Wednesday, 30 April 2014

BH Covers Challenge 8 - Pop Punk

This video had been really good for me in two different ways. Firstly, it was a chance to finally use the time lapse app on my phone for a YouTube video, something I have been threatening for ages (you haven't seen the last of it!) but most importantly, after a couple of runner up attempts in the BH Covers Challenge it finally won one for me! I'm delighted :)

The competition will probably be changing somewhat for the next, possibly final two rounds. I've enjoyed it immensely, and will need to come up with something similar to challenge myself with if it does end. I'm thinking I might take suggestions on Facebook as to what to cover and have polls, but that could be a little risky!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


Quite often when I have finished a set at a gig I will get people come up to me and say they enjoyed it and that they like my music. This is great for me, I love performing live and it makes up the majority of my work as a musician, so I'm always glad that people take the time to tell me that they enjoyed it. We have a conversation for a few minutes about the music, the songs I played, my own influences and perhaps their own music playing and tastes, and then quite often the conversation will end with them saying 'I really hope you make it'.

This doesn't annoy me like it would annoy some musicians. I don't go off on a tirade about how success does not need to be defined by how famous you are, or that you don't need to be a millionaire to be a successful, working and solvent musician. I know that it's just people really wishing me good luck and saying that they would like for me to achieve the success that they believe I am capable of.

One such conversation, with a fellow musician at a gig on Good Friday, did not end in quite the same way however. She approached me after my set to say how much she had enjoyed it and after a brief conversation she left by saying, 'I really hope you make a living doing this'.

It's only a subtle difference to the norm, but the effect it had on me was tremendous. I've always maintained fame and fortune do not interest me, but to make a suitable living as a working musician is my aim. To have someone wish that for me face-to-face was a really nice experience, and one I wanted to share with you.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Oxygen Thief.

For any who weren't aware, I made quite a big step this Tuesday by booking and supporting Oxygen Thief at The Grain Store in Wolverhampton. I've been putting on gigs for quite a long time, but this was the first time I had booked a touring act signed to a moderately large label and gone through the process of finding a suitable venue, line up and doing the physical and online promotion for such a gig.

I should at this point add that Andy Turner, who runs the Grain Store Live Sessions and is an all round nice guy and good friend helped me out a lot with the venue, the promotion and the general running of the night. I couldn't have done it without him, and won't hesitate to work with him again in the future.

The line up was ace, and if I take nothing else from this gig, just being on the same bill as the guys involved is a real privilege. Opener Josh Briggs was Andy's choice, and was a great one! His CDs were free and were probably all claimed (there could have been fights!). One thing I will say is that calling a CD with 7 tracks on it an EP is unfair to it. I've seen albums shorter than that!

David Young was next and, as always, did a stellar job. I didn't buy his CD, but only because I have it already! I'm performing with him again on Friday for his all dayer at The Golden Lion in Bradley (one of three gigs that day!). His band are headlining, so go down and check it out if you are in the area.

Next was me :)
'My Name is Earl' style
closed eyes photo.
After that was a man I had heard a lot about but never seen in the flesh before, Neil Morris. Neil's reputation didn't let him down, he played a really entertaining set and his CD has been on in Kayla's car ever since! 'Blood Diamonds' was a personal highlight.

Then it was on to the man himself, Oxygen Thief. His set was really entertaining, and he came over as a really nice and funny guy. Working out that the lights changed every time he stamped his feet made for an even more spectacular performance, and his new EP is next in line for car rotation.

All in all, while a little quieter than I might have liked, the whole thing went really well. I got to meet and see (and play alongside) some great new acts, and I made my first tentative step into the big bad world of 'big boy promoting'. I ended up coming in just over my budget, but not by much at all, and with a bit more experience and a little more luck we would have been there, so I'm not worried. Sometimes a really good gig is reward enough.