Friday 30 June 2017

First of two Almost Blue Festival shows – Church, Dundee

ANOTHER early start to get Ted and Laurie into Glasgow for their train to London – glad we didn’t drink too much last night!

Once I’ve dropped our guests off I pick up a bunch of new-design t-shirts – and a couple of experimental hoodies – from Kenny at T-Shirt Cat in Dennistoun. Good to have them in time for tonight and tomorrow’s Almost Blue festival shows in Dundee.

When I get home there’s time to get a little work done, including putting the new shirts on sale on the online store then I pack the gear and we make for Dundee, pick up house keys from Alison who we’re staying with, then load in at the venue.

Engineer Lee greets us at Church and soundcheck’s done in a jiffy so there’s plenty time to go and get some grub in a nearby pub. After the excess of the last week – and the likely over-indulgence later tonight and tomorrow – we go for the healthy options. Chicken caesar salad for Margaret and I opt for a quinoa salad with grilled halloumi. And a bottle of water.

Back at the venue, The Good Doctor kick things off. They’re followed by VFLambda who play a brilliant set – haven’t heard them before, but we really like them.

Then yours truly takes the stage for a 90-minute, whisky-fuelled set. After chatting with folks round the merch table we load out and go back to Alison’s for pizza and red wine then crash.

VFLambda play an awesome set


Wednesday 14 December 2016

It’s a tradition to sink some red while writing the Christmas cards!

BEFORE I do anything else, I go up the attic and get the Christmas tree and decorations down.

I doubt we’ll have time to do anything with them today – or even tomorrow – but if we’re tripping over the boxes and bags in the hall we;re likely to get on the case soon!

In the studio I get some guitar re-strinbging done. The internet’s so slow today I don;t want to have to do any more stuff online than necessary.

I put some quinoa on to cook for the basis of my next few days’ lunches then a few folks call and I chat while the quinoa cooks.

A couple of online t-shirt sales need to be packed up ready to go and I realise I need to print a new sheet of Buzz address/return stickers with the new mailing address. That’s a pain in the ass fiddly job, but eventually I make a template and get it all lines up so the addresses fit on the silly wee labels.

All the stuff I picked up to make a batch of black bean sauce/paste is on the worktop in the kitchen, so I get that all made up and blended then realise all our little tubs that we freeze stuff like this in have been used up with the green curry paste I made the other week…I call Margaret who’s in Glasgow and ask her to pilck some up when she’s done at the haiurdresser.

Back in the studio I run through some songs..still one guitar to re-string, but that’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow – I need to start preparing dinner!

After we eat we tackle the Christmas cards and get a good bunch of them done with the help of some beer, wine and …erm..a wee 15-year-old Glengoyne 🙂

…and in the studio I enjoy a cheeky wee Glengoyne while ruinning through songs for tomorrow (Thursday) night’s show in Dundee.


Saturday 2 July 2016

Great crowd at Clarks....

Great crowd at Clarks….

OOOFFFT…feeling pretty broken and busted this morning. Too much whisky, hard bed and generally knackered.

We head off to meet Susie for coffee in the centre of Dundee and have some lunch too. Nice to see her and catch up.

There’s some stuff we forgot to bring so we drop into Boots and Superdrug then make out way back to the hotel where I have a wee nap.

Load in at Clarks is at 5pm and Kit’s there to meet us and help us in. It’s a whole different world from last night – great room, top PA and an engineer!

By the time I kick off at 6pm the place is rammed. A faulty guitar takes the wind out my sails and I have to retune another, but the crowd doesn’t mind and I have a fantastic time playing. A great crowd and magic vibe throughout.

We’re fed after the show then we go for a drink to somewhere a but quieter with Catriona, Viv, Mike, Laura, Grant and some more pals.

A magic night apart form the fucked guitar. If there’s time tomorrow I’ll get hold of some tools and soldering iron and see if I can sort it out in time for the night-time shows. if not, back to retuning the back guitar!


Friday 1 July 2016

The PA is a bit "make do and mend" – no mic stand, then when one does arrive there's no mic clip. Gaffa tape to the rescue.

The PA is a bit “make do and mend” – no mic stand, then when one does arrive there’s no mic clip. Gaffa tape to the rescue.

LOTS to get done before we head to Dundee for this weekend’s Almost Blue Festival.

After breakfast I finish running through some new tunes and then get the gear packed and loaded in the car.

There’s a couple of apple pies to be taken to the local coffee shop then we have a quick snack and hit the road.

First show of the weekend is at The Gunners in Broughty Ferry.A 6pm start so we aim to check into our hotel around 4pm and get to the venue by 5pm.

When we get to the venue there’s two tony powered “PA speakers”, no mixer – instead a DJ turntable controller, no mic, stand, cables. Fuck.

We call the festival organiser who speaks to the venue manager and they arrange to go and pick up some extra bits and bobs t at least make some noise. I’m meant to be onstage at 6pm, the place is filling up…

To cut a long story short, we manage to cobble together the system and by 6.45pm I’m off. The sound is awful – distorted and cutting in and out, but the crowd is on my side and I end up having a great time!

Once we’re done we head off to a local place for some grub with pals then it’s back to the hotel to re-charge.


Friday 24 June 2016

Four shows during Dundee's Almost Blue Festival next weekend

Four shows during Dundee’s Almost Blue Festival next weekend

A LITTLE more work to archive all my old accounts, then a blitz on organising the to-do list and everything else.

I mess around with Asana again and start pulling in all the tasks – not just from Trello, but also from the huge pile that’s been growing on the office desk..

Looks like my schedule for next weekend’s Almost Blue Festival in Dundee is sorted so I sort new artwork and do some work on promoting my shows.

By the end of the day I have cleared the office desk completely. Everything’s filed away or binned and all the tasks and bit of paper with notes transferred into Asana. Still a bit of work to do before we sit down on Monday and get organised, but at least the clutter has gone.

We have an early dinner as Barbara and Thorsten are stopping in for a drink later…


Thursday 23 June 2016

I TACKLE the accounts head on. Takes me a while, but I get everything up to date. All that’s left to do is archive my 2015/16 papers with a printed summary and ditch the 2009/2010 stuff.

Next on the agenda is the PR/media stuff for my Almost Blue shows in Dundee next weekend (1, 2 & 3 July). The venues and details of my shows have changed a few times. The latest change came in last night. The organisers still haven’t announced the artists/venues/timetable so, with just a week to go, I can’t hold off sending out news releases any longer.

I know I’ll likely have another show on Friday 1, but I just have to go with the info we have… Saturday 2 July (6pm) at Clarks and Sunday 3 July (9pm) at Buskers. I write up a news release and fire it out.

After lunch the sun’s out. Margaret’s away with the car ’til later on so I decide to walk to the village to cast my vote to stay in Europe. I’m rather irritated that the single ‘remain’ sandwich board outside the polling station has been placed behind a wheelie bin and is largely out sight….mmmm…

While walking and listening to various marketing podcasts I take note of a collaboration-cum-project/task management app called Asana, so when I get home I have a quick look. I’ve been using – and singing the praises of – Trello for a while, but on first look, Asana seems a bit more up to the job. I open a (free) account and give it a whirl. Maybe worth switching from Trello…but we need to check it out a bit further…

Margaret gets a message from Almost Blue asking if I can do another show on the Friday (1 July) night…there’s some details we need to check out, but that should be OK. Pity it missed my news release tho’.

I’ve got some stuff to drop off for Barbara so we take a wander along and end up sitting outside and having a couple of pre-dinner drinks. I’ve still got dinner to make so we head back along the road, eat and chill…