Thursday 22 November 2018

Splendid night at King Tuts 🙂

WITH the car loaded with gear for tonight’s show at King Tuts we make our way into Glasgow early.

I drop Margaret off then go and set up camp in McDonalds for coffee and wifi to get some work done and last minute online promo etc for tonight’s gig.

There’s some merch to take to the post office then I park up in the city centre, go to the bank then hit Ramen Dayo! on Queen Street for lunch. I’ve missed this place – and the ramen is not only streets ahead of Wagamama or any other UK ramen place, but also great value. Tonkatsu miso black garlic ramen….jeez…it’s wonderful.

There’s a few other things I need to get done then I go and pick up Margaret  and we fight the traffic jams on our way to King Tuts. Gig rep Nick and engineer Chris – who’s done my sound a few times before – are ready and waiting as is my pal Andrew who’s opening up the show.

After soundcheck we have some dinner then relax in dressing room until doors open at 8.30pm and Andrew kicks things off at 9pm.

I’d been worried about the number of folks who’d said they were coming and messaged me earlier to say they couldn’t make it…I needn’t have worried. There’s a good crowd in when Andrew plays an extremely good half-hour opening set.

Folks have been arriving steadily and there’s more than a hint of enthusiasm in the air when I hit the stage for the next hour or so. A  bust string a couple of songs in doesn’t cause any problems and, if anything, brings the crowd even closer….and a steady stream of whisky fuels my performance nicely,

It’s a great night all round and after catching up with folks round the merch table we load out and  roll up back home just before 1am….

Absolutely fantastic opening set from Andrew Robert Eustace

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Tuesday 3 April 2018

Ableton Live…and my first ‘work in progress’ starts to make sense…

UURGH….cold, wet and grey today…looks like I’ll be stuck indoors.

There’s more security notices from the web client that need checked out..still nothing to worry about, I fiddle with some code to try and prevent her getting these false triggers.

There’s also some vinyl to be packed and sent out.

A new iPad case arrives from Amazon.  While it’s claimed to fit the new 2018 iPad, I ordered it before considering that the built-in screen protector might mess up the Apple Pencil experience. I’m expecting to return it so carefully open the pack and  test it…the pencil still works but it’s not as responsive. Mmmm…on examination, I see the clear plastic screen protector is just an insert and it detaches easily with no damage. Perfect! Comparable to cases at £80 or more, the case is a bargain at twenty quid. Check ’em out and get yours here!

Then it’s into the studio where I mess with the new song idea and revisit an older one for an hour or so. Think I’ll do a Facebook livestream update from the studio tomorrow (Wednesday) around 11.30am.

After lunch I tackle a whole load of USA visa-related stuff which takes longer than I’d like.

Finally I have time to get back onto Ableton Live and see if I can work some samples into the beats. I lose myself for a few hours and although the result isn’t a work of art, I’ve made headway understanding and working the damn app.

Before closing up the studio I pay some attention to my Loch Lomond Studios Facebook page, adding some photos to the galleries and spreading the work a little.

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Wednesday 21 March 2018

First up at the Quay Sessions is Annie Booth…

WE’RE off to the BBC’s Quay Sessions this evening, so both of us go into Glasgow early.

I drop Margaret off then go for coffee and spend an few hours on the local community trust website before parking up at the People’s Palace and wandering into town to pick up some mail.

After a quick snack I get a few bits and bobs of shopping then pick up Margaret. We head to Ikea to check out lighting for the new kitchen, wander around a bit then have some grub before parking up at the BBC’s Pacific Quay.

There’s a fair amount of hanging around for the ticket validation.

We elect to stand rather than the go for the rather restrictive seating, grab a couple of glasses of red then the music kicks of with Annie Booth and her band. Nice stuff.

Even better is second act – Albin Lee Meldau from Gothenburg currently enjoying ‘album of the week’ status on Radio 2.

We discuss the evening on the way home. The music from both was good. For me, though, there was very little performance or entertainment beyond the music. It’s all very safe. That’s probably why, we conclude, that Margaret’s numerous efforts to get me on the Quay Sessions over the last year or two have fallen on deaf ears.

…then some nice stuff from Albin Lee Meldau

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Tuesday 6 June 2017

I GET cracking on the holiday lodge website – and start uploading a video ‘walk through. 

We reckoned it might be a good idea to put out a download-only single in advance of the album launch – so Givers & Takers will be released on Friday 14 July.

Givers & Takers single coming soon!

So while the website video is uploading (slow progress!) I hit the studio and do some artwork to accompany Givers & Takers. Not my usual style, but I want it to stand out in the digital field and not be confused with the live album or the already-released EP.

Back in the office, the video walkthrough has hardly started the upload, so I abandon that until I can get a better connection and set up the release and distribution for Givers & Takers.

Then I get busy with the other parts of the website that I can do without a fast connection. 

By dinner time I’ve got things pretty much as I want them – a few details to be confirmed and info to be checked – and just a placeholder where the video will be – so I call my client and let them know the holding page will be down for the next few hours to let them have a proper look at progress. They agree to let me know any changes either later tonight or tomorrow morning.

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Sunday 28 May 2017

DESPITE the late night and amount of bevvy we’re up and about ay a semi-reasonable time.


Watch the Livestream on replay above
– or visit my Facebook page.

Alastair and Karen get breakfast on the go and after we eat we spend the rest of the morning gabbing and drinking coffee.
I start to flag a bit on the way home and call my pal Martyn –Margaret suggested we drop in to see them on the way past. They’re around, so we stop for a coffee…but Martyn hands me a beer instead. Does the trick 🙂

We carry on our way home, having invited Martyn and Louise for an impromptu dinner later…I;m keen to let them try our favourite black pepper tofu.

It’s a nice afternoon and we decide to put the tent up in the back garden to check all the bits are there and it’s not got mould or mushrooms growing. We’re gonna camp at the Red Rooster Festival next weekend and the tent’s been in the attic since I played Glastonbury about five years ago!

The tent seems in fine order.

