It’s been a busy start to 2017, with a lot happening. Recording of my album has continued and is making progress, I’m hoping recording will finish by June. After that there’s still quite a bit to do in preparing it for release but for now, one step at a time.
Gigging is going well, This is England have had some great gig’s recently and the band’s fan base is going strong: thank you to all who support us! I’ve had some good gig’s with Limited Edition too, we’ve had singer ‘Zoe Beech’ join us for our gigs so far this year. The set list is changing and I’m enjoying a slight change in direction.
I’ve had a few inquires on the teaching front too, more so since this good weather, I think BBQ weather makes people want to learn guitar especially haha! If there’s anybody who would like lessons, please contact me!
Join us on this Christmas Eve at the Taproom Batley for Debbie’s last gig!
I’m amazed with how fast this year has gone! The amount of projects I have had going on has been insane, at one point I was in even three bands. There has been constant gigging throughout the year and I am happy with how both This is England and Limited Edition are doing, between the two bands there has been a whopping 46 gigs so far! The future looks bright on the gigging scene with bookings rolling in. I’ve met some great people to this year, managing to enjoy fun things along the way such as my MA Graduation! I am very blessed to be in such a position.
As always there is change, Limited Edition’s singer Debbie will be hanging up her mic at the end of the year with her last gig being at The Taproom in Batley on Christmas Eve – All are welcome (19:30 start). We would like to wish her all the very best in the future.
I have lots planned for 2017 beside gigging. I want to concentrate on the release of my Instrumental Album. I may also have a look at doing some more free YouTube guitar lessons. Mostly though I just want to enjoy what’s here and now.
Lastly I would like to say a massive thank you for all the support in 2016 and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Preparing a score for my upcoming Instrumental Album!
It’s been a mixed few months I have to say. The trip to Malta with the Rolling Stones Tribute ended up being cancelled through no fault of the bands. Whilst being slightly disappointing, the lesson’s I learned from learning the Keith Richards Guitar parts was valuable! Gigging has been quiet due to the holiday season, although it’s been a much welcomed rest, one gig that I am looking forward to is the Warehouse 23 gig with ‘This is England’ in Wakefield (7/10/16), this is a huge gig for us, if you’ve not seen us before and would like to this will be a great one, tickets are available here!
In other news I’ve been getting back into composing. I’m delighted to say that I will be releasing an Instrumental album, comprising of workings of my MA portfolio. The album has a concept of two people on a day out, each track tells a little part of what happens during the day. The music has ‘Film Music’/’Soundtrack’ quality to it. At the moment I’m just preparing the tracks and the players for recording, I’m pleased to be
working with my good friend Ian Richardson on this Album, Ian will be taking care of the recording side for me! Here’s a sneak peak of one of the demo tracks.
My new John McGuire Valley Pro!
As always it’s been a busy couple of months since my last post. I’ve been gigging a lot with both ‘Limited Edition‘ and ‘This is England‘, as well as rehearsing with ‘Jagged’ for the Rolling Stones gigs in Malta. I am getting to grips with the parts that I will be playing as I will be ‘Keith Richards’ for the shows. There is some very clever guitar work in tracks such as ‘Street Fighting Man’ which has a somewhat ‘Howlin Wolf’ influence.
I also received my ‘John McGuire Valley Pro‘ Guitar which has been custom built! The Guitar is very reminiscent of the old ‘Valley Arts’ Guitars and is made out of Swamp Ash and features EMG SLV pickups complete with a Floyd Rose Tremolo. I have recently just got it back from my friend/tech John Marlow, who has once again done a phenomenal job of setting the guitar up. I strongly recommend him if you live near Dewsbury.
The Valley Pro ‘sings like a bird’ and is probably my best guitar, the neck is incredibly comfy as is the body. The guitar sounds amazing and I strongly recommend John McGuire Guitars to anyone who is looking for a serious piece of kit, he is one top Luthier. The Pickups are simply brilliant and as a long standing user of EMG SA Pickups I thought I’d try the SLV’s, I wasn’t disappointed.
This next month is going to be very busy as Malta is only one month away, and I’ve got gigs in between that as well.
Having some fun at a recent gig.
The past two months have been steady away, although a lot still has happened. I’ve recently got two gigs with top Rolling Stones Tribute
act ‘Jagged’. The gigs are in Malta and will be taking place in August; I’ll be playing the part of Keith Richards complete with costume haha! This has left me with an hour and half set list to learn which isn’t bad, however trying to nail Keith’s ‘feel’ on the tracks is proving quite a challenge. I was pleased to see one YouTube teacher (mnaicck) though who is nailing the feel thing! He’s an excellent player and there’s a load to be learnt from his videos. I’m figuring the rest of the songs out by ear.
Other than this I’ve been learning new songs with ‘This is England’, they seem to be going down well which is pleasing. One of them is ‘My Girl by Madness’; once again the rhythm of the parts on this track is very cleverly put together.
So all in all it’s been an active couple of months, the hard work starts now!
Me and Alex rocking out at a recent ‘This is England’ Gig.
This year has started out great! I’ve got plenty of gig’s booked in with both ‘Limited Edition’ and ‘This is England’. We’ve just hit March and ‘This is England’ have already filled up gig dates for this year, with only New Years Eve left.
Teaching is also going well, one of my students has been accepted to study music at college and I’m now teaching quite a range of ages which keeps things interesting. Ed Sheeran has been a popular artist to teach to students.
On the other hand, I’ve had little time to do any composition or collaboration. Hopefully I’ll find some time over the next month or two to start!
Magic! Fitting two lots of kit in a 3 door Toyta Yaris!
