and Jenson are better than him as they succeeded where he didn't maybe.  Dan sadly never really got an F1 break and did turn down a chance to be a test driver however Dario's record arguably puts him ahead of Dan as they fought side by side in IndyCar for a while. Dario fai

Two Brothers - Ben Elton

I'm revisiting this book having finished reading it yesterday. I was really, really impressed with it.  It is a super read, challenging at times and not a light hearted jovial read but I thoroughly recommend it. The scenario is two boys born on the same day in 1920. The same day the Nazi party was founded.  One was born a jew, but his twin brother was still born.  The hospital ask the Jewish mother if she would raise the second boy who is an orphan his mother having died in childbirth.  Two boys, one Jewish, one not but both being brought up in a Jewish family in the 1920s and 30s in Berlin.  Some of the book is written as a retrospective from the point of view of one of the brothers, the one that survives WWII in 1956. Cleverly written which plenty of twists, some of which I did suss out but the book is no worse for that.  However being put into the shoes of these boys and their family and friends during those times has brought alive to me some of the horrendous nature of th

Steve Rothery Auction's off one of his Squier Strats.

Steve Rothery - guitarist with Marillion is auctioning off a Squier Strat to raise money for a friend who has a brain tumour. NOT the very famous black SQ series one with the large headstock and Kahler trem as used for many many years up to around Anorak etc. but an E series model with some mods on it.  But it is one Steve has used as a backup on tours etc. Here is a video of Steve Demoing it.  As I write this the bidding has got up to £1,120.

Hendrix documentary available in the USA

Re my Jimi Hendrix post - the same documentary is available in the USA via PBS .

Jimi Hendrix on the BBC

There was quite a good Jimi Hendrix on the BBC the other night that I recorded and got around to watching. It did a good job of showing a little bit behind the image - the flamboyant showman on stage grinding his guitar into the Marshall stack or smashing it up after setting fire to it.  The famous scene from Monterey where he did just that with his psychedelic painted Strat was shown again for the millionth time.  But one good thing was showing the reaction of some in the crowd - he really shocked a lot of Americans that day.  I suppose from England where The Who and others had made obliterating your gear a bit of a angry young man statement a few years before it wasn't so shocking, in mainstream America then I guess it was. Like I say though a few glimpses of the shy quiet man behind the image.  Also some great bits with Eddie Kramer talking about some of the recordings he did with the man.  Of course the legend lives on due to his untimely death due to a mistake with some s

Recent Reading

Bernard Cornwell - The Pagan Lord I've just finished Bernard Cornwell's "The Pagan Lord" - I bought this for my Kindle with a birthday Amazon voucher my sister kindly gave me.  I like Cornwell's stuff and have read most of his books except any of the Sharpe series for some reason.  This latest one was the continuation of his Warlord series with Lord Uhtred the pagan lord of the title.  Uhtred has had an interesting life - a fictional character set against the reign of King Alfred and then afterwards.  This is afterwards with Edward on the throne of Wessex but a move by the Danes in the north of Britain to push south and take the dream of a united England away again. Uhtred has been banished after a disagreement with the Christian church has led to him kill an Abbot.  But with a small band he disrupted the Danish plans and becomes again the hero of the Saxons.  Great read with much terrific research by Cornwell in to a time when little is truly known of what we

RIP - Gypie Mayo

I've put this up as tribute to Gypie Mayo who was long term guitarist with Dr Feelgood replacing original 6 string slinger Wilko Johnson in 1977.  This is the Feelgoods most successful single ever - the only one that made the top 10.  Whilst many of us feel that the Wilko period was the golden one for the band with the first few albums up to the incredible live Stupidity it was with Gypie in the band that they were their most commercially successful.  In later years he stepped into the legendary shoes of Clapton, Beck and Page when he was guitarist in the reformed Yardbirds in the 1990s and 2000s.

The best motorcycle racing nation in the world.