Next, we get things ready for my 5pm livestream on Facebook. Instruments out and tunes – I plan on asking folks which guitar/instrument they want me to play – tripod set up etc…five minutes before ‘go live’ the 4G signal drops to 3G. Bluddy hell, why does this happen every time we try a livestream! We get going, but after a minute or so the signal drops again.

I wonder if we need to move the phone and try again – just a few metres to the left seems to improve the stability fo the signal and we get through it without any more mishaps. Watch the livestream on replay via the embedded video above or see it on my Facebook page.

After tidying up I get some prep done for dinner then our pals arrive. It;s nice having a fairly impromptu, off-the-cuff night and as it;s a Sunday we don;t kick the arse out of it too much!

 

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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…

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Saturday 11 March 2017

We enjoy a wee Glengoyne 15-year-old while consdiering final tracklistings for the CD and vinyl formats of the forthcoming live album

AFTER a long lie we have breakfast and I start pulling the live mixes we’ve been working on over the last few days into iTunes and onto our Sonos server so we can listen easily.

We spend the remainder of the morning and all afternoon listening and checking tracks, deciding which tracks to go on the final release then working out timings.

The timings are particularly important for the (hopefully) vinyl release – four side that should ideally be between no longer than 18 minutes…and certainly no more than 24 minutes. That involves a fair bit of juggling and we also need to consider inter-song chat/stories and where we can cross fade applause. We can’t have too much vinyl real estate taken up by stories and chat, but it does need a little.

Of course on top of this, we need to think budget. After tomorrow we’ll have spent the best part of £1000 that we don’t have on mixing and mastering. I’m hoping the studio can take credit card payments ’til we work out how the hell we’re gonna pay for it.

It all seems a little careless (economically), but if we don’t move things forward the album just won’t happen ‘cos we’ll never have the cash!

We also need to work out how we’re gonna pay for manufacturing CDs and vinyl. Neither Margaret nor myself feel the crowdfunding model is appropriate…I have a couple of guitars I can sell (a Lowden acoustic and a nice National Resolectric)...but one has been on Gumtree, Facebook etc for a while and I’m not getting any takers, so while their sale could help (a lot!) it’s not looking too postive from that angle. So if any of my blog readers know anyone wanting to ‘invest’ in a guitar/s and in doing so help our cause, please put them in touch!

The pre-mastering logistic work takes us ’til after 8pm when we decide to call it a day and re-visit tomorrow (Sunday).

I make a green curry and watch a documentary about the making of Primal Scream’s 1991 album Screamadelica – can’t believe it’s that old – before having a (relatively) early night.

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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…

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Wednesday 1 March 2017

Some amazing images at Will Wilson’s exhibition – really glad I managed to stop by today. Click the image to visit Will on Facebook.

AN early jaunt into Glasgow – I drop Margaret off then head for the VW garage on Crow Road.

The car’s booked in for whatever it is that VW need to do as a result of the ’emissions scandal’. I don;t suspect we’ll notice any difference! Anyway, I leave it at the garage and wander up to Morrisons at Anniesland Cross for a roll and sausage.

I’m not long finished my second coffee when the garage calls to say the car’s ready.

Back on the road, I head out to Dalmuir Library’s Back Door Gallery to check out my pal Will Wilson’s photo exhibition. There’s some really cool music photos and some other nice images too. Well worth a visit.

I make it back into town in time for my 1.30pm haircut at the Soul Barber Room. Scott’s bust his arm, so James does the honours, and a fine haircut it is too.

I have a late lunch at Costco while getting some shopping then onto Tesco before picking up Margaret.

I’d had a message from Fiona asking if I could transfer a VHS tape to digital/DVD – we’re not long home when she arrives and we set the transfer in motion and have a drink. About an hour in there’s a power cut which fucks things up a bit….twenty minutes later we’re back on but I’ve abandoned the video transfer for another day.

Steven pops in to get Fiona back home and we have another beer and a blether before realising it;s after 9.30pm and no-one’s had dinner yet.

They head off, we have dinner and I get on with some work before bed.

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Tuesday 28 February 2017

The sunshine prompts an impromptu Facebook Livestream form the lochside. Click the pic to watch

THERE’S a few reminders pop up in the diary.

First, book a haircut for tomorrow (Wednesday) while I’m in Glasgow. Actually, that was in the diary yesterday, but the Soul Barber Room’s closed on a Monday. I make an appointment for early afternoon, by which time, I hope, the car will have been fixed.

The second is to chase Three. We both really need to upgrade our phones but can’t afford it. I chatted with Three’s business folks on Friday and submitted all the documentation to apply for a business account. The guy I deal with is on holiday today but the guy I spoke to confirmed safe receipt of the stuff, so fingers crossed…

Once they’re done I do  quick social media post showing off the Glengoyne whisky flask-cum-belt buckle I picked up recently.

Tomorrow’s the first of the month. eNewsletter day. And also the deadline for April gig dates for a load of national magazines, so I send the m off then write/prepare my March eNewsletter and, using Mailchimp, schedule it to out to all my lists at various times tomorrow morning.

If you’re curious, you can get a heads up and read it here.

The sun’s out as I prepare the smoker for the bacon lattice-wrapped pork loin I’ve prepared….all ready to go early/mid-afternoon. The pork loin is short (three or four hour) smoke then, once it’s done, I usually let it rest in a faux cambro for an hour or two.

The sun also prompts a decision to stage a last-minute Facebook Livestream from up the lochside (the only place I can get fast enough connection – mobile or otherwise!). I put a status update on Facebook and run a few tweets to say I’ll be ‘going live’ in an hour at 3.15pm…it’ll take me a good 25-minutes to walk up there. 

I underestimate the time to get the charcoal lit and the meat on the smoker…and also the time to gather what I need. Plus, the wee travel resonator guitar I’m taking doesn’t have a strap, so I need to improvise something.

I’m tight for time leaving and I leg it up the pass. Just as I’m about to take a shortcut through the forest Arthur stops and offers me a lift. I get there with a good five minutes to spare to set things up for the Livestream and go live at 3.15pm precisely. It’s a bit of a fuddle trying to do it all myself but it all goes to plan. Much easier when Margret’s there to help with the camera (ie: phone!) and to relay messages, comments and questions tho. You can watch it on replay here.

