New album on the horizon…

So work has officially started on my new album… I’m in what’s commonly called ‘pre-production’ at the moment – getting the tunes, sounds, ideas and technicalities together before starting the actual recording session. That’ll begin as soon as I get my new desk through the post (a Mackie 1402), and a soundcard that’ll handle 8 inputs, allowing me to record each of the loops and processed signals separately – the desired effect being that it’ll drop the noise floor, and allow me to make sure the levels are just right all the way through the signal chain.

The 6 tracks I’ve recorded in the last week bode well for the album – no massive departures from what I’ve been doing for the last wee while, just a better and deeper take on the same kind of ground. being able to post-process the loops is going to offer a different sound canvas, and compared to Not Dancing For Chicken, running two (or possibly 3 or 4) Echoplexes will make for a more seemless looping process.

The gigs with Muriel Anderson next weekend will give me a good chance to road test a few ideas, as well as play the newer versions of the old tunes, incorporating some of what’s possible with the new setup… Having a feedback pedal for one of the Echoplexes is really handy, though I’d like to get one that works a little more smoothly…

What else is happening? Ah yes, went to Reading last night to another Delicatessen event – that’s the people who co-promoted both of the solo bass night gigs at 21 South Street in Reading, and is co-run by The Cheat and Sarda.

Last night’s musical stars were Cathy Burton and Juliet Turner – two singer/songwriters that I really like, so seeing them on the same bill was a bit of a treat. I’ve known Juliet for a few years (she rather wisely picked out my duo with cellist Harry Napier as her favourite musical act of greenbelt a few years ago – not that she has an official published list of such things, as far as I know…), and have known Cathy for quite a while too.

Cathy was on first, playing solo with just an acoustic guitar (bit of a treat, given that she usually gigs with either a band or at least with a keyboard player) – she was great, playing songs from her first album, and her soon to be released second CD.

Juliet was on top form, playing in a duo with Brian… Grace? not sure of Brian’s surname, but he’s a top-notch guitarist, and thoroughly nice bloke. Juliet played stuff from all three of her albums, all of which are marvellous, told weird stories, chatted, took the piss out of the audience, and was generally wonderful. A most enjoyable evening was had by all.

So now, it’s a trip out to the shops to get some cat litter, then back here to maybe record another idea or two for the new CD…

anyway, here’s another webcam pic…

Soundtrack – right now, me; before that, John Scofield, ‘Up All Night’, Prince, ‘Musicology’; Jonas Hellborg, ‘Ars Moriende’; Bruce Cockburn, ‘You’ve Never Seen Everything’.

More magic from the BBC – the 2004 Reith Lectures

The Reith Lectures are now one of the high points of the BBC’s broadcasting each year – the breadth of subject matter and emmenence of the speaker each year is pretty much beyond challenge.

This year’s lecturer is Nigerian thinker/poet/playwright, Wole Soyinka, and can be read and listened to online here – his theme is ‘A Climate Of Fear’, drawing on his experiences in Nigeria though the civil war and the traumatic political climate across Africa in the last 50 years.

Marvellous, challenging and inspiring stuff.

SoundtrackJuliet Turner, ‘Season Of The Hurricane’ – hugely gifted Irish singer/songwriter. All three of her CDs are marvellous.

Photography is the new Rock 'n' Roll

Well, not really, but we did go to two stunning photography exhibitions today.

We’d only planned to go to one, as a birthday treat for the small person, but when we got to the Natural History Museum, there was a second free exhibition displayed outside.

The free exhibition was ‘earth from the air‘ – an exhibition of aerial photography by Yann Arthus Bertrand. His work focuses on the twin poles of the majesty of the natural world and the influence of mankind upon it. Lots of pictures of bizarre natural phenomena and of man’s impact on everything. Seeing it on Good Friday, it acted as a kind of devotional tool – amazing to see the wonder of creation, and the fallen-ness of the human race in its abject inability to fulfil the mandate to protect the planet.

