Monday 7 May 2018

First live show in a while for yours truly…nice to be back on stage πŸ™‚

AFTER the routine stuff I nip across to the studio and run through my set for tonight’s show at Broadcast in Glasgow.

It’s been a couple of months since my last show and I need to make sure I’m match fit. I manage to remember the words to everything then pack the guitars, banjo and other stuff.

We take advantage of the sunshine to get a few bits and bobs done outside – Margaret re-pots our indoor tree and I cut the grass and do some strimming. Best get these jobs done before the rain comes back!

Load in at Broadcast is at 6pm and soundman Darren does a fine job soundchecking. Doors are advertised for 7pm, but everything gets pushed back a half-hour..there’s a good crowd in when I kick things off just after 8pm.

Next up is Serious Sam Barrett and James the Fang – it’s nice to see Sam, having played a show together in Stamford a few years ago. The pair play a nice mixture of roots and Americana peppered with some folk influences from this side of the pond.

J D Wilkes closes the night with a slimmed-down Shack Shakers backing him and plays some old Shack Shakers favourites and old and new stuff from his solo and Dirt Daubers sets.

A grand night and brilliant crowd –especially for a Monday night.

…Serious Sam Barrett and James the Fang…

J D Wilkes and the Legendary Shack Shakers close a fantastic night at Broadcast



Saturday 11 November 2017

Great crowd at Broadcast πŸ™‚

MY website’s still getting messed up by the malware or whatever…seems to have injected a script that’s still hanging around. I think it may be ‘hidden’ in the database.

I escalate by efforts to rid the site of the infection and cross my fingers it’s gone this time. I leave the website in maintenance mode with a holding page until I’m sure we’re clear.

After breakfast I start making a big pot of black bean soup. I’ve had the black beans soaking overnight so drain them and replace the water, bring it to the boil and add garlic, onion, green pepper, salt and pepper – then in goes a smoked ham hock and some olive oil. It needs to simmer away for four or five hours.

Ivor drops by to pick up some CDs has a coffee then I carry on with some work in the office before packing the gear/merch for tonight’s show in Glasgow.

Mikey was meant to be here by 1pm but it’s after 3.30pm when he arrives, so it’s straight into the car and off to Glasgow.

Load in and soundchecks go great – engineer Jim is on the ball and opening act Hicks are all set to go soon after doors open. It;s nice to hang out and chat with our Left Lane Cruiser pals before the show.

Hicks play a grand set then I take the stage. The place is rammed right up to the front which is nice and there’s an electric atmosphere. Then Left Lane Cruiser close the night with a spectacular set.

Broadcast is one of our favourite venues, but their ‘evacuation policy’ of herding folks out as soon as the music finishes so the place can be prepared for the following club night is terrible. Same thing happened at my album launch show on 1 September. Not only does the venue insist the merch table is hidden away at the back in a poorly accessible spot, folks are herded out with little or no time to buy merch. I make my feelings known to the bouncer and the sound engineer. Ozzy – Left Lane Cruiser’s tour manager isn’t happy either. Regardless, we all do pretty well on sales…but it could be so much better.

After loading out we have a drink with everyone in the dressing room then head to KaKaLock for some grub. Home before 2am!

Left Lane Cruiser play a blinder…

Time for a drink in the dressing room before we head off.



Friday 1 September 2017

Lucy opens the Glasgow with an awesome set…everyone loves her πŸ™‚

RELEASE day for Live at Memorial Hall!

I get a bunch of stuff done online and pack up a bunch or orders that have come in before we need to head into Glasgow to meet Lucy who’s opening the shows tonight (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).

Elvis at Kelvingrove

Lucy’s train from London gets into Central at 1pm and we get there just in time then hit Slouch for some lunch.

We have a whistle-stop tour of Glasgow taking in Kelvingrove Art Galleries and the People’s Palace then get to Broadcast to load in just before 5pm.

Sound man Max is ready and waiting for us and the sound checks go smoothly leaving us time to go to Nanakusa next door for some grub before doors open at 7pm.