Back home, the smoker’s all going good. i add some more applewood chips then get on with retitling the Livestream video and sharing it about a bit to try and get some more traction.

Margaret arrives back just as the pork loin in the smoker reaches temperature. We won;t eat for another couple of hours so we wrap it in a double layer of foil, then a towel and put it in a cool box…there – a ‘faux cambo’ 🙂

We get some more work done then eat, The pork’s amazing.

Both puggled, we chill for a while then have an early night.

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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

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Monday 13 February 2017

Leaving the lights of London behind as we fly back to Glasgow…

OFF TO London…but not so early as to have to catch the red eye.

My meeting’s not ’til 2.30pm, but my flight from Glasgow to London City leaves 1/2-hour late which means I have to rush across London to get to Musicians’ Union (MU) HQ so’s not to be late. I get there bang on time.

The baldy wee fud next to me on the plane ignores the announcement to stow away laptops and table as we prepare to land…then he ignores the stewardess’s polite request to put it away. I’m torn between telling him myself and saying nothing to see how long it’ll take him to put the computer away. He doesn’t. And of course by the time we’re on the ground it’s pointless saying anything anyway.

I can’t help wondering how someone can have the arrogance to behave like that. Is he stupid? Was he hoping to start a fight? Ass-hole. I resist the temptation to smack him in the pus for being such an arrogant wee shite once we’re off the plane! Anyway…

The meeting was called at late notice to deal with some urgent business. It’s dealt with quickly and we also manage to get through a few more important issues – we’re done just after 5.30pm and it’s been a very positive and productive afternoon.

I don’t have to rush quite so much on the return trip and have time to stop off en route to pick up a  sashimi salad to eat at the airport. For all it’s convenience, London City airport has a crap selection of food available…and what there is, is incredibly over-priced. 

I panic as my bag’s pulled aside at security. Maybe they’re gonna confiscate my sashimi…there’s likely a wee bottle of soy sauce in there. The security guy says “you have liquids!’…I look back quizzically and pull out the sashimi salad box. Nope. I rummage about again. Turns out there’s a wee bottle of hand wash in the bottom of the bag. It’s been in there for years and goodness knows how many airport security checks it’s gone through unnoticed!

I apologise as he runs a check on the wee bottle, bags it up and gives me it back with a smile.

The flight back to Glasgow is quiet and I sleep most of the way. I tighten the cap on the miniature of malt and slip it my pocket to enjoy later…better not drink it on the plane ‘cos I’ve to drive home.

It’s nearly 11pm when I get home and share a bottle of red with Margaret then head to bed.

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

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Friday 10 February 2017

Awesome night at the Hug & Pint thanks to Jamie (Little Fire), left, and soundman Doug 🙂

GIG day today – so first task is printing out set lists and getting some last-miniute online and social media promo out.

We’re also gonna try recording tonight’s show and I spend a while gathering an assortment of mics, cables, splitter boxes and other stuff along with the eight-track recorder.

I’m just about to pack the car when Joe shows up to measure our front door to see if their old canopy could be put to good use. I finish packing then there’s time for a coffee and a blether. Joe heads back along the road and we head for Glasgow.

The Hug & Pint is – along with Broadcast, King Tut;s and the Glad Cafe – one of our favourite Glasgow venues and I;m really looking forward to tonight’s gig.

Soundman Doug is ready and waiting when we load in – he’s done my sound a few times in the past and always been great. We’re set up in no time and Doug goes way beyond the call of duty in helping us set up to record the show with minimum fuss…he plugs in his laptop, has loads of good ideas and soon we;re soundchecked and back upstairs enjoying some amazing grub. The food at the Hug & Pint is amazing too!

My pal Jamie – aka Little Fire – who’s opening the show arrives just as we finish eating and is all set up and soundchecked by the time doors open at 8pm. 

There’s a good crowd in for Jamie kicking things off and he plays a wonderful set. So glad we managed to sort a show together after years of talking about it!

I do a quick Facebook Live from backstage and sink a wee dram before I start my set. The place is pretty packed – a nice mixture of old and new faces 🙂

After load out there’s time for a drink then we make for home, stopping off for a haggis supper en route. That’s fucked the low carb efforts of the last few days!

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

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Saturday 4 February 2017

At The Green Room, Perth

THE merch that had gone missing en route to the USA has turned up! Phew!

But there’s some orders come in thatI need to get packed up and away before the last post pickup at midday.

Also realised I hadn’t made up set lists for tonight’s show.

There’s lots to get done before I can get into the studio – we’ve got folks coming for dinner tomorrow and I’m planning to smoke a pork loin. I get a big dod of pork loin, trim off as much of the excess fat then make a bacon lattice, add some ‘Memphis dust’ rub and wrap the pork in the bacon. Ready for the smoker tomorrow 🙂

In the studio I pull in all the audio files from Thursday’s show into ProTools. All’s good except that the sample rate of the stuff direct from the mixing desk is different to what we recorded with the stereo pair of mics out front…so after a few minutes the tracks are out of sync 🙁

No time to work it all out now, so we sort some of the gear for the gig and had to Perth. We need to get there before 5pm so I can pick up any sales cash from the record store.

Next stop, the venue. We load in and Ewan soundchecks things…there’s a few setbacks (only one of the venue;s six DI boxes works!) and the stage is a bit rickety to say the least, but he’s on the case and does a grand job.

Lee arrives and soundchecks, we grab some pizza then doors open at 8pm..there’s a good wee crowd in when Lee kicks things off and by the time I’m onstage things have hotted up a bit. A steady stream of drams from Will, Catriona, Greig and Les keep me fuelled through out my set and there’s time, for a blether and a few drinks afterwards.

We drop Catriona and Will off on the way home, and roll up home sometime around 2am. Bed.

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

Lee opens the Perth show

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Thursday 2 February 2017

My pal Lee opens the Edinburgh show….