For there we moved onto the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year exhibition – clearly these people get to glimpse through God’s letter-box, and then come back and show us their holiday snaps. Some of the most startling images I’ve ever seen, beautiful, moving, illuminating, awe-inspiring. It’s only on for another week, so if you can get to it, do. After that, it’s on tour, so check it out!

London’s museums are one of the things that give me hope for the city. Some things about living here are so f***ed up, it’s frightening. Other times, there are glimpses of magic. The museums are some of those magical places – free to get in, brimming with information and inspiration about the world. They went through a few years of charging to get in, but fortunately went back to being free. When I was a lil’ kid and we had no money, the museums was one of our favourite days out – Sundays were really really cheap on the underground, and the museums were free to get in. I was captivated by the blue whale in the Natural History Museum, and developed a fascination with whales and dolphins as a result. The British Museum is another fave london haunt.

So the funding for them now comes from the shops, restaurants and from donations, so I always make a point of buying food and books when there – today we had lunch there, and bought the catalogues to both the exhibitions. If you go, and can afford it, do support the museums – helps to keep it free for the people who can’t afford it.

SoundtrackRebecca Holweg, ‘June Babies’ – went to see Rebbeca play yesterday in the foyer at the Royal Festival Hall – her hubby is bassist Andy Hamill, whose solo CD is fanastic too. Rebecca’s gig was great, as is the CD. Highly recommended jazzy singer/songwriter.

One Step Beyond

So I was just looking for a CD to soundtrack me washing up, and thought ‘ah I’ve not listened to that for a while, let’s give it a go’. The CD in question is ‘I Can See Your House From Here’ by Pat Metheny and John Scofield, a CD that I distinctly remember thinking ‘file under not really very good’ when I got it. Was deeply disappointed with it.

It’s great. Very good indeed.

What lead me to not get it first time round? Expectation, I think. I knew what I thought a Metheny Scofield album should sound like, and this wasn’t it. I wanted it to be the album I’d half imagined in my head, and when it wasn’t, instead of deferring to the wisdom of the artist, I decided it was lame.

So what does this do to the critical process? We still have to formulate opinions on things, and something’s appear to be total rubbish, or at least disappointingly fall short of the potential that a group/collaboration/artist shows.

The problem seem to be with second guessing what a project was intended as. If there’s a stated aim, it’s sometimes easier to tell whether a particular artistic endeavour has fallen short of that. If there isn’t, it’s pretty tricky to work out whether it’s a successful rendering of the concept. Whether you dig it or not is another thing altogether, but whether it’s an objectively poor record is quite something else.

There was a discussion recently on the Jonatha Brooke discussion forum about the cover tunes on her new CD – she’s recorded ‘God Only Knows’, ‘Fire And Rain’ and ‘Eye In The Sky’ by the Alan Parsons Project. The first two are so well known they don’t even need crediting to their respective performers.

The discussion seemed to be arguing whether or not it was even valid to attempt new versions of these tunes, and involved the projection of an entire methodology onto Jonatha, implying that as a creative songwriter, she must’ve been running out of ideas or something… Whether or not people liked the covers is not something I’m too bothered by, but I found the questioning of whether or not recording them was an artistically valid thing to do a really weird leap of logic. Jonatha has, as far as I know, made no statement as to her reasoning behind doing the tunes, or her relationship to the whole original/interpretative approach to performing songs, so the whole argument seemed to hinge on the various poster’s own feelings about the importance of those songs, and jonatha’s role as a singer/songwriter/performer.

Most of it was bollocks, but it did get me thinking. Criticism can be a really good thing – sometimes bad reviews and negative comments can be helpful in that they let you know where the writer is at in relationship to your work, and occasionally – very occasionally – the reasoning of the writer is such that you see flaws in your own creative process that you weren’t aware of. That’s a pretty rare scenario, but when it happens, it’s pretty useful.

