Sunday, June 08, 2014

Back to Vinyl.

I like it when little obsessions raise their head, and I'm in the throes of one at the moment. My mission? revisit the albums of my youth. I have a turntable in the kitchen (Well, two to be more accurate - a pair of 1210's).
So, I can play vinyl, and frequently do. Though I've got itunes match and spotify up the wazoo, there's something great about vinyl. However, this is where I deviate slightly from the purists. I like to play it. A lot. That means a pile of albums, next to the deck, getting a little dog-eared. Slap the album on, play it, throw it back in its sleeve. There's certainly no blind reverence for the format, no mention of "oh, it just sounds so much....warmer, you know?" I just like being surrounded by the totems of my youth, the stepping stones towards my musical awakening. So far, the pile includes "Dawn Of The Dickies" (I'm waiting for a copy of "The incredible Shrinking Dickies), at least four Floyd albums (including "Atom Heart Mother"), both Gloria Mundi albums, early Ultravox!, and The first Clash album. That last one was my first ever album, and is still the copy I bought over thirty five years ago. The rest? I'm collection copes off ebay, where needed. They have to be the original issues (so they look and feel the same way they always did), but  I'm not fussed about overall condition - after all, I'm normally replacing worn-out copies, and I just want them to be playable. So far - it's been a 99p mission - that seems to be the going rate for a lot of the albums I need. What a bargain. Right, I'm off to listen to "Secondhand Daylight".

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The band rears its head once more.

First Jesus Jones gig of the year is now 5 days away. There are still two rehearsals to go, a lot of sample tweaking, and some logistical niggles to get sorted (OK - how do I get hold of all the merch I need in time?)
However, it's great to be doing it again. Having Gen back on the drumstool has mad a huge difference - it feels like the heartbeat is back. Gen plays sharp, tight, and with a lot of power - but there's a groove, and a shuffle to songs like "IBYT" which just makes the song what it should be. I was driving home after the last rehearsal thinking how lucky I am to have found this other family, which has defined so much of my life, taken me around the world, and opened my eyes. We're closer now than we've ever been, and that makes me very happy.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lager, under threatening skies.

It's one of those odd spring days, today. The skies were clear an hour ago, and now are full of rain, the fat drops just beginning to smack onto the patio. I've just been out to check on the garden - crikey, it's looking good. The Roses are now budding, the lavender is rich and green. The Santolina is fluffy and yellow, the macrophylla a mass of tiny flowers. I'd not really been much of a gardener until I moved here, but it's become a huge part of who I am. I'm going to celebrate with a glass of beer while I cook dinner.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Where do the days go? I've spent most of this one in front of a DAT machine, digitising old Jones demos. So far, I've done about fifty tracks, and there must be at lest two hundred more. Tomorrow, it's time to fire Kontakt up, and check that the systems are working ok. The first gig if the year is nearly upon us. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

End of the week

It's been a good day, today. Lots of organising re: the Jones gig (checking the crew, emailing the festival for parking info - all the glamorous stuff. Also saw Neil, our video guru, and got a working DAT machine sorted. That means I've sorted another tranche of demos for the *ahem* secret project. It's looking good, that's all I'm saying for now. I'm now sat on the sofa, while Milo eats a biscuit, watching the clouds roll over the back garden. Nearly time to get that bath run, and get M to bed. Then? Perhaps a curry. I've eaten it once today, so why not do it again? With Indian food, more is more.

Thursday, May 08, 2014


How time flies, and changes. I'm sitting in bed, playing sevens. Sevens was perhaps THE card game of my youth, always played with my family. Divide the cards between four, seven of diamonds leads, then you go up and down from the seven cards of each suit, depending what you have in your hand. The aim is to stifle your opponents- hang on to the card that will allow them to play. It's simple, devious and a lot of fun. Now, I'm playing it on an app, and blogging about it via my ipad. Then, we wre huddled around the piano stool, laying cards onto the velvet lid. 

OK, OK........let's try once more.

I't s been too long. I really have neglected this little blog of mine, which seems a shame, after all we've been through. So, i'm going to try again. In the last few years, i've shared so much via facebook, or friendfeed, or twitter - so the posts I used to make seem redundant. Yet, I miss the more personal nature of the blog - it seems so much more cathartic, than just posting a photo on facebook. Plus, I like the fact that it's now - rather quaintly - a bit old-school. So that makes me like it even more. I'm even going to roll back to an old-school layout. Ha! take that, Web 2.0.