Thursday, 31 October 2013

Track to the Future

Well after listening to that little snippet of a video on Tuesday I went back and bought Ben Ottewell's last album - Shapes and Shadows. Really loving it, his voice has a great sound to it. The lyrics are unusual in places but not quite odd there's something about an osprey's breast in there I find myself reminiscing on Vic & Bob's Mulligan and O Hare haha, I will avoid to my death the use of the word juxtaposition but if you wanted to compare the images some of the lines evoke you might be tempted to use it. But ignore me in my foibles, seriously, its a fine piece of music, loving some of the instruments and samples in there some great arrangements. Favourite song is probably Lightbulbs.


Its a bit short though.

Just as an aside. I had to download Afternoon Delight today. Not because of Anchorman, (its an OK film but people get over excited by it) but because of the episode in series 2 of Arrested Development. One of the finest comedy series you'll see and really, everyone should have that song stored somewhere for playing on rainy days.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

3 Song W3dn3sday

Whoa nearly missed it (actually I did miss it but I can fix the time)

1. We Don't Eat - James Vincent McMorrow - Early in the Morning
2. Tranquilize - The Killers Ft. Lou Reed - Sawdust
3. The Times They Are A-Changin - Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin
(Trying to learn it is why but this song is timeless and I mean that in its true sense not as a superlative)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Bit of a Tease

Just stumbled across this. It sounds good. I'm as frustrated as you not to hear any more...

... so I thought I'd share that feeling. Haha. And the vid of course...


Sunday, 27 October 2013

What Lou Reed wrote

I have to be honest and say I don't know very much about Lou Reed so I'm definitely not going go into a full essay on his life. I just thought it would be respectful to put in a timely post about the things I remember about him. All I'll say is that what I do know is that he was a great musician, an innovator, a true original and that I didn't want him to die, and its really sad that he has gone. I love Perfect Day (the one without Bono), I've seen Trainspotting about a thousand times you see, but I realise it is only the smallest part of his lexicon of music and his deeds. I think we listened to Transformer in the car as kids when my dad was going through his listening to classic albums stage but I think it got denied airplay in the end by The Clash and The Stranglers that he preferred. When I heard that Lou Reed had died (through Twitter of course) the first thing I thought of was an article I had read (which I also found through Twitter), a review by Lou Reed of Kanye West's album Yeezus. Now here's me thinking why is this old guy reviewing a current rap album, he won't get it, he's going slate it as shallow, artless crap. But like I said I don't know much about him and he doesn't do that - what he does is he reviews it in such a refreshing way. It makes you love music again it makes you think I'm not too old for this shit, I'm never going to be too old for this shit, and this guy right here writing; he really knows his shit. It makes you want to open your eyes and try new things. There is a link below to the article, check it out for yourself (I think it was in the Guardian as well).


Rest in Peace Lou Reed

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Busking For Pudsey

I think I am going to go busking on either the 15th or 16th of November. And I'm going to do it for Children in Need. I figure that at least if I am crap the general public won't abuse me as I am doing it for charity. Their pity may even result in more pennies for a good cause hah.
Its looking like I'm going to have to busk unplugged, this mean sans reverb but I don't use much anyway. Its the volume I'm worried about, not sure how loud I will need to sing. This will either wear my throat out or make me sing crap or both a bit like the film... (~...Killing me softly with his song, telling my whole life with his words...~)

The painful bit in About A Boy

My amp is pretty big and you're not supposed to have them anyway. And I don't want to mess about with car batteries to power it even if I knew how to, or buy some mad generator. No I'm going to have to go au naturel. Just me, the guitar and the cuddly little bear.
Location will be Scunny not sure of best spot but there are plenty of closed shops to stand outside. Might try outside Costa then down near Subway.
I'm alright now I'll probably be bricking it at the time.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

3 Song W3dn3sday

A weird mix this week. You Gotta Be by Des'ree nearly made it in as well. I don't know what's going on...