But for the most part, people tend to objectify their subjective feelings about a song or a gig or a performance – I liked it, therefor it was ‘good’. I didn’t like it, therefor it was ‘invalid’/’not good’/’a waste of time’/’the wrong thing to do’. That’s the kind of crap that as a performer you can get into debates with people about, or you can just ignore, and move on, realising that the writer has no idea what you were trying to do anyway. Even better, you can reinterpret it, extract from it their perception of what you do, and find new ways of explaining what you do that help those people get a handle on it.

Of course, in the long run lots of people still won’t get it, and lots more will think you’re a bit rubbish, but that’s all part of the fun.

Soundtrack – Pat Metheny & John Scofield, ‘I Can See Your House From Here’; Horace Silver, ‘Jazz Masters’; Jonas Hellborg, ‘Octave Of The Holy Innocents’; Jill Sobule, ‘Pink Pearl’.

3 gigs, 7 bands, 2 comedians and a couple of lovely new bass cabs

Boy, it’s been a busy weekend!

Teaching all day Saturday, on Saturday night I went up to Hoddeston in Hertfordshire to drop in on the Greenbelt Angels Weekend – the Angels are the year round financial supporters of the Greenbelt festival – an arts festival that means so much to people that they will give a monthly donation, and buy their tickets a year in advance, and bring their friends, and then turn out for the angels weekend. Which is largely a mini-greenbelt affair, but with greater emphasis on the organisers of the festival letting the angels know about what’s happening, and brainstorming new ideas.

Anyway, Saturday night was all entertainment – first up Old Solar, a very fine band from Scotland, featuring my very good friend Andrew Howie, who also records solo under the name Calamatuer. Both acts have been played a fair bit by John Peel and had rave reviews, and were rather good, a few guitar tuning problems not withstanding.

Following them was Cathy Burton – angel-voiced singer/songwriter, and another good friend. Cathy’s great. Marvellous songs, lovely stage manner, will be huge soon (musically speaking…!)

then comedy stuff – Jude Simpson was new to me – comedy poet, very funny indeed, runs a comedy/poetry club in Hammersmith, well worth going to hear. She was followed by John Archer – northern comedy magician, and one of the funniest people I’ve ever seen do a gig. Think Peter Kay taking the piss out of Paul Daniels but actually being really really good at sleight of hand… He’s great, and it’s always a treat to see him do his thang.

Sunday morning I was playing bass in church (first time in about two years), and Sunday evening I went to see Bill Frisell at the barbican. He was playing with Djelimady Tounkara, a Malian guitarist I’d seen him with before. Also on stage were Greg Leisz, Jenny Scheinman and Sidiki, er, someone (can’t remember his surname), on Percussion. It was a fine gig, but I do tend to go to Bill Frisell gigs with such extraordinarily high expectations that I found some of the two chord jam tunes just a little too long and twiddly for me. Bill was brilliant as always, so I guess I’m just not a huge fan of Djelemady’s guitar playing. Greg is a god-like genius of the pedal steel – an instrument I’m very quickly falling in love with the sound of (playing with BJ Cole obviously doesn’t hurt!!). Jenny was fine, and Sidiki laid down some rather groovy rhythmic things, but the overly long I – IV – I – IV jams in the first set kind of spoilt it a little for me…

Monday night was another ‘Bob Harris Presents…’ gig at The Stables in Milton Keynes. this time featuring Julie Lee, Vigilantes Of Love, Dolly Varden and Show Of Hands.

Julie Lee is amazing. I’ve played with Julie on a number of occasions, and she’s a gem of a person. She’s also an incredible singer and songwriter. I get this buzz just before she starts whenever I see her play in front of an audience hitherto unfamiliar with her, knowing that they are about to discover something very special indeed. Like the first time you sit someone down and play Hejira by Joni Mitchell to them…

The Vigilantes are another marvellous band – their song ‘Resplendent’ is in my ‘perfect songs’ list (a virtual compilation that’s ongoing in its construction), and they’ve got quite a few other truly wonderful songs. Bill Malonee is a great singer, and Jake (does Jake have a surname, or indeed need one?) was splendid on guitar and vox.