Anyone watch Pointless on BBC?  Whoever thought that up was a genius.  Quick side bar for those that have no idea what I'm on about, those that do, skip to next paragraph.  A teatime quiz show where you have to get the answer to a question the least number did in a survey of a hundred people before the show.  The ultimate aim to get to the last round and get a Pointless answer - i.e. a correct answer but one that none of the 100 people surveyed did.  Brilliant.  Recently I'd have won the jackpot with my ability to recognised T-Bone Walker in a set of five guitarists and knowing there is a George Washington Bridge in New York.  Pointless - so well named on a more than one front... subtle. To the point(less) in question.   If I was to ask the 100 people "The most successful motorcycle racing nation in the world in 2013".   I would suspect the highest number of people would say "Spain" as we watch Lorenzo, Marquez, and Pedrosa slogging it out (sometimes liter

New and Old.

One of Fender's classics from the 1970s that had so far missed the re-issue bandwagon was the Fender Starcaster.  Whilst we've had all the various Telecaster versions featuring the wide range humbuckers the large bodied, and even larger headstocked, Starcaster was missing.  Until now.  No doubt due to Killers guitarist Dave Keuning use of a Starcaster in recent years Fender have brought it back, and currently retailing in the shops at about £610 it looks a really tempting proposition. My only minor gripe is that there are a few significant changes from the original. Here is the reissue (courtesy of ) and here is an original... (via Ebay where this one is up for sale at the moment) So the differences?  No master volume control - like good old John Birch you could wind down or up a pre-mix setting with both pickups on.  Not a great loss but you're a knob down on the deal!   More for me a shame is that the original followed the Fender tradition of

Music Shops

Sadly earlier this week one of my local music shops closed its doors for good.  Mid Air Music of Chatham is no more.  :-( * 1 minute silence * Sad days - I've bought a few things out of Craig's emporium over the 6 years it'd been in existence, notably my PRS CE22 (huge bargain) my Hughes & Kettner Statesman Dual 6L6 combo (another bargain) my Yamaha CPX 500 and some mics, pedals etc. Sadly all too many shops on the High Street are closing, my favourite hardware and ironmongers store closed down.The last time I was in both the writing was on the wall. Stock levels down, things you'd expect not for sale and just me lonely punter wandering around with little money to spend in them. But it is a complex issue isn't it.  Craig at Mid Air tried to have a quality music shop for our area - i.e. he stocked things like Blackstar amps, H&K, Carvin, Vigier guitars, Mayones guitars, Warwick basses etc.  Now I applauded the effort but...  how many people need a

Big Big Train Make Some Noise

I've really enjoyed Big Big Train over the last year or so with their two releases English Electric Part 1 and ... Part 2 (you saw that one coming didn't you!).  Now they have re-released both of these in a double album version with four previously unreleased tracks.  This is one of them "Make Some Noise" - this is probably the most "pop" these boys are ever likely to get.  Top stuff... flutes, rickenbaker basses etc.  yes it is British prog at it's best!

Rush - Clockwork Angels Tour

Here is Rush playing "The Garden" the closing track from their excellent Clockwork Angels album live on the Tour they've been on across the globe this year promoting the album, complete with a full string section.  Now if you know me you'll know I love Rush, they are up there in my favourite three bands of all time, so I loved the album and the tour and the book that embellishes the album. A DVD package of this tour is due out in November - put it on your Christmas list now!  The gig was up there as one of my best ever, alongside Led Zep at Knebworth etc. for me. Now - click on the video below and enjoy - oh yes and about at 4:30 one of the best guitar solos comes forth from the fantastic Mr Lifeson.  The lightshow is flipping ace too - the whole thing is just flipping ace!!


A colleague just really surprised me.  We'd been talking about favourite foods and stuff the other day - we had a charity cake bake competition underway... I didn't bake, just made a donnation and eat!  She just came in and said "I've some Biriani I made last night left over - there is enough for you".  Simple little acts like that stun me at times do you know - they really do.  Largely as I often fail to perform such acts myself. Darn - should this have been on the other blog ... whatever.  Remember I'm in two places now - the split personality coming to the fore!

