Thursday, 23 August 2012

Black Widow Rock! and Tips for Exceptional Baker's - 22nd August 2012

Last night Black widow played their first gig and we were terrible!  Charmaigne, always the professional, saved our bacon time and time again.  That said, we had the whole pub singing "Rolling in the Deep" and and our song selection appeared to be popular.

Actually this was an interesting gig.  What we thought would be a Wednesday night open mike affair with a dozen people and a Jack Russell turned out to be a packed pub full of musicians and their friends.  We "headlined";  more accurately we were the only band therefore we went last.  In truth you have to respect the "support" (that included Charmaignes 2 daughters).  The support were incredibly talented.  They sung there own stuff and they weren't afraid to stand up with a guitar and do their thing - for £20.  Massive respect guys I wish I could have got your names...next time.  I wish I had started this shit at 18 and not at 38.  I'm 46 and there are not enough youthful, carefree years left to do the things I would like to do.  Things I could have realistically achieved....  Still, spending my youth permanently pissed, shagging the world, riding bikes, building a career and, at one time, virtually living in Amsterdam did have its appeal I suppose.  I had to have the career to pay for it all!

Even though this was our worst performance for at least 3 month we did get 2 bookings and a regular spot at The Pilot, Bowerhill, Melksham into next year.  What a stroke of luck.  With a regular slot at a pub where people come from Bath and Bristol to play I think we can build a following and that must surely be the next step.  If we can get our standard up to Charmaigne's we will earn good money and more importantly get the better gigs.  The better you are the easier it gets - funny that.

I've been baking bread today.  Bakers are interesting people.  The best of them have their secrets and quite right.  After all they need to protect what they have - good recipe's.  My mother was a professional cook and her food is simply awesome.  My mother told me this: good recipe's are not important because you can write your own with enough trial and error.  How the baker cooks however is something he - or she - cannot conceal.  It's hardwired, it cannot be concealed.  It is either good, bad or exceptional.  A good baker (say) can make a simple plain batter and it will make a decent Yorkshire pud.  My mother, an exceptional cook, can take the same ingredients and make the lightest, crunchiest most perfectly cooked Yorkies that taste so much better.  The moral:  It is not the recipe that matters it is how you cook.  It is the who, not the what that attracts the hungry eye.  I don't care about knowing recipes because, like my mother, I can bake myself. An exceptional Baker is priceless and I can learn from such a cook.  They make everything and anything taste incredible but they are very, very rare people indeed.  They need to be recognised, respected and cherished.

One final thing about exceptional Baker's.  They seldom taste their own amazing food.  They get more pleasure from cooking for others than for themselves.  Exceptional Baker's need another exceptional baker to eat properly.  Good bread takes time to prove and that means it needs to be left alone to emerge ready for cooking and enjoying.  I'm going to do that because I like good bread and I'm prepared to go a long way to get it - Hovis is everywhere.

After all, we are what we eat, aren't we?

Exceptional music for exceptional Baker's, wherever you may be:


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

All Clear and Practise, Practise, Practise - Early Aug 2012

Odd post this one....gonna dot some extra music links about...just fancy it.

First the headline news.  Last Friday I went to the Royal United Hospital in Bath for a check up.  They went through everything.  Urine test, 2 blood tests, chest X-ray, ECG, blood pressure and a full physical examination.  It appears I have very nearly completely recovered and I'm still improving.  I have indeed got away with it.  Having the Medical Consultant saying with a broad grin that I am healthier than his 30 something Registrar was a major boost.  He also pointed out that for my particular attack I had treatment that amounts to the best available in the world.  Appreciate it.  Time to move on.

Recently, when it was needed, a simple cluster of texts made a big difference.  Whoever you are, where ever you are, Steve Steinman and The Dolmen have a special significance now!  Cathartic indeed.

Try this one:  What the Chillies are to the US, Reef are to the UK.  What a great band, what a song and they are from Street, just down the road.  Give um a go - love the lyrics.


