Tuesday 23 January 2018

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The ‘bubble mat’ from Amazon seems pretty good value – a quarter of the price of similar from office suppliers. Click the pick to find out more.

OFF into Glasgow early.

I drop Margaret off and hit McDonalds…breakfast bagel, coffee and free wifi. I’m there for three hours uploading video, blogging and working on some new Google search tools to find out how to get more organic search and visibility for gigs.

Next I drop off posters and flyers for the upcoming Glasgow show on Saturday 3 March. First stop is the venue – The Hug & Pint – then I go into town, park up and drop into Love Music before dropping more off at the Scottish Music Centre.

Shopping is next on the list. Chung Ying, See Woo then Costco where I wait 20-minutes in a queue of just six folks for a hotdog.

Some more shopping, then i pick up Margaret and we drive to Braehead where we have an appointment with the kitchen folks. We’ve been before, but only did a basic layout. Subsequent visits to Magnet threw up some great ideas, but we just can’t afford their prices. Ikea will likely come in around half the price!

Margaret’s not convinced tho’ and we’re going round in circles with ideas, costs and solutions.

It’s after 9pm when we get home. The anti-fatigue mat I ordered form Amazon has arrived. I’m pleasantly surprised how good it is given that it was twenty-odd quid as opposed to over £100 for the equivalent from office suppliers. While I;m loving the improvised standing desk, my feet were getting sore…hopefully this mat will help.

Saturday 15 April 2017

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AFTER a pretty lazy start to the day I start work on putting together a downloadable EP of some tracks recorded at the live album recording show that aren’t going too be on the vinyl or CD formats of the album.

There’s nothing wrong with the tracks/recordings, it just wasn’t possible to fit them all on the CD or double vinyl, so I think I ca put them to good use as a free promo download incentive for folks to join my mail list and also to trail the album. Might even be good for some radio promo too.

There’s a number of ways I can set this up and I pend a while planning out the best way to work it.

I don’t get far, tho’ as I end up spending two hours trying to work out what’s wrong with my online store after a customer emailed to say they couldn’t buy a shirt! For some reason my t-shirts aren’t checking out properly…but CDs,vinyl and other items are all OK. Weird.

After much poking about, it looks like a WooCommerce update has stopped variable products from inheriting the ‘parent’ product’s shipping class. My solution – for anyone affected by the same problem – is go into each variation and set the shipping class manually ie: choose the correct class rather than the ‘same as parent’ option.

I’m glad the customer took the time to let me know there was a problem rather than abandoning their purchase…I’m also glad I only did the update last night, so hopefully haven;t lost too many orders from folks giving up.

Our pals Barbara and Thorsten have finally been able to move into their new house nearby and have invited us along for a drink. Haven’t seen them in a while and it’s nice to catch up. Thorsten’s done an amazing job building all the insides of the house.

It’s quite late when we get home and make some dinner then watch Big Gold Dream on the iPlayer – a documentary film about the independent post-punk music scene in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Definitely worth a look, but – like most of these things – focusses on the ‘chosen few’ and funded by Creative Scotland. Some things haven’t changed.

I find it frustrating that Scotland’s funding/support networks consistently support individuals or specific acts – often the same ones on an ongoing basis – rather than building resources and creating opportunities that all musicians/songwriters can use and tap into…

Sunday 12 March 2017

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AFTER breakfast I work on a web development and photography proposal out of a meeting last week.

Once done, I’m back onto the tracks from the live album. Getting the various playlists from iTunes onto my new phone is a bit of a carry on until I work out that, if you use Apple Music, it’s necessary to switch off iCloud music on the phone/device. Then you can manually choose playlists to sync – once done, back into the phone/device settings to re-enable iCloud music. What a fanny dance! And the process ain’t documented anywhere,

In the studio I do a quick video edit of one of the songs that hasn’t made the cut for the album, Stagolee. Nothing wrong with it – we just have to be ruthless with the track selection. The video footage from Urbancroft is looking good and the resulting video is pretty sweet….uploaded, but not shared for the moment. You’ll have to wait for that 😉

I take a walk and use the break to listen through the track mixes and proposed running order. We need to have that decided and all the metadata (ISRC codes and other release info) off in advance of tomorrow’s mastering session at Chem19.

We take a wander along to see Betty and Joe then home to make dinner and tie up a few loose ends work-wise. Been a pretty hectic weekend.

Saturday 2 April 2016

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Rab plays a fantastic show at Gartmore Village Hall

Rab plays a fantastic show at Gartmore Village Hall

WE have a pretty lazy morning…I still haven’t quite shaken off the lurgy, so maybe a bit of a rest’s a good thing.

After a late breakfast I pick up a guitar and run through a bunch of songs I haven’t played in ages. It feels good. Margaret asks me about the new song I’ve been messing with in the studio…I explain I couldn’t ‘find’ the vocal melody and it was all over the place when i tried to record it yesterday.

I pick up the guitar and run through it. Works pretty good and sounds fine. So what was the problem in the studio? I think it’s because I was overdubbing the vocals rather than playing the song live….somethingI rarely – actually never – do and that reminds why. I need to play the guitar and sing at the same time, That’s just the way it is.

After the recent interruptions in internet service, I investigate possible causes. We have a fancy-assed Netgear router which doesn’t have a built-in ADSL modem (ie: for ‘normal’ BT Broadband). To get round that, we used our old BT Homehub as a modem and disabled the wireless router…the Homehub, though, I think is goosed…plus, running through two devices could be causing sporadic IP conflcts.

I go onto Amazon and find a cheap ADSL modem for a tenner and  a ethernet switch to plug all our ‘internet enabled’ devices into – they should be here tomorrow (Sunday) with free delivery courtesy of Amazon Prime.

Meantime, Margaret prepares a roast and knocks up a big pile of Yorkshire puddings. Catriona’s coming to stay tonight and we’re having an early dinner so we can get to Gartmore in good time for my pal Rab’s gig there tonight.

Catriona is driving and we get there with time to chat to our friends from the village then settle down and enjoy the show. Gartmore Hall has (fairly) recently been renovated and it;s a nice space for gig. Rab, of course, plays a blinder mixing some of his older material with tracks from his latest I’m Walking Here album. Great songs, engaging performance and an incredibly assured and strong guitar playing.

We bid farewell and head home for a snack, a few glasses of wine and plenty chat before bed.

Margaret's Yorkies are amazing!

Margaret’s Yorkies are amazing!


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