ANOTHER early start into Glasgow…glad I packed the gear for tonight’s show yesterday!

There’s quite a lot to get done in town before we head for Edinburgh, including a bunch of last minute online promo for the gig at the Voodoo Rooms. First stop when we get there is Lesley’s flat where we drop off some stuff and she comes with us to the venue.

There’s a fair bit of setting up to do. As well as the usual soundchecks and stuff, we’re recording the show to try and assess if it’s feasible tor us to make a release-quality live recording. We’re also videoing the show for good measure.

Sandy from Edinburgh’s Channel7A is waiting for us – they want to stream a special piece live from my soundcheck and, I think, planning on reviewing the show.

Once we’re done, Lee soundchecks and everything;s ready in time for doors opening at 8pm. Phew!

There’s a great crowd in – lots of pals and familiar faces from past gigs…and lots of new faces too.

Both Lee and I have a show…I’m pretty knackered after my 90-minute set tho’ – my last gig was mid-December in Dundee and I struggle a wee bit physically even if, I hope, the audience is unaware. Must get match fit!

There’s lots of drinking and chatting after the show and it;s well after midnight when we load out and head back to Lesley’s where we drink wine and whisky, eat pizza and all sorts of stuff and chat ’til after 3am.

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

I’m pretty knackered after my 90-minute set!

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Wednesday 1 February 2017

The Live at Five team at STV….

NOT too an early a start…but we still need to get to STV’s studios in Glasgow soon after 11am.

STV is starting to feel a little like a home-from-home. Innes comes to meet us in reception and Murray and Dot are on the studio floor getting everything ready to pre-record my two songs for tonight’s Live at Five.

Given the name of the show, it does seem a little weird that the music isn’t live – but it’s only recently it’s been  pre-recorded…the first couple of times I was on it really was live. No problem for me, but a little nerve-wracking that a broken string or some other technical mishap could really fuck things up.

My two new songs – Givers & Takers and 1923 – are both recorded in one take and before we know it we;re packing up, chatting with the crew and then off for some shopping.

There’s some stuff to be dropped off at Betty and Joe’s and we stop for a coffee and a quick chat then head home.

Not only have I to deal with a load of social media stuff around the STV show going out at 5pm and tomorrow’s gig, I need to sort a set list, rehearse, re-string guitars, print ‘forthcoming gig’ postcards and sort all the gear to record (audio and video) tomorrow’s (Thursday) Edinburgh show.

We take a break to watch Live at Five in between times…then it’s suddenly 9pm and I embark on the black pepper tofu for dinner…

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

Pre-record of two songs for tonight’s Live at Five show on STV

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Monday 23 January 2017

This second hand bargain picked up after a wee appeal on Facebook could be the key to a live recording…

BLUDDY cold today…so we light the fire as soon as it’s set!

There’s a lot on the to-list so we have a ‘Buzz meeting’ to catch up. In addition, I really need to update the ‘Introduction to Dave Arcari’ video  that means trawling through, and selecting, a load of video clips and also filming a ‘personal’ piece to top and tail the thing.

Margaret’s not so sure we need the extra bit of personal filming, but I’m adamant that it needs a couple of seconds at the start and finish to give some perspective and insight into what I’m busy with rather than just jamming together a set of clips. We spend time debating and discussing…but it’s important! Looks like decent weather on Friday so we’ll film something then. Meantime, I’ll try and identify some video clips.

The need to do a Facebook Livestream – mainly to promote the upcoming Scottish dates – is becoming urgent. However, we face the  usual crap broadband service at home issue…Margaret suggests a wee test, and we manage to get ‘connected’…but the stream is constantly interrupted and sound etc breaking up/ The replay works OK, but that defeats the purpose of the live stream which, for me, is all about the real-time interaction with folks watching.

So with the home broadband being too flaky we decide the only thing to do is wait ’til Saturday and do it from ‘somewhere up the lochside’. So, 2pm Saturday it is – at http://www.facebook.com/davearcarimusic

A courier delivers the Zoom R16 multitrack recorder – a second hand bit of kit at a bargain price after a wee appeal for one on Facebook. This may be the key to a successful (ie: usable) recording for a live album.

In the studio I rehearse a couple of new tunes for next week’s (Wednesday 1 February, 5pm) appearance on STV’s Live at Five show.

I also manage to complete all the backup, organising and archiving of hard drives I started a few weeks ago. All that remains is to make a safety copy of the resulting archive so I can move/copy every six months or so to maintain the integrity of the data. It appears that even hard drive archives can become corrupted and the best way to prevent that is to copy form one drive to another and rewrite the data every so often. Bleedin’ hell. More work.

I take a couple of mics and some headphones back to the house and run a few tests on the R16 recorder to make sure it’s all working as it should. All’s good, so the next step is to source some mic splitters to take direct live feeds – I don’t want to take outputs from the venue’s mixing desk or use ‘y’ cables which could compromise the sound of both the show and the recording. And although I’m pretty well up on recording techniques and procedures, I reckon there’s gonna be a bit of trial and error even working out if the live recording idea has legs.

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

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Thursday 29 December 2016

I’m always fascinated by the ‘Milarochy Tree’ when walking up the lochside…

WE sleep in. Again. Dunno if this is down to tiredness, lack of exercise or too much bevvy. It certainly isn’t down to a lack of things needing done!

At our pals Duncan and Irene’s the other night, Duncan re-inforced the idea of doing a live album. A lot of people at the mech table have been asking Margaret “is there a live album?” and, of course, there isn’t. Add in the fact that two of my five albums are now ‘deleted’ and unavailable in physical format and another two are all but sold out, maybe a live album would fill the gap nicely. There’s a bunch of new songs that could go on there too.

I spend the next few hours thinking it through and writing down some ideas. Might just be the way to go!

After a late lunch of home made lettuce soup – sounds crap, but it’s amazing – I spend some time downloading various audio software updates. Technical stuff’s been a bit neglected over the last year.

While the downloads are…erm…downloading, I make the most of the last of the daylight and go out for a walk.