Dolly Varden – husband and wife duo from Chicago. I liked ’em, but will reserve judgement til I’ve heard a full set at The Borderline on Wednesday (VoL overran, as is Bill’s habit, so their set was cut short…)

And finally, Show Of Hands – they played greenbelt a few years ago, and I gave it a miss. WHAT A FOOL!!!! they were amazing. Truly truly remarkable. Brilliant, splendid. Repairs any lost belief you might have in the power of folk music. Steve Knightly on voice, guitar, mandola etc. Phil Beer (great name!) on vox, violin, guitar, mandolin etc… just a duo, but a HUGE sound. Great songs, great voices, amazing stage presence (it’s not at all surprising that they just won the ‘best live act’ award at the british folk awards). I can’t say enough good things about them, they were amazing, and are playing at the Borderline on Tuesday 9th March, so go if you can (I’m teaching til 9 that day, but will find out what time they are on stage, and see if I can race down after teaching…)

And then today, to cap a marvellous weekend, my new AccuGroove bass cabinets arrived!!! Yippee. And a day early – bravo FedEx. These are the passive ones – my signature powered cabs are still in development (we want to get them perfect), so I’m using these for now. I’ve plugged them in, and they sound incredible. Lovely, clear, full. I’m a happy bunny.

soundtrack – right now, I’m listening to ‘The Free Story’ – a much underrated band, with a killer bass player. Guy Pratt asserts that Andy Fraser is more influential in real terms in the rock and pop world than Jaco. I’m inclined to agree. Amazing stuff. And Paul Rogers voice is killer.

uplateupdate

So I was just getting over my jetlag from LA when I did a shift at the St Luke’s homeless shelter overnight on Saturday, got to bed just before 4, slept til gone 3 on Sunday afternoon, and couldn’t sleep last night til 4am… sod it, back to square one.

Well, the latest on Paul is that I saw him on thursday in hospital, and he’s doing really really well considering what he’s been through. Amazing really.

I’m back teaching again now, after leaving a few days blank when I got back in order to get over the jetlag. I really miss teaching when I’m away (it was great to do the masterclass in San Jose as a chance to do some teaching while in the US). And the promo for the gig with Michael Manring are in full swing – emailing radio and magazines, doing up flyers and posters to stick up and handout… all good fun.

i’m also working on getting some gigs for/with Muriel Anderson – wonderful guitarist, and lovely person, that I saw play in London last year, and who is back here in May – so been talking to promotion people about that too, hoping that we can get some stuff together. And then there’s the ongoing work of getting solo gigs and duo gigs with Theo! It never stops. Fortunately I’ve not got a couple of promoters who are helping out – Iain at Stiff Promotions is doing a marvellous job, and Richard Ravenhill who is putting on the Brighton gig is a superstar too!

Got an email at the weekend saying that my AccuGroove cabinets should be shipped out to me this week – I’m rather excited about getting them, having played through them in the States for the tour, and loving the sound. We still don’t know if these ones will be the prototypes of my signature powered cabs, or just passive ones, requiring a poweramp separately for now, but either way, the sound is the nutz, and I’m rather excited! :o)

The combination of my new bass, new cabs, and some groovy new sounds on my Lexicon MPX-G2 has given me a great renewed impetus for writing – as soon as it all arrives, I’m going to start work on the next solo album. I’ve got lots of ideas and concepts to work on, and am finding the right kind of music for the fretted 6 string. It won’t be out til the end of the summer at the earliest, and depending on what happens with distribution deals, I may have to repress ‘And Nothing But The Bass’ before then (as it’s just about sold out), but I’m really looking foward to working on it!