This blog and that blog

Right ... this blog here will become more mostly about guitars and music and all that. My other blog is going to focus more from here on about the life part of the title.  To that end there is a new post about my life over there... go read, follow etc. over there...  ta

New music... and isn't Amazon clever

Some new music I've been listening too. Alter Bridge - Fortress. Hello did I put on the wrong album?  The first few bars are a really nice acoustic guitar solo, a bit Spanish in nature and I was wondering what was going on...  but then Cry of Archilles kicks into the drums, bass and heavy guitar riffs.  Oh yes Alter Bridge on top form - Miles' voice soars in and this is all very good territory.  On the whole a little heavier than their normal fair to my ears, with one track The Univited reminding me of the music Metallica should be producing.  Highlights... hmm - too many but probably Waters Rising is the stand out track for me - following a well worn Alter Bridge formula, nice finger picked intro with laid back drums and bass that kicks up when the chorus arrives.  Yes they nailed this as Creed with the other singer but hey if you have a formula that works why break it? Queensrÿche Right - this is the version with the new singer... like Alter Bridge is to Creed, but th

I sometimes wonder...

Reading the news today there is a big story about the UK e-borders scheme.  The bit that really made me chuckle was the statement from Immigration Minister Mark Harper - who says... "We have the best coverage of any country in Europe but we are working to improve our coverage further." I think his title should be Minister of the Bleeding Obvious.  Could it be that we have the best border system in Europe as we are pretty much the only country that has a border?  The map below shows the Schengen Area - those countries with no border controls between them (those in green are going to join those in blue in due course) The Schengen Area Still Mr Harper will no doubt be pleased to see that quote over the press in a time when the press continually seem to tell us we should be concerned with immigration... The other immigration related story that caught my eye was -  Jack Wilshere says only English players should play for England .  Mr Wilshere is stating only peopl

Fitting a Fishman Rare Earth pickup

I've fitted the Fishman Rare Earth Pickup I got as a birthday present. I was fitting it to my trusty old Yamaha LL11.  I bought this guitar brand new in London in the old London Acoustic Centre, which was based down in Wapping in those days, it was in the mid 90s at some point.  So this is heading for 20 years old now.  It is a lovely guitar, most of my recordings have featured this guitar via a microphone.  However live I've used a CPX500 for some time or I have used the LL11 with a Dean Markley soundhole pickup but whilst that sounds ok it isn't the best solution.  Recently I bought a Vintage Gordon Giltrap that has a Rare Earth Blend pickup, that was really impressive when I used it live and I thought I'd get one of them, but the blend (which has a magnetic humbucking pickup and a small gooseneck mic as well) is £250 vs about £130 for the humbucking only model.  So this is the non blend model I'm fitting here - which the darling Mrs F bought me for my birthday

Birthday booty!

Some of my booty from the family. A new Fishman pickup which is destined for my Yamaha LL11, a really neat neck support from Crimson Guitars, Alter Bridge's new CD and Allsorts!!!


Can you believe it... another orbit has passed with Furtheron sat on this lump of rock going around a small star in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way.  A year - is is funny that we get preoccupied with this stuff isn't it, we divide up things into seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, years.  All of these are just to a point arbitary constructs we use to make sense of our planet and it's place in the cosmos if you think about it.  A day is only a day and a year only a year because of where we are in the solar system.  Anyhoo I've managed to sit here on the planet we call home for 51 of these orbits around the sun. Now if you want to really feel inconsequential in the scheme of things consider this.  The solar system is gracefully swinging around the centre of the galaxy at around about 514,000mph (puts any land speed record into context doesn't it!).  To complete an orbit like this known as the "Galactic Year" will take around 225million years or

Meeting a fellow blogger...

