Saturday 22 April 2017

Wide Days’ keynote – Olaf interviews Music For Nations chief Julie Weir after lunch at the Usher Hall

FEELING rough again this morning…I blame the late night chips. My belly’s not used to the carbs these days!

We get the bus into the centre of Edinburgh and meet up with some of the other Wide Days speakers and folks. Olaf’s taking us all on a bus tour. It’s a good networking morning and another chance to catch up with folks.

The bus tour includes a stop for a walk up Calton Hill which blows away most of the cobwebs then we roll up at the Usher Hall for coffee, drinks and lunch on the stage, Once we’ve all eaten and chatted, Olaf interviews Music For Nations head Julie Weir who we met yesterday..then there’s a tour of the Usher Hall and a whisky tasting. A great way to round of the event.

We get the bus back to Lesley’s, pick up the car and head for home.

Matty – who’s staying the night – arrives at the same time.

The vinyl test pressings for my forthcoming double live album have arrived. No time tonight to check ’em, but we’ll put aside a couple of hours aside tomorrow to ensure that all’s good before the main manufacturing run. Exciting.

Test pressings for the forthcoming double vinyl live album…

Saturday 4 March 2017

Lee warms up the crowd with an awesome set at my live album recording show.

WE’RE up early and have breakfast then pack the car with the rest of the gear for tonight’s show.

By 10.30am I’ve got a time-lapse camera set up to capture preparations for the gig and all the gear’s in the hall.

Margaret leaves me to rig the PA, lights and get the recording stuff set up and comes back a few hours later to help me fly stereo mics out front and an audience mic then I soundcheck and we set some basic recording levels.

Lee arrives and Margaret leaves me to run his soundcheck. A problem with one of the stereo mics turns out to be unresolvable…think it’s the preamp on the audio interface. Ah well, should still be enough to capture the sound.

Martyn comes in with a couple of cameras and sets up to film the show then we all head off for dinner.

We’re back at the hall a good half hour before doors open to sort the tables and seating. It also gives Martyn and Louise a chance to set the cameras with the proposed stage lighting.

By the time Lee hits the stage at 7.30pm, the hall is full and he plays a great set. Then it;s my turn. Two sets of about an hour each to try and get as much material recorded as possible…33 songs!

All goes pretty much to plan and we have a great night…the audience is fantastic other than a wee group of guys at the back that Margaret ends up chucking out, their chat and behaviour was affecting folks sitting around them.

After some time chatting and thanking folks for coming out we start de-rigging and tidying up.

Catriona, Will and Matty are staying over so we have a few drams and finally get to bed sometime after 2am…I’m gubbed. Been a fun, stressful and exciting all at once day.

Have a blast recording stuff for a live album…

Thursday 2 March 2017

Ivan Hall Barrientos’ session is one of many highlights at Glasgow University’s introduction to the music industry event

INTO Glasgow early. Again. I drop Margaret off then take the car to the garage to have the underbody cladding fixed and two new tyres.

Margaret will pick the car up later, meantime, I’m off to a music industry day at Glasgow University which kicks off at 9.15am. As I walk from Maryhill, hunger makes me forget the carb-free stuff today and I pick up a roll and sausage with black pudding at the Kelvinbridge Cafe.

There’s a good turnout for the event which kicks off with welcomes from UK Music’s Jo Dipple, Fiona Hyslop (Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs)  and event organiser Martin Cloonan.

A panel session gets things underway, then Martin is ‘in conversation’ with our pal Paul Savage of Chem19 studios and the Chemikal Underground record label – he’s worked on my last four albums and is about, I hope, to tame the recordings that come from Saturday’s live album recording show.

A keynote from DF Concerts’ Geoff Ellis is followed by lunch where I talk over my recording set up for Saturday with Paul. I’m keen he gets the best possible raw audio files. A few other music biz pals join us at lunch then we go back to the main event for three more sessions – Leo O’Brien discussing the role of PPL, a  music production masterclass from Ivan Hall Barrientos then a songwriting workshop with Carla Easton (Teen Canteen/Ette). All really good stuff.