Back home, I try and install the software updates in the studio. Every fucking one of them fails – either directly because my Mac OS is ‘out of date (purposefully, as it can be a can of worms getting caught in the disparity between ProTools and Mac OS updates) or crashing as a result of something being out of date. Jeez. Waste of time…and a wake up call. We can’t afford to update the machine in the studio, or the main software so looks like my trip into obsolescence is about to start 🙁

Oh well. I’ve decided to have an alcohol-free day and offer my insides a wee bit of relief, so it;s a quiet night after dinner reading and watching a bit of telly….

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Thursday 22 December 2016

The Facebook livestream festive special goes to plan – click the picture to watch again on my Facebook page…

STRAIGHT into the studio after breakfast to work out what I’m gonna play in this evening’s Facebook livestream ‘festive special’.

I run through a few tunes and, as we’ve got a live audience, a few songs to warm ’em up before we go live on Facebook.

There’s some online stuff to do and some promo then we get busy with more prep for Christmas.

Lesley rolls up mid-afternoon, then we pack the car and head off to the mystery location for tonight’s Facebook Live and party. We don’t go live ’til 8pm, but we get there just after 5pm to work out how we’re gonna play things and conduct the 1/2-hour livestream.

The audience is arriving between 6.30pm and 7pm….and, of course, the beer’s flowing!

We have a fantastic night and the livestream goes to plan…I maybe have a little too much to drink..but then, I think everybody else has too 🙂

If you missed the livestream, you can watch it on my Facebook page here

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Saturday 1 October 2016

View from the stage with Have Mercy Las Vegas

View from the stage with Have Mercy Las Vegas

NOT only is it eNewsletter day, it’s Balmaha’s Braw Weekend…and we leave for the US tour at 4am on Monday morning.

Once the eNEwsletter’s out and shared on social media I take some extra lighting down to the festival site for tonight’s live music.

The site opens at 11am and there’s already a great buzz about the place.

I spend the morning and early afternoon dotting between the site and the office getting things done. The other bands for tonight’s live music will be arriving between 3pm and 4pm.

Everything goes like clockwork. The afternoon entertainment finishes at 4.30pm and we get all the gear loaded in and everyone gets a quick soundcheck.

Mark McGowan kicks off the music at 7pm then is followed by the magnificent Miracle Glass Company at 8pm, myself at 9pm then Have Mercy Las Vegas at 10pm. Have Mercy Las Vegas invite me to join them onstage and play on their forthcoming single St Peter’s Blues.

A brilliant night..think we might be suffering a bit in the morning tho’!

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Thursday 29 September 2016

STV come to film a preview of this weekend's Balmaha's Braw Weekend festival...

STV come to film a preview of this weekend’s Balmaha’s Braw Weekend festival…

AFTER breakfast and the usual email activity I pack a guitar and head to the Braw Weekend festival site – STV folks are coming to film a preview piece for tomorrow’s (Friday) Live at Five.

It’s been really (really!) windy and wet all night and earlier this morning, so it’s good to see all the marquees and tents still intact and holding their own.

The main marquee/tent for the Saturday night music is huge – and has a whole ‘window’ wall overlooking the loch which is just feet away.

Nice to see Live at Five‘s Jennifer and David – I’ve been on their show (and its predecessor The Riverside Show) quite a few times. We have a chat then they film some interviews with festival organiser Stuart and chocolate maker Melanie who’s doing a daytime demo. They film a little of me playing/messing with the guitar and wee interview and we’re done.

There’s a hell of a lot needing done – not least ‘cos we head for the USA on Monday….leaving about 4am!

I need to put together a quick video for a Facebook ad to promote the entire USA tour so Margaret quickly films me playing and talking to camera and I cut in some live clips and set it to upload over our cranky, snails’-pace broadband.

I’m out of time on so many things, not least some of the regional and local press & PR for the USA tour. We have a telephone chat with a news release distributor and online media directory provider to see if we can find an affordable way to get the tour news release out there. Margaret has a good chat, so fingers crossed we can cut some kind of deal.

My eNewsletter needs to be written and designed, ready to go out first thing on Saturday morning (1st of the month!)….I know I’ll be up to my arse tomorrow and Saturday, so it needs done now, and automatically scheduled to go out on Saturday.

It’s late by this time and I need to close up the office…but the Facebook video is still only half uploaded. I lock up the studio leaving the computer churning away and hope it’ll be uploaded by the morning..

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Wednesday 17 August 2016

Facebook Live Stream...already there's a reach of over 21,500, 2.5k views, 186 likes, over 100 comments and 21 shares. That's pretty good traction! Watch it on my Facebook page – just click the image above!

Facebook Live Stream…already there’s a reach of over 21,500, 2.5k views, 186 likes, over 100 comments and 21 shares. That’s pretty good traction!
Watch it on my Facebook page – just click the image above!

I GET the usual emails, blogging and social media stuff done before breakfast then embark on the first big task of the day…making another batch of burgers.

We’re not sure how many we need for Margaret’s party – an awful lot of folks haven’t RSVP’d and some, all or none might bring stuff to chuck on the grill. We wanna make sure there’s enough so everyone can eat regardless. I mix the mince, chives and some of my secret ingredients in a big bowl…the new burger press is a lot better than the old one. At least the burgers are of uniform thickness!

There’s a news story to be done for my G63.scot local news/features website…I’m so pushed for time at the moment that I’m considering putting the G63 project into hibernation for a while. We’ll see. I get teh story done and shared around social media.

The weather’s not looking great for the next few days and the front garden grass needs cut. I get that done then make myself a big bowl of ramen with squid and belly pork and eat it out in the sunshine.

I spend the afternoon setting up a server and a holding page for Stephy’s new website then spend a few hours getting on with Betty’s photo album project.

Margaret reminds me I’d mentioned the possibility of doing a Facebook live stream this evening…I thought it might be an idea to ‘go live’ from the lochside. It’s a sad state of affairs that our home broadband is too slow a connection to do a Facebook live stream, yet we can wander a mile or so up the lochside – out in the sticks where no-one lives – and get a suitable mobile data signal! Either that or call on the goodwill of our pals a few villages away…but while the live streams from their house have been great fun, I don’t want to pester them every time I decide to do a Facebook live stream, usually at a few hours’ notice!