1. 99 Problems - Hugo - Old Tyme Religion
2. The Shipping Song - Lisa Knapp - Hidden Seam
3. Way Back When - Kodaline - In A Perfect World

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Monday, 21 October 2013

Ashtray Hearts

A good friend of mine has been urging me to listen to an album; The Strangest Light by Ashtray Hearts. The problem is that I sometimes have so much to do or listen to that if I don't get round to playing it at the time that its recommended I forget about it. Either that or I like something else so much that I'm just listening to that on repeat to the exclusion of everything else. I bet I'm not alone in experiencing these two scenarios on a regular basis. It's a good thing in the main, its a sign that there are plenty of good sounds out there and also that you're rarely bored with your stereo. The downside is that at some point you're going to miss something good.

And this is exactly what happened. After Marko nagged me again I downloaded it and went to the shops with it on my headphones...

.. I repeated the first song on the album 3 times before I even got to the second. That says it all really. The sound won't be for everyone. It's all about the lead singer and songwriter Dan Richmond's voice, its all hung around that I feel. It has a melancholic bitter-sweet drop to it and the songs, even the more upbeat one's all sound kind of sad really. I guess its right there in the band's name, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It'll sweep you away in places, make you close your eyes or gently tap your foot in others. There are laments for what's lost or should have been and wistful and wry lyrics. I really like it. One criticism that could possibly be levelled is that it does all sound very much the same. I don't really mind this I like this particular sound (and if its one song on repeat it will sound the same hah).


One thing that seems strange and Marko pointed this out to me is that they are not bigger than they are. There's nothing on YouTube. I went looking for the chords on my guitar app (I use the ultimate guitar tabs one) and there was nothing not a single song not the bands name. That's the only time its ever happened and I've looked up some odd songs. I mean Snooker Loopy is on there. Snooker Loopy!

So I'm going to do my bit to share their music. Here's a link to there website, its nice looking arty and professional.


And here's a song, I hope you enjoy it...


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Busking Set List

I need 1.5 to 2 hours of music as the recommended amount of material to entertain while busking so as not to become repetitive. I need suggestions to learn please! I tend to either pick stuff a little melancholy or full cheese. I need some happy tunes and some more lively tunes.

These are what I can play so far:

Reminder - Mumford & Sons
Blowin' in the Wind - Bob Dylan
Knocking on Heavens Door - Bob Dylan
Pyro - Kings of Leon (not sure about this one as correct material)
Stuck on You - Lionel Richie
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day
Traffic - Stereophonics
Wonderwall - Oasis
Slide Away - Oasis
Half the World Away - Oasis
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley
Everything I Own - David Gates Bread.
Let It Be (the Jedi Version) - The Beatles (suppose I could learn the right words)
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons (not sure about this one as correct material)
Every Night So Far - Nick Akester
While The Light - Nick Akester
Disjunction - Nick Akester (definitely not sure about this one as correct material)
Fairy Tale of NewYork - The Pogues (xmas time only really)

At a rough guess there's just over an hour there taking out the ones that might not suit. So we need the same again...

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Acoustic Survivor

I've just put together an acoustic version of Eye of the Tiger as recommended by a friend of mine. Haven't sung it loud yet cos the neighbour is in so not sure exactly how it will sound but I've got a good feeling about this one. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

3 Song W3dn3sday

The songs that I am liking very much this week are...

1. Stand To Your Guns - The Full English - The Full English
2. Skinny Love - Birdy - Birdy or Skinny Love - Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (Either or Both)
3. Sophia - Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know

Monday, 14 October 2013

Connecting Folk

I've been listening to a lot of good music these last couple of months.  And a lot of its classed as folk but I don't want people to immediately think of the Hey Nonny No Morris Dancer stuff, the folk I'm referring to is rooted in all that but its given modern production, and the combination of old an new renders something quite stirring and energetic and beautiful. Now I'm no expert on anything really but this is good tunage. 

Folk and acoustic has its place these days, as it should. With the advent of Mumford & Sons and that sort of folky irish beat (dum dum da-da da-da, repeated fast, you know the one I mean) has established a footing in the mainstream. Avicii's hit Wake Me Up is like Mumford combined with dance. People always liked that beat even if they didn't know it, its a fine beat and folk has known it for a good many years. I actually quite like that track, dance has always sampled so its not really copying. As for Gavin Degraw's Best I Ever Had its got that beat but its plagiaristic of all of the above and more, its a bandwagon-jumpin-on abomination, its awful turn it off. But same beat; James Vincent McMorrow's Sparrow and the Wolf is excellent, don't avoid that.


