Wednesday 23 November 2016

Chatting onstage at the Hard Rock Cafe with Dougal Perman for the Scottish Music Industry Association's 'Creative Coversations' event.

Chatting onstage at the Hard Rock Cafe with Dougal Perman for the Scottish Music Industry Association’s ‘Creative Coversations’ event.

ANOTHER early start…a beautiful clear blue sky but freezing cold and the car takes a good while to defrost before we head into Glasgow.

A warning message on the dash tells us there’s some kind of airbag problem, so after I drop  Margaret off I nip into McDonalds for a coffee and free wifi and call the garage…kinda hoping they might be able to have a look but the auto electrician’s not in ’til tomorrow. Jeez, yet another journey into town.

I get some work done while drinking my coffee. My task lists in Asana – our favoured to-do list/project management app – are almost up to date…but there’s still shitloads to do. I should really be learning some lyrics for Saturday’s unplugged show in Kirriemuir. I rarely play cover versions, but this is a different kind of show and before playing my own stuff, I’m planning to kick off with a set of covers  – all influences on my own music/style but it’s been so long (30 years in some cases) since I played most of them, I have no idea of the words!

Instead, I sort out a PRS for Music Members’ Fund (PRSMF) visit with a grantholder who’s in hospital later this afternoon…I do annual visits for the PRSMF which amounts to little more than two or three days’ work a year, but it’s nice to play a part in helping folks who’ve hit hard times or bad luck.

Although I’ve been experimenting with Facebook ads and boosted/promoted posts for a good while now, I’m getting the feeling that Instagram is catching up fast. I have an image I created a few days ago to use in a test Instagram campaign which I take some time to set up now. I guess my evaluation will come up in this blog soon.

Margaret’s had a few days doing supply teaching which will, I hope, help tide us over a lean gig schedule over the next few months and has inveigled me into taking a guitar into the school and playing some songs for – and chatting with – the kids. I wasn’t sure if they’d dig my stuff, but I needn’t have worried…the kids are magic and we have a great half hour.

Next stop, Soul Barber Room for a haircut…first time things have worked out in ages to let me have a haircut at my favourite barbershop and Scott doesn’t disappoint, He and Lisa are the best barbers I’ve ever been to.

Then it’s off to the hospital for the grantholder visit before dashing into town to the studio for a Music+ session. En route, tho’, an email comes in from my student apologising he can’t make it…he’d forgotten about it and made other plans. Grrrrrrr….

That takes the pressure off time-wise, so we pick up some bits and bobs then park up and make our way to the Hard Rock Cafe for a Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) event which sees me in ‘creative conversation’ with SMIA chairman Dougal Perman. There’s a good crowd in and the event goes great…chatting with some folks afterwards indicates the audience found it interesting and informative. The whole thing’s been filmed so will, no doubt, be available online in whole, or part, sometime soon.

It’s after 9.30pm when we leave and decide to grab something to eat on the way home…we plan to stop at KaKaLok on  St Georges Road, but on the way we spot a new place called Satu Satu and give it a try. Good call, Margaret – it’s brilliant 🙂 We love the friendly atmosphere and no-frills authentic Malaysian/Asian fare – my squid ho fun with black beans sauce is great and Margaret enjoys her generously served beef with ginger and spring onion.

Then home for a wee dram and bed…gotta get the car into town to the garage early tomorrow 🙁


Monday 18 July 2016


Beach huts at Elie…memories….

UP early. I have a PRS for Music Members’ Benevolent Fund meeting with a grantholder in Fife at 11am.

It’s a good couple of hours’ drive – and one of just a handful off annual meetings/visits I do each year for the PRS for Music fund.

After my meeting I decide to take a drive to Elie – holiday destination for four or five years between the ages of seven and 11 and where, on my last holiday there, my uncle Archie bought me my first bike and I learned to ride. I remember the bruises on my shins from the pedals well and that entire holiday like ti was yesterday. It’s just five or six miles further and the sun’s shining

Indeed, my first stop is through Elie and right to the end of Earlsferry to the ‘Toblerone’ houses (properly called Glover’s Wynd) where we spent that holiday. I spend an hour walking from there along the beach to the Ship Inn then back along the main street with memories flooding back. I stop and  gaze at what used to be the Golf Hotel where we spent a fortnight for three consecutive years when I was seven, eight and nine….wander up to the sports club and the pavilion which is still there – now a more sophisticated refreshment stop than the old cafe 40-odd years ago…and sadly missing the jukebox on the right that I can hear playing in my head when I go in to use the toilet.

I drive home with memories still swirling round my head, stopping off in Stirling to pick up a burger press – a  more practical one than the one in our hall cupboard – and big pack of cellophane ‘papers’ in preparation for the burger making frenzy we’ll be having in advance of Margaret’s 60th birthday gathering next month.

Back home I have a nap then venture outside to spread some weedkiller.

I make dinner– lemongrass and basil tofu…using the new tofu press – then clear the decks of tasks that popped up in the diary while I was away. There’s a nice wee interview/feature on Americana UK here…hopefully they can sort the typo in my name!


Tuesday 22 March 2016

ANOTHER day in Glasgow…a couple of PRS visits (the first of the year) and some shopping.

The visits are pretty much routine. I visit PRS for Music Members’ Benevolent Fund grantholders once a year to see if there’s anything they need and check their circumstances haven’t changed. There’s only a handful of grantholders in my ‘patch’ (Scotland and North of England) so it only amounts to about three days’ work a year…but it’s very worthwhile.

So if you know any PRS members who are needing a bit of help point them to the fund’s website – or tell them to contact me!!!

In between times I grab a coffee and get some work done online, and once all’s done I get some shopping, pick up Margaret and we head for home.

There’s some stories to work on and I’ve found a wee bug in my new website which means anyone buying stuff form the shop on mobile needs to have their device in horizontal/landscape mode to avoid problems adding items to the shopping cart.

There doesn’t seem to be a fix for it, so I add a wee note on the shop page toe xplain the process until I find a solution.

Deadlines are looking for the the new EP release…although not ’til June, I need to get artwork finalised urgently and get the promo machine moving….




10% OFF