There are also plans to head back out to Italy soon, and do some more recording with Luca Formentini – Luca’s new solo album, ‘Subterranea’ is out now, and is excellent – a really inspired collage of guitar-originated sounds that for the most part sound very little like a guitar, along with some found-sound samples and lots of processing. CDs like that stand or fall on the ambience, and Luca’s Cd is beautifully recorded and put together, and has been spinning a lot in my CD player over the weekend. I’m really looking forward to making some more music with him.

Soundtrack – right now, Prefab Sprout, ‘Life Of Surprises’ (am in a Prefab Sprout obsessional phase at the moment). before that, The Ben Taylor Band, ‘Famous Among The Barns’; Luca Formentini, ‘Subterranea’; Kofi Bakerk, ‘Karisma’; John Lester, ‘Big Dreams And The Bottom Line’; Daft Punk, ‘Homework’; and Vida Vierra, ‘Woman Of The Waters’ – Vida – along with her husband Doug and daughter Dani – is one of my favourite people in the world, and is a marvellous singer/songwriter, dancer, choreographer and activist. Most of my favourite memories of this most recent trip to California aren’t of gigs (though the gigs were great), but are of spending time with Vida Doug and Dani, and with Rick and Jessica Turner – lovely people one and all.

Is There Something I Should Know???

…and other such classic Duran hits were all in evidence at the gig at The Forum on Tuesday night. And what a fantastic gig it was!! Really really great to see a bunch of ‘pop stars’ who can a) write fantastic melodies, b) come up with really interesting arrangements and c) play as well as anyone. Seriously great stuff. Oh for the days when pop stars could play instruments!!! It set the dick-heads that currently litter the charts in stark relief, that’s for sure…

Anyway. What else?? Of course, the big news is that the album is here!! All the advanced orders have now been sent out, so you should be getting them early next week. the packaging, CD printing, sound quality and everything is just great – Theo came round yesterday to sort out the press-list and to sign all the extra discs, and we were like a couple of kids with new toys! I’ve been listening to the CD almost constantly since it got here on Wednesday, and it just sounds fantastic! Even though we played it, it’s still hard to conceive that it was all done live… a strange feeling indeed. Anyway, if you haven’t got it already, you can order it now! Paypal/Gemm and post are what we’ve got happening at the moment, but CDBaby will be sorted v. soon, as will evinsol, hmv and a few others…

anyway, here’s the paypal button –


One word of warning to anyone planning to do the same thing, all the backordering on GEMM decimates your rating – if you did buy the CD through GEMM, please go and give us a good feedback rating, or it looks like we’re a bunch of charlatans…!

Wednesday night was fun – Bob Lee, buddy from California was in town, so Bob and I, along with a couple of other guys from the churchbass discussion list met up for a curry. I’m always amazed at the myriad friendships that the internet facilitates – it makes a nice counter argument to www.internetisshit.org, which, while I think they’ve got a point, does take it too far… :o)

Tomorrow I’ve got my first gig in ages with Jez – you know, the piano guy on ‘Conversations’ – it’s a wedding reception, which is cool cos I don’t get to play standards very often, and playing with Jez would be a pleasure even if the gig was all TV Themes!

Soundtrack – Me and Theo (both discs), Billy Bragg, ‘Must I Paint You A Picture?’, The Cure, ‘Greatest Hits’, Scritti Politti, ‘Cupid And Psyche’, John Lester, ‘Big Dreams And The Bottom Line’ – if you’re in any way interested in solo bass and singer/songwriters, you NEED to hear John’s music – he’s seriously good – great tone, fantastic voice, fine lyrics, and all really well produced – GO AND BUY THIS CD.

Musical Friends…

…are keeping me happy…

so sang Bruce Cockburn in 1970, and indeed it’s true in my life too.