At 6pm I put  a message out on Facebook saying I’ll be ‘live from the lochside’ at 7pm (UK time)...I pack a  guitar, tripod for the phone and print out a list of upcoming shows in case I need a cheat sheet and we head off along the beach.

The data signal’s good, the light perfect and my live broadcast goes fine – live UK and USA show dates, other news and a live Q&A plus a couple of live songs. You can see it on my Facebook page here.

When we get home I see there’s a reach of over 21,500; 2.5k views; 186 likes; over 100 comments and 21 shares. That’s pretty good traction!

There’s no doubt that Facebook Live Streams are – for now – the way forward!

Time to relax now – so I make a green curry and we chat over plans for the weekend’s party…

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Tuesday 9 August 2016


Good Friend Blues live at Glasgow’s O2 ABC2

AN EARLY start – need to get the gear for tonight’s show packed and get into Glasgow for a photo job for a pal.

Margaret comes with me and we spend four hours taking photos at Rouken Glen park –the brief is quite extensive and I hope I’ve got all they need.

Next stop Costco to pick up some stuff then we head to the O2 ABC2 on Sauchiehall Street to load in for tonight’s show.

Bob Wayne and his band are just finishing their soundcheck when we arrive and soon I’m getting my gear sorted and my check’s done and dusted

Support act Panic Anchor – Andy – and another pal John arrive and soundcheck then we all hang out and chat before doors open.

Andy and John play a great opening set and soon I’m on stage and being fuelled by whisky from the crowd – it’s a great audience and their enthusiasm is second to none.

Next up, Bob Wayne and his band play a blinder. We hang out at the merch desk for a while then load out helped by our pal Jonzip. Next stop, Ka Ka Lok on St Georges Road for a late dinner – Asia Style a few doors away used to be my favourite, but recent visits and it’s update to Asiama have been disappointing. Ka Ka Lok is nothing short of stunning…best soft shell crab ever and all three of us enjoy our main courses.

We drop Jonzip off then head for home. Been a busy day, Knackered 🙂

Panic Anchor plays a fine set ably assisted by big John Mackay on harp...

Panic Anchor plays a fine set ably assisted by big John Mackay on harp…

..and Bob Wayne and his band play a stormer too :-)

..and Bob Wayne and his band play a stormer too 🙂

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Friday 29 July 2016

Great to get a wee tour of Tartu's vinyl plant Keep on Spinning :-)

Great to get a wee tour of Tartu’s vinyl plant Keep on Spinning 🙂

THE alarm goes off at 6am…we need to be packed and ready to meet Martin outside the yacht club at 7am…he’s taking us to the dental place to have Margaret checked out.

We;re there by 7.30am, and first in the queue for when doors open at 8am. When we get in we get the grump receptionist…I’d go as far as to say she was a torn faced bitch who really didn’t want to help and couldn’t speak much English. Martin the interpreter to the rescue. Again 🙂

We don’t have too wait too long tho’, and the dentist Margaret sees is nice and speaks good English. All the smashed back teeth are given temporary fillings, the front checked out – I forgot to say in yesterday’s blog that Margaret had phoned her dentist pal Lorraine back home who suggested pushing the tooth with the root attached back into the hole in her gum, which she duly did while Martin and I squirmed.

Martin drives us to Tartu and drops us a the very nice hotel provided by the promoters of tonight’s show. We have a rest and I go to find some mouthwash and antiseptic cream for Margaret.

Andres arrives at 3.30pm to take me to the local vinyl pressing plant. Margaret’s resign up so we walk and chat, catching up on everything since we last saw each other then Erki gives us a tour of the Keep on Spinning facility. Andres has brought me a vinyl copy of his album – which features my vocals on a track – and is the first vinyl LP ever to be pressed in Estonia and was done here.

Back at the hotel Andres leaves me to look after Margaret for a while…I go and get some food that she’ll be able to ‘chew’ then we rest up until we need to leave for Edison for tonight’s show.

In between times, her top lip has swollen up, so she messaged Martin who, in turn, contacted the dentist in Parnu and managed to get a digital prescription for antibiotics. Ten minutes later he’s in the foyer with the medication Jeez, I dunno what we’d have done without pals like this.

Andres comes back to the hotel and helps us move all the gear and merch and when we get there booker Priit gives  us a warm welcome. The PA is already set up in the back yard of the venue…a long narrow space surround by high walls.

After soundcheck we have a beer and people start arriving, including Martin and his wife Marilin, Andres wife Siret and their son Aleksander…and another hundred or so folks.

The place is rammed and the audience is fantastic…I have a blast and it seems this is the busiest live show they’ve ever had 🙂

Despite her discomfort, Margaret does her usual great job helping with sound and dealing with the merch.

There’s time for a few drinks, then we’re given a run back to the hotel where we have a snack, I pour a large dram…then collapse!

Margaret's gonna be sore today :-(

Margaret’s gonna be sore today 🙁

 

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Friday 22 July 2016

AN ONLSLAUGHT of emails keeps me busy after breakfast, then my pal Rab calls – he needs some guidance on updating his website and wonders if I can make up some notes for him.

It takes me a good couple of hours, but hopefully it’s a good step-by-step guide to make the updates he wants to be able to do – not just this time, but for future reference too.

The outside grill’s needing cleaned after last night’s burgers…and the wooden ‘worktops’ on each side could do with some attention. They look a bit manky and with Margaret’s brithday gathering next month it’d be a good idea to clean thing up a bit. I grab a sander out the shed and rub them back…then Margaret wipes them down with meths and gives ’em a couple of coats of stain. Quite a difference!

I didn’t have time earlier int he week to cut the grass at the front of the house so I give it a quick run over with the mower then get back to work.

There’s a nice wee breeze keeping the midges at bay and I need a walk. I load up some podcasts and head off on one of my regular walking routes.