To finish off with a story about ‘Rock n Roll’, I recently had a gig in Barnsley, it was interesting to say the least, and this is before we’d even started! To start with, we had Alan (Singer) deping with us from The Detail, a different set including songs I’d never heard. Plus to top it off me and Nigel the other guitarist in ‘This is England’ somehow managed to fit all our kit in my little Toyota Yaris. And it was my first trip on the motorway! Despite all this it was a great gig and Alan did a great job of covering for us! #RocknRoll
For a change, the past few months have been ‘steady away’. For the first time in a long time, I’ve actually managed to have some time off. I had a great little break in the middle of November up in Northumberland, it was very refreshing not to have a guitar in my hand, or some piano key’s under my fingers.
Teaching has been going well, and all of my students are really making great progress. There’s been a great mix of students, and material that I’ve been teaching them, this has ranged from ‘I Giorni’ by Ludovico Einaudi, to learning new soloing concepts on the guitar.
A photo taken after my debut gig with ‘This is England’.
Gigging has been steady too. I am pleased to announce that back in October, I joined Yorkshire based Mod, Punk and Ska band, ‘This is England‘. This a slightly different turn in direction for me but I’m already enjoying the challenge. We have lot’s of gigs booked in for 2016, it’s looking like I’m going to be gigging nearly every weekend as I am still going to be gigging with Limited Edition.
As always I have some new projects lined up for the new year. I want to work more on the compositions that I came up with for my final MA submission. Hopefully there will be more collaboration with guitarist/singer-songwriter, Roz Firth.
Thank you for your support in 2015
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Well one again it’s been busy, I’ve been down to ‘Spitfire Studio’s in London for a mixing session and have generally been all over the place, however I think I may have some time to relax, as I am pleased to announce that I have just passed my Masters in Composition at Leeds College of Music. It’s been challenging undertaking but it’s been good, I think I am now getting to a point where I am ‘liking’ more of my own work… amazing I know! I mainly focused on stand alone composition, however I did do some composition to picture like this re-score of the opening titles of ‘Where the Heart is’:
I have also been collaborating with guitarist/singer songwriter, Roz Firth. We recently did a few songs at one of my favorite local venue’s: The Taproom Batley supporting my current band Limited Edition. We’re working on a cover of a Rae Morris song which will hopefully be finished before Christmas. Me and Roz went to see Rae the other the month at Leeds, the gig was phenomenal, the band was ultra tight and her vocals where flawless.
Teaching and gigging has been fairly steady recently, although the other week we did gig at ‘Band on The Wall’ as part of ‘Rail-house Rock’, for the children’s cancer charity: Sargent. I’ve taken on a few more students and teaching seems to be going well.
There are a few exciting things in the pipeline including a new band and possibly some more teaching, however more on that next time.
Madeleine Bullett laying down some brilliant Sax in the studio!
At the moment I’m enjoying a little bit of time off however it’s been a busy couple of month since I last posted. I’ve been mainly working on finishing the second semester of my MA, and getting my compositions sounding polished. I had a brilliant studio session with Saxophonist Madeleine Bullett, who did a brilliant job in laying down a sax solo I had written for a composition. My friend Ian Richardson also did a brilliant job on the recording side of things, massive thanks goes out to him! I’ll be uploading the track when I get the master corrected.
I’ve also been gigging a lot recently with Limited Edition, furthermore we have a steady stream bookings coming in, including one at ‘Band on the Wall’ in Manchester! Furthermore I have a gig with a few of the guy’s from the ‘Buddy Holly Show’ I was featured in, the gig is at Legends Bar in Batley on the 3rd of July, if you’re around please feel free to come along!
My friend Tom Jackson has finished his new EP, ‘Shoot the Demons off my Back’. The EP features me on Electric Guitar, It was interesting to hear what production wizardry he had done to my parts. The EP is a mixture of Spoken word/Song about a story about a fictional character lost in a journey of addiction, check out the EP here!
I start my 3rd and final semester of my MA which starts next week, so I’m currently planning on what to compose for that. My other plans include collaborating with Guitarist/Singer: Roz Firth, Roz has a unique style that blends acoustic fingerstyle with pop flavour; all of this is then rounded off with some loop pedal wizardry! Check out her YouTube channel here along with her new album ‘Passing Eyes’!
Check out her cover of ‘Sugar’ by ‘Maroon 5’!
Well I think I should first mention that ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ that I took part in was a great success. I can honestly say that it was one of the best experiences of my life. It ran from the 24th – 28th March at the Laurence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield & was put on by the Woodhouse Musical Theatre Company. I worked with a brilliant cast including bassist ‘Craig Sqaunce’, who’s toured with the likes of ‘Gerry and the Pacemakers’ as well as with members of ‘Showaddywaddy’. Daniel Flynn did an excellent job of playing Buddy, although the praise goes to the whole cast. Despite one technical mishap, every night was thoroughly enjoyable. The audience’s for the show were really good and were literally “dancing in the aisles” as one review put it: read here! I hope to do it again at some point in the future. A massive thank you to Producer: David Lockwood, Chairman: Alan Warmby and Musical Director: Rachel Haley. The WHOLE CAST worked tremendously hard on this and it’s down to this fact that the show was a success.
On the composition side of life I’m just preparing my Portfolio for June. So far this seems to be talking slow progress; I’m getting a little frustrated with the Idea’s I’m coming up with. Hopefully this will soon change. I’ve also just finished playing guitar on course mate ‘Tom Jacksons’ new EP which is a mix of weird and wonderful sounds, more to follow on that front. Fellow course mate ‘Peter Darling’ has also just released a stunning new EP, which you should definitely check out here!