The latest installment in musical friendship began on Friday when I went to see Lifehouse play at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. What a fantastic band!! I’ve got both their albums, but the live experience is even better, and the new guitarist is amazing. I met Sergio, Rick and Jason a couple of years ago in LA, and have seen Sergio a few times since (he came to one of my gigs in LA), so had to go see them play when they were here. Great to hear them, great to get to hang out here in London rather than in LA this time!

part 2 of musical friends was Julian’s wedding on Saturday – Julian’s a former student of mine from Drumtech, who’s now doing big business on the session scene, and deservedly so, he’s a truly brilliant drummer (he was when I was teaching him too, so I’m not taking any of the credit for that!) – anyway, his wedding was naturally full of musos, lots of whom I hadn’t seen for ages, so it was great not only to see my friend get married, but to catch up with so many old aquaintances. Add to that the full on gospel choir hymns/worship section of the service, and some fantastic food at the reception, and you’ve got a magical day.

part 3 – meeting up for a beer on Sunday afternoon with Steve McEwan and Nick Paton. I’d not met Nick before, but he was in Friends First’ – one of the bands I’ve listened to most in my whole life (their album ‘We See A New Africa’ soundtracked about three years of my life in my mid teens). It was great to meet him, and be able to give some advice on indie promotion to someone whose music has meant so much in my life.

part 4 – Denison Witmer is a singer/songwriter from Philly who played at Greenbelt this year, and was fantastic. We chatted a bit at the festival and swapped CDs, and he was playing in Brixton on Sunday night, so The Cheat and I went down to hear another stunning gig from the man. Also gave me a chance to buy his other CDs, and go for a curry with Denison and The Cheat.

Then today, met one of my occasional students, Nick, for a coffee, and had a marvellous afternoon chatting about life, music, politics and everything in between.

So, music friends have indeed been making me happy, which got me thinking, and I came up with the notion of the Pillow Mountain Records extended family – a list of artists who are good friends, and whose music I endorse wholeheartedly, and will encourage as many people as possible to check out. So anyway, so you don’t have to go rummaging through the PMR site for the list, here are the links for you to peruse. All these peoples are amazing artists, and lovely people worthy of your patronage.

www.altruistmusic.com – Andre LaFosse
(turntablist guitar)
www.petermurray.ca – Peter Murray
(singer/songwriter)
www.denisonwitmer.com – Denison Witmer
(singer/songwriter)
www.kerry-getz.com – Kerry Getz
(singer/songwriter)
www.manthing.com – Michael Manring
(solo bassist)
www.johnlestermusic.com – John Lester
(solo bass singer/songwriter!)
www.nedevett.com – Ned Evett
(fretless guitarist)
www.tripwamsley.com – Trip Wamsley
(solo bassist)
www.unguitar.com – Luca Formentini
(unguitarist)
www.calamateur.co.uk – Calamateur aka Andrew Howie
(singer/songwriter/foundsoundist)
www.julielee.org – Julie Lee
(singer/songwriter)

there you go – check ’em out!

soundtrack – right now, Julie Lee (see above), ‘Made From Scratch’; before that, Denison Witmer (ditto), ‘Safe Away’ & ‘Philadelphia Songs’; The Choir, ‘Wide Eyed Wonder’; Bruce Cockburn, ‘World Of Wonders’; Nik Kershaw, ’15 Minutes’; John Lester, ‘Big Dreams And The Bottom Line’; Joni Mitchell, ‘Travelogue’.

Bruce Cockburn gig pt 1

As you may or may not already know, I’m a bit of a Bruce Cockburn obsessive. He’s been my favourite singer/songwriter/guitarist/lyricist for over a decade, and I’ve got just about everything he’s ever released.

He’s currently on tour in the UK, and tonight I headed up to The Stables in Milton Keynes to see him play – my favourite musician at my favourite venue – how good does it get?