On the way back I change podcasts and notice a 4G signal on my mobile….mmmm…I wonder if I can do a Facebook Live stream? Yup, no problem – I do an off-the-cuff ‘broadcast’ about next week’s Estonia shows, answer some questions that come in over comments and then finish my walk.

I check when I get home and the post has a reach of 16,491, 101 likes, 58 comments and 1,900 video views – that’s a bigger reach than all my combined page posts over the last 10 days. Unbelievable traction….just need to find a way to harness this opportunity!

Back home I open a beer and make our Korean BBQ beef yum yum rice bowls…that’s a mouthful in more ways than one 🙂

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Tuesday 7 June 2016

Margaret is in the control room/gallery with Mark while I play some songs for Live at Five.

Margaret is in the control room/gallery with Mark while I play some songs for Live at Five.

ANOTHER early trip into Glasgow – my six-monthly appointment at the eye hospital, then on to STV.

We get to the hospital early to minimise the chances of being late for my 11.15am call at STV – I get seen early, but have to hang out a while for the consultant. Still, we manage to get to STV on time and soundman Mark meets us at reception,

After setting up we grab a coffee then record three songs. Seems odd that the music section on Live at Five is pre-recorded, but it’s a lot less stressful than playing live on the show’s previous incarnation, The Riverside Show, mostly because I was always terrified of breaking a string and having to stop mid-song (the guitars go horribly out of tune when a string breaks)!

It’s another sweltering hot day and I sweat like hell in the studio. By 1pm we’re done, packed up and head off to pick up some shopping on the way home in good time to watch the programme go out live 🙂

You can see it on the STV player – two new songs…one at 29 minutes, 45 seconds, and the other at 40 minutes, 45 seconds!

Lots of midges around when I go outside to light some charcoal for the grill, but they’ve subsided a bit when I start grilling the burgers for dinner.

There’s so much to do in preparation for the Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow shows..and also the Hellbound Train video premiere on Friday morning (11am, via my Facebook page!). Oh, and the EP release on Friday too!

It’s 1am before we even think of shutting shop…and we’re both knackered. There’s a busy few days ahead too…

With some of the Live at Five technical team

With some of the Live at Five technical team

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Friday 27 May 2016

First live show in nearly four months...I manage to last the pace!

First live show in nearly four months…I manage to last the pace!

HAVE to be on the ball this morning. Quite a lot to get done before we hit the road south for this evening’s show at the Dubs in the Middle Festival near Evesham.

We fire through all the work needing done before we go, Margaret makes a couple of apple and rhubarb pies for the coffee shop and I get the gear ready and packed.

Meantime, Margaret sorts the merch, I take the pies off to the coffee shop and run along to Betty and Joe’s to drop something off.

We’re a little later leaving than we planned and it’s nearly 7pm when we check into our hotel then dash off to the festival site, load in then have a snack and a beer until it’s time to get set up.

Dubs in the Middle is a cracking family-friendly festival with an emphasis on…VW vans and campers. There’s a great atmosphere and I fire through my hour-long set….I’m pretty knackered by the end of it though – having not played a live show for nearly four months I’m not used to the physical workout. All the rehearsals in the world don’t prepare you for the live thing!

We’re back at the hotel before midnight and open a bottle of red and relax. Something tells me I’m gonna be sore in the morning!

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Thursday 19 May 2016

We have fun doing another live stream on Facebook...click the pic to visit my Facebook page and check it out....

We have fun doing another live stream on Facebook…click the pic to visit my Facebook page and check it out….

FEELING a bit gubbed this morning…but no time to mess around, there;s too much to get done.

I spread the word about tonight’s Facebook live stream then make some spinach pasta dough. We’re taking some lasagne along to our pals’ place for after the live stream.

It’s pouring with rain when I go down to the village to meet our pals Gareth and Lynne. They’re passing through and want to pick up an album so we go up to the house and have a coffee and a blether. Nice to catch up. Plus, Margaret’s made scones 🙂

Back in the office I get on with creating a Facebook ad for the new EP. I get caught up in setting up a ‘pixel’ on my website which, according to Facebook, will let us track the success (or otherwise!) of the ad.

There’s some more things to get sorted – including PA hire for October’s Braw Weekend festival. Good to get the ball rolling with that.

It’s well after 7pm when we chuck a guitar in the car along with some lights – and the lasagne – and head along to our pals’ place a couple of villages away to do the live stream. Their internet speed – although only marginally better than ours – is fast enough to let us do the live stream.

The stream goes to plan and we have fun doing it…then relax with a beer, eat the lasagne and enjoy a quick dram before heading home.

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Tuesday 19 April 2016

Another Facebook Live stream...click the pic to watch it  on my Facebook page...

Another Facebook Live stream…click the pic to watch it on my Facebook page…

MARGARET confirms some more gigs this morning…Parnu Blues Festival in Estonia, York and some other stuff. Lookin’ good.

I’m busy with a story for the G63 webzine when Betty pops round for a coffee, then there’s lots of social media posting to promote this evening’s scheduled Facebook Live stream.

I make a feeble attempt to get some work done on my accounts, but it’s time to head into town to the optician. A new optician for us. He’s really thorough and we both like him and the folks in the place…I need new reading glasses. Margaret needs reading and distance replacements too!

I thought the appointments would be 15-20 minutes, but they’re more like 45-minutes…we’re starting to run late, but need to pick up some shopping before we dash home, pick up my banjo and stuff for the Facebook Live stream and head along to our pals a couple of villages away….our internet speed isn’t fast enough for us to do a live stream from our house or the studio!

We drink some beer and have fun broadcasting live on Facebook…if you missed it, you can watch it on my page here. Once we’re done our pals make dinner and we chat about all sorts of ideas for future live streams and stuff.

We’re home quite a lot later than we planned, but it’s worth it…and we had a great time 🙂

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Wednesday 6 April 2016

I’VE GOT someone coming to have a chat about web design…I did her website 15 years ago and it;s still going, but definitely time for an update. Our paths crossed recently for the first time since!

She’s a wee bit early, and I’m not quite through the stuff I wanted to get done but that’s OK. We discuss options and ideas and she leaves with my promise of an email outlining our chat and documenting my proposals.