The whole thing is followed by networking/drinks where Margaret joins us and we catch up with lots of pals for a few drinks before saying cheerio to everyone and heading for the Hanoi Bike Shop for dinner. I’ve still got a voucher Catriona and Will gave me at Christmas 🙂

After a fantastic meal we make our way home and crash. Gonna be  busy few days coming up…

Tuesday 14 February 2017

A wee smacker for Valentine’s Day on our walk up the lochside….

IT’S VALENTINE’S Day – we swap cards but, as agreed, no presents. In saying that, after givin spiralising a whirl with the wee manual gadget I bought last week Margaret did buy an electric spiraliser as a mutual gift. A half-price bargain on Amazon.

A spiraliser, for those who haven’t caught on yet, is a gadget that turns veg into spaghetti-like strings for salads, stir-frys or carb-free ‘zoodles’ – spiralised courgette (zuchinni) that is a remarkably good substitute for pasta!

In the studio I do (very) rough mixes of a couple of tracks recorded at Friday night’s show then take them to the house to check out. There’s definitely potential, so we discuss ideas, logistics and possibilities…as well as, of course, the economics of putting on an special show to be recorded for a live album.

At lunchtime we test the new spiraliser on some mooli (daikon radish) and carrot which I warm in a  spicy peanut sauce. I tried it last week and despite the sauce being a bit wet (or ‘runny) it was good. Today’s sauce is thicker and has more chilli and…Margaret likes it!

We get some more work done then go for a walk, stopping in at Betty and Joe’s to help get their Skybox and Firestick working on the new wifi network. Once done we carry on our walk then stop back in for a coffee on our way back.

Thanks to Betty’s help and enthusiasm, we decide to set up a live recording show at Buchanan Memorial Hall…we need to move fast as time isn’t on our side and when we get home Margaret checks availability and books for Saturday 4 November. It will be a special gig! And I’m especially happy that, as well as helping out on a technical (audio/video) basis, my pal Lee is gonna come and do a short warm-up set.

Tickets will be extremely limited and are available here.

Continuing our low-carb efforts, I make basil, lemongrass and lime tofu with cauliflower rice. My carb intake today has been one slice of wholemeal toast and a can of lager. While I could cut them out, I’m not sure that it’s necessary to be ‘carb-free’…my aim is simply to cut down on sugar and carbs and see if there’s any difference.

Click above for info/tickets for the upcoming ‘live album’ show!

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Sunday 6 November 2016

Great time playing the final show of the tour at Rockwood Music Hall, New York

Great time playing the final show of the tour at Rockwood Music Hall, New York

WE wake up in the van in McDonalds’ car park around 6.45am. Feeling a bit rough…and drive the couple of blocks to Enterprise to hand the rental back.

Looks like it doesn’t open ’til 9am tho’, so we walk back to McDonalds and have some breakfast and the place is open by the time we wander back.

Then New York Marathon is playing havoc with the roads in Manhattan, but a bus and a subway ride get us to Lexington then a short walk to my cousin Ginny’s place where we’re staying. She’s already been downstairs and brought up all the gear we dropped off at 3am…we have a chat then grab a couple of hours sleep.

An Uber ride gets us and my gear downtown to Rockwood Music Hall in good time for my 5pm show…we load in and then nip across the road to Arlene’s Grocery for a quick drink where our pal Siouxie joins us…then back to Rockwood for a quick set up and…showtime!

Ginny, John and bunch of cousins and friends are in for the show and I have a great time playing…cool to see everyone 🙂

We hang out for a drink afterwards and watch a set from San Diego artist Hilary Lankford…then join everyone for a bite to eat in a nearby Greek restaurant. 

There’s time for another drink and we hang out for a wee while downtown then head back to Ginny and John’s….been a great tour and whirlwind five weeks, but we’re knackered and need some sleep 🙂

We're lucky to catch some great music from Hilary Lankford....

We’re lucky to catch some great music from Hilary Lankford….

...then dinner with family and friends...so cool to see everyone :-)

…then dinner with family and friends…so cool to see everyone 🙂