And it was as good as I could possibly have imagined. Better even. Just Bruce and Julie Wolf on stage – him on guitar, her on keys/accordian and BVs. Mix of stuff from the new CD and classics, including a couple of marvellous reworkings of tracks like World Of Wonders, Mighty Trucks Of Midnight and Nighttrain. All in all a marvellous gig – and what’s even better is I get to do it all again tomorrow in London – oh yes, I’ve got a ticket for the Forum as well (thanks to The Cheat for getting them…)

The other rather fun thing that happened this evening was having a bloke in the row in front say ‘don’t I know you?’ narrowing it down to Greenbelt, before asking my name, to which he responded ‘oh, I’ve been listening to your CDs for the last few days, had you on this morning in fact!’ – so there you go, with my hair tied back, I can almost go incognito. Still, rather nice to meet people who’ve been listening to my stuff at a Cockburn gig – what fine taste he must have – nice to meet you, bloke-in-the-row-in-front!

Soundtrack – right now, it’s Terje Rypdal, ‘Skywards’. This afternoon, Michael Manring, ‘Thonk’, Mark Knopfler, ‘The Ragpicker’s Dream’.

There ain't nothing like The Dame

Just been listening to Dame David Bowie (was it Smash Hits who christened him that?? I think so… whoever it was, it does seem to fit…) Anyway, been listening to Heathen, his album before the brand new one, released about a year or so ago. And it’s really really good! like, marvellous. What a great thing it is to be in your 50s and still producing great art, carrying yourself with dignity and exercising the kind of creative freedom that Bowie seems to wield.

Anyway, what have I been up to, I hear you ask. Well, I finished that transcription for Total Guitar, though I haven’t heard back from them, so I’m waiting to hear if it’s OK or not…! I’m sure it will be.

Been practicing a lot – got the bug again a few days ago, after a while off from feeling inspired by new solo ideas. I was still enjoying playing the tunes in my set, but wasn’t hearing anything new. Then yesterday, I started to get some more ideas. Can’t wait to get my new bass, which should be here by the end of September… hopefully. As soon as it arrives, I’ll start work on the next solo album.

Hang on! Talk of a next solo album is all too previous, given that ‘For The Love Of Open Spaces’ by Steve Lawson and Theo Travis isn’t out yet. At this moment in time, I’m listening through the extra material for the preorder CD special. IF you remember, last time I released a CD, the extra disc was ‘Lessons Learned From An Aged Feline Pt 1’, which features some of my favourite solo work anywhere – as you can see, this extra disc thing is not just a way of farming out a load of left over rubbish, for us it’s about getting more music out there, making it available and of course creating the incentive for you lovely people to part with your hard-earned crisp ‘n’ folding before the thing is even released. The reasons for this should be fairly obvious – we don’t have an external record company with a bottomless pit of cash. It’s us, doing it for ourselves, like the sisters, so any money we can make back before the thing is even out is a huge help to the cause.

So we release additional CDs, which entice you into buying more stuff, give us the chance to get more music out there, and help to pay the bills. Everyone’s a winner, baby!

So where was I? Ah, yes, the extra tracks for the Lawson/Travis album – these are freakin’ fabulous!! Easily good enough to have made it onto the CD itself. So do make sure that as soon as the new album goes on sale, you get a copy ordered. It’ll be a strictly limited edition…

Advert over. Start of new advert… :o) – I discovered the other day that my CDs are available at www.towerrecords.com and www.hmv.co.uk – just go to either site and search on my name! Wahey, solo bass goes mainstream! I guess the HMV one means that you can also order it from any HMV shop, so please do – it’ll really help with the distrubution of future CDs if you go and get Not Dancing and Conversations there now…

Tonight, I’m off into town to see Cathy Burton play – she’s a fab singer/songwriter, and is at Sound in Leicester Square tonight, on at 9.15 if you fancy it…

The Aged Feline was at the vets again this morning – good news is his weight’s gone up a bit (been going down for months), bad news is, his kidneys are failing a little more… hoping we can fix ‘im up soon… poor darling.

Soundtrack – right now, me and theo. also, David Bowie, ‘Heathen’; Michael Manring, ‘Thonk’; Denison Witmer, ‘Recovered’; Calamateur, ‘Son Of Everyone EP’; Athlete, ‘Vehicles And Animals”; Vigroux/Cury/Rives/Lawson;

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