After lunch I have a meeting with my other recent web client. Now the site’s live, I need to sit down and show them how to update/add content.

Last night’s Facebook Live video stream is still getting a lot of traction…an amazing amount for what is effectively a Facebook page post. I threw a small budget at it to ‘boost’ the post and it seems to be helping too. Check it out on my Facebook page! If you have a verified Facebook page, check out Facebook’s Mentions app and give it a whirl…it’s so good, I have a feeling it won’t last in it’s current form for long, so if you can, jump in and give it a bash while the going’s good!

I’ve some other stuff to do and can’t find my notebook…Margaret’s not seen ti either. Odd. The I realise we may have left it at Martyn and Louise’s last night. I call. Yup, it’s there. Martyn’ll be home in half an hour so I arrange to drop by and pick it up.

While I send some poster art and stuff down to our pal Becky for a show we’re doing together at the end of May, Margaret tries to firm up an Aberdeen show for Thursday 9 June and a BBC Radio Scotland session for earlier in that week to promote the new EP.

I have a coffee and a chat, pick up the notebook and get home just as Margaret’s got the dinner ready.

We eat and chill – I read one of the latest Mac magazines on iPad (free, courtesy of Zinio and our library!) – while Margaret watches the telly. My upper back, neck and shoulders have been really, really achy the last month or so and reading an article about laptop use makes me think I really should put my laptop on a stand (or something) and use a separate keyboard. I’m already using a bluetooth mouse ‘cos the MacBook’s trackpad’s knackered. It makes sense, especially as I’ve been pretty busy on the computer the last few months and not been getting out for as many walks and breaks as I should.

I’ll try putting the MacBook on a pile of books in the morning..and grab a bluetooth keyboard from the studio….

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Tuesday 5 April 2016

Our pals Martyn and Louise come to the rescue letting us use their place for the Facebook Live stream....

Our pals Martyn and Louise come to the rescue letting us use their place for the Facebook Live stream….if you missed it, click the pic and watch the replay on my Facebook page.

AFTER yesterday’s experiment with Facebook Live video streaming I plan a more organised stream for this evening…a new song, some chat and some Q&A at 7.30pm. I spread the word via Facebook, Twitter etc.

Messing about with my iPhone and Facebook’s Mentions app which handles the live streaming, I find out internet copnnection’s ‘too slow’ to run the app. Uh-oh. I install the app on Margaret’s phone to see if her newer iPhone and higher specc’d wifi connectivity will help. Nope.

I run a speed check on our connection and find we have a 6.9 meg download speed. Crap by many standards, but workable. Upload is a measly 0.3 meg. Now that is nothing short of shite…and is clearly why Facebook Live ain’t gonna work.

I try direct wired connections between the laptop and various modem setups (including the crappy BT Homehub), but to no avail. With an hour already wasted, I try and online chat with BT. Takes 25 minutes to get an ‘agent’ on the other end who tells me ‘we don’t guarantee upload speeds’. I explain I don’t really care what they do or don’t guarantee….the service is unworkable. And expensive. ‘Nothing I can do’ they say…I ask who can and am offered the customer service number.

The response there is quicker and the experience a little more conducive to solving the problem. After then minutes or so of testing and to-ing and fro-ing I’m told there does seem to be a problem with the line/service and it’ll be passed onto the network team. Could be 48 hours ’til we see an improvement (if any).

I call my pal Martyn along the road. We got it working at his place yesterday so, if he’s around and not busy, maybe we could impose ourselves and do the stream from his place. He’s totally up for it, so we arrange to head along just after 7pm…we’ve some pulled pork out the freezer, so offer to take it along for dinner by way of a thank you.

Facebook Live under control, I get on with a website I’m developing for someone and manage to get it finished. I let them know – they have a look and request a few minor changes and we arrange to meet tomorrow so I can show them how to update the content.

At 7pm we head along to Martyn and Louise’s. A quick check and the internet connection;s still good…we set up and go live…fifteen minutes of chat, a new song and responses to comments/questions coming in and we’re done. It’s easy, informal and fun….lots of viewers, interaction and we deem the exercise a great success. You can replay the video on my Facebook page.

We drink beer, eat then enjoy a dram before we finally head home a good while later than we intended!

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Monday 4 April 2016

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

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!

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Thursday 31 March 2016

STV's 'Dave Arcari special' on Grassroots Music is shown at 8.30pm...Uk folks can watch it on the STV Player – click the image to watch.

STV’s ‘Dave Arcari special’ on Grassroots Music is shown at 8.30pm…UK folks can watch it on the STV Player – click the image to watch.

CHECKING emails and Facebook before I jump in the shower I see Trossachs Search + Rescue are launching a defibrillator location app this morning.

That’d be a good story for the G63.scot webzine but, as usual, no-one’s thought of telling us. Not that we have any ‘right’ to know, but I’m at a loss as to why local business and folks with events etc aren’t interested in what usually amounts to good free publicity at G63.scot and the resulting social media.

I send an email to the organisers to get the times/details which leaves me little time to get organised but  get there and get some pix and the story.I run home, post the story and pix then dash to another local event to do same.

After lunch I spend some time sorting out the domain name transfer and web hosting that I started last night but got bumped midway through by the power cut. When it’s finally sorted I put a holding page up for my client and let them know we’ll be working on the website design and content over the next few days.

An email from STV tells me the Grassroots Music ‘Dave Arcari special’ I was interviewed for yesterday is going out tonight! I hastily spread the word via Twitter, Facebook and any other way I can think of.

The show is broadcast at 8.30pm and as well as the interview, there’s five live songs from STV’s archives – Good Friend Blues, Devil’s Left Hand, Still Friends, Got Me Electric and Homesick & Blue. UK folks can see it here – I’m gonna try and sort something out so overseas folks can see it soon though 😉

A good cross section of material. I’m pretty happy with the interview – a few cringeworthy bits from me and it’s always pretty hard to watch yourself…but overall it seems pretty good. Lots of nice social media feedback too.

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