After coming back from 2 weeks or so festivalling I'm fully back in the swing off things and I'm working through the necessary steps to get the 2nd September gig on.  I have promoted a few rock events before, big or small it's the planning, always the planning.  Know thee one and all, assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.

And another from Reef, again great lyrics.


I am also performing so it's an hour a day behind the kit and the results are coming.  We play White Wedding by Billy Idol and for a drummer it is a very busy track and it is my favourite to play from our 1 hr set.  With band practise this Sunday and I'm in good enough "touch" to really look forward to it and be a rock star once again.

One more..I freak when I play this.  Ga and I freaked when we saw them do this at Glasto only a couple of years ago.  They were so young on the clip...


Prior to the 2nd Sept Day of Rock at the Royal Oak, Corsham, we have a warm-up do next Wednesday at The Pilot, Bowerhill, Melksham.  Good stuff.  The only way to practise playing live is to play live and it's will be so good for all of us to finally launch our band, Black Widow, and show what we have.  I think we all believe that in a year we will be genuinely good.

Another practice room favourite...a real classic this one from an otherwise iffy pop album.  Harsh but true.


Ive had visitations this week.  Fart or Martin if you prefer, popped up from town and we duly caught up with Ga and proceeded to the pub.  A few beers a bit at Ga's flat and we cabbed it home.  What a dude.  Nice curry.

(By this time I hope you have noticed that actually I'm watching the Olympics and surfing You Tube looking for my fave songs and fave bands and filling this decidedly mediocre post with extremely high quality, shit kicking music...)  We will all be stone dead forever one day.  Yet again the lyrics here are excellent.  Great bass solo from ya man Lemmy and an incredible guitar solo from Fast Eddie - even for a master such as he.


After that Lizzy appeared yesterday and as ever that means a dent to my wine collection.  We watched DVD's into the early hours and had a glass of wine or 2, 3.....you get the picture.  She is an art student.  It's so nice seeing so much of her.  No cat's in the cradle here.


High Jump Now...

I'm about to be barred from every bike bar in the country for this one but I think this is the last really good song AC/DC, my beloved AC/DC, ever wrote.  Lucky it's so brilliant!


We got a Bronze - Robby Grabarz, good on I'm!!!  Made bread yesterday, most of it now resides in a student.  Bet it cursed me on the way down, bless it.  At least I have the crust...tea and nice toast!

Ok, no more coherent words just a few more music hits for you to enjoy.  Well, if you have come this far why not!!

This is an amazing song.  Been there?


I've just seen this and if you have never heard it give it a go.  You are listening to Lemmy here - the original new age music from er...a bygone age.  Fart will be choking on his Alpen if he open's this link - he hates Hawkwind but this is basically an emence lead solo.  Mate, don't do it. If you do, do you remember Stonehenge '83 (or '84?) when they played and I gave in to the inevitable...the fact that gravity beats cheap welsh fungus?  25p a cup, bargain!


My fave 4/4 "standard" rock band of all is the cult.  There are so many great songs and Billy Duffy is a great guitarist for that genera.  They hardly ever played it live because Ian Astbury couldn't do it on stage!  A monster.


What can you say about a group of junkies who met in rehab and didn't really move on to much..  They can play?

This is one of my fave all time songs. Audioslave are simply incredible. This is my rock. The whole album is diverse and contempory and Chris Cornell sang the theme for Casino Royale as well. Everyone this is the regal "I am the Highway". It's emotional.


If you want a insight into the lyrics for this great song see below: (This isn't my words but a lesson for us all?)

      "It takes from Scripture. Pearls (treasure) refers to the Gospel/Scripture as a whole, swine (uncleanliness) represents those who reject it Messiah (Jesus) said not to cast pearls before swine. Bereft is the past tense of "bereave," to deprive, make desolate. Cornell seems to be stating different paths/dogmas he has come across, and the path best for him is the one he makes for himself."

Now you know, play it again. If you are low get your hairbrush and sing along LOUDLY!!!

Ok, this is the last one and sorry to Nina and Muse but this guy nails it.  The greatest feel good song of all time?  Enjoy!


Thank you good night and may your God go with you.