Lucy kicks things of just before 8pm and plays an absolutely fantastic set. Everyone loves her πŸ™‚

I’m on at 9pm and hit it hard as I can – fuelled by plenty of whisky from the crowd – for 75 minutes or so. The 10.30pm curfew means we don’t have much time to chat with folks after the show and it;s a bit of scutter trying to sign merch and get our gear packed up. ile putting the music world to rights. Great day and night πŸ™‚

I have a blast for 75-minutes at Broadcast…pic courtesy Alistair Mulhearn Photography.


Wednesday 24 May 2017

A good night at the SAY Awards longlist announcement

WE BOTH hit Glasgow early.

I make my usual stop at McDonalds for coffee and wifi and get a bunch of stuff done, including getting the four track Live EP up on Bandcamp.

We’re also delighted that our pal, London-based singer/songwriter Lucy Zirins will be my special guest opening the Glasgow show at Broadcast on Friday 1 September and Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, on Saturday 2 September.

I get Facebook events set up for the two shows and get the ball rolling on spreading the word.

I have mail to pick up in the centre of town so park up at the People’s Palace and enjoy a walk through Glasgow Green. I check out a few things int he city centre, pick the mail, deal with some other and pick up a wrap and walk back. Just as I get tot he car a huge bird shite lands on my left leg, Uuuurgh, Luckily the People’s Palace toilets have hot water!

I eat my wrap then go to pick up Margaret via Tiso’s where I get some advice on walking footwear. My walking boots have soles in both soles and are pretty worn – they were a bargain a year or so ago at about Β£60 but even so, I’m surprised the soles have worn so fast. The assistant in Tiso’s confirms my thoughts that the wear is down to the amount of walking on tarmac and we come to the conclusion that a shoe with a sole more suited to tarmac, trails and paths might be a better choice. I can always get a new pair of boots later on for the more serious hill walking.

Downside is, as usual, we’re skint! I get Margaret and she’s adamant we should go back to Tiso;s and get the shoes, so that’s what we do. Then we pick up some shopping and make our way to the O2 ABC for the Scottish Album of the Year longlist announcement. IT;s a good event and there’s a load of folks we know. Nice to catch up. The live music from Steve Mason, Admiral Fallow and Mungo’s Hi-Fi is disappointing. We like all three and were looking forward to seeing them, but the performances are lacklustre and lacking in any dynamic…we hang around for the longlist announcement and listen to a bit of Mungo’s Hi-Fi’s DJ set then head for home.


Monday 4 April 2016

AFTER breakfast we have our first proper ‘Buzz meeting’ in a while.Β 

A much slicker affair since we started using Trello – out of date to-do lists on bits of paper are a thing of the past…now we can see what’s needing done and where we are with all our projects/tasks. A lot of folks we’ve mentioned Trello too are finding it’s a great free tool. Check it out here.

I’m busy with a website I’m developing for someone all morning. Int he afternoon I take a bunch of merch down to the village post office then stop in to see Martyn for a coffee and to chat over some ideas.

The chat moves round to Facebook and Martyn suggests I should think about doing some live Facebook video broadcasts. I’ve been blissfully unaware, but he’s seen some from other folks and thought they were pretty good.

Some Facebook users with verified pages (not personal profiles) were invited to try out a new app called Mentions a while back. I accepted the invitation, had a gander and didn’t really see any benefit in using it over Facebook’s Pages app. Mentions has evolved, it seems, and has a feature allowing users to stream live video right onto their Facebook page!

Seems like a good idea so I give it a quick test and it works. I decide to try it out properly tomorrow (Tuesday) evening at 7.30pm with some chat, a bit of a new song and maybe some live Q&A if we can get our heads round how to do that…it’ll be live on my Facebook page at 7.30pm, Be nice to see some folks there!

We have an early dinner then head to the village hall for a planning meeting. Fairly uneventful then we hit the pub…didn’t do too well with my planned alcohol-free day!