So lets get to the folkin' point. This is what I've been listening to; Cara Dillon: her voice is pretty beautiful, her album Hill Of Thieves is eloquent and evocative.


I didn't know until after I had listened to it that it won the album of the year at the radio 2 folk awards in 2010. There are numerous collaborations on this including John Smith on guitar on the title track and Seth Lakeman on Spencer the Rover (the only song I know that mentions Rotherham). Both great songs. Now John Smith's album Great Lakes is another good album, his songs are catchy and his guitar playing is excellent and has its own unique style and sound. (Which you will notice straight away on Cara Dillon once you  know it's him) the only problem with this album is that an innocent guitar must have been ruined for the cover.

Now to Seth. I saw Seth Lakeman at Scunthorpe Baths Hall about a year ago. This was my starting point in folk. To be honest I just wanted to go to a gig (any gig) because I'd moved into town and the Baths Hall was new. So I saw Seth Lakeman on the bill and watched this excellent live version of Race To Be King to see what he was like.


I was sold and the tickets were bought. This guy is an accomplished musician and songwriter firmly grounded in the stories and heritage of the country. He was excellent live, one of my top 3 gigs I think, they even had a hammer and anvil (a full anvil!) as part of the percussion.

Seth has recently joined a collective known as The Full English. In fact their Self-Titled Album has just been released. They were created to produce a full album from the Full English itself: The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. The Library is The worlds largest FREE digital archive of English Traditional Folk Music and Dance Tunes. Check it out follow the link if you are interested. A place to be inspired and absorbed. Its not what I would call a folk super-group (although it is) because that word doesn't seem quite right for folk, a super-troupe perhaps.
The Line up:-

  • Fay Hield - Commissioned with creating the album, Vocals
  • Nancy Kerr - Fiddle, Vocals
  • Seth Lakeman - Vocals and anything with Strings, seriously
  • Martin Simpson - Guitar (from Scunthorpe so instant legend status)
  • Sam Sweeney - Fiddle
  • Rob Harbron - Concertina
  • Ben Nicholls - Double Bass (he played with Seth at the Baths Hall and On Cara Dillons album and he's in that video above as well)

Its a great album. I love old songs given a modern production. Apparently they each dived into the archive and found the stuff they like and then pulled it all together. You couldn't go far wrong for a folk starting point. 

As a final connection Martin Simpson's intricate playing of the guitar reminds me of John Martyn and didn't John Martyn punch Sid Vicious for heckling him. It seems Folk has connected with Punk as well...

Sunday, 13 October 2013

While The Light _ Original Song by Nick Akester


An attempt to add midi piano to the track. Happy with it but it could be better. Learnt a lot but alot still to learn. I could do with a real pianist... and a drummer... and a bassist... and a....

Thursday, 10 October 2013

I do my best thinking at night...

...Its why I never get enough sleep.

I have just finished the Lyrics (at last!) to my 5th Song. It has taken me ages to get the last couple of lines. But late night inspiration solved it. I'm going to multi-track this one for its first play. I'm excited because I'm really happy with the words. It has a double verse structure. A slower pre-verse following by a lively main verse.

Its called...

...Reach

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

3 Song W3dn3sday

The 3 songs that have got the most play this week.

1. Hill of Thieves - Cara Dillon - Hill of Thieves
2. Ramble On - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
3. Feeling Better - Sugar - Beaster

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Return of The Jedi... Song

And here it is. I'm not entirely happy with it. I was playing it slower and it sounded great but I kept messing up the words. I was getting too hot in that stupid jedi hoodie hah and so I rushed it but got through it. But not without a mistake in timing at the end. One thing it does prove is that the recording gear works. I rushed it but I can do this and tweak it. be ready for Re-Return of the Jedi. And then I'm going to tweet it to famous geeks...




Saturday, 5 October 2013

Jedi Recording

Today I'm going to attempt a proper produced recording of Let It Be the Star Wars version. Here's the old version.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Photos from Paul & Becky's Night Do 27th September 2013



3 Song W3dn3sday

I have decided to list my favourite 3 songs of the week on a Wednesday. Because I like lists and choices and because and it might give me an excuse to buy a new album. Be warned though it could include anything. Quality to total cheese.

1. Comeback Story - Kings of Leon - Mechanical Bull
2. Sirens - Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
3. Bonfire Heart - James Blunt - Moon Landing

...I did warn you.