I've met a few fellow bloggers over the years - but never one who's travelled thousands of miles for the meeting.  Well that isn't strictly the main reason for Pandora Viltis ' trip to the UK, her husband's stunning achievement of swimming the English Channel was probably higher on the trip itinerary I suspect. Anyway I had the chance to meet up with PV (nee Vicariousrising ) and her husband today.  It is so odd in some ways to meet someone who you already know so much about via their blog but who you've never met before but we sat in a lovely cliff top café's garden nattering away like old friends (which we are) over a cup of tea.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Not much to say... A quite time for me.  Unfortunately the course I was planning to start hasn't started in the way I'd hoped for. I'd planned to do an intensive one day a week course starting in September, which would have meant cutting a year off the overall study time.  But sadly at the last minute the company running the course had too many drop outs/non payers and had to cancel that.  They run a less intensive evening course starting in October and I should have a place on that but it is a little disappointing and frustrating. This issue has sparked off some irrational brain activity as well since I'm not earning as much as we generally pay out each month.  Now I knew this when I went part time, although one of the principal reasons has gone i.e. the course is no longer a day time commitment the studying around it is still needed and I need to look for some relevant voluntary work once I start.  But the fear of economic insecurity has not left me - I'm not real

There's a parakeet in the tree

We went on another university open day with Daughter-of-Furtheron yesterday. Usual stuff, registration queue in the rain, rubbish coffee machine, accommodation tour by students who tell you it is all "awesome", daft questions from some parents, getting lost finding a room, talk in a different room to that advertised and lecturers who may be top in the subject but drone on and on in the subject pitch - all of which now have the same format regardless of institution. However I stupidly noted a parakeet in a tree outside during one of these and pointed it out to Mrs F with a whispered aside that titles this post who then only paid attention to the gathering of others nudging me throughout with an updated count! (post publishing update - I looked them up and they have a page on Wikipedia no less. It claims at least 6000 of them nest near there. One fanciful theory blames Jimi Hendrix for it all!!) Still it was a nice place and Daughter-of-Furtheron liked one of the courses so

Gardening Successes

I'm not a knowledgeable gardener and to be fair not a very good one.  In my old drinking days I had a massive resentment with gardening, you'd plant something, it died, you'd prune something to a neat shape, it'd grow up in an odd shape, you'd mow the lawn, next week it'd grown back.  I had no concept that it is a constant work in progress it is a journey and wherever the garden is is wherever it is on that journey but you never reach the destination. Now I don't mind pottering about in the garden.  This year I cut back an old Hebe that had got way too big and had gone rotten in some places and planted some new flowers there - that has been successful, both those took and one flowered well.  I planted a Buddleja which flowered and attracted butterflies to the garden.  I also got our sweet peas to grow tall and flower. Finally two I'm really pleased about.  First a Passionflower plant we've had for a number of years, well I was sure it was dead af

11th September

9/11 - you only have to say it and people know - they go right back to that day, where they were.  One of those days where millions of people across the world can remember vividly the events, the weather etc. I happened to actually be in NYC that day.  My old job required a lot of travelling from time to time although mostly to our divisions HQ which was in CT and I normally flew via Boston.  However one of the projects I was involved with was holding a big meeting with people from all over the company and NYC seemed the place to hold it in one of the building on 42nd street that formed the hub of the overall HQ for the company. That morning the Brits - there were about 10 of us as the entire development team had flown over - this was a big meeting to nail the initial prototype for a new global system.  I was programme manager for the whole thing.  Also several from the business side of our European customers were with us - hence the large Brit contingent.  But we had people flying

Why have one blog when you can have two!!!

I created a Wordpress blog a while ago, more to grab before any bugger decided to impersonate me! Recently though I've seen most people are using Wordpress, I've also seen some very impressive sites with huge functionality developed in Wordpress and finally - it is the blogging tool of choice at my employer and we have a new web site launch in the offing with a desire for us to blog more about our work.  So I started to play around with it.  Then a friend asked whether I could help them set up a web-site.  After a chat I thought a blog was the best kind of site for them given the plan for their work.  So I agreed to show them what to do to set one up.  In the end I've learnt a ton of stuff being pushed by the person new to it, which has led to me improving my own Wordpress blog although it has still much room for more improvement. But now I'm stuck with a dilemma - continue here or move and direct everyone to there or just have t

London Acoustic Guitar Show

I went to said show today - lock up the credit card!!!  A good show, these days trade shows like this are on a much smaller scale than the old days but plenty of the big names there like Yamaha, Taylor and favourites like Lowden and Avalon with others like Vintage Cort etc. Other than buying some strings I was restrained. Got to try out a load of guitars. Yamaha were universally good. I liked the Tanglewood I tried but thought it a little overpriced to the Vintage models I compared it too.  I didn't dare try the redwood topped classical on Lowden's stand the £6000 price tag worrying my clumsy hands! I tried out some classical guitars firstly Ortega which were nice but I was really impressed with Sandarac a new company to me they were good prices and a model with walnut back and sides really sounded nice. Saw great performances from Tom Baxter and Antonio Forcioni as well as Dan Walsh's brilliant banjo playing over my lunch. Good day out! Here is a picture of the goodies

Geddy Lee - Slipping

Been listening to this album and this track in particular a lot lately ...  Enjoy

Gripping TV dramas

Currently there are (have been) some gripping dramas on TV.  I watched the very dark Southcliffe recently, it was slightly disappointing as there wasn't a really good conclusion and really never got completely under the motives of the killer but then given he killed himself I suppose it reflected real life in that sense, how can people come to terms with the loss of a loved one to a random act of madness?  Exactly - I pray I never have to discover that personally. Now I'm gripped by "What Remains" which is another murder mystery with a body found in the loft of a block of flats and you follow all the occupants on the flats with flash backs as the poor detective who is carrying on with the case even though it's not official and he is retired.  Frankly almost everyone has now displayed enough to be a serious suspect.  Well written and gripping stuff. Top Boy is great as well - I only saw part of the first series but this second one has me hooked from the start.

What is the point of advice if you ignore it?

There is advice given by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence - the people who advise the NHS on the most effective treatments to be applied) that states. "...should routinely provide people who misuse drugs with information about self-help groups. These groups should normally be based on 12-step principles, for example, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous".   Mark Gilman who is the Strategic Recovery Lead Substance Misuse working for Public Health England states in a recent interview that this advice has "been roundly ignored". I read this with an ironic smile on my lips, indeed a small mirth-filled chuckle may have escaped them.  The irony of good advice like this being ignored by the health professionals supposedly helping people who spend a great deal of their energy in avoiding/ignoring/countermanding the advice from those around them that care, family/friends/colleagues, that they should really do something about their problem i

Jon Gomm - Sittingbourne Avenue Theatre 1st Sept

Last night Mrs F, I and a couple of friends went to see Jon Gomm at the Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne.  Firstly the Avenue Theatre is a great little intimate venue available for community hires etc.  It was an ideal venue for seeing Jon up close, we were in the back row but still closer to him that you'd be in many venues on the first row.  Sound quality was superb throughout. Jon started with a couple of new songs off his new album "Secrets Nobody Keeps" firstly the excellent opening track "Telepathy" and then the superb instrumental "Wukan Motorcycle Kid" - which has an interesting tale behind its inspiration.  If you want to know... go see Jon on the tour!! HAHA! Jon was a bit nervous starting with new songs as clearly they aren't so engrained in the memory bank as his older material, but he needn't have been they were executed in his unique style with total aplomb.  Jon then ran through a set of older material and newer material off t

Music I've been listening to.

I stopped doing "reviews" on here a while back when I realised some of my top read posts were title "Album review of..." and realised that maybe people were reading these confused I was a real critic.  Problem is, I'm not, I'm a fan therefore my reviews are somewhat biased from the word go as I've already probably spent my own money on the album - also ashamedly a few promoters, indy labels actually emailed me asking me to review their artists - I thought then - Hang on I'm not a professional should I really be risking an artists reputation with my blathering on. Anyway now we're going to have occasional - "What I've been listening to" posts.  This is one... Big Big Train - English Electric .  I'll mention this as it came out as two separate CDs and I latched onto after both were out.  It was I think a Spotify recommendation and normally I click one track and move on but this captivated me.  Now I'm an old school prog ro

Medical emergencies, bad light and football woes

That sort of sums up the Bank Holiday weekend. Son-of-Furtheron and his girlfriend arrived at ours on Friday evening for a brief one day stop over as they were scheduled to fly out of Heathrow on Sunday morning to attend a PhD Summer School in Budapest.  Why it is in Budapest is a conundrum that will keep some of the most intellectual brains in the world occupied.  It is being organised by a prof from Sheffield, everyone attending is from the UK and all their host unis and funding councils have now had to pay for flights and hotel accommodation to/from/in Hungary.  Go figure, why not host it in Sheffield using empty student accom?  Whatever, maybe the fact the Prof arranging it is actually Hungarian may have had some bearing on it...  I'll leave you to consider. So after getting drenched in the rain fall down on Saturday when I popped to the shops for something on the way to Mother-In-Laws we spent the afternoon there topped up on tea and biscuits watching the Rugby Challenge C

Fantasy Signature Guitar

I got this from IHeartGuitarBlog who got it from the Seymour Duncan User Group Forum Here are a set of questions to answer about your own fantasy signature guitar... Q1: Which company called you? Q2: Which standard model in their product lineup do you base your sig off of? Q3: What specs do you insist upon that make it uniquely yours? Q4: What other customizations do you make to the guitar? Q5: What special piece of “case candy” goes with it as a collector’s item? Right here goes... Q1: Which company called you? Fender Q2: Which standard model in their product lineup do you base your sig off of? Strat. Q3: What specs do you insist upon that make it uniquely yours? Ash body, rosewood fingerboard 12" radius, large 70s style headstock but four bolt neck joint. Non trem! Twin humbuckers, with tone and vol each and coil taps on the tone controls. Q4: What other customizations do you make to the guitar? Locking machine heads - not really needed but make string chan

When will I learn to live life in the moment?

I had a revelation last night driving home from one of my regular meetings. I'd listened to a good friend talk about his experience on the road into drunkenness and back out of it on recovery. He is a man who enjoys his life, by his own admission his is a bit of a loner and is off on a motorcycle ride to Austria on his own in the next few days. Once there he will meet up with others from a club and lead them on a ride through Slovenia where he once nearly ended up in gaol through his drinking. How things change? There was one person in the group in the middle of a major turmoil in their life, a marriage breaking down, violence, money worries etc. After talking to them and then driving home I suddenly thought - hang on that negative projection they showed - that is what you're doing currently. That reflection on past events similarly - that's what you're doing. I'm still in transition - in limbo between the working full time as I was until a few weeks ago to working

Squier Strat birthday

It has been remiss of me to miss this auspicious occasion! On 8th Aug this year my Squier Strat has been a member of my family for 30 years. When I bought it it was harking back on a golden age of guitars i.e. It was modelled on a 1962 Strat and was part of the leave the awful 70s behind us movement of the early 80s. Now you see people paying daft money for 70s Strats many were awful and this Japanese new comer blew them away.  Just cos a guitar is old don't make it good!! It itself is now much older than the age it echoed when new. However still Fender make many classic guitars on a similar theme to this day - the latest from Mexico have period correct finishes which this didn't being a modern more robust type. I'd have to be desperate in some way now for this to ever leave me.  It is such a part of me even if now I use a PRS more.

Way down in Alabam'

Another obtuse 1970's lyric reference... Ram Jam from "Black Betty" - which probably is a song that no self-respecting label would put out now given it's colour references.  Anyway - the line before the totally off topic title of this post is "She's from Birmingham".   Luckily it was via my interest in music that I learnt there are (at least) two Birminghams in the world - one in Alabam' (sic) and one in the West Midlands, which I knew about already, Jasper Carrot supported the football team there that didn't do as well as Aston Villa.  Funny to look back on stuff like that but frankly that was probably how I really did learn stuff like that in that way. So why is that in my head today?  Because Son-of-Furtheron and his better half have moved to said fair city to start the next phase of their lives PhD studentships!  They are both starting PhDs in the next few weeks, S-o-F will be commuting to Leicester and doing something to do with the magnet

Man Inside Review

I got a great review off a site called Red Label Reviews.  I submitted my album a while back but you know it has sat in the queue waiting, part of me thought, "Oh they listened to it and binned it" that negative self-defeatist bit of me.  But not a bit of it ... it got a really good review. Read it here ... But here is the verdict section... " Graham Hunt’s music is different in a good way. He clearly has worked well to add his own creative edge to acoustic music, by incorporating many different styles and techniques from other genres, yet keeping a firm acoustic feel present. For that reason, I highly suggest you check this album and his other music works." Not only was it a positive review the selection of tracks they talk about in detail they have clearly listened intently and picked up on things I know are there either intentionally or simply by happy accident etc. So please go and read the review and if you want to listen / download the album the


Well away for a couple of days. This summer has turned out quiet hectic with Son-Furtheron leaving uni and moving also Daughter-of-Furtheron is working in the swimming school so we didn't plan a holiday. Mother-in-law needs to go to hospital later this week so in the end we're off to Hastings for a couple of nights. Oh the glamour! ;-)

Okay I'm maybe the only person who remembers this...

The song referred to in the last post is this... And here is a photo of the old lads singing it on the tv - sadly I couldn't find the legendary performance I remember as a kid. 1970 eh where's it all gone! England team 1970 singing Back Home

Back home...

... they'll be watching and waiting... (Now - no prizes, but extra points for anyone to get that odd lyric reference)... We have a full house again, after a few days of just Mrs F and I with Daughter-of-Furtheron back from Spain and Son-of-Furtheron temporarily with us until he can move on to his new "apartment" in the Midlands it is a bit like the old days with a full house.  To be honest this'll be one of the very last times like this as when S-o-F moves out that'll pretty much be it, that will be him moving out really.  According to the Royal Mail which we used to check his address details it is an "apartment" not a flat he is moving to... honestly it becomes more like America everyday with the "season finale" replacing "last of the series" etc.  Soon we'll have "overtime" on the football - heaven forbid that becomes soccer!!!  Anyway I digress this wasn't intended to be a rant about the Americanisation of the

A Chapter Closes

I've hired a small van for the weekend so rather than celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary with Mrs F I'm off to empty Son-of- Furtheron's flat in Wales. After 5 years of him living there this is the last time I'll go there. Apparently there is a carnival procession through the town on Saturday possibly in recognition of this momentous event ... Or maybe not ;-) Daughter-of-Furtheron is home from a week long watersports trip to Spain. Frankly not the best experience. The coach broke down in France on the way there so a 12 hour wait in a layby didn't cheer her up them coming back they missed their ferry slot through another coach problem. She is hoping to go again (third time!) in 2 years time by persuading her teachers to let her go as an instructor. She no doubt will succeed!

Royal birth and how it complicates my devious master plan

So we have another heir to the throne, although I'll never see his coronation given I doubt he'll be south of 70 before he accedes to the throne, thus I'll have to be older than 120 probably to see this event. Now - you know they changed the law so if the baby had been a she they would still have remained 3rd in line to the throne even if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a subsequent male child?  Well they did; however this was not retrospectively applied.  This means Princess Anne, whilst being the Queen's second child, is actually lower in line to the throne than Andrew and Edward, her younger male siblings, and all of their offspring.  I think this is a travesty for woman's rights and should be corrected forthwith!!!   Actually the main reason I have this interest is that it would elevate Zara Philips (Princess Anne's daughter) from a lowly 15th in line to I think 9th.   Why is that important?  Simple.  Zara is married to Gloucester rugby star and fo