December is almost upon us and I always enjoy this time of year particularly because I get to wheel out my Xmas numbers!Â They certainly don’t make Xmas records like they used to, which is why of the 8 Xmas covers that I do, there are 4 from the 70s and 4 from the 80s.
Highly unusually, I have only my first, what I’d call “standard” gig of the year coming up on 2nd December, at The Busfeild Arms, East Morton.Â It probably seems as though I’ve done very little over the past year, other than 3 summer festival gigs and a few open mic performances, but in actual fact I have been beavering away at my rock opera recording project and have made significant progress.
I have completed the bass and drum programming to 23 of the 25 tracks – this being by far the most time consuming part of the process.Â I will have completed this by the end of the year and in the New Year will commence recording the guitars and vocals.Â Those parts I know like the back of my hand and will quickly get them down.Â I guarantee that I will complete this record next year.Â Bewilderment will finally be out there after 10 years in the making!Â If that doesn’t get you excited for 2018 I don’t know what will!!
Unbelievably, despite being the middle of the year, I’m about to play my first gig of the year! Â Playing live has up to now not been the focus that it has over the past couple of years, for various reasons, not least that I’ve recently undergone surgery on my right shoulder. Â I’ve had a subacromial decompression procedure, which is keyhole surgery, during which I’ve had a bone spur removed. Â I had this done less than two weeks ago and was concerned at how it may affect my ability to perform at Congsfest, which I’d agreed to do prior to getting my surgery date. Â Fortunately, with most of my strumming work occurring at my elbow and wrist, it turns out I can play reasonably comfortably, so it’s game on! Â I may need to remember not to do any Pete Townshend “windmills” though!!
I’m very much looking forward to playing three upcoming events, with some new songs. Â Also, the time at home convalescing has prompted me to return to recording my long-shelved Bewilderment project. Â Let’s hope I can maintain the momentum with it to the end this time!
I’ve premiered three new songs recently, which were all written fairly spontaneously over the past few weeks.Â A Normal Man had its first outing at Swinnow Primary School Summer Fayre, where due to bad weather, like a schoolboy in disgrace, I was confined to just outside the head teacher’s office for my performance!Â Then last Friday, at Lux-Fest, I gave my first performances of I Still Need You and Oasis.Â I was also joined by Orion for my finale with Mr Blue Sky and was delighted to return the favour with their finale of Tie Your Mother Down. Great fun!
Check out some of the recent live videos on my facebook page, where you can hear the new songs.
As you know, I wrote songs for each of my three sons a few months back and posted YouTube videos of me performing them.Â Well, a few weeks ago, Nathaniel’s school class watched his and following that they asked their teacher if I could write a song about their class and go in and perform to them.Â I naturally said I’d be delighted, but I suggested that the kids come up with the ideas for the words.Â They duly came back to me with mind maps of words and phrases about themselves, which I assembled into a song lyric, with a rhyme added here and there and set them to music.Â I then went in and performed it to them as promised and they loved it!Â I then decided to record it in full and was able to play the finished article to them on the coach for their school trip.Â It went down a storm and now they’re learning it to perform it themselves!Â It’s been a fantastic little project and I’m really pleased with the result, which you can hear yourselves below.Â It’s well upbeat and you can’t help but boogie to it!Â See also the lyric video I’ve done of it and the MP3 is free to download!
Hopefully you saw my recent video of the song I wrote for my eldest son, Reuben.Â Well I’ve now completed videos of the songs I’ve written for my other two sons, Nathaniel and Elliot.Â The difference with these is that the boys are in them.Â And boy, do they steal the show! Well worth a watch